I guess then, by extension the original owner can no longer download his games if he gets a new WiiU because the account is tied to the console and not the user?
@ggregd Yea, that's pretty much the way it works, I have the WiiU and recently went through something similar. I bought the WiiU the day after Christmas and well it was a lemon, as I found at a few days later. I exchanged a few days later for a new one. I had bought several games on eShop. Well...Turns out my account and games were locked to the console I traded in/exchanged. I contacted Nintendo and at first they told me there was nothing they could do. I kept on to them, and was eventually asked to send in my receipts of exchange, which I did. A Nintendo Customer Service Rep was able to allow me to download the game, and my account on to my new console. It was a major pain though and I was pretty upset at the possibility of loosing the games I had bought. It's a terrible way of doing things. I'm use to STEAM, which works in the common sense way.
@ggregd Also, from what I gathered, why they wouldn't have your account info to log into it, the eShop would still be linked to the console and therefore they could download any games you bought. Nintendo just needs to add in a tool to unlink an account both Nintendo and eShop from a console. Unless formatting one does all of this, which I'm not 100% sure of.