People Mistakenly Sent A Free Vita, Then Threatened With Legal Action

People Mistakenly Sent A Free Vita, Then Threatened With Legal Action
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A retailer in the UK has accidentally sent some customers a free PlayStation Vita. And is now resorting to some heavy methods in an attempt to get them back.

According to a report on Eurogamer, “a number” of people who had preordered Vita game Tearaway were instead sent a Tearaway PlayStation Vita bundle, which included the game and the hardware.

Upon realising its error, the retailer – Zavvi – asked for the bundles to be sent back. And that’s where things get messy.

British customer rights website What Consumer says “if you’ve been sent unsolicited goods, you are entitled to treat them as an unconditional gift and do with them as you choose.”

Understandably, some of those affected have done just that, leading Zavvi to send out further letters, including a “final notice” that reads:

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.

Normally in these circumstances, the retailer would admit the mistake and simply take the hit. It’s rare a company would try and engage in a move like this; the PR backlash will probably make them wish they’d never bothered.

Zavvi threatens customers with legal action after accidentally sending free Vitas [Eurogamer]


  • lets hope they try and enforce any legal remedies available to them…and realise they have none.
    they need to pull their head in – if the law says you sent someone a freebie and its theirs to keep, why even waster money trying to recover the item?

  • I got BF4 with my xbox one and then when i picked up my PS4 a week later they gave me another copy. When I checked the bags in the car I realised and I must have sat there for about 5 minutes swaying between keep it or take it back. I ended up taking it back cos I didn’t want some poor kid that was knackered one the big launch days and made a simple mistake to take the hit for it.
    I’m not begrudging anyone that would keep something given in error like that (I seriously considered it) but I just don’t think its the right thing to take advantage of an error like that and in my case conscience won out.

  • What can the retailer possibly do?

    The law is against them, plus what proof do they have? The customer could easily say they didn’t even receive the Vita.

    • The law isn’t against them. The Vitas aren’t considered “unsolicited”. The customer ordered a game i.e. solicited goods from Zavvi, and the Vitas were sent in mistake. In this case they have the legal right to have them returned at their expense.

      I’m not saying Zavvi are handling it well, but all these armchair lawyers saying “keep the Vita, you don’t have to return it” are wrong and are being bigger dicks than Zavvi. Much in the same way people love to order 100’s of items when they see a price error, then bitch and moan when their orders are cancelled due to the error.

      • There’s a difference when an order is cancelled pre-delivery and when a good is actually shipped out to you, so your analogy is flawed. When something is shipped out like this without being solicited, it is considered a gift upon acceptance. This is something I’m learning currently in law school.

      • the law in australia covers honest mistake incorrect pricing – it is up to the retailer to honour it if they wish. i would guess the uk is much the same.

  • So… if the customers ordered Tearaway, you would assume they already own a PS Vita. All legalities aside, isn’t a bit greedy to refuse the return of a PS Vita when you already have one? At best it could be turned into a gift for a friend/family member, at worst it would be straight on eBay.

  • I would assume that any legal fees associated with trying to get the Vita back would far outweigh the value of the Vita. The letter might scare some people into sending them back but I would assume the ones that don’t would just be written off because it wouldn’t be cost effective to get them back.

  • I wonder how many heads went a-rollin’ once the mistake was discovered. That’s a pretty big screw up. Mistakes happen, and then you replace the poor guy/gal who screwed up.

    I’m not really sure what the law says or who should do what or whatever, but I do think that what Zavvi is doing isn’t entirely dickish (imo), seeing as Vitas cost a fair bit. Something similar has happened to me (not Vitas), and I was told I could keep the incorrect items while the correct ones were re-sent. The retailer was able to do this because 1) they wouldn’t be losing too much profit anyway, and 2) keeping the customer happy means they’re more likely to return and tell other people about them, so they make up for that lost profit in the long run. I’m sure Zavvi weighed that all up before contacting their customers. Whether or not Zavvi will be willing to take legal action to get everything back though is another thing.

  • I’ve had two experiences like this.

    The first was when ordering a limited collector’s set of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine DVDs in special box from Ezy DVD. When I received mine, it was printed with the wrong number (I was supposed to get one in the 1-300 range while I got one like 1500) so I emailed just to let them know. They apologised and sent me the correct one without me asking and saying not to worry about sending the wrong one back. Total legends.

    The second case was preordering Fable 3 from zavvi. It didn’t arrive for over a month so I emailed them telling them it didn’t come so they sent me another one (which is their policy). About two weeks later the original finally did get delivered, so I emailed zavvi letting them know. They told me to send the second copy back to them when I received it. If they’d offered to cover the postage or something I probably would’ve, but the way they said it, pffft. Didn’t reply back and sold it to a friend of a friend for cheap instead. I’m probably a puppy-kicking monster for not sending it back to them, but if you want someone to pay for international postage, you should probably say it nicely at least.

    As for the actual case at hand, it sounds like they were polite and doing all the leg work for the Vita, so I would’ve returned it. Probably should’ve offered to throw in a 5 pound discount voucher for their next order as an apology or something though.

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