Australian Regulator Sues Sony Over PS Refunds

An Australian regulator has decided to take legal action against Sony Interactive Entertainment (Europe) over PlayStation refunds. The regulator alleges that the gaming giant broke the law by informing customers they could not receive refunds for faulty PlayStation video games.

The lawsuit against Sony comes from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which said on Wednesday that the company made false and misleading representations to consumers in the country. The regulator said the false and misleading representations were made through the website and the PlayStation online store, where its digital games and downloadable content are sold.

The regulator released a statement saying that from around September 2017, Sony Europe let its customers seeking a refund for faulty games know that it did not have to give out refunds for games that had been downloaded, or if two weeks had gone by since a physical purchase.

The regulator alleges that Sony told customers it did not have to give out refunds unless the game developer, the company behind the video game, admitted that the game was completely faulty. They also allege that the company falsely claimed it had the right to make refunds using virtual currency from PlayStation instead of cash.

Rod Sims, Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, said that consumer guarantees do not run out after a digital product has been downloaded. He added that refunds must be handed out in the original form of payment unless the customer decides to receive it in a different way such as store credit. He also said that those who buy digital products have the same rights as those who buy from a physical store.

The regulator has taken legal action since it believes that Sony’s false and misleading representations may have convinced customers to seek other options or decide not to seek a refund for the video game.

PlayStation offers many games through its website and PlayStation Store, which can be accessed through its official app or its gaming systems. The legal action is against its Europe side, which covers Australia and many other countries.

Back in March, the company’s refund policy was in question following the issues seen with the release of the Anthem video game. The heavily anticipated game from BioWare and EA brought many complaints from gamers who had issues with it.

The issues forced the studio to release an update but the complaints didn’t stop as gamers said some of the issues remained. Several gamers decided to seek a refund over the issues and while some of them confirmed through reddit and social media that Sony did give them a refund, others criticized the company for rejecting their requests for a refund.

In some reddit threads, users confirmed that the refund process was quick and that Sony didn’t make much questions about it. The refunds were reportedly made for the digital versions, which were sold through the PlayStation Store.

The issues made the game unplayable for some. Several gamers reported that their PS4 consoles were randomly shutting down during the game. The issues were also said to be happening on the Xbox One version. The game was also criticized for being a bit grindy, requiring hours and hours of play time to unlock or improve characters. Reviewers also criticized the game for having long loading screens, including some that were actually longer than the gameplay. The game dropped an update today and its official account on Twitter said just an hour ago that they’re dropping more news tomorrow.