The Australian Federal Court Has Fined Valve $3 Million

Discussion in '[H]ard|OCP Front Page News' started by Steve, Dec 23, 2016.

  1. Steve

    Steve I do not work here

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    The Australian Federal Court has hit Valve with a $3 million fine for its lack of an advertised refund policy on Steam from 2011 to 2014. Valve has 30 days to pay the fine and until February 2017 to appeal the decision.

    When you buy video games from Valve Corporation as a consumer located in Australia, the video games come with guarantees under the Australian Consumer Law that cannot be excluded, including a guarantee that the video games are of acceptable quality. You are entitled to a replacement or refund from the retail supplier of the video games for a major failure and for compensation for any other reasonably foreseeable loss or damage.
     
  2. katanaD

    katanaD [H]Lite

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    does valve have an actual office in australia? if not, then i fail to see how they violated such local laws. if valve only has local facilities, then those outside of the US use the internet to in affect travel to the US to do said purchase and therefore are only held to local US laws.
     
  3. DeathFromBelow

    DeathFromBelow [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Nope, Australian consumer protection laws apply to all online purchases, though they do note that the law can be difficult to enforce with foreign sellers.
     
  4. joseardzm

    joseardzm Limp Gawd

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    I would fined them for not releasing Half Life 2: Episode 3.
     
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  5. Jumpy-B-L

    Jumpy-B-L n00bie

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    Half-life 3 confirmed.
     
  6. BloodyIron

    BloodyIron [H]ard|Gawd

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    You know, I'm actually glad consumer rights are being taken seriously. I love valve, but rights are important too.
     
  7. Dr. Righteous

    Dr. Righteous 2[H]4U

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    I don't see this as enforceable of the nebulous an subjective nature of computer games.
    You can have 100 PCs with different configuration an a game may run fine on 99 of them; but crash on 1.
    So is the game crap??
    You can buy a game and then complain "the graphics look like crap! I want my money back"
    Maybe the word "retro" in the title means something else.
     
  8. DocSavage

    DocSavage 2[H]4U

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    I think the problem is Valve didn't have a return policy from 2011 to 2014. Now they do and are currently in the clear.
     
  9. MikeTrike

    MikeTrike [H]ardness Supreme

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  10. Kor

    Kor [H]ard|Gawd

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    Steam has an Australian store front which includes locally adjusted prices (see inflated) and sells AU market censored games should the international release no pass through the existing classification system. You can't claim that you don't operate in a region officially under those circumstances.
     
  11. leeleatherwood

    leeleatherwood [H]ard|Gawd

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    A law that cannot be enforced is not a law.
     
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  12. DeathFromBelow

    DeathFromBelow [H]ardForum Junkie

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    In this case we're talking about a large corporation wanting to continue doing business in Australia. The government certainly can enforce the law. Obviously if it was some guy in Hong Kong you'd be SOL.
     
  13. leeleatherwood

    leeleatherwood [H]ard|Gawd

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    They cant stop Australian citizens from buying a product from a US company.

    They can try and fail all they want.
     
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  14. rezerekted

    rezerekted 2[H]4U

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    You don't need an office in said country, if you sell to that country then you are required to follow that countries consumer laws. I told Valve on their forums they had to do that and they neglected to do so so now it will cost them a cool 3 mil. Serves them right for being arrogant. I was expecting the EU to go after them though and not Australia.

    American consumer laws are shite because the USA system is set up to protect businesses and not the consumer.
     
  15. travisty

    travisty [H]Lite

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    And there are a whole bunch of people who think this is a good thing... idiots
     
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  16. Kuraudo

    Kuraudo Limp Gawd

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    Why do they even bother price adjusting for different countries? I don't understand law at all, but governments and businesses always feel like they're conspiring to shaft non-US citizens with the crazy price hikes on friggin' digital goods.