Zavvi. Everyone pretty much knows the above logo, and can remember when they first came on the scene. I’ve dealt with Zavvi on multiple occasions and for the most part it has not been a pleasant experience. Zavvi are so inept at dealing with customers that it borders on total incompetence.
One incident I had, and I know a few others who were in the same boat, was when Zavvi accidentally changed the price of the original Star Wars trilogy steelbook. I can’t remember the exact price it was changed to, but it was somewhere around £15. There was a mad scramble and many placed their orders. When Zavvi realised their massive cockup they went into damage limitation mode. Now most companies that would make that sort of error would honour original purchases and changed the price before any future purchases can be made. But not Zavvi. No they decided to cancel all orders made and basically tell people who complained that it was tough shit. Zavvi don’t always make those sort of errors, but how they deal with customers and their complaints is consistently awful. You can’t phone Zavvi and complain. You can phone them, but it’s automated and tells you to email them via the site before the call cuts out. Emailing them is equally infuriating. The reply is nearly always robotic in its tone and lacks any real sense of wanting to help the customer. Basically in a nutshell, Zavvi just don’t care.
Zavvi tend to release a lot of steelbooks. A lot of these are also ‘exclusive’ to Zavvi and no other retailer. Now this is bad. Bad because it forces you to buy from them rather than give you the option of shopping around. Now this means Zavvi get to set the price. They also pull a few nasty tricks too. One involved the Guardians of the Galaxy steelbook. Zavvi quickly sold out, but later on ‘discovered’ a few in the warehouse. However when the steelbook went back up on the site the price had risen from £24.99 to £49.99. Zavvi decided they’d beat the eBay scalpers to the punch and marked that sucker up for double the price. Film companies need to stop giving Zavvi exclusive rights to release some movies, maybe then Zavvi would start to treat their customer base with some respect.
Which brings me to the dreaded ‘ZBOX’. The ZBOX was Zavvi’s way of tapping into that whole mystery box thing which seems to be all the rage. This wouldn’t be a bad thing if their ZBOX wasn’t full of junk that Zavvi charged £19.99 for. When the ZBOX wasn’t selling that well Zavvi tried lowering the price, but this didn’t work in raising its popularity. So Zavvi tried a different tact. They started selling the ZBOX with exclusive steelbooks. Meaning if you wanted a choice steelbook, you’d have to buy their box of useless shit too. Didn’t buy the box, don’t get the steelbook. It’s that kind of underhanded approach to selling that really makes me dislike Zavvi.
Their packaging is probably the only positive thing about Zavvi. The above picture is not what they send steelbooks in, but it was for a time. Zavvi changed from the sturdy boxes to the crap Jiffy bags as it was cheaper. However after some uproar Zavvi went back to using the boxes. Lots of people complain about Zavvi, but I don’t think Zavvi listen. Even complaining to them via Twitter elicits a robotic response. Zavvi need a drastic overhaul if they are to instill any confidence in customers looking to purchase from them.