Newest Review: ... I followed all of their instructions for return of the product and was promised a refund within 3-5 days. I kept my proof of ... more
The best place to buy DVD's online
Member Name: Judgee
Date: 18/12/02, updated on 31/12/02 (982 review reads)
Advantages: Cheap, efficient when sending items, no postage
Disadvantages: Troublesome returns
The trouble with Internet shopping is that so many sites try to cover everything and end up failing miserably. However, I have found a few of these "jack of all trades" sites to be very good in certain areas. Play.Com is one of those sites that excel in one area in particular, the selling of DVDs.
Logging on to the site you are confronted by an easy to use interface. The home page features a couple of highlighted items from each of the areas that they trade in ie DVD's, CD's and various gaming formats from Computer games to XBOX titles.
On the left of the homepage is a list of the "charts" that they compile from their sales department featuring Top Sellers, coming soon, Recent releases and Top 100 (split again into the various media formats, DVD, CD, etc). Below that, you can access your shopping basket and below that is the site information links.
The site information provides you with all the information about Play, including their policy on returns, etc. This is basically all of their terms and conditions.
The one thing that really strikes you from the start is how easy it is to navigate around the site. Everywhere you look there are bars and buttons to take you anywhere on the site that you would care to go. This is one of Play's major strengths as far as I am concerned. After all, who wants to spend hours searching for an item, only to find that they don't stock it.
You are not immediately required to join the site, meaning that you can have a good browse to see if anything interest you, BEFORE filling out the members details required to purchase an item. When purchasing an item, all you have to do is click on the "buy" button and it is immediately added to your shopping basket. This is where my first gripe comes in. When clicking on the buy button, it is not really clear that you have added it to your basket, the screen flickers for a second and
then just refreshes. I did this several times and it was only when I pressed the "go to checkout button" that I realised that I had put 10 copies of "The Shawshank Redemption" in my basket! (Good film but it's not worth buying ten times!) So please bear in mind that one click adds the item, even it doesn't look like it. It is easy to cancel before your order is processed though, so don't panic if you make this mistake also!
As for the products, well I have found no savings in the CD category, or the PC games section. However, where this site really excels is in its DVD section. Purchasing DVD's from Play can save you an absolute fortune. Particularly if you have a multi-regional DVD player, as it sells both Region 2 (Western Europe ie English format) and Region 1 DVD's (North American format). What does this mean as far as saving money is concerned? Well let me give you an example. "The 10th Kingdom" is a made-for-tv mini series priced at around £35 in region 2 format. But in region 1 format it is priced at around £10. Now that's what I call a saving, and before you ask, yes you can purchase Region 1 DVD's in pounds/sterling.
Do not despair if you only have a region 2 DVD player though, there are still some great savings to be made, especially in their vast list of DVD box sets (before finding this site, I didn't realise quite how many box sets were available!).
So what's the service like then? Well, they are very quick and efficient and the icing on the cake is that they send your items to you FREE from postal charges. If nothing else, the lack of postage makes this site the most competitive on the market.
So is it all sunshine and roses? Well no, not quite! Unfortunately I found a big flaw in their system with regard to returns. Don't get me wrong, they seem to focus on getting your purchases to you as soon as possible, which is h
ld be. If however, your purchase has something wrong with it, returning the item to them can be frustrating. First off you have to contact them to get their permission to return it (bit cheeky this, if you ask me) Then you have to return it by recorded delivery. No problem there as you get refunded your postage costs if they agree that it is faulty. However, they will only refund you up to £2 postage. I have only returned one item, a normal sized DVD which cost me £4.50 to return to them, leaving me £2.50 out of pocket through no fault of my own! To add insult to injury, the item in question was pre-ordered because I wanted it as soon as it hit the shops. The item was returned to them almost two months ago and it is only now (nearly two months and several emails later) that they have decided to send a new copy back to me! All this may have been resolved more rapidly if I had used their customer services line. Every email I sent them they told me to contact them on this. But the customer services line costs money and I refused to use it!
Despite this problem with returns, they are still the cheapest online store for DVD's that I have come across and they do an exceptional line in budget DVD's from as little as £4.49. Other items that they stock, although competitively priced can still be found cheaper elsewhere. They are also fairly quick to get your items out to you (usually within the week if it was ordered (or released if pre-ordered)) So this is still my first choice for purchasing DVD's online. Don't let the returns problem put you off, I have only received one faulty DVD, having purchased quite a few!
The number one site for purchasing DVD's online as far as I am concerned!