Popular online retailer Play.com faced a PR disaster this week when a website glitch meant that customers could effectively get £15 worth of products for free.
A code for a £15 discount was posted on HotUKDeals, and bargain hunters soon discovered that there was no minimum spend, meaning they could buy £15 worth of products for free. One HotUKDeals member said that they were able to put in an order for three DVDs which, after redeeming the voucher code, cost just 37p.
After word of the deal had spread, the Play.com site crashed under the pressure. Play.com later took to the HotUKDeals forum to inform customers that there had been a mistake, and glitch meant that a voucher code intended for one customer was able to be passed on and used multiple times.
Customers hit back after Play.com later confirmed that all orders placed using the code would be cancelled. Many customers had been sent order confirmation emails, with some even being informed that their items had been dispatched.
Perhaps to avoid a PR fail, Play.com should have taken a leaf out of ProCook’s book. Last month the kitchen utensil company suffered a similar glitch, but honoured their customers’ orders. The company gave away an estimated £10,000 worth of products but gained praise from the press as well as their customers.
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