Have play.com been sending customers' details to everyone?

6 November 2009

playlogo It seems that something has gone horribly wrong at the HQ of play.com over the past few hours, if the word of BW reader Wout is anything to go by.

He’s been having problems getting to speak to any of their customer service reps and reports that the line cuts off after about four minutes, regardless of whether you’ve actually been able to speak to anyone or not.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Wout was sent no less than 24 emails from play.com, each one confirming the dispatch of an ordered item. A minor glitch you might think, until you learned that each one is for a different item and is for someone else.

So now Wout, who assures us that he is not an identity thief, has the names and addresses of a bunch of play.com customers. Well done play!

-1Wout adds:

“The one time I actually managed to speak someone for more than 10 seconds, he repeatedly refused to take my phone number - as I told them this was my fifth attempt - and in broken English told me I should ignore any problem like that and just delete the emails, as they would solve it.”

He has since had further communication from them, telling him that the colossal cock up is ‘under investigation’ and that they’ll compensate him for the countless wasted phone calls he made in an attempt to alert them to it.

Have any Bitterwallet readers received other people’s dispatch emails complete with personal details? Should play have their internationally-recognised ‘could organise a piss-up in a brewery’ charter mark revoked? How confident do you feel about dealing with them now?

TOPICS:   High Street News   Technology   Privacy

50 comments

  • No m.
    Wout is a hacker. His name is Alex, he is 7, and he lives in Russia, like all hackers. Once he reaches the age of 9, he'll forget how to use a computer, due to the radiation from "yer nob'll fall out." That's why russians don't like y-fronts.
  • Got W.
    I got an email from them at 11.04am and it was for me.
  • Gunn
    Had items that weren't for me before.
  • Tony B.
    Along with my dispatch confirmation received from Play at 05:19 this morning I also received a further 55 emails (between 05:19 - 05:21) with other customer's dispatch confirmations.
  • Michael
    Ive been emailing their customer services today about the black wii I ordered on the 27th that still hasnt been dispatched even though its released today. Their responses have been shit to be frank....
  • speedski
    @ Michael Thats cos all the replies to you'requry is being sent to everyone else lol
  • LuckyL
    it's a miracle someone got through at all, I had tried to call them for weeks re an order and all I got when calling the hotline was "this service is currently unavailable". So had to settle for mail where you would get random answers made up of random standard text modules. Play's customer service is diabolical.
  • Dave
    Well maybe 'cos the black Wii is shit. Get a spray can, and do it yourself.
  • matt
    yep diabolical ive had an order on stock pick for 3 weeks !!!!
  • Fred
    I recieved 11 emails at around 4:30 this morning and only one was for me. Seems like they've done something about it already though, an email I recieved around midday today was all text rather than their normal html despatch confirmations.
  • james d.
    I had them send me an item by accident then insist that they would charge me for it if I did not return it. I asked for a stamped addressed jiffy bag but they refused to send one saying they said they would refund postage once they received the item. I told them that it was their mistake and I had no intention of going out of my way to pack their item, pay registered post, wait until they received the item and then send them proof of my costs for them to refund me all because they send me an item by accident. They said that if I didn't I was "stealing" the item and they would contact the police. Eventually I sent them a letter telling them their item was on my property and if they did not pick it up in 30 days I would be donating it to charity. I didn't hear any more about it.
  • John
    I bought a tv circ.£1K from Play, and to be honest I had a week of hell liaising with them. My credit card company 'blocked' the transaction as a potential security measure. Once i got my card unblocked the order with Play got processed. Great...until I chased it up...and was told by Play they were suspicious of this order and it was therefore recalled back to the warehouse. Considering I have made probably 300+ purchases from Play over the past 4 years i find the whole story somewhat questionable and the customer care extended to me was quite poor, to be polite! Anyway I managed to speak with the CUSTOMER SERVICES MANAGERcalled Alastair Luke who seemed able to get everything sorted and also showed greater care to me as a customer. Perhaps you should lisie with this person - you can reach him on the main Play.com customer services numer, or even by email to [email protected]
  • Robin
    A few of my friends had correct things arrive from play.com today with the invoices for a different address.. I thought it was just coincidence but seemingly not! I think they've had a SERIOUS cock up.
  • charlie s.
    i had 32 emails from them at 3 or 4am for different peeps stuff!!!!
  • Joe B.
    I too received 60-odd emails this morning. Looking through a couple of them out of interest, I noticed a few card numbers!!
  • The B.
    I had no emails from Play but a couple from yer mum.
  • Richard
    You have to appreciate mistakes can happen, but yes this is out of line and slight security risk!
  • Bullet
    Did anyone get an email saying that Company of Heoroes with both expansions packs was posted to me, been more than a fricking week waiting on this game and they have it in stock, so whats the hold up.
  • dunfyboy
    Whenever I've been unfortunate enough to deal with Play's customer services I've always got the impression it's just someone sat behind a desk in a dingy windowless office. I get images of the operator at a mini cab office doing a bit of moonlighting between drop offs.
  • emhaslam
    i ordered something, never received a dispatch email, but according to the website it has been despatched. :S i better get it soon as its my mates birthday on sunday!
  • Pruney
    I cancelled my account with them earlier this year after the reports that card details were being compromised and Play didn't give a stuff. I'd never had a problem but I wasn't going to keep my account open waiting for it to happen.
  • pinkkitty
    Ive had an order being packed for nearly 3 months even though it shows as in stock on their site. Ive phoned and emailed numerous times and they say the same crap every time. Still not got it
  • Michael
    Well my Wii still hasnt been dispatched. V angry at play, dunno how the hell they won best customer services or whatever it was a few months ago.
  • Debs
    We had 20 odd emails containing other peoples names, addresses, email address and what they had ordered. They are in breach of the Data Protection act and should be fined for this like banks are.
  • Stefan
    I once received an email from Overclockers.co.uk after using their 'webnote' system, which seemed to contain every pending item on their support queue, complete with names and addresses and bank details. They told me just to ignore it.
  • chalky
    cancelled our account with Play - too many reports of credit cards being hacked, it's not worth the hassle.
  • Paul D.
    yes i have had lots of problems with play recently cutting off my play trade account ,whilst telling me it is functioning pefectly suspending my account i have used for 2 years suddenly on the basis they need more details from me sending out emails to say card declined when the item was already dispatched there telephone number coming up as unavailable long delays in posting with items showing as packing for a month Shoddy packaging putting it midly when i did speak to them they put it down to moving to a new warehouse apart from that everything is fine
  • Paul D.
    On another note it now seems pretty much all the other dvd/music websites are all working together in the same building or even room ,they all have the same website construction ,all put out the same messages at the same time this includes ,the hut,wh smith,zavvi,woolworths,select cheaper,and pretty much most of the others ,something afoot (i dont mean 12 inches) i believe,you could say a cartel,they in turn all seem to be getting there orders from HMV in jersey
  • Jim B.
    Play's customer service - if you can call it that - is frankly an utter disgrace. When they sent me the wrong item, it took 5 emails, over a period of 3 weeks to get any kind of response from them (and I suspect that was only because I finally told them I would be contacting my credit card company over the matter). Yet they have the gall to plaster their 'Which Best Online Retailer' Award all over their emails and website. You just couldn't make this up! Who the hell adjudged them worthy of this accolade. If they truely are the best the internet has to offer then we are all in a heck of a lot of trouble...
  • Ben
    In regards to Paul Doughty; Most companies these days all have their online entertainment websites run by TheHut. LoveFilm, Asda Entertainment, Zavvi, TheHut, WHSmith Entertainment just to name a few. All run and distributed from the same warehouse, with customer services for each company being run by the same team.
  • verdilith
    "Well my Wii still hasnt been dispatched. V angry at play, dunno how the hell they won best customer services or whatever it was a few months ago." Michael - maybe it was sent to the wrong place..
  • Ten B.
    [...] final moronic company of the week are Play.com – dispatching hundreds of emails containing random customers’ personal details. [...]
  • eileen
    I am one of those people that Play.com have got the orders messed up with. I have been receiving emails from people who have received my order details, email address and home address. Very angry. Play.com have offered me a £5 voucher for any inconvenience caused!!! Anyone else in this situation?
  • j
    Yes I am also one of the many Play.com customers who received 50 emails with details of 49 customers email addresses, names and home addresses as they also received mine as only one of the 50 emails was intended for me. The offer of a £5 voucher is an insult for such a serious breach of my data protection rights, have emailed watchdog and will be contacting the data protection commissioner and have saved the emails as evidence should I take legal action in the courts against Play
  • Anon
    Maybe you guys should submit complaints to the relevant regulators? e.g. http://www.ico.gov.uk/complaints/data_protection.aspx
  • Fred
    I don't think it's that bad and was quite pleased to find the £5 discount code in my emails. Most online stored wouldn't have even done that and after years of great service from play.com I'm not going to let this one slip up affect my opinion of them, let's just hope this was a one off.
  • Sarah
    I ordered a dvd for my daughter from Play. They sent a horror film. After much bitching they resent the item and it was the wromg dvd again. Once is a mistake. Twice, not acceptable. The 'customer care' sucks big time.
  • eileen
    Hi J, I have also emailed watchdog. As for Fred, I think this is quite a worrying situation and its not just a small slip-up. I have a list of customers email addresses and home addresses, is that ok for me to have them in my possession??? I dont think so. If we all complain together we would have a better case.
  • j
    Hi Eileen Have also emailed a solicitor for advice as the information commissioners office does not go after compensation on our behalf. Yes it can fine Play for breaching our rights to have our personal information kept secure but does nothing about compensating us. Yes I agree that if the thousands of us that this happened to take legal action together we would have a better case however for that you need to keep as much evidence as possible so keep the emails that you were sent you can always put them in a encrypted file or something its not as if you asked or hacked Play for the names, email and home addresses of all the other customers.
  • eileen
    Rang play.com this morning and was given another weak apology. The lady didnt understand the issue here, ie our personal data being leaked. Also contacted information commissioners office. Still waiting for a reply form Play.com email customer services. I think this situation is unacceptable and am not letting it drop. Wonder how many others have been affected? Emailed watchdog also, come on people, do the same. J, let me know how you get on.
  • Richard
    >Wout is a hacker. His name is Alex, he is 7, and he lives in Russia, like all hackers. >Once he reaches the age of 9, he’ll forget how to use a computer, due to the radiation from “yer nob’ll >fall out.” >That’s why russians don’t like y-fronts. It's sad that British people make remarks like this when it was one of them who helped the Soviets build nukes which they then used in their own military exercises, costing 45,000 people their lives, and the death toll is rising. Congratulations, Britain, you suck.
  • meyo
    Had an order 'packing' since 3/11, although haven't recieved any mails of other orders. I just want mine to arrive damnit!
  • Play.com f.
    [...] Re: Play.com problems? I heard Play.com were in the news about having messed up loads of orders. Luckily, I got my order of Windows 7 before this farce. http://www.bitterwallet.com/have-pla...everyone/21008 [...]
  • Kev
    I too received 58 emails with other peoples personal details on, early on Friday morning. I emailed their privacy department straight away to inform them and raise my concern but I've heard nothing back. I then received the 'apology' email saying they had fixed the problem an offered a £5 voucher code. I have since received my order on the date I expected and have never had a problem with play.com before but now I know this has happened to more people and the fact that its highly likely my details have been sent out to many other people, I will be taking it further. I know a colleague's son had the same e-mails and has since had someone ring him supposedly from play.com asking him to confirm some of his details. He didn't, obviously, but on checking his credit card there were pending withdrawls he knew nothing about! Keep an eye on your accounts to make sure everything is right. I'll be emailing watchdog now and any other data protection people I can find!! We all need to do it!
  • eileen
    hi Kev, I got another email from Play.com this morning, more or less playing the whole thing down. They assured me that no credit card details etc were leaked. As it stands I have a load of peoples email addresses and home addresses. I wont be letting it drop
  • Stevedover
    PLAY.COM are the most incompetent mail order company I have ever had the displeasure of dealing with, I have had multiple deliveries of DVD box sets delivered and charged when only one was ordered, and had to arrange by calling them on their 0845 number collection and refunds, and just recently I ordered a Christmas present thinking that lightning wouldn't strike twice and found that they have charged me twice for the same item and withdrawn the money from my account leaving me with hardly any money. Once they have re-paid me my money, I will be closing my account with them...enough is enough!
  • Jon
    Ive recenylt had problems with play and there is finally a address replied by someone who seems to give a damn about the order this person is mentioned abouve. "Alastair luke" for everyone struggling the email is: [email protected] I have been emailing [email protected], [email protected] and now this one as well.
  • Andy
    i ordered a game from play.com a few weeks back and this week i found my account was £500 overdrawn, there were pizza takeouts, a matress bought for £300, auto trader, loads of bits and pieces adding upto about a £1000, anyway i got my act together and contacted my back and they sorted everything, i then recived a letter from the "fraud Squad" saying my account details were used by a employee of an online retailer, so i rang them to ask if it was play.com and they wouldnt tell me. it seems like a coincidence but i recon it was play.com.
  • Andy
    i contacted my BANK ........ ^^^^^^^ sorry.
  • Shaun
    There is a 20 page long forum post about it here: http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/...html?t=1531695 A lot of people have said that, despite having their network secure and running anti-virus software and such forth they were getting emails on supposed transactions they were doing (which they obviously weren't) Play.com seem to think it's all our fault and until they admit otherwise and can reassure shoppers that their service is secure and access to sensitive information is impossible, I won't be using them again and I suggest everyone else doesn't use them either. Since, for some stupid reason, you can't remove your credit card details from play.com, I suggest anyone with an account with them uses this very useful website that someone at the moneysavingexpert forums posted and change your credit card details to a test card number: https://www.paypal.com/en_US/vhelp/p...rd_numbers.htm Hope this helps. While I, personally, haven't had any problems with play,com I am not leaving anything to chance and I've used one of the test card numbers to change my details so no one can use them to purchase anything from my account. If play.com isn't going to help people then it's best to spread the word to people about it and make sure everyone knows about it. Figured I'd post this before I go to bed as I've been trying to post it in about 4 other places with no success. Spread the word!

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