Valve Being Sued By ACCC Over Steam Refund Policy

Discussion in 'News' started by Omnomnick, Aug 29, 2014.

  1. Omnomnick

    Omnomnick Retired Lead Content Creator
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    Earlier today, it was announced the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is attempting to sue Valve, as the organisation feels the refund policies used for Steam currently breach Australian consumer law. As many of us are aware, Valve only offers refunds for Steam games under very specific circumstances, something the ACCC is apparently not very happy with.
    ValveVSAus.png
    The first court hearing is set to take place on October 7th 2014 at the Federal Court in Sydney, where the ACCC will attempt to sue Valve for breaching local consumer law, the details of which are explained below.
    Despite Valve being an American corporation with no physical presence in Australia, the ACCC still believes the long-standing refund police adopted for Steam breaches local law and should be altered accordingly. Valve's Doug Lombardi has since responded, claiming Valve will attempt to work together with the ACCC to resolve the matter as suitably as possible.
    This may seem eerily familiar to some of you, as Valve was previously threatened by German consumer watchdog group VZBV in 2012 for refusing to offer Steam users the oppurtunity to resell their games on the platform. While the VZBV originally believed Valve were violating local consumer law, the case was later dismissed after it was confirmed the "doctrine of exhaustion" only applies to physical goods, not virtual software. As a result, Valve were not required to alter their EULA as a result.

    While this obviously isn't quite the same situation, clear similarities can be seen. It'll be interesting to see how this most recent court case against Valve is to be resolved and whether or not any of the policies affecting how you or I use Steam will be changed as a result. As always, we'll keep you posted.
    Source: Kotaku Australia
     
  2. mooki

    mooki Tank

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    How about Australia gets it shit together in the first place and quit marking up entertainment products with no intrinsic value? They don't care about the consumers. They just want to make money from this like they always do. A new video game here in the USA is $60. A new one there? $120. What a ****ing jip. No one deserves to be ripped off like that. (This is not directed towards Valve.)
     
  3. Mika56

    Mika56 Infected

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    I think that if you sell something in some contry, you have to respect the local laws, even if you are a foreign company.
    The German case was different because the law was on physical goods and not virtual, but this case might force Valve to change it's policy, at least in Australia
     
  4. Clan Wolf 2

    Clan Wolf 2 Hunter

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    Yes well done that man. They should get their acts together. Yet they won't and therefore suffer slow growth. Am confident Valve's obviously superior lawyers will overturn this rubbish objection on the basis that refund only applies to physical goods not digital. Same as before with the Germans.

    (as the AU lawyers have sucked all the money out their government client already, ACCC) ha ha ha. Hope so.

    Don't trust our government, yes i live in AU. ACCC thinks its doing the right thing, it couldn't more wrong and since they think what their doing is best for us consumers the pc gamer.

    Pretty sure AU goverment n pc gamers are not on the best of terms.

    Hope it doesn't happen but if it does and mass change occurs, it will likely be taken as another reason to hate Australians with our backwards thinking. :( sorry i was totally against it.

    As for the needs of consumers with digital refunds, firstly you most likely bought that game on sale, right? So because a consumer in this respect cannot control their impulses NOT to buy and decide what they want and make informed choice that they should stick by, "yes i bought that, not proud of it but i stick by that decision" it isn't fair for publishers esp the little ones who can be fragile to things like this, who cannot afford to publish some digital product then have it not sell because hardly anyone would keep their copy.

    The current politicians are very out of touch of society, their willing to take from their citizens but are not willing to give back. As for lower trade costs, Australia is in a more of a tough location than most other countries as most trade usually comes through ASIA.

    But for what we can do to improve ourselves today, hardly anything happens with conservatives in power who cut back on huge spending and tax us more. It hasn't been a good year :(
     
    #4 Clan Wolf 2, Aug 29, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2014
  5. Aizawa

    Aizawa Party Escort Bot

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    couldnt they do something like Origin where you have 24h time to refund or something like that
     
  6. Lubci50cal

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  7. Wheaties-Of-Doom

    Wheaties-Of-Doom Space Core

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    "Consumers were not entitled to a refund for any games sold by Valve via Steam in any circumstances"? Erm... how does one GET entitled to a refund? I honestly never thought that one would need legislation on refunds. It always struck me as a result of the market, each corporation choosing how to handle the matter. Even Australian consumer laws appear to think the same thing:
    Citation: http://www.consumerlaw.gov.au/content/fact_sheets/_downloads/consumer_shopping_20120111.PDF
     
  8. BabyHeadCrab

    BabyHeadCrab The Freeman

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    Eh. More power to 'em (the strayans). They (Valve) need to respect individualized consumer laws of the countries they sell products to.
     
  9. Discrate

    Discrate Medic

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    It isn't "Australia" marking up the prices, it's U.S based companies like EA who force distributors like Valve to implement region pricing so that they can charge us more "just cuz"
     
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  10. Discrate

    Discrate Medic

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    In other words, you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. I don't even know where to start.

    1.The ACCC isn't the "government" It's an independent consumer body created and funded by the government to enforce consumer laws.

    2.Digital refunds should be allowed as you are still purchasing a consumer item. May not be physical but its still a consumer product.

    3. Your uninformed rant about the government "cutting things" etc is completely irrelevant to the thread.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    #10 Discrate, Sep 2, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2014
  11. BabyHeadCrab

    BabyHeadCrab The Freeman

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    People will just defend Valve and pretend to know Oceanic politics because they're from the internet. Pay no mind.
     
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  12. FoB_Ed

    FoB_Ed Party Escort Bot

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    hopefully they all run out of shrimp to put on the barbie
     
  13. Sidedraft

    Sidedraft Party Escort Bot

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    To be completely honest I caught myself wanting to do that.
     
  14. BabyHeadCrab

    BabyHeadCrab The Freeman

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    You're a more honest man than the lot of us!
     

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