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Sony end up in court in Australia over PlayStation Store refunds

Published: 10:49, 29 May 2019
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Dualshock controller

Sony have found themselves in court in Australia, as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) accused them of not complying with the country's consumer laws in regards to refunding games from the year 2017 onwards.

The ACCC have taken the proceedings to the Federal Court, arguing that Sony Europe made false and misleading representations to Australian customers. 

According to Sony Europe's refund policy, refunds are not possible if a game has been downloaded or 14 days have passed since purchase, but unfortunately for Sony - this does not comply with Australian consumer laws.

"Consumer guarantees do not expire after a digital product has been downloaded as we allege Sony Europe told consumers, and refunds must be given in the form of original payment unless a consumer chooses to receive it in store credit", said the chair of the ACCC Rod Sims.

The ACCC reminded that digital products bought online are covered by the same set of consumer laws as physical ones, and the Australian Consumer Law clearly states that consumers have a right to refunds if a product is faulty, not of acceptable quality, not fit for purpose or does not match descriptions made by a business.

"Sony Europe’s alleged conduct may have caused Australian consumers to not seek a refund, replacement or repair for a faulty game when the Australian Consumer Law gave them a right to do so", Sims said.

The ACCC also argues that from at least October 2017, Sony's Terms of Service stated that their liability in the process of replacing/repairing faulty products was limited, which is again in violation of Australian laws. 

"No matter where in the world a company has its headquarters, if it is selling to Australian consumers, the Australian Consumer Law applies", Sims reminded.

Sony artwork showing dualshock 2 controller for ps4 Dualshock 2

The ACCC will seek pecuniary penalties, which are monetary fines by civil courts, injunctions, declarations, correctives and costs, and they've also instituted proceedings against Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe Limited. 

You can learn more from the ACCC's official statement on their website here .

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