After potentially breaching Australian Consumer Law for nearly 3 straight years after the debacle with SimCity and under-delivering with advertised services, Electronic Arts will change its policies in the region.
In direct action against EA’s policy to refuse refunds on SimCity between January 2012 and today, the ACCC has convinced EA that it did in fact breech the laws of the country and must change its future policies to continue to sell products in the region. Any users in Australia who had purchased a faulty title between that January and today may now contact EA through a newly created 1800 number, with details to be found on the official Origin AU website.
When speaking with Kotaku AU, ACCC Chairman Rod Sims spoke on the matter this week:
“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.”
“It is a breach of the Australian Consumer Law for businesses to state that customers are not entitled to refunds under any circumstances. Where a product has a major failure, consumers can insist on a refund or replacement at their choice. Representations that this right has or can be excluded, restricted or modified are false or misleading.”
As EA struggles to repair years-old issues with the Australian government, the ACCC will continue to uphold the rights of consumers down-under.