Sony loses court case involving PlayStation Store refunds in Australia, results in $2.4 million fine

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After nearly a year in court, an Australian court case against Sony Interactive Entertainment Network Europe has wrapped up and come to a conclusion. The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) took Sony to court over its digital game refund policies, claiming that they were false and misleading to consumers. Four different users had purchased "faulty" PlayStation games and had been refused refunds, as the games were bought digitally on the PlayStation Store, and according to Sony, were not able to be refunded as more than 14 days had passed since the date of purchase. This breached Australia's Consumer Law rights, which determined that consumers who buy products that don't function as promised or "have a major fault" are able to receive full refunds to their original payment method, even if they are digital goods.

“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.”

As a result of breaching ACL rights, Sony EU has been fined $3.5 million AUD (2.4m USD) in penalty fines.

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i'd actually be on sony's side, saying they can't thoroughly beta test every game, if it weren't for this comment on the refund policy:
https://www.playstation.com/en-us/network/legal/cancellation-policy/ said:
Digital content that you have started downloading or streaming, and in-game consumables that have been delivered, are not eligible for a refund unless the content is faulty.
they dug their own grave.
who determines what a "faulty" game is? well, they didn't specify, so I guess it's up to the court to decide.

although i'll still argue that sony isn't the greedy one here. i would guess that the majority of people asking for refunds didn't actually buy faulty games. they just didn't think the game was fun, which i personally don't think is a valid reason when you have the internet in order to research the game as much as you want beforehand.
yes, steam has a more friendly policy, good for them. i still think sony's is fine.
 

MetoMeto

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I never understood how those courts' astronomical refunds are calculated.

If Sony agreed to refund those 4 costumers it shouldn't have costed them more than 100$.
Its penalty for such greedy behavior and going against the law. It's no laughing matter and law is not a toy to be played with.

As for games, yes, they are worth way way less than penalty.
 

MetoMeto

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I bought COD Modern Warfare 2 because it was advertised as having multiplayer (should have checked Reddit or somewhere first, but I didn't).
I downloaded it and it didn't have it. The same day I messaged Sony for a refund.. I was told: "Since the game has already been downloaded or streamed, we cannot refund it as per Sony Policy".. So in reality, even just downloading it means you can't return it anymore.. Greedy fucks.. My chat-log is below:

Mario H.:Thank you for contacting PlayStation, my name is Mario H. how may I assist you today?
Remember: Please do not refresh your screen as it will disconnect the chat session. Thanks!
Me: Hi, I'm trying to return a recent purchase of Call of Duty Modern Warfare Remastered because it has no local multiplayer. Then I will purchase Call Of Duty Black Ops instead.
Mario H.:Good afternoon! I will be more than glad working with you on your refund request today!
Mario H.:I would really appreciate your help with the following details for update and verification on our records please:


-Name(s) of the content you need refund for "or" date and amount of the transaction
-Refund ID (from our website pre qualification
Me: Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® Game | 9.37GB | 5/27/2020 Playable On: PS4
Mario H.:Thank you for those details, can you also provide the following details:

-Reason for the refund request
-First and last name
-Email address you have access to
-Phone number

Me:Reason: I saw on their website that it had multiplayer but once downloaded, it does NOT have multiplayer. :(

Me: **** is my name.

Me:Email: *****@gmail.com

Mario H.:Thank you so much for sharing those details, we appreciate it you take your time to contact us, we will do our best in order to assist you, please if you have any questions or dounts of the process, let me know!

Me: ******* is my phone number.

Mario H.:According to our records the content has been downloaded/streamed. I'm sorry, due to the restrictions outlined in the PlayStation Store Cancellation Policy; a refund cannot be made for this transaction.

Mario H.:But this is not the last time you can contact us to ask this type of request, I would strongly recommend you to check our cancellation policies, read it carefully so you'll have more knowledge to know when we can complete it, https://www.playstation.com/en-us/network/legal/cancellation-policy/?language=en_US

Me:but I haven't played it. It doesn't even have multiplayer or anything and it's only been 1 day since I purchased it and 10 minutes since downloading :S

Mario H.:Believe me that we're doing our best to give you the best options on this situation, of course this time it's not a good news and this is not the outcome we expect to provide you with.

Because of the restrictions outlined in the PlayStation Store Cancellation Policy; a refund cannot be made for this transaction and because of that we offer our most sincere apologies for this, we know you're very nice and kind we hope you could understand. However, if there is something in our hands to try to help you with anything else it will be a pleasure to check for you in regards of any other request or question.

Me:Well that's all I wanted. I simply did not want this game.

Mario H.:We're sorry for this situation our intention is to help you as much as I can and we don't want this to be complicated or more frustrating, and I do place myself in your position. Unfortunately, as per PlayStation Network’s terms of service, the PlayStation Store Cancellation Policy; a refund cannot be made for this transaction.

In this case, I have double checked what other options we have but we have exhausted them all. As per policies a refund can’t be granted. Having mentioned that information I would like to know if besides that, do you have any other question or request for me today?

Me:Is it possible to CHANGE the game then? To something else?

Me:If it can't be refunded, surely it can be exchanged.

Mario H.:We're very sorry, Believe me that it's not the final answer we wished to provide you with, however we kindly addressed all your questions in this matter, please let me know if before we say goodbye you have a different request than this one so we can continue assisting you.

Me:The new question is whether or not it can be exchanged as it's not a refund and that part isn't in the policy.
Mario H.:We do understand but in this case allow me to tell you that we cannot chnage the content, I hope you understand.

Mario H.:Thank you for chatting with us today! We hope you have a great day!

Hangs up on me.

Policy is here (same link as the one in the above chat-log): https://www.playstation.com/en-us/network/legal/cancellation-policy/#games

Why the policy is stupid? Because you will NEVER know if the game is faulty if can't download it. And if you download it, you can't refund it.. So it's entirely up to them to determine if it's faulty or not and that's the verdict. If you do a charge back on your card, you will get banned from PSN permanently. So as a gamer, you're completely fucked here.

Because of this experience, I am no longer buy any digital games and I'm possibly going to avoid buying the PS5 if the XBox is better OR stick to PC.. Very sad because my PS4 library is extremely large.. I didn't expect I'd have any trouble returning just ONE game in the last 7 years!
Digital or phisical games the money is real though...so to say. Its yours if nothing, you should have the right to refund it..
 
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MetoMeto

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I bought COD Modern Warfare 2 because it was advertised as having multiplayer (should have checked Reddit or somewhere first, but I didn't).
I downloaded it and it didn't have it. The same day I messaged Sony for a refund.. I was told: "Since the game has already been downloaded or streamed, we cannot refund it as per Sony Policy".. So in reality, even just downloading it means you can't return it anymore.. Greedy fucks.. My chat-log is below:

Mario H.:Thank you for contacting PlayStation, my name is Mario H. how may I assist you today?
Remember: Please do not refresh your screen as it will disconnect the chat session. Thanks!
Me: Hi, I'm trying to return a recent purchase of Call of Duty Modern Warfare Remastered because it has no local multiplayer. Then I will purchase Call Of Duty Black Ops instead.
Mario H.:Good afternoon! I will be more than glad working with you on your refund request today!
Mario H.:I would really appreciate your help with the following details for update and verification on our records please:


-Name(s) of the content you need refund for "or" date and amount of the transaction
-Refund ID (from our website pre qualification
Me: Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® Game | 9.37GB | 5/27/2020 Playable On: PS4
Mario H.:Thank you for those details, can you also provide the following details:

-Reason for the refund request
-First and last name
-Email address you have access to
-Phone number

Me:Reason: I saw on their website that it had multiplayer but once downloaded, it does NOT have multiplayer. :(

Me: **** is my name.

Me:Email: *****@gmail.com

Mario H.:Thank you so much for sharing those details, we appreciate it you take your time to contact us, we will do our best in order to assist you, please if you have any questions or dounts of the process, let me know!

Me: ******* is my phone number.

Mario H.:According to our records the content has been downloaded/streamed. I'm sorry, due to the restrictions outlined in the PlayStation Store Cancellation Policy; a refund cannot be made for this transaction.

Mario H.:But this is not the last time you can contact us to ask this type of request, I would strongly recommend you to check our cancellation policies, read it carefully so you'll have more knowledge to know when we can complete it, https://www.playstation.com/en-us/network/legal/cancellation-policy/?language=en_US

Me:but I haven't played it. It doesn't even have multiplayer or anything and it's only been 1 day since I purchased it and 10 minutes since downloading :S

Mario H.:Believe me that we're doing our best to give you the best options on this situation, of course this time it's not a good news and this is not the outcome we expect to provide you with.

Because of the restrictions outlined in the PlayStation Store Cancellation Policy; a refund cannot be made for this transaction and because of that we offer our most sincere apologies for this, we know you're very nice and kind we hope you could understand. However, if there is something in our hands to try to help you with anything else it will be a pleasure to check for you in regards of any other request or question.

Me:Well that's all I wanted. I simply did not want this game.

Mario H.:We're sorry for this situation our intention is to help you as much as I can and we don't want this to be complicated or more frustrating, and I do place myself in your position. Unfortunately, as per PlayStation Network’s terms of service, the PlayStation Store Cancellation Policy; a refund cannot be made for this transaction.

In this case, I have double checked what other options we have but we have exhausted them all. As per policies a refund can’t be granted. Having mentioned that information I would like to know if besides that, do you have any other question or request for me today?

Me:Is it possible to CHANGE the game then? To something else?

Me:If it can't be refunded, surely it can be exchanged.

Mario H.:We're very sorry, Believe me that it's not the final answer we wished to provide you with, however we kindly addressed all your questions in this matter, please let me know if before we say goodbye you have a different request than this one so we can continue assisting you.

Me:The new question is whether or not it can be exchanged as it's not a refund and that part isn't in the policy.
Mario H.:We do understand but in this case allow me to tell you that we cannot chnage the content, I hope you understand.

Mario H.:Thank you for chatting with us today! We hope you have a great day!

Hangs up on me.

Policy is here (same link as the one in the above chat-log): https://www.playstation.com/en-us/network/legal/cancellation-policy/#games

Why the policy is stupid? Because you will NEVER know if the game is faulty if can't download it. And if you download it, you can't refund it.. So it's entirely up to them to determine if it's faulty or not and that's the verdict. If you do a charge back on your card, you will get banned from PSN permanently. So as a gamer, you're completely fucked here.

Because of this experience, I am no longer buy any digital games and I'm possibly going to avoid buying the PS5 if the XBox is better OR stick to PC.. Very sad because my PS4 library is extremely large.. I didn't expect I'd have any trouble returning just ONE game in the last 7 years!
Wow that really sucks. I'd be so frustrated...i'm frustrated reading what happened to you!!!
Its your fucking money lol and you bought whats not there xD its mental...ofc you , by all logic in this world, have right to return it, physical or not.

"Youre kind, youre good" jesus im sick when they go all personal. I WANT MY MONEY LADY, YOUR COMPANY FUCKED ME UP, YOU DONT NEED TO TELL ME IM KIND, youre not my girlfriend! xD

Its like Sony BEGS people to pirate their games instead of buying them. Go pirates! Well you can always download pirated version and see if you like it or not...
 
Last edited by MetoMeto,
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PiracyForTheMasses

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I bought COD Modern Warfare 2 because it was advertised as having multiplayer (should have checked Reddit or somewhere first, but I didn't).
I downloaded it and it didn't have it. The same day I messaged Sony for a refund.. I was told: "Since the game has already been downloaded or streamed, we cannot refund it as per Sony Policy".. So in reality, even just downloading it means you can't return it anymore.. Greedy fucks.. My chat-log is below:

Mario H.:Thank you for contacting PlayStation, my name is Mario H. how may I assist you today?
Remember: Please do not refresh your screen as it will disconnect the chat session. Thanks!
Me: Hi, I'm trying to return a recent purchase of Call of Duty Modern Warfare Remastered because it has no local multiplayer. Then I will purchase Call Of Duty Black Ops instead.
Mario H.:Good afternoon! I will be more than glad working with you on your refund request today!
Mario H.:I would really appreciate your help with the following details for update and verification on our records please:


-Name(s) of the content you need refund for "or" date and amount of the transaction
-Refund ID (from our website pre qualification
Me: Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® Game | 9.37GB | 5/27/2020 Playable On: PS4
Mario H.:Thank you for those details, can you also provide the following details:

-Reason for the refund request
-First and last name
-Email address you have access to
-Phone number

Me:Reason: I saw on their website that it had multiplayer but once downloaded, it does NOT have multiplayer. :(

Me: **** is my name.

Me:Email: *****@gmail.com

Mario H.:Thank you so much for sharing those details, we appreciate it you take your time to contact us, we will do our best in order to assist you, please if you have any questions or dounts of the process, let me know!

Me: ******* is my phone number.

Mario H.:According to our records the content has been downloaded/streamed. I'm sorry, due to the restrictions outlined in the PlayStation Store Cancellation Policy; a refund cannot be made for this transaction.

Mario H.:But this is not the last time you can contact us to ask this type of request, I would strongly recommend you to check our cancellation policies, read it carefully so you'll have more knowledge to know when we can complete it, https://www.playstation.com/en-us/network/legal/cancellation-policy/?language=en_US

Me:but I haven't played it. It doesn't even have multiplayer or anything and it's only been 1 day since I purchased it and 10 minutes since downloading :S

Mario H.:Believe me that we're doing our best to give you the best options on this situation, of course this time it's not a good news and this is not the outcome we expect to provide you with.

Because of the restrictions outlined in the PlayStation Store Cancellation Policy; a refund cannot be made for this transaction and because of that we offer our most sincere apologies for this, we know you're very nice and kind we hope you could understand. However, if there is something in our hands to try to help you with anything else it will be a pleasure to check for you in regards of any other request or question.

Me:Well that's all I wanted. I simply did not want this game.

Mario H.:We're sorry for this situation our intention is to help you as much as I can and we don't want this to be complicated or more frustrating, and I do place myself in your position. Unfortunately, as per PlayStation Network’s terms of service, the PlayStation Store Cancellation Policy; a refund cannot be made for this transaction.

In this case, I have double checked what other options we have but we have exhausted them all. As per policies a refund can’t be granted. Having mentioned that information I would like to know if besides that, do you have any other question or request for me today?

Me:Is it possible to CHANGE the game then? To something else?

Me:If it can't be refunded, surely it can be exchanged.

Mario H.:We're very sorry, Believe me that it's not the final answer we wished to provide you with, however we kindly addressed all your questions in this matter, please let me know if before we say goodbye you have a different request than this one so we can continue assisting you.

Me:The new question is whether or not it can be exchanged as it's not a refund and that part isn't in the policy.
Mario H.:We do understand but in this case allow me to tell you that we cannot chnage the content, I hope you understand.

Mario H.:Thank you for chatting with us today! We hope you have a great day!

Hangs up on me.

Policy is here (same link as the one in the above chat-log): https://www.playstation.com/en-us/network/legal/cancellation-policy/#games

Why the policy is stupid? Because you will NEVER know if the game is faulty if can't download it. And if you download it, you can't refund it.. So it's entirely up to them to determine if it's faulty or not and that's the verdict. If you do a charge back on your card, you will get banned from PSN permanently. So as a gamer, you're completely fucked here.

Because of this experience, I am no longer buy any digital games and I'm possibly going to avoid buying the PS5 if the XBox is better OR stick to PC.. Very sad because my PS4 library is extremely large.. I didn't expect I'd have any trouble returning just ONE game in the last 7 years!
So you expected Sony to refund you because of your own stupidity, sorry bro that is NOT how it works. You claim you bought MW2R because it was advertised as having multiplayer which is NOT true. In fact it was NEVER advertised as having multiplayer and before it launched the developers made it clear that there would NOT be multiplayer. Then when you contact Sony you say you bought MWR which is a completely different game that DOES include multiplayer.
 

Milenko

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Not sure about PlayStation, but Nintendo usually classifies Australia in their Europe department, we usually get the same sales as Europe and other things. Of cause, this is Nintendo, not Sony, but it could be something like this on playstation.

My psn charges say London and its always confused me
 
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MiiJack

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How to make a pro gamer move:
  1. create a game with a major bug in it
  2. publish it
  3. ask your friends to buy it
  4. ask for a refund
  5. wait for a refusal
  6. file complaints
  7. Wait
  8. ...
  9. win in court
Now the company is bleeding money.
 

RedBlueGreen

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Sony and Nintendo should share Steam and Microsoft's refund policy. But, lol, it's going to require a lot more law suits for those two to become a bit more pro consumer. They'll go out kicking and screaming.
Steams refund policy is pretty bad a lot of the time as well. Play 2 hours of a broken game in the US or Canada? You might be SOL.
 
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Tatsuna

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i'd actually be on sony's side, saying they can't thoroughly beta test every game, if it weren't for this comment on the refund policy:

they dug their own grave.
who determines what a "faulty" game is? well, they didn't specify, so I guess it's up to the court to decide.

although i'll still argue that sony isn't the greedy one here. i would guess that the majority of people asking for refunds didn't actually buy faulty games. they just didn't think the game was fun, which i personally don't think is a valid reason when you have the internet in order to research the game as much as you want beforehand.
yes, steam has a more friendly policy, good for them. i still think sony's is fine.
It's consumer's right to be able to get a refund from a product they're totally not satisfied with. If I try the game for a couple of hours and it disgusts me, I have every right to get a refund if I want to. Digital properties are not (and should not) to be treated differently.
 

DJPlace

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take that sony i may be loyal to you rooty poo candy asses but taxing digital tax like everyone else is a dick move. i live in new York state but i changed my adress to my mom's so you are not getting my hard earned SSI you bastards.
 

JustBrandonT

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So you expected Sony to refund you because of your own stupidity, sorry bro that is NOT how it works. You claim you bought MW2R because it was advertised as having multiplayer which is NOT true. In fact it was NEVER advertised as having multiplayer and before it launched the developers made it clear that there would NOT be multiplayer. Then when you contact Sony you say you bought MWR which is a completely different game that DOES include multiplayer.

Stupidity? Why? You don't even know me. It's not like I research EVERY single game before purchasing it. Secondly, are you really calling me stupid because I POSSIBLY purchased the wrong game and within 10 minutes of realizing asked if they would exchange it for the correct one or let me purchase the correct one without having to buy both? You don't have the slightest clue about customer service it seems.

If I did that on any other platform, they'd at least let me EXCHANGE it or refund it especially if it's only 10 MINUTES since download which they can obviously see.

Finally, it said "Online features" right on the sales page.. so I assumed it was multiplayer. I don't know which game on PS4 has Online features that are not multiplayer.

It's not like I waited 24 hours or anything. I contacted immediately. If you WANT a bank statement showing the times I have no problem showing you (though, I mentioned it in the chat logs, I can even give you the Refund Request number and you can verify the chat yourself). I don't even see why you are attacking me here :S.

It also seems like you actually think I contacted them about the WRONG game. I did NOT:
Then when you contact Sony you say you bought MWR which is a completely different game that DOES include multiplayer.
Where do you get off saying such a statement.. I literally purchased MW right after because I was NOT able to refund MW2! (You actually have to talk to the chatbot FIRST for it to confirm the right title and purchase date before you can even meet a representative) -__- The assumptions you make so that it seems like I am the bad person here is just terrible.. Have a good day and enjoy the pic below (hope you READ the dates).

CFgxZni.png

PS: I honestly hope you NEVER purchase a bad OR faulty game..
 
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tivu100

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Sound like Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC), really does their job unlike other Commission form other countries.

Questions

How to get protected by Australian Competition & Consumer Commission?

Sony console region locked to Australia, with Australia based account would be sufficient?
 
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