Today the ACCC (Australian Competition & Consumer Commission) has begun Federal Court proceedings against Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe in regards to their return policy being allegedly misleading.
The ACCC’s allegations claim that from around fall of 2017, Sony informed consumers who purchased a game digitally and the game developer had not declared it faulty, that Sony would not give a refund. This included additional rules such as refunds would not be given if 14 days had passed since the time of purchase or that refunds could only be given in the virtual currency of the PSN.
“The ACCC alleges that from around September 2017, Sony Europe told consumers seeking a refund for faulty games that it did not have to provide refunds for games that had been downloaded, or if 14 days had passed since purchase.”Via ACCC
“Sony Europe also allegedly told consumers it did not have to provide refunds unless the game developer told the consumer the game was irreparably faulty or otherwise authorised a refund. It also told consumers that it could provide refunds using virtual PlayStation currency instead of money.”
Something that violates Australian consumer laws, because, in Australia, digital consumers have the same rights as those who purchase physical items.
It is believed that the misleading information caused Australian gamers who found an issue with a digital purchase from PSN to not seek a return.
There has been some matter of questions lately just what the future of digital-only game releases will mean for the video game industry, and this just adds questions about how best to incorporate consumer rights into that future.
Sony has changed some of its return policies in recent months, but some still find them a bit unfair.
It will be interesting to see where this case takes digital storefronts.
(Source – www.accc.gov.au)