Play.com make promises they refuse to keep, fail to deliver MW2
So then. You've been ganting for your copy of Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 for months, and through unwavering loyalty you order your copy from Play.com. Sure, you'll be able to get it cheaper in the supermarkets when they whore their tuppence and slash their prices, but supermarkets don't offer this:
That's right. A guarantee. It's like a promise, only you really, really mean it. So when Play.com charged customers full whack for COD MW2, those loyal consumers didn't flinch because Play.com had guaranteed them satisfaction. Except. Well. Not really:
"Seems Play.com have failed many customers on the guaranteed November 10th delivery. I'm one of them - I still don't have COD MW2 and it is 5.30pm on the 11th November. Play.com assured games fans that they would receive the most anticipated game of the year on release day, so long as they ordered before 8th November."
Bitterwallet reader Stuart is unhappy, and rightly so. Perhaps Play would blame the situation on the postal strikes? Not at all - in fact Play made a play for further PR by announcing they'd switched to couriers to avoid any delay through using Royal Mail, with CEO Stuart Rowe saying: "The strike coinciding as it does with the biggest selling entertainment product release ever has presented us with a challenge which we believe our new delivery plan will overcome". And it wasn't only our reader who had problems; Play has seemed eager to piss off plenty of customers who paid full price while supermarkets knocked £20 off it. Check out this story on Pocket Lint - the complaints stretch several light years below the fold:
"5:30pm and still no sign from play.com, paid £45 for the privilege of getting on release day and not having to go to a shop where I could've got it for much less. What a joke."
"It's sold out everywhere near me so I'll have to wait till tomorrow :("
"First time was 4pm, then 5pm, then 7pm then wait 24 hours. Do you think it'll definitely come tomorrow?"
"Waiting on mine. Outrageous - they have to make serious amends with this. Either a hefty discount on any next order or a rebate on the price down to the £30 odd quid. It's on sale at supermarkets right this minute."
Upon realising the lunar-like dimensions of the bollock they'd drop with this, Play.com offered a brief statement on the matter:
"Play.com is taking this situation very seriously and is working with their mail carriers to ensure the fastest possible delivery of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 to all customers."
Cheers. But what about this guarantee Play offered customers? Guarantees are secure, binding agreements that usually necessitate compensation if they're broken, but Play didn't mention any such detail in their advertising (you can see the full poster here) and their customer services representatives couldn't provide our reader with an answer. Those of you with Action Men-style eagle eyes may have noticed a caveat attached to the guarantee; yes, there's (very) small print:
"Delivery is subject to our delivery partner achieving standard delivery guarantees. PLAY takes no responsibility for late delivery due to... failure on behalf of the delivery partner." Unbelievable. The inference is that Play only guarantees to provide the stock, and more importantly Play blatantly refuses to guarantee delivery - on the basis it is not them providing the delivery service. This is Play saying to the customer: "How can we guarantee delivery if we're not the people delivering it?" In which case, why did Play ever guarantee they could?
This offer, which has lured countless numbers of customers to pay full price on a product, is a sham, because Play void the guarantee in the same breath they offer it. Many releases aren't time-sensitive but this one most certainly was, and Play squeezed every last penny out of customers by ramping up their PR efforts and pushing guaranteed deliveries. They delivered nothing of the sort.
We'll contact Play to ask how they will rectify the situation. In the meantime, if you're a Play customer, let us know whether Play offers to make amends, or whether you're past the point of putting custom their way again.