Yes! It's the return of "Mundane Play.com packaging watch"

3 March 2009

While you're welcome to get in touch with Bitterwallet with any consumer gripes you have, time and time again our inbox is rammed to the rim with rants about Play.com. Specifically, their less-than-professional packaging methods. There may be other online companies sending out orders wrapped in bricks and spittle, but Play.com keeps getting all your lovin'.

HUKD forum member Blender ordered an Xbox 360 entertainment pack from Play.com. To be fair the contents were already boxed, but it's not unreasonable to expect the box to arrive in pristine shape since it may have been ordered as a gift. So when the XBox turned up looking like this...

...it wasn't entirely surprising, because the packaging amounted to this:

A plastic bag. No padding, no bracing, no second box to protect the item. Says Blender:

"Now I don't know if they were trying to save money or some guy in the warehouse was just having a laugh, but I feel it's common knowledge that a cardboard box won't arrive in good condition if it's sent in a bag.

Luckily enough the item wasn't a present or gift otherwise play.com would have yielded to my wrath."

Have any of your deliveries suffered terminal packaging FAIL? If you complained, what was the response? Send us your tales and your photos to [email protected]

16 comments

  • Chris H.
    You want a box that protects the box that protects the box, so your packaging - which you then throw away - is in perfect condition? I hope you're a heavy recycler.
  • -=Mike H.
    Problem is, you get those tree hugging unshaven soap dodging types going, "there's too much packaging" we can't have it both ways, unless you kind of like that sort of thing 'ooh err' I'm sure PLAY will have some sort of recycling target to meet so won't be able to 'box a box'.
  • The B.
    I've just had a nice exchange with Play, back in early Feb e_munky posted a hybrio battery deal on Play 8x2100mAh for £9, Play changed the item to 1600mAh and have just shipped me the 2 I ordered. I've filled returns on both and they've just shipped me a 3rd 1600mAh pack to replace the not yet received 1600mAh pack, I had exactly the same thing with my Yoda lightsaber, it seems that once a year they have a silly season.
  • Martin
    Chris Hill - not everyone throws away the boxes for electrical equipment. I keep most of mine in case I ever need to return items, or move house. It is much easier and safer to pack in the original box with the correct polystyrene inserts than in another one. And if the box is damaged, they do not stack as easily in the loft.
  • Chris H.
    @Martin Likewise for high value items like TV's, Hi-Fi equipment and cameras, but not for things like an Xbox game which comes in a DVD case and I'm sure you don't really need the polystyrene packaging to protect the xbox controller either. I could see the validity of the complaint if an actual Xbox console had been delivered in this way, but in this case its crying over something which, I'm willing to bet, went into the bin and would have done regardless of its condition.
  • Jason
    I used to love Play.com - but I won't be using them any more... I ordered a 640Gb NAS drive - after a week of waiting, a 640Gb external USB drive turned up. I sent this back and requested a replacement. Not only did I get ANOTHER 640Gb external USB drive a week later, but it had the same dent in the packaging (so I highly suspect it was the SAME wrong article!) I sent it back and got a refund. I then emailed Play explaining my annoyance at being sent the wrong thing twice and how it has damaged their reputation in my eyes. The response? Along the lines of 'the items have similar code numbers, so it's quite possible mistakes can be made.' Yes, but TWICE?
  • Bob M.
    omg that is awful. Seriously people the box is the most precious thing, it should have an extra box to protect it. I'm disgusted, that box deserves a better life! For F*ck sake its a BOX!
  • J
    My friend orders quite a few DVD's and Games off Play.com. 3 or 4 times now they've turned up with the cases bashed in and the discs inside have been smashed to pieces. Play.com tends to send their big packages with Parcel Farce, who I have found to be amazingly inept. I ordered a 360 from them about a year ago, after a few days of it not arrive after it should I tracked the parcel online and saw it had been delivered to my local sorting depot, so I assumed it was on its way. A week later I finally called Parcel Farce up and asked them where it was. The girl had a manager go off and look for it, alas it wasn’t anywhere to be found, so basically it had gone missing inside their depot. Despite the girl telling me this when I reported it to Play.com they have to wait 21 or something days before they can claim a refund and re-send me the package. So I waited over a month in total through Parcel Farce's ineptness. To summarise: yes it wasn’t very well packaged, but I've no doubt Parcel Farce are at the very least partially to blame
  • Rob K.
    I ordered an internal hard drive and it arrived in a plastic bag - a frikken plastic bag (exactly the same type that the pictured Xbox 360 was sent in) ...no padding at all. I mean would you send a telly or a pane of glass in just a bag? Because you know what guys Play would ...if they sold glass which to my knowledege they don't, but if you're planning on buying a telly beware! Needless to say I sent the hard drive back the same day... I'm just waiting for my money back.
  • Chris H.
    @Rob K "the pictured Xbox 360" Its a game and a controller, not a console. Admittedly sending a HDD without extra padding isn't a great idea
  • Martin
    Most things from them seem to come in a plastic bag. I bought a box set of DVDs a couple of years back from them - it came is a plastic bag and the cardboard box, which acts as a display box, had damaged corners. For the sake of some padding, they lost a customer for life. I don't think parcel force are to blame. If it is packaged correctly, it will not get damaged.
  • Rob K.
    Ah my mistake. I'm not actually that annoyed, their customer service was quite good, so far anyway (not got my money back yet). I think one of their warehouse packers got a bit confused or something that day, I bet my HDD was sent the same day as that Xbox controller pack. ...quite enjoyed my rant, off to write a letter to points of view now.
  • Play.com B.
    [...] certain plenty of Bitterwallet readers would disagree with Rowe, in particular when it comes to packaging goods correctly, but that particular point aside; online retailers can certainly beat high street stores on price, [...]
  • S. S.
    If the item is already packaged in the manufacturers box then I wouldn't have a problem with it being sent in a plastic bag. But unfortunately couriers have no respect for someone else's goods and they are the ones who do the damage. Don't blame Play blame the courier companies.
  • Play.com B.
    [...] however seems to remain a mystery to them. Dispatching a DVD boxed set in a plastic bag or an Xbox 360 sent without any padding or external protective packaging seems to be the standard practice, and if a hardback book arrives scored and marked, it can always [...]
  • Victor F.
    I have order the SK3 for Ps3 from play.com and has been posted on 12-05-2010...till now i haven´t received. i´ve send the missing item confirmation form...but i had no answer...Any one know how can i get my paid game?? Please HELP

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