Valve has a court date in Australia to respond to accusations from the
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, a watchdog group, that Steam
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
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.