An online website is offering a Sony PS3 for free if consumers register to be involved in a product evaluation program.
According to Sony executives the site is a con and not involved in any way with Sony. The Company making the offer Product Evaluation Panel guarantees that all approved members will receive at least 3 products to review during their first 90 days of membership this is despite the fact that the PS3 is not yet launched.
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Panel members do not have to pay for these products. However, we do require that members return a brief written survey no earlier than 30 and no later than 45 days after the receipt of any product for review. Failure to return this survey will result in the member being removed from our product evaluation program. The site goes on to say that the product evaluation program and the membership incentive program are sponsored exclusively by PEP. Sony Corporation has not endorsed this program or offer and is not affiliated or connected with PEP in any way.
It says that Sony Playstation 3 incentive gifts are subject to availability (expected release in Spring of 2006 when I am sure they will come back and say, sorry but due to limited stock we are unable to supply you with a PS 3) and can be replaced by a cash equivalent if so elected by the user or Product Evaluation Panel Receipt of the free membership incentive gift requires completion of offer terms, including: age and residency requirements, registration with a valid email address, completion of two advertiser offers from each of the offer pages (the Top Offers Page, the Prime Offers Page and the Premium Offers Page) and shipping address verification. Upon completion of all program terms, we will promptly ship your free gift to the verified address. You may review the status of your account via the member login area at any time.
To become a PEP member and participate in its membership incentive promotion, you must be at least 18 years old and a legal resident of the United States with a valid email and mailing address. If you do not meet these requirements, we ask that you do not complete the registration process. The site which is believed to be a con then peddles the information to a variety of organisations. For example the PS3 is not released and Sony would not be stupid enough to do an online evaluation. They would in fact conduct round table closed sessions. What the offer is all about is obtaining in a semi legitimate form access to information on you which they can then peddle to anyone who will buy it. They will use the information to blast you day in day out with garbage advertising and marketing.
The secret to the real intentions of this organisation are found in the fine print, where they say.
1. to provide you with personalised marketing information via electronic delivery and/or direct mail;
2. to send you targeted advertising via electronic delivery and/or direct mail;
3. to contact you for feedback and surveys via electronic delivery and/or direct mail;
4. to send you general and administrative information about your PEP membership via electronic delivery and/or direct mail; and
5. to provide your contact information to PEP marketing partners to allow them to send you special offers via electronic delivery and direct mail. This most often occurs when you request that we do so such as when completing an online survey;
6. to deliver products to you for the purpose of evaluation and review.
Agents: We employ other companies and individuals to perform certain functions on our behalf. Examples include sending direct and electronic mail, removing duplicate information from customer lists, analyzing data, and providing marketing analysis. These agents have access to member personal information as needed to perform their functions for PEP but we do not permit them to use it for other purposes.
Right to Sell/License Data: PEP may sell and/or license the personal information that you provide to us to third party businesses. These businesses may include providers of direct marketing services and applications, including lookup and reference, data enhancement, suppression and validation, email marketing, and telemarketing.
Third Party Action Tags. We may use third-party advertising companies to serve ads on our behalf. These companies may employ cookies and action tags (also known as single pixel gifts or web beacons) to measure advertising effectiveness. Any information that these third parties collect via cookies and action tags is completely anonymous. If you would like more information about this practice and your choices, click here.
E-mail Links. In some instances we may include certain links in our e-mails that will allow us to monitor whether you access specific content or advertisements contained in that e-mail. When you click on one of these links, we will record that click and certain activities on the Web page associated with that link. We may use this information for various purposes, such as to conduct internal research on our users’ demographics, interests, and behavior in and to our e-mail advertisements and content, and to better understand and serve you.