Play.com's customer service hits new low, screws up its own exclusive

23 November 2009

It's a little known fact (mainly because we haven't told you) that Play.com missed out on a place in our Worst Company in Britain contest by a single vote. It may have been a different story 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 nothing of the sort) they've now gone and upset fans of Assassin's Creed.

Bitterwallet - Assassins Creed from Play.com

Dozens of customers pre-ordered a limited edition of Assassin's Creed 2 (the Black Edition), with some ordering the game months in advance. Can you guess what happened next? No need, because we had several emails over the weekend to tell us about it. From example, this from Bitterwallet reader Gary:

A lot of people, myself included, have been once again let down by Play.com. We've paid a few pence off £70 for Assassins Creed 2 Black Edition and were promised it on release day. It's now early evening the day after release and a lot of us still have no game to play.

That is, of course, those of us who didn't get our orders cancelled because Play reserved more items then they had. And when they later got more stock? They didn't reinstate the cancelled orders, they just opened them up to everyone who wanted to order one. Nice customer loyalty there.

Bitterwallet reader Adam is similarly unimpressed:

Assassin's Creed 2 Black Edition, it was due for release yesterday. It didn't turn up then and it hasn't today either.

I paid £69.99 for it and I received no tracking number - I have no way of finding out about when or if it will be delivered. I've sent Play.com an email but I won't receive a reply for a few days as usual. I've phoned them but all they tell me they can't do anything and to simply wait. Just a horrible experience not knowing where your parcel is, especially when you've paid that much money for it.

The real kick in the guts for customers? Assassin's Creed 2 Black Edition is exclusive to Play.com. It's not as if they screwed this up because they lost out to other retailers - there was no competition for stock. D'oh! There are now over 600 posts concerning Play's non-existent customer care in the Playstation forums - well done Play, you've done it again!

TOPICS:   High Street News

49 comments

  • all e.
    I understand these games weren't delivered on time and it's dissappointing, but in the grand scheme of things it's hardly a traumatic event. "Just a horrible experience not knowing where your parcel is" ..... only if it's got your replacement kidney in it! If that's your biggest worry of the day you lead a pretty sweet lifestyle. Quit whining.
  • Alex W.
    On the other hand, I received my £17.99 copy of Tekken6 today from Play, and its worth 25 quid trade in at GAME. I like Play.
  • Bill R.
    I stopped using this bunch when it changed hands a couple of years ago, their packaging is absolute PAP, their after sales service DIABOLICAL, their returns pure SHITE. They sent me a £50 metal boxed game in a plastic bag which not unaturally got crushed by the carrier, I returned it following their own instructions and by recorded delivery, a few weeks later I enquired where my replacement was and they denied ever receiving the damaged one yet they had signed for it, after that I just got automated e mails. Wouldent touch them with a bargepole.
  • Tritonbairn
    Imagine paying all that money for a video game. A fool and his money are soon parted, right enough. It'll be in the bargain bins by January.
  • Gunn
    They are pretty poor, specially when it comes to pre-orders or awaiting stock, they don't seemto have a decent stock handling system inhouse. Also their website needs upgrading a bit, the search is poor.
  • Ronnie
    i'm sorry but if you'd paid £70 for fucking game you need to get a life. christ's sake.
  • Richard
    Ronnie, you're an idiot. It doesn't matter if it cost 7p or £700 the service is a disgrace. You complete prick.
  • zeddy
    Richard, you're the dick!
  • Justin M.
    'All clowns are evil' helpfully points out, "I understand these games weren’t delivered on time and it’s dissappointing, but in the grand scheme of things it’s hardly a traumatic event" and on he goes. In the grand scheme of things, a replacement kidney isn't that traumatic compared to terminal cancer, which isn't that traumatic compared to an earthquake and tsunami, which isn't that traumatic compared to a thermonuclear world war either. So what? Of course there are more important things in life. Maybe you could find a blog to reply to that discusses some of them? No point in you pointing out that we all need perspective. This is a blog article about a consumer-based subject and people are responding to it. Your post is just trolling.
  • TroubleMaker411
    It isn't about having a life. it's about having a hobby. I am 27 years old. have a wife, and kids, i have many hobbies including snowboarding, film making and GAMING. All of this, to wind down after working 12 hour days. this is not simply compaining because i cant play my game. this is complaining because in the free time where the kids are in bed and the wife is working i would like to be playing my game. Play.com have taken my 70 notes (for an exclusive edition that i can get no where else, don't tell me you have NEVER spent more than you should on something) and not delivered the service i expect. I expect my game to be delivered on RELEASE DAY. i still don't have it. that means its tomorrow at the earliest. that is unacceptable by ANYONES standards. even that of a lifeless troll. Play.com have lost so many customers over this and MW2. my question is, When Will They Learn?
  • LuckyL
    agree with Bill R, even though they may offer some bargains, their service is DIABOLICAL should you need it. I rather pay extra than using Play ever again. @all clowns are evil: well, surely no big matter but Play are not honoring their T&C. Plus it seems dramatic enough for you to enter stage left and show everyone that you have no life next time you see an article that does not affect you whatsover, have a nice cup of STFU
  • Dean
    ManchesterAfterDark, well said! Zeddy, Ronnie, Tritonbairn and all clowns are evil, maybe you wouldn't spend that much on a game but then again maybe you don't even earn enough to justify blowing £70 on 'just a game'. How can you expect to know jack sh!t about other peoples values and what they deem as is ok to spend on a video game when you don't even have a clue who they are?? You are the fools with your pathetic ASSumptions. I am one of the many people Play has p!ssed off here, the game was released last Friday, I had an email from them saying it was dispatched at 9am on the Wednesday before and its now the following Monday night and I'm still without my purchase! They've lost my future custom thats for sure!
  • Dean
    ManchesterAfterDark, well said! Zeddy, Ronnie, Tritonbairn and all clowns are evil, maybe you wouldn't spend that much on a game but then again maybe you don't even earn enough to justify blowing £70 on 'just a game'. How can you expect to know jack sh!te about other peoples values and what they deem as is ok to spend on a video game when you don't even have a clue who they are?? You are the fools with your pathetic ASSumptions. I am one of the many people Play has p!$$ed off here, the game was released last Friday, I had an email from them saying it was dispatched at 9am on the Wednesday before and its now the following Monday night and I'm still without my purchase! They've lost my future custom thats for sure!
  • dan
    Just a quick note.. play are located on the guensey islands, and so orders from the uk mainland will have to travel through customs. This leads to a delay of at least 1 extra day, e.g. item despatched monday, goes through customs tuesday and arrives wednesday. As we are nearing christmas, customs are most likely recieving more parcels and so, parcels may be delayed more than 1 extra day..
  • jno;
    and they wonder why people pirate..
  • Gary
    @Tritonbairn & ronnie I suppose you feel it's stupid paying £70 for a videogame yet paying £50 a season for the latest manchester united shirt is perfectly acceptable when it's just a peice of thin fabric with the latest go faster stripes? Just because it's not something your into doesn't mean it is wrong, and incidently what cost us £70 is now already selling 2nd hand for £150-£200 due to it's rarity, so yeah good luck finding it in bargain bins in a couple of months
  • LB33
    @Dan Orders over £18 are normally sent from within the UK to avoid import duty from Guernsey, I believe?
  • Sean
    I hate play.com for doing things like this. This happened to me a while back when I preordered a game. Of course it didnt arrive for four days after release date... Their customer service is so c%*p it isnt funny, you try and find out whats going on and ... oh and @ dan if they have guaranteed something for delivery they cant have any excuse its their fault for their guarantees.
  • Bob
    They are shite, I ordered 2 items that were in stock waited a week to get a reply to say they were waiting for stock told them to shove it up their arce, And will never use these halfwits again.
  • all e.
    "Justin ManchesterAfterDark" .... indirectly comparing the delivery of a game to terminal cancer is a little childish and rather taints any further points you try to make. All in all, let's review the facts. The delivery of a game is late. End of story. I never mentioned anything about "who would pay £70 on a game", what you spend your money on is your decision but let's keep a little focus here shall we.
  • all e.
    Sorry I should have added .... my my, the geeks are upset. :)
  • Ronnie
    Richard, or should i say dick for short, you're missing the point. the fact that people are paying £70 for a video game is just ridiculous. get out more, have a life. in 6 months time it'll be a tenner. yes, i do have an xbox and a ps3, but cannot justify £70 for a game. no matter what the game is. sad twats. is your surname head by the way?
  • adam
    Spend your money on whatever you like. I have never had a problem with Play.com and have ordered many items over the years. Although I can understand some peoples frustrations, I believe that some of you are going over the top over a game. They made a mistake , it happens , it will cost Play.com more dearly in lost service in the long run. I believe that people are making a fuss over this, there are much greater things to worry about in life.
  • Jim T.
    I personally have very little sympathy. People use Play.com because they're cheap - you pays your money, you takes your chances. I never order anything from them which I want IMMEDIATELY because I know that it could take a week (or more!) to trickle through the post. It's not like it's a big surprise - Play have always been like this! If you want guaranteed deliveries, use someone like Amazon or just pay full whack and go get it in a retail store. That way, you'll get it on time!
  • Alex
    Uh, Jim, I think the point is that this is a Play.com exclusive product? So where else exactly do you propose they buy it?
  • Mark M.
    I feel sorry for all of the Ebayers who are awaiting delivery so that they can sell it on at a profit - after all, that's what I did with the first one and then bought copy of the game with the proceeds :) What amuses me about the posts here is the childish comments from the people who look down their noses at gamers - have they not heard about pots calling kettles black? Some people think nothing of pissing £70 up the wall on a Friday or Saturday night; at least gamers have something to show for it. It is simply a matter of choice as to what people want to spend their hard earned cash on. If Play can't get it right, then they deserve to be slagged off for it
  • fior
    How can Play.com be simultaneously voted "best online retailer" by Which for 2008 and 2009 (as they gleefully boast on their latest deals email) and be one vote away from bitterwallets "worst company in britain" award. How could which overlook the fact that they absolve themselves of all support/warranty obligations (that all other UK retailers have to stick to) because they're based offshore.
  • Theo
    play.com rocks their prices are cheap and i've never had a issue with them, i receive my black edition on friday morning, maybe we should rather be more grateful for the royal mail service we get over here, think we tend to forget how many handovers our parcel gets before it finally get to yours, just be glad you finally get your parcel and that it didnt get left in some couriers van or went missing along the way just to end up on ebay. only problem i have with the whole thing is that the figure could have been bigger.
  • Richard
    Ronnie, you're hilarious really you are. Did you spend all of morning playtime coming up with that one? You're missing my point - the article is relating to Play's abysmal customer service. Just because someone buys something you don't like, doesn't mean they're "sad twats" (this from the boy with 2 consoles as well!!!). If the story was instead about people spending £70 on sweets, would that help you understand it a bit more? Fuckwit.
  • dunfyboy
    Here's a little known fact; Play's customer service is run by Timmy from South Park. Here's another one: paying double the price for a game because Timmy promised you a little doll even when you know Timmy hasn't got a scoob what he's doing is actually a really intelligent decision actually and if you say it isn't you're a poo poo head and when I finally sneak a woman into my room without my mum noticing she's going to be blown away by my little Ezio's upgraded cloak. Now, I'm off to watch my dented Band Of Brothers box set. Any guesses where I got that from?
  • Ronnie
    richard, my dear little boy, when you grow up and finally get out of short pants, you'll realise that buying a game the second it's released is not compulsory. 3 or 6 months later it's still the same game and half the price and you'll enjoy it just the same. what's sad is feeling that you just can't wait that bit longer and you just have to pay the full release price. as much as i like my consoles, life's too short to be that concerned about getting a "game" on release. that was my point. i agree play drops bollocks all the time with deliveries, that's life, you take your chance.
  • Richard
    Ronnie, first off good work on the little boy and growing up chat, how very original of you. Secondly, where did I say buying a game when its released is compulsory? Once again, the point of the matter is that their service is shocking. That's it. The product purchased and price paid are secondary in this issue, the point is that Play didn't deliver when promised. End.
  • all e.
    "The product purchased and price paid are secondary in this issue, the point is that Play didn’t deliver when promised. " ..... utter bullshit. For instance if it was someone's insulin delivered late that's a very different matter to a game, a movie, a doorbell etc etc etc.
  • Richard
    Yeah, because play sell insulin don't they?
  • all e.
    Hope not, I hear their delivery times can be a little off sometimes.
  • Ten B.
    [...] get an exclusive on Assassin’s Creed II then don’t bother sending them out to the punters on [...]
  • Insidergotoutintime
    @Dan They are located in Jersey not Guensey, known more commonly as Guernsey. The £18 orders isn't strictly true, its all to do with size and weight.. generally a laptop is too big and heavy from Jersey but a toy of the same size and weight is ok as its so cheap (under £17.99).... then again something the size of a pea that weighs 5kg and costs £40 will most likely be sent from Jersey.
  • PLAY.COM S.
    Well i ordered a phone from play .com and they still havent sent it to me after 5 days !!!
  • Sacred
    I'm one of the many that ordered the Black Edition and I STILL haven't got it. Apparently it could still be on it's way but after 18 days, what are the chances? I believe PLAY didn't even send me my copy and have lied to me saying it was sent. PLAY have f*cked up royally!
  • Pietro
    I too ordered a Black Edition and still have not received it... Outrageous at least. It's nearly a month I've been waiting... and a month they charged my credit card. So even if I decided to buy the standard edition in a VG shop, I couldn't... because of them. DEFINITELY last time I buy from them.
  • glenn
    I've been messed around by them plenty. They can't seem to give a consistent story on delivery, sent a broken item, and despite many calls since, it's been nearly two months and they've still got my money and the external disk (worth about £130). They say they'll get back in touch, but don't. They try to passify you on the telephone that it really, really will be dealt with this time, but it isn't. There's no email contact available at play.com itself, any mail they send to you has no valid address. Seems like they've outsourced everything to the Philippines too, which might have padded their bottom line a little, but has killed jobs and now their service sucks. Result, play.com! See what greed did for you?
  • Michael
    I agree. If you pay £70 for a fucking game, you need to get a life.
  • Vincent_V
    I have also some issues with them, does anynody has an alternative online shop. The good thing with play.com is, living in germany makes a lot of items pretty expensive (especially some DVD-Boxes), and play.com has good prices and free shipping, but and awefull customer support. So any alternatives?
  • LallOl
    well tbh Play.com are LIARS! LOL :0 they say 3-5 days for most but its really 6-10 days :)
  • Griffter
    Yep have to agree PLAY.COM's customer service advisors are bare faced liars, they said they had dispatched my parcel 5 days ago, and yet the courier has not even received it yet. And yes 3 - 5 days is total cobblers, it's at least 10 - 14 with them.
  • Ian B.
    Ok my first action was my own fault , I missread the security code on the back of my debit card, and got an email to inform me as such. I rang them and was told the order was cancelled as it had taken me more than a couple of days to reply , but he could retake the info on my card and all would be sorted. A week later , no confirmation email or item in post. Rang again and was told that they don't take telephone orders, mmmm. After reordering on the net and waiting more days the 'parcel' arrived. 2 flimsy pieces of cardboard wrapped around the item at right angles to each other and very lightly glued together. Then have a look at the label "Detailed description of contents" - Optical media (DVD, film, game whatever) and "Total Value" £xxxx. I know that the vast amount of postmen/women are honest, but around Christmas a lot of temps are taken on and in both cases the temptation is thrust under their nose at a time when every little extra helps. Admittedly the value of the order was relatively small compared to most of the other contributors, but all in all I would rather pay a little extra and go somewhere else.
  • Play.com A.
    [...] know these aren’t one-off’s – a couple of years ago the website Bitter Wallet stated that Play.com missed out on a place in their Worst Company in Britain contest by a single [...]
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