UK firm offers 'PlayStation 3 for Christmas'

Company soliciting phone orders for £1.50 per minute, promising to call back when sought-after consoles become available...

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An advert has been put up in a central London train station boldly proclaiming "PlayStation 3--Order now for Christmas" with a phone number in red underneath beginning with the prefix 0906, the equivalent of a 1-900 in the states. Above the number is a photo of the console and controller, against a background of seasonal snowflakes...and some fine print at the bottom reading, "Calls cost £1.50 per minute."

Brits desperate enough to get their hands on the next-gen console ahead of its official European release date in March will find themselves with an approximately £7.50 (around $14) phone charge for the four-and-a-half-minute call.

The recorded message starts by telling callers that the order line is owned and run by a sole proprietor company called Mastercash. Under British law, sole proprietor companies do not have to officially register their information with Companies House, whereas limited companies do. The address given for the company is in Merseyside, and GameSpot traced it to a self-catering apartment building, which describes itself as "luxury short break, holiday and corporate accommodation on the Liverpool waterfront."

The female voice on the recording goes on to inform potential customers that this phone line service will give British consumers possibly their only chance to get their hands on a PS3 for Christmas--and explains the situation to anyone who doesn't already know. "The official release date for the PS3 is November 17, 2006," the recording says. "But the official release date in the UK has for some reason been pushed back to March 2007. With the PS3 being so popular, the supplies the shops do get are expected to have been preordered and sold out on the same day."

The voice then explains that because of this, the PS3 Mastercash will be delivering will therefore be either a Japanese or an American console, but will come with a UK power supply and all other relevant cables. This aspect of the deal seems particularly dodgy, as Sony has previously made its intentions to sue any companies "grey importing" the new PS3 console very clear indeed.

The caller is then asked to leave his or her details, including a contact phone number and a mailing address so that the company can them call back, "to make you aware of the package content and options of additional games and accessories, along with all pricing info." The voice then adds that a caller's order is in no way binding, and that Mastercash reserves the right to cancel any or all orders "at any time it sees fit to do so." Naturally, all orders are also subject to availability.

0906 numbers are premium numbers in the UK and can be bought for prices beginning at £49. Companies can then choose from a variety of different tariffs, ranging from 10p (the owner gets .25p) a minute, through to the most expensive charge offered, £1.50 a minute, of which the owner will pocket £1.03 directly.

[UPDATE] A Sony spokesperson told GameSpot that it was investigating the adverts. "This is completely unofficial and has nothing to do with Sony Computer Entertainment. Our legal department are looking into it as we speak," the statement read.

Discussion

117 comments
koolgiy
koolgiy

Well seeming how it costs sony $849 to make a PS3. (Source: Forbes article)

pb1285n
pb1285n

Mike961990: A good reason? Are you serious or are you really that stupid. If you can figure out a cheaper way to build a Playstation 3 I bet Sony would love to hear it because they are already losing hundreds of dollars per system.

_Sam_
_Sam_

"[UPDATE] A Sony spokesperson told GameSpot that it was investigating the adverts. "This is completely unofficial and has nothing to do with Sony Computer Entertainment. Our legal department are looking into it as we speak," the statement read." Yeah, I didn't think that it was real

GsR_lives
GsR_lives

i hope $$$ony sues the pants of this U.K. company. *sarcasm*

agi34
agi34

most people bashing ps3 here aren't even looking at the reason for the delay. they are trying to remove bugs from the system so that there less chance of defects. if you ran a business you would do the same. any company would. im so sick of people bashing systems if you don't like it don't buy it ignore it. people who bash are just afraid that system thet like will fail and they're only bashing it to feel more secure.

Mike961990
Mike961990

sony sucks so bad they don't even deserve a capital letter. Not only have sony ass-raped the UK and Europe by denying us a worldwide release as previously promised, but they have also decided to charge us a disgusting amount more for the system - which if anybody can give me a legit reason for them doing so please let me know. sony, we now see that you're promises and your word mean absolutely nothing. It would seem that you are on a pretty much vertical slippery slope downhill.

carcrazy426
carcrazy426

I doubt that any importing company in the UK will be importing PS3s early. Sony took down Lik Sang for a reason, and that was to show the rest of the importing world that they don't want "grey importing" of any of their products. I don't think that any company would be bold enough to import PS3s after that showing of force.

thefjk
thefjk

I wouldn't take that seriously!

glhx1rush
glhx1rush

Damn, and I thought the scammers were bad here in the states... BTW, I was at wal-mart today as they were setting up the PS3 Kiosk, and I got to touch the display PS3! It was sooooo nice.......... I just stood there and slobbered for a few minutes.............the graphics on the HDTV display were amazing!

Ryu_-
Ryu_-

People stupid enough to ring that number after Lik-Sang was brutally shut down deserve to get scammed imo. I bet that company has already made thousands!

kevbhoy
kevbhoy

The reason why Sony won't allow importing to Europe is because they would be losing out on money. As with EVERYTHING in rip-off Britain the PS3 will cost significantly more in the U.K than in other places in the world. For example. U.K High End PS3 =

nev70
nev70

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Karribuhater115
Karribuhater115

This sounds dodgy to me. £7.50 just for the phonecall yet they can cancel your PS3 order whenever they want. As a customer it doesn't sound like you'd have many rights if you bought a PS3 from them and come on! Seriously, the amount of PS3s released in Japan and America are going to be far below expectations, just where is this company intending to get more than 1, if that to supply to the thousands that will probably preorder this. I doubt they'll honour any of their orders, but imagine the profits, £1.03 per 1 minute phonecall in sole profits? Calls last about 4 minutes, multiply it by the thousands of people who will call them... such a scam.

Keith4RFC17
Keith4RFC17

changes of being the 1 getting it is few and far between

Zaxex
Zaxex

The title of this story has changed twice each time sounding more legit, it sounds more like a contest :P.

freakykidd
freakykidd

I do find the delay of the PS3 very bad - especialy since they promised a christmas worldwide release at E3. By the looks of it this comapny's gonna have the **** sued out of them, especialy after looking at what happened to Lik-Sang...

Drt888
Drt888

Im British and frankly if fellow Brits arent patient they dont deserve a ps3 same for anyone else who is impatient.

owen666
owen666

does that mean im not getting my PS3! LOL

cjcr_alexandru
cjcr_alexandru

Looks like GameSpot has made some serious investigations regarding this subject. That's good journalism. Good work!

Typhoon89
Typhoon89

Ugh, why can't people just be patient, it's nothing that spectacular.

blacktorn
blacktorn

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

xatman911
xatman911

That phone owner is making money. Imagine how many people will call that number.

PyroKenshin
PyroKenshin

**** sony, no seriously **** sony, if it wasnt for them being so unfair to us brits, pushing back the release then companies like this wouldnt exist. what on earth is wrong with importing a console anyway? how does that affect sony? it's still a unit sold, wether its US or UK! sony have made some dubious decisions lately, from sueing lik-sang, to pricing their console rediculously high, because it has a bit of hardware in it that may, or may not take off (im guessing the latter, simply because hd-dvd, is called dvd, and everyone has heard of dvds... who's heard of blue-ray, that isn't into tech things?) and finally, shunning all the europeans yet again with their console launch, just as they did with the psp (i imported mine off ebay- yea- sue me. i'm sorry that i actually wanted your product.) because of the above reasons i'm 99% sure they are gonna come off worse than nintendo and microsoft in this console war... it may be a more powerful console, but it's no where near as innovative as the nintendo wii, and it's been released so much later, and is so much more expensive than a 360 and wii... many games for it will also be released for 360, and will only feature upgraded graphics as the only incentive to get them on the ps3... basically sony = lame and stupid.

fartys
fartys

I WANIT I WANIT I WANIT !

Sam_Lowery
Sam_Lowery

They might as well just try ebay, but they better expect to pay about $1,500 for a system. oblivion is great and all but who needs it THAT badly.

marcfury
marcfury

Even if it is ligit, I think it sucks that anyone would take advantage of people who want the ps3. Look at what they charge you for the phone call....it doesn't sound like alot of money, but if you add up all the people that will call, that a chunck of money that they made already.

dsrarrow
dsrarrow

this is total and complete (you get the idea) isn't it?

Haruhi_love
Haruhi_love

hehe im just gona import my own PS3 hehe !!! im going on holdiay to the states and my mate their has 2 PS3's on preorder and his dad is the manager of the shop hehe so yippe!!!

Supreme_Fantasy
Supreme_Fantasy

What a scam on this way! What the hell is Sony doin for this?!

Afro_Samurai
Afro_Samurai

That company has got the words bulls--- (fill in the blank) all over it.

nWoMSAM
nWoMSAM

I'm surprised they get callers. No one I know wants to pay £450+ for a console.

kyosukeugc
kyosukeugc

"""""Or better yet, why not buy a Wii or a 360 for much less and have the same quality. """" ---- WOW that's ignorant... but seriously... ummm can we say scam possibly?

shizwill03
shizwill03

What the....... Well, for those desperate to get their hand on one.....

Riorio99
Riorio99

Who really wants PS3 that badly. why not wait 3 months? Or better yet, why not buy a Wii or a 360 for much less and have the same quality.

Sc4r
Sc4r

Not me, chrisdojo.

neoplazma
neoplazma

This can't be right. i remember some time back that PS3s should be sond and imported into the EU and that Sony were doing something to prevent this.

eggsiboss
eggsiboss

dude this sucks eh?! but i wish id thought of it! the fact that lik sang are now shut with the help of sony means that many people will be looking for new ways to get a ps3 and also means many scammers out there looking for more ways to rip people off and capitalize on the playstation hungry masses ou there. I do feel that sony have done europe an injustice yet again, they really need to make sure they can fill the shelves at xmas, sadly they havent met european demand at xmas for the last threee years now, what with the slim and psp, now this. IMO it is sonys fault that people are gonna get ripped off again because all they want to make their children happy ( or happiest!?:)) at xmas.

Cloud737
Cloud737

There`s no limit on how low scammers can get. Even the recorded message was made long enough to make the caller cough-up at least $7 just for the "possibility" to have a PS3 on X-Mas. Let`s see how well Sony keeps it`s word on hunting down grey importers.

chrisdojo
chrisdojo

is anyone that desparate for a ps3 in the UK?

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

Clever, very very clever. But I have to point out that there is a huge problem with these sorts of cons in the UK at the moment. Bet the man who thought up this idea is perched on a solid gold throne funded by other peoples misery. Isn't it funny though how they claim to have a UK power supply. Sony haven't made a single one yet lol! Adaptor maybe, but definately NOT a PS3 power supply.

Guest_1001
Guest_1001

You can see the M$ and Nintendo fanboys trying to peg something else on Sony . . . obviously they can't read . . . I live in England and I can wait. As far as I know, very, very few people call those phone numbers anyway. And BYS2, get a life. Or, preferably, a brain.

Mezzomorto
Mezzomorto

Well the company name says it all really: "Mastercash". Master cash for the scouser (I presuming given the location of his "self catering office") who's running the scam has his Xmas budget all sorted out at least

Havoc19
Havoc19

GameSpot contacted Sony for comment and a spokesperson said that the company would be looking into the ads. gamespot snitching? :o