UK retailer Zavvi threatens legal action after warehouse bungle gifts customers free Vita

Zavvi's patience is wearing paper thin.

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UK retailer Zavvi has reportedly threatened some customers with legal action after a warehouse bungle saw the company accidentally post out free PlayStation Vita consoles.

A mix-up in October saw the company send out a £169.99 (approximately $280) Tearaway Vita bundle to customers who only preordered the £19.99 ($32) game.

After realising their mistake, Zavvi asked the recipients to send the goods back. "We are very sorry to inform you that due to an error in our warehouse we have dispatched the incorrect product," read an initial e-mail from the company, as reported by Darkzero.

But now--presumably after some of the customers opted not to return the free hardware--Zavvi is said to have issued a "final notice" to the new owners of the hardware bundles. The company is now reported to be threatening legal action to those who fail to contact the company before 17:00 GMT today and arrange a courier to collect the goods.

"This is our final notice to politely remind you that you did not order, or pay for, a PS Vita and if you fail to contact us by 5pm (UK time) on 10th December 2013 to arrange a convenient time for the PS Vita to be collected we reserve the right to enforce any and/or all legal remedies available to us," wrote the company.

"Please email feedback@thehutgroup.com with the correct collection details. We look forward to hearing from you shortly."

Do those who have received a free Vita in the post have a legal right to keep the item, however? The Citizen's Advice Bureau says that the UK's distance selling regulations stipulate that customers sent unsolicited goods are allowed to keep them, but not necessarily if they've been sent them in error.

"The Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations say you have a right to keep goods delivered to you that you didn’t ask for. But if goods are sent to you by mistake, you need to contact whoever sent them to let them know and ask them to collect the goods. You might get goods sent by mistake if they are meant for someone else or you’ve been sent duplicate or extra items on top of what you ordered."

"If you receive goods you have not ordered and which haven’t been sent by mistake, you can treat the goods as an unconditional gift and you can do what you want with them."

Zavvi previously declined to comment to GameSpot on the issue.

Discussion

125 comments
LuzerGS
LuzerGS

In addition to what I posted; wouldn't it be cool if somehow everybody who received a Vita collaborated through a forum (or the like) making the decision to - as a united body - keep the Vita bundle and if Zavvi decides to press on with legal action then they can all make a counter-suit (or whatever the right legal term is - I'm not very smart ^_^ ) and stand together against the money hungry retailer.


Another awesome turn would be, if Sony got in touch with all the people who sent them back and gave them another, this time free of charge in the spirit of Christmas. 

LuzerGS
LuzerGS

Wow, I used to like Zavvi but now...maybe not so much.

I remember not too long ago something similar happened with Razer; yet Razer still did the stand up thing to do and honoured the purchases that occurred during the pricing error.

It's kind of a grey area matter but still I can't help but lose respect for Zavvi, given the candid generosity of Razer in the past.

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

Legal questions aside, there is the matter of mutual respect and fairness. I have never dealt with Zavvi, so I don't know how customer-friendly their policies are. I would, for example, return mistakenly sent goods back to Amazon at their expense; they have given me partial refunds when manufacturers failed to honor rebates in a couple of instances.

I would not, on the other hand, voluntarily relinguish ownership of mistakenly given games on digital distribution platforms. They can just revoke access on their end, but I am not agreeing to anything since if I buy a game by mistake, it's non-refundable the second I click "confirm purchase." The retailer should be subject to the same restrictions. As I said, legality aside.

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

That's a real shame. This could've been a great Christmas surprise for people. Instead they get the gift of a threat of legal action. I wonder how many VITAs were sent out by mistake. Could it really be enough to warrant this? It could've been an opportunity to take a mistake on their part and make some good publicity out of it. They clearly care more about every last penny.

I certainly won't buy from them again. But I suppose that wouldn't necessarily stop them sending me items if they're this competent.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

*Ugh*. It's not the customers at fault, Zavvi.

tonytones21
tonytones21

I love it when multi-million dollar companies start freaking out over a couple thousands of dollars. It tells a lot about their values.

Mr_Big_Boss
Mr_Big_Boss

They could have used this error to gain good publicity and raise sales publicly saying they can keep their Vitas, but they chose to make a fuss and bring negative attention to themselves by threatening to sue them. This will certainly result in a decline in sales for them.

pupp3t_mast3r
pupp3t_mast3r

It's one thing to ask the customers to return their products, it's another thing entirely to threaten legal action over a $200 product. The fact that these people will never shop from this store again is probably going to cost Zavvi a lot more in the long run.


So much for the spirit of Christmas.

codac
codac

Over here, your mistake is my gain. I figured the UK would be the same

Brokendemise
Brokendemise

If they want them back, they better pay for the courier service. It's a mistake, for sure, but it's just rude on their part to send them threatening letters.

Paul2004
Paul2004

There goes the public image and a nice hit to their rep among gamers XD. Its an expensive mistake sure but it would cost them alot more to legally pursue this, better to write it off and move on....

EzraMajor
EzraMajor

I agree that the retailer should get their product back but the bad publicity they'll get for the statement isn't worth it. At very least they should've come off in a bit more friendly fashion.

If they sent these notices by email I imagine most of the customers didn't even see it. I almost always just delete emails from GameStop as spam.

spats77
spats77

It is better to give than to receive. Merry Christmas Zavvi

nurnberg
nurnberg

On another note...  Nintendo sent Wii-U bundles by mistake to gamers who only ordered a game.  The gamers are now threatening Nintendo with legal action to force Nintendo to take back the consoles.

deth420
deth420

They should of held a competition. you have to win 2 out of three games against one of there employees (or a hired ringer.) If you win you keep the vita, if you lose the take a hand...ok maybe not the hand!

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

They should let the people keep the PSvita. And then pay closer attention next time so this doesn't happen again.

starcrafthenry
starcrafthenry

What a terrible decision. They should have sent out a notice about the mistake, and asked people to return the Vita. They should not have threatened to sue any of their customers though. Get back as many Vitas as you can from the initial notice, and then chalk up the rest of them as their own mistake, and learn from their mistake. Now not only they did lose however many Vitas, but they're ostracizing their customers and will very likely lose business from the bad publicity.


I bet by the time this situation is over, they'll have paid lawyers more than each Vita costs, and they'll have lost lots of future business too. Would have been much cheaper just to drop it.

SteamyPotatoes
SteamyPotatoes

Zavvi needs to tear itself away from this anti consumer action.

grove67
grove67

report your ps vita as stolen 

and don't return it

tell them the thief only stole the vita 

randomkidlol
randomkidlol

LOL


Take the vita and run. They cant do shit to you anyways.

meatz666
meatz666

A guy bought a Xbone photo, and a store is giving Vitas away...

The world is funny...


xsonicchaos
xsonicchaos

No "witty" puns about how torn they are by this so far I see.

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

Don't blame them to be honest.

Sure it was their fault they sent out the free Vitas but this isn't like a paper route where you might get the odd "extra" paper in your bag by accident, where if you just don't say anything no one will care.

You can't just expect to keep a £150 console just because of a stock glitch.

That being said if someone is pre-ordering or buying the Tearaway game they probably already own a Vita. My guess is many of those ended up on ebay pretty quickly.

But I'm not into the morals of business decisions that would be up to a court to work out if it was right to press charges on someone who was merely taking advantage of a random piece of luck.

NoHyperbolePlz
NoHyperbolePlz

Zavvi is super crappy. They candled my pre-order of Gran Turismo 6 without telling me because they sold out and then today send me a message saying "hey, why does your credit card not work when we tried to charge you for the game?" even though I had to physically buy a copy days ago. 


Don't get me started on the times they candled my order because I used a discount code and they decided I can only order 1 game instead of 2 with it, when the code never had a limit.

wookiegr
wookiegr

Wait, I'm confused. It's not customary for UK retailers to give away free stuff to complete idiots?

Raeldor
Raeldor

 They should at the very least come and COLLECT the Vita.  Why should the customer have to be inconvenienced standing in line for god knows how long at the Post Office to correct their mistake?  If they're not prepared to do that, then the customers should be allowed to keep it.


npgr
npgr

I would just say I never recieved the vita and keep it locked away for a spare.

Trender_man
Trender_man

what if you send back a photo of a vita?

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

@pupp3t_mast3r That's bad publicity either by Zavvi or news reporters. It's not a "threat." Legal action is the recourse of peaceful people to resolve disputes that cannot be settled by mutual agreement.

AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

@pupp3t_mast3r Does the average person really think they are entitled to a free Vita because a mistake was made? I think not.

hystavito
hystavito

@pupp3t_mast3r I was going to say basically the same thing.  What kind of numbers are we talking here?  I doubt there are so many out there that it's worth getting a bad reputation over.  Seems like a bad move to me as well.

StickyJr1
StickyJr1

@Paul2004 I agree.  They should have sent e-mails to the customers stating they messed up, but they should keep the Vita as a thank you for being a valued customer.  It would have generated good press, subsequent good will,  and could have likely been written off as a marketing expense.

BlazingSpeed
BlazingSpeed

nurnberg It sucks that I can only like your comment once.
 

Butt_Chunx
Butt_Chunx

It sucks that I can only like your comment once...

codac
codac

I don't care about the business side, I care about the employee. I purchased a DSI when they were new and ended up with two free games. I returned them, not because of any sense of justice(I'm not that nice), but because the guy who made the mistake could get marked or lose his job.


That'd be the only reason I'd return the Vita...call me what you will, but that's what I feel.

korvus
korvus moderator

@wookiegr Why are the people who received the Vita idiots? They didn't do anything =P

Sl4cka
Sl4cka

I'm not on their side, but you should read the article.

"contact us by 5pm (UK time) on 10th December 2013 to arrange a convenient time for the PS Vita to be collected"

Sl4cka
Sl4cka

I wonder if it was a signed for delivery. You could always claim that you have never received it if you never signed anything, they would have no proof that you did.

korvus
korvus moderator

@Trender_man You get an idiot UK citizen in the mail...wouldn't recommend it. (Nothing against the UK or its people, just that guy and the likes =P)

gamespotpanayis
gamespotpanayis

@Korvus85 @wookiegr It was a topical comment about the XB1 being given to the 19 yr old idiot who bought a photo of an XB1 because he couldn't be bothered to read the description.

Raeldor
Raeldor

@Sl4cka Ah, that sounds fair then.  But if they expected me to inconvenience myself regarding my availability, or they failed to turn up when they said they would then it would not be my problem.

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

@Sl4cka I'm sure it would be company policy to record any delivery over £100. They would be mental not to. People ordered Tearaway but on Zavvi's end it will still have been a £150 odd system they were shipping.

korvus
korvus moderator

@gamespotpanayis I know the article, but didn't know he ended up getting the x1 anyway...so no consequences for stupidity huh? Good job...

Sl4cka
Sl4cka

Quite likely. Nevertheless, I had quite a few "signed for deliveries" and about a third of the times I was never asked for my signature or name. So some people might still get lucky.