**CONSUMER ADVISORY** **CONSUMER ADVISORY**
Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. Cautions Consumers of Fraudulent Business Practices and False Advertising Surrounding Its Coveted PlayStation®2 Computer Entertainment System
Company Encourages Internet and Online Shoppers to Exercise Discretion When
Purchasing PlayStation 2 and Related Products
FOSTER CITY, Calif., Dec. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. (SCEA) today issued a consumer alert targeted at holiday shoppers in North America looking to purchase the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. The company and other organizations, such as the Better Business Bureaus (BBB) in the United States and Canada, have received some consumer inquiries and reports of Web sites falsely advertising the availability of PlayStation 2. In an effort to protect its loyal consumer base, the company advises customers interested in purchasing the PlayStation 2 system through various e-commerce or "e-tail" sites to conduct business with familiar merchants or research individual sites before buying.
Consumers not only benefit from a variety of rights that they need to understand, but can utilize a number of preventive steps when shopping online. For example, under the law, a company must ship orders within the time stated in its advertisements and no more than 30 days after the order date. If consumers decide to pay by credit card or charge card, transactions will be protected by the Fair Credit Billing Act. Additional information about consumer rights is available through the Federal Trade Commission web site (http://www.ftc.gov/).
"Internet usage and online shopping is growing and because of this, the Better Business Bureau is committed to educating consumers about how to safely make online purchases," said Ken Hunter, president and CEO, the Council of Better Business Bureaus. "Each year we find recurring problems associated with hard-to-find holiday gift items. To protect consumers, our organization has established the BBB Code of Online Business Practices and the BBBOnLine Reliability program. Through this program, more than 9,000 individual Web sites have qualified for the BBBOnLine Reliability seal which signify the merchants' commitment to good customer practices including standing behind advertising claims."
"With demand for PlayStation 2 reaching unprecedented levels, as an organization we are committed to protecting consumers by exposing merchants with deceptive business practices," said Kazuo Hirai, president and chief operating officer, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. "As we move through the holiday selling season, our main objective is to supply the North American market with as many PlayStation 2 units as possible. We will continue to work closely with our retail partners to ensure that product is continuously shipped in and moved through retail distribution and ultimately, into consumers' hands.
"We are on track with the original shipment schedule disclosed earlier and we look to have 1.3 million PlayStation 2 units in the market by year end," added Hirai.
If consumers have questions relating to this matter, or would like to investigate an e-commerce Web site, please contact the SCEA Consumer Service Department at 800-345-7669 (SONY), the Better Business Bureau or local protection agency. Consumers also can check a business's complaint record with the Better Business Bureau through (http://www.bbb.org/). Additional information about consumer rights is available through the Federal Trade Commission web site (http://www.ftc.gov/).NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000510/SFW104-a
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SOURCE: Sony Computer Entertainment America
Contact: Molly Smith, Director, Public Relations of Sony Computer
Entertainment America Inc., 650-655-6044, or firstname.lastname@example.org;
or Holly Cherico, Vice President, Communications of Council of Better Business
Bureaus, 703-247-9311, or email@example.com