back to article OEMs and sellers must pay refunds on software faults - OFT

Businesses that sell digital content to consumers should generally be responsible for providing refunds when services connected to that content fall below "quality standards" due to faults with the content, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has said. The UK's consumer protection regulator said that consumers should have a " …


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  1. BioPeek

    Oh dear!

    That's just about every single software company shafted then.


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh dear!

      Not really.. as a provider of software, I refund when I get complaints already so in actual fact I don't think this will effect software companies much...

      Retailers supplying digital media, they are the ones this is targeted at, and it makes things clearer for the consumer..

      But we need legislation to ensure that digital libraries can be passed onto other people! I can resell a Blu-ray but not a digital download AFAIK

    2. Dire Criti¢

      Re: Oh dear!

      Gives them more of an incentive to get it right before release I would have thought.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh dear!

      "That's just about every single software company shafted then"

      Only the shit ones. So, yes.

  2. JetSetJim Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Me likey

    It's better than the 15 mins currently afforded purchasers from Google Play. iTunes is a bit of a grey area as their T&Cs state "no refunds" but you can moan about faults and get one (IIRC the developer still gets stung for the 30% sale price, though, but I may be wrong - and I'm not sure if that differs from the Play store).

    But then I suppose all sorts of arguments about abuse of this right in terms of d/l stuff, use it for a while and then return it for a refund once you no longer need it.

    Still, it might offer a way to get rid of all the crap deleted apps in your Play account at last! I'll start "returning" them for my refund of £0.00p :-)

    1. Alan Gauton

      Re: Me likey

      You do know you can delete items from your Play store account from your device?

      From the Play store app, menu -> My Apps -> All - then you can delete them from your account.

      1. JetSetJim Silver badge

        Re: Me likey

        Well I'll be... don't remember seeing that before, ta

  3. JaitcH

    Who would want to be a Microsoft dealer?

    MS even have patches out before you first install any Windows version ... except for Wiin3.1.

    And imagine Adobe ... more upgrades even still!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who would want to be a Microsoft dealer?

      Every version of Linux I've ever installed - I use RHEL/Centos/Ubuntu at work and home - including first day downloads have had updates ready once the install has finished.

      I realise that you like banging on about how poor MS are, but really offering prompt updates does not mean a company is somehow bad at making software.

      1. Lee Dowling Silver badge

        Re: Who would want to be a Microsoft dealer?

        Precisely the opposite in fact.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    minimum quality standard for digital media

    It would be nice if this applied to the quality of the 'content' too - just think how much of a rebate you could get from Sky (or even most music producers these days).

  5. Neil Charles

    30 days is ok, but...

    What about on-going updates? I'd like to see a clearer definition of who is responsible when a service is withdrawn, or an update bricks your gadget.

    Two very recent examples:

    Logitech have retired Squeezebox and although they're saying they'll play nicely and continue to support the site that it needs to work, as far as I know they don't have to?

    Sony's fancy new PS3 store has screwed up my console's ability to download and install... well, anything. It seems like I'm not the only one. It used to work, then the update and now it doesn't - you get an error during install every time. Sony don't seem interested in helping.

    So if I buy something that relies on a remote service for some of its functionality, how long is the company obliged to keep that service running? Or fix it if they break it?

  6. Jim McCafferty

    Hopefully, this will encourage hardware manufacturers to sharpen up on their backup disks. I had a problem with my Blu Ray software, and after numerous rather detailed queries to the company, was given the lazy brushoff with it should work fine if you reinstall the OEM software. My laptop manufacturer provided a DVD ROM, but the autosetup only offered the option to reinstall windows!

    I think they'll want to separate the software packages in future to limit their liability.

  7. Eponymous Cowherd

    So, Refund on my TV licence.....

    for the BBC's practically useless Android iPlayer, then?

    1. chr0m4t1c

      Re: So, Refund on my TV licence.....

      Yes, no problem.

      Let's see, development cost about 50p, so your share should be in the region of 0.000000008p

      Would cash be OK?

      You can collect it in person from any BBC office.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Somewhere in my Dreamworld

    Somewhere in my dreamworld my mind is telling me, oh don't worry this only means if you were a record label and you sub-contracted out the burning of discs to be sold then when those discs come back bad (it happens) the record label not the 3rd party burner has to replace them. Or even that say a delivery from that 3rd party to a store oh say COSTCO then COSTCO would have to pay for the bad discs (they happen.)

    But I know better than that, it may even been the original intent, but when it's worded and binded to ecommerce, and all manner of online nonsense jam packed with legal insanity that it isn't even fun anymore.

    When things aren't fun why even bother with them?

    We are making too big of a deal out of this stuff.

    Look at what the banksters are doing.

    This is nothing in comparison.

    If I buy a disc I don't give a crap if the store or the 3rd party or the record label pays for a crap pressed disc. Logically I would take it back to the store who would send it back upstream.

    Before all this bankster crap there even used to be a store who could BUFF a bad disc out.

    There's no NEW law needed here.

    All this does is turn OEM's and SELLERS into small unstable BANKS.

    Since who knows when a Box or Palate full of discs are all burned bad. (it happens) Surprise, now you better have money for refunds or write IOU's. Or go bankrupt. Or back to cassettes and station-wagons. This doesn't stabilize the economy or the markets, it adds more distrust, uncertainty, and potentially destruction of business.

    I am not saying you shouldn't get paid back for a bad disc, but this is nuts. If you are somehow paying and downloading this same content, I don't believe that CAN either be protected from sharing or replaced from being destroyed. The cost is on your back for the later, and the police on your back for the former.

    The whole thing is nuts. And since all I hear is these fucking international treaties being discussed in secret, and then leaked here and there... all I really can do is take the information I find and GUESS what the fuck is going on. Really right now anything from a music blog to a television producer could get zapped.

    I think this shit is unacceptable. The government and lawyers are fucking out of their heads.

    I believe it's purposeful destruction, the legal players all have malicious intents.

    If given a chance to vote I vote NO on all their crap until they start talking about it openly. NO SECRECY. NO international treaties.

    If called to a court to prosecute someone under copyright, right now I would NULLIFY IT.

    Look, If I write a song, I truly believe that should be MY song, but if it get's ripped off why would I CRY about it? It's getting popular ain't it? That makes my band better known doesn't it? Look at IRON MAIDEN, they WANT you to give their music away!! It might not be RIGHT that a song got bound to tcpip at some point, but I should not be able to destroy people's financial life because of it. I can pick up my fucking guitar and write another. I can book more shows, and sell more swag. I could be a band that doesn't SELL anything. You just pay us to play. What's wrong with that?

    This bankster style secret rip off (who could have known) crap is making everything circle the drain. Even the music venues are getting fucked when they want to open. It adds layers of complexity and bullshit to something that ought to be FUN.

  9. Eddie Edwards


    Is it really the job of the OFT to completely change the entire legal framework within which the software industry works?

    I mean, this changes *everything*.

    Just to clarify, if I buy a £25 iTunes card from WH Smith and download an app that doesn't work, are *they* going to have to give me a 69p refund?

    I can see how this addresses some problems but it seems that it might create ten times that number of problems in doing so. In particular, this is not going to make anything cheaper - do they think this will be mitigated by consumers having more confidence so more likely to spend money in the first place? I don't see a huge amount of joined up thinking behind this. Legislation on principle seldom works out.

  10. Tim Almond

    "quality standards"

    Can I get a refund on The Phantom Menace then?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "quality standards"

      Count me in for a refund on Prometheus.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "quality standards"

        I have still to work out who seriously gets on a scientific research ship called "Prometheus".

        Maybe the same people that get onto a flies close to the sun machine called "Icarus".

        1. Ian 55

          Re: "quality standards"

          The university called, and it wants the two archeologists' degrees back.

          A delightful review pointed out that their strategy of digging holes in various bits of the world looking for evidence to uphold their preconceived views was not optimal (especially as Skye was under the ice cap at the relevant time); they had no evidence for calling the aliens 'engineers'; and allowing a nuclear plasma powered space ship to land on top of the site they were looking for was 'not best practice'.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "quality standards"


      Bilbo: The phantom menage was 18 months ago, Tim.

      Tim: I know Bilbo, but it still hurts.


  11. M7S

    Does the term "consumer" in all this cover businesses?

    If I purchase something for my small company and it doesn't work as advertised, can I go back to my supplier or is this "personal" purchases only?

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