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The Zavvi Thread of Monumental Incompetence

kurtrussell

Banned
Oct 21, 2010
2,559
0
0
Zavvi are known by much of EuroGAF as a company that sells a good selection of AAA titles at low prices and offers free shipping. In particular, with the high price of gaming in Continental Europe, it becomes particularly attractive to order from Zavvi, especially for no shipping cost.

However, it is becoming increasingly apparent, both through my own personal experience and the experience of others on here, that Zavvi have some fundamental flaws that should warn all but the bravest away from shopping with them.

There are some fairly well known examples of Zavvi incompetence (such as cancelling a 15% off promotion with a major soft drink manufacturer half way through when they realised it was costing them too much) but I am particularly agrieved at some particularly poor treatment I've suffered at the hands of them.

Exhibit A: Despite the fact they offer a "pre order price promise", I was refused a price drop when I pre-ordered Cities in Motion at 14.99 and it dropped to 9.99 on their site the day before release. I was simply told by a customer service advisor that "prices are subject to change"...

Exhibit B: I managed to pre-order Portal 2 for 32.99, and about a month before launch it jumped in price to 37.99. The day before it was due to be despatched, there was a sudden "payment problem" (apparently this was a problem that was unique to Zavvi) and I was informed that they would not be able to simply re-take payment and that my only option was to cancel and re-order. At £37.99....

There have been multiple recounts on GAF of pre-orders arriving 2-3 weeks after day one, often in poor condition (smashed / cracked cases, loose discs etc). This is because Zavvi ship their games using a very flimsy cardboard box and via second class post. If you ship a game the day before launch via second class, there is no way on earth you're going to be seeing it for around 5 working days at the earliest!

Sometimes, Zavvi's prices seem too good to be true. This is because they are. It seems that on an almost regular basis, they "mis-price" something on the website, benefit from an influx of customers and publicity and then decide to cancel all the orders. Sometimes, they email you to let you know that they have done this. Occasionally, you may even get a refund without having to email their customer "service" several times.

Recently, a promotion was offered where you could buy a cheap and nasty sweater and receive around 50% on a game. Many enterprising GAFfers realised that you could actually pop 2 games in your cart at 50% off with one sweater. Sadly, this was also a pricing mistake and the orders were cancelled. Well, most of the orders - the nasty overpriced sweater was still charged for and despatched. Ironically, these arrived pretty much instantaneously.

Take a cursory glance at Zavvi's Facebook page. Amongst the blanket of complaints posted to their wall are the following gems:

Yet to receive an apology or notification for my canceled orders. Wont be shopping here again. Couldn't recommend this company any less.
What type of backyard company are you? You have just cancelled my order without any emails or phone calls. This is appualing customer service and almost a full day after I have placed the order. Even Asda issued 10% voucher to its customers and you ignore them. Keep your voucher, will not use Zavvi again anytime
ZAVVI! Could I please receive a response! No one has spoken to me either here or on your site about my problem! I am a victim of the "promo" offer for the selected clothing and selected pre order item "deal". My order was cancelled but my card has been debited for the clothing! I have not even been sent the clothing. This is ridiculous! My order number is 16521517. Could this please be sorted ASAP. If I hear no communication I will be forced to ring Trading Standards as this is just plain theft and I'm obviously not the only one suffering!
Can you embark on a mission to sort peoples lost orders out please?
I know the lure of cheap games is almost too great for some on here, but I'm posting this thread in the hope that I can at least spare a few people some of the frustration that I and others have experienced in the past.
I also need to stop spamming EuroGaf Deal Thread

Please consider the following points:

1 - Zavvi are sometimes cheaper by a tiny margin. If you check gamestracker.com, they quite frequently "win" by a matter of pence. Is it really worth running the Zavvi gauntlet for pence?

2 - Every company makes mistakes from time to time. Things happen, items get lost in the mail. Zavvi's major flaw seems to be it's absolutely awful customer service. As an online company dependent on customer goodwill and repeat trade, If you make a mistake, do everything you can to rectify the mistake to mutual satisfaction. Nobody wants to wait a week for a reply from customer service to an email chasing a missing game.

3 -
When
If you do encounter any issues with Zavvi, you have the choice of either dialling a preimum rate telephone number and paying to stay on hold for 15 minutes before a non-native English speaker stumbles through a script, or sending multiple emails into the abyss in the hope of eventually receiving some kind of human interaction.

Ultimately, it all boils down to one thing: What price do you put on customer service? There are many other games suppliers that offer games for a couple of quid more than Zavvi (I choose not to name examples here so I don't get accused of favouritism), and I personally have found that paying an extra £2 or so is a nice trade-off to ensure that I receive my games in a timely fashion.

If, after reading all of this, anybody still fancies taking a spin on the Zavvi lottery, remember that they offer a Paypal option - use this! It offers one more layer of protection between you and the clowns.
 

Drkirby

Corporate Apologist
Jan 29, 2008
42,342
0
0
30
Florida
How poor is the UK's mailing system if it takes more then 5 days for a package to arrive, even as "Second Class", or is this with international postage? I mean, for the size the UK is, their second class option sounds even slower then the American Media Mail, which usually only takes a long time when mailing between two distant and remote places.
 

Temujin

Member
Jun 7, 2004
427
0
1,230
38
Belgium
I'm another victim of that pre-order/clothing promo. I'm fine with the fact that they cancelled the order, but charging me and shipping me that clothing item without even letting me know on beforehand, well that's just low and I'm not sure if what they did is entirely legal. I just sent them a message about this (a nice one! no swearing!), I wonder if I'll get a reply. Never had any problems with Zavvi until now.
 
Dec 30, 2008
2,850
0
0
I order from them very often and I know it can take up to 4 weeks for the game to arrive (germany), but no shipping costs + the prices just make them good. When I want a game day 1, I don't go to zavvi, easy as that.
 

micster

Member
Sep 25, 2009
1,274
0
755
29
Japan
www.micster.com
Drkirby said:
How poor is the UK's mailing system if it takes more then 5 days for a package to arrive, even as "Second Class", or is this with international postage? I mean, for the size the UK is, their second class option sounds even slower then the American Media Mail, which usually only takes a long time when mailing between two distant and remote places.
Its because of the weekend. If they send it second class on a Friday then it probably wont arrive till the Wednesday. I had something sent First Class on Saturday which arrived today. Its like post doesnt move over the weekend.
 

Yoshichan

And they made him a Lord of Cinder. Not for virtue, but for might. Such is a lord, I suppose. But here I ask. Do we have a sodding chance?
Sep 1, 2006
58,756
749
1,725
-
I've bought TONS from Zavvi and it's been very random.

Sometimes I bought a game and it arrived after literally 2-3 weeks.

I did order KZ3 on release though and got it the day after I bought it...

I've never had issues with the games though. The cover has never been broken or anything like that.
 

YianGaruga

Banned
Jun 1, 2009
25,236
0
0
Germany
I've never had a problem with zavvi. They're cheap and their games take 1-2 weeks to arrive in Germany. Love them.

I understand that some people have had problems with them, but I really don't see the point of this thread. Theres no need to "warn" people about them.
 

Jigsaw

Banned
Apr 20, 2006
3,287
0
0
i remember when castlevania dropped to £17 only 2-3 weeks after release,i pre-ordered it and of course if was sold out within minutes,they said it would take 2-3 months for the next shipment,but i didn't cancel my pre-order,2 weeks later they had it back in stock and i got the game for £17

in short,i never had any problems with zavvi yet,besides some slightly damaged collectors editions
 

Stubo

Member
Jul 8, 2010
2,939
0
0
England
From watching the goings on in the thread it would seem the majority of issues arise when the promotions are used outside of their terms and conditions (One awful garment + one game half price abused to get 2 games half price). Or when the price is much too good to be true (Yesterday's blu ray bundle for £10.85 - 'you save £244' or something).

They've delivered many games to me for very cheap, and I've never encountered problems while using them. Perhaps I am lucky, and I know those who live elsewhere in Europe have their own unique problems. It seems to me that as long as you abide by the terms set out with any voucher codes and other promotions, and stay away from obvious misprices, you'll save yourself lots of hassle.

Granted, I expect eventually there'll be a misprice which I'll think is close enough to a viable price to bite, and maybe then I'll be less accommodating of their mistakes. Basically I think they're fine to use for cheap games which have been out for a while, as long as you don't anticipate needing to change/cancel/return your order, since these are more difficult to do than with other sites with a heavier commitment to customer service.

Note: I know some people ordered 1 horrible garment + 1 game in each order, yet still had them cancelled and the clothes shipped, I do not agree with this practise at all!
 

Psychotext

Member
Jun 15, 2007
35,933
0
0
No other company has screwed up my orders as much as Zavvi have. I'll only ever order from them now if I don't care when I get the item.
 

gamingeek

Member
Feb 28, 2007
1,301
0
0
One time they sold me a bluray without telling me that it was the version which turned black and white halfway through. Then they would not except a refund or exchange.
 

Gynoug79

Member
Sep 26, 2006
153
0
0
www.worldleagueracing.com
Ordered a lot at Zavvi and had only a problem once, where i got the Bioshock 2 for the PC instead of the 360 version...didnt bother posting it back and gave it a friend.

Ordered the Bluray pack yesterday night but didnt really expect it to go through so i am not dissapointed, angry or whatnot with them. So i will continue to buy there.
 

Coen

Member
Jun 7, 2004
2,892
0
0
38
Antwerp, Belgium
I used to be one of the Zavvi apologists. 'Shipping' usually took ages, but prices compensated for it. But after two bad experiences, I've decided never to do business with them again. Their customer service is just horrible.
 

Drkirby

Corporate Apologist
Jan 29, 2008
42,342
0
0
30
Florida
micster said:
Its because of the weekend. If they send it second class on a Friday then it probably wont arrive till the Wednesday. I had something sent First Class on Saturday which arrived today. Its like post doesnt move over the weekend.
In the US, normal mail doesn't move on Sunday, but things like UPS will actually move packages over the weekend which makes it nice when shipping far distances on a Friday.

I have ordered stuff from them and it take a few weeks, but I am in the US so it was sort of expected.
 

Noisepurge

Member
Oct 2, 2009
14,040
9
0
Helsinki
www.playfire.com
I've ordered 52 games/movies from them and all have arrived here in Finland in around a week and without issues.

I have heard of a few cracked cases but that can be blamed on postal offices.

Perfect online store in my opinion. I don't even use Play.com anymore and i've ordered 267 items from there in the past :p
 

weeaboo

Member
Jun 18, 2011
2,484
0
0
Zavvi is awful. A year ago they sent me a game I had on preorder and I had canceled A WEEK ago. That was my last order.
 

iNvid02

Member
Aug 16, 2009
18,392
222
1,200
i ordered that ultimate blu ray bundle for £10.85 but they cancelled the order because it was an obvious misprice. Thats fine, i wasn't expecting them to honor it, but they couldnt even send out an email apology, they just silently cancelled it.
 

Jucksalbe

Banned
Oct 31, 2007
10,664
0
980
To be fair, I had problems with almost every site from the UK (except Amazon). They all suck, it's not just Zavvi/TheHut.
 

MiloFoxburr

Member
Nov 14, 2006
1,618
0
0
Dublin, Ireland
iNvidious01 said:
i ordered that ultimate blu ray bundle for £10.85 but they cancelled the order because it was an obvious misprice. Thats fine, i wasn't expecting them to honor it, but they couldnt even send out an email apology, they just silently cancelled it.
I got an email from them. They included a 10% Discount code as well which was nice.

Zavvi said:
Hi Milo Foxburr

Thanks for placing your order with Zavvi.com order number ---

We are really sorry, but the price shown on site for Ultimate Action Blu-ray Bundle was incorrect. We work hard to ensure that prices shown on site are accurate, but very occasionally errors do occur.

Due to the nature of the error we have had to cancel your order. Please be assured that we have not taken payment for your order. We hope you will consider re-ordering now that the price has been corrected on site.

Please accept this 10% discount code to spend at Zavvi.com,

Plus some additional discounts for our sister sites:

Should you have any questions or queries regarding your order, please login to your account where you will be able to email our customer service colleagues. Click here to log into your account

We try to make contacting us as easy and convenient as possible and want to answer all your questions fully. Our FAQ link here may be able to provide you with the answer you're looking for.

If the answer you're looking for is not on our FAQ page, please login to your account where you will be able to request more information.

Regards

The zavvi.com Team
 

blitzcloud

Banned
Apr 15, 2010
4,283
0
0
Barcelona
Anecdotal data people. Three examples of mismanagement can happen anywhere. Seriously though, only had a problem once with zavvi and it was my fault. Lost my lbp2 first delivery due to lack of funds on my card at the moment. Aside from that, they offer me 10% discount every here and there, so its fine. Normally I get it in less than a week (spain)

By the way, something I want to ask you guys.

When I buy from zavvi, the casing is very solid, while when buying from play.com i get a weak case that easily bends.
 

Empty

Member
Sep 20, 2009
16,685
0
0
uk
twitter.com
i don't use them. my only purchase with them was pre-ordering bioshock 2 from them a fair bit before release and receiving it a week after release. nothing compared to the horror stories i've heard though.
 

toastyToast

Member
Dec 18, 2008
23,782
1
0
Their international shipping is by far the longest of any UK retailer I've bought from (to Australia that is).

Most places take 4-15 working days. Usually 1-2 weeks.

Zavvi is typically 10-25.

I'd blame the postal service but there is a clearly a trend with more than 15 orders.

The prices are worth the wait sometimes though, especially if I'm not too fussed when the package arrives.

365games.co.uk and dvd.co.uk are good alternatives. dvd.co.uk doesn't charge VAT on orders over 18 pounds so that's like 18% for free.
 

JaseC

gave away the keys to the kingdom.
Jul 30, 2009
73,802
7
1,030
Western Australia
I've never had an issue with Zavvi, but it's worth noting that I've only ever ordered items that were in-stock. Similarly, I import most of my BDs from TheHut and, again, have never had an order go awry.

Edit: And the stuff gets here within two working weeks.
 
Feb 26, 2007
5,735
0
0
I pre-ordered Tactics Ogre PSP through them and have no complaints. The price was the same as anywhere else and it didn't take too long to make the trip over the the Atlantic. I'll be ordering Xenoblade, the Last Story and Pandora's Tower from them as well unless I find them cheaper elsewhere.

As for why I imported TO instead of getting the US release? Artbook > tarot cards.

EDIT: TO took five days to get to me.
 

wrowa

Member
Jul 26, 2006
14,351
1
1,170
Germany
Zavvi's okay. Their customer service is rather awful, that's true, but they have good prices and are great for international orders.

Sure, it takes 2-3 weeks for a game to arrive, but that's to be expected when the shipping is free.
 

Khrno

Member
Mar 31, 2007
7,879
3
885
I buy from Zavvi quite often, but have never pre-ordered anything from them.

Never had a problem with on stock items.
 

Keikoku

Banned
Oct 16, 2006
2,621
0
0
Paris, France
Ordered Halo Reach from them in September. Never received it, asked for a refund form like 10 times and I never received it either (the address was perfectly right and the same that I'm using with all the other websites I'm using). Eventually, I received 2 copies of Rock Band Beatles from them, a game that I ordered and received from them in 2009. So basically they stole me 45€.
Worst site ever.
 

Numpt3

Member
Jul 21, 2009
2,249
0
0
Manchester, UK
So the people who did that pre-order/clothing thing had their pre-orders cancelled but still got sent the clothing? I know I shouldn't but..... lol.
 

Majora

Member
Jan 23, 2008
1,149
0
0
Shopto are by far the best online games retailer in the UK in my experience. 99% of preorders reach me the day before release date, the prices are competitive and delivery of non-preorders nearly always arrive the next day. Excellent company.
 

RafiuskS

Neo Member
Jan 29, 2011
2
0
0
Bought a few games and no problems at all, about a week and a half/two weeks to get them delivered to Australia (Perth).
 

Vlodril

Member
Dec 20, 2008
2,897
24
885
Greece
www.youtube.com
I ordered from them once (enslaved i think) took 3,5 weeks to get here. Won't be ordering from them again.

Zavvi's okay. Their customer service is rather awful, that's true, but they have good prices and are great for international orders.

Sure, it takes 2-3 weeks for a game to arrive, but that's to be expected when the shipping is free.
No its not. Amazon ships free too and i get whatever i ordered inside a week.
 

LiK

Member
Mar 26, 2007
128,989
5
0
MA
twitter.com
US here and i ordered from them a few times. they're pretty good imo. my only gripe was when they shipped a LE game in a bubble envelope so the outer box was crushed like hell. that only happened once. had a very good experience otherwise.
 

benny_a

extra source of jiggaflops
Apr 25, 2009
17,350
1
0
I'll include my experience with Zavvi/TheHutGroup:

I made 26 orders over the last two years with them. One of the orders was canceled and they said they will delete it from their store.
2 months later I could buy it again on their website.

Delivery to Germany:
Fastest time for delivery 5 days.
Slowest time for delivery 20 days. (What a bummer that was)
Average is 10 days.

For comparison based on my orders:
Amazon.co.uk; 2 days
Play.com: 12 days
Game Group: 10 days
ShopTo: 9 days
bee.com: 6 days

More than a year ago I felt that they might have just re-wrapped used games, because IIRC they lacked those "Playstation" bands that are around the games. They've definitely always been new games since then. And I'm not sure that was TheHutGroup because I order from many different places.

Basically I only order from them when the deal is good and I don't want the game immediately.
 

Label

The Amiga Brotherhood
Apr 1, 2007
4,364
0
0
Majora said:
Shopto are by far the best online games retailer in the UK in my experience. 99% of preorders reach me the day before release date, the prices are competitive and delivery of non-preorders nearly always arrive the next day. Excellent company.
True that. Normally when I pre-order a game it arrives on the Wednesday or Thursday when it is released on the Friday. Usually always the best price compared to everywhere else and you can order at 5pm and it still turns up at work 9am the next day, all free of charge (This is very great as I live on the Isle of Wight, normally items take longer to get to me and I normally have to pay a little bit extra). Best Video game store ever.

They also have the best customer service I have encountered. I had a problem once where my card address mismatched my delivery address, normally they will make you deliver to the card address at least once before letting you change your delivery address so I gave them a call explaining I just moved and have yet to change my card details and they fixed it instantly!

Hell I think really the only place I buy retail games from now is ShopTo.
 

spats

Member
Mar 12, 2009
10,764
0
0
Been using Zavvi for almost a few years now I think. Never had a problem personally and they're cheap as hell.
 

iNvid02

Member
Aug 16, 2009
18,392
222
1,200
eLZhi said:
So does ShopTo ship to the States? I checked their site and found no info stating either way, so I'm assuming no.
yeah i think they do

edit: cant link to them still but when you click signup pick your country as US and your set
 

Maleficence

Member
Dec 6, 2008
5,106
0
0
Most of the time they are fine, but I ordered Ass Creed Bro from them (or thehut.com, dont remember, unimportant regardless) when it was on discount and they were "packing" it for weeks until I sent them a complaint and they finally dispatched it a month late. It did arrive the next day mind.
 
Jun 9, 2004
1,244
0
0
39
Scotland
Ordered maybe 20 times from zavvi and I've never had a problem. For that reason, I've also never had to contact customer service so perhaps that's why my experience is generally a good one. Will continue to shop there.

I feel a bit sorry for them in cases like the misprice on the BR deal. In the past, a mistake like this in a retailer might only get noticed by a few folk (and perhaps honoured before correction) but with HDUK, CAG, Savvy, GAF, etc all watching sites like zavvi round the clock for any hint of a deal mistakes like this usually go viral and massive (relatively) numbers of people get orders (sometimes multiple orders from the same account) in prior to pick-up. It's obvious they won't be able to honour the deal - it would cost them thousands. My guess is that the margins are pretty tight at zavvi (thehut) and the customer service likely reflects that - they probably employ a couple of local teenagers to man the help desk. Situations like a thousand cancellations going through at the same time are beyond their capacity to deal with appropriately. Why not everyone got an e-mail is obviously something they should be looking into - this is likely something misfiring in their setup - it should be completely automated so something is not working.

That FB page is a little embarrassing - it's all about the BR order from (entitled) folk who flocked to the site to get their order in / take advantage. No-one stumbled on this by accident - they'll all have arrived there via HDUK or it spreading across social media. Actually, it's been tidied up a bit by zavvi themselves since I saw it earlier. Then, people were calling them 'cunts' and saying things like 'I hope your fucking business burns to the ground'. Going back a little further highlights more relevant complaints.

I'm not dismissing valid concerns or issues - it definitely looks like their customer service needs a bit of work and I'm glad I've not had to deal with them on that front so far.
 

LiK

Member
Mar 26, 2007
128,989
5
0
MA
twitter.com
eLZhi said:
So does ShopTo ship to the States? I checked their site and found no info stating either way, so I'm assuming no.
they do, i ordered from them a few times before. but i sorta stopped after they were hacked.
 

Labadal

Member
Aug 31, 2010
11,764
45
900
I've only had one really bad experience with them. Tales of Vesperia case was cracked. I sent them a mail and told them. They agreed to give me a new one if I sent my copy back. Did not bother. Other than that, I am happy with them. Their delivery times are sometimes very fast and other slow, but I have saved a lot of money over the years, and their vouchers makes it even more worthwhile.

In short: I can understand that some people are not happy, but their prices are great to me.
 

Zomba13

Member
Sep 27, 2009
19,653
7
705
One time I ordered Valkyria Chronicles from them. Took AGES for them to actually send a game out (I had the email saying it was sent but it wasn't sent in the estimated time so I complained) and then they go and send me THE WRONG FUCKING GAME. No, I didn't order the wrong game by accident, all invoices etc clearly said Valkyria Chronicles (PS3) but I got This other random PS3 JRPG. I complained, had to send it back to them myself and then after another week or so I finally got my game (after a week or so from the time they sent me the email saying they received the game).

When they are good though, they are good. Games arrived on time and I got them cheap. Something happened around last Christmas though. They've been sucky since then for me and I've stopped using them.
 

Haunted

Member
Nov 16, 2006
78,207
0
0
steamcommunity.com
Never had any problems with them.


This thread makes it sound like it's only a matter of time before they screw one of my orders up, though.


What alternatives would you guys recommend for someone buying from continental Europe? I basically only use amazon.co.uk/zavvi at the moment.

ShopTo?
 

Sloane

Banned
Jun 17, 2004
4,703
0
0
Yeah, Zavvi is pretty awful, slow delivery and I think they "mishandled" my credit card data.

Haunted: ShopTo works okay, fast delivery. Wouldn't give them my CC data either though.