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Sony has been hit with a whopping $3.5 million fine by the Federal Court in Australia for "making false or misleading representations" to customers about their rights and for refusing refunds.
The charge set forward by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is levelled at Sony Europe for the false and misleading representations on its website "and in dealings with Australian consumers about their Australian Consumer Law (ACL) rights".
The statement goes on to say that four consumers, who believed they had purchased "faulty" games through the PlayStation Network, were told over the phone by Sony Europe's customer service representatives that they were not entitled to a refund once the game was downloaded, or 14 days after the purchase had been made.
That last section is the sticking point here, as it is in direct breach of Australian consumer laws. ACCC chair Rod Sims said: "Consumer 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."
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The court also noted that of the four consumers, one was told they were not entitled to a refund unless the developer of the game authorised it, and an additional fifth person was told they could have a refund but it'd have to be in online currency for the PlayStation Store.
Sims continued: "What Sony told these consumers was false and does not reflect the consumer guarantee rights afforded to Australian consumers under the Australian Consumer Law. 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."
The games in question have not been specified, but Sony, for their part, have admitted full liability and have made joint submissions to the Australian Federal Court alongside the ACCC, and have also contributed toward the ACCC's legal costs.
Featured Image Credit: Sony
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