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  • FIRST POST
    • mkw87
    • By mkw87 8th Nov 11, 1:04 PM
    • 20Posts
    • 7Thanks
    mkw87
    Steam Returns Policy v Distance Selling Regulations
    • #1
    • 8th Nov 11, 1:04 PM
    Steam Returns Policy v Distance Selling Regulations 8th Nov 11 at 1:04 PM
    As with most downloadable software products, we do not offer refunds for purchases made through Steam - please review Section 4 of the Steam Subscriber Agreement for more information.
    Can anyone advise me how this works, given the distance selling regulations? Surely if I buy something online then I have the right to return it within 7 days, how can they say I can't?

    Cheers
    Mike
Page 1
    • thescouselander
    • By thescouselander 8th Nov 11, 1:10 PM
    • 5,119 Posts
    • 4,622 Thanks
    thescouselander
    • #2
    • 8th Nov 11, 1:10 PM
    • #2
    • 8th Nov 11, 1:10 PM
    Some things are exempt from distance selling regulations - I have a feeling this might apply to things like downloadable software but it might be worth doing a search on the internet to confirm.
    • mkw87
    • By mkw87 8th Nov 11, 1:19 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    mkw87
    • #3
    • 8th Nov 11, 1:19 PM
    • #3
    • 8th Nov 11, 1:19 PM
    I think the relevant part of the regulations concerning exclusions is:
    (I can't post links but it's legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2000/2334/regulation/5/made)
    Excepted contracts

    5.—(1) The following are excepted contracts, namely any contract—

    (a)for the sale or other disposition of an interest in land except for a rental agreement;

    (b)for the construction of a building where the contract also provides for a sale or other disposition of an interest in land on which the building is constructed, except for a rental agreement;

    (c)relating to financial services, a non-exhaustive list of which is contained in Schedule 2;

    (d)concluded by means of an automated vending machine or automated commercial premises;

    (e)concluded with a telecommunications operator through the use of a public pay-phone;

    (f)concluded at an auction.

    (2) References in paragraph (1) to a rental agreement—

    (a)if the land is situated in England and Wales, are references to any agreement which does not have to be made in writing (whether or not in fact made in writing) because of section 2(5)(a) of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989(1);

    (b)if the land is situated in Scotland, are references to any agreement for the creation, transfer, variation or extinction of an interest in land, which does not have to be made in writing (whether or not in fact made in writing) as provided for in section 1(2) and (7) of the Requirements of Writing (Scotland) Act 1995(2); and

    (c)if the land is situated in Northern Ireland, are references to any agreement which is not one to which section II of the Statute of Frauds, (Ireland) 1695(3) applies.

    (3) Paragraph (2) shall not be taken to mean that a rental agreement in respect of land situated outside the United Kingdom is not capable of being a distance contract to which these Regulations apply.
    I see nothing that could refer to purchase of an online game for download here, and in fact I have "returned" an mp3 album I bought from Amazon using these regulations (unless they were just being kind).

    Would seem strange that for such a large supplier there is no precedent.
    • gonzo127
    • By gonzo127 8th Nov 11, 1:49 PM
    • 4,241 Posts
    • 5,388 Thanks
    gonzo127
    • #4
    • 8th Nov 11, 1:49 PM
    • #4
    • 8th Nov 11, 1:49 PM
    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—
    (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.

    due to the nature of steam and the ability to get the product key for the game as soon as its in your library even though you have not downloaded the game or played it, means that as soon as the game appears in your library it is classed as unsealed
    Drop a brand challenge
    on a £100 shop you might on average get 70 items save
    10p per product = £7 a week ~ £28 a month
    20p per product = £14 a week ~ £56 a month
    30p per product = £21 a week ~ £84 a month (or in other words one weeks shoping at the new price)
    • Twopints
    • By Twopints 8th Nov 11, 1:54 PM
    • 1,351 Posts
    • 1,819 Thanks
    Twopints
    • #5
    • 8th Nov 11, 1:54 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Nov 11, 1:54 PM
    From the OFT website:

    OFT website

    "Customer wants to cancel after they downloaded product
    Q: We sell online video games that are available for download from our website. A
    customer just called to say that he doesn't want the game he just downloaded from our
    site. Specifically, he says that because he hasn't used the game and has removed it from
    his computer, he should be able to get a refund.
    Before a customer can successfully download a product from us, they must accept our
    terms and conditions which clearly indicate that, as soon as the download starts, their
    purchase is complete.
    So, do I need to give him a full refund?
    A: Tangible products like hardware, CDs and DVDs are goods, but intangible products
    such as downloads and software are generally considered to be services, although this is
    not straightforward.
    The cancellation rights under the Distance Selling Regulations (DSRs) will apply to the
    provision of video games by download
    . Furthermore, the cancellation period for a services
    contract is normally seven working days after the date it was concluded or the date the
    information required by the DSRs is given in durable form, if later. However, if you provide
    all the durable information before the service starts and the customer agrees to the service
    starting within seven working days after the date of the contract, then the customer will
    have no right to cancel. Therefore, if you have done this, your customer is not legally
    entitled to cancel. If you had not provided this vital information before the download began,
    your customer would have had cancellation rights."
    Not even wrong
    • bod1467
    • By bod1467 8th Nov 11, 2:47 PM
    • 14,798 Posts
    • 13,461 Thanks
    bod1467
    • #6
    • 8th Nov 11, 2:47 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Nov 11, 2:47 PM
    If the game has been activated* - No; otherwise DSRs apply.

    * If it appears in your library and you click it to start it then AFAIK this is deemed as activated.
    • mkw87
    • By mkw87 8th Nov 11, 3:28 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    mkw87
    • #7
    • 8th Nov 11, 3:28 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Nov 11, 3:28 PM
    Ok, thanks, I think I get it.

    If I bought a game from Amazon and they send me a CD, these regulations don't protect me after I install the game and type in the product key?
  • jayme1
    • #8
    • 8th Nov 11, 4:16 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Nov 11, 4:16 PM
    Ok, thanks, I think I get it.

    If I bought a game from Amazon and they send me a CD, these regulations don't protect me after I install the game and type in the product key?
    Originally posted by mkw87
    it's if you open or tamper with it (ie break the wrapper) that you can't send it back,
    because in theory you could have opened it installed it from the CD and write down the product key, send it back get a refund then activate the software using the written down product key.

    can't really think of a reason how anyone could be in a position where you would buy some software then see the CD box and send it back though, what with free trials and reviews being so common on the internet.
    • mkw87
    • By mkw87 15th Nov 11, 10:14 AM
    • 20 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    mkw87
    • #9
    • 15th Nov 11, 10:14 AM
    • #9
    • 15th Nov 11, 10:14 AM
    I guess the regulations are there to protect people from buying things they can't yet examine; a demo is often restricted and not a proper indicator. In my case the software came with a massively objectionable EULA (monitoring system data and selling it to 3rd parties).

    But of course if I've already "activated" it then what's the point in an EULA?
    • JasX
    • By JasX 15th Nov 11, 10:49 AM
    • 3,888 Posts
    • 2,553 Thanks
    JasX
    Steam are pretty shady and tend to ignore non-US legal requirements as policy.

    you can go google the 'APB' debacle where they happily retailed an 'online only' game for £40 a pop, the games developer/operator collapsed within a month leaving anyone who purchased it *completly* empty handed. Think they honoured a single refund request?

    Previous behaviour of the company has been to 'terminate their relationship' with anyone taking them to court for what they're rightfully owed (ie terminate access to every game ever purchased from them, often worth considerably more than £40)

    but overall they remain by far the cheapest source of these things if you're after something that been released more than 3 months or so ago.... (esp during their 75% off holiday period sales)

    Basically you're damned if you do and damned if you don't
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