UK Retailer Zavvi Threatens Customers Who Got Free PS Vita by Mistake

UK retailer Zavvi delivered some PS Vitas for free due to a mistake and is now threatening customers to take legal actions if they don't give them back

Due to some mistake on the side of UK retailer Zavvi, some customers got a free PS Vita with their Tearaway pre-order, even when they had only pre-ordered the game.

This happened back in October, when Tearaway was released, as Zavvi had two separate pre-orders for it: one being exclusively the game, for £19.99, and the other one being a bundle which brought a PS Vita and Tearaway together for £169.99. In a warehouse confusion, customers who ordered only the game, got the full bundle, saving well over £100.

As soon as the retailer noticed the huge mistake they did, they started to contact the lucky customers, requesting for them to send back the goods they got due to this mistake:

"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"

That's what the email customers got from Zavvi said.

With this message, most of these lucky customers got to do some research about what the law says when it comes to these sort of situations, so they replied by quoting 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"

Based on this quote, many customers decided to simply not return what they got due to Zavvi's mistake, unleashing the wrath of the retailer, as it was decided to threaten these customers through this letter:

It is even reported by DarkZero that some customers are getting a lot of spam from Zavvi, reminding them that they "must" return the goods they mistakenly got, going to the point of it being through hourly emails.

What would you do if you were one of these customers? Would you return the goods?

Featured Correspondent

I'm a gamer, a software developer, and the founder of I can always be found either playing games, or writing new articles about the gaming industry.

Games Tearaway Genres Indie Platforms PlayStation Vita Tags zavvi
Published Dec. 10th 2013
  • Big Chief 1
    Featured Correspondent
    Wow, that's crazy. If I was one of those lucky customers I wouldn't give it back.
  • Destrolyn.Bechgeddig
    Featured Columnist
    The Hut/Zavvi are a discount retailer. Zavvi had been bought by The Hut out because it almost went bust a few years ago. The Hut's customer service is hideous but they're cheap. I make a point to actively avoid shopping with them anymore because I've had a few too many dreadful customer service experiences. I've also heard that working for them is pretty bad too (from first hand accounts)!

    Cheap retailer acts like a d*ck: no news here. Unfortunately those customers who thought Christmas came early have no legal leg to stand and and must comply :(
  • Miranda Kirk
    Featured Columnist
    I don't think a lot of people would return it. I would probably just unsubscribe from their mailing list and flag them.

    But like Katy said, they could have turned it into a huge Christmas promotional tool. Imagine getting a free PS vita in the mail with your game, make a couple posters and people would think they just won some sort of contest. Then they wouldn't tarnish their customer relations as much as they are when they ask for the handheld back.
  • JohnHeatz
    Featured Correspondent
    definitely, they simply weren't clever enough...and because of this I'm sure they'll be losing quite a few customers
  • Katy Hollingsworth
    Former Staff Editor
    Nope, I wouldn't. When retailers make mistakes like this, it's on them. A better company would have said something along the lines of...

    "Whoops! We sent you a Vita by mistake. Please consider it an early holiday gift and shop with us again!"

    They could have even put on a massive sale for Vita games to make up the money lost.
  • JohnHeatz
    Featured Correspondent
    I had the exact same thought, it just doesn't look good that they do this...if they were clever enough, they'd be hosting, as you mentioned, a huge Vita sale and they'd be earning quite a lot of money out of that

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