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Jul 10 2013
By: awheywood First Son 8 posts
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False Advertising of Joe Danger 2

11 replies 142 views Edited Jul 10, 2013

I signed up for PS+ today in large part because Joe Danger 2 is (advertised as) in the instant game collection, but now when I select it from the list of free PSN games, it costs $15.  I would guess the store is getting updated now, and that's what's causing this anomaly, but it is the actual definition of a bait-and-switch and is completely unacceptable.  This is bush league business practice and I would expect better from one of the largest companies in the world.

 

Sorry this is a forum post, I understand none of you can do anything about this, but there's no other option I can find to contact support right now, and I wanted to document my indignation.  Have a nice day!

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Re: False Advertising of Joe Danger 2

Jul 10, 2013

awheywood wrote:

I signed up for PS+ today in large part because Joe Danger 2 is (advertised as) in the instant game collection, but now when I select it from the list of free PSN games, it costs $15.  I would guess the store is getting updated now, and that's what's causing this anomaly, but it is the actual definition of a bait-and-switch and is completely unacceptable.  This is bush league business practice and I would expect better from one of the largest companies in the world.

 

Sorry this is a forum post, I understand none of you can do anything about this, but there's no other option I can find to contact support right now, and I wanted to document my indignation.  Have a nice day!


Welcome to the PlayStation Community.

 

Sorry but I'm pretty sure that game is not currently part of the IGC, it was earlier this year but is not now, where did you see it as advertised?

 

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Re: False Advertising of Joe Danger 2

Jul 10, 2013

Joe Danger 2 rotated out of the Instant Game Collection on July 9th (yesterday) when the Store updated.  You just missed it.  It is not a "bait and switch". This was announced in the Playstation Blog over a week ago (http://blog.us.playstation.com/2013/07/01/playstation-plus-battlefield-3-free-for-members-summer-bla...).  The fact that you didn't read it, doesn't mean that Sony deceived you. Lots of other people knew about it. As the game was only removed from the IGC a matter of hours ago, any promotional material would not be expected to reflect its absense already.  The Playstation Plus section of the Playstation Store is available to everyone, so everyone can check the current free games before they subscribe.  In general it is not a good idea to buy a Plus subscription on a Tuesday to get a specific game, without checking that the game will still be available free after the weekly update, which is always on a Tuesday.

GKP
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Re: False Advertising of Joe Danger 2

Jul 10, 2013

It was listed as one of the free games via the PSN Store interface.  It was also included in the "Expiring Soon" section.  I should not be required to read an external blog to find out that the store interface is lying to me.

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Re: False Advertising of Joe Danger 2

Jul 10, 2013

" The Playstation Plus section of the Playstation Store is available to everyone, so everyone can check the current free games before they subscribe.  In general it is not a good idea to buy a Plus subscription on a Tuesday to get a specific game, without checking that the game will still be available free after the weekly update, which is always on a Tuesday."

To clarify, I did check the Playstation Plus section of the Store, where it was still listed as a free game as of 8:30 Pacific time.  That is the bait-and-switch I'm referring to.  It was listed there, alongside other games which were still free (The Cave, for instance), but when I selected it after subscribing, the page had a price instead of a free download like the other games.  I checked this many, many times.   JD2 was still listed as free in the section of the store Sony gives you to make an informed subscription decision, but that was a lie.  I consulted no other sources to find out if this game was in the IGC, because it was so plainly listed as being a part of it.  The interface that takes my money shouldn't lie to me.

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Re: False Advertising of Joe Danger 2

Jul 10, 2013

The Playstation Store remains open while it is being updated.  That means that things are in a state of flux on Tuesday afternoons, and the interface can be inconsistent.  That is the way that the Store has worked for years.  It may be news to you, but it is nothing new.  The entire web site doesn't update instantly in your browser when it is completed.

 

If you want to get technical, then the Playstation Plus subscription does not guarantee you any particular content or benefit during the term your subscription. Sony has the legal right to add, remove, or change Plus benefits at any time; including two seconds after you click the Purchase button to buy the subscription.  It's not false advertising.  Sony is just exercising its legal right to remove benefits without notice, which is in the subscription agreement that you agreed to when you purchased the subscription.  The fact that you saw it in the Playstation Store just before you purchased the subscription, does not in any way entitle you to that content.  In this case Sony didn't remove the content without notice, but it could have, and that means that it doesn't have to provide notice specifically to you, or anyone else.

 

Presumably you didn't buy the Plus subscription just for one game.  You would have to keep renewing the subscription to keep access to the game, so in the long run you would pay far more to get the game "free" via Plus, then you would to just buy it when it was on sale. One game in the IGC shouldn't have determined whether or not you buy the subscription, so you didn't lose any money.  If it did, then you made two mistakes. 

GKP
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Re: False Advertising of Joe Danger 2

Jul 10, 2013

I cannot believe the vehemence of your defense od Sony in this thread.  If I bought a dozen eggs at the grocery store, but when I opened the carton there were only eleven eggs, would you have the same perspective?  At the point of purchase, I was told it would cost me X dollars to get Y things.  Based on this information, I made the purchase, but I got Y-1 things instead.  This is a cut-and-dry misleading business practice, and your responses are frankly insulting.  Sony touts this as an "award-winning" forum; I would hate to see the ones that didn't win any awards.  Of course, it is possible that this forum has never won any awards, and Sony is lying about that, too.

 

As for the (irrelevant) motives of my purchase: JD2 costs $15; a three-month Plus subscription costs $18; I was pretty sure I would be done with JD2 within three months, and saw the extra $3 as a reasonable price to pay for other things I might be interested in.

 

Anyway, I'm off to try actual Sony representatives who hopefully have a better understanding of customer relations than forum-dwelling Sony apologists.

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Re: False Advertising of Joe Danger 2

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Jul 10, 2013

A request has been submitted to refund the PS+ purchase, which will take 5-7 days to process, and then if it is granted it will take 3-5 days for the money to be refunded.  Why is it other companies can instantly refund pruchase, but Sony can't?  This is like something out of a Kafka story, except without the wry understanding of human nature.  I asked for the money to be returned to my credit card as opposed to my PSN wallet, because I never want to buy anything there again.  This forum was infuriating, Sony's policies are exploitative, and I am throughly enraged.

 

Have a nice day!

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Re: False Advertising of Joe Danger 2

Jul 10, 2013

Also, I have filed a false advertising complaint with the Better Business Bureau.  I advise anyone with similar issues to do the same.  This is likely irrelevant to the corporate monstrosity that is Sony Network Entertainment of America, but, if customers just roll over, large companies will continue treating them like rubes.  

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Re: False Advertising of Joe Danger 2

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Jul 11, 2013

Good luck with that.  As I posted in another similar thread, false adverting complaints and lawsuits are almost always resolved in favor of the seller.  Everything about the Playstation Network is governed by contracts that you agreed to when you created your account, or make a purchase.  Those contracts trump any expectations that you have in your own head.  That's how the law works.  The terms of service, licenses, and user agreements for PSN basically give Sony the legal right to do whatever it feels that it needs to do to protect its business and profits.  There are virtually no grounds for a lawsuit, and if local laws don't allow Sony to retain that control, then Sony does not offer Playstation Network services in that jurisdiction.  Outdated ads do not constitute false advertising under the law.  Even mistaken ads do not constitute false advertising under the law.  False advertising only occurs when the seller knew that the ad was false when it was created, and made the ad as part of a deliberate effort to deceive consumers.  It can't just be a mistake.  It has to be deliberate fraud. That is extremely difficult for consumers to prove.  Usually, you need testimony from insiders, or a criminal investigation by law enforcement.  Anyone can complain to the Better Business Bureau about whoever they want, but it makes no difference to Sony.  People don't consult the Better Business Bureau before buying products from companies that are household names.  They only do that for companies that they are not familiar with.

 

The reason that there is a delay for refund processing is that the Playstation Store has an unconditional no-refund policy.  You are never entitled to a refund on anything that you purchase in the Playstation Store, under any circumstances.  Sony does sometimes give refunds in order to make customers happy, but it is entirely at Sony's discretion.  Playstation customer support is generally not authorized to give refunds, except in common cases that have already been approved by management.  Other refund requests are decided on a case-by-case basis; and most are refused.  Even if a refund is granted, it is generally made to the PSN wallet, and not to the original form of payment.  You can dispute the charge with the card issuer if you want, but be aware that your PSN account will be suspended indefinitely if you do that.  Sony's decisions on refund requests are considered final. 

 

Also note, from a tactical perspective, that saying that you have no intention of buying anything from the Playstation Store again, effectively removes the incentive for Sony to give you a refund. Sony grants refunds in order to keep people's business.  If you have already decided to go, then Sony might as well keep the $17.99 that it is already entitled to.

GKP
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