Australian Origin's going to have to offer better refunds


Bet they regret Battlefield 4 now

Refunds, remember those? Those glorious days where if you decided you didn’t like something, or if it caught fire, ate your family, contributed to global warming or pissed on the carpet, you could just take it back and and pretend it never happened. Then digital media came along, with its DRM and piracy and EULAs and kind of fucked everything up for everyone. I’ve got a digital copy of Dark Soulschewing at my curtains right now, and I just can’t fucking get rid of it.

Down Under things might be changing for the better. EA has filed a court enforceable undertaking with the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission in regards to Origin, which may require it to do a little bit more with its refunding system.

EA was accused of misrepresenting Australian consumers’ rights when it came to refunds, and as ACCC Chairman Rod Sims says:

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.”

Alongside probably having to provide better refunds to Australia now, EA is taking steps to avoid Australia’s collective wrath. Australia has bugs, crocodiles, and the deadly Neighbours, so you don’t really don’t want to piss it off, and so quite a few pretty major changes are taking place on Origin.

Any Australian who’s bought a broken game through Origin after January 1 2012 will now be able to “seek redress”. If the attempt at nabbing a refund has already been rejected in the past it can now be reassessed through Australian consumer law rather than EA’s EULA.

It’ll also be setting up better communications for people wanting refunds, too. A 1-800 complaints number, an email address, and a PO box. But wait! There’s more! EA has to no longer tell Australian customers that refunds are not available, under any circumstances.

It is also going to be required to update its EULAs and TOS to comply with Australian Consumer Law, so there hopefully won’t be any chance of it worming out of this.

Who knows what will happen when it comes to applying these rulings, but even then we can all agree on one thing: at least it’s better than Valve’s tumbleweed approach to customer service.