Christmas is over, but the Play FAILs continue

8 January 2010

The festive season may be but a distant memory (although you'll suffer the emergency beans-on-toast-and-pasta diet for the next month to make ends meet) but that hasn't stopped Play.com allowing the man with ten thumbs package up their deliveries. Avid Bitterwallet reader Tom received a t-shirt from them yesterday, and assumed he'd been sent a dozen by mistake. Perhaps it was a free sledge for Tom to make the most of the weather with:

Bitterwallet - play.com packaging fail

TOPICS:   Advertising

59 comments

  • Gadget 4.
    The packaging is a little excessive, but not really enough to warrant a story surely?? I mean it's difficult to tell from the picture but the box doesn't look that deep.
  • LB33
    It's shame Bitterwallet wasn't anything of note to start with... this non-story would have made an ideal jumping the shark post!
  • Fella-Tio
    agree with above poster but you have to remember ANTI-Play PRO-Amazon ones here... they give more money to the Nikkel empire
  • Paul
    I agree, that box does not look very deep, certainly not big enough to fit a dozen in. Yes on occasion Play get their packaging wrong (I did once receive a PS3 bundle in a box which was obviously used to package 2 consoles) but on this case it is not worth posting really. On a related note I too received a T-Shirt from Play yesterday, packed in nothing more than a blue tough plastic bag much like any catelog delivery.
  • MyOtherUserNameIsAFerrari
    The box certainly doesent look that big compared to the T-shirt. However if it is the case that avid Bitterwallet reader Tom is a bit of a fat b*****d then the t-shirt would be massive and hence the box would be massive (no offence Tom)
  • MyOtherUserNameIsAFerrari
    Please ignore previous comment as i now see it says "M" on the package,
  • Simon
    I keep following the links from HUKD hoping that I'll find an interesting story but instead I just find the same regurgitated rubbish each time. Shape up quick or you're doomed.
  • Paul S.
    Folks, If a t-shirt packaged in a plastic bag, it goes through your letter box. If it comes in a box that size, you have to take the time to visit a depot in Christknowswhereville. If you're happy with that arrangement instead of the retailer taking the time to do things properly, that's your choice. As for Bitterwallet being pro-Amazon - do a search in the archive for Amazon stories; we've covered plenty of stories that find fault with Amazon. Admittedly, I don't recall any about packaging because they tend not to take the piss.
  • Paul S.
    My bad - there are plenty in there about Amazon fucking up their packaging too: http://www.bitterwallet.com/surprise-unless-its-a-christmas-present-sent-from-amazon/4338
  • Fella-Tio
    well Paul you seem to slag off Play all the time yet cant say I have EVER seen you slate Amazon but I have had near 600 items from Play - no problem (playtrade is iffy though) and about a dozen from Amazon... and a couple of them were packaged badly...as for OVERpackaging Amazon certainly do that at times so basically...Play under package - SHIT, over package - SHIT This site like HUKD is totally Anti Play and Pro Amazon, may as well be called Hot Amazon UK Deals
  • LB33
    Amazon's Associates scheme brings in huge amounts of dosh for them, Play's revenue potential for referrals is far more limited.
  • Rob
    At least this guy got packaging. I ordered Play exclusive Bayonetta from them which was shipped out on Tuesday. I knew it had arrived yesterday as it had NO PACKAGING. The top of the box was crushed and the disc rattled inside. The artbook is nicely crumpled and the plastic case is chipped. I telephoned their customer service to tell them about this and they said that customer services on the telephone don't deal with complaints. I was told that if I email them concerning the matter I should have someone reply to me within the week.
  • Fella-Tio
    ah thanks LB33 for enlightening
  • HUKD R.
    Another HUKD reader that clicked the link from HUKD through to here in the hope of finding a decent story, suppose I should have learned by now! This site definately has the most pointless crap on it.
  • Fella-Tio
    think you'll find thats RM's problem there boyo
  • HUKD R.
    Amazon commission rate for over 1000 orders (which I would imagine HUKD easily does) is 7% (goes up to 9% if you hit 30k orders). Play commission varies from 0.5% to 6% on certain goods - average is about 3%. Maybe Play should up their commission - they might get better posts on here!
  • Fella-Tio
    now it is all becoming so clear out of interest whats the rate with Zavvi? seems to be going pro them too
  • LB33
    On top of that, a lot of Play orders will go through Quidco/similar anyway now it's so easy to clear specific cookies. Most of the Amazon referrals will remain with HUKD.
  • LB33
    Games/DVDs/Blu-Rays/etc. are all around the 3% mark at Zavvi, but again a lot of this will be lost to cashback sites.
  • flamingcarrot
    Wow - it's a t-shirt, in a box - slow news day?
  • Gadget 4.
    @Paul. If a T shirt is in plastic packaging it doesn't always go through the letter box. Plenty of times our postie has decided it must not be creased so we must collect it. However I accept that putting it in a cardboard box removes the postmans discretion. So essentially the story is "outrage that Tom had to get off his arse and collect a package that Play sent". Not much of a story really. And it's probably worth pointing that nowhere does it say that Tom actually had to do this. For all we know he could be a student, or be taking a snow day from work, and was in when the postie rang the doorbell and hence didn't even have to collect the package. In which case it's even less of a story really. The tone of the story wasn't "poor Tom had to go to the Post Office as a result of Play's excessive packaging", it was "bad play using too much packaging", a subtle difference I agree, but an important one.
  • Robert
    A £70 Christmas present I ordered in November never turned up, I had to wait 21 days before I could report it missing, then I have had to fill out a form and post it back and still not heard anything. Now nearly 2 months later still no replacement or refund.
  • Paul S.
    As the risk of feeding the trolls... Gadget 4free - of course it's a story. Again, if you're happy to drive to a depot and pick up goods that should fit through your letterbox, crack on. It's not a case of being lazy, it's a case of inconvenience imposed by the retailer. Whether Tom picked it up from a depot or his neighbour, it doesn't matter. The onus is on the retailer to get this sort of thing right - it's not like they don't sell enough t-shirts to know how to package them, is it? The fact that so many people put up with bad service is the reason it's become the norm. Fella-Tio - a few from the archives you've missed... http://www.bitterwallet.com/dear-amazon-whats-with-all-the-spam/17071 http://www.bitterwallet.com/kindle-copyright-collusion-catastrophe-causes-concern/15257 http://www.bitterwallet.com/amazon-customers-who-bought-a-bloody-big-knife-also-bought/11980 http://www.bitterwallet.com/this-is-why-amazon-shouldnt-post-dvds-in-jiffy-bags/11455 http://www.bitterwallet.com/surprise-unless-its-a-christmas-present-sent-from-amazon/4338
  • Tom
    Ooer bit of a hornets nest eh. Basically it boils down to a tshirt sent in a huge box. Fair enough, not a massive thing in the grand scheme of things but the tshirt could easily have been popped in a smaller Jiffy bag or even a normal A4 envelope. We're all meant to be preserving the envrionment, aren't we? It's a bit of irreverant mockery of Play (or more specifically, their packing chimps) not using their common sense and just grabbing whatever packing material was nearest. If you want searing up to the minute "proper" news is Bitterwallet the site for you? Jesus, can't believe how many whinging fuckmooks are banging on about bias and Play vendettas from what is essentialy a lighthearted pisstake. gimps.
  • LB33
    Paul, I had two lots of shirts similar to these before Christmas: http://www.hotukdeals.com/item/543410/orange-county-choppers-occ-men-s-en They both arrived each in one of the boxes shown and they're a perfectly reasonable size for shipping a t-shirt out in, they protected the shirt nicely and they filled up the box to the extent that they weren't flapping about inside. I was very happy with the way they were shipped. Unfortunately you seem to have fallen for a misleading photo and posted a non-story as mentioned - could have happened to anyone! :) As a slight aside, fancy posting as some figures from your various affiliate schemes, we'd love to know how much you're making! :)
  • BuilderBob
    There are some seriously thick as fuck commenters on here today.. Play offers less commission than Amazon.... so that means they can slag Play off?? Have you even thought of the logic of what you're saying? Tesco pay up to 10% but get the piss taken every other day! Bitter Wallet goes at anyone they can.... not to mention it's readers sending this stuff in!!!! Stupid argument from the HUKD sheep as usual.
  • RABIA
    WHY DIDN'T U/POSTER TAKE THE PICTURE SHOWING ALL OF THE T-SHIRTS!
  • Fella-Tio
    @ Paul…I’m not a troll I just dont agree with BW’s constant campaign against Play, never had a problem with them myself until the last few months and thats a CS thing not a packing thing a much better story would be about Plays CS going to shit since being shipped to Asia, or Amazon’s CS gone to shit, or any company that has relocated to Asia or had some sort of change in their CS dept suddenly all going to shit….or stick to the inane drivel/week old news/copies of something funnier than you could find stolen off someone on HUKD thats posted on here daily that would be a much more useful article than ’some prick moaned cause he couldnt be bothered to have to get off his lazy arse to answer the door/get to depot ‘ if its under package…you moan, if its under packaged you moan personally would much rather have my item safe sound and over packaged than under and completely fucked love how people call people ‘trolls’ for having a differing opinion…well fuck that I aint no sheep, you just have some vendetta against play and this non news item is horse shit
  • Fella-Tio
    WTF...why are my comments suddenly awaiting moderation?
  • Fella-Tio
    is it cause I made a comment about..... AMAZON? same happened last time strangely
  • Fella-Tio
    @BuilderBob makes sense...Push people from Play to Amazon....whats not to get? somethings going on cause Amazon keep matching Play prices once they go on HUKD lately kissing arse aint gonna help you win that phone you know, you have to have them on MSN for that congrats though for labelling exactly what you are...thick as fuck
  • Ponderer
    Just wondering, was the t-shirt ordered from Play itself or from a seller through Play?
  • Paul S.
    Fella-Tio - your comment is up now. Probably doesn't help to have such a potty mouth. The complaints about packaging don't come from us. Readers who have an issue with the service are sending this stuff in. We don't sit around ordering shit in the hope it'll arrive in the wrong-sized box. If you send us an email with example of shoddy service you've received from Play or Amazon or anybody else, then we'll probably do something with it. If you don't speak up, then we won't. Don't have a pop at other readers because they're prepared to speak up. Delivering an item which probably will fit through a letterbox in packaging that never will is bad service. End of story. If you've been treated so badly, then let us know - otherwise your inaction suggests you're happy with shoddy treatment. There are plenty of links above to stories where we've criticised Amazon, although since you're still rattling on, you can't have seen them either. Again, if Amazon screw you over, let us know. Pics, emails, whatever - we'll be happy to take them to task.
  • Nobby
    If you don't like the packaging, why not ask play to just shove an address label on the plastic bag the T-shirt came in and post it like that, no protection apart from a thin plastic bag. Then see what complaints they get.
  • anti-play
    Play are bloody awful, me and my mum ordered loads before xmas and it either didn't turn up (went out of stock after we ordered), took so long to arrive or was damaged. Zavvi are in the same boat the lying cnuts. Amazon get it right 99% of the time, even super saver delivery is nearly always as quick as the first class delivery. Amazon aren't perfect though. No company is perfect but if they would listen listen to their customers grievances then they would be able to rectify the issues. I won't be ordering anything else from play as amazon normally match the price or is cheaper. I wouldn't mind paying more to buy from amazon (have done this on a few orders) as amazon's cs is top notch and you get the items a lot quicker than play.
  • anti-play
    I have an article for you paul. In december zavvi had a banner on their site saying they would send any items next day COURIER. I ordered on this promise, and guess what? They sent royal mail 1st class. The items turned up xmas eve. I was well miffed. Rang their cs and they said it was sent users ia courier, but why did mine get delivered by my lovely postman? Their online support closed my ticket saying it was sent via a courier as well. Last time I use zavvi
  • Fella-Tio
    @ Paul... seriously your a grown up, stop acting like a child I never had a go at you I had a go at BW. Your above post just screams of childish antics firstly who started the swearing? who still is swearing? You and BW in general swear all the time but then you try and belittle someone cause they sweared as well...dear god man get off your not so high horse Secondly how they hell do I provide proof of bad CS when its over the phone? record it??? as for packaging tbh it never bothered me that much and when I get an item I dont think 'lets take a picture so I can have a go at xxxxx via BW'. Third the links above arent huge criticisms of Amazon and one is actually not Amazon but Amazons preferred supplier (or so it says in the article). Fourth its my right to have a pop over something as pathetic as this if I want...cause I'm sick of seeing it. And before you say 'well dont look' I wouldnt but everytime I go on HUKD I see the annoying posts on the right hand side. Get rid of that box from HUKD and I promise never to come back Can I ask how you get proof btw? surely items could be swapped? had plenty of t-shirts for working in from Play but never recieved them in a box myself etc
  • myiphoneisbroken
    the real story is when was the t-shirt ordered, and when did it turn up? If the answer is within less than 7 days - then put the cardboard box on the mantlepiece as a trophy! I remember having something go missing with play.com, a wii fit to be precise when they were like gold dust. The parcelforce tracking after 6 days came up as "Item Lost"! Now you'd think any retailer would accept that as a good enough reason to refund, but nope, had to wait the normal 21 days or whatever, despite the fact that parcelforce as you to notify them WITHIN 15 days or something so I hope play.com had to pay for their stupidity!!
  • Paul S.
    Fella-Tio, it looks like it was one of the several other alias you use to post on BW got your comment moderated. If you're happy to put up with poor packaging, that's up to you. Some people aren't. This guy wasn't.Plenty of others aren't happy with it. I understand why. If we have no proof of a story, we might still run it if we can dig up other examples from forums and the like. Write an email explaining the issue and we'll look into it, as I said above. And you're right, if this site is causing you so much angst then please stop reading it. If you haven't the willpower not to click on the links in the first place, hen I'm at a lost at what to suggest.
  • Gadget 4.
    @ Paul I think when judging the level of service and how quick you should be to moan about it you have to consider the price you are paying. If you aren't paying anything for P&P I think you have a limit as to how much you can complain. If it isn't sufficiently packaged to protect the item, or it takes a ridiculous amount of time to come then fair enough - these are two minimum requirements whatever you pay for delivery. But this item was well protected and (so far as we are aware) arrived in satisfactory time. Ok it was slightly over packaged but I think they can be given some leeway considering P&P is free. And even if you could complain about poor customer service because of over packaging, if he hasn't suffered any loss (i.e. if he was in to receive anyway) then what is he moaning about? Poor customer service that causes loss or inconvenience is one thing, but if it's poor customer that causes neither then I'm really not sure what the problem is. Other people may have suffered a loss or inconvenience through poor packaging, but in this story (which is the one I am commenting upon) he hasn't.
  • Gadget 4.
    Sorry for double post. @Paul. I think most people would put up with poor packaging if it was free, didn't cause them any loss, and didn't cause them any other inconvenience. On the basis of what was shown in the story we have to assume that this is the case here.
  • Shopdis F.
    Well done Play.com, they did the right thing here. Hopefully that'll shutup the bitterwallets Play.com bashers for a while!
  • Fella-Tio
    Paul seriously now behave! "Fella-Tio, it looks like it was one of the several other alias you use to post on BW got your comment moderated." So first it was potty mouth then it was me having different aliases? no...cause it allows other comments, wasnt until you got pissed off before it started being moderated. One of my aliases as you put it was me agreeing about the use of a registration system on this site and using the writers name, followed by me changing it back...seriously thats pathetic I have something though for a play story. bought an ASUS netbook, HDD packed up after 2 weeks they refused to sort it until I told them about what ASUS had said (that play should swap it) and still got nowhere until they realised I wanted an exchange and NOT a refund. Seems all the things online about Play refusing to accept return of specific faulty components after 35 days only applies if they think you are a chancer. Its still getting sorted so for now I'll leave it and the rest of the dodgy dealings until we know what the latest is
  • Paul S.
    @Gadget 4free! - where I used to live, I once had to pick up a package from a courier's depot. They didn't have a local depot, so I had to take a 35 mile round trip to pick it up. Even if the depot was closer, that's loss, in terms of my time and petrol, and inconvenience. If every customer has to visit a depot to collect an item that realistically could have been delivered through their letterbox - that's a lot of loss and inconvenience. It really doesn't matter if the service is free. A free service should be performed by the retailer with due diligence as a paid service would be. It certainly shouldn't be a tombola as to the level of service you receive, which is what we have here - Play are capable of getting this right (another comment points out they do deliver t-shirts in bags) so why not run a consistent service and save everyone from loss and inconvenience?
  • Nobby
    Don't most couriers redeliver if you give them a ring?
  • LB33
    Comparing an unnecessary trip to a courier's depot to a pretty convenient trip to a local sorting office is hardly like for like, is it...?
  • Paul S.
    [holds head in hands]
  • Paul S.
    One final footnote from me concerning the accusation BW favours Amazon above the likes of Play for financial reasons, and therefore we deliberately praise Amazon and criticise Play in our editorial: http://www.bitterwallet.com/so-who-is-the-best-company-in-britain-2009-then/23833 http://www.bitterwallet.com/come-on-then-who-was-the-best-company-in-britain-in-2009/24022 According to you, dear reader, Amazon is already beating all other nominees by a country mile. Maybe the reason we don't dig up much dirt on Amazon is because our readers have far less reason to complain about them? We post articles criticising Play because readers email us on a regular basis with complaints. We post fewer articles about Amazon, who readers look likely to vote their favourite company of 2009. Makes sense to me.
  • andy y.
    Paul, I think you are right to highlight problems with Play.However the evidence in this case or serious FAIL is just piss poor.The serious issue is that the the switch to the useless call centre in Sarawak or Jupiter and useless stock system. If you want to do some weighty journo output get your arses over to Jersey and do some door stopping on the management. The critique of this piece is fair,take it like a man.
  • Gadget f.
    @ Paul "where I used to live, I once had to pick up a package from a courier’s depot. They didn’t have a local depot, so I had to take a 35 mile round trip to pick it up. " Was it a T-Shirt delivered by Play in an oversized box? As has been said, most couriers will redeliver free and whenever I ordered from Play it has been delivered by royal mail. I assume the same happened here so it could have been picked from a local post office if necessary. Alternatively royal mail will redeliver for 50p I understand (but accept I could be wrong on that). "Even if the depot was closer, that’s loss, in terms of my time and petrol, and inconvenience." Absolutely!! Completely agree with that, but as I said in my post, the article never said Tom had to do this so why even mention it in the context of this story? It is fair to assume that if he had to do this as a result of the overpackaging then it would have been mentioned as it would have been the whole basis for the article. If he did not have to leave his house, then where is his loss and inconvenience? Having to answer the door? Seriously?! So as I say i'm not sure why poor packaging which causes no loss to Tom is worthy of a story? "It really doesn’t matter if the service is free. A free service should be performed by the retailer with due diligence as a paid service would be. " The same due diligence as a paid service? Seriously? So free P&P should mean as quick delivery as guaranteed next day delivery? I don't think so! Why offer a free service if you are going to be burdened to the same extent as a paid for service? The reason it is free and prices are so low is because they can reduce costs by having a lower quality of service than more expensive retailers. You can't have the level of service of a high priced retailer, but the price of a low priced one - it's simple business. You get what you pay for. As I said above I agree there should be a minimum level, but it should be a minimum level with much more leeway than a paid for service and shouldn't be criticised to this extent when the person complaining hasn't suffered any loss or inconvenience other than having to answer the door. If the inconvenience of having to answer the door is worthy of a news story then I've got loads of them for you!
  • LB33
    RM will attempt redelivery an unlimited number of times for no fee. There is a 50p fee to have it delivered to a local Post Office for you to collect.
  • Paul S.
    @andy of yarm - seriously, I don't think we've had one complaint about Play's customer service beyond those we've highlighted in the past. If people want us to tackle these issues, give us some examples - you know we're happy to take them on, but we can't do it without a few good whistleblowers. As the criticism, nah. You post t-shirts in bags, not boxes.You can't question why we don't rat out Amazon more often then vote them best company in the country. It's horseshit. @ Gadget 4 free -You're pretty much missing the whole point, but I'll roll with it one last time. It doesn't matter whether Tom was in or out when delivery was attempted, whether this package was left with a neighbour or a local post office. It doesn't matter a person walks for 10 minutes to a sorting office or drives ten miles (after all,not everyone lives in a town or city). If Play are conducting business in a way which has the potential to cause inconvenience, then they're going about business the wrong way. Tom might have been in, heard the knock at the door, answered it and had his t-shirt immediately. It's irrelevant because it's not the story. The story is that Play's packaging service is inconsistent and has the potential to cause inconvenience. My point about the free service is that it's also inconsistent and that you shouldn't offer consumers any service if you can't promise a level of service or quality. No, free P&P shouldn't mean guaranteed next day delivery - that's an idiotic suggestion - but nor should it mean the packaging can be a choice between flimsy, suitable or inconvenient - depending what's lying about on the warehouse floor. The word "free" doesn't give retailers doesn't justify or excuse poor service.
  • Gadget f.
    People driving their cars in the road have the potential to kill people, but I wouldn't take a picture of the them and complain about it to the police. I have the potential to be an airline pilot, but it doesn't mean people should treat me like one and let me fly a plane. Just because something has the potential to be something doesn't mean you should treat it as if it is that thing. Tom had the potential to have been inconvenienced, but he wasn't but he still complains like he was?! If he had actually been inconvenienced I might think the story had more weight, but in the absence of any issue's for Tom I have difficulty feeling sorry for him or feeling like Play should be chastised particularly heavily in this instance. We obviously have different opinions on the free P&P. Everyone has the choice of whether to go with Play with their (fairly) low prices and free delivery. Their business model allowing them to do this probably means they employ just low skilled, non-thinking, workers and use this "inconvenient" type of packaging. That's what you are paying for though. For most items that they sell you can get them elsewhere but probably for a higher price. You take your choice though. It's like the Tesco value range in that it is low priced but can't really compete on quality with more expensive items. That's not say it shouldn't meet certain minimum safety standards etc, but I can't help but think that when it comes to service like this so long as the item is sufficiently protected and is delivered in a reasonable time it's difficult to complain too much about the potential inconvenience of having to go to the post office to collect. If you don't want to do this then go elsewhere and pay a premium to avoid this inconvenience. That is why we have lots of different levels in quality for goods and services generally. Some people are prepared to pay the premium to get more, others don't want to pay this so accept they will get less. There are plenty of stories about items going missing, or being damaged due to poor packaging and of course these are legitimate issues - as is the fact that last time I looked Play's website didn't comply with the distance selling regulations or the business names regulations - but in this case Tom got his item safely and in good time without having to pay a premium. The story is a non-issue for me. If the biggest issue is thight he might have potentially had to go to the post office to collect his item then, again, I don't really see the issue - he could have paid a premium for a better service but didn't so it's a bit rich to complain. Perhaps the solution is for Play to offer paid for P&P in addition to free delivery to allow people like Tom to choose to pay the premium. I doubt he would though.
  • pauski
    Everyone here seems to be doing a bit of overtime? Remember - keep calm, carry on.
  • John
    This is nothing. I received a micro sd card in one of those boxes.
  • Feezy C.
    Fucking hell, looks like there's been a lot of coke binging going on here. How worked up can people get?
  • Me
    Ordered loads from Play, never had a problem. Overpackaged sometimes but at least what's inside arrives in one piece cos of it.
  • Artemis
    I particularly liked the 'environment' argument when the shirt arrived in an easily recyclable cardboard sleeve instead of the not easily recyclable jiffy bag he apparently wanted. Brilliant.
  • Amazon B.
    [...] when avid reader Tom pointed out Play.com’s spectacular and entirely unneccessary excess when delivering a t-shirt. Avid readers from across the land booed and jeered and asked “Why do you never pick on [...]

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