Sony irritates Australia on pricey Tablet S

Sony has really got the Australians upset by making much hay out of its price cuts on its keyboardless netbooks and then refusing to cut the price Down Under.

Sony dropped the price of its Tablet S by $100 after it failed to shift enough of them during the Christmas rush. To make matters worse, Sony is giving its American customers a free 180-day trial of its Music Unlimited service, five free rentals from Sony’s Video Unlimited Service and five free downloadable PlayStation games.

However, in Australia, Sony’s cunning plan is to keep charging those in the former British penal colony the full whack.

Sony said that it might consider some price adjustments in the future as it prepares to introduce the 3G version of the Sony Tablet, however, nothing is confirmed at this stage.

A spokesperson told the Sydney Morning Herald that the price is still “great value for money” particularly, we guess, as far as Sony is concerned. Sony Australia said it didn’t know why Sony US decided to change its policy.

But the consumer watchdog, Choice, has barked that it’s yet another example of how some of the big players in the market use their sway to essentially prevent consumers from getting a fair price, no matter where they live in the world.

The extra fee could become a rallying point for those who think that there should be laws to prevent this sort of thing. Labor MP Ed Husic is lobbying the government to ask the Productivity Commission to investigate the practice.

While vendors claim that the price difference is largely due to different market conditions and costs, particularly wages, the Productivity Commission can’t work out how this can justify some of the huge mark-ups.

Some Aussie buyers are picking up products cheaper at retail in the US than the wholesale price they are offered in Australia. Australian punters are just buying the product online rather than paying Sony’s special former penal colony tax.