ACCC Busts Panasonic Over Wii TV Promotion

The ACCC has form when it comes to exposing dodgy tech promotions, having busted HP over its less than stellar cashback offers and taken Nokia Care Centres to task over substandard service. Now it has taken Panasonic to court over a 2008 promotion offering a free Wii console with some TV models.

The big issue with this promotion was that consumers were required to submit the serial number from their TV within 14 days of purchase, meaning if the TV wasn't delivered in that time frame, the consumer couldn't get the number and apply for the offer. That's a definite no-no according to the ACCC:

It is not enough to give the impression that 'conditions apply' to an offer in circumstances where particularly unusual and onerous conditions may render a consumer ineligible to receive the goods or services offered.

Got your own horror stories of trying to get bonus offers with electronic goods? Tell us in the comments.



    The ACCC should have a giant nutcracker for these sort of situations.

      Are you trying to say that Panasonic has giant nuts?

        Every corporation does, it just takes something small for them to get the ACCC on their case. Hence the ACCC should have a giant nutcracker.

    If this is the case then if you still have proof of purchase and a delivery docket, could one still claim a free Wii?

    I had a friend that fell victim to this one unfortunately. I still am unsure if he got the Wii or not...

    I hope the people who aren't eligible for that reason DO get their console. Or cash value etc.

    I got a free wii out of this promotion.
    I didn't even think about timeframes tho, I may have just got lucky.
    I would have been Peeved if they'd pulled me up on this sort of technicality!

    Why are you waiting 14days for delivery in the first place?

    Having worked in consumer electronics retail I can only come up with two situations why you could not get the serial number on the day of purchase.. and both are the fault of the consumer.

    Buying a TV from a retailer that doesn't have it in stock? YOU are the one running the risk of missing out by agreeing to purchase the TV that may or may not arrive in time to redeem. That's the purchasers fault, not Panasonics.

    Buying a TV and wanting it delivered in a months time? That makes you a dick, but you could always have asked the retailer for the serial number from the TV, its on the box after all.

    Asking a purchaser to redeem their freebie within 2 weeks of purchase is hardly a scam on Panasonics behalf. It may be going to court, but I can't see too much coming of it.

      Err, the Federal Court has already found Panasonic guilty of misleading consumers.

        Are you High???, no they haven't

          Brian, it's in the very first sentence of the ACCC press release linked here: "the Federal Court today declared that Panasonic Australia Pty Ltd misled consumers in its 2008 Bonus Wii promotion".

    Do you happen to sell real estate or perhaps used cars?
    Just curious...

    Since that promo, which by the way was so successful PANASONIC essentially couldn't keep up with demand, hence delays, things have changed.

    Now, all that is required of customers is that they visit a promo website after paying in full. Filling out an online form and ticking a box if your TV is on back order (not in stock).

    When the product comes into stock the customer takes delivery of their product and with the serial # revisits the promo website, logs in with their details and enters the serial number. Prints out a confirmation page and sends of original receipt showing payment in full and either the serial # panel cut from box or a photo of it.

    Customers cannot get the serial # prior to delivery/pickup due to the fact that some people claim and then cancel TV purchase.

    Which means that serial is used and the next person who ends up actually buying that TV can't claim as the serial # is used.

    Believe it or not. Some customers still stuff this up as they don't visit the promo website within 14 days after being told on the day of purchase and notes being added to the invoice which they sign at the registers when paying in full.

    NOTES : Cust has been given promo paperwork. Customers responsibility to register for bonus product even if TV is not in stock at time of purchase. Sign Here X

    Covers salesman and store arse as the boss would make you pay for the bonus product if notes aren't on invoice and customer pleads ignorant as most do when they realize they stuffed up.

    My parents bought a TV in that promo, they were promised delivery from the store but then it kept being on back order from Panasonic and evenutally they ended up with a different model. By now it was well past the 14 days.

    My father actually wrote a letter to Panasonic to the effect of "wtf is this get your damn act together" and complaining, he ended up getting the Wii anyway.

    Bought a Fujitsu Air-Con during the Fujitsu Free Money promotion. Submitted my properly completed forms by Fax (the only way possible) before the due date, made sure to stay by the fax until I got the "Successful" notification on the machine.
    2 months later when I still hadn't seen my "free Money" I contacted them to get the reply that I hadn't submitted anything to them and that it was now too late as the promotion had expired.
    I still had the originals, but had no "proof" that I had indeed sent them.

    Had no problem getting a free PS3 with Sony after the deadline.

    I was having internet issues at home, so I couldn't get to print off the claim form within 14 days. I simply mailed them everything, and wrote on it apologising and complaining about Telstra and hoped they understood. Got the PS3 a week later.

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