About 3 weeks ago we were referred by a friend and fellow parent to a site called #Pleygo. An interesting service hailed as Netflix meets Lego. You subscribe and get a stream of lego sets sent to you. Depending on the plan (low, medium, and high) you can pick from different sets. Medium for example would be about $30 a month and sets would be about $85 on the shelf to buy.
Of course, handing a child a lego set has inherent risk. Pleygo advertises that the sets come with a side bag of extra common pieces; sets are completely sterilized between uses; they allow up to a certain number of pieces to be lost when being returned; and of course have a procedure to buy the set if your child absolutely doesn’t want to part with it.
All of this and a one month 30 day free trial!
Except… It didn’t work. It was a complete fail for us.
About a month ago, we decided to hand them a credit card and see what 30 days would bring us. After one week of Aiden checking the mailbox to no avail I called them. They told us that our wish list (viewing queue) wasn’t full and that they fulfill from the list in order of availability. I explained that there was no mention of requiring a full queue and there was no way to know that everything that was on our mostly filled (80%) queue was all unavailable.
While on the phone, I padded the queue to fill it and noted that it would be a STRONG suggestion to let users know what sets are currently available and which aren’t. I was told that I should see a set within the first 7-10 business days but there was a strong back log.
From here I explained that I was on the free trial. I wanted to emphasize that my interest here was “Trial” not “Free” and that I was evaluating their service. That to this point I had to explain to my seven year old why there was no mail for him on a daily basis and no way to know if there was ever going to be any. The person noted she’s take the comments down (but really gave an attitude of ‘this is just the way we work.’
Last evening, two weeks later, I got a general “Aren’t we great, New Sets” email from Pleygo. It saddens me that at this point they’d all but slipped my mind. I made a note to myself to do a followup call this morning. going to the website I was (less than) surprised that the support phone number is no longer there. There is a limited support section that is primarily driven by community postings. There is also a blog that primarily is proudly talking about their tie in to the recent Lego Movie.
A long time ago I might have had more patience for this. But now money is tighter. The idea of having a wealth of (fairly expensive) Lego open up to my child for far less (even though it was a subscription) seems like a fantastic idea. That being said, NOTHING is worth trying to comfort a crest fallen child every day for two weeks for reasons other than, “I guess we just have to wait, I don’t know what’s going on.”
Obviously, I cancelled my “Free Trial” as I take solace in the fact that at least it didn’t cost me financially to know that the service failed the trial. Honestly, I hope in the long run the idea succeeds. But for now… There is far too much broken in the system for a person to join that ecosystem.