Sony has found themselves in some more legal shenanigans as the Australian government issues a hefty fine of just under 3 million dollars after the company refused refunds to several PlayStation 4 players. With the PlayStation 5 launch on the horizon, this is certainly one way to leave this generation in the rearview mirror. 

Sony Australia is a part of the broader Sony Europe branch and today they have been hit with charges amounting to 2.4 million dollars for misleading customers about their rights according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). The complete list of charges cites "making false and misleading representations on its website and in dealings with Australian consumers about their Australian Consumer Law (ACL) rights."

Regarding the specific instances leading up to this hefty fine is that Sony Europe has been under investigation for misleading four PlayStation 4 customers after buying games that were labeled as "faulty." When asking for a refund, Sony Europe told the customers that they did not qualify for a refund for two reasons:

  • If the game has been downloaded already
  • It's been 14 days since the purchase

The problem is that these guidelines aren't compliant with Australian Consumer Laws, which is where the fines come into play. The journey for 'justice' began a year ago and now that the fine is official, ACCC chair Rod Sims issued a statement about Sony's misleading commentary: 

“Consumer guarantee rights do not expire after a digital product has been downloaded and certainly do not disappear after 14 days or any other arbitrary date claimed by a game store or developer. Consumers who buy digital products online have exactly the same rights as they would if they made the purchase at a physical store."

Related: PlayStation 5 SSD Is 100 Times Faster Than the PS4, Reveals Sony

Another allegation as part of this fine is that Sony Europe did not comply with Australian law when they advised customers seeking refunds that they themselves could not issue a refund, only the developer could, which is not true. They also reportedly told players that they couldn't get a full refund, only digital credit. While the specific games weren't listed in the court documentations, though sites like GameSpot are reporting a possible Fallout 76 connection to a previous legal inquiry.

As for the road ahead, we don't have a new date yet for the next PlayStation State of Play nor do we know when the PlayStation 5 reveal will actually happen, but it's got to be soon - it will be the holiday season before we know it!