Play.com pummelled over purported piracy permissiveness
Etailer spanked for 'dodgy' software sales
UPDATED Play.com has come under fire for failing to quickly clamp down on an alleged seller of pirated Microsoft software.
An IT consultant advised SME clients to order copies of Office 2003 Professional but says that on arrival it was apparent they were not legit: there was no holographic strip on the COA sticker, it had a fake VBA script and the hologram on the disc was stuck on, not embedded in it.
Despite informing Play.com of the problem, it told the consultant - who asked to remain anonymous - to take up the issue with the vendor DirectSurplus. Six weeks later following a trail of emails, he lost the faint hope that the situation would be resolved.
"I had hoped for a refund but I'm not holding my breath, it seems that [DirectSurplus] knows how to play for time," he told the Reg. "Being a big trader I would have assumed that Play.com would have procedures in place to keep an eye on what is being sold."
"If I can stop the sale of this software than that is a good outcome."
This is exactly what has happened after the Reg contacted Play.com, a spokeswoman for the etailer confirmed.
"The seller's account has been closed while they [Play.com] investigate where the products came from," said the spokeswoman, but she refused to comment further.
In a statement Michala Wardell, head of anti-piracy for Microsoft UK, said it too would look into the matter.
"The damage software pirates inflict on the channel by selling illegal software is huge, whether they’re based in a physical shop or online via auction sites and community marketplaces," she said.
"We’re committed to stamping out software piracy and investigate every report we receive from the public. As the result of our activity, we take action against over 100 resellers each year and will always undergo legal proceedings where necessary."
DirectSurplus did not respond to emails. ®
The consultant has been in touch to confirm that all clients have now been given a refund from DirectSurplus.
But to be fair to the punter
why should they care ? If Play.com got their %age commission out of the sale, then they should take responsibility if there should be an issue.
It's like certain high-street retailers, that are very good to sell you the thing, and then (unlawfully) try to tell you it's between you and the manufacturer if there's a problem.
This is why I wouldn't use eBay for anything non-trivial. They are very good at taking their wedge, and even better at trying to wash their hands of any problems.
PlayTrade sellers can't "clone" your card details - they never get access to them, just like Amazon Marketplace sellers never get to see card details for orders placed through Amazon. The payment is processed by Play themselves, they just pass on the money less commission to the seller. If you had your card cloned you need to call Play themselves, it's their issue - but you've obviously never had your card cloned buying from a PlayTrade seller, have you?
Play.com problems in general
Play.com must be run by a bunch of idiots and the management of its IT is terrible at best.
Take for example. I am receiving SPAM mail from Play.com (yes from their domain) containing special offers and rubbish. I have unsubscribed more than 8 months ago and I still receive their spam. Contacted them probably a dozen times to have this sorted and get the reply back about my email has been removed from the mailing list and takes a few days to take effect.
Week later I get more Play.com spam. All this for only buying one DVD of Play.com and nothing else.
Anyone know where I can report the domain as a spam network because as far as I know unsolicited emails in the EU is illegal and they are continually sending more and more emails.
All I can say about Play.com is their handling of customer data and protecting customer interests is rubbish. (aka. The data breach from not long ago)
My advice is don't use them, even for buying something that they themselves supply until they actually give a damn