Dick Smith Responds To Issues Regarding Its PlayStation 4 Launch

Dick Smith's controversial midnight launch for the PlayStation 4 involves a competition for the right to buy one of almost 300 units of the console. Earlier today we detailed why this competition was, if not unethical, certainly unfair to the people entering the competition, not to mention consumers waiting to see if their existing pre-orders will be honoured on launch day.

A representative from Dick Smith responded to several questions we sent in an attempt to cast light on the reasoning behind the event.

"We wanted to celebrate the launch of the PS4 with a massive party," said a Dick Smith representative, "and we think with the entertainment and the prizes, particularly the trip to E3, will make for an exciting event."

We then asked specifically if it was fair, in the light of Australia wide shortages, to divert almost 300 units of the console to Dick Smith's competition.

"We wanted to give everyone who missed out on a pre-order the first time around to be given a 2nd chance," the rep explained.

The most controversial aspect of the competition is the fact that Dick Smith is announcing the winners of the competition at the event itself, meaning that you have to enter, then travel to the store for the midnight launch without any pre-existing idea of whether you will receive the right to buy a PS4 or not. We asked Dick Smith if this was fair on consumers?

"We are inviting people to attend our PS4 launch party," said the representative. "If they missed out on pre-ordering a PS4 from the 1st shipment we are offering a 2nd chance at getting a PS4 on day 1, either by winning one, or having one available for purchase. A lot of people who missed out on pre-ordering the first shipment want this opportunity.

"Anyone who attends the launch and misses out on the night will be given special priority to pre-order a PS4 from our 2nd shipment due in before Xmas."

Although we have to take Dick Smith at its word, I've had it confirmed by JB Hi-Fi that customers who registered pre-orders after November 20 will almost certainly not be receiving their consoles before the New Year. It is possible, however, that Dick Smith has more units in their next allocation.


Comments

    “We wanted to give everyone who missed out on a pre-order the first time around to be given a 2nd chance,” the rep explained.

    "Everyone"? OK, I'll just schlep up from Melbourne on the off-chance that I may be granted access to buying one.

    Thanks for calling Dick out on the bulldust that this is.

      seriously tho

      firstworldproblems much

      anyone who buys into this promo deserves to have their money and time wasted

      Yes, good point.

      We can use this as an example of how much contempt DS has for it's non Sydney CBD based customers.

    I believe EB won't guarantee a pre-xmas second shipment either.

      I believe EB sucks at guaranteeing anything, and just generally sucks.

      I'm not bitter they cancelled my Zelda 3DS pre-order, not at all.

        My local EB said march will be when all pre-orders will hopefully be filled and they will have shelf stock.

        If you're still interested, those XLs are available on OzGameShop.

          I believe they even have the Animal Crossing XL (MY DREAM CONSOLE).

        The guys at EB were super friendly and prices matched a bunch of stuff when I picked up my X1.

          They refused to match a bundle for me :(
          The however did match Rayman Legends, didn't have any, called another store and got it sorted for me to pick up there (this other store has previously not price matched because the matching store was "too far away").

          So good and bad.
          Better than Game. When asked about Smash Bros they asked "what platform?".

            To be fair - Smash Bros is on the Wii U AND 3DS this time around.

              This was long before those platforms were even announced. The guy just had no clue.

            EB Games doesn't price match bundles, but they'll gladly match any other item.

              As long as the price matching store is in the same complex or very, very close.
              10min trip down the road is too far.

        Amazon uk deliver to Aus and your looking at AUD 319.96 delivered atm (cheaper than ozgameshop).

        Last edited 27/11/13 4:31 pm

          £319 maybe, but certainly not AUD. Amazon are selling it for £349, so with shipping & without tax, it comes to AUD$533.

            No that was the price in AUD. It's £199.99 & £8 p&h; I ordered one a few days ago.
            http://www.amazon.co.uk/Nintendo-Handheld-Console-3DS-XL/dp/B00A3Q1FS2

            It's also a good way for people to get 4.5 and lower fw in bundles (mario land/kart; ned ozgameshop for the fire emblem or MH ones which are awesome) cheap for those looking into gateway or the other 3ds flash carts clones. Personally I'm waiting for them to load multible roms so I can leave all the carts at home and bring my game library with me on a 128gb sdxc. I'd support the estore if they had accounts but losing my console shouldnt lose me hundreds in games and dlc like it does now so I'm taking the physical carts and backup route.

            Hmm we were just talking about amazon weren't we...excuse the tangent: go grab a bargain.

            Last edited 28/11/13 8:24 am

              Oh sorry, thought we were still talking about PS4s.

      It sucks that they are doing that, but at least they are up front about it.

      http://www.kotaku.com.au/2013/11/how-dick-smiths-playstation-4-midnight-launch-is-exploiting-consumers/comment-page-2/#comment-2217191

    Stupid question time: Sony would have had to of known that there'd be massive demand for their new console here. Why didn't they just make more consoles to alleviate the shortage?

      Obvious answer time: Because it took time to make the millions of consoles they’ve sold already and it will take more time to make more.

        Surely there has to be another reason other than just time. I'd imagine they'd be working 24/7 right now to make consoles.

          There's only so many impoverished chinese people in FoxConn factories available for exploitation over a set period of time. I'd imagine that Sony and Microsoft have bought their fair share of these peoples time in order to make as many consoles as possible.

            While I totally agree, and don't mean to diminish your point.. Given the population of china is currently ~1.4 billion, and their unemployment rate is ~4% - that number is 54,451,200.

            The only question now obviously is, how many PS4's can 54 million people make in a few months? :P

            http://www.tradingeconomics.com/china/unemployment-rate
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_population

              ooook guys, lets end this particular line of discussion right here, lighthearted as it may be,...

          They probably were (knowing Foxconn). The problem is that even that doesn't produce enough units to satisfy global demand.

      Yes, such a simple solution, I can't believe Sony didn't think of that.

      Clearly the workers at Foxconn aren't working hard enough, I demand that they double their shifts so we can all have our PS4's now.

        Or you could have some people work the day time and then they go home and then get some OTHER people to work at the night times! What a revolutionary idea of mine!

          There are not enough trucks to deliver them all. Blame the car manufacturers.

          Last edited 27/11/13 1:48 pm

            Stupid question time: Truck makers would have had to of known that there'd be massive demand for new consoles here. Why didn't they just make more trucks to alleviate the shortage?

              Why are trucks so small?

              They had dinosaurs years ago, and some of them are much bigger than trucks.

              If they made the trucks as big as dinosaurs we wouldn't be in the mess we're in now.

              I blame the truck designers. Someone give them bigger pens.

          I bet they didn't think of that one either!

          Perhaps there just aren't enough workers, and enough factories, components or time to create enough supply of PS4's to cater for everyone who wants one just this very minute?

          A supply chain for a product like the PS4 and Xbox One are long and complex with a lot of different areas producing different components. The people assembling it is just one tiny component of a very long production line.

          Uh foxconn already does that. Its basically a jail.

          I don't think you know how Foxconn works. Their workers live on site, get paid pathetic amounts, and are generally treated like shit. To the point where there were massive spates of suicides last year(? Maybe year before...). On top of that, they're starting to outsource to robots. Not a very nice place to work. Probably already have the factories going 24/7.

          Uhhhh they do work 24 hours a day, they do rotating 12-hour shifts. Move along.

      Actually, it's likely they deliberately created a supply shortage to boost demand and increase publicity. After all, the headline 'PS4 released, everyone gets one, no problems anywhere' is not exactly the sexiest media release. 'PS4 released, massive shortages, 100s dead, may the Lord save us' is far better PR copy.

      Also, if you're 50/50 about getting a PS4, you're far more likely to get one right now if you know there's a chance you won't be able to in the near future. So creating an artificial shortage can boost sales, or at least preorders. Not to mention simple supply and demand; create a scarcity and jack up prices.

        For a second there I thought I had drifted over to an article about PAX tickets.

        Exactly what I was thinking: conspiracy theory time!

      There is only so many schoolchildren you can force to work as slave labour.

      This does raise a good point.

      Is 300 a large or a small allocation?

      Were Dick Smith purposefully denying customers attempting to pre-order Sony PS4s across Australia in order to save 300 for this event?

      Is that something that Dick Smiths customers are happy about?

      Is that something that Sony is happy about?

      Did Sony decide to allow Dick Smiths an additional allocation over and above the other retailers - and if so, how does JB and EB feel about that.

      Here's my guess....

      DS were saying no to people wanting to make pre-orders (and receive the first batch) in order to build up this allocation.

      The other retailers weren't playing such games with their customers.

      This smacks of GAME marketing all over. It's a very shady and shoddy attempt at creating a marketing event.

        I like it how you asked the questions more clearly than the article. Thanks, this gives me some pointers as to wtf the fuss is about, even if they are still just questions - not necessary facts.

          Are you suggesting that a journalist failed to ask probing questions and simply did little more than read out what was effectively a press release?

            I can neither confirm nor deny the comments made at this time, Mr Senator.

        I work at a Sydney store near the CBD (not DS) and I can tell you that 300 is a MASSIVE allocation for one store.
        We got 30 on our first shipment.
        30.
        And that was 10 more than we had guaranteed and 10 happy customers who get their PS4 2 weeks earlier than they had been told they would.

        DS marketing department are kind of douches hey

    We'll see how much of a party this was after fights break out, you know at midnight, in a major city.

      Pretty sure the Dick Smith PS4 launch is the catalyst that leads to the events of Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior.

      And people getting mugged for their PS4's, or in the case of the non-winners, their money.

    Just a heads up for anyone who wants one for christmas. Melton in Victoria has had new shops open up for jb and big w, which are expecting to have shipments in for around the 20th of december, i spoke to those stores to confirm. They said best to pre-order. I was told they were allocated stock from other stores that didn't fill pre-orders. Worth checking out if you are keen for one this year.

    Don't shoot the messenger! Just passing on what I was told.

    Last edited 27/11/13 1:32 pm

    Ok so if this party and these prizes are so damn awesome, why go to the lengths to funnel people through the facebook page and then drag them out to the city store just for a CHANCE to MAYBE be able to BUY a PS4?? If it was WIN a PS4 that would be different, but no, it's not.

      Because they figure that those that don't "win" will just pre-order one anyway, or just buy something else, because they're already in the store, so they'll still make some money off them. Good luck with that.

        How to market like a dick 101.

    We wanted to celebrate the launch of the PS4 with a massive party

    Alternate endings to that sentence:
    - so we are bribing people to come!
    - and data mine our customers via Facebook!

    That information from JB HiFi is interesting, because they opened up that second wave of shipments on October 22. (I've still got the email.) So if someone really wanted a PS4 enough to preorder, they had a whole month, apparently, before they stopped guaranteeing the second shipment, which seems like it would have been plenty of time for anyone who really wanted one.

    My local Dick Smith could only just handle the GTAV launch. They got the price wrong, they told me there was no Blimp DLC, they lost my contact details. Staff blame head office and the customer is left out in the cold.

    I've never preordered anything from EB Games before other than a few big games and have had no issues. I preordered my PS4 on the 21/11 and they said to expect it Feb/Mar, although the guy at the counter said that they would more likely be getting them mid-late January the Feb/Mar date was just to save their asses if anything was delayed cause ya never know.

    We asked Dick Smith if this was fair on consumers?

    “We are inviting people to attend our PS4 launch party,” said the representative. “If they missed out on pre-ordering a PS4 from the 1st shipment we are offering a 2nd chance at getting a PS4 on day 1, either by winning one, or having one available for purchase. A lot of people who missed out on pre-ordering the first shipment want this opportunity.

    “Anyone who attends the launch and misses out on the night will be given special priority to pre-order a PS4 from our 2nd shipment due in before Xmas.”

    I like how they totally didn't answer the question.

      I was thinking the same.

      Very politician -like answer strategy: just keep restating long, circular paragraphs in a dull voice until people zone out or don't care anymore what they're saying.

      Dick SMith has some shameful and outmoded business strategies. It'll be good to see those chains go.

      I like it how you quoted half he article for one tiny, fairly asinine comment haha <3

      #beingsothorough

        I quoted the question and answer that I was specifically referring to. Considering there were multiple questions and answers in this article, how is that a problem?

    How many are going to turn up thinking they are in the running to win a PS4?

      Everyone who shows up is in the running to win......

    And they wonder why bricks and mortar retail is dieing.

    I am actually a legend and got mine from Amazon and been playing ever since. You are all in for a treat.

    "I’ve had it confirmed by JB Hi-Fi that customers who registered pre-orders after November 20 will almost certainly not be receiving their consoles before the New Year."

    The thing is, the "sold out" signs have been up for ages at EB and JB, nothing til 2014... but 9 days out from launch JB are basically confirming that you will probably have one before Christmas if you pre-ordered??

    I am assuming that EB would also get a second shipment allocation to which again the assumption being they would allocate to any preorders that weren't initially guaranteed for launch and thus why EB didn't advertise a second shipment.

    Given all that, either Sony is bring in a monster number of consoles into the country in the next 2-3 weeks, or PS4 pre-orders are simply not as high as we think.

      9 days out from launch JB are basically confirming that you will probably have one before Christmas if you pre-ordered??

      Absolutely, if you have a pre-order receipt from JB that says "PS4 Console Reservation" your console will be available for collection before Christmas. If you placed your order after the cut-off for second shipment your receipt will say "PS4 Console Reservation 2014".

      As far as pre-order numbers go...

      Nationally JB had roughly 10, 000 pre-orders for Xbox One, and received ample stock to cover all of the orders plus walk in sales. With the PS4 JB are holding roughly 10, 000 orders for day one, with a further 25, 000 to be delivered before Christmas.

    This is such a recipe for disaster that if I were working in that Dick Smith shop I'd go on strike. They're intentionally setting this up to be a disaster.

    “We are inviting people to attend our PS4 launch party,” said the representative. “If they missed out on pre-ordering a PS4 from the 1st shipment we are offering a 2nd chance at getting a PS4 on day 1, either by winning one, or having one available for purchase. A lot of people who missed out on pre-ordering the first shipment want this opportunity.

    OOh, nice spin. Bravo.

    But....

    A lot of those people would much rather know if they can get a pre-order or not without having to traipse into the city at midnight with a wad of cash to find out. Afterall, that will incur expenses and inconvenience, and normally those two things don't go hand in hand with pleasing customers.

      OOh, nice spin. Bravo.

      I agree, if this whole Dick Smiths thing goes south.. he's sure got a future in politics.

      They can't. Answered. Give it a go if you're feeling lucky. Seems pretty clear cut.

    And another thing...

    Why are Dick Smith wanting a PS4 party anyway?

    One minute they're selling games. Then they're dumping all stock. Then they have a really crappy selection.

    What is it DS - are you selling games or not?

    Will you please make up your mind.

      They're an unpopular, horribly uncool chain store which don't really know or care about the things they sell and would stoop to inconveniencing people while pretending it's a 'party'.

      Like a sad, sad (but incredibly annoying) kid who bribes people to his party with promises that will leave him even less popular than before...

      Any opportunity to rip off customers is a GOOD opportunity to rip off customers!

      How many chances does an electronics giant get to guarantee selling 100% of a shipment at full RRP?

    Having a lottery/competition for the right to buy something that is extremely rare is nothing new and not really unethical. Sometimes for extremely limited land in exclusive locations, people enter a lottery for the chance to be a part of the auction to buy it.

    But announcing the winners at the actual launch is a shitty move. I wouldn't call it unethical or get morally enraged over it, it's just a douche bag move.

    The only thing that seems strange to me about this is how it's anyones business but Dick Smiths. They have the consoles they have, and can do with them whatever they want..

    Is it unfair for you to destroy something you own, because someone else might want it? Ofcourse it isn't.

    Oh, and the fact that JB-HIFI's speculation around stock levels somehow also relates to Dick Smith, or maybe JB are commenting on DS's position.. *shrug* not sure, maybe I don't understand or something.

      Of course they can do whatever they want, just as we can criticise them for it as much as we want.

      It could be nobody's business but one's own to be an asshole, but that's not going to stop others from noticing as much.

        ....You talk like one of grandpa Simpsons stories that go absolutely nowhere. Should've been a politician...You make a statement but don't actually say anything XD.......retard.

    It's annoying, but I still fail to see how it can be called anything more than that. The only thing they seem to be doing is being discourteous to their consumers. The consumers have no 'right' to buy or to pre-order. Lotteries are often done for high demand goods that still require payment e.g. tickets to Vienna New Year's Concert, New York marathon etc. It is still at the discretion of the retailer whether/when they sell the stock or not. It is not uncommon for competitions to require the attendance of the people who have entered. Certainly this restricts who can enter (i.e. only people in Sydney could reasonably be expected to attend), but this is certainly far from 'exploiting consumers' as was suggested in the earlier article.

    I would like to know why highly paid "Chief Executive Officers" couldn't organize to supply enough units to meet worldwide demand ? Is it an absence makes the heart grow fonder kind of business scam, dangling the carrot in front of the donkey, or are these highly paid tossers really this incompetent ?

    Sack the lot of them and hire staff that can do their jobs properly. How in the hell did Sony become a major multinational corporation when they've displayed this kind of business incompetence is beyond me.

    Or maybe this is some "savvy" business maneuver that I'm unaware of. Only the shadow knows.

    Either way, I'm gonna wait 6-8 months at least before I switch over to a Next-Gen console. Hopefully by then all the bugs will be ironed out of the system.

    SONY = FAIL

    Last edited 29/11/13 8:55 am

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