Fly Buys customers who scored an Apple iPad Air for just one point under the loyalty scheme won't be forced to hand the bargains back.

But the company behind Fly Buys is hoping the devices will be returned voluntarily.

Loyalty NZ says the deal was a mistake and it has changed its website to offer the iPads for what they're really worth - almost 7000 loyalty points each.

The mistaken offer was made at midnight on Tuesday and 126 customers tried to claim 600 iPads, Loyalty NZ spokeswoman Adele Fitzpatrick said today.


Seventeen of those customers picked up a total of 23 iPads from Noel Leeming before the mistake was realised.

"We made a mistake when an iPad was loaded into our stock management system for the first time," Ms Fitzpatrick said. "It came down to genuine human error, and we regret this. We managed to pick up the mistake around 8.30am.

"We've made every effort to contact the people who were unable to complete their transaction, to apologise for our mistake."

Ms Fitzpatrick confirmed tonight that Loyalty NZ would not be taking legal action against customers who had already picked up their iPads.

"We would like them back. There's a pretty big impact on us ... we'll just get in contact [with the iPad recipients] and talk to them.

"If people would like to return them, that would be fantastic, but we're certainly not going to make anyone do that. We're in the business of giving things away but this is probably a little bit extreme," Ms Fitzpatrick said.

The Fly Buys error comes just three months after Harvey Norman declined to supply super-cheap items bought online for mistakenly huge discounts as part of its "biggest ever retail sale".

Consumer New Zealand chief executive Sue Chetwin said the Fly Buys customers should probably return the iPads, but it was unlikely they could be compelled to.

She said Loyalty NZ would be "nuts" to take customers to the Disputes Tribunal to retrieve the devices.

Ms Chetwin said the iPad debacle was a very different and more short-lived fiasco than the Harvey Norman incident.

"All the other things that were available [on Fly Buys' website] were several thousand points and there was only that one that was available for one point," she said.

"I do have some sympathy for Fly Buys on this one. It was fairly obviously a mistake."