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. identicon
    Quinn Wilde, 13 Dec 2013 @ 3:40am


    Parent is pretty much correct. They are not required to return them off their own bat.

    However, there's a pretty strong argument that they do have to allow Zavvi to collect them at Zavvi's expense.

    The trick is that these are not unsolicited goods, this is a mistaken shipment. There should have been A shipment, but Zavvi made the wrong one.

    Now if Zavvi had just randomly sent me a Vita, addressed to me, out of the blue, then that would be unsolicited goods and I would be more than entitled to keep it.

    But in ALL of the cases where customers recieved a Vita instead of the game, they were just that - customers. They had placed an order, which was incorrectly fulfilled due to Zavvi making an error in the shipment.

    Under those circumstances the law of unsolicited goods almost certainly does not actually apply.

    The BBC article on this is actually quite good:

    The real question for a techdirt regular is not 'Is there some legal loophole that will let these people keep a Vita?'

    As ever, it is 'Could Zavvi have handled this better (i.e. without dropping lawyer bombs)?'

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