Late last year Sony agreed to settle with the Federal Trade Commission over claims that it falsely advertised the PlayStation Vita console at launch. Anyone in the U.S. who purchased the handheld prior to June 1, 2012 is entitled to $US25 cash or one of three different game bundles. Here's how.
The company handling Sony's settlement started sending out instruction emails today — I got mine this morning — directing customers to a claims website. Eligible purchasers must complete the process before June 30, 2015 in order to claim their goodies.
What's The Situation?
Consumer complaints alleged that early ads for the PlayStation Vita urged purchase based on features that were not available or never came to fruition. Remote playing PlayStation 3 games, playing online multiplayer games over a 3G network and extensive PS3/Vita cross-saving were touted but never materialised in a satisfactory fashion.
So yeah, gives us some stuff, Sony.
What's The Payout?
Eligible claimants can select from three options.
- A $US25 check.
- $US25 in PSN credit.
- One of three different game bundles.
Looking at the selection available, I'd say go for the PSN credit. The check will likely take forever to arrive, and these bundles suck.
How To Get Your Stuff
If you received the following email, simply follow the instructions. The claims website wasn't fully-functional this morning, but it is now up and running.
CASH BACK OR MERCHANDISE OFFER FROM
SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT AMERICA LLC
Our records show that you purchased a PlayStation Vita handheld game console prior to June 1, 2012. The Federal Trade Commission has alleged that some SCEA advertisements for the PlayStation Vita during this period were deceptive. Although SCEA neither admits nor denies liability in connection with this matter, SCEA has agreed to settle the dispute with the Federal Trade Commission by offering either cash back (or credit on your PSN account) or merchandise to customers who purchased a PlayStation Vita before June 1, 2012, and who have not returned the product for a full refund.
Accordingly, we are pleased to offer you the opportunity to receive a check for $US25 (or a $US25 credit on your PSN account). Alternatively, you are eligible to receive a merchandise voucher that you can use to select from a list of merchandise, video games and/or services. The selection of merchandise, video games and/or services that are available through this offer has a retail value of $US50 or more.
You are eligible to receive either a check for $US25 (or a $US25 credit on your PSN account) or a merchandise voucher, but not both. For details of each offer and to make your choice of the $US25 check (or credit) or the merchandise voucher, please click here.
You MUST complete and submit the information requested in the above link by June 30, 2015 to be eligible to receive the $US25 check (or $US25 credit on your PSN account) or merchandise voucher worth $US50 or more. Please be assured that your acceptance of this offer does not obligate you to purchase anything.
For more information on our settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, please visit www.ftc.gov and search for "Sony Computer Entertainment America."
If you have any questions, please call Sony Computer Entertainment America claims administration at 1-800-410-5484.
The page at https://vitaclaims.com will ask prequalified customers for their PSN ID and Vita serial number.
Select a reward, hit submit and you'll receive a confirmation.
If you do not receive an email and believe you qualify for free stuff, there's a form that you can fill out and mail to the claims administration folks in order to be added. Get that here.
And that's it. Once your claim is submitted, the waiting begins. With a cutoff of June 30, I'd expect all claims to be processed no later than the end of the year. We might be waiting for our $US25 for a while, but think how nice it will be when it finally shows up.