Issues regarding PlayStation Store refunds, or to be more accurate the lack thereof, have resulted in Sony being given a hefty fine in Australia. As noted by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission site, Sony Europe now has a major fine hanging over it after the country’s Federal Court for the treatment of customers. After being found to have made “misleading representations” that suggested the company didn’t have to offer refunds or that consumer guarantee rights expired, a $3.5 million fine was assigned. [Thanks, Gizmodo!]
This case began in May 2019 and involves five different people who claimed Sony Europe wasn’t acting according to Australian Consumer Law when it came to PlayStation Store refunds. Sony had tried to say it didn’t have to give people their money back unless a developer confirmed the game was broken or if 14 days had passed since someone bought a game. It also tried to say if any refund would be given, credit would be added to their PlayStation Store wallet.
The ACCC Chair Rod Sims fought against that and made the following statements stating that there is no difference between the rights offered with a digital or physical purchase.
What Sony told these consumers was false and does not reflect the consumer guarantee rights afforded to Australian consumers under the Australian Consumer Law.
Consumers can obtain a repair, replacement or refund directly for products with a major fault from sellers and cannot simply be sent to a product developer.
Refunds under the consumer guarantees must also be given in cash or money transfer if the consumer originally paid in one of those ways, unless the consumer chooses to receive store credit.
Consumers who buy digital products online have exactly the same rights as they would if they made the purchase at a physical store.
In addition to the fines, Sony Europe will pay ACCC’s “legal costs.”
If anyone needs to request a PlayStation Store refund, Sony’s support site has its current refund policy and a chatbot. Recently, when The Last of Us Part II had its release date shuffle, Sony started doling out automatic refunds to people who preordered digital copies.