Breakin’ the Law

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is suing Valve over its refund policy, claiming that the online service’s refund policy in breach of the Australian Consumer Law. Or more accurately, the fact that Valve does not offer refunds or exchanges of any kind.

Valve does not have a single office, phone line or staff member in Australia, but since Australian gamers are buying Steam products, Steam has to adhere to local laws.

“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,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Valve spokesman Doug Lombardi responded by saying: 

“We are making every effort to co-operate with the Australian officials on this matter, while continuing to provide Steam services to our customers across the world, including Australian gamers.”

In Australia, all consumers are entitled to “a fair go,” which is why watchdog organization like the ACCC exist. A date for a first directions hearing has been set in Sydney for October 7, 2014.