Earlier in the week, CD Projekt Red’s promised to refund Cyberpunk 2077 following a troubled console launch. Unfortunately, Sony’s strict PlayStation Store policies are making things more complicated. Despite early reports of full refunds for some PS4 players, Sony is now denying refunds for a slew of disappointed customers. Multiple posts on Twitter are showing the same thing; Sony is insisting that once a game has been downloaded, it is no longer eligible for a refund.
This may be their official policy, but when a product is defective this kind of hand-washing by a retailer is unacceptable. While Sony has relaxed this rule in extreme cases before, it seems that Cyberpunk 2077 isn’t getting the same treatment. In what seems to be a result of this stubborn policy, CDPR no longer advise pursuing a refund through Sony. As VICE journalist Patrick Kelpek pointed out via Twitter, CDPR now expects PlayStation customers seeking refunds to wait.
People are starting to get this response back from CD Projekt RED, after emailing their “help” address for refunds. The language is interesting: it doesn’t tell you to request a refund from Sony anymore. You’re supposed to wait. pic.twitter.com/Hb77SQ5teD
— Patrick Klepek (@patrickklepek) December 16, 2020
Unfortunately for Sony and CDPR, no amount of corporate policy is enough to ignore your rights as a consumer under Australian law. As we covered back in June of this year, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission or ACCC has already fined Sony $3.5 million for making false and misleading representations in dealing with Australian customers. The ACCC is also responsible for ensuring refunds be made available through Steam in 2018 and that refunds be issued for the disastrous launch of Fallout 76. While Sony may feel comfortable picking and choosing which faulty products qualify for refunds, the ACCC is very clear in defining your right to refund a defective product.
Hopefully Sony is quick to realise that it would be better to honour refunds than take another PR hit for customer service and a possible fine from the ACCC. It’s frustrating to encounter these anti-consumer practices, especially when gaming is supposed to be an enjoyable escape. Thankfully, while Sony’s reluctance may cause delays it is virtually guaranteed that the ACCC will step in if necessary to protect Australian consumers as it has many times before.
If you have been refused a refund for Cyberpunk 2077 after contacting the seller, the ACCC has documented guidelines for pursuing a customer complaint. Despite Cyberpunk 2077 being set in a world where corporations make all the rules and can never be held to account, the real world isn’t there quite yet.