Accidental PlayStation Delivery – Would you return it?


This is something that has happened to most people at some point in their life. You order something from a catalogue or online store, and then when the delivery arrives you open the package only to find that the wrong item has been sent. Most of the time the product that has been delivered is completely different to the one you had originally ordered or is of an inferior quality so you can’t wait to get it returned and get the right item delivered. What though if the item that has been delivered is much more valuable than the one you originally ordered? Or better yet, what if the item ordered is in extreme demand due to holiday shopping?

Well this is exactly the dilemma facing shoppers of the online store Zavvi* today as they decide whether or not they should return a £170 PS Vita handheld console that was delivered to them in error after ordering a £20 Vita game instead.

What would you do?

The big uproar in the press today has come because Zavvi have gone as far as to threaten the customers who have received the item with legal action if they fail to return it. Rather than focus on the rights and wrongs of legal action and its effect on brand reputation though, I thought it would be far more interesting to hear what you would do in this situation? Would you keep the overpriced console and risk the legal action, or would the threat of legal repercussions or your own moral conscience be enough to make you send it back?

A similar thing happened to Mrs.B and I not all that long ago. We were in need of a new toaster so we ordered one that was on offer in a catalogue. When the delivery came we received a more expensive toasted sandwich maker instead – not quite as exciting as a PlayStation Vita I know but we had been thinking of buying a toasted sandwich maker since we had been married so it did throw up a bit of a dilemma. I’d like to consider myself an honest guy so in reality I was always going to have to at least offer to return it but the temptation was certainly there. In the end we called up the company and it turned out that the original toaster was out of stock anyway so they let us keep the sandwich maker instead, happy days! If they had asked us to return it though we definitely would have and then slept soundly that evening knowing we’d done what we consider to be right.

What would you do, though? Do you think it’s fair game to keep an item that has been wrongly delivered by a company or do you feel you have some kind of moral responsibility to return it? Also do you think it is right for a company to threaten legal action over their own mistake, or should they accept the loss and maintain their brand reputation and loyalty?

7 Responses to Accidental PlayStation Delivery – Would you return it?

  1. FI Journey says:

    Well I, for one, would have returned it. I actually had a small instance of this happen a few months ago, where I ordered a small item on Amazon and receive two of those items. Only a $10 mistake, but I emailed the company to ask what had happened, and they said “our mistake, you may keep the item”. It was nice of them! I would have returned it without question though, if they’d wanted me to.

  2. Pauline says:

    You are one honest man! not sure I would have said anything for the toaster, because I paid for the item and got an upgrade. The PS however was a mistake, most companies will deliver again to the right guy and cut their losses but still I would say something if asked to return it.

  3. I would return the handheld game console….but only if they somehow paid the shipping to send it back. I’m an honest guy, but I’m not going to pay out of my own pocket to fix their mistake. 🙂

  4. I would have to return it. I believe in Karma, so especially with something with a large value, it will eventually come back to bite you in the rear, in my opinion/belief. But, I definitely agree with Brock that the company should pay shipping to return the item. I might let their mistake cost me a little time and effort, but it certainly won’t cost me any money!

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