Sony Price Gouge Again Despite A Dying Brand

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Sony Australia who firmly believe that they are a premium brand despite falling sales and a move to third party manufactures has again tried to price gouge Australian consumers with an $800 32 GB OLED Walkman.

Sony Australia who firmly believe that they are a premium brand despite falling sales and a move to third party manufactures has again tried to price gouge Australian consumers with an $800 32 GB OLED  Walkman.

This is $255 more expensive than a 32 GB Apple iPod touch MP3 and Video player in Australia.

Late last week Sony who have less than 10% of the portable MP3 market in Australia admitted that they were not making money from their Walkman, Bravia TV or Playstation products but despite this they are continuing to price gouge Australian’s with over priced Playstation’s, an 11″ OLED TV which is being sold in Australia for $6,999 when the same model sells in the USA for $2,499.


Click to enlarge

 The new 32-gigabyte OLED model which comes with Wi Fi (NWZ-X1060F) is more than $280 dearer than the same product in the USA.
Sony refuse to explain to SmartHouse or Channel News why they believe that they can price gouge Australian at a time when a lot of Australians are suffering because of the economic recession.

One of the first media organisations to expose Sony’s deliberate price gouging strategy when we revealed that Australian Playstation’s were significantly more expensive than in the USA, Sony reacted by threatening us with legal action.  When this did not work they black banned myself and 4Square Media journalists. From any PR events or access to press releases for not towing the Sony PR part line. 

2 months ago we wrote the boss of Sony Computer entertainment is really “Pissed”. In an emotional telephone call he claimed that Sony was not price gouging Australian consumers. This is despite the fact that as of today the cost of an 80GB Sony Playstation at JB Hi Fi is $688.95, while at Best Buy in the USA it is selling for US$399. Based on today’s exchange rate and taking into account GST and US State taxes, this equates to AU$595.

 

Michael Ephraim the CEO of SCE in Australia said at the time “I am fed up of Sony being bashed. We are not price gouging neither do we have regional codes in our software. I am calling in our lawyers as we are not in any way price gouging Australian consumers. This is misleading. We have to factor in exchange rates etc.”

When asked why Sony had never made a profit from the PS3 he refused to answer the question.

When asked about how Sony were pushing the Blu-ray aspects of its PS3 as a selling point, yet Blu-ray players are coming down in price, or getting built into third party devices he said “So what that consumer’s can now buy a separate Blu ray player? What price do you think they will have to pay?”
 When told that consumers could now pay as little as $200 for a Blu ray player, and that PCs and home theatre kits were now coming with Blu-ray built-in for free he said “So what? We have firmware upgrades and consumers can access content on the Internet. I am angry. I am bloody angry over this story. You will be hearing from my lawyers. Just because Sony is making losses does not mean that you can print garbage like this. I repeat we are not price gouging Australians.”

He then hung up.

SmartHouse understands that in Australia Sony supply major retailers like Harvey Norman, JB Hi Fi or EB Games direct so there are no distributor costs. The products are shipped direct from manufacturer to retailer. The same applies to Best Buy in the USA.

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