Last year, Steam got into some legal issues with Australia. The Federal Court fined Valve $3 million AUD ($2.2 million USD) after ruling that the company breached consumer law when it didn’t offer a refund between 2011 and 2014.
They also have been charged with having dubious and misleading practices in order to get Australian consumers to purchase their products. Of course, this all happened before the Steam Refund Policy got implemented into the platform in 2015.
Of course, Valve tried defending themselves from this blow by making an appeal case. Said appeal was rejected just a few days ago by the Federal Court. According to the court, Steam can’t prove that consumers weren’t deceived by them.
“[Valve] had a culture by which it formed a view without Australian legal advice that it was not subject to Australian law, and it was content to proceed to trade with Australian consumers without that advice.” Said Justice Endelman, from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission according to the Morning Herald of Sydney, all the way back in 2016.
There is this law in Australia where consumers are basically guaranteed that they are going to get a product that’s been Quality Tested in order to satisfy the customer’s needs. This collides with Steam’s Refund Policy, which isn’t adequate to the standards imposed by the Commission.
As such, the Australian Federal Court has celebrated this appeal loss and consider it a message towards any popular international company. It’s of utmost importance to make clear that the companies’ services accommodate to the standards and laws of the country, not the other way around.
Mind you, this doesn’t mean that Valve will be changing their refund policies. They are just making an exception to the rules in Australia. So keep that in mind as you move forward and check the laws regarding product quality in your country of residence.