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View Full Version : You Can ALWAYS Get A Refund For A Game (Within 7 Days of Delivery Within the UK)



R-F
31-08-2012, 02:49 PM
Just a reminder to everyone that you CAN always get a refund on games (or, in fact, any other goods) that you have bought off the 'net or over the phone (yeah, I know, but it might be the case some day) within the UK.

And that, my friends, is down to the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations Act of 2000 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2000/2334/contents/made). I've seen far too many people not know about this, and think they're stuck after putting down £40 on a game.

Well, you're not, and that's thanks to our good old friend the CPRA2000 (think of it like a robot). The CPRA2000 allows you to quote it and just scare off any company that even dares try to claim it's EULA or CoC trumps EU and UK law.

How to get back your £40/£50/£100/£Whatever:-
1. Get into contact with the company and request a refund.
2. When they inevitably decline you, say something along these lines:- (make sure to include the links, that makes them think you're clever, special and know everything about laws)
"I'm sorry, but your EULA / Code of Conduct / whatever legal gibberish you're trying to use does not trump UK and EU law. Under the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations Act of 2000 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2000/2334/contents/made), I am obligated to a refund of any product ordered via internet or phone within seven days of delivery. If you are unwilling to honour the contract you have made with me as a rightful citizen of the UK, I will be making a formal complaint to the respective authorities."
3. At this point, they will swiftly piss themselves and give you a refund regardless of whether or not you've played the game, simply because it is completely illegal for them not to. If they don't, you should make complaints to the respective watchdogs and have them get gangbanged.

That's all folks. Just wanted something helpful to start off me coming back to the forums, especially since a few of you might've been banned from GW2 or have recently bought Dark Souls.

squirrel
31-08-2012, 03:04 PM
What about those who buy the disc, install it and download crack from the web to disable disc-check DRM and then return the disc?

But I must say that the spirit of the legislation justifies itself. I really hope consumers' right will be properly protected in the east.

gundato
31-08-2012, 03:14 PM
Or short games that can easily be finished within 7 days. As someone who grew up back when video game rentals existed, almost any game can be beat in a 5 day period if you don't have other obligations. And considering I didn't own a memory card for my PSX for a few years, I had to beat most games in a single sitting. It was painful...

I like the concept behind laws like this, but I think they are poor in terms of implementation and are VERY open to abuse.

Nalano
31-08-2012, 03:17 PM
What about those who buy the disc, install it and download crack from the web to disable disc-check DRM and then return the disc?

This is exactly why all software sales are final in the States.

Drake Sigar
31-08-2012, 03:22 PM
And an 'all sales are final' attitude can be abused at the other end, as we're seeing when devs/publishers start preventing a customer's access to legally purchased goods because they violated some bullshit EULA which if printed, would only be good for toilet paper.

I think I'd rather see customers twisting the law, than developers becoming the law.

squirrel
31-08-2012, 03:27 PM
This is exactly why all software sales are final in the States.

And firms like Autodesk take it to the extreme: they stop selling and enter into the business of leasing. As I know all Autodesk products are all subscription based.

gundato
31-08-2012, 03:27 PM
And an 'all sales are final' attitude can be abused at the other end, as we're seeing when devs/publishers start preventing a customer's access to legally purchased goods because they violated some bullshit EULA which if printed, would only be good for toilet paper.

I think I'd rather see customers twisting the law, than developers becoming the law.

That becomes a service question.

If people are being jackasses in a movie theatre, they can be ejected. I don't know if they get a refund (can someone who has worked in a theatre/screamed "Don't go in there" confirm?)
If someone makes a scene in a restaurant, they can be "asked to leave". Pretty sure that can lead to ejection. You might be able to get your food in a doggy bag, not sure.
I have SEEN people get their asses thrown out of those adult chuck-e-cheese places. Their card still works until the end of the night, but they can't use it. So definitely no refund there.

So why should a gaming company be forced to allow people who have violated the rules of their "establishment" continue to use their servers?

My personal proposed solution: One-time per install activation DRM for the singleplayer component, continue as normal for the multiplayer. If you violate the terms of service/EULA, you can continue to play your SP until you have to reinstall (because your key has been banned and won't let you activate the installation). Optionally require authentication for patches so that said banned users can't patch.

There, you got "what you bought" (even though software is really leased and is weird), but publishers can still deny service. Everyone wins :p

Nalano
31-08-2012, 03:28 PM
And firms like Autodesk take it to the extreme: they stop selling and enter into the business of leasing. As I know all Autodesk products are all subscription based.

Technically, all software is leased and has always been.

gundato
31-08-2012, 03:31 PM
That is one thing I find funny. Ask almost anyone and they agree software needs to be treated specially in terms of patents and even "theft". But people still think it should be treated like a pack of gum or a DVD movie in terms of sales.

Hirmetrium
31-08-2012, 03:35 PM
I cannot believe that the handful of comments this thread has is people arguing against established consumer law. Do you all care so little for your rights that your willing to waive them so readily? This small piece of legislation is what stops companies pissing on consumers and you all immediately be-cry it and talk about it being abused.

As a matter of interest, does this apply to internet sales? I would assume it does (distance). What about after the packaging has been opened and the key redeemed? When is the cut-off for returns?

Cooper
31-08-2012, 03:36 PM
The "what about people who install and then crack the game" question is absolutely no different from "what about the people who torrent the game and crack it". (Same for anyone who rips from CDs and returns them).

All the CPRA2000 user is doing is going about an incredibly torturous route to obtain the data...

The fact that a minority of users of a consumers' rights act might be acting in an underhanded way is no excuse to begin to think about not having robust consumer rights for all.

Nalano
31-08-2012, 03:37 PM
That is one thing I find funny. Ask almost anyone and they agree software needs to be treated specially in terms of patents and even "theft". But people still think it should be treated like a pack of gum or a DVD movie in terms of sales.

Well, the MPAA may take umbrage at comparing DVD sales with gum sales.

Drake Sigar
31-08-2012, 03:46 PM
I cannot believe that the handful of comments this thread has is people arguing against established consumer law. Do you all care so little for your rights that your willing to waive them so readily?

The ones complaining against these rights don't have these rights though. Maybe they're jealous?

Nalano
31-08-2012, 03:56 PM
The ones complaining against these rights don't have these rights though. Maybe they're jealous?

Who exactly is complaining?

gundato
31-08-2012, 03:58 PM
Yeah, we just have concerns that this can be abused. I apologize if expressing our opinions is wrong?

R-F
31-08-2012, 03:58 PM
I cannot believe that the handful of comments this thread has is people arguing against established consumer law. Do you all care so little for your rights that your willing to waive them so readily? This small piece of legislation is what stops companies pissing on consumers and you all immediately be-cry it and talk about it being abused.

As a matter of interest, does this apply to internet sales? I would assume it does (distance). What about after the packaging has been opened and the key redeemed? When is the cut-off for returns?

I know, right. :D It's amazing how trained companies have people these days.

Within seven days within this particular rights act is the cut off point. You do not need ANY reason to return it. Yes, it can be returned after packaging opened and keys redeemed, if the packaging and keys are what you purchased.

ALL internet sales are covered by this as long as one party is within the UK. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. That's what makes it great.

Drake Sigar
31-08-2012, 04:02 PM
Who exactly is complaining?

Oh alright fusspot, think up a more diplomatic word for me.

Rauten
31-08-2012, 04:04 PM
I thought this applied to most of the EU, aswell? At least, I'm fairly certain it also covers Spain.

Nalano
31-08-2012, 04:08 PM
Oh alright fusspot, think up a more diplomatic word for me.

I have no problems with UK consumer law. Good on you. I'm just pointing out that US law is nebulous on the topic of IP, and the reason that most US companies have such draconian policies is because piracy is so patently easy.

Ultimately, until we codify and enforce better US laws, piracy is our consumer rights agency.

deano2099
31-08-2012, 04:10 PM
But people still think it should be treated like a pack of gum or a DVD movie in terms of sales.

Well that tends to be because its sold in the same stores as DVD movies in the same packages. Productivity software never had these expectations, because it wasn't sold in HMV.

Of course, while the OP is technically correct:

1) For a Steamworks game, if you keep playing it after returning it it's technically fraud and you wouldn't have much of an argument if the retailer passed it back to the publisher, who passed it back to Steam, who then banned your account.

2) For anything else, if you do this more than a couple of times, the company in question is likely to exercise it's own right not to sell you anything anymore ever.

Sakkura
31-08-2012, 04:12 PM
I thought this applied to most of the EU, aswell? At least, I'm fairly certain it also covers Spain.
It's EU legislation so yes, it covers all of the EU including purchases across internal borders. However, the period varies. It's 2 weeks in Denmark, for example.

Sakkura
31-08-2012, 04:21 PM
Just a reminder to everyone that you CAN always get a refund on games (or, in fact, any other goods) that you have bought off the 'net or over the phone (yeah, I know, but it might be the case some day) within the UK.

There are exceptions.


Exceptions to the right to cancel13.—(1) Unless the parties have agreed otherwise, the consumer will not have the right to cancel the contract by giving notice of cancellation pursuant to regulation 10 in respect of contracts—
(a)for the supply of services if the supplier has complied with regulation 8(3) and performance of the contract has begun with the consumer’s agreement before the end of the cancellation period applicable under regulation 12;
(b)for the supply of goods or services the price of which is dependent on fluctuations in the financial market which cannot be controlled by the supplier;
(c)for the supply of goods made to the consumer’s specifications or clearly personalised or which by reason of their nature cannot be returned or are liable to deteriorate or expire rapidly;
(d)for the supply of audio or video recordings or computer software if they are unsealed by the consumer;
(e)for the supply of newspapers, periodicals or magazines; or
(f)for gaming, betting or lottery services.

Nalano
31-08-2012, 04:24 PM
There are exceptions.

"(d)for the supply of audio or video recordings or computer software if they are unsealed by the consumer; "

Well, that basically makes it the same as the United States, then... making this a moot thread.

palindrome
31-08-2012, 04:26 PM
"(d)for the supply of audio or video recordings or computer software if they are unsealed by the consumer; "Well, that basically makes it the same as the United States, then... making this a moot thread.

Unless you bought the game digitally.

Nalano
31-08-2012, 04:45 PM
Unless you bought the game digitally.

Usually, signing the EULA during installation is considered "opening the box."

mike2R
31-08-2012, 04:58 PM
There are exceptions.

Was going to post this. Digital items, including software, which have been opened are exempt.

One piece of advice, as someone who works in mail order/ecommerce. Quoting law at someone isn't a great first step to resolving an issue, especially when you do not know that law very well.

It gets things off on the wrong foot, to start with. It is hard to avoid turning the thing into a confrontation when you've got someone spouting law at you. Just ask first, really.

Many places will have customer service levels that exceed the minimum required by law, by being unpleasant and quoting the law you have pretty much guaranteed that you are going to get no more than your statutory rights. And if you've screwed up and got the law wrong, your unlikely to get any favours.

Advice on how to complain effectively:

State the problem politely. Hopefully you will be offered a favourable resolution.

If not, politely say that you would prefer an alternative resolution and ask for it. Hopefully you will get it, and at this point no ones blood pressure has been effected.

If you don't get what you want, try and escalate the problem to someone more senior, and repeat the above steps. Remembering the politeness bit.

If you still haven't got an acceptable resolution, now is the time to start talking about statutory rights and/or the company's stated terms and conditions. If you are unsure of the law (hint: most people should be) Trading Standards can provide excellent advice in most cases, although they may not have the specific knowledge in complex areas.

Once you are sure of your ground, insist. But generally, as long as you are entitled to the resolution you are after, you should never have to get to this point.

Drake Sigar
31-08-2012, 05:08 PM
Well put, Mike. It is not a card to be played lightly.

gundato
31-08-2012, 05:14 PM
Also, the first of those exception caveats talks about agreeing to contracts. The EULA might, to a degree, count as that. Probably not for the recent habit of changing it with a "Deal with it or leave" mentality, but definitely for checking those "I agree" boxes.

And the last one mentions "gaming". They clearly mean gambling and what nots, but I think other threads have pointed out that gaming is very similar to gambling.

But yeah, rule of thumb: Always be courteous when you want something. Over the years, I have had to get three refunds (and one exchange) from Amazon. Each time I have been courteous, the random (probably Indian :p) guy has been courteous, and it was taken care of with no problems.

Nalano
31-08-2012, 05:20 PM
And the last one mentions "gaming". They clearly mean gambling and what nots, but I think other threads have pointed out that gaming is very similar to gambling.

How do you figure?

gundato
31-08-2012, 05:22 PM
How do you figure?
Bugger if I understand, but apparently flashing lights and loot drops make Diablo 3 count as gambling or something? I mostly ignored it (didn't interest me), but it came to mind and I am sure someone will be willing to correct me or explain.

Nalano
31-08-2012, 05:32 PM
Bugger if I understand, but apparently flashing lights and loot drops make Diablo 3 count as gambling or something? I mostly ignored it (didn't interest me), but it came to mind and I am sure someone will be willing to correct me or explain.

But that has nothing to do with software overall, even with​ gaming's current push towards F2P.

Scumbag
31-08-2012, 05:53 PM
I've worked in shops and retail long enough to realize a few things when it comes to returns:
1) Act like a high and mighty customer who pulls out legislation before trying to reason with people and you get bumped to the back of the line. The complaint / return will be dealt with, but if you are going to treat someone like dirt don't be shocked if they don't treat you like a god. Sugar coat your words a little and say "please" a few times and its kinda shocking how far it can get you.
2) Pull laws out and be very prepared to have EVERYTHING you say or write analyzed as closely as possible. Its humiliating when a manager can beat down a person because of some tiny little mistake. IF you roll up your sleeves and pull the big guns out on something quickly, bear in mind you are pulling them out on someone who deals with this stuff on a regular basis.

Not saying don't exercise your rights to things, just be careful about pulling out large complex things like legislation. By all means go that far if needs, but only as a last resort.

gundato
31-08-2012, 05:59 PM
But that has nothing to do with software overall, even with​ gaming's current push towards F2P.




Exceptions to the right to cancel

13.—(1) Unless the parties have agreed otherwise, the consumer will not have the right to cancel the contract by giving notice of cancellation pursuant to regulation 10 in respect of contracts—
(f)for gaming, betting or lottery services.


If said (gambling) gaming can be argued to include said (video) gaming, then it is covered as an exception already.

trjp
31-08-2012, 06:07 PM
I've actually been through this very stuff with actual software and I've got news for the OP - it's null and void once 'opened' (as several people have already said).

Actually it's worse than that, in my case the software wasn't sealed on arrival (despite being sold as 'new') but trading standards decided that returning software under the DSR is at the "retailers discretion" as they couldn't really think of a good reason for returning it.

The DSR exists to allow people to 'evaluate' things in their own home for the sort of things you cannot evaluate from a photo or description. This means things like "does it fit" and "is the colour what you really wanted" and "is it too big/small/light/heavy or whatever".

It is NOT a "try it to see if you like it" system - you're not supposed to 'use' the item, just check that it is what you thought it was.

So nothing to see here then...

Tikey
31-08-2012, 06:12 PM
Diablo 3 talk about it being gambling had much more to do with the fact that there was real money involved as far as I can remember. Most games don't have that problem.

Scumbag
31-08-2012, 06:17 PM
That's all folks. Just wanted something helpful to start off me coming back to the forums, especially since a few of you might've been banned from GW2 or have recently bought Dark Souls.

I've not been following the GW2 hypetrain (I don't MMO usually), but is there an issue with bans atm, or is this an excuse to get cash back on something you in effect have broken due to asshat behavior?

Nalano
31-08-2012, 06:26 PM
If said (gambling) gaming can be argued to include said (video) gaming, then it is covered as an exception already.

Gaming in the legal sense means legal gambling.

Unaco
31-08-2012, 06:29 PM
I've not been following the GW2 hypetrain (I don't MMO usually), but is there an issue with bans atm, or is this an excuse to get cash back on something you in effect have broken due to asshat behavior?

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/08/31/arenanot-guild-wars-2-permabans-direct-sales-halted/

In short: Bug with vendor, sold a certain type of item for 1/100th of its usual cost. Those who bought 'some' from them, no punishment. Those who bought 'some more than others' get 72 hour ban. Those who bought 'more than just some' got perma banned, but these were dropped to 72 hour bans if the people remove the items they bought, and write a letter of apology to the Devs mums.

mike2R
31-08-2012, 06:32 PM
2) Pull laws out and be very prepared to have EVERYTHING you say or write analyzed as closely as possible.

Bingo. These days I make a concerted effort not to be so petty, but I certainly have been in the past.

For example refusing to speak on the phone about an issue because the customer brought up the law. It isn't something I'm proud of, but you can drag out an issue for weeks by insisting on email because the customer made it a legal dispute. Then of course, the law's definition of a "reasonable period" for giving a refund seems to be 28 days...

There are some people who can do the "Mr Shouty" thing. But it is a rare gift; you have to be annoying, insistent and correct in just the right quantities, and if you get it wrong you risk having every petty administrative hurdle possible thrown in your path by a person who now hates your guts.

I fairly recently had something of a revelation: that getting into shouting matches with customers isn't really the best way of growing a business. But it took me the best part of a decade to get here, so I wouldn't assume everyone is as enlightened as I am ;)

gundato
31-08-2012, 06:33 PM
Gaming in the legal sense means legal gambling.
Yes. Yes it does.

But, If said (gambling) gaming can be argued to include said (video) gaming, then it is covered as an exception already.

All they have to do is argue that said (video) gaming counts as legal gambling. Probably a moot point given all the other things people misunderstand about this law thingie, but it is still interesting.

Nalano
31-08-2012, 07:06 PM
Yes. Yes it does.

But, If said (gambling) gaming can be argued to include said (video) gaming, then it is covered as an exception already.

All they have to do is argue that said (video) gaming counts as legal gambling. Probably a moot point given all the other things people misunderstand about this law thingie, but it is still interesting.

Have you never heard of online poker?

Not everything is about the kinds of games we like to talk about.

gundato
31-08-2012, 07:12 PM
Have you never heard of online poker?

Not everything is about the kinds of games we like to talk about.

...

Let me just end this conversation with a summary of what I have said repeatedly. I would do actual quotes, but I am lazy.

According to redcoat law, you can't get a refund for gambling
There are arguments that Diablo 3 may count as gambling, and those arguments may apply to other games
If a lawyer proved that, then you can't get a refund for games that count as gambling.
I find this interesting

Bobtree
31-08-2012, 07:34 PM
Technically, all software is leased and has always been.

IANAL, but a lease is a proper contract, while software licenses typically are not (lacking consideration, legal obligation, signatures, etc).

From Wikipedia, lease (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lease):

A lease should be contrasted to a license (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/License), which may entitle a person (called a licensee) to use property, but which is subject to termination at the will of the owner of the property (called the licensor). An example of a licensor/licensee relationship is a parking lot owner and a person who parks a vehicle in the parking lot. A license may be seen in the form of a ticket to a baseball game or a verbal permission to sleep a few days on a sofa. The difference is that if there is a term (end time), a degree of privacy suggestive of exclusive possession of a clearly defined part, practised ongoing, recurrent payments, a lack of right to terminate save for misconduct or nonpayment, these factors tend toward a lease; by contrast, a one-time entrance onto someone else's property is probably a license. The seminal difference between a lease and a license is that a lease generally provides for regular periodic payments during its term and a specific ending date. If a contract has no ending date then it may be in the form of a perpetual license and still not be a lease.

victory
31-08-2012, 07:59 PM
In Finland, that mail order return period is 14 days. Same deal - must return goods in condition suitable for re-selling, etc.

But separate from that, you can always return a faulty product. If I bought a PC game which doesn't run on my system, and my system fills the requirements, I would certainly go get a refund. I'm not responsible for bad DRM getting paranoid of my SW engineering tools, or online authentication servers melting down, any of that.

Nalano
31-08-2012, 08:19 PM
IANAL, but

Didn't we just get through talking about why one shouldn't start spouting barely-comprehended legalese?


...

Let me just end this conversation with a summary of what I have said repeatedly. I would do actual quotes, but I am lazy.

According to redcoat law, you can't get a refund for gambling
There are arguments that Diablo 3 may count as gambling, and those arguments may apply to other games
If a lawyer proved that, then you can't get a refund for games that count as gambling.
I find this interesting

You keep trying to connect the two.

But it doesn't matter.

And it isn't pertinent.

And you already said you don't care.

So why do you keep trying?

It's because you're talking to me, isn't it?

You like me, don't you?

gundato
31-08-2012, 08:32 PM
No. Not really. It is just that I am clearly stupid and keep trying to have actual conversations with people, even when it is obvious they are just looking to try and start crap. I really must work on that.

trjp
31-08-2012, 08:51 PM
But separate from that, you can always return a faulty product. If I bought a PC game which doesn't run on my system, and my system fills the requirements, I would certainly go get a refund. I'm not responsible for bad DRM getting paranoid of my SW engineering tools, or online authentication servers melting down, any of that.

I can only speak for the UK - but software is pretty-much excluded from consumer law tests of 'fitness of purpose' because it's so complicated to define.

No-one would ever get a refund under consumer law for a game which had online issues or performance problems - hell you'd almost certainly not get one if the game didn't even run no your system (as it clearly runs on other systems and so the problem is clearly yours - in the eyes of consumer law types).

Of course a store can choose to be nice and refund you - and some will (but most won't). Steam, for example, are known for one-off refunds on titles with issues (one per account - not one per game!!).

End of the day tho - no-one is really willing to take on something like 'fit for the purpose' when it comes to the complexities of - say - PC specs or quality of controls or reliability of online connections or anything else which is wishywashy in legal terms.