What are your consumer rights when downloading online games?
Dean was back in the LBC Radio studios this week answering consumer questions from the listeners. One caller’s question was about digital downloads as he asked about his rights when it came to a download on an online game which his son had purchased without his permission. Dean was on hand to help the caller with his question.
“Last year  and the year before, this was a hot topic with children downloading things when they shouldn’t have been,” Dean said.
“In fact. Regular listeners would have heard me telling the story of my son doing it and me making him mow the lawn for a year afterwards,” he added.
To help reduce the number of mistaken downloads, the message from Dean to big online gaming companies like PlayStation and Xbox is clear.
“You [PlayStation & Xbox] should be making sure it is very difficult for children to purchase downloads and there should be measures in place to make sure adults come in and authorise the download,” Dean explains.
Dean provides advice for those parents who have experienced their children making an online game purchase without permission and in this case with the game not fully downloading. Dean tells consumers to go back to the gaming company and ask them this:
“What did you do to make sure it wasn’t simple for a child to download a game and how did you verify you were dealing with an adult? Because if you weren’t, there is no contract,” Dean explains.
There is another point to this problem which favours the consumer and it regards the Consumer Rights Act 2015, which came out last year and for the first time deals with digital downloads.
“If you do not download it fully or if there’s an issue with the download, even if you’ve caused it, you don’t have to pay for it,” Dean states.
“So if you can show that it’s not downloaded fully, then it’s not what we call ‘fit for purpose’ or of ‘satisfactory quality’ because you can’t use it so you could go use the Consumer Rights Act and say it didn’t download, therefore I am entitled to a refund immediately,” Dean states.
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