Pure-play web retailers outperformed their multi-channel rivals when delivering customer satisfaction in the run up to Xmas, according to research.

ForeSee Results surveyed visitors to 30 top retail websites in the UK and found they were happiest with Play.com, Amazon and eBay UK.

On average, online-only retailers netted 70 points out of 100, compared to 64 for brands with other non-web channels.

But the overall average was 66 – some way lower than a similar survey in the US.

The study collected over 10,500 responses between November 26 and December 17.

It found:

  • The top rated site was Play.com (76), which has since reported a 24% rise in orders in the Xmas period. It was followed by Amazon UK (75); eBay UK (72); QVC (71); HMV (70); Marks & Spencer (70) and EBuyer (70).
  • Bringing up the rear were B&Q (53); Le Redoute (58); WH Smith (59) and PC World (59).

ForeSee Results said shoppers on a top performing site were around 22% more likely to buy from that retailer next Xmas.

Larry Freed, president and CEO, said:

“Those with 60 points or below are failing to satisfy shoppers, eroding loyalty and are missing a tremendous opportunity to leverage the web channel to improve their bottom line.

"They are holding back further adoption of web purchasing for the rest of the retail market. Those that are doing well should be applauded for recognising how important it is to get it right.”

Related research:
Online Customer Engagement Report 2008


Published 3 January, 2008 by Richard Maven

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Comments (9)

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Rob Williams

I have had a problem with Play. com. Play have an excellent web site which is easy to use. However, if you have a problem with an order the only customer service telephone number quoted on the website is an 0845 number. If like me you live outside the UK (I live in Spain) you cannot dial that number. Recently I had been overcharged on an order and have no way of contacting Play. Can you help?

over 8 years ago



Ordered item from Play.com which was out of stock. Phoned them up to find out when I can expect delivery I was then promised delivery first within 3- 5 working days. However item didnt arrive. Then told delivery within 7 working days again item didnt arrive and account kept infoming me 'out of stock'  found out they had then taken the money out of my account so rang back as account status still showed out of stock, even though they had taken the money. I was then told delivery within 28 days from date of order. Guess what, 28 days later still no delivery, money had been taken out of my account and the item is still out of stock.

Asked for a refund for money that they should not have taken as I have been informed that they should not deduct money from an account until the item is dispatched. I was told a refund was done but I am still waiting for it to go into my account some 2 weeks ago. When complained I was again told that a refund had been done. I have spoken to my bank and they deny that a refund has been activated onto my account or any money has gone through. My bank statement also confirms this. One person at Play.com even used the excuse of 'wait for 7 days for it to credit into the account', yet the time she quoted the refund was done was 9 days prior excuding weekends. I am still arguing this with Play.com and very much doubt I will see the money as each time I speak to them they keep saying that the money has been refunded, yet my bank statment and bank say it hasn't

over 8 years ago



Spent almost an hour on the phone with this company regarding an order for a child's netbook placed on November24th, when ordered, item was listed as in stock. Then listed on my account as ordered. When next checked item was stated as awaiting stock. When eventually pressed last night I was told that it was not likely to be in stock in time for Christmas!

I was given a customer services email address to which I could make a formal complaint. The email address was incorrect. I have tried multiple combinations without success. Anyone know how to contact this company by email? I am so disgusted by the fact that this company are leaving it to the last minute to tell customer the truth about the true state of their orders.

over 8 years ago



Have spent a fortune on phone calls to try and track a gift that was "posted" on 8 December. Have been told call back it will be dealt with. The last person I spoke to told me my money would be refunded within 24 to 48 hours I am still waiting. Apart from the fact it is for Christmas so I can't get another one, also I am a pensioner so money is tightly budgeted. I cannot afford to go and buy anything else until I get my money back.

Most of the people on the phones are foreign so either they can't understand me or I have trouble with the accents also they are all reading from a script so they can't think for themselves and keep repeating the script until you want to scream.

over 8 years ago



My son purchased two books for his brother to arrive for Christmas. One of the books had two pages in the middle ripped in half with the other half missing, and the other book had 46 pages missing at the end of the book. as well as this he has ordered two other items that should have arrived for Christmas so he ordered them a couple of weeks before but as of yet they still havent arrived. I will never use this company again as it is not the first time we have had trouble with them. In previous purchases money was taken from my account before an email verifying the dispatch of the item was sent to me, and one of the items i ordered has never arrived.

over 8 years ago



I have an account with Play.com. Before Xmas I went onto their site to look for a book. I did not buy this book from them because I found it cheaper on Amazon. Play.com sent me the book anyway, and debited my account.. When I contacted them I was told to return the item ,which cost me postage,and I am still waiting for a refund. I want to cancel this account ,but find it very frustrating trying to contact them. Surely an Internet based company should be contactable on the Internet? If anyone else has had this problem,I would be very interested to hear about it. It must be illegal to assume that a purchase has taken place because a person looks at an item.

about 8 years ago


Jane Jaboulet

I have been a play.com customer for nearly five years now. It's an excellent site, everything is really reasonably priced, until you have a problem.....

I ordered the Harry Potter 6 DVD before Christmas which never arrived. I didn't react immediately as we weren't at home for the Christmas holidays. However, on returning, I tried in vain to contact them by e-mail. If you don't click on your order within a given period you no longer have the option of registering your complaint. I then tried to call the 0845 number which was "temporarily out of order" for 2 months. I decided to give up and bought it from my local supermarket ( yes, I paid twice)!!

I put this down to a bad experience and recently ordered a PC game (Assassin's Creed) which, guess what, hasn't arrived, and I'm now going through the same process of trying to get in touch with them. I live in France, and will from now on boycott this site in favourof Amazon.fr or Fnac.com. The prices are perhaps a little more expensive ( one euro) but at least you can get in touch with them if necessary. I've just lost nearly 50 euros due to 2 orders that haven't arrived: talk about a false economy!!!

almost 8 years ago



Ive order something and it took whole 1 year to arrive, it take the mick as my son had outgrown them however i cannot phone em up as i am deaf and the service is sh*t, as they should have ''contact us'' all we got is number, no email or nowt

over 7 years ago


David Lawrence

Play.com are fine until there is a problem. I used them for years without a problem until one day last year when they failed to despatch my order on time, it was seriously late so I had to cancel the order and purchase the item elsewhere. Now I been put through hell trying to get a refund. They have pulled every trick in the book to avoid refunding, and this is still ongoing! Yes, from 2010 I have been trying to get my money back. They have the worse customer services I have ever encountered. I have been buying goods online for many years and have never come across a worse customer services department. Needless to say, I will never buy from Play.com again.

about 7 years ago

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