It appears the award-winning video game giants, Valve, have landed themselves in hot water with consumer watch dogs in Australia. The ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) are suing the company over its refund policy, according to a recent article on EuroGamer.
The case has been filed against Valve amidst allegations that the developer’s digital download client, Steam, does not offer customers a refund entitlement and that the company has been misleading Australian consumers.
According to the ACCC, the allegations state that:
- Consumers were not entitled to a refund for any games sold by Valve via Steam in any circumstances
- Valve had excluded, restricted or modified statutory guarantees and/or warranties that goods would be of acceptable quality
- Valve was not under any obligation to repair, replace or provide a refund for a game where the consumer had not contacted and attempted to resolve the problem with the computer game developer
- The statutory consumer guarantees did not apply to games sold by Valve.
Valve have responded to the case and are willing to comply with the Australian government. In a recent statement to Kotaku, a spokesperson from Valve had this to say:
“We are making every effort to cooperate with the Australian officials on this matter, while continuing to provide Steam services to our customers across the world, including Australian gamers.”
While Valve do not have any physical representation in Australia, the argument is that they still do business there and therefore must conform to Australian consumer law, which protects customers against suspicious refund policies.
The date for the first hearing has been set for October 7th, 2014 and will be held at the Federal Court in Sydney, Australia.
We’ll be keeping our ears to the ground for more details about the case. In the meantime, though, tell us, do you think Valve is acting ethically in terms of its refund policy?