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Amazon gives PS3 refunds for Linux removal

Amazon gives PS3 refunds for Linux removal

Amazon has reportedly given away at least one refund on a PS3 on the grounds that it no longer has all advertised features.

Amazon is apparently offering refunds to customers who bought a PS3 and who are embittered about the loss of Linux support in the latest official firmware, which is required to play some games.

The news comes from PlayStation University, who report that at least one customer is confirmed to have got a full refund on his PlayStation 3 by referencing European Directive 1999/44/EC.

For those of us who aren't too up to date on our European sales legislation, that basically means that the PlayStation 3 has, through no fault of the user, lost features and no longer operates as advertised.

This law also states that all consumer goods must come with a two-year warranty and "be fit for intended purpose".

Under the directive, at least one customer has successfully argued that the PS3 no longer works as advertised, with Amazon offering a refund worth 20 percent of the original purchase price by way of apology - £84 in this case.

As Eurogamer points out, where this all gets really interesting is when you start tracing things back further. Under EU law responsibility for these issues lies with the retailer, not the manufacturer - but it's still possible that Amazon may try to pass costs back to Sony.

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

48 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
sotu1 9th April 2010, 12:38 Quote
Anyone know if we can use this for other retailers? ie, play, game, gamestation etc?
Freedom 9th April 2010, 12:41 Quote
Well if your in the Uk the European act over ridden by Sales of Goods act.
will. 9th April 2010, 12:52 Quote
Hmm... maybe give back my PS3 Fat and get a slim?
theflatworm 9th April 2010, 12:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom
Well if your in the Uk the European act over ridden by Sales of Goods act.

I though European law trumped UK law anyway? I know the government have been forced to change a fair few things when they conflicted. In any case, the SoGA has the same 'fit for intended purpose' bit...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Will
Well if your in the Uk the European act over ridden by Sales of Goods act.

It's probably worth it just take back your X year old PS3 and get a brand spanking new one. If enough people do this it could cause real problems for Sony, possibly forcing them to put Linux support back...
whisperwolf 9th April 2010, 13:12 Quote
It would be very amusing if everyone with 1 or 2 year old system suddenly demanded a full refund for the old system and then bought a new one with the cash. Of course Sony Marketing would release a PR note about the sudden unprecedented demand for their system.
do_it_anyway 9th April 2010, 13:13 Quote
I wonder if I could contact my broadband supplier from 3 years ago and tell them the free PS3 they sent me isn't as advertised??
eddtox 9th April 2010, 13:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by will.
Hmm... maybe give back my PS3 Fat and get a slim?

I don't think that's how it works. I don't think you would be able to complain about the lost functionality and then request a replacement which also misses said functionality. In the article it says the customer only got 20% back, which is probably more like compensation for the loss of advertised features.
Quote:
Originally Posted by whisperwolf
It would be very amusing if everyone with 1 or 2 year old system suddenly demanded a full refund for the old system and then bought a new one with the cash. Of course Sony Marketing would release a PR note about the sudden unprecedented demand for their system.

I think you would still end up footing most of the bill for the new system.
scawp 9th April 2010, 13:25 Quote
surely Sony put in some sort of "we can take out what the f*ck we want" clause into the EULA
whisperwolf 9th April 2010, 13:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddtox

I think you would still end up footing most of the bill for the new system.

Depends, this was a 20% refund without returning the console as compensation for the lost features. who knows if they'd give the full amount for returning it. Cost of the console has dropped in the last couple of years i think, so you in theory you could come out with new console and cash. Hey, even if thats out the window, If I had a fat PS3 and and could get back £80 just by sending an email, I'd be all over it.
julianmartin 9th April 2010, 13:32 Quote
Pretty harsh on Amazon, imo. Fair play to them for coughing up but it should hardly be their responsibility should it?!
eddtox 9th April 2010, 13:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by julianmartin
Pretty harsh on Amazon, imo. Fair play to them for coughing up but it should hardly be their responsibility should it?!

I'm sure amazon will be looking to recover these costs from sony.
Instagib 9th April 2010, 14:11 Quote
Doesn't that directive then apply to old telivision sets? With ,the switch over to digital, have they not "through no fault of the user, lost features and no longer operates as advertised"?
Shagbag 9th April 2010, 14:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom
Well if your in the Uk the European act over ridden by Sales of Goods act.
No. European Law always overrides the laws of a Member State. If a Member State passes a law that is found to be in contravention of European Law, then that law if void ab initio (ie. it is void right from the start - it effectively never existed).

The consumer in this case accepted 20% as damages for a partial loss. He may have got more if he had taken this to Court (perhaps even a full refund). However, now that he has accepted the offer from Amazon, he is precluded from going through the Courts - he has accepted compensation for his loss. In contractual terms, the breach has been remedied.

On a technical point, the consumer in this case relied on an EU Directive. An EU Directive is not law. An EU Directive simply requires a Member State to enact laws that comply with the Directive within the time scale stated in the Directive (typically 2 years). If a Member State fails to enact such legislation within that time scale, then it (the Member State) and its institutions are bound by (ie. can be sued under) that Directive. EU Directives are not binding upon private citizens and institutions such as Amazon, only Member State laws are binding on those institutions (ie. Amazon is not bound by the Directive but will be bound by any UK legislation that subsequently enacts that Directive). Therefore, from the facts set out in the article, it appears Amazon has either (a) made a commercial decision to refund, or (b) has recognised that existing UK Sale of Goods legislation would more than likely be interpreted by a UK Court in accordance with the EU Directive, ie. the EU Directive would have an 'indirect effect' through the UK Sale of Goods Act, or (c) the existing UK Sale of Goods Act already covers the point adequately.

I don't think Amazon are being hard done by. They sold the PS3 to the consumer and, in doing so, fully represented to him that the PS3 was capable of running Linux. They are more than likely within their rights to sue to Sony for Sony's misrepresentation to them. As the consumer who bought the PS3 has no contractual recourse to Sony (since the contract of sale was between him and Amazon and not him and Sony) it would be wholly unfair to him if Amazon weren't held liable - for he would then be left with no-one to claim against. Furthermore, it would be unfair to Sony to be liable for the consumer's contract with Amazon as Sony was not a party to that contract and had no say, whatsoever, in the terms that were negotiated under that contract. This is how contracts are enforced under the laws of England and Wales.

The end result here is a victory for the consumer and consumer rights. Sony shamefacedly dropped linux support despite enticing people to buy the PS3 in the first place because it ran linux.

Finally, please stop banging on about EULAs. EULAs only stipulate some of the terms in a contract and it is impossible for them to dispense with your statutory rights (eg. Sale of Goods Act legislation). Too many people think the EULA is the be-all and end-all of the law. It is not, and the sooner this is understood, the sooner you will stop having to drop your trousers and bend over to the likes of Sony, et. al.
eddtox 9th April 2010, 15:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shagbag
/snip

That's +1 rep to you for a very well written and informative post. I especially like the final paragraphs about EULA's and I think this point applies to most contracts.

I.e: if a point in a contract is in breach of the country's laws that point is null and void. E.g: apple might put in their EULA and/or contract of sale for the iPad that you must use it to batter anyone who speaks ill of Steve Jobs, but, as that is against the laws of the land you are a) not bound to comply with that part of the contract and b) liable for prosecution if you do comply.

Note, however, that in most cases, contracts contain a clause which stipulates that should any clause in the contract be found unlawful, the other clauses still stand valid. I.e: you can't rip up the whole contract just because of one clause being wrong.
glaeken 9th April 2010, 16:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by scawp
surely Sony put in some sort of "we can take out what the f*ck we want" clause into the EULA

A friend of mine started a complaint thread on the sony developer forums and this is exactly what they said. They don't care about their users. When he asked sony what he should do, they recommend he either stop updating his ps3 or buy a new additional slim.

Sony is only shooting themselves in the foot. Many programmers in college could gain experience with SPU programming through linux. Now they've just removed this ability to become experienced in SPU programming without a devkit.
paisa666 9th April 2010, 17:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Instagib
Doesn't that directive then apply to old telivision sets? With ,the switch over to digital, have they not "through no fault of the user, lost features and no longer operates as advertised"?

What features have they lost with new technology?? the old Tv's still work as they were advertised, you need a cable operator to suply the signal, if the operator stops providing the signal, is not the Tv's manufacturer fault, get a new cable operator.
sotu1 9th April 2010, 18:00 Quote
Where exactly was it written that the PS3 is capable of running linux? Was this on the product description on the website or on the product description on the box?
Shagbag 9th April 2010, 18:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Instagib
Doesn't that directive then apply to old telivision sets? With ,the switch over to digital, have they not "through no fault of the user, lost features and no longer operates as advertised"?

Not at all. The 'switch to digital' relates to the change in the way media content is broadcast, not received. The old TV will still pick up analogue signals should anyone transmit them. Its functionality remains the same.
Quote:
Originally Posted by glaeken
A friend of mine started a complaint thread on the sony developer forums and this is exactly what they said... When he asked sony what he should do, they recommend he either stop updating his ps3 or buy a new additional slim.

lol. Did he honestly expect them to say anything else? Why people believe the manufacturer is going to give them a straight answer, is beyond me. Take Microsoft as another example. With every new security patch of Internet Explorer they always recommend that 'you update your version of IE'. They never recommend that you simply switch your web browser. This sort of behaviour from manufacturers is par for the course and people continue to fall for it... just like the EULA point.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sotu1
Where exactly was it written that the PS3 is capable of running linux? Was this on the product description on the website or on the product description on the box?

It's the 'OtherOS' feature in the PS3 that's being removed, not an ability to (solely) run linux. It just so happens that linux is the most popular 'OtherOS' that people have been installing. You'll find the 'OtherOS' feature in the PS3's menus when you switch it on.
speedfreek 9th April 2010, 18:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sotu1
Where exactly was it written that the PS3 is capable of running linux? Was this on the product description on the website or on the product description on the box?
I just checked, its not on the box but its in the documentation that came with mine(fat). Plus it was advertised under features almost wherever the system was sold and on mine it still shows up as an option in my settings menu.
sotu1 9th April 2010, 18:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by speedfreek
I just checked, its not on the box but its in the documentation that came with mine(fat). Plus it was advertised under features almost wherever the system was sold and on mine it still shows up as an option in my settings menu.

Thanks for the info guys...So I should be able to get a partial refund from purchasing mine instore at Gamestation right?
Shagbag 9th April 2010, 19:25 Quote
Yes, you should. That's not to say you will. As I pointed out earlier, Amazon made a commercial decision to offer compensation and the matter was settled out of court with the consumer accepting Amazon's offer.

Despite this you already have very persuasive arguments to put to gamestation and it is in everyone's interests to avoid going to court (I've been through the English civil procedure system a few times to know that it can be time consuming). As long as you keep calm and present your arguments logically then you should illicit an offer of compensation from gamestation.
Tulatin 9th April 2010, 21:54 Quote
Damn, Amazon has incredible customer service.

This is to be said after I got a busted pair of headphones that were refunded SO heavily, that they eventually paid me $3 to buy $99 headphones.
talladega 10th April 2010, 02:13 Quote
yeah this is very ethical isnt it? probably 95%+ of ps3 owners have never and will never use the feature, yet they can be cheap asses and get a new ps3 for free? thats retarded. i dont care whether it is right for Sony to have removed the feature (i think its pretty useless and ive never used it), but for people to demand their money back on something for a feature they were never going to use is just plain stupid.
whisperwolf 10th April 2010, 08:30 Quote
ethical? no, it's a commercial choice, its something that big business's do all the time, so if the consumer can get in on the act go for it.
I do have 1 query though, I know that for the PS2, Sony tried to get it classified as a computer by releasing a linux add on, to take advantage of cheaper tax rates, but they didn't get it to work as a tax dodge. Did Sony get the PS3 classified as a computer instead of a console to do the same thing? if so wouldn't the tax man now be looking for a slice of cash back as well as consumers? and I've yet to meet a ethical tax man.
DarkBanana 10th April 2010, 13:42 Quote
Hummmm... I think a lot depends on which firmwares comes shipped when you buy your PS3. If it comes with the old firmware, I don't think there is any legal reason for retailers to give you a refund.

If it has the old firmware, the PS3 functions as advertised. It has the other OS feature and it can play games that were released prior to the firmware update. Updating the firmware requires user intervention (even if it's recommended by the manufacturers). The loss of function is the 'fault of the user'.

As for not being able to play the latest games, can a manufacturer be held responsible for all FUTURE games? Wouldn't that be like buying a gaming PC today from say, Scan which has been advertised as being able to play all the latest games, and expecting it to be able to play the latest games 2 years from now? It probably would be able to but if it couldn't, I don't think many people would be able to sue Scan. Even the prospect of future games is not their responsibility. If Sony released the PS4 tomorrow and everyone stopped developing games for the PS3 (hypothetically), has the PS3 'lost function'?

Basically, I think Amazon made a commercial decision to maintain the goodwill of customers and if there was a mass request for refunds, I expect they will react differently. Of course, it's a different story if the PS3 ships with the new firmware and is still advertising the OtherOS feature.
aron311 10th April 2010, 15:24 Quote
I'd be mad too if I spent £420 on a PS3.
Shagbag 10th April 2010, 16:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by talladega
yeah this is very ethical isnt it? probably 95%+ of ps3 owners have never and will never use the feature, yet they can be cheap asses and get a new ps3 for free? thats retarded. i dont care whether it is right for Sony to have removed the feature (i think its pretty useless and ive never used it), but for people to demand their money back on something for a feature they were never going to use is just plain stupid.
So if I work for the company that made your Dad's car and I come around and take the spare tyre Without offering compensation, then that makes your Dad an idiot if he complains.
Bhuvsta 10th April 2010, 16:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by talladega
yeah this is very ethical isnt it? probably 95%+ of ps3 owners have never and will never use the feature, yet they can be cheap asses and get a new ps3 for free? thats retarded. i dont care whether it is right for Sony to have removed the feature (i think its pretty useless and ive never used it), but for people to demand their money back on something for a feature they were never going to use is just plain stupid.

When did corporations ever give a damn about ethics? Most of them screw the consumer to make a quick buck. I'm always happy to "give it back to the man". If only I owned a PS3!
ThunderBob 10th April 2010, 17:37 Quote
I love it when people comment that the contract was with Amazon etc and that they should be held accountable.
Did Amazon change t he firmware...NO. Does Amazon have control of firmware update.....NO

TBH Sony should be offering compensation, But they never will. Maybe if they get enough bad press they might do something.

Good oppurtunity for Xbox360 and Wii to push something :)
impar 10th April 2010, 18:11 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderBob
I love it when people comment that the contract was with Amazon etc and that they should be held accountable.
Did Amazon change t he firmware...NO. Does Amazon have control of firmware update.....NO
Did the consumer bought the PS3 from Amazon? Yes.
theflatworm 10th April 2010, 19:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderBob
I love it when people comment that the contract was with Amazon etc and that they should be held accountable.
Did Amazon change t he firmware...NO. Does Amazon have control of firmware update.....NO

Did the consumer bought the PS3 from Amazon? Yes.

Ok, this is silly. To continue the car analogy: say you bought a Toyota second hand from your mate Dave, then a man from Toyota came around and stole your spare tyre, would you expect your mate Dave to cough up for it? If not, explain why this situation is different...
impar 10th April 2010, 21:08 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by theflatworm
Ok, this is silly. To continue the car analogy: say you bought a Toyota second hand from your mate Dave, then a man from Toyota came around and stole your spare tyre, would you expect your mate Dave to cough up for it? If not, explain why this situation is different...
Car analogies...

You buy a Toyota from your local dealer, the car comes equipped with some Toyta exclusive GPS system, Toyota then removes the GPS ability, you go and complain to the dealer that sold you the car, not Toyota.
There is no contract between you and Toyota, only between you and the dealer.
If the dealer wants, he can take the matter to Toyota.
Shagbag 10th April 2010, 21:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderBob
I love it when people comment that the contract was with Amazon etc and that they should be held accountable.
Did Amazon change t he firmware...NO. Does Amazon have control of firmware update.....NO

TBH Sony should be offering compensation, But they never will. Maybe if they get enough bad press they might do something.

Good oppurtunity for Xbox360 and Wii to push something :)
Your Amazon point has already been addressed by others but if you're still unsure Google 'the doctrine of 'privity of contract under the laws of England and Wales'.

You are absolutely right that Sony should have offered compensation. That is really the whole issue here.
Shagbag 10th April 2010, 22:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by theflatworm
Ok, this is silly. To continue the car analogy: say you bought a Toyota second hand from your mate Dave, then a man from Toyota came around and stole your spare tyre, would you expect your mate Dave to cough up for it? If not, explain why this situation is different...
It is not silly. It is the law. Your only redress is to the person you bought it from. Privity of contract.
talladega 11th April 2010, 03:37 Quote
Im not questioning the ethics of Amazon or Sony. Sony does not have to refund anyones money. Amazon is doing it because they choose to. But I think people should not be getting money back from Amazon if they never used 'OtherOS' and never intended to (95%+ of PS3 owners).

And with this, are they able to keep their PS3's and still get money back or do they have to return them. And what time frame did they have to have purchased the PS3?
theflatworm 11th April 2010, 12:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shagbag
Quote:
Originally Posted by theflatworm
Ok, this is silly. To continue the car analogy: say you bought a Toyota second hand from your mate Dave, then a man from Toyota came around and stole your spare tyre, would you expect your mate Dave to cough up for it? If not, explain why this situation is different...
It is not silly. It is the law. Your only redress is to the person you bought it from. Privity of contract.

Whether or not the contract is with the retailer under law, ethically it's Sony's responsibility.
biebiep 11th April 2010, 13:29 Quote
Has this been said?

<3 Europe.
swin70 11th April 2010, 13:54 Quote
Interestingly, I have just seen on Youtube that George has now hacked firmware 3.21 so that you can restore the "Other OS" feature and continue to run Linux. He said that the fix was simple and achieved by installing a PUK file, but only showed the system working, not how to do it.

However, this doesn't take away from the fact that what Sony have done puts the consumer of the PS3 in a fairly good position to return the unit if they wished to the place where they bought it and expect a refund of descriptions.

Shagbag - your posts over this and the other thread "PS3 update removes Linux support" have been very well crafted and highly informative. I only have a limited understanding of UK law, but I understand exactly what you are saying. Without pushing the boat out too far, or getting you to stick your neck on the line, what would you say that a good course of action be should a PS3 owner feel that the recent firmware upgrade have remove functionality which was a reason for there original purchase?

Swin
Eggy 11th April 2010, 18:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderBob
I love it when people comment that the contract was with Amazon etc and that they should be held accountable.
Did Amazon change t he firmware...NO. Does Amazon have control of firmware update.....NO

TBH Sony should be offering compensation, But they never will. Maybe if they get enough bad press they might do something.

Good oppurtunity for Xbox360 and Wii to push something :)
The customer installs the firmware and thus agrees with the terms. As it's an optional update Sony is not liable and neither is the retailer.

Mutliplayer servers from games are closed all the time, do you really think people can just get their money back because they can't use all the features of a game anymore.
Shagbag 12th April 2010, 10:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by swin70
Without pushing the boat out too far, or getting you to stick your neck on the line, what would you say that a good course of action be should a PS3 owner feel that the recent firmware upgrade have remove functionality which was a reason for there original purchase?

Swin
I would speak to Citizen's Advice first and also Trading Standards. They should be able to help you better than me (save for the advice I've already given). While pointing them in the direction of the Sale of Goods Act 1979, you may also want to mention the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977.
DXR_13KE 12th April 2010, 15:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eggy
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderBob
I love it when people comment that the contract was with Amazon etc and that they should be held accountable.
Did Amazon change t he firmware...NO. Does Amazon have control of firmware update.....NO

TBH Sony should be offering compensation, But they never will. Maybe if they get enough bad press they might do something.

Good oppurtunity for Xbox360 and Wii to push something :)
The customer installs the firmware and thus agrees with the terms. As it's an optional update Sony is not liable and neither is the retailer.

Mutliplayer servers from games are closed all the time, do you really think people can just get their money back because they can't use all the features of a game anymore.

If you do not agree with the terms you can not play the newer games...
swin70 12th April 2010, 16:36 Quote
There is probably something buried in most terms that states 'We cannot be held liable for destroying anything', yet as you say, you have to accept them to do anything - Catch-22
Shagbag 20th April 2010, 12:28 Quote
Saw this on El Reg: Sony's PS3 firmware update shows how retailers can be exposed which confirms what I've been saying. There are some very informative and interesting quotes from a UK technology lawyer about consumer's rights in this instance.

I also see Geohot has delivered on his promise. FCUK YOU Sony, you arrogant shits.
speedfreek 22nd April 2010, 04:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Car analogies...

Try this one...

My car has a central computer that controls everything, I have edited it and enabled and disabled features. Lets pretend VW issued a recall on one of the numerous failure points of the MkV platform (like that would ever happen) and I took my car to the dealership to get it addressed. While there the dealership disables all the mods and features I did and locks me out of the computer, deletes software I (had) installed on the ECU, and returns me the car minus features but with something else fixed.

Is that fair?

I just lost most of what I liked about the car, it still runs but all the bells and whistles have been turned off because Volkswagen wanted to. I have done work, I have improved something I bought and it gets destroyed. Was it in the dealership's right to turn off features the car came from the factory with even if they were not enabled at time of delivery? Yes the car is still drivable without rain sensing power windows but damnit, thats not the point!
impar 22nd April 2010, 12:54 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by speedfreek
Yes the car is still drivable without rain sensing power windows but damnit, thats not the point!
So, you lost the rain sensing power windows ability on your VW.
Who are you going to bug about it?
The dealership or VW?
eddtox 22nd April 2010, 15:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Greetings!

So, you lost the rain sensing power windows ability on your VW.
Who are you going to bug about it?
The dealership or VW?

Both, if it was me. I'd bother them to hell until I got a resolution. Too many companies these days think that if they ignore you for a while you'll just go away.
kenco_uk 22nd April 2010, 16:21 Quote
In the firmware updating screens, iirc it says something along the lines of if you don't update you lose the ability to sign into PSN.

I bought my phat a couple of years ago from Argos and the OtherOS always intrigued me. I never got round to using it tbh but I'd much prefer for the option to still be there. It wasn't a deciding factor on originally purchasing the PS3 at the time - the PS2 compatibility disappearing pushed me to get one.
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