Sony Europe has been fined $3.5 million dollars for refusing to refund Australian gamers in accordance to Australian Consumer Law rights.
This comes one year after the report that the ACCC was investigating Sony for making false or misleading representations to Australian consumers on both its website and the PlayStation Store in regards to not being able to get a refund if 14 days had passed since making a purchase. This relates specifically to software that is either broken or one that has misleading marketing.
As reported by Gizmodo, ACCC Chair Rod Sims has stated that “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 of developer”
Sony Europe had allegedly told one of the four customers in question that it did not have to provide a refund unless the game developer authorised it, with another customer being told that they would only be refunded using virtual PlayStation currency instead of actual money.
“Consumers who buy digital products online have exactly the same rights as they would if they made the purchase at a physical store,” Mr Sims said.
“No matter where in the world a company has its headquarters, if it is selling to Australian consumers, the Australian Consumer Law applies.”
According to the ACCC statement Sony Europe admitted liability and made joint submissions to the Federal Court with the ACCC. Sony Europe will also contribute to the ACCC’s legal costs.