Sony Europe to pay $2.4 million penalties for “misleading” Australian consumers on refunds

Image via Sony

A press release from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission stated that the Federal Court of Australia has found Sony Europe to be in breach of Australian Consumer Law (ACL), and has ordered the entertainment company to pay $2.4 million in penalties.

Four consumers, who believed that they had bought faulty PlayStation games, asked for a refund. Sony’s customer reps had told the consumers that Sony Europe was not required to process a refund after the game has been downloaded, or if 14 days had passed since the date of purchase.

Additionally, Sony Europe told one of the four consumers that a refund would be provided only through the game developer’s authority, and told another customer that a refund could only be processed with PlayStation’s digital currency rather than money.

Sony Europe was judged to have made “false and misleading representations” about the ACL through its conduct with Australian customers, as well as providing erroneous information on its own website.

Related: Valve to pay $2.3 million fine after appeal dismissed by Australia’s high court

ACCC’s chair Rod Sims asserted that consumer rights did not expire even when a digital product was downloaded, nor after “14 days or any other arbitrary date claimed by a game store or developer.”

“Consumers who buy digital products online have exactly the same rights as they would if they made the purchase at a physical store,” Mr Sims said.

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