Playstation South Africa does not honor Consumer Protection Act
In my previous post about the refund issue with No Man’s Sky I detailed the background about what happened. Over the last 2 months I attempted to receive answers from “Sony Playstation South Africa”. The quotes in the reference to Sony PSA are intentional since the setup in South Africa is a bit more convoluted:
- There is seemingly no official Sony Playstation representation in South Africa. Although two local companies market Sony products, those very same companies shift accountability to their UK / US counterparts when it fits to avoid honoring warranties or complying with local consumer laws.
- The official Twitter account @Playstation_SA is not operated by Sony. It is operated by Ster Kinekor which holds the distribution rights to most of Sony products (hardware and games)
- Hardware warranties are managed by PartServe. Strangely enough, PartServe also deals with PSN queries and initially wanted to assist me with my refund query. Interestingly, PartServe also deals with account issues on the Playstation Network, but seemingly all those queries are really just passed on to their European counterparts.
- Although PartServe and Ster Kinekor are South African companies, they have never answered my question “Does the South African Sony Playstation Store comply with the South African Consumer Protection Act?”
- Telephonically I was told by PartServe that SCEE (Sony Europe) is responsible for refunds. SCEE refuses to issue a refund as they refer to UK law and their own terms and conditions.
- All purchases done on the Sony South Africa Playstation Store are advertised in South African Rand and processed through local banks
Let’s circle back to Bernice, the marketing manager @Playstation_SA said will contact me:
Turns out, that Bernice is the marketing manager for Ster Kinekor. When I spoke to her telephonically, I raised the issue that PlayStation_SA is required by law to conform to the Consumer Protection Act and is required to handle refunds fairly and according to local law. Bernice acknowledge that my request was reasonable, but did mention that she would need to investigate further.
This “investigation” resulted in a pretty meaningless email I received yesterday which said nothing regarding the expected context about compliance of the South African Consumer Protection Act and how @Playstation_SA will deal with legitimate refund requests for products which are not fit for purpose (in my case the game was broken as it was delivered and I filed a refund request within 48 hours).
PartServe has now refused to answer any of my emails with the thought that this issue will eventually disappear. Telephonically I was told last week, that PartServe does not deal with PSN issues but only hardware issues. This is quite interesting as their website says otherwise:
To remove all doubt that PartServe deals with only hardware issue is one of their emails to me which included a “PSN form” which is used to deal with a broad number of PSN related issues.