Sony has gotten a fair share of criticism for its customer support throughout the years, and it seems like things still could be a whole lot better. One of the main complaints against Sony (and also Nintendo) has been their handling of refunds, a procedure that is really simple for services like Steam, Xbox and GOG.
And now it turns out the information given by Sony Interactive Entertainment Network Europe Limited (Sony Europe) hasn’t even been legally correct by Australian laws. Sony has informed Australian customers that they cannot get a refund more than 14 days after buying a game, and also not if it has already been downloaded. But as Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chair Rod Sims points out, this isn’t in line with the law:
“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.
What Sony told these consumers was false and does not reflect the consumer guarantee rights afforded to Australian consumers under the Australian Consumer Law.”
Sims also added that “consumers who buy digital products online have exactly the same rights as they would if they made the purchase at a physical store. No matter where in the world a company has its headquarters, if it is selling to Australian consumers, the Australian Consumer Law applies.”
This has now led to Sony having to pay a fine of $3.5 million, and they have admitted liability. Hopefully, this could lead to better terms for refunds in the future, and we’re also really hoping the EU will make sure to guard customers interests even on digital products in Europe as well.