A court has ruled that a unit of Japan's Sony Corp broke the consumer law by denying customers refunds for faulty PlayStation games. Picture: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon
A court has ruled that a unit of Japan's Sony Corp broke the consumer law by denying customers refunds for faulty PlayStation games. Picture: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Sony fined for R41m over refusing refunds on faulty PlayStation games

By Shashwat Awasthi, Time of article published Jun 5, 2020

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A court has ruled that a unit of Japan's Sony Corp broke the consumer law by denying customers refunds for faulty PlayStation games and ordered the company to pay a A$3.5 million (R41 million) fine, Australia's consumer watchdog said.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) had filed a lawsuit against Sony Interactive Entertainment Network Europe Ltd in May last year for telling four customers it did not have to provide refunds for faulty games after they had been downloaded, or more than 14 days since purchase.

The court also rapped the global video game company for offering only store credits rather than cash to refund another customer.

"What Sony told these consumers was false and does not reflect the consumer guarantee rights afforded to Australian consumers under the Australian Consumer Law," ACCC Chair Rod Sims said in a statement on Friday.

"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. 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."

Sony Europe had admitted liability and would contribute to the regulator's legal costs for the case, according to the ACCC.

Sony did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for a comment.

Reuters

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