Update – Zavvi threatening customers with legal action after Tearaway mix up
Update – Eurogamer has received this interesting update to the original story.
Consumer watchdog Which? has told Eurogamer that it believes customers will have to return the PlayStation Vita consoles sent in error by Zavvi. “If a consumer has received goods by mistake then they are not legally entitled to keep them,” a Which? spokesperson explained, contradicting some of the advice offered below from other sources. And, should Zavvi follow through on its threat and sue customers, Which? believes that a UK court may actually side with the retailer. “In any legal action the ruling is likely to be that the item should be returned because it was sent in error,” the company concluded.
The final deadline has now passed for customers to return their PlayStation Vitas. Its unknown how many remain in the wild.
Zavvi has yet to respond to Eurogamer’s repeated requests for comment.
Original story below (from Dec. 9, 2013):
You may have heard that a few weeks ago, UK-based retailer Zavvi had a small mess up at their warehouse. Instead of delivering customers their Tearaway preorder for £19.99, they instead sent the Tearaway / PS Vita bundle out. That item retails for around £149.99.
Due to the huge discrepancy in price, and with customers only charged £19.99 – yet receiving an actual handheld to their door – Zavvi went into panic mode. They demanded affected customers remedy the mistake by sending this mass-email which commented:
We are very sorry to inform you that due to an error in our warehouse we have dispatched the incorrect product.
We are contacting you in order for us to arrange a collection of the incorrect item which is on the way to you.
If possible, please keep the parcel in its original packaging ready to hand back to the courier.
Many customers highlighted that legally, they did not have to comply. Citing the following consumers information:
The Distance Selling Regulations are very clear on this. If you’ve been sent unsolicited goods, you are entitled to treat them as an unconditional gift and do with them as you choose. You are not required to keep them for any amount of time and you are certainly not required to pay for them. Any attempt to demand payment (by threatening means or otherwise) is unlawful.
So, with quite a few customers seemingly choosing to not return what could legally be classed as a “gift” by the letter of the law, it looks like Zavvi themselves may turning to the law, and taking legal action in an attempt to get their metaphorical ball back.
We got access to this letter which is now being sent out to customers, which highlights things might get dicey on the evening of Tuesday 10th if Zavvi back up their threats?
Regardless of all this, Zavvi are still sending these same customers, weekly, daily, and at times hourly borderline spam emails about their “mega deals.”
That is something that not even the apocalypse could put an end too.