Sony Hit with $3.5 Million Fine by Australia Over Faulty Games

Sony Fine Australia

The Federal Court of Australia has hit Sony with $3.5 million fine over faulty games after a lawsuit by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). The Federal Court of Australia has ordered the company with the penalty charges for “making false and misleading representations on its website and in dealings with Australian consumers about their Australian Consumer Law (ACL) rights.”

Sony Australia is the branch of Sony Europe, which the Federal Court of Australia accuses to have misled four customers that were faulty after purchasing them from the Sony PlayStation Store. Sony went on to inform the customers that they were not going to get the refund back, stating that their refund policy is only eligible if the game has not been downloaded or if 14 days have passed since the purchase.

The case which started one year ago was filed by the ACCC against Sony. ACCC Chair Rod Sims gave a statement after the court ordered Sony to pay the fines.

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.

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

Sims also goes on to say that consumers that 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.

Sony’s refund policy has always seen criticism, and its recent policy for refunding gives customers a very tight window to refund the game before they lost the money forever. The new policy was updated last year in April, when it was silently updated without any official word from Sony.

What do you think of Sony’s refund policy? Do you think the million-dollar fine is justified? Post your comments below.

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About the Author: Salik Shah

An ardent lover for first-person shooter games, Salik has been part of GamesHedge all through its journey. His love for competitive gaming started with Counter-Strike and Call of Duty, and now can be seen lurking in Valorant and Rainbow Six: Siege.

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