PlayStation Fined $3.5 Million for Misleading Australian Customers - NewsWilliam D'Angelo , posted on 05 June 2020 / 1,420 Views
Sony Europe, Sony Australia is a branch, has been fit with a $3.5 million fine by the Australian Competition And Consumer Commission (ACCC) who found the company misleading consumers.
The Federal Court of Australia says Sony made "false and misleading representations on its website and in dealings with Australian consumers about their Australian Consumer Law (ACL) rights."
The Australian court says Sony Europe misled four consumers who believed they purchased faulty games for their PlayStation. Sony's customer service says Sony Europe was not required to provide a refund for a game once it had been downloaded or 14 days had passed since it was purchased.
"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," ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.
Sony Europe also told one of the four consumers it did not have to give a refund for the game unless the developer for the game authorized it. A fifth consumer was given a refund, however, it was made using virtual PlayStation currency that could only be used on the PlayStation Store.
"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 added. "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."
From October 2017 to May 2019, Sony Europe’s Terms of Service "implied that users did not have consumer guarantee rights regarding the quality, functionality, completeness, accuracy or performance of their purchased digital games. This was false as these guarantees cannot be excluded, restricted or modified."
"Consumers who buy digital products online have exactly the same rights as they would if they made the purchase at a physical store," Sims concluded. "No matter where in the world a company has its headquarters, if it is selling to Australian consumers, the Australian Consumer Law applies."
A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at email@example.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.