The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission today announced that Bethesda’s parent company Zenimax was “likely to have contravened the Australian Consumer Law” with the release of Fallout 76.
As reported by Kotaku, the commission – a government organisation that enforces consumer law – said that given Fallout 76’s “problems with the servers, lagging, graphic and visual problems”, Bethesda was wrong to have denied refunds to Australian players unhappy with the game.
Initially, players unhappy with the technical issues or unable to play the game were able to claim refunds from developer/publisher Bethesda, but reports then surfaced that the company had clamped down on refund requests.
Kotaku says Zenimax now acknowledges players should’ve received refunds, and agrees to permit players who had refund requests turned down between November 24th, 2018 and June 1st, 2019 to request one once again. This time, refunds will be honoured and of course, anyone asking for said refund will “no longer be entitled to access and play the game”.
“When a consumer buys a product it comes with automatic consumer guarantees, and retailers must ensure their refunds and returns policies do not misrepresent what the Australian Consumer Law provides,” said ACCC Commissioner, Sarah Court.
“When a consumer has purchased a product that has a fault which amounts to a major failure, the Australian Consumer Law provides them with the right to ask for their choice of either a repair, replacement or refund.”
ZeniMax also agreed to amend its Australian customer service policies and practices.
The agreement between the commission and Zenimax, strictly speaking a “court-enforceable undertaking”, comes after a US law firm last year began collecting evidence against Zenimax, again regarding the refund policy for Fallout 76. Initially, PC players unhappy with the technical issues or unable to play the game were able to claim refunds from developer/publisher Bethesda, but Reddit users later reported the company had clamped down on refund requests.