Zavvi, the online entertainment retailer owned by The Hut.com is threatening consumers with legal action due to its own silly mistake.
If you’ve happened to have shopped with Zavvi, or the many other sites that The Hut.com supplies, you may well want to reconsider doing any future business with them.
This is because you could well find yourself dealing with threats of legal action, all because it made a mistake with your order. Seems fair, right?
Customers who purchased the PlayStation Vita title Tearaway for Â£19.99 from Zavvi were actually sent a PlayStation Vita bundle that included Tearaway and had a sale price of Â£169.99.
Interestingly, in a letter that Zavvi sent to customers (click for larger image) who hadn’t returned the Vita bundle sent due to a “technical error,” Zavvi have admitted that this was “an error on [its] part” and are “sorry for any inconvenience that this has caused.”
Obviously, if they were sorry for any inconvenience, they would just leave the situation alone and give them to customers as a goodwill gesture. After all, the customer has done absolutely nothing wrong in such a situation – especially as the error was only known once orders had arrived, meaning nobody could have capitalised upon Zavvi’s mistaken generosity.
Zavvi’s threatening letter also contains a “final notice to politely remind” customers that they “did not order, or pay for, a PS Vita”.
Now it’s threatening consumers with legal action if they fail to comply with its wishes of sending back consoles by 5pm GMT on 10th December 2013.
Naturally, the story spread through the waves of gaming community forum NeoGAF where many consumers who had been sent a PS Vita bundle in error, along with some rather surprised past Zavvi/The Hut.com customers, expressed their grievances with how Zavvi handled the situation.
The most interesting thing of all is that legally, there’s nothing Zavvi can do to stop consumers keeping the devices. It’s certainly not theft by keeping them, and legally any customer with one doesn’t have to comply to Zavvi’s rather empty legal threats.
The Distance Selling Regulations are rather clear on what the situation would warrant.
Due to the items being sent in error, you’re to let the company know the situation, but are under no obligation to let them collect the item or have you return it. Indeed, if Zavvi demand payment for the sent items, they could well be breaking the law.
Indeed, it’s also worth noting that the cost of legal action would be higher than that of the Vita bundles sent out in error, making Zavvi’s threatening letter look even more like a scare tactic against its consumers.
It’ll certainly be hard to see Zavvi bounce back from this customer services debacle.
But it’s also not the first company out there to attack consumers for an internal error, nor the first to deliver sub-par customer service in such a situation.
It’s clear that consumers are certainly rallying against Zavvi, especially in the online and gaming community, so the ball is now in Zavvi’s court once more – and it’ll be interesting to see what they do next.
Do you think that Zavvi are right to threaten legal action and hound customers for products that were sent out entirely in error?