Sony Cancels Bargain Beyond Two Souls Preorders

A few weeks back, Sony's own online store was offering insanely cheap preorders for upcoming PS3 exclusive Beyond Two Souls. It seemed like a deal too good to be true! It was.

Sony has today begun cancelling those preorders, offering $5 coupons as a means of apologising for the mix-up, which is a little disappointing; most retailers will honour mistakes like this, especially when it's not a catastrophic price cut.

Still... $5 is better than nothing... I guess?


    I still wish I'd known about this. It's my most awaited game!

    This is against the law. They need to honor the original listed price for those who made a pre-order already. Contact consumer affairs.

      Different country, different laws.

        Actually no, when trading with Australian customers, they have to honor Australian trade laws

      I agree. I would be asking them to honour their deal they offered me.

        They don't have to honour it if it was a genuine mistake. You'll find that the $5 e-coupon is more a gesture of goodwill to soften the blow. This happened with one of the electronics retailers not too long ago when they accidentally advertised $1500 TVs for $100 or something. They just have to show that it was a mistake and they weren't engaged in bait-and-switch advertising.

          Hmm its a fair point.

          My question is how does one prove that it wasn't a bait and switch ?

          Being a potentially well selling title is irrelevant.

          The only way I can guess is if it was a massive loss on the product dramatically under cost price.

          Actually, they do. If you can demonstrate they offered pre-orders of the product for the initial price, they are obliged to honor any orders made at that price unless it specifically states in the original purchase "price may be subject to change". The difference between this and a TV is that you don't pre-order a TV. This isn't an advertising screw-up. Technically, Sony have already made the sale and are now reneging on it.

            You might find that unless full payment was made it would be akin to a situation where you put down a holding deposit and the contract is not formed until full payment is made. If it wasn't an advertising screw-up, and full payment had been received, you'd have a fair chance of arguing that Sony was obliged to provide the product at the agreed price.

              By accepting money on the offer, an implied contract is created and the person placing the order is considered an unsecured creditor until such time as the contract is completed. Hence why so many people got screwed when Game went bust. If there was no implied contract in place by the act of a pre-order, then the Administration company would have been legally obliged to return the money to the pre-order customers before considering the company's assets. The presence of such a contract however meant that by declaring bankruptcy, the financial obligations of the contract would be voided on the part of the company should sufficient capital not be available to cover both the secured and unsecured creditors in full. So by this standard, we must accept a contract exists as of the time of the order being placed and that by accepting the order for the game, Sony entered into an implied contract to supply the game at the price given at the time of the order unless they specifically stated that price may change prior to release (as EB and a load of other companies do with their pre-orders). By cancelling the orders, they are putting themselves in a position where they have acted in bad faith, accepting payment for a good and then failing to supply it at the price agreed upon at the time of the creation of the contract without clausal stipulation of variance of price. That is where the ACCC steps in.

                As I've said, it's illegal under Australian law for them to not honour the original listed price once a sale has been made. Sony is doing this under the assumption that the vast majority won't file a complaint, and if some people do, they will honour the price and still save more money in the long run. It's illegal, but breaking the law doesn't always mean you suffer the wrath of the court, e.g. I speed all the time, I haven't got a speeding fine in many, many years. Sony is doing the same thing.

                  The key point being 'once a sale has been made'. You'd do well to check the terms and conditions of a pre-order. I'd wager the sale isn't made until at least full payment is taken. I could be wrong, but it seems like a prudent way to do business when the product isn't even available and might be delayed, more expensive etc.

      It was on the US psn store . Pretty sure they won't care.

      Someone needs to learn their contract formation steps. The dodgy ad was an invitation to treat, they had every right to ultimately reject the offers of payment made by customers.

        And someone needs to review the formation of trade contracts under Australian law. It was not just a dodgy ad. They've already accepted the payment on the offer so an implied contract has been formed. The circumstances of implied contract formation regarding pre-orders have already been demonstrated on many occasions to hold up in Australian courts (most recently the Game Diablo 3 bankruptcy fiasco). So even if they return the money, they are still in violation of Australian trade law for failing to honor the price as of the time of payment without stipulating possible change. As they are trading with Australian customers, they are bound by those trade laws when dealing with said customers, regardless of the nationality of the actual business.

    was this even on the aussie psn store? if it wasn't then its completely irrelevant and our laws don't apply... first i've heard of it so i'm guessing it was on the US store?

      Australian customers can still access the store and re-route shipping. Limiting shipping to specific nationalities does not limit the responsibility regarding compliance with trade laws applying to potential customers in other nations. This is why region-locked stores became so predominant for a while due to the various trade laws. Made it easier for the companies to handle (not to mention price-gouge...)

    Head over to and it's got a US phone number and "You are shopping in the US Sony Store - US/APO/FPO shipping only" in the bottom left...

    I'd say that's a safe guess :P

    How can the article talk about a story like this without even mentioning how 'insanely cheap' the preorders were? Kind of a pointless article unless the actual price that people paid is mentioned

    Remember when Razer honoured their 90% mistake to all the people who got Blades for $250?

    To take this to court or fair trading you would have to suffer a financial loss.

    Since refunds are being given there is no financial loss and no grounds to complain.

    Had Sony refused refunds and demanded the increased price you would have grounds to file.

    As it stands there is nothing illegal taking place.

    A contract can be cancelled at any time and again nothing can be done about it if neither party suffers a financial loss, which the consumer has no loss as refunds are being issued.

    Quite simple really and something even a 1st year law student would understand

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