Sony Getting A Lawsuit From Australian Government

Most companies prefer to avoid getting governments’ attentions, because when that happens, that’s a cloud hanging over them for quite a while. Well, Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe LTD. found itself in that unfavourable position, as the global video game company’s getting hit with a lawsuit over its RMA logistics and refund policies.

According to a lawsuit filed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Sony Europe, a subsidiary of Japan’s Sony Corporation, violated Australia’s consumer law by telling their customers that it had no responsibility to give refunds for faulty games that were digitally downloaded, or those being refunded more than 14 days since physical purchase. The court filing was made late in May.

On top of refusing to utilise their RMA logistics chain, the technology giant also told their customers that refunds couldn’t be provided unless a separate entity, the game developer, confirmed that the product being refunded was irreparably faulty. When Sony did agree to a refund, customers were informed that it could only give out store credits, not cash, meaning that the customers were basically stuck with them.

Basically, if you went for a refund from Sony, you’re not getting your money back. You can get another game, but if that one has issues too, then, tough luck; you’re back to square one.

ACCC Chair Rod Sims issued a statement on the lawsuit, saying that Sony Europe gave customers false and misleading information to customers about their rights with regards to games sold on the PlayStation store. He explains that consumer guarantees don’t expire following the download of a digital product, as the ACCC alleges Sony Europe told their consumers, and refunds must be given in the same form as the original payment, unless the consumer opts otherwise.

The ACCC didn’t specify what damages they were looking with the lawsuit, but stated that the PlayStation vendor impeded the ability of Australian users looking to get refunds by diverting their complaints to game developers.

As for Sony itself, they refused to speak on the lawsuit, and even Reuters’ inquiry on the matter remained unanswered. That being said, Australian law dictates that the seller of the product (Sony in this case), is the one responsible for handling any filings for refunds, similar to countries like Germany, or New Zealand, so the ACCC has a pretty good case on their hands.

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