Go Back   Star Trek Online > Feedback > C-Store, ZEN, and Promotions
Login

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Despite what others on these forums claim, I believe that Cryptic generally conducts business in an ethical manner. However, I have to wonder if it is ethical to market a promotion specifically aimed at enticing players to buy these "grab bags" for the purpose of obtaining these Jem'Hadar ships without disclosing the odds of actually winning the ship.

In California, it is generally illegal to have a contest or a sweepstakes without disclosing the odds of winning or the method through which the odds are calculated. I realize this does not meet the definition of a contest or sweepstakes, but it does seem intentionally deceptive to deny the consumer the opportunity to make an informed decision regarding the value of the "grab bag". Failing to disclose the actual probability of winning the product which is being marketed might be considered a deceptive business practice.

I bear no ill will toward this promotion and I support making these ships rare; however, I strongly urge Cryptic not to sell what is primarily being marketed and perceived as a sweepstakes ticket without disclosing the odds of winning. Consumers deserve the right to make an informed decision.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
12-08-2011, 07:46 PM
Once again, from the item description in the C-Store:

"Buy a Winter Package to give to a friend, or open it yourself to get one of the following tradable items:

Unique Jem'Hadar Attack Ship
Faction-appropriate Duty Officer Pack
Holographic Science Bridge Officer
8-hour XP Boost
Gekli Space Pet
Targ Pup Pet (Klingon Empire characters only)
Exocomp Pet (Starfleet characters only
Eisilum Crystal Horta Ally
Polytrinic Acid Horta Ally
Holographic Tribble
1-hour XP Boost
Blue Winter Package with a space or ground weapon and holiday crafting materials"


Now if you don't feel you've enough information there to make an informed decision over buying this thing or not, I'd urge you not to buy it.

As I've stated previoulsy, you will always advertise your top prize in things like these. The odds of winning a prize are roughly about 400%, because (in all the boxes I've opened in winter Wonderland) four items have been "won". The odds of winning the top prize are always going to be significantly less.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
12-08-2011, 07:49 PM
If you're expecting to win this Jem Hadar ship with your 400 point stipend, I'd say you're deluding yourself. Look at past history. They don't give anything away for free.

Capitlaism is unethical. Go try to beat Capitalism.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
12-08-2011, 08:07 PM
None of that really addresses my question.

Just for example, I think any reasonable person would conclude that in a situation like this, if the odds of winning the ship were, for instance 10^-5, then this would be a clear act of unethical and deceptive business practices and I suspect the courts would agree.

The whole caveat emptor spiel is trite and unimpressive. We do not live in a capitalist society. We live in a society with a regulated free market which includes a myriad of laws designed to prevent unethical or deceptive business practices (for instance CALIFORNIA BPC. CODE 17200). While I may not be knowledgeable about all the California and Federal laws regulating deceptive business practices, I do know that they are prohibited.

Even if the case law supports that such marketing is legal (and I suspect that it does at least to the extent to get the okay from Cryptic's lawyers) that still in no way addresses the question of whether it is an ethical business practice.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
12-08-2011, 08:21 PM
Well like I say, much of what anyone can legally get away with in this day and age could scarcely be considered ethical. But lets not dive into politics. Such talk is not allowed here.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
12-08-2011, 08:45 PM
My general thoughts are that a similar situation would be something akin to baseball cards, which I do not believe are specifically violating any law by not disclosing the probability of obtaining each card. The major difference is though that baseball (or similar trading cards) generally are not marketed and promoted primarily on the merit of obtaining one single item (although I am certain there are exceptions to this), and of course, they constitute real goods to which a first sale doctrine applies (you can sell any cards you do not want).

It should also be noted that California law specifically bans grab-bags of baseball cards which have an unknown number of rare, desirable cards inserted into them (it is considered an illegal lottery).

Considering that the primary reason people are buying these gift packs is to get the ship, I think Cryptic has an obligation to inform its customers of the odds. That way, no one will feel cheated by anyone other than lady luck.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
12-09-2011, 12:43 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Varlo
If you're expecting to win this Jem Hadar ship with your 400 point stipend, I'd say you're deluding yourself. Look at past history. They don't give anything away for free.

Capitlaism is unethical. Go try to beat Capitalism.
Not meaning to take this off track, but Capitalism can be ethical, if the people are ethical. It takes the other people in the market to keep them that way. Monopolies are by far the least ethical. <Back to convo'> It's unethical to expect that someone can get something (a highly sought after starship) for nothing (stipend C-Store points).......

I spent my C-Store stipend hoping to win the ship, but I knew, odds are, it wasn't going to happen. There are people upset about spending their stipend to not win it, which isnt realistic. Then there are the people who have spent almost 100 dollars trying to get the ship, thats utterly insane!!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
12-09-2011, 12:55 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Varlo
Once again, from the item description in the C-Store:

"Buy a Winter Package to give to a friend, or open it yourself to get one of the following tradable items:

Unique Jem'Hadar Attack Ship
Faction-appropriate Duty Officer Pack
Holographic Science Bridge Officer
8-hour XP Boost
Gekli Space Pet
Targ Pup Pet (Klingon Empire characters only)
Exocomp Pet (Starfleet characters only
Eisilum Crystal Horta Ally
Polytrinic Acid Horta Ally
Holographic Tribble
1-hour XP Boost
Blue Winter Package with a space or ground weapon and holiday crafting materials"


Now if you don't feel you've enough information there to make an informed decision over buying this thing or not, I'd urge you not to buy it.

As I've stated previoulsy, you will always advertise your top prize in things like these. The odds of winning a prize are roughly about 400%, because (in all the boxes I've opened in winter Wonderland) four items have been "won". The odds of winning the top prize are always going to be significantly less.
Strange but that list does not include the Liberated Borg BO that has been showing up on the exchange for about 1.5 mil each, you can get one for each faction.

If there not coming from the gift boxes then where are they coming from?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
12-09-2011, 12:58 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by 0Gambit0 View Post
Strange but that list does not include the Liberated Borg BO that has been showing up on the exchange for about 1.5 mil each, you can get one for each faction.

If there not coming from the gift boxes then where are they coming from?
The Liberated Borg engineer BOff? That is a CStore item. You can buy it over and over and over again. I believe some folks are just trying to turn real cash into quick ECs by putting them on the exchange.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
12-09-2011, 02:58 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Varlo
Once again, from the item description in the C-Store:

"Buy a Winter Package to give to a friend, or open it yourself to get one of the following tradable items:

Unique Jem'Hadar Attack Ship
Faction-appropriate Duty Officer Pack
Holographic Science Bridge Officer
8-hour XP Boost
Gekli Space Pet
Targ Pup Pet (Klingon Empire characters only)
Exocomp Pet (Starfleet characters only
Eisilum Crystal Horta Ally
Polytrinic Acid Horta Ally
Holographic Tribble
1-hour XP Boost
Blue Winter Package with a space or ground weapon and holiday crafting materials"


Now if you don't feel you've enough information there to make an informed decision over buying this thing or not, I'd urge you not to buy it.

As I've stated previoulsy, you will always advertise your top prize in things like these. The odds of winning a prize are roughly about 400%, because (in all the boxes I've opened in winter Wonderland) four items have been "won". The odds of winning the top prize are always going to be significantly less.
I talked to a fleet member last night who spent $120 on cp and didn't get a ship.

I spent plenty of my CP and didnt see a ship either.

I like the rare ships, I think that they need to NOT sell them later in the cstore


This game is a cookie cutter made from a stack of cookie cutters. RARE is special, and should remain so.

Still, $120 and NOT get the ship?

LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAAAAAME
Closed Thread

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:42 PM.