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Australian Steam Refund Demands Detailed

Kotaku Australia has a follow-up on the recent report that Valve is being taken to court in Australia over the lack of a refund policy for Steam purchases (thanks Darth Guybrush). They have a list from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission of demands the watchdog group has to make this right, as well as a statement from Valve saying they are trying to work this out, quoting Doug Lombardi as saying "We are making every effort to cooperate with the Australian officials on this matter." They also provide some background on this, saying the legal action was prompted by a few cases where consumers were unable to secure refunds for games that turned out to be unplayable. Here is the list of what the ACCC wants of Valve if they prevail in this case:

The ACCC is asking that Valve:

  • Provide an email address that specifically deals with refunds as per Australian Consumer law.
  • Provide a 1800 number to help consumers address any refund issues.
  • Provide a PO Box address for consumers to deal with refunds.
  • Appoint representatives (the ACCC refer to this person as a contact officer) to reply to consumers regarding refunds.

If the ACCC is successful, Valve will have to implement these changes within 30 days of the court order.

The ACCC is asking that, through these new avenues, each consumer be addressed and dealt with in accordance to their statutory rights as per Australian Consumer Law.

Interestingly, the ACCC wants Valve to appoint an independent auditor to review its consumer redress policy within 180 days of any potential court order. This person cannot be an employee or have any interests in Valve. This person cannot have been involved in the creator of the consumer redress policy. This independent auditor will then have to send a report to the ACCC informing them of how many consumers attempted to get a refund and how many were successful or unsuccessful and the reasons why.

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