The Nation of Australia has fined Sony Europe to the sum of $2.4 million ($3.5 million AUD). The government issued the fine because Sony refused to offer refunds to four Australian citizens who claimed the game they downloaded was defective.
Sony claimed that since the users had waited 14 days since the initial download to ask for a refund, they had no reason to comply. However, the Australian Consumer Law states there is no 14 day limit on returns. Sony also told customers that they could only receive their refunds with PlayStation Network credit, another violation of the ACL.
Rod Sims, chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said the following:
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.
$2.4 million may just be a drop in the bucket for Sony, especially with The Last of Us Part 2 pre-sales doing so well. But the bad press of not supporting customers’ repayment requests should make it think twice about its refund policy.