Australia is SUING Valve?!
5 months ago
We all love and cherish Valve because of masterpieces like portal and steam and what not, but apparently, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (aka the ACCC) doesn't share those feelings.
The ACCC is actually suing Valve because of Steam's refund policies, which basically say that "unless required by local law, we [Valve] do not offer refunds or exchanges on games, DLC or in-game items purchased on our website or through the Steam Client." Despite the fact that Valve would undergo the procedure of offering you a refund if it were required by local law, the process is still very hard to go through with valve if not impossible
The ACCC's allegations include
- Consumers were not entitled to a refund for any games sold by Valve via Steam in any cirumstances
-Valve had excluded, restricted or modified statutory guarantees and/or warranties that goods would be of acceptable quality;
-Valve was not under any obligation to repair, replace or provide a refund for a game where the consumer had not contacted and attempted to resolve the problem with the computer game developer; and the statutory consumer guarantees did not apply to games sold by Valve.
ACCC Chairman Rod Sims furthermore elaborated on the matter, saying that "We want all companies doing business in Australia, even if they’re doing business offshore to comply [with Australian Consumer Law]. Big media companies doing business in Australia have to comply with Australian consumer law. Point number one is if you’re going to do business in Australia, you have to comply with Australian law. The second is don’t have blanket conditions around the world without bothering to check."
Now what does this all really mean for Valve? It'll most probably just be settled with Valve integrating a refund option for all sales made in Australia to resolve the issue in the most peaceful way possible. To quote Doug Lombardi from valve, "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.” Now with Valve integrating this feature for Australian purchases, why not do it all around the world?
It makes sense that if Valve were to integrate this option for a small portion of its consumers, that it could very well just hand it over to everyone else seeing as it makes the most sense to actually have an option like this. The ACCC is really just pointing out a huge flaw in Steam's policies that no one ever really cared for, and when Steam is agreeing to sell games like DayZ and when they're backing up the whole "Early Access" program, it makes the most sense that they should have some kind of refund option.
But then again if refunds were implemented into Steam, a lot of its key features are going to be put into jeopardy, what's going to happen to the card drops you got? Would you lose a badge you crafted? If your steam level went up would it go back down after the refund? All that really goes back to Valve and how they decide to deal with the issue, hopefully it'll end without Valve having to pay millions of dollars to Australia.