Well, Valve Corporation has started with their new policy of Steam refunds in a number of territories now, but that was not always the case. The company was sued under the Australian Consumer Law for the no refunds policy back in August 2014, and now Valve has been found guilty.
It took them 18 months to finally decide, but the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has finally won the case in an Australian Federal Court.
While this was primarily the case that forced Valve Corporation to introduce Steam refunds policy, but back in 2014 they did not have any which is why some level of damaged and penalties will be levied on them.
Valve denied that they actually do business in Australia claiming that they were just providing access to an online portal and also maintained that they followed the law of the State of Washington, United States of America.
The Australian court on the other hand ruled that Valve Corporation has been misleading the users through different versions of the Steam Subscriber Agreement and Steam Refund Policy. As a result, Valve Corporation has been ordered to cooperate with the officials in meeting their demands.
The officials in this case were the ACCC who put forth the following rectifications back in 2014 regarding Steam refunds policy and the rest:
- 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 to reply to consumers regarding refunds.
However, all this is apart from the expected penalties towards consumers and ACCC itself.
Another interesting aspect here is that even if Valve apply their current Steam refund policy, they will still be in breach of the Australian Consumer Law because of the two hour clause.
It will be interesting to see how Valve tackles the issue since giving a longer guarantee for a software also doesn’t sound right.