ACCC Forces EA To Offer Origin Refunds

If you sell goods in Australia, you’re held accountable under Australian law. It’s in the (legal) game.
That’s pretty much the end result of an ACCC investigation into EA’s Origin gaming service. Origin had previously had refused refunds to Australian gamers who had purchased digital games through the service, or misrepresented their rights relating to digital purchases.
In a statement the ACCC’s Chairman Rod Sims stated that
“Businesses such as EA selling digitally downloadable goods cannot avoid their responsibilities under the Australian Consumer Law just because they are located outside of Australia. If you sell to consumers in Australia, then the Australian Consumer Law applies to all goods or services you supply. This includes all of the ACL consumer guarantees, which cannot be excluded, restricted or modified.”
The ACCC’s concern dates back at least as far as January 2012, when EA was making statements to the effect that, according to the ACCC, “Australian consumers were not entitled to any refunds for digitally downloaded video games purchased through Origin” and that “EA had modified or restricted consumer guarantees in relation to games purchased by Australian consumers through Origin.”
EA has issued a statement in which it “acknowledges that such representations are likely to have contravened the Australian Consumer Law.”
Under Australian consumer law, goods have to be fit for purpose, which means that your refund rights in this case are likely to revolve around software that could be determined to be faulty; if you think you fall into that kind of category and wish to pursue a refund from EA, it’s set up a phone hotline on 1800 894 823, email via, online through this web form or by post at PO Box 1547, Sydney, NSW 2000.
Sources: ACCC, Origin, Kotaku Australia

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.