Misleading Statements About Consumer Rights

Following action by the ACCC, the Federal Court of Australia has declared that Sony Interactive Entertainment Network Europe Limited (SIENE) contravened the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) by making false or misleading representations about consumers' rights:

  • through a clause of its Terms of Service which, although stated to not exclude liability under "applicable law", impliedly represented that users have no guarantee as to the quality, functionality, completeness, accuracy or performance of purchased digital games;
  • through statements made during the purchase process, representing that users cannot obtain a refund of funds added to the virtual PlayStation Network wallet;
  • through call centre agents' dealings, representing that even if a game had a major failure or some other failure to comply with a guarantee that could not be or had not been remedied:

    o    to four consumers, that SIENE was not required to refund the user if the game had been downloaded or 14 days had lapsed since purchase;

    o    to one consumer, that SIENE was not required to refund the user unless they obtained from the developer or publisher written authorisation for the refund to be made; and

    o    to one consumer, that SIENE was not required to refund the user in a currency or form useable outside the PlayStation Network.

These representations were false and misleading as games purchased by Australian consumers come with consumer guarantee rights under the ACL which cannot be excluded.

When you are entitled to a refund, repair or replacement for a good under the ACL:

  • your consumer guarantee rights do not expire after a digital good has been downloaded;
  • the ACL confers rights on consumers to obtain redress directly from suppliers; and
  • refunds must be given in the form of the original payment unless you opt to receive store credit.

For further information on consumer rights in Australia,  and

A link to the Federal Court judgment appears here: