Play.com and/or Post Office mess up Christmas present

10/12/2006 Item ordered from Play.com

11/12/2006 Item shipped according to Play.com records

19/12/2006 Morning: Checking to see where the item is, order shows shipped with Royal Mail tracking number

19/12/2006 Morning: Entered number into Royal Mail system and it shows an error

19/12/2006 Afternoon: Email arrives to say the item has been returned and cancelled

At this point I called Play to find out what happened. I was pretty worried as this was a Christmas present for my partner and she had just had trouble with Play.com. Their online system was continually telling her that her order was “ordered” but never went to shipped, and the item was showing none in stock. When she phoned she was told that there weren’t any and it was a mistake on her order, it should have told her out of stock.

So there was a mess up there, and that was making me worried, so I called.


“It’s been returned” I was told. That can’t be right, I’ve been home and off sick from work for almost four weeks now, and I’ve been in all those mornings to collect all the other post, including presents. There’s only been one missed delivery card put through the letterbox, and that was done while I was sitting inside the house! That item has already been collected from the Post Office, and it wasn’t this present.

“Well you’ve been refunded” she said.

“How’s that going to help my Christmas presents?”

“Well you could reorder the item but they’re out of stock”

That didn’t exactly make me feel more at ease. “You can’t be out of stock if you’ve just had one returned”

“It’s probably been sent to someone else. You have your money refunded to your card.”

She kept apologising but what good would that do? No one has the item in stock and I mean no one. I’ve been searching Internet stores and high street stores online, and everyone’s out of stock. Now I’m going to have to race into town tomorrow and just hope I can find some half hearted last minute present.

Oh well, it’s only my fiancée. Thanks very much Play.com and/or Post Office.

11 comments on “Play.com and/or Post Office mess up Christmas present”

  1. Simone Reply

    I have also been having problems with HMV for a while now. I ordered online the DVD boxset of the first season of “House M.D.” back on October and it still hasn’t arrived. I emailed them to complain, took them a few days to reply, but everytime I need to correspond with them, I can not do so directly from my email but I need to log on my account on their website. They apologised and also refunded my money, I again re-ordered the thing over a month ago and it still hasnt arrived.

    I really dont know who to blame, whether HMV or Royal Mail.

  2. pablo Reply

    Lines i hate hearing when speaking to a “customer service” rep:

    Its because we’re busy

    Your money’s been refunded(don’t you know)

    The sign on the wall says you can’t return that

    Its your fault its broken

    blah blah…

    It all makes my blood boil. I see red very quickly nowdays, but that could be me ageing.

    They always miss the point. I have started buying xmas presents in november AND in most cases going to the shop/factory to pay and collect the items.

    Luckily here in ozland they have massive shopping centres to do just that.

  3. Ron Reply

    Bet they don’t delvier to Dubai, have a great Christmas and best wishes to you and Z.

  4. Patrick Reply

    I think this exemplifies why some internet business succeed, and others fail. It is the last mile – actually getting goods to the customer – that is critical.

    Early on, I had real issues with Amazon over just this kind of thing, and it took me a good two years before I went back to them.

    They have treated me well ever since!

    BTW, Richard, I hadn’t realised you were still ill. I hope you are feeling better soon.

  5. Richard Brunton Reply

    Good advice Pablo – I’m going to start the Internet order well early next year.

    Hello there Ron! Hope you’re having a lovely time over there, I bet there’s been more snow than here! Even if it is indoors.

    Hey Patrick, yup still am. We’ll see how the New Year starts. Unfortunately I can’t talk about any of that on here because closed, insular eyes will be watching.

  6. Simone Reply

    Patrick: Funny but I never had problems with Amazon for the last 2 years that I’ve been doing shopping with them.

    In the papers recently, HMV said they experienced a decrease in their sales, I instantly remembered this thread.

  7. Louise Reply

    Richard that last sentence made me laugh out loud. Hmm maybe I should post under a secret name in case they are.

  8. Richard Brunton Reply

    Here’s an interesting follow up. Yesterday a parcel arrived at the house. Again I was in all day, sitting no more than fifteen feet from the door and could hear the postman enter the hallway and put mail through the letterbox.

    A parcel was left outside the door all day. No one rang the buzzer and no one knocked on the door.

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