ZeniMax, the parent company of Bethesda, will offer refunds on Fallout 76 to many Australian customers who were previously denied them. They’d previously said the people weren’t entitled to refunds under ZeniMax rules, but Australian authorities piped up to point out that Australian laws meant yes, they were. This isn’t a slam on Fallout 76, just another games company doing international business without understanding local laws.
ZeniMax support representatives and webpages had told Australian costumers they weren’t entitled to any refunds on Fallout 76 whether they’d bought it from the Bethesda Store or a third-party store. Australian law says yeah, they are.
Folks in Australia who requested a refund between November 24th, 2018 and June 1nd, 2019 will now receive a refund if they haven’t already. And The Man will be watching to make sure they stick to the straight and narrow.
“ZeniMax acknowledges that its conduct is likely to have misled certain Australian consumers about their rights under the [Australian Consumer Law],” says the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) report.
They have a whole complex plan and schedule for how they’ll solve this and stop it happening again, if you’re really interested.
Steam got into trouble with the ACCC over refunds too. A case started back in 2014 ended in 2018 with Valve being ordered to pay a fine of AU$3 million (about £1.6m) for misleading users by saying they weren’t entitled to refunds for faulty products – which Australian law, natch, says they are.
Digital sales, and games in particular, flew under the radar for a long time but seem to somewhat more respectful these days. Big stores even offering no-questions refunds has been a huge step. It seems likely we’ll need government intervention to get loot boxes in line, mind.