Sony Europe (of which the company’s Australian branch is a subsidiary) has been fined $3.5 million after it was found to have presented “false and misleading representations” to local customers who were trying to refund PlayStation game purchases.
As Gizmodo Australia report, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) took Sony to court last year over the case, and a finding last week determined that “Sony has now been found guilty of misleading four customers who were told by a customer service representative that Sony was not required to refund games once they had been downloaded, or if 14 days had passed since its purchase.”
Under Australian consumer law, consumers definitely are entitled to refunds beyond that time period. ACCC Chair Rod Sims said of the decision “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.”
Sony was also found to have breached consumer law by telling other customers that individual game developers needed to authorise refunds, or that Sony would only provide refunds as credit for the PlayStation store.
As well as the fine, Sony must also pay the ACCC’s legal costs.
This decision follows a similar case in 2016 where Valve were also found guilty of breaching Australian consumer law, were forced to pay a hefty fine and alter their refund agreements.