TV redemption promotions

CHOICE puts the redemption process to the test.
 
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01 .Introduction

TV redemption

One of the most popular tools companies use to get an edge on the competition is the ‘redemption’ promotion. Basically, the free stuff you're eligible for once you've made your purchase. Most of us love a bargain - and all of us love something for nothing - however some consumers may be reticent to follow through, thinking it will be too much trouble.

In order to get a definitive answer, CHOICE went through the redemption process with several companies. We purchased over a dozen televisions leading up to Christmas 2010, for inclusion in our continuous testing program. We decided to follow the redemption offers to see whether the products on offer were worth the effort. Our conclusion is it’s well worth the effort.

How it works

Redemption schemes usually involve mailing proof of purchase, or registering the product either online or sending in the warranty card to earn the bonus product promoted. Some of these items can be quite small, such as a mouse mat or camera cleaning kit, but increasingly the redemption offer can be significant, like a games console or home theatre system.

Why CHOICE purchases all its test products

CHOICE has been testing products and helping consumers know what to buy and what to avoid for 50 years. As many long-time CHOICE members are aware, CHOICE buys the products tested to ensure we:

  1. Get the same buying experience as you do on the shop floor.
  2. Avoid potential bias issues from companies that routinely supply free product to review sites and magazines in an effort to garner favourable press.


 
 

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What we bought

 RE-sony-KDL40HX800

Sony KDL40HX800 3D TV

 

 

RE-PS3Redemption offer (Delivery charge $80)

A Sony PS3 3D package, which included the console, two pairs of 3D glasses, a 3D transmitter and a selection of games and Blu-ray titles valued at around $1,000. 

What did we have to do to get the goodies?

The online process for the Sony promotion was very simple, yet still involved a few additional steps, such as mailing copies of invoices that could surely have been handled online through the entering of a receipt number.

No complaints on the turnaround though, with all three promotion products arriving well within the quoted time, taking around three weeks from beginning to end.

 

What we bought

 RE-sony-46NX710

Sony 46 NX710 3D TV

 

 

RE-PS3Redemption offer (Delivery charge $80)

A Sony PS3 3D package, which included the console, two pairs of 3D glasses, a 3D transmitter and a selection of games and Blu-ray titles valued at around $1,000.

What did we have to do to get the goodies?

The ordering process and turnaround time was identical to the above SONY offer. 

 

What we bought

 RE-SONY-KDL55EX710

Sony KDL 55 EX710

 

 

RE-Sony-BDPS370Redemption offer (Delivery charge $25)

A Sony DBPS370 Blu ray player valued at over $200.

What did we have to do to get the goodies?

Again, the ordering process and turnaround time was the same as for the other two SONY offers. But why is it only $25 to get the Blu-ray player delivered, when SONY charged $80 for the PS3 package?

 

What we bought

 RE-LG47LE5310

LG 47LE5310

 

 

RE-XBOXRedemption offer (Delivery charge $25)

A Microsoft Kinetix Xbox kit valued at around $620.

What did we have to do to get the goodies?

Some companies offered product from other companies, while LG offered a Microsoft product. The process for the LG was smooth, with a good online experience. It involved entering serial numbers, but we still needed to mail in full copies of invoices. A tracking number was issued and we could follow the process at all times. The delivery of the Xbox pack took less than three weeks, arriving well before Christmas.

 

What we bought

 RE-toshiba-47XL700A

Toshiba 47LX700A

 

 

RE-toshiba-22av700aRedemption offer (Delivery charge $39)

A Toshiba 22-inch LCD TV valued at around $500. You also have a choice of a netbook at around the same value.

What did we have to do to get the goodies?

The online process was very easy because the site recognised our buyer from a previous purchase of TVs. However, as with the other companies, copies of invoices were required to be mailed before the redemption process continued. While Toshiba had a stated delivery time frame of up to 60 days, the TV didn’t arrive until March 1, later than most of the other products but still only a couple of weeks outside the promised time.

 

What we bought

 RE-toshiba-47XL700A

Toshiba 47RV700A

 

 

Redemption offer (Delivery charge $35)

RE-TIVOA TIVO personal video recorder with wireless USB device valued at around $670.

What did we have to do to get the goodies?

The online process was the same as for the above. While Toshiba had a delivery time frame of up to 60 days, the TIVO arrived within three weeks. However for some reason the TV didn’t arrive until two months later.

 

What we bought

 RE-sharp-LC46LE820X

Sharp LC46LE820X

 

 

RE-sharp-lc32L400xRedemption offer (Delivery charge $35)

Sharp 32-inch TV valued at around $699

What did we have to do to get the goodies?

Buyers of the Sharp TV would be very satisfied with the redemption process, with two pieces of information supplied online - serial number and sales receipt number - along with payment for delivery. The 32-inch TV arrived less than three weeks later.

 

What we bought

 

RE-samsung-uac8000Samsung 46C8000
 
 
Redemption offer (Delivery charge $52)

A 22-inch LED TV (not 3D) as well as four sets of 3D Glasses and four 3D Blu-ray titles valued at over $1,000. RE-SAMSUNG-22

What did we have to do to get the goodies?

Similar to the Sony process, the online registration was combined with the need to send in original receipts, which were returned with the product. However, this process ended up taking the longest, as there was confusion as to the status of the redemption progress. Even with this delay, the product still arrived within the 10 week time frame specified.

CHOICE verdict

While you may have to fill out more forms than seem necessary, we found the end result was well worth the effort. All companies made it clear whether you were entitled to the promotional goods before following the procedure, so at least you know there will be a product at the end of all the mailing registration and confirmation emails. However, all the companies make the customer follow a range of different procedures before the ‘bonus’ actually arrived on your doorstep.

Some companies insisted the original receipts be sent for authorisation, and although all receipts were returned with the bonus product, some consumers may be less than happy if the original receipts were lost in transit.

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