Sony 3D Television Promotion Goes Wrong, And No One Can Fix It

Chris’s 3D television was supposed to come with a voucher from Sony for four free PlayStation Network games. It didn’t. Now he’s stuck in that rarest of situations: a problem involving multiple companies where Best Buy is the most helpful and cooperative.

He writes:

I’m in customer service hell over here. I recently bought a 3D television at Best Buy, in the store. Per an in-store promotion by Sony, I was supposed to receive a voucher for 4 free PSN games inside the box. It did not come with the box. I think it was the only flyer and advertisement missing. It was, also, the only one I kind of wanted.

In order to get the voucher, I have placed well over 15 calls to various customer service lines: Sony Support, Sony Consumer Support, Sony Rebate Center, Playstation Support, and Best Buy. Best Buy has been the most supportive.

The television was delivered on Sunday, so that’s when all the fun began. I started with Sony because, well, they were the manufacturers and the manufacturers They said they never heard of the promotion, and to call Playstation. I called Playstation. They said that since the voucher was seen at Best Buy, I should call them. I called Best Buy, who couldn’t get a hole of anybody on the floor due to their being busy, but said that I should go in store to try to pick up a voucher. Which I tried to do, but couldn’t because it was a manufacturer voucher.

So, back to Sony I went. They again passed me off to Playstation. So, I called Playstation again, who said it was Sony’s issue. I called Sony rebate center, who told me they didn’t handle that particular voucher. Then, I called Sony again, who tried to transfer me to a different department, but it was closed by then as it was nearing 7:30 PST.

Monday, I struck up an e-chat with a Sony representation. I spent an hour with them before being told I had to call in, as I now qualified for Level 2 support. I did not get any bonus dinging, or coins appearing, or fireworks.

At lunch, I called Sony AGAIN, I had to wait 10 minutes to talk to level 1, then convince them I made it to level 2, where I waited another 30 minutes for them. Once there, I was told they didn’t handle it, and I should talk to Best Buy, and their Sony distributors. After work, I called Best BUy, where I talked to [C.], who was the most helpful person I had talked to so far. He tried contacting Sony, and I spent an hour and a half on hold with him, while I waited for him to be passed around through Sony. He got a new number that was closed by the time they gave it to him.

He said that he would look into it for me the next day (Tuesday/today). I didn’t hear back, so I called Best Buy again, and got through to [C.], who told me he had had no luck and would look into it for me. He did, but has not gotten through to anybody yet. He said he would continue looking into it in the morning and call me back.

Sony’s customer service is the worst I have ever been a part of, in this regard. Nobody knows anything about the promotions, and there doesn’t seem to be a department that handles it. It seems impossible to get through. At this point, I am doing it to see if I can succeed. Or, if this is an exercise in futility. Hopefully, [C.] can help rectify the situation. Much thanks [C.].

If C. isn’t able to sort this out, Sony has proven susceptible to the Executive Email Carpet Bomb. Or perhaps our old friend Jack Tretton would like to hear from some more unhappy PlayStation customers.


Edit Your Comment

  1. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    Easy solution: since you just bought the TV from BBY, and it did not come as advertised, tell them to take it back. Ultimately, the retailer is responsible for a product not being provided as described.

    If they agree to take it back, at no cost to the OP, then all is right in the world. Or, while talking to them informing them that you want to return their not-as-advertised product for a full refund, it would be a good idea to point out that the reason you want to return it is specifically because you didn’t get the voucher for 4 free games that you were promised – and in lieu of said voucher, suggest to BBY that if they don’t want to have you return the not-as-advertised product for a full refund, that they could just give you 4 free games of your choice on their own.

    Make this BBY’s decision. Either they pony up and give the OP 4 free games to honor the agreement under which the OP made the purchase, or they take the TV back and refund every penny of his money. Either way the OP has been taken care of properly.

    • SonarTech52 says:

      This sounds like a reasonable resolution to me.

    • TheGreySpectre says:

      This seems like a good solution to me.

    • RavenWarrior says:

      The games were downloadable PSN games, so if they wanted to make good they should give some PSN money cards instead of giving full disc games; the latter would be way too uneven at best or have Chris be stuck with bargain bin titles he doesn’t want.

      Then again, the return for a full refund is still a good option.

    • jason in boston says:

      Sounds fair. Retailers assume some risk (promotions gone bad, etc) in order to turn a profit. Put the ball in Best Buy’s court.

    • qwickone says:

      Excellent suggestion, +1

    • FlashFlashCarCrash says:

      you’ve clearly never had a service job.

      and returning a costly TV over 4 free downloadable games is ridiculous.

      • jason in boston says:

        You let companies renig on their sale to you after the fact? Sad.

      • YouDidWhatNow? says:

        No it’s not. If they’re $50 each, that’s $200 – and $200 would easily sway you from one TV to another of similar spec.

        Besides…why let them get away with it? What is the purpose in that?

  2. Power Imbalance says:

    Take it back, that’s the best way to punish them.

    • jimmyhl says:

      Except for you no one else is talking about punishing anyone. Most of us here believe that consumer activism is not a way to punish anyone, but rather to make our lives better and striking a fair deal: getting what we pay for, etc. It’s not that we want to punish anyone, it’s more that we do not care to get punished for own consumer dealings. Right, kids?

  3. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    “couldn’t get a hole of anybody”

    Hard time reading this one. American Education system fail.

    • ovalseven says:

      It’s Best Buy. Maybe he meant “a-hole”

    • JoeDawson says:

      Um… no. take a look at your keyboard. D is right next to E… obvious typo that the spell check would not have caught… I always check how close the two letters are together when I see mistakes like this.

      • stuny says:

        Typos happen and people make too big a deal on the web as a way to lessen the value of the post or the poster. But proofreading is a good skill, even if spell check misses it! Until the machines take over, we do have some responsibility for our own typing.

      • ovalseven says:

        Merry Christmas retards. ;)

      • larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

        OK then, what about “I struck up an e-chat with a Sony representation”? Looks to me like this was written on a “smart” phone with auto-correct, the feature that takes the “smart” away.

    • leprechaunshawn says:

      I also noticed in the third paragraph that the op contacted Sony first becasue “they were the manufacturers and the manufacturers.”

      I don’t get it, did you call Sony because they were the manufacturers or was it because they were the manufacturers?

  4. regis-s says:

    Seems to me if this deal was advertised through Best Buy then they should buck up and give Chris what he was promised. Either the four games on disc, if they’re available. Or the equivalent in a price reduction so he can buy his games from PSN.

    Then Best Buy can deal with Sony or their distributors. Something they’re much more capable of doing than a customer off the street.

  5. Southern says:
    • Southern says:

      Actually, in the UK it looks like Sony is giving away a complete PS3 SYSTEM and a game (Grand Turismo 5) with the purchase of select Sony 3D TVs.. A much better deal I think than a few games. :-)

      All the deals I found (both for the 4 free games and for the PS3 system) were in the UK, unfortunately.. I didn’t find anything for the USA.. Did that Best Buy get a distro kit that was meant for Best Buy London maybe?

  6. jimmyhl says:

    Oh brother. When BB turns out to be your biggest source of CS assistance you know you’re in deep trouble. As it is, it doesn’t sound as if BB is doing all that much anyway. The say they’re working on it, but there’s not much to show for it and the issue isn’t all that complex. It just seems that way because the OP is letting himself get shunted here and there. Take the damn thing back, as other commenters have written and let BB take care of it. They sold it without the game vouchers, let them deal with it. SONY service is a dead-end.

  7. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Did the OP go back to the physical store to pursue this?

    • shadmed says:

      Sony support is pretty bad. I remember a beta of a game for the PS3 was out and they were posting codes to download it everywhere. Literally posting codes in blogs, facebook, etc; usually in batches of 10-20 codes(After you use a code, it renders itself useless). Since I wanted to play the beta, I had to enter all of the codes to try my luck, and entering too many codes triggered some security measure that didn’t let me enter any more codes for 24 hours. My first question was, why are they posting so many codes for this game everywhere and making a big deal about it if it can lock your PSN account?

      I call PlayStation support to know more about this situation and I tell the guy who I spoke to I want to play the game but I have been locked out of introducing more codes that would let me download it, and he tells me that the game isn’t out yet. I tell him it’s not out but codes to play the Beta are being posted everywhere, and I understand this security measure, but why have it on when so many people might be trying to get their hands on the beta. To resume it, he told me I will just had to wait 24 hours and that the game wasn’t out and had no idea about the beta.

      Way to know about other departments, Sony.

    • Brunette Bookworm says:

      Yes, and the article says they couldn’t do anything because it was supposed to come from the manufacturer. Last sentence, third paragraph of the OP’s quoted story.

  8. HeySuburbia says:

    I had a similar problem when I bought my PS3. It came with a voucher for a free PSN game, but the download code on the voucher was expired. The free game download was listed on the box as a bonus, and Sam’s Club (where I bought the PS3) had TONS of them. Sony was still selling the same bundle on their website as well and promoting the free game.

    Sam’s Club told me to call Sony and they weren’t helpful at all and eventually Sam’s Club gave me a gift card that was equal to the price of the downloadable game.

  9. Hi_Hello says:

    I did not get any bonus dinging, or coins appearing, or fireworks.

    hahah awesome. BB person might be trying to help you as best as he can but he might be powerless to do what needs to be done. I would talk to the BB person, thank them for their support and work and ask them to talk to a manager who can fix this. If they don’t, return the tv, there is no restocking fee anymore. After you return the TV, have a friend but it for you as an open boxed item. You don’t get the games but you still get some discount.

  10. MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

    When I had an issue with Sony that their phone support wouldn’t fix, I posted complaints to their SonyStyle blog (as a comment on an existing post), their Facebook page, and sent them a message on Twitter. The blog comment seemed to generate a very prompt response, even though the comments were moderated and mine never actually published.

  11. sven.kirk says:

    Does he still have the promotion ad or details?
    Don’t ever trust a in-store (manufactures) promotions unless discounts are INSTANT.
    You will only get a case of he-said-she-said in the long run like Chris is.

  12. shufflemoomin says:

    Wow. Some people will go a long way for free stuff. You’ve spent all that money on your TV, which you wanted in the first place, and you’re wasting all this time to save a few bucks on some PSN games? I would have made one phone call and if that didn’t sort it, I’d write it off and get on with my life. Unless of course, he was swayed into buying the TV by that offer, in which case his stupidity knows no bounds.

    • sven.kirk says:

      I agree. I go a bit out of my way some times to get cheap or free stuff, but I have my limits.
      While PSN are not exactly cheap, they shouldn’t be the driving force behind the purchase

  13. DovS says:

    Assuming that the vouchers are USUALLY in the box and this was just a random packing error, why not simply bring the TV back to the store for an exchange?

  14. Sonylistens says:

    Hello Laura! Good morning. I would be happy to try and help you out! Send me an email with your contact information to and we will try to resolve with you. Have a great day! We look forward to working with you.

    Best Regards,
    Sarah Kepler :-)