back to article Play.com pestered to back up price claims

Online music retailer Play.com has been criticised by the UK's advertising watchdog for the second time in a year for claims about the savings it offers. The company has been told not to repeat the claims. Play.com last year published adverts in the national press claiming that it offered discounts of up to 50 per cent on new …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Play also screwing on currency conversion

    I have to order in Euro, as Play will only deliver to a UK address if you order in sterling. Play seem to be about 6 months behind on coversion rates. Pick something is £30, and press the Euro button. Play will convert it to around €45, rather than the $33 it should be.

  2. Sooty

    prices are completely random

    they change day to day. I bought something on sale for £9.99 last week that is now on sale for £17.99.

    although i have to admit, thir definition of a bargain needs reviewing, all of their 30-40% off blu-ray deals are £17.99, based on an rrp of £29.99!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I ended up reporting play.com to the ASA before Christmas

    Because of two misleading offers on their site which claimed, in one case, that they had goods on sale for much less than they actually were, and in another, that certain goods were on offer that turned out to be.

    I did try and talk to play.com myself, but the customer service representative I spoke to was arrogant, rude, and unhelpful, and insisted that the advertising was not misleading and had already been cleared with the ASA - I now have a letter from the ASA which proves that she was lying through her teeth.

    In any case, I ended up getting a much better deal from amazon.co.uk, which I received within 2 days of ordering, less than a week from Christmas, despite using their free super-saving delivery option and the goods being shipped from Jersey.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    pikey.com

    I see they're still allowing people to illegally sell sporting event tickets for vastly inflated prices too. £337.45 for a ticket to see England v Italy, what a bargain!

  5. Mark
    Gates Horns

    How is this any worse..

    than a Woolworths upto (in very small letters) 50% off sale?

    or a hair product where 150 women were given free stuff and then surveyed..

  6. Andy Turner

    Amazon do it all the time

    On pretty much every item they list, the price claims a saving against the RRP! What exactly are play.com doing wrong here?

  7. Yorkshirepudding
    Flame

    im the only....

    satisified play.com customer?

    sure you could spend hours hopping from shop to shop for the cheapest item but i tend to find play.com have cheaper prices than amazon and HMV, they usually despatch quickley too as long as your postie doesnt knick the stuff like mine

  8. Ian

    Er

    How is this any different than places like GAME selling me a game for £34.99 when the RRP is £49.99 despite no one else ever selling it for more than £39.99 and then GAME telling me I've saved £15 when in reality I've only saved like £5 realistically.

    They do this even on pre-orders of unreleased games. GAME isn't alone in this though, a lot of places do it so why has Play been singled out? Just because they did it in a newspaper rather than just online?

  9. Lloyd
    Thumb Down

    Oh dear, Play again

    Not to mention the permanent SALE that Play run, items are cheaper outside of the "sale" on many occasions, not that they're the only one, just the most blatant offender.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    thing is...

    "based on an rrp of £29.99!"

    that is the rrp of a blue ray disc check around you'll see it.

  11. Shaun

    RRP

    I don't see the problem with them using the RRP for products not on sale, because I thought that the RRP was the Recommended Retail Price, not the price that other people are selling it at

  12. twunt

    email recieved from play.com today

    says 'laptops from £159.99' -follow the link, sort by price - cheapest one is £329

    BASTAAARDDDSS!!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ how is this any worse

    because unlear and outright lying are different. Saying up to 50% off and discounting it 10% is very different to saying 50% off and just marking up the original price so it looks like there is 50% off.

  14. Andrew Moore

    Euro conversion...

    "Pick something is £30, and press the Euro button. Play will convert it to around €45, rather than the $33 it should be."

    If you are lucky- Some of their conversions are as high as €2 to £1- especially on their special offer stuff. I've long since moved to cdnow.com- Faster service and realistic prices.

  15. Matt

    Mark's right

    if you read the small print for eye lash thickener (or whatever the right term is) it says the model in the ad is wearing false lashes. How can that not be misleading?

    Or that Spanish sounding girl doing hair adverts where the small print says she's wearing hair extensions?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    ASA spineless

    "Ryanair was reported to the OFT on those grounds last year, she said"

    And like what happened.

    The ASA have no teeth, they don't act in the interest of the consumers - it should be one warning and then a heavy fine instantly.

    That said, play.com have given me nothing but excellent service.

  17. Mike Crawshaw

    Meh

    *SHOCK* - adverts exaggerate???

    Pretty much every retailer does this in one form or another. Argos are particularly inventive with (e.g.) their console packages - "SAVE £54.99!!!!" on a package - or buy the pieces individually from Game (hardly the cheapest place in the country) for about twenty quid less than this hyped sale price. Furniture places, anyone?? "One day only, save 40%!!" - every other weekend!

    Let's face it, anyone with half a brain will look at the actual price and compare that to what they can get elsewhere, rather than comparing to the obviously-inflated price quoted by that retailer trying to make their discounts look better than they are.

    That said, I use Play.com sometimes, they're often cheaper than the high street (though not as much as they claim to be). I have no problem with their advertising being complete lies, it's no different to pretty much any other advertising on the planet.

  18. Colin Millar
    Stop

    Don't see the problem

    Unlike stuff where direct comparison isn't really possible (e.g. mobile and broadband packages) you can always see the bottom line with these items and that's all you should take any notice of. Anyone who thinks "40% off" has any meaning deserves to get mugged.

    If ASA want to be useful they should ban the use of the word 'Unlimited' where it is used to mean 'limited'.

  19. Chris Irvine
    Thumb Up

    nothing but

    Excellent service from play.com, agreed sometimes the mailouts are misleading (like showing a picture of Heroes characters and saying "TV Series from 9.99!") but the prices are good, and they are fast, would reccommend to anyone been with em for 4 years

  20. Geraint

    So?

    All websites do this in one way or another, as do too many shops. I came to learn that comparing product prices to their RRP's was a pointless thing to do a long time ago...

    I compare actual prices between websites, RRPs are always about double the selling prices anyway.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    Good

    I'm glad Play are getting some scrutiny over this - they constantly say that their dvd's are "70% discounted" or "50% discounted", based on the idea that the dvd's have a rrp of £20 or whatever when Tesco's will sell the same thing for £6.

    There are some good deals though, and the free delivery is an attraction since I don't like seeing a dvd for £5 or £6 on Amazon and then having to pay for delivery on top of that.

  22. W
    Stop

    Not shopped at Amazon for a while, eh?

    Re: "Good" - MichaelG

    >"I don't like seeing a dvd for £5 or £6 on Amazon and then having to pay for delivery on top of that."

    -Er, you don't! It used to be (I think) £15 for free delivery, but they lowered that limit a while back.

    -See http://tinyurl.com/amazon-free-delivery

    >"How do I get FREE Super Saver Delivery?"

    >"Place over £5 of eligible items in your Shopping Basket. (Eligible items are those purchased directly from Amazon.co.uk (or items sold by a third party on Marketplace marked as Fulfilled by Amazon) on the Amazon.co.uk website, excluding gift certificates and certain electrical items."

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    @ Not shopped at Amazon for a while, eh?

    Good to know - cheers.

  24. W
    Happy

    re: @ Not shopped at Amazon for a while, eh?

    No probs.

    Makes buying the odd CD / DVD from Amazon a much more viable proposition.

  25. twunt

    But...

    Here:

    http://www.find-dvd.co.uk/

    Play is usually up there on price, but it doesn't excuse them sending misleading email ads.

  26. Chris

    misleading?

    Copypastad from play.com

    "£9.99 Free Delivery | RRP: £19.99 | You save: £10.00 (50%)"

    How is that misleading? The RRP is what it is. Yes, nowhere actually sells things for the RRP, but what do you expect? Them to list price comparisons with every other retailer?

    If you're willing to buy it, you think the price is alright. If you find it somewhere cheaper afterwards, you probably should have checked first.

    I think the point the ASA were trying to make was something to do with preorders, where the RRP may be subject to change.

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