Has anyone dealt with PlayCentric.com?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by chris larralde, Sep 26, 2001.

  1. chris larralde

    chris larralde Stunt Coordinator

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    Placed a couple of DVD orders with them last month and still haven't received my goods or responses to emails.
    Anyone else have experience with them? I get the feeling that they've gone belly-up and took my money.
    chris
     
  2. JustinT

    JustinT Stunt Coordinator

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    I hope thats not the case. I just placed an order for Simpsons season 1 from them and haven't had any word of it shipping.
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  3. Bjorn Olav Nyberg

    Bjorn Olav Nyberg Supporting Actor

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    I know this company only by reputation, but it seems they have always been extremely slow.
    I would rather recommend www.absound.ca or www.thunderdvd.com, these are two Canadian online retailers that I use all the time, they have got prices in the same range as playcentric, if not lower, and they are very fast at shipping, and have good customer service.
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  4. Jeff Krispow

    Jeff Krispow Stunt Coordinator

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    I did the same thing... I ordered something from them and have yet to receive it. From the day after I placed my order, their website listed the order status as "processed: yes; backordered: no," yet after a few weeks I've received no package, no shipping notice, no emails, nothing. It was apparently just sitting somewhere in a warehouse.
    I just went over to Playcentric.com and checked my order status again, and amazingly enough my order apparently shipped on the 24th. They also provided an airbill tracking number. Well, I guess that means they are legit, but just incredibly slow and with horrid customer service. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt for now, at least until my package arrives (if it ever does) and I examine the contents -- gotta make sure it's actually what I ordered, and hopefully not damaged (it was one of the early Anchor Bay tins that I never picked up, and it's been long OOP).
    I decided to do some searching on Playcentric, and discovered that the company is based in St. Michael, Bridgetown, Barbados. They have 10 employees and they mainly operate out of Barbados. However, they have a distribution deal with some big record store chain in Toronto, Canada. It looks like the chain is called MusicWorld, but I'm not 100% sure if that is the only record chain they are dealing with. The owner of the company, Paven Bratch, is a Canadian citizen, and put his main operating unit in Barbardos because they have a tax treaty with Canada, in order to take advantage of the Carribean nation's corporate income tax rate of 2%. Anyway, that's their deal, and the only other contact info I've found besides email was a Bermuda fax number: 441-293-5921. I have NO idea to whom this fax number actually goes to though, since the company is located in Barbados and Canada, not Bermuda.
    Amazing the info you can track down on the internet when you look hard enough [​IMG] You can find the dirt on nearly anyone...
    I just went and tried to track my package, but I've been completely unable to do so -- the tracking number doesn't seem to match up with any actual Canadian postal service. It's certainly not a US tracking number, and it didn't match up with the Barbados or Bermuda postal services either. Guess I'm playing that frustrating waiting game and seeing what happens.
    In any event, I take back what I said earlier about giving them the benefit of the doubt. Considering the company's setup, the lousy customer service, poor warehousing, super-slow shipping, useless tracking numbers, etc., I think it's a safe bet to say that I won't be placing any further orders with Playcentric.com, ever.
    So Chris, it looks like this exact same thing will happen to you. I suggest checking your order status online and see if it actually finally shipped out to you. If not, I hate to say it, but it just looks like you'll have to be patient and wait for them to decide it's time to actually mail out your order. I'm for hoping for the best for you...
    I'll let you know what happens here.
    Best wishes,
    Jeff
    ------------------
    Jeff Krispow
    Former Reviewer
    http://www.laserrot.com
    [email protected]
     
  5. chris larralde

    chris larralde Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeff,
    I got the same status message as you: Order processed, in stock, and a airbill number that doesn't work. I do remember somewhere on the site that said shipping could take about four weeks, but I can't seem to find it now. I just hope that's the case because I'm starting to lose faith.
    I guess this is a good caution to anyone considering them in the future.
    They did have great prices though. I ordered two anime DVDs and saved almost 50% compared to other sites. hmmm...
    chris
     
  6. Brad_W

    Brad_W Screenwriter

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    My recommendation, though you didn't ask for it:
    http://dvdplanet.com
    They are super fast!!! and mildly to super cheap! I ordered movies recently on Saturday and thought it would take a while due to the airline slowdown, BAM! Monday they were here. I couldn't believe it. Plus, their customer service is awesome. I once didn't get my eighth disc in my Cosmos Box set and they sent me the disc in a DVD mailer... no questions asked!!!
    buy from them!!!
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  7. Kurt N

    Kurt N Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd never dealt with them before, but pre-ordered the Simpsons from them. Received an e-mail 9/24 saying my order had shipped 9/21 and that average shipping time was 8-14 business days. Guess I shouldn't expect it to get here until some time next week. If I'm lucky.
    Yesterday I pre-ordered Fawlty Towers and it never even occurred to me to go back to playcentric. DVDempire has never done me wrong and they got the $$$ from me again.
    [Edited last by Kurt N on September 28, 2001 at 08:09 AM]
     
  8. Marvin

    Marvin Screenwriter

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    Despite some misgivings (I had also read some things about their customer service, charging your cc right away for pre-orders etc.) I was about to submit a somewhat large order to playcentric due to their prices and a $2-off-each-item coupun that dvdpricesearch had listed (as expiring 9/30). But as I was about to, I saw they stopped listing that coupon so I decided not to order from them, for now anyway. I guess I just wasn't getting good vibes about the whole thing.
     
  9. Jeff Hipps

    Jeff Hipps Stunt Coordinator

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    I found Playcentric by searching for the best pricing on Toy Story 2 at www.mysimon.com. Not only were their prices low, but they had a special coupon offer with mysimon for additional discounts. On August 2, 2001 I ordered Toy Story 2 and placed preorders for the Godfather collection and Phantom Menace. After 5 separate e-mails and two false shipping dates I finally received Toy Story 2 on September 25. Of course they charged my credit card for the full amount for the entire ourder on August 3.
    They may be legit, but I would not recommend them.
    Jeff Hipps
     
  10. JoelH

    JoelH Stunt Coordinator

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    I recently ordered Chasing Amy: CC from them. I had the same info on the order status page as some of the rest of you that the order was processed and the item was not backordered. There was no ability to track the order beyond this. I had to remember that their shipping policy stated 8-15 business days for delivery, so I was going to give them 15 business days before I started ranting and raving. Fortunately, it arrived yesterday, 14 business days after ordering it.
    I will not be ordering from them again.
    Joel
     
  11. Jeff Krispow

    Jeff Krispow Stunt Coordinator

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    The ONLY reason I actually ordered from Playcentric.com in the first place was that they were they only store that still had one of the old out-of-print Anchor Bay tins in stock (the "Hellraiser" double feature). Additionally, their price on the limited edition tin was even cheaper than buying the two films seperately from any online store (I checked this out on DVDPriceSearch.com). Add on the extra $2.00 discount coupon, and it was cheaper still.
    So that's why Playcentric.com got my order, and it won't happen again. Nearly all my regular online orders go to www.deepdiscountdvd.com. -- they have prices that nobody else comes close to matching + free shipping already included. And for Canadian orders, the two stores mentioned by Bjørn are definitely a good start.
    Another Canadian store I've found is www.totalactionuniverse.com -- I haven't actually dealt with them yet, but I've heard good things about them and their prices are certainly amazing. Anybody else heard anything about these folks?
    Jeff
    ------------------
    Jeff Krispow
    Former Reviewer
    http://www.laserrot.com
    [email protected]
     
  12. Philip Verdieck

    Philip Verdieck Second Unit

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    Same thing with me. I am waiting on Princess Bride and LOTR.
    Ordered 9/5
    Dispatched 9/10
     
  13. chris larralde

    chris larralde Stunt Coordinator

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    8 to 14 days for delivery! I'm still waiting for my order placed on 8/20 -- that's like 37 days!
    Now I'm getting pissed. Buyer beware.
    chris
     
  14. Jeff Krispow

    Jeff Krispow Stunt Coordinator

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    I've been doing some more digging, and I came up with aactual, real, live contact information for someone at PlayCentric.com.
    Administrative Contact / Technical Contact / Billing Contact / Customer Service Rep:
    Harmit Kamboe
    Phone: (416) 693-4223
    FAX: (416) 693-4960
    Email: [email protected]
    Just as an FYI, the phone numbers above are located in Canada. Judging from the "rap sheet" above, Harmit is apparently the only employee that handles Playcentric.com's Canadian dealings.
    On a side note, I read a Usenet posting where someone stated they had been dealing with a "Harmit" trying to resolve some shipping issues, so I'm going to take that small leap of logic and assume this is the same person.
    Anyway, at least we now have another option when trying to contact PlayCentric.com -- a real live person -- rather than continuing to send endless emails to them that never get answered.
    Aside from the posting here, I also found numerous Usenet and ohter internet forum posting about Playcentric.com, and everyone's story is the same. Cheap prices and you get your items, but it takes weeks or months before anything ships and there's zero customer service. Gee... it's no surprise to me that there are lots of other unhappy customers out there.
    Still haven't received my package yet as of today -- and still can't figure out how to track my package using their airbill tracking number -- but again, I'll provide another report whenever it actually arrives. (I'm am so crossing- my -fingers and praying that my disc works perfectly and that the tin packaging isn't dented to hell and back. I'd hate to think of how horrible it would be to attempt any sort of return with these schmucks. Their own return policy states an estimated a four-week turnaround for returns, but I think we know that it'll be way longer than that... if ever.)
    Well, that's it for now. If any of you decide to call Harmit, please let us all know how it goes.
    Until later...
    Jeff
    ------------------
    Jeff Krispow
    Retired Reviewer
    http://www.laserrot.com
    [email protected]
     
  15. Robert_eb

    Robert_eb Supporting Actor

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    The following is an e-mail I got from them on 9/27/01 regarding my Simpsons DVD preorder:
    "We apologize, but the items shown below are on backorder. Please note that while we do not have an ETA, these items will be shipped out to you as soon as they arrive in-stock."
    This was my first and will be my last order I will make from them.
    I should have spent a few dollars more from deepdiscountdvd and I'd be watching it right now.
     
  16. Kurt N

    Kurt N Stunt Coordinator

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    1) Has anyone ever placed a second order with this company? Has any customer ever been satisfied with their purchase?
    2) I found them through the Sprite/RocketCash prmotion. I'd never heard of playcentric, but figured if Coca-Cola was connected, they had to be legit. I know I've read postings somewhere from people who ordered through this promotion. Perhaps if everyone who ordered from playcentric through Sprite complained to the Coke company, they'd shake playcentric up a little. Coke doesn't want their promotions to leave a bad taste in their cusomers' mouths. As it were.
     
  17. TerryW

    TerryW Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd have to say that I'm happy with my one purchase with them. I pre-ordered The Simpsons and received it today.
    I did some research to find comments about this company before I placed my order and found no negative remarks (this was in August) but since then I've found whole threads that are negative. I probably won't order again.
     
  18. Kurt N

    Kurt N Stunt Coordinator

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    TerryW-did you get a notification of when your order shipped? Your post makes me think I may get mine within the next few days. WOO-HOO!!!
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  19. Jeff Krispow

    Jeff Krispow Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi everybody,
    Happy happy joy joy!!! I actually received my package today from PlayCentric. Needless to say, I was actually shocked that it showed up. But I do have some interesting stories to pass on...
    First , and most importantly, not only did I get the exact item I ordered -- the long OOP "Hellraiser: Limited Special Edition" tin -- but it arrived in perfect shape. When I initially saw the package, I was utterly horrifed at the condition it was in, and thought for sure that the tin was damaged. Normally, any DVDs I order get packaged inside protective cardboard shipping boxes -- that's how every other mail order company has packaged my DVDs in. However, these morons decided to package this somewhat-fragile, large tin inside of a large padded envelope, where the padding consisted of the thinnest layer of bubble wrap that I have ever seen. So when my package arrived, the first thing I notice is that it was torn in several places and had a couple of "chunks" missing. Thankfully the bubble-wrap somehow managed to protect the tin just enough to prevent any damage. No scratches or dents!!! The gods were with me today on this one and I still can't believe my good fortune! * Whew * That's one big relief. I'd hate to think of having to return this due to damage, especially considering PlayCentric's "rule" that says to allow four weeks minimum turnaround for any replacements.
    Of course, since I just got the discs, I haven't had time to watch them yet. On the surface they look okay, and I expect them to play just fine. Again, I don't want to have to replace these things through PlayCentric if something is wrong. (Wait, I just remembered -- if the discs are bad, I can replace them through Anchor Bay directly and save months of time.)
    I still can't get over the fact that they ship out their orders in stupid, flimsy envelopes instead of protective cardboard shipping boxes. I've NEVER seen this happen before. Even without all the other problems I've had with PlayCentric, this alone would make me never order from them again.
    Aside from finally receiving my order, there's one other good thing I can about PlayCentric. I was happy to note that the tin was in its original shrink-wrapping. This was made obviously by the original round promo sticker for this set that Anchor Bay stuck on the front side. That's big relief #2. In all honesty, I would not have been surprised if I had opened up my package to find a re-shrink-wrapped tin containing used DVDs. Thankfully that didn't happen.
    Now back to the bad stuff...
    This next part is for all of us out there who were unable to track our packages because the "airbill tracking number" on their website didn't work. Well, the reason it doesn't work is because it's 100% nonsense. It's a fake, a phony, a fraud. There's no airbill, nothing. Total deception here, folks. Our packages are being sent through the regular US Postal System, and mine had a small Priority Mail sticker over in the lower-right corner.
    Wait a second....Priority Mail?!? For god's sake, if these schmucks were using Priority Mail, then why the hell didn't they use the FREE cardboard Priority Mail shipping boxes that are available in every post office? Sheesh, not only is it free, but it offers far better protection for all our packages!!! Do these people have any brain cells whatsoever?
    And that's not all -- the package itself offers up even more weirdness. In an earlier post I wrote about PlayCentric's odd business arrangements: they are located in Barbados, they have a distribution deal in Canada, and they have only one person in Canada handling anything. This company is spread out all over the place and is so disorganized that everything is a total disaster. Well, it turns out that they are spread out further than previously suspected. I looked at my package and it has a Canadian return address, which was expected. What wasn't expected was that it was sent via US Priority Mail and was postmarked from Royal Oak, Michigan. What the f.....???
    Yesterday I provided everybody with the direct phone numbers yesterday to contact PlayCentric / Harmit. Well, today I have an actual street address to go along with the phone numbers. Here's the address info as listed on my package:
    166 Norseman Street
    Toronto, Canada
    M8Z 2R4
    So there you have it folks.... more weirdness to add in to everything you've heard before. While you'll be happy to know that you'll receive your order, you're bound to be more upset just the same. I have to reiterate that I will never order anything from PlayCentric again, and I urge any new readers to heed the warnings you'll find posted in these pages -- stay far away from these guys.
    My best wishes to you all....
    Jeff
    ------------------
    Jeff Krispow
    Retired Reviewer
    http://www.laserrot.com
    [email protected]
    [Edited last by Jeff Krispow on September 29, 2001 at 09:50 PM]
     
  20. Phil Tomaskovic

    Phil Tomaskovic Supporting Actor

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    I ordered 61*, Simpsons, and Star Wars episode 1. I got shipping notices for the first 2, but I wonder if the whole order won't ship until Star Wars is out? Anyone else order Simpsons with another dvd that is preordered for a later date?
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