SYDNEY (Reuters) – Global video game company Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe Ltd. broke Australian consumer law by telling customers that they could not get a refund of the faulty PlayStation games, Australia’s consumer watchdog said in a lawsuit.
FILE PHOTO: Sony Playstation logo is seen in Tokyo, Japan, May 23, 2018. REUTERS/Toru Hanai
Sony Europe, a division of japan’s Sony Corp, violated the Australian consumer law by telling customers not to give them refunds for faulty games that had been downloaded, or more than 14 days after the purchase, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has said in a court filing made public on Wednesday.
The technology giant also said that customers can not return any money, unless the developer of the game, a separate entity, confirmed that the product was irreparably defective, the regulator said.
When Sony did agree to a refund, it told customers it could do so only with the store credits instead of cash, added.
“Sony Europe gave false and misleading information to their customers about their rights in connection with games sold through the PlayStation store,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said in a statement.
“The guarantees for the consumer not to expire after a digital product is downloaded, if we claim that Sony Europe told the consumers, and the refund must be given in the form of the original payment, unless a consumer chooses to receive a store credit.”
A Sony representative in Australia was not immediately available for comment, and Sony did not immediately respond to a Reuters survey in a form on its website.
The ACCC does not specify what damages it was seeking with the lawsuit, but said that the PlayStation seller “practical obstacles in the way of Australian users attempt to obtain a refund” by referring their complaints to game developers.
In a case mentioned in the court filing, in October 2017, a Sony customer service person told an Australian who had asked for a refund for the game “The Colony”, that “we can’t actually the issue that a refund”.
“Not that we don’t want. That We can’t. Only the developer of the game can give us permission to refund it once the game is downloaded,” the person said, according to the filing.
In another case from the same month a Sony support person allegedly told a customer who wanted to return to the game “Hitman”, that “actually, there is no way for us to get this amount”.
“It’s not really a game. It is a license for a game, and we buy that from the publisher,” the person who was quoted as saying.
Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Stephen Coates