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Harvey Norman And Their Dirty Tricks

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I was told Harvey Norman had PS4's in stock yesterday so I drove to one of their outlets only to be confronted by a salesman that the PS4's are sold ONLY as a pack being a PS4+ one game+ product care for a good price (COUGH) of $749. They are the masters of trickery. What do you think Guys why the dirty tricks, cant they see that **** like this puts the wind up customers.

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Guest Malich

I was told ...

By who?

... Harvey Norman had PS4's in stock yesterday so I drove to one of their outlets only to be confronted by a salesman that the PS4's are sold ONLY as a pack being a PS4+ one game+ product care for a good price (COUGH) of $749.

So they did have stock.

They are the masters of trickery.

Yes they are. Legendary bastards, and have been for years.

What do you think Guys why the dirty tricks, cant they see that **** like this puts the wind up customers.

I think you are under no obligation to buy from them...

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If they require you to purchase their product care then you have something (other than words) to report to your state Fair Trading Office.
I'd be curious what? It might be illegal to advertise one thing and provide another in store. However I don't think a simple (factually correct) answer to a straight forward telephone query crosses any line. Asking if a product is in stock, I'm amazed the obvious follow on question wasn't asked ("How much?").

I also don't think its illegal to sell a package, which might require 'product insurance' (banks do it all the time and its not even you whose being insured). So long as you know what you're buying anyone can sell anything.

Regards

Peter Gillespie

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I think you'll fnd it's illegal to require the purchase of anything like product support or extended warranty...
Looked, didn't find :) Consumer law isn't about ensuring you don't make stupid purchasing decisions. Legally or morally, so long as what's been offered is upfront and clear then what's the problem?

In this specific instance, my point is that there appears to be no advertising. Its not even clear who "told" the OP about the availability of PS4s. Assuming it was a store salesman over the phone then I fail to see the "switch". The OP asked a very simple and specific question and was given a very simple and specific answer. If at any point the OP asked a question that was not answered truthfully then perhaps there's a case to be made. But if I ring up a car dealer and ask "Do you have any Honda Preludes in the yard?" and the answer is "Yes" I can hardly cry foul when I turn up to discover they're all green.

Regards

Peter Gillespie

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The "advertising" occurs as soon as they offer an online price.
I must have missed that bit. So far in this thread the only info I can glean is that 'someone' mentioned PS4s were in stock at Harvey Norman and a quick phone call confirmed this (and nothing else).

To clarify, I take the stance that organizations are entitled to protections just like consumers. If I feel the consumer has an actionable complaint I have often recommended they pursue it. But many times consumers make poor choices and this doesn't mean the store is responsible. Telling every aggrieved individual that Choice, Fair Trading or the ACCC will ensure that your disappointment will be rectified serves little purpose IMO. You're correct we've been down this road before, I can't recall a post you've made that said something along the lines of "You have no case". But perhaps you only post in those that you feel do have a case :)

I'm all for empowering consumers with information (and I think the time and effort you put into your posts do this directly and indirectly). But endlessly suggesting that consumer law is a panacea for every ill thought out purchase wastes not only the time of the consumer (just what remedy is the OP entitled to here?), but also the time of the various authorities, time that could be better spent protecting individuals from truly unscrupulous companies.

Regards

Peter Gillespie

Edited by pgdownload

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THAT is classic bait and switch
But your retrospectively applying the bait here. There's no suggestion (yet) by the OP that they ever saw this offer. But assuming they did you're trying to equate a pre-order money down website offer with an in store sale. The 'ad' is quite exact in what is required of the buyer (money down, no chance to change your mind, delivery date unspecified) and what is on offer (first in line for when the PS4s arive). If the OP took up this offer and when they went in to the store to pick it up they got told the care package was required then sure, there's a case to answer.
I also suspect that trying to force consumers to buy a package in this way might be considered price gouging
Again, a pretty long bow IMO. This area of law seems to be mainly reserved for essentials (petrol, food etc.) and not luxury status items (The ACCC is generally not interested in ensuring you're the first person to own a PS4 in your street :)). But I see a case could possibly be made - its likelihood of success would be very slim IMO.
Either way why would you try to discourage someone from asking about their consumer rights? I would never claim someone didn't have a case, that is up to Fair Trading or the ACCC to decide
Good to understand where you'er coming from. I can appreciate and respect this approach. As I said, you provide solid information about the rights and options (both to the OPs and to those that read along later)
That is what they are here for and I would never discourage a Tax payer from using a service they pay for.
I suppose that's where we differ. Making these sorts of claims can be costly, stressful, time consuming and drag on for months. I weigh that up against the likelihood of an outcome that would be satisfactory to the OP in each case. If its less than 10% (for example) or I actually feel the business has done nothing wrong then I'd tend to recommend the OP move on.
If multiple reports are being filed then actions are very often taken to restrict such practices ... Sometimes through new regulations or law.
A very good point.
Discouraging people from reporting something they suspect is dodgy allows those like Harvey Normal to continue taking advantage of those who take your advice.
That's assuming there's any "advantage" being taken. :) Buying and selling is by its very nature about both parties looking to get the best deal. The consumer laws are designed not only to protect buyers but also sellers.

I get you're passionate about consumer rights, and appreciate you taking the time to explain some of your thinking here. For me I guess its not just about the OPs involved - I'm quite interested in the case itself and like to mull over the ideas they present (hold my on little inquest into the merits of the case). Perhaps I should make that clearer when I'm doing it.

Regards

Peter Gillespie

Edited by pgdownload

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Chops, I like you mate - i do, you know that, but read the OP

I was told Harvey Norman had PS4's in stock yesterday so I drove to one of their outlets

He was told (he doesnt say by whom because he knows we will say "why didnt you verify"), so he went

He never called

He never bothered to find out anything

He just assumed and then cracked the shits when things didnt go his way, and got on here to complain hoping to get a sympathic ear from us and now we havent heard from him once he realised no one was taking his side

There is a time and place for sticking up for people and having a go at businesses - this isnt one of them!

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Have you tried ordering online and using their pickup service?

If they require you to purchase their product care then you have something (other than words) to report to your state Fair Trading Office.

If you can;t use there online service as it directs you to "instore only" I would then point to this as clear evidence they know they are doing the wrong thing and only want to deal with customers verbally to avoid prosecution.

And this is the problem as what they say over the phone is different once in the shop. I knew all about the promotion, I have for over one month had my name down for a pre order.

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By who?

So they did have stock.

Yes they are. Legendary bastards, and have been for years.

I think you are under no obligation to buy from them...

I would not buy it from them Its just a case that I was given a expensive $$$ gift card to spend at HN. Pity I cant cash it in. Like I explained above what they say over the phone is different once in the shop.

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Chops, I like you mate - i do, you know that, but read the OP

He was told (he doesnt say by whom because he knows we will say "why didnt you verify"), so he went

He never called

He never bothered to find out anything

He just assumed and then cracked the shits when things didnt go his way, and got on here to complain hoping to get a sympathic ear from us and now we havent heard from him once he realised no one was taking his side

There is a time and place for sticking up for people and having a go at businesses - this isnt one of them!

I rang them The sales womam said we Have one in stock and I drove down there, simple. When I got there they had none for sale buy itself s as you had to buy them in this package.. simple. You said I didn't bother to check Anything?. I knew all about their promotions, I had their web page in front of me whilst on the phone I've been on THEIR pre Ordered list for over one month for a PS4 and was just curious why they were trying to squeese more money out of people for a over priced product care and game when they clearly knew that they had people that pre-ordered and doing the right thing and waiting for their PS4.

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JB HIFI are advertising they have them in-stock and online at RRP (which is pretty much to be expected at this point in time)

http://www.jbhifi.co...es/ps4-console/

"while stocks last" might kill it though.

And If I didn't have this HN gift card I would not be caught dead in HN FULL STOP. There are a few outlets ATM selling PS4' around our way.

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I rang them The sales womam said we Have one in stock and I drove down there, simple. When I got there they had none for sale buy itself s as you had to buy them in this package.. simple. You said I didn't bother to check Anything?. I knew all about their promotions, I had their web page in front of me whilst on the phone I've been on THEIR pre Ordered list for over one month for a PS4 and was just curious why they were trying to squeese more money out of people for a over priced product care and game when they clearly knew that they had people that pre-ordered and doing the right thing and waiting for their PS4.

Amazing how you never mentioned ANY of that information in your original OP

Then we would have had more sympathy for you

Lets quote the first part of your OP again

"I was told Harvey Norman had PS4's in stock yesterday so I drove to one of their outlets"

You never said you called them

You never said you bothered to ask how much it was or what they had in stock

You never said that you confirmed with them on phone while you were looking at their website that indeed the price was $XXX and thats what you were about to buy from them

BTW did you pre-order the bundle with the overpriced product care, or did you preorder just the console? Because from the looks of it, they dont have your preorder available yet. Only the bundle with the overpriced product care, which is not what you preordered from the sounds of it

Take your business elsewhere - you are the consumer and you have the power

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hardly normal fell foul for this scam some years back with software, you learn to shop at reputable outlets.

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I'm just a bit confused about what a pre-order is. I thought you subscribed / paid to ensure that as soon as the company had a particular product it was made available to you (either in store for pickup or they delivered it).

It seems in this case a pre-order is simply an expression of interest?

Regards

Peter Gillespie

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Based on what you have said they are not only employing bait and switch tactics which they have been done for in the past, but also the "bundling" may actually be third line forcing which is also illegal

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Amazing how you never mentioned ANY of that information in your original OP

Then we would have had more sympathy for you

Lets quote the first part of your OP again

"I was told Harvey Norman had PS4's in stock yesterday so I drove to one of their outlets"

You never said you called them

You never said you bothered to ask how much it was or what they had in stock

You never said that you confirmed with them on phone while you were looking at their website that indeed the price was $XXX and thats what you were about to buy from them

BTW did you pre-order the bundle with the overpriced product care, or did you preorder just the console? Because from the looks of it, they dont have your preorder available yet. Only the bundle with the overpriced product care, which is not what you preordered from the sounds of it

Take your business elsewhere - you are the consumer and you have the power

Well Some complain if you give to much information but in this case I didn't give enough information (trying to keep it basic) but since you like information have a look at my earlier post on when I bough my Hecto before Xmas (dec 2013) and I was given a Large gift card and not long after that I pre ordered my PS4.

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Based on what you have said they are not only employing bait and switch tactics which they have been done for in the past, but also the "bundling" may actually be third line forcing which is also illegal

Well I'm not in a hurry whenever HN gets them and decides to sell them without a package I will go and cash in my gift card. Maybe waiting could be a good thing as I would expect the later batches to have the Harware fixes that some have complained about on other sites.

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Amazing how you never mentioned ANY of that information in your original OP

Then we would have had more sympathy for you

Lets quote the first part of your OP again

"I was told Harvey Norman had PS4's in stock yesterday so I drove to one of their outlets"

BTW did you pre-order the bundle with the overpriced product care, or did you preorder just the console? Because from the looks of it, they dont have your preorder available yet. Only the bundle with the overpriced product care, which is not what you preordered from the sounds of it

Take your business elsewhere - you are the consumer and you have the power

They didn't have the product care invented yet before Xmas so its only one answer and that is the PS4 only

As for "Taking your business elsewhere I doubt if Jb's, KMart, EB Games will give me a PS4 if I hand over a HN Gift voucher. Taking my business elsewhere will be another HN store as they will honour the Gift Voucher.

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There is a basic flaw in PG's argument - he stated that if you ring a dealer and ask him if he had any Honda Preludes. Dealer says yes and then you go to the yard and find they're all green.

The OP's problem isn't related to a console in a different colour. Using that example, what he's saying is that the dealer has advertised a Honda Prelude for let's say, $30,000. You call the dealer, he says "Sure, I've got them, come over".

So you go to the yard and the dealer shows you the cars but when you write the cheque for 30k, he says "Sorry mate, I can't let you drive away with it for 30k because it's below cost. Tell you what, I like you so you can have it for 32k with the optional sports accessory pack thrown in".

This is exactly what HN did to the OP. BTW I've had a car salesman try to pull exactly the same stunt on me when I wanted a brand new car two years ago. No prizes for guessing that the dealership was on Parramatta Road and equally, no prizes for guessing that my cheque ended up with some other's dealer's name on it.

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There is a basic flaw in PG's argument - Using that example, what he's saying is that the dealer has advertised
I'm happy to be corrected, but in this case the only flaw appears to be not reading the the whole post in question :). My key point (was) that HN haven't 'advertised' the product and then provided another one in store (as your flaw assumes has been done). The 'green' scenario was only in reference to the lack of questioning the OP made before heading to the store.

Note that the term 'advertised' is somewhat misused here. They had a product available from their online store. The ad was quite clear (right next to the price in bold) that the deal is available online only. Its also very common practice for online and B&M prices to differ. I get that fine print can be a problem but that isn't the case here.

But people seem to be selectively deciding what information they chose to use :)

I get the nuances (not to mention flagrant deceptions) marketing can throw up and yes HN have probably engaged in most of them at one time or other. But the OP has asked about this particular situation and IMO there's been not calculated effort to deceive. The source material is clearly marked ONLINE only and was initially a PRE-ORDERING service with a special deal. Its still not clear that the OP ever saw this listing or just new the RRP of a PS4 was $547 and a mate said they're on sale at HN now. I'm quite sure if the OP had ever asked "How Much" he would have been told the current price and saved himself the trip.

So have HN actively or even inadvertently engaged in 'deceptive practices' in this instance? Not as far as I can tell. Did the OP make a number of assumptions and mistakes in his (understandable) eagerness to cash in his gift card for the latest and greatest PS? It appears so (to me). The only possible issue I can see is (disregarding all other events) that the PS4 was bundled with a care package. I don't really know if this in and of itself is (or should be) considered illegal. It seems to me there are a great many products that are sold bundled (to the benefit of the consumer in many cases).

Should consumer affairs be called in? I prefer the law when it works for everyone. I can't see what misdeed HN might be guilty of here. I can't see how I would want them punished and I can't see what I would want them to change that would make the situation any better (there's only so large and so prominent you can make the DISCLAIMER FONTS :))

Regards

Peter Gillespie

FWIW: The linked HN site has been updated now. Still an online only offer, but the $537 is the same price as they are selling in store (if you can find any available for sale)

Edited by pgdownload

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Oh great, the OT section has found a way out.............
I assume you're referring to your own post yorac? Its been the only 'me too' irrelevant comment so far :)

Regards

Peter Gillespie

Edited by pgdownload

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They didn't have the product care invented yet before Xmas so its only one answer and that is the PS4 only

As for "Taking your business elsewhere I doubt if Jb's, KMart, EB Games will give me a PS4 if I hand over a HN Gift voucher. Taking my business elsewhere will be another HN store as they will honour the Gift Voucher.

If only there was a way for you to sell the gift voucher to other people for the face value, thus freeing you from the obligation of using it and allowing you to take your business elsewhere

I'm surprised no one has thought of this yet

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Just a question...

Why wouldnt you want to buy a game with it though :)

whats the point getting the console and not getting a game?

and sorry to be the devils advocate here but I like there product care, it gives me more rights than the ACCC does. I have already used it to get a few things replaced outside of manufacturer's warranty that I would not have had a leg to stand on through the court systems using the ACCC or consumer laws

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Just a question...

Why wouldnt you want to buy a game with it though :)

Because I can get the games I wanted a lot cheaper elsewhere.

Anyhow I have the PS4 now thanks to another Harvey Norman that gladly excepted my gift card with no product care.

As for product care all I can say is each to their own on this subject Product care or Extended warranty you can call it what you want .......and we all know what the Office of Fair trading thinks about Extended Warranty.

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