In the saga that will not end, a support email has revealed that the PlayStation support service has been giving gamers "goodwill gesture refunds" for No Man's Sky. Those refunds, however, were seemingly only available for Americans. And if that wasn't frustrating enough for Australians, it seems like Sony's local support staff are sending mixed messages on their refund policy in general.
A tipster has provided a series of support emails to Kotaku Australia where they, like many others, were chasing up Sony to refund No Man's Sky. The support chain began in late August, although it wasn't until recently that PlayStation's local support staff remarked on the refunds being offered by their American counterparts.
The chain began with PlayStation's local support rejecting a refund, but then asking for clarification on what part of the No Man's Sky description on the PlayStation store was "misleading, or not included in the game".
After a brief back and forth, PlayStation's local support replied with the block description about No Man's Sky and Hello Games that we reported on earlier this month, which reads:
We are aware of comments online from some players expressing disappointment with the release features of No Man’s Sky. During the development process, the game changed and evolved based on thousands of hours of user testing and feedback on what worked and what didn’t to bring you the best gameplay experience and the most fun. Hello Games made choices during this development which they believed would provide the best experience for the players. No Man’s Sky was intended to be something unique, vast and inventive, and we feel Hello Games delivered that. They are also working to ensure that No Man’s Sky will continue to evolve and benefit from new features over the coming months, and as such, we are not making any exceptions to our standard refund policy.
But after being referred to a screenshot circulating online of a PlayStation support staffer offering one-time refunds for No Man's Sky, the PlayStation Australia support team replied that PlayStation America was "authorising goodwill gesture refunds" — something that would not be offered in Australia.
The email continued with this:
When purchasing digital content, there is no right to cancel your purchase because you are receiving access to the content immediately (even if you do not download it straight away).
It contradicts the policy listed on the PlayStation website, which says users can "cancel a digital content purchase within 14 days from the date of transaction, provided that you have not started downloading or streaming it". Digital content that has started downloading or streaming can also be refunded if the content is "faulty".
Sony was contacted about the email chain and the disconnect with PlayStation America, but did not respond to request for comment by the time of publication.
It's understandable that PlayStation Australia wants to stick to their policy. But they need to at least provide consistent messaging to users on their policy. On the bright side, the email at least does end with the support specialist saying that "you do have the right to pursue further action if you wish" — not that Sony, or any other manufacturer or developer is empowered to remove those rights from consumers if they so choose.