valve-steam-os-betaDifferent countries have different rules when it comes to product refunds. This is why sometimes some companies can run afoul of consumer laws as what might be OK in one country might not be OK in another. Valve is finding out the hard way as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has slapped them with a $3 million fine over their refund policy.


Valve’s current refund policy is great and works just fine, but what the issue the ACCC had with the company was that when they first setup shop in Australia, they did not check what their obligations were to customers until the ACCC stepped in, which by then the courts felt was too little too late.

Valve had initially requested the fine to be set at $250,000, but Justice James Edelman felt that it was too low. According to Justice Edelman, “Valve is a United States company with 2.2 million Australian accounts which received 21,124 tickets in the relevant period containing the word ‘refund’ from consumers with Australian IP addresses.”

He continues, “Yet it had a culture by which it formed a view without Australian legal advice that it was not subject to Australian law, and it was content to proceed to trade with Australian consumers without that advice and with the view that even if advice had been obtained that Valve was required to comply with Australian law the advice might have been ignored.”

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