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Samsung renews free 3D glasses offer, with caveats

Another promotion offering two free pairs of 3D glasses with purchase of select 2011 Samsung 3D TVs is now in effect, but new caveats apply.

Samsung will include two pairs of 3D glasses, a $100 value, with select TVs bought from authorized retailers. Sarah Tew/CNET

A new promotion offering two free pairs of 3D glasses with purchase of select 2011 Samsung 3D TVs began June 28 and will run through August 13.

Since the glasses normally cost $50 each, the promotion is pretty tempting for 3D fans. No other 2011 active 3D TV except the expensive Panasonic TC-PVT30 series currently includes glasses, although passive models like the LG LW5600 series do.

This new Samsung offer has more strings attached than the company's previous such promotion, however.

The new press release states: "Consumers purchasing qualified 2011 3D TVs from participating authorized retailers will receive two pairs of 3D active glasses (model SSG-3100GB) free of cost, directly from the retailer."

The old offer, which expired June 25, applied to any Samsung 2011 3D TV, all the way down to the relatively inexpensive 43-inch PN43D490 plasma ($599). The new one is restricted to "qualified" TVs, and when we asked a company representative for details she couldn't get any more specific, aside from saying the offer may apply to any 2011 Samsung 3D TV at the retailer's discretion.

The old offer was also backed up by a special Samsung fulfillment Web site, where buyers who qualified yet still didn't receive their glasses from the retailer could apply to get them directly from Samsung. The new offer specifically excludes any such backup. According to the new release:

Please note that while Samsung has in the past provided a fulfillment Web site to cover consumers who did not receive glasses at retail, this will no longer apply for the new promotion. For purchases made on or after June 28, 2011, Samsung will not be fulfilling free glasses directly to consumers--the free glasses must be provided by the retailer at point of purchase.

Higher-end Samsung models, namely the PND6500 (and up) series plasmas and UND7000 (and up) series LED-based LCDs will continue to qualify, according to the company rep, for a: "3D Starter Kit (SSG-3100M), which includes two pairs of 3D active glasses, the complete 'Shrek' collection on 3D Blu-ray (four discs), and 'Megamind 3D' on Blu-ray. Customers already receiving this starter kit with a step-up TV model will not be eligible for the new promotion."

Bottom line: If you want your two free pairs of Samsung active 3D glasses, buy the TV from an authorized Samsung retailer you trust--one with a solid return policy for TVs--and make sure to verify that you'll be getting the glasses before you make your purchase.