Playstation Says No Free Trial Because It’s Already Tomorrow In England

When something has an expiration date and an end time isn’t specified, you sort of assume that the “day” ends at midnight where you are, or where the company is based. Most people do, anyway, and they shouldn’t. That’s what Howard learned when he tried to activate a free trial of PlayStation Plus, and he was a few hours too late. Not because he had forgotten to call before the offer expired, but because the day was already over. If you use Greenwich Mean Time.

GMT, as the cool kids call it, came about in the 19th century. A grossly simplified history lesson: since the United Kingdom was then the center of the world (or so its citizens thought) the system of longitude begins at the Greenwich observatory in England. When navigation on the oceans became more precise knowing what time it was down to the minute became crucial, the world needed a single time standard. The time at the Greenwich observatory was that. Consumerist headquarters, for example, is in New York, 4 hours behind GMT. Today, we use Coordinated Universal Time, which still begins in England.

I bought a playstation 3 around Christmas this year. It came with a free one month trial of Playstation Plus.

I didn’t get a chance to sign up for it until [Saturday] but it clearly says Valid Through 3/30/13 on it.

The code wasn’t working so I called the phone number listed and the rep told me that it’s expired already because they use Grennwich Mean Time and that makes it 3/31/13. There is no indication on the card with the code that dates are subject to GMT.

I couldn’t believe this and spoke to a supervisor who told me the same thing.

This is just bad business. The whole point of this trial is to get people to try it and ideally sign up for a year of the service.

I spent about $350 for the playstation bundle and the cost for 3 months of this Playstation Plus service is $17.99 which means the one month in question would be about $6.

Sony hasn’t taken this nearly far enough. They’re a Japanese company, after all, not a British one. During Daylight Savings Time in the United States, Tokyo is 16 hours ahead of Howard in the Pacific time zone, meaning that he really should have made sure to call before 4 A.M. on Saturday in order to make it in under the deadline.

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