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Crime Security The Internet Entertainment

The Emerging RadioShack/Netflix Debacle 122

New submitter DigitalParc writes "RadioShack recently launched a promotion for 6 months of free Netflix service with the purchase of a laptop, tablet, or phone. This ended up being a fantastic deal, until the shoddy redemption site they were using for the Netflix code redemption was exploited and many of the codes were stolen. 'Users on slickdeals, a deal-finding and sometimes deal-exploiting website, found that the URL of the redemption website could be changed upon trying to enter a code, resulting in a valid Netflix subscription code being generated. Within hours, many of Netflix codes that were allocated to this promotion were stolen and some were redeemed or put up for sale on eBay.'"
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The Emerging RadioShack/Netflix Debacle

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  • oops (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sootman ( 158191 ) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @03:57PM (#46349649) Homepage Journal

    I'm surprised Netflix would agree to a partnership like this and not be in control of how the codes were handed out.

    • Re:oops (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Drethon ( 1445051 ) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @04:00PM (#46349717)
      If Netflix sold the time codes to RadioShack up front, I don't think they particularly care what happens to them. Not that I found anything that says one way or the other what happened.
      • Codes should need tied to the unit serial number. When RS buys there inventory with the NetFlix deal, the website should require the device model/serial number pair to match the devices purchased by RS to be validated.

      • Re:oops (Score:4, Insightful)

        by farble1670 ( 803356 ) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @10:40PM (#46353819)

        If Netflix sold the time codes to RadioShack up front, I don't think they particularly care what happens to them

        they certainly do care about customers being pissed off at netflix because of RS's screw up. i know, it's technically RS's fault, but companies don't want their name associated with any sort of bad experience.

    • Re:oops (Score:5, Insightful)

      by maliqua ( 1316471 ) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @04:35PM (#46350087)

      this seems to be a big deal for no reason, a large corporation has to eat the cost of a few Netflix subscriptions and get a website patched.

      • Well, apparently RadioShack must not be able to afford such a standard response. Or maybe some random manager is just trying to pass the buck in an effort to salvage a quarterly bonus or something. Either way, maybe they shouldn't have blown their wad on a superbowl commercial, and instead focused on just being a quality store where you can get electronics and electronic parts. Not every company needs to exist as a industry behemoth.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          and instead focused on just being a quality store where you can get electronics and electronic parts

          Except, that hasn't been true for a LONG time.

          Radio Shack is now just a retailer of low end electronics, cell phones, and only the most basic of electronics parts.

          They stopped being what you describe a very long time ago.

    • This isn't the first time this happened. In late 2012, there was a promo where you by an LG (I think that was the brand) HDTV and get a year of netflix for free. The problem was, you could just go onto the LG website and enter your serial number, and the website would accept any made up number as long as it started with the correct 2 or 3 digit sequence (or something like that). That was all over slickdeals too.

  • why not tie to phone numbers that RS asks for even when you are just buying batteries

    • Obligatory Seinfeld [youtube.com] clip.

    • by Aaden42 ( 198257 )

      You know you can say, “No, thanks,” when they ask for your phone number, and they’ll still sell you your batteries, right?

      • by gnick ( 1211984 )

        553-2869. Or 867-5309. It's not like they call and verify before they give you the batteries.

    • Refuse to give your number and then I chew out the clerk. I even refuse to give my zipcode. I refuse to participate in data mining myself and they should be ashamed of themselves for asking.

      • by LordLimecat ( 1103839 ) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @06:17PM (#46351289)

        Thee clerk has a (crappy) job to do. You should be ashamed for yourself for venting about corporate policy decisions to a clerk who has nothing to do with them.

        • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
          Yes, the clerk is "just following orders". If the orders are bad, the clerk has the option to not follow them.
      • The part where your shortcomings as a person enter the picture, and cause you to abuse the clerk is the larger problem.
      • by geekoid ( 135745 )

        Yes, it's the clerks fault.
        You're an asshole. You could simply say "No".
        Of course I haven't been asked for any of the info in over a decades.

        ". I refuse to participate in data mining myself and they should be ashamed of themselves for asking."
        dear lord, they might get information to make there store better fit your needs! oh lordy lordy!

        Datamining, sheesh, so what?

    • by plover ( 150551 )

      The Rat Shacks in Minnesota stopped asking for phone numbers over a decade ago. Hate on them all you want, but I recommend using current facts, not memories.

      • Yep. I haven't been asked for a phone number in a long, long time. I go in there looking for their closeout stuff pretty regularly.

    • by cdrudge ( 68377 )

      They haven't asked for phone numbers (or anything else really) for ages. At least at all the stores around here.

  • In / on a US market, you are fully liable not only for what you do, but also for the consequences, even if and when unintended or unforeseen, of what you do. Or say.
  • We've talked before about commercial web site glitches [slashdot.org] and the ramifications on consumers, but it seems to me that the same thing would apply in this case, with RadioShack being completely culpable. One other thing: TFA doesn't indicate any sort of Netflix legal action at this point, so maybe this supposed "debacle" isn't all that important to them.

    • by DarkOx ( 621550 )

      My guess would be Netflix does not care or does not care much. Radio Shack probably paid them something for those promo subscriptions. If anything Radio Shack will now have to buy more from Netflix to ensure they can provide them to their own legitimately entitled customers.

      Even if it was a handshake deal where Radio Shack gets to offer a free month of Netflix to entice customers and Netflix gets a shot a retaining some of those subscribers who might not otherwise try the server they probably still don't

      • yes speaking as one of the Sales Support folks that Corporate decided was "not needed" yes the service is middling to Ghastly.
        (hint for the SMs if somebody comes in and tells you they need 3 640-2373 a 640-2184 any Salesmaker on the floor had better come up with a few things in the 27? series to suggestive sell BEFORE you even breath anything about cell phones)

        the Name of the Store has been RadioShack for over a decade.

        and the guy that greenlit this should be shot out of a cannon at the nearest Unemployment

      • My guess would be Netflix does not care or does not care much

        well, they should care. companies should care when their product is associated with a negative experience, even if it's indirect. it's the same reason that the coca-cola corporation does not want the news airing video of someone beating their spouse holding a can of coke. advertising (positive and negative) is to a large degree subconscious.

      • They offered 6 months, not 1 month.
  • by pwileyii ( 106242 ) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @04:06PM (#46349801)

    I hate it when people have the impression that they are entitled to steal from others. I use the SlickDeals website and a lot of time they have some great deals, but if you dig deeper into the forums on that site, there is a dark side. This is my opinion, if you took a code and used it for yourself, you are stealing, but maybe the temptation was a bit too great. It is like finding a 20 dollar bill on the floor and keeping it. You know it isn't yours, but the person of irresponsible enough to lose 20 dollars so they kind of deserve it. If, on the other, you generated hundreds of codes and start selling them on Ebay, you are stealing and being a complete dick. That is like watching someone drop their wallet, pretending not to notice, picking it up when the person is out of sight, cleaning out all of the cash, and then tossing the wallet in the dumpster outside.

    • by dysmal ( 3361085 )
      Agreed. Slickdeals can be a very useful website but the stuff that some of the people openly brag about in the forums makes me ill. Fraud is fraud. If you're using one of those codes, it's fraud. Yeah you can blame it on bad security and whatever else makes you feel better but it's still fraud. You're getting something for nothing. It's not Porsche's fault that my car got stolen when i left the keys on the seat, the top down, windows open, but the doors locked. It's my own damn fault! (Note: I do n
      • Hit the nail on the head.
      • It's not Porsche's fault that my car got stolen when i left the keys on the seat, the top down, windows open, but the doors locked. It's my own damn fault! (Note: I do not, nor have I ever owned a Porsche!)

        Well, if you left the keys on the seat with the top down and windows open, it can truly be said you never owned a Porsche, you were just making payments on one you were borrowing for a week.

    • Just a question, but have we become so stupid as a society that we need analogies for even simplistic situations to begin with?

  • The 80's called - they want their web technology back.
    • What, the technology of the web from a decade before the web was invented?

      I'm guessing you're a youngster, maybe don't even remember 1991. That was the year that both HTTP and HTML were first publicly described (though HTTP was version 0.9 and HTML was not yet standardized at all), and it didn't really take off until 93 or 94. The first few years certainly didn't have anything like the concept of HTTPS or dynamic content or "web applications" at all.

      Get off my lawn! (I'm not quite 30...)

  • Seems like a first-world pebble in the road to me.
  • With the high profile issues lately such as the healthcare.gov, radioshack, mtGox... you have to wonder.

  • Radio Shack (Score:5, Funny)

    by fred911 ( 83970 ) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @04:56PM (#46350347)

    You've got questions?
                                            We've got stupid looks.

  • Radio Shack has to honor the deal, they have to provide what they said they would.
  • by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @06:22PM (#46351363)

    the problem.

    Seriously, theres enough info in any default apache or IIS log to find the majority of the bullshit codes generated/stolen. Find anything that looks fake and kill it, anyone entering a killed code, have them call in to activate/get a new code, all these people who steal codes over the Internet generally aren't ballsy enough to make the phone call repeatedly, make sure the call comes from a good solid landline, no VoIP crap, sorry if it effects all 8 of you legitimate users of radioshack and netflix.

    This is (just) a shitty long day for some sys admin somewhere who has to make up for some shitty developers mistake. This is pretty much the status quo is it not? Most if not all of the bad codes will be found out ... if they want to, it may be well worth it for them to have the accounts active anyway for the books or just for possible retention values.

    This is a great example of the no press is bad press mantra. Both RadioShack and Netflix will see increased customer counts for people trying to scam it, slam dunk marketing.

The rich get rich, and the poor get poorer. The haves get more, the have-nots die.