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Steam AU Refund Legal Dispute

Valve has a court date in Australia to respond to accusations from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, a watchdog group, that Steam's refund policy, or lack thereof, violates Australian consumer protection laws (thanks Darth Guybrush). Word is a "directions" hearing will take place on October 7th. Here's word from News.com.au::

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said: “The Australian Consumer Law applies to any business providing goods or services within Australia. Valve may be an American-based company with no physical presence in Australia, but it is carrying on business in Australia by selling to Australian consumers, who are protected by Australian Consumer Law.

“It is a breach of the Australian Consumer Law for businesses to state that they do not give refunds under any circumstances, including for gifts and during sales. Under the Australian Consumer Law, consumers can insist on a refund or replacement at their option if a product has a major fault.

“The consumer guarantees provided under the Australian Consumer Law cannot be excluded, restricted or modified.”

Valve chief executive Doug Lombardi told news.com.au in an email: “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.

He did not respond to more detailed questions put forward by news.com.au.

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