After cracking down on PC-based digital platform holders, Australia's Competition and Consumer Commission began turning its attention to the refund policies for digital games sold on consoles. Sony has been one of the targets this week, with an Australian Federal Court ordering a fine to be paid due to PlayStation refund policies.
The ACCC has previously fined Valve and other companies over refund policies breaching Australia's consumer rights rules. This time, Sony Europe, which operates the PlayStation support centre in Australia, has been fined $3.5 million AUD, which works out as roughly £1.9 million GBP.
According to the ACCC, Sony was “misrepresenting PlayStation gamers' rights' by refusing refunds on digital games: “Consumer guarantee rights do not expire after a digital product has been downloaded and certainly do not disappear after 14 days or any other arbitrary date claimed by a game store or developer”, ACCC head, Rod Sims says in a statement. “What Sony told these consumers was false and does not reflect the consumer guarantee rights afforded to Australian consumers under the Australian Consumer Law”.
When Valve was in this position, it attempted to fight back on the ruling with appeals. Apparently, Sony won't be doing the same, having “admitted liability”. Sony Europe will also pay a portion of the ACCC's legal costs as part of the fallout from this case.
KitGuru Says: Hopefully this can help get console makers to implement fairer refund policies, similar to the ones we now have on platforms like Steam. Have any of you ever tried to get a refund for a PS4 game? Were you successful?