It has been announced today by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that gaming giant Valve has been ordered by the Federal Court to pay $3 million in penalties for misleading gamers due to the corporation not offering its Australian customers refunds.
As Finder reports, this all first started back in the Spring of 2014 when numerous complaints caused the ACCC to start investigating Valve’s online gaming store Steam. An issue was found when it was discovered Steam had no refund policy, something which is forbidden in Australia as Australian Consumer Law (ACL) states retailers must offer refunds, warranties and guarantees if they wish to sell a product.
Valve initially claimed that, despite the fact it sold goods to Australian customers, it is an American company and is therefore exempt from Australian laws.
This didn’t get Valve out of hot water and the court maintained that Steam’s terms and conditions were “false and misleading representations about consumers’ rights to obtain a refund for games if they were not of acceptable quality”.
As we reported back in November, Valve was then facing the possibility of having to cough up $3 million as a penalty and it seems the corporation must now do so.
As gamers may now have noticed, Steam has since started offering refunds on their games to all customers, not just Australians, and this has been seen as a welcome change by all.
The Federal Court has ordered Steam to publish information on Australian consumer rights on their website for 12 months, implement a consumer compliance program for their system and staff, and not make any similar representations to Australian consumers for three years.
$3 million is certainly a lot of money but given that Valve is speculated to have a net worth in the billions, the company probably isn’t too worried.