Sony UK is set to launch a pre-Christmas VAT-back promotion starting from tomorrow, which allows customers who have purchased selected Sony consumer electronic products – including all Sony 3D TV models – to reclaim the VAT (value added tax) directly from the company.
The VAT-back offer will run from tomorrow (Thursday the 28th of October) to Christmas Eve (Friday the 24th of December). Any Sony 3D TVs bought within this time frame from participating retailers (such as Argos, Marks & Spencer, PC World, Amazon, Currys, Comet, Jessops and John Lewis), independent shops and Sony outlets will qualify for the promotion. After paying the VAT-inclusive price in store or online, customers will need to submit a claim along with the receipt to Sony by the 31st of January 2011 in order to receive the VAT rebate.
Besides 3DTV displays, other Sony products earmarked for the VAT-back promotion include Blu-ray players, home cinema systems, full HD Handycam camcorders, digital cameras, VAIO laptops and netbooks, and ebook readers. However, Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) UK confirmed that the Sony Playstation 3 (PS3) would be excluded from the offer. A full list of products eligible for the promotion, participating stores, and the nitty-gritty on how to claim the VAT rebate will be unveiled on Sony’s dedicated webpage tomorrow.
The VAT rate in the United Kingdom currently stands at 17.5%, but will be hiked up to 20% come the 4th of January next year. As UK consumers look to bring forward their purchases to beat the VAT rise, this year’s festive season shopping is expected to be busier than ever. With its strategically-timed VAT-back scheme which effectively gives a 15% discount off the purchase price, Sony hopes to attract a significant number of such shoppers. Sony UK’s commercial director Andrew Benson is confident that the company’s VAT-back offer will persuade those who are sitting on the fence to buy some Sony products for themselves or their friends and family in time for Christmas.
To promote the VAT-back offer, Sony UK has commissioned a multi-million-pound advertising campaign starring Sir Derek Jacobi (of I, Claudius and Gladiator fame) as Scrooge in a modern-day, Sony-slanted version of A Christmas Carol. The 2-minute TV commercial has been uploaded onto Youtube ahead of its scheduled premiere on ITV1 during The X Factor this Saturday.