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Zavvi has allegedly threatened to pursue legal action against customers who were accidentally sent a PlayStation Vita instead of a copy of Tearaway, according to a letter that's surfaced online.

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Last month, a blunder by the online retailer saw an unknown number of customers sent the £169.99 console rather than the £19.99 game they had ordered.

But according to the letter (posted by, Zavvi warned that should customers fail to arrange for the item to be returned, it reserved "the right to enforce any and/or all legal remedies available".

"We have tried to contact you on numerous occasions to give you the opportunity to return this item to us (at our cost and at no inconvenience to yourself), but to date you have refused to do so," reads the letter.

"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 10 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."

The retailer also apologised for the "technical error" and for "any inconvenience" caused. has contacted Zavvi and parent company The Hut for comment and to ask why it believes the threat of legal action is the correct course of action against its customers.


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User Comments

Bretty's Avatar


Constant awful customer service means I will never use them again (unless a bargain is ridiculously different to another).

They also have frequent typos on their newsletters I've noticed. They sent out a Christmas one today that said "RISTMAS"
Posted 16:48 on 11 December 2013
Endless's Avatar


Everything I was going to say has pretty much been said, however it's worth noting that the item doesn't even have to be addressed to you. Anything that arrives through your door is yours to keep with pretty much zero legal repercussions.

I'm not entirely sure I could live with my conscience though knowing i'd wilfully swindled a company out of something so drastically different. If it'd been a limited or special edition of a game i'd only ordered the basic version of I could potentially live with myself lol
Posted 13:18 on 10 December 2013

yellowsapphire@ DaveSimonH

£150 isn't small change, you're right, but what about the cost of taking all those who haven't given their Vitas back to court? Especially in a case that they might well lose?

It could be an "all bark, no bite" kind of letter. Threaten with legal action and hope it scares them enough. Either way, I'm surprised Zavvi have risked bad press like this.

(Also, I have no knowledge whatsoever of legalese, but "legal remedies" sounds ridiculously vague)
Posted 13:03 on 10 December 2013
DaveSimonH's Avatar


Not Zavvi's biggest fan, but £150 difference isn't small change and they are a business. If they think that, despite their mistake, they legally are entitled to have the item returned then they should go for it.
Posted 12:39 on 10 December 2013
Freekill's Avatar


Zavvi would lose the case they are just trying to throw their wait around :P

According to the Federal Trade Comission, unordered merchandise that is shipped to your home is yours to keep and can be considered a free gift. This is largely in order to stop companies from shipping you stuff and then sending collections agencies after your money later on, after you've either used it, tried to return it and failed, or gotten rid of it. The guideline allows for companies to make honest mistakes and request you help them resolve them, but the FTC even says you're under no legal obligation to report the mysterious merchandise in the first place, but they—like we—suggest you at least notify them of their error (and of your legal right to keep it.)

Citizens Advice simply state

"You have no obligation to return the goods to the trader or allow the trader to collect the goods. However, it would be reasonable for you to contact the trader to explain what has happened and give them a chance to collect the goods from you."
Posted 12:18 on 10 December 2013
anialator136's Avatar


Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow?
Posted 12:10 on 10 December 2013
waaaaaaaals's Avatar

waaaaaaaals@ Neon-Soldier32

I have to agree here, I've had some absolutely terrible experiences with Zavvi, to the point where I refuse to take my business to them.

I have a feeling they cut corners all over the place with their processing and shipping, which would explain why these Vitas have been sent out.
Posted 10:41 on 10 December 2013


Zavvi are so *****ing ***** at delivery I'd be surprised if their mistaken Vita ever reached them.

Also, what would happen if someone said they didn't receive their item (presuming it didn't arrive via courier)?
Posted 10:18 on 10 December 2013
wedge1985's Avatar

wedge1985@ Jesus_Phish

As far as I know, that's a discretionary thing. I'm pretty sure Amazon sent me an incorrect order once. Whilst they did send out the correct order as soon as we notified them, one of the conditions was that we sent the incorrect item back.
Posted 09:46 on 10 December 2013
wedge1985's Avatar

wedge1985@ NetzAusg

Actually what that document says is:

"If you receive goods you have not ordered and which haven’t been sent by mistake, you can treat the goods as an unconditional gift and you can do what you want with them."

It also says above:

"But if goods are sent to you by mistake, you need to contact whoever sent them to let them know and ask them to collect the goods."

So whilst Zavvi are being ridiculously heavyhanded the consumers aren't legally allowed to keep them as it was a mistake and not a gift.
Posted 09:44 on 10 December 2013
NetzAusg's Avatar


For further information check out this page: sales.htm

Pretty much outlines everything I just said.
Posted 09:28 on 10 December 2013
NetzAusg's Avatar


The good folks who recieved these items have EVERY legal right to keep what they were sent as an 'unconditional gift'. Contractually the retailer agreeed that in exchange for a set fee they would send goods to the customer. If that customer recieves the wrong item it is entirely within their discretion whether or not they want it swapped for the correct item. If it happened the other way around then Zavvi would NOT chase them to give them their £170 PSP if they had mistakenly received a copy of Tearaway.

This is digusting, Zavvi. The time and energy spent persuing honest people should be spent investigating your own systems and disciplining the IT project management who were in charge of implimentation of your despatch systems.
Posted 09:27 on 10 December 2013
Jesus_Phish's Avatar


Would Zavvi even win a case like this? Maybe through the customers not being able to fight any case because of legal fees and time, but I was always under the impression that something like this is the fault of the seller. Any time I've gotten the wrong item, the company would let me keep it, apologise and then send me out the correct one.
Posted 09:26 on 10 December 2013
demondownload's Avatar


"We apologise for any inconvenience, but we will give you a hell of a lot more."

That's an unusual apology.
Posted 09:22 on 10 December 2013

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