Play.com make promises they refuse to keep, fail to deliver MW2

12 November 2009

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:

Bitterwallet - COD MW2 Guarantee top

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:

Bitterwallet - COD MW2 Guarantee bottom

"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.

TOPICS:   High Street News

56 comments

  • Jeffrey A.
    I've got a great way to make amends. Wait till they start using royal snail again, order loads of seperate packages, then as they don't use recorded delivery for non expensive items just say none of them turned up and get them all refunded!
  • pauski
    "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 12th November." 5:30pm 12th of November - So I guess this guy is somewhere east of India? Surely there must be a more local place to purchase it - I would expect delays considering that distance. Either that or he / she has a time machine to go into the future, to find out that it had'nt arrived, in which case I would go forward a few years more, get a copy of MW3, and bring it back!
  • Jeffrey A.
    Either way, This is another great victory for the UK high street.
  • Martin
    Wouldn't you just pop down to the shops, buy one, then send the play.com copy back to them under your 7 day distance selling rights for a full refund?
  • No m.
    ALWAYS order from gameplay.com. They don't promise anything, but I've had deliver of every game AT LEAST 1 day before release day. GTA IV was delivered 4 days early! (Just imagine the comments from people on my friends list that saw me playing that!!) Like I said - they don't promise this. I've just had it 100% of the time from them. ALWAYS order from gameplay.com.
  • Stuart
    Guys, I am the 'Stuart' mentioned above and can only apologise, the date should have read the '11th'. It was a typo. The rest is 100% accurate. It should have read: I still don’t have COD MW2 and it is 5.30pm on the 11th November. BTW it is now 11.51 on the 12th Nov and I still don't have it!
  • jinky
    Stuart, that's pants mate. Send it back to the t055ers. Get to Morrisons, I bagged a copy on Tuesday for £25.99, the offer runs till today (if they have stock) Good luck.
  • dunfyboy
    Play really are shit these days, but if you're willing to pay £45 for a game you've got to expect them to think you're a mug.
  • Bob
    Why are you all crying because a stupid videogame is 1-2 days late? I suggest getting a life and not pretending to be an SAS solider or whatever. Your beer belly would never allow it.
  • Brian's U.
    Buy one locally and send back the one from Play. don't you have 30 days cooling off period when ordeing stuff off the internet?
  • A W.
    Sorry mate, not 30 days, just 7.
  • neilo
    play should at least refund the shipping ;-)
  • LuckyL
    don't accept delivery and have it straight sent back. But keep the courier details and follow up the refund. Been there, done that and never got the T-Shirt
  • Stuart
    Re Bob at 12:15pm Thanks for you opinion, you're entitled to it. The 'crying' as you put it is because a very large Internet retailer got my business (rightly or wrongly) because they made a guarantee. The guarantee stipulated I had to meet a condition 'order before midnight on 8th Novemeber' which I did. Now here is the fun bit, this now (arguably) constitutes a contract as they made an offer and I accepted. Consideration was met, I gave money, they were to dispatch stock. This is the same as any other contract, be it a car purchase, a newspaper purchase in a shop... anything. So why should 'we' (the consumers) treat it differently because it is a game? Would you just sit back and allow a company to recant on thier promises or guarantees if you have chosen said company because of a specific promise they make? No, you wouldn't, and neither will I. As for having a life, I do. A Wife, a baby daughter, my own house, a full time job, part time study (law degree), not only this, but good family and lots of supportive and intelligent friends. Something I would never swap, and certainly not for the life of 'Bob', issuing personal attacks on people he has never met, just to see if he can put an ounce of excitement in to his boring, shallow and lonely existence.
  • David F.
    Bob, sod off.
  • Mr M.
    Play writing cheques, their ass can't cash.
  • Michael
    lol! My black wii arrived on Monday even though it was released on Friday before - emailed about why it wasnt delivered on the release day, even said that they were promising to deliver mw2 and they got back to me saying we do not gaurantee delivery on any items, average del is 3-5 days etc etc so really not suprised about this!! Only just got the dispatch email for the wii today as well - hope they are sending another one free of charge!
  • Burningfeetman
    Stuart, thats crap and i hope you get some sort of compo. Oh, and bob got proper pwned! Bfm
  • Tim P.
    Sorry to say I got the same email withe the "Guarantee" BUT right next to the word Guarantee is an asterisk. Which when seen on any advert etc means that there are terms and conditions. So most people would then search for the said terms and conditions. They quite clearly stated that they wouldn't be held responsible for late delivery by their delivery partner. So no contract has been broken as it was a hollow promise in the first place. The real story is the fact they had the cheek to offer guaranteed delivery and in the very same email say it was not actually fully guaranteed, all they were offering was guaranteed dispatch.
  • John
    Play's stock seems to be slipping by the day. I don't envy anyone having to deal with their terrible customer service.
  • James
    @ Tim Using the same logic then any company can make outlandish claims providing they use an asterisk and some tiny print saying that they are lying. If so, what amazing fun could be had. Guaranteed free electricity for life*...................................electricity may not be free Guaranteed cheapest price in the UK*.................................price may not be cheapest etc etc whoop whoop
  • DirtyPixel
    Shopto offered the same 'before midday on release day' guarantee for their £43 MW2 and failed miserably too despite their 'FREE' upgrade to UK Mail delivery (you had no choice in this matter). Tried to raise it on their Nazi-moderated 'forums' but had repeated posts deleted or locked and 'The Boss' of Shopto even suggested that anyone returning their copy would have £1.99 deducted for the 'FREE' Uk Mail upgrade that nobody had even asked for! Popped over to Sainsbury where I got a copy for almost £20 less and took great pleasure when the Shopto copy did arrive, in putting in straight into a jiffy bag and sending it back. Wankers.
  • Bett T.
    Bob your a right biscuit!
  • Graham
    @ A Wineo: "Our returns policy is valid for 28 days from receipt of an item." - Taken from their returns policy! I was lucky enough to receive my ordered copy of MW2 for the X360 on the day of release. Unfortunately for me, my Xbox had developed RROD (2nd time) so i've not been able to play it yet. It's not all good news from play.com, however, as I have also ordered FIFA10 on 1st October which never arrived. I went through the "Items not delivered" process (after waiting 21 days of course) and they sent out another copy on 28th October. This has yet to arrive. In between this, I also ordered Uncharted 2 for my PS£ on 21st October. This too has yet to arrive!!!!! Verdict - DO NOT USE PLAY.COM!!!!!
  • Lem
    Sorry but if I want a game that badly then I go to the trouble of going out and getting it rather than sitting around waiting for the (probably on strike) postman or the (usually lost) parcel van. Had so many bad experiences over the years of so called "express delivery" that I no longer trust any delivery dates. So with this in mind and a gut feeling that the supermarkets were going to trump the online prices I kept a n eye out on HUKD and following the price info on there went to a Sainsburys store at 7.30 and had a copy by 8. I later went to morrisons in my lunch hour and got two more copies for my friends at work.. so by lunch time I had 3 copies all for under £80. I know not everyone can spare the time to go and queue or to hunt in their lunch but I had a (free) reservation with ASDA that I could have collected at any time during the day so there is really no reason to have it delivered if you are concerned about not having it (before you ask I phoned ASDA up and let them give it out as I no longer needed it). I agree that if Play say that can guarantee delivery then they should do but I don't see how any company can make promises like that as there are too many other factors involved. Generally mu experiences with play have been positive, even when returning items wrongly ordered or faulty. I do think they have lost their pricing edge these days (can't recall the last time I bought from them actually). Sadly as with most of these issues it sounds like their little disclaimer text removes all of their responsibiliy over the late delivery! My advise is to go and buy a copy and send theirs back.. ok you have lost a few days of gaming but at least you have the satisfaction of knowing they don't get to keep your money.
  • ff
    If its coming by courier just refuse to sign for it if its late.
  • Oliver B.
    I know that those who paid this price and did not receive their item on time will not agree however I think that Tim Pigot hit the nail on the head.
  • Klingelton
    The Very same shit went down when i ordered wrath of the liche king a year or so ago - when it failed to turn up until 3 days after the release date when it was guaranteed to arrive. I called up customer services, once i'd managed to find the number on their website, only to be told to grow up. When i called him a cheeky bastard, i was told with an irish accent - "actually, i have a dad!" lol
  • Tim P.
    @James I think you'll find that a lot of companies use the asterisk as well as a multitude of other symbols in their adverts. Linking to terms etc that sometimes make the offers less attractive. Mobile phone companies promising things for life , then the small print says to get this you have to do this and we can stop this offer when we please. Or unlimited broadband / downloads unless you use it to much. My post was a warning saying read the entire terms and conditions on any offer you are taking up, even more so when there are little symbols on it. The email offer was very bad and contradicted itself. Another reason not to use Play, as others have said they have gone down hill lately.
  • Late
    I, too, got the email and noticed the asterisk - so checked the small print it related to. By my reckoning their "guarantee" of delivery was in fact a guarantee to dispatch before release date - and then they'd rely on their couriers to deliver in a reasonable time frame. As with Lem, above, I can't recall the last time I ordered something from Play, as they're not as competitive as they used to be, so I can't remember whether it's possible to check the dispatch date on your order. If it's been dispatched before the 8th of November then I can't really see that they've done wrong other than perhaps misleading people with their "guarantee" and engaged the services of an unreliable courier service. If dispatch was on the 10th or later than you've got them bang to rights - they presumably can't expect same day delivery so they've not fulfilled their obligations. If, as is quite likely the case, is was dispatched on the 8th or 9th then it seems less clear... could they reasonably expect their courier to deliver something on the 10th if it was dispatched on the 9th? (The 8th was of course a Sunday - I've no idea whether Play and their couriers work Sunday) [/completely uninformed opinion]
  • Gunn
    That asterisk appears on so many things now but now I keep trying to find the explanation for it and I never see it, is it like inverted commas, can you just add them to anything and its ok
  • Klingelton
    i've not shopped at play since my poor wotlk experience. I'd had a similar experience a year previous and chalked it up to a poor customer services representitive. I've since made the switch to amazon and they've been wonderful so far. I'm sure someone will have a real horror story! it's a shame because 5 years ago, play were amazing!
  • IfYouCopyMyNameYouAreGay
    Boycott Play.com and their VAT-dodging business. Why use them to buy games when there are sites like Gameplay available?
  • paula
    well its days 3 .. and im still waiting for the game for my son... i have made countless calls to the ' shoddy ' customer service department.. and have also been promised a call back from one of there managers.. which i know i will not get. I think this is absolutely disgusting now, how can a company as big as play.com guarantee such a thing then not deliver. I looks like i will have to make yet another call to customer service, this time i wont be so nice and i wont get off the line until i speak to a manager .. would be good if we could get an address for Mr Rowe the CEO of play and write to him personally.. but when i asked Customer Service who the CEO was they didn't have a clue... so that just goes to show really. One thing is for certain i will be pushing for a full refund and the game at this rate.. i will not stand for this especially since this game has been on order since JUNE!! This is one thing i will not give up on!!!
  • paula
    just spoke to a manager at the customer service department and she said that head office are giving out compensation for all copies that are late in being delivered.. i told her that i want a full refund and that if it isnt with me by 5pm tomorrow i will call back up for it .. and also even if it does arrive i will still want the refund in full.. she agreed to both .. so i urge everyone to call and demand there refund... as soon as i got through to an advisor i told her i wasn't getting off the phone until she put me through to a manager... very persistent me haha The Manger whos name was BEAN!! Said that head office will be calling the people who haven't received there copies yet.. cant see that somehow. I also asked for the head office address so can put my complaint in writing... I will be addressing it to Mr Stuart Rowe .. Play.com Po box 192 Jersey JE4 8RP Hope the address is helpful :)
  • James
    @ Tim I agree with your point. My issue is that they are guaranteeing something that they cannot deliver. Their wording as another poster pointed out should be 'we guarantee despatch in time for delivery on the......' The asterisk and terms are irrelevant. You cannot disclaim something that you never had the right to claim in the first place. I am really surprised that Trading Standards are not involved.
  • paula
    Yes so am I .. I have just been on the Watchdog website .. I will be putting in a complaint to them on there site about all this... I would also urge others to do the same thing. When I spoke to the manager she tried to put the blame on the courier... but I stopped her in her tracks by informing her she can blame them all SHE likes but I didn't enter into a contract nor did I pay the Courier for the goods I paid Play.. she didn't know what to say to that. One thing is for sure.. I will most certainly NOT be ordering from play again
  • Oscar
    I also pre-ordered MW2, and I did so MONTHS AGO, and I'mstill waiting for my goods! I can't believe this. One would think that ordering and paying months in advance play.com could manage to send the discs in time, especially when a week before the deadline they send out a message in which they GUARANTEE that the delivery will happen on time. Also, what makes it worse is that now I could just walk to a local store and pick up the game for less than what I paid Play.com in advance, only I can't because then I'd end up having two copies in my hands and suffering twice the damage.. Absolutely the last time I'll be pre-ordering anything from play.com.
  • Brian
    Hi, my name is Brian. I bought my copy from ASDA for 32 bucks (US lingo, but really £32). I didn't have to go to the shop at 6am or anything stupid like that. Some people are stupid and will waste their time for a few bucks (£'s in UK language)
  • CockFagFaceMonkeyEatsItOffYourChest
    Who cares. It's just a re-skinned and re-issued version of call of duty 4, modern warfare, anyway. It's all bollocks and I got my copy early, so who cares? Guess what. Not me.
  • CockFagFaceMonkeyEatsItOffYourChest
    Oh yeah - I forgot to say... Cockshaft.
  • LeeJ2512
    yeah im annoyed, i preordered my copy waaaaay back in june and its 1:35am on the 13th of november here, im praying it comes today, it said it got posted weeks ago, then they changed their minds by sayin it got posted on the sunday before release, so why is it still not here? play.com used to be so reliable now its gettin worse and worse.
  • T
    Still not here im so fucking pissed off
  • paula
    same here still no sign of the game.. i will leave it till 5pm and i will call customer service again... lost count how many times ive rang them now. I will demand that they re-send another copy and as promised yesterday my refund in full. I have also just been in touch with OFT who informed me that Play are in breach of there contract! I have to put it all in a written latter to play and tell them they have 10-14 days to sort all this out otherwise OFT have told me to call them back and they will take it from there..
  • Joel
    My copy is still not here despite pre-ordering months in advance, i have rang play twice now to complain and they seem unwilling to offer any form of compensation for the supposed 'guarantee'. I have been a customer of play.com for a few years now, but will never be using them again.
  • Livid
    Pre-order 2 weeks ago....still haven't received it. Spoken to a bunch of Thai customer service bods who are trying to learn english while speaking to me - I don't think they have a bl**dy clue what they're even saying.....then I spoke to their supervisors.....and eventually I got through to the Mayor of Bangkok, who is running the call centre.....he said 'what does the word guarantee mean?' I have spent thousands with play.com over the years and they have been absolutley shocking in the past few months. Do they know that people who pre-order actually want their game on release. Just so they understand me: 'Me no love you longtime. U bad men.'
  • paula
    http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2009/11/13/play_mw2_delivery/ Have a read of that . Well i have just called play yet again .. and the advisor said that play are doing everything possible to get the games out to a ' small number of affected people ' Small number my arse. She did however tell me that my refund has been put through for £44.99 and just to allow a little longer for the game... BUT its all well and good her saying my refund has gone through but a different matter once there head office see it... in my opinion they will reject it and i wont receive it.. But then off to trading standards i will go... Told her i will allow until Monday to get the copy... but i wont hold my breathe!!!!!
  • Play.com’s B.
    [...] if we’d have counted up your votes a week or two later. After the cockfaced debacle that was the launch of COD: MW2 (Play did serious damage to customer relations by offering guaranteed delivery that guaranteed [...]
  • Lee
    I've still not received my copy. I placed my order on the 7th and was told it was posted on the 9th. I'd heard that Sainsburys and Asda were selling the game for cheaper so was going to cancel my order but couldn't, even with about 12 hours to go before it was dispatched, the usual option just wasn't there. I then resigned myself to having spent a bit more, safe in the knowledge it would arrive on time. I'm still waiting now on the 23rd November! I've e-mailed Play.com through a number of different email addresses but have received no response. The 0845 call centre number is no help as the staff in the Phillipines don't have access to the tracking codes until 21 days have expired from the dispatch date. Nor do they have the direct dial number for the Jersey HQ. When I did find a number for the Jersey office it was constantly engaged and doesn't accept ring back. Basically Play.com have taken my money and I have now way of contacting them at all. I will not be using them again.
  • mooseteets
    in the same boat as you lee, preordered on the sunday when i got the email guarrantee'ing delivery and im still waiting for mine to come (yeah right...) have emailed a few times with no reply, and i have rung customer services and got nowhere, worst thing is im missing somthing else i ordered before mw2 even came out, and the site wont even let me register it as missing untill after today. last time i deal with play.com they have my money and havent sent me my game as far as im concerned.
  • Marcus
    Try bein told that youll recieve the game by courier and then still not have it delivered by the FUCKING 1st DECEMBER
  • mooseteets
    im still dealing with play they want me to post them a missing item claim form, only problem is they emailed me the form and i dont have a printer so its not likely il be able to post them it... it seems they like stringing their customers along, at least i am able to do a chargeback on the creditcard, maybe they should think about that before messing me about.
  • Stephen
    Same boat as mooseteets. Apparently dispatched the 9th November and still dont have in on 3rd December. Now they want me to do a claim form! Why don't they just admit they never posted it. I will never use them again. I recommend the rest of you so the same.
  • mooseteets
    complaining to [email protected] seems to work, ive emailed all the other emails and got no response (info@ helpdesk@ nothing came back from them). good luck getting a refund off these bastards, its the last time i buy anything off them.
  • Ann
    Play.com sent a 50" Samsung TV instead of a Humax Freesat Box but Home Delivery Network failed to deliver it in 3 weeks so we went to Yeovil to fetch it and the TV was smashed to pieces and we have no box that we ordered. There doesn't seem anyway to reach Play.com as each time I phone they put you on hold for 1/2 hour or so and then you have to go through the whole thing - which sounds bezar - and they tell you to ring back......So frustrated with everyone so far. Do not order from Play.com or anyone that uses HDN.....it will drive you mad and cost you a fortune in phone call costs.
  • Christmas B.
    [...] person asked for Call of Duty MW2 for Christmas, which is no bad thing. Until you learn that they asked for it from a grandparent, [...]

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