Sony Europe has faced fine charges of $3.5 million. This is for “false and misleading representations on its website.” According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Sony Australia, which is a division of PlayStation EU, misled four customers after they purchased games described as “faulty”. The sale was through the PlayStation Network. In addition, Sony informed these customers they were not entitled to a refund if the game had been downloaded, or if the 14 days had passed since the purchase. However, this is not in line with Australian consumer laws.
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Sony’s regulations outline a specific procedure for digital purchases. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has different laws in place. ACCC chair Rod Sims claims;
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”#EDCA06″ class=”” size=”21″]“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. Consumers who buy digital products online have exactly the same rights as they would if they made the purchase at a physical store.”[/perfectpullquote]
Sony breached Australian law by telling one customer only the game’s developer could authorize a refund. Furthermore, another customer was told they could get a refund in the form of digital store credit. This also goes against the ACCC regulations. Sims claims refunds under the consumer guarantee must also be given in cash or money transfer. This is if the consumer originally paid in one of those ways.
The game in question was not revealed to the public. It is not the first time we have seen the ACCC take legal action against gaming companies. Last year, the commission ordered retailer EB Games to refund customers who had purchased Fallout 76. Reports claim this legal matter could also be related to the same Bethesda game. Along with the $3.5 million fine, Sony Europe will also pay for some of the legal costs involved in this matter.