UK Retailer Goes Legal After Shipping PS Vitas To Customers Who Just Bought A Game

from the seller's-remorse dept

While we've had stories in the past about incorrect items being shipped to buyers, those stories usually involve a complete disconnect from what was wanted to what was actually delivered. The story of a firearm being shipped is of particular note. That said, what happens when customers get a tangentially related item to what they actually purchased?

Take, for instance, the case of customers of one UK store, who gathered a list of people who pre-ordered the Playstation Vita game Tearaway and accidentally shipped them the Tearaway Playstation Vita bundle, which is comprised of both the game and the handheld console. So what did the retailer do when people happily found out they got brand new Vitas along with their game?

They asked for them back. And, when some of those customers failed to return the incorrectly shipped item, they let loose with the threats.

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.
It's understandable that the retailer hoped for the best in the level of goodwill in their customers, but in what realm does it make sense to legally threaten your customers because you screwed up the shipping items? And, as far as legal remedies go, at least one customer rights group in Britain seems to think they're SOL.
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."
Frankly, it's hard to understand what recourse is afforded a company that sends paying customers higher-valued items instead. Regardless, the combination of the response by the affected customers and the Streisand Effect is probably going to make this store instantly regret the decision to go legal.

Filed Under: mistakes, playstation vita, ps vita, tearaway, zavvi

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  1. icon
    PaulT (profile), 13 Dec 2013 @ 3:03am


    It's probably about control. In the case of anything being dispatched through mail, the seller is the one with the control. They have full knowledge of the condition (or existence) of the item being sold. They are making the claims as to what it is. They control what's shipped and when. They control everything except the financial transaction itself.

    So, the law tends to err on the side of the buyer. There are instances where the buyers are the scam artists (e.g. anyone who's sold on eBay has probably been dinged for not sending items you know were received), but most of the time it's the seller who's the scammer. As AC mentioned, without the law being on the side of the seller, what's to stop people sending out crap people didn't order then threatening legal action if they didn't pay up a premium?

    The XBox picture thing is an old scam, but again it's down to the seller's responsibility. Either it's deliberately worded false advertising, or the seller should have communicated with the buyer to ensure that they were bidding on the right thing when it because clear that the item wouldn't be the one the buyer thought they were buying (as in, nobody would knowingly pay full retail price for a picture of an XBox rather than that actual machine). So, while technically the person got what they ordered, the seller can still be held responsible as the auction can be found to have been misleading.

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