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Sony NAB Rebate Rip Off

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Andrew Putschoegl
Sony NAB Rebate Rip Off
on Jun 3, 2009 at 7:37:42 am

I bought two Sony PMW-EX1 cameras recently during the NAB show. Concurrently with the show, Sony was running a rebate incentive, offering a $500 eCoupon for the Sony Style site with the purchase of an EX1. Well, I bought two and I recently received my coupons, but it turns out they are restricted to "Advanced Amateur/Professional Camcorders and Accessories" on the site. Since Sony does not carry any accessories for the EX1 on Sony Style, or any EX1 cameras for that matter, this means the rebate is only good for buying any number of HDV camcorders and accessories, which is essentially lesser equipment than I bought and have absolutely no use for.

Their eCoupon policy is a complete rip off, which makes absolutely no sense. It's like saying: "If you buy this automobile, we'll give you a coupon good for $500 off a moped or any moped accessories." Since the purchase of the automobile presumably took care of motorized transportation, who wants to spend money on a moped, and what would you need moped accessories for?

Dealing with the Sony Style customer service is a nightmare, since they take a long time to respond and then come up with nothing but the party line:

I apologize for the inconvenience on this special situation, as the coupons are issued after the purchase right now that is all the information I am able to share with you, I would like to have a different resolution on this case for you but unfortunately I do not.

As previously advised this coupons will be able to be redeemed for:

Advanced Amateur/Professional Camcorders, Hard Drives/Tape Recorders and Professional Accessories.


They won't give out the information on who one can complain to or address this in any other way. Even the retailer where I bought the cameras was misled and doesn't understand this, but it basically means the coupons and the whole promotion are worthless to me. If I could apply two coupons to the same purchase, I could get one of the cheaper HDV cameras for half price, even though I don't need one, but that, too, they don't allow. So they are trying to force their EX1 customers, after spending $7,000 to $8000 per camera (including accessories) to spend at least another $1,500 on something they don't want or need. And who thought of offering $500 off on accessories for a different camera than you just bought? I mean it is supremely idiotic.

There have to be other people in this situation. Does anyone have any ideas on who to complain to? Is anyone happy with their NAB rebate? Can we gang up on this multinational corporation and fight back about this bait and switch? I have gone as far as I can with their customer "service" and am not getting anywhere. I was on teh cusp of renting and buying and was actually talked into the purchase, because I figured it was $1,000 off - even if it was for some consumer product I could enjoy at home. Now I just feel had...


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Noah Kadner
Re: Sony NAB Rebate Rip Off
on Jun 3, 2009 at 1:52:39 pm

Rebates are what they are- incentives. It's on you to read the fine print because nine times out of ten unless it's cash back a rebate is generally on something you don't want. I'd suggest getting whatever looks most desirable on the rebate site and selling it on eBay, then going on about your life. You can certainly go down the other path of trying to force a multi-billion dollar corporation to change its ways over your 2 rebate coupons but I'm thinking that's probably a dead end.

Noah

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Andrew Putschoegl
Re: Sony NAB Rebate Rip Off
on Jun 3, 2009 at 6:45:38 pm

You're right about the dead end - Sony doesn't seem inclined to budge. However, I didn't fail to read the fine print, because I was going off the word of three different Sony retailers, who all said this coupon was for the Sony Style site. And the precedent, even with Sony, is that the rebate is at least good for accessories that work with the camera you bought. Clearly I will go on with my life, but I also wanted to share this cautionary tale with others, so that they not take the word of the dealer, but very carefully read the fine print, as you suggested...


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Clint Fleckenstein
Re: Sony NAB Rebate Rip Off
on Jun 3, 2009 at 2:06:54 pm

Are they no longer doing the free SxS card rebate with the EX cameras? I did that on our EX1 and EX3 and they were handled pretty quickly.

Cf


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Andrew Putschoegl
Re: Sony NAB Rebate Rip Off
on Jun 3, 2009 at 6:49:20 pm

They include one 8GB SxS card in the camera package, which I think they always did, but the additional SxS memory card has been discontinued. The memory would, of course, be much more helpful, but for NAB they came up with the $500 coupon instead. The accessories you can buy with that coupon are not for the EX1 and SxS memory cards are not available on the Sony Style site. I don't know what the current incentive is, but I suggest reading the fine print with extreme care and not trusting what the Sony retailer tells you...


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Scot Lenter
Re: Sony NAB Rebate Rip Off
on Jun 3, 2009 at 4:09:33 pm

What about the on-camera light or shotgun microphones. You could use those with your EX1..

Scot Lenter
Midtown Video
Miami, Florida
Service Manager
Rental Agent
scot@midtownvideo.com
305-669-1117


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Andrew Putschoegl
Re: Sony NAB Rebate Rip Off
on Jun 3, 2009 at 6:51:09 pm

You're right - I guess those are an option that would work. Even if those products are not Sony's strong suit - there are better and cheaper alternatives - at least I can use the coupon. Thanks


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Scot Lenter
Re: Sony NAB Rebate Rip Off
on Jun 3, 2009 at 6:57:19 pm

Personally I would go for the HVL-LBPA on-camera light. They sell it for more than street value but with $500 off it is a great deal. That light works wonders and I guarantee you will get some good use out of it.

Scot Lenter
Midtown Video
Miami, Florida
Service Manager
Rental Agent
scot@midtownvideo.com
305-669-1117


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Micah McDowell
Re: Sony NAB Rebate Rip Off
on Jun 4, 2009 at 5:27:42 pm

You could always do what I've done in similar situations... get a grand worth of random stuff from the Sony store, and then turn around and sell it on eBay. You could probably get all your money out of it that way.


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Daniel Levy
Re: Sony NAB Rebate Rip Off
on Jun 5, 2009 at 6:15:27 am

Overall, I agree with your discontent. I also purchased an EX1 after NAB and eagerly awaited my rebate coupon, expecting to pick up a couple of extra batteries or an SxS card for the camera. I was too was unhappy to see the link to consumer-oriented gear alone.

That said, I agree with another poster that the on-camera light seems good, as does their very portable digital audio recorder: http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId.... I've read some positive reviews of the latter in professional audio mags.

Does anyone have experience with Sony's on-camera LED light? How does it compare to the significantly less expensive light from Varizoom? http://varizoom.com/products/lights/ls2000.html



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Daniel Levy
Re: Sony NAB Rebate Rip Off
on Jun 5, 2009 at 10:20:19 am

My link to the Sony digital audio recorder above didn't work. Here's a link to a review of the recorder. Seems like a good item to have in your travel kit: http://digitalmedia.oreilly.com/2008/01/10/sony-pcm-d50-recorder-review.htm.... Not bad for the rebate plus $50.00 ;-)


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Scot Lenter
Re: Sony NAB Rebate Rip Off
on Jun 5, 2009 at 3:03:36 pm

Daniel,
I have much experience with the HVL-LBP on-camera light and it is heads above the Varizoom or any other light I have ever used. you will not be dissapointed.

And those of you who are upset should not be upset with Sony. Sony makes it very clear that these are the only products that you get with the rebate. Be upset with your dealer for not being clear with you. When I sell the EX systems I make sure to show everyone that these are the products to choose from on the Sonystyle site.

Scot Lenter
Midtown Video
Miami, Florida
Service Manager
Rental Agent
scot@midtownvideo.com
305-669-1117


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Andrew Putschoegl
Re: Sony NAB Rebate Rip Off
on Jun 5, 2009 at 4:45:47 pm

Scot -

Your suggestion of products which can in fact work with the EX1 is great, but I don't know about not blaming Sony. Three major dealers here in LA - Samy's, Abel Cine and BandPro - all gave me the same wrong information. From what I understand, even the Sony rep dealing with these thought that EX1 accessories would be added to the site. At the very least, Sony is benefiting from the confusion.

A $500 for the Sony Style site should be a $500 coupon for the Sony Style site! If the coupon is only good for cameras and accessories, it is a $500 coupon for cameras and accessories. And, if the $500 coupon is only good for other cameras (after you have already bought a more expensive one) and their accessories (even though you point out correctly that there are indeed a couple of usable exceptions), it is simply a rip off.

Sony, with a nod and a wink and some fine print and confused dealers, made it sound like a better offer than it is, generated some sales, and is now pointing to the fine print. The credit card company I charged $18K for these cameras to treated me with more honesty - and that's saying something.


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cowcowcowcowcow
Scot Lenter
Re: Sony NAB Rebate Rip Off
on Jun 5, 2009 at 5:15:19 pm

I agree with you that it is Sony could and should have opened it up to the entire sonystyle site. It is silly that they didn't.

And those 3 dealers that you named are certainly reputable, big names.

But as a Sony dealer, we were sent literature upon the launch of this program which clearly stated that the rebate was limited to certain items. If a company chose not to educate themselves and pass that info along to the customer, who is at fault?

Scot Lenter
Midtown Video
Miami, Florida
Service Manager
Rental Agent
scot@midtownvideo.com
305-669-1117


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Andrew Putschoegl
Re: Sony NAB Rebate Rip Off
on Jun 6, 2009 at 9:41:38 pm

I still think that by calling this rebate an Ecoupon to the Sony Style site, they tried to have it both ways - make it sound generous and enticing to generate sales, but don't actually deliver any value to the customer. (This is particularly true for the EX1 customers, who don't even have regular accessories to their cameras included.)

I expect this kind of behavior from all kinds of companies, but I thought Sony would value a better relationship especially with their professional customers. And what difference does it make, if you buy a flat screen or a camera and get $500 off? The whole thing is a little sleazy and, though you caught on early, other reputable dealers did not. I think that miscommunication originated in their questionable marketing.

At fault is the company (Sony!) who can't communicate clearly to their dealers and represent their true intention to the customer. But then again, I think they didn't truly want to have their intention known...

If it's not a coupon to the Sony Style site, just don't call it that.


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