Retailer Amazon has offered a partial refund to a European PS3 owner following his complaint about the removal of the console’s OtherOS feature. Firmware 3.21 removed the ability to install other Operating Systems (such as Yellow Dog Linux) on the PlayStation 3, and such violated the European Law Directive 1999/44/EC. The partial refund was made to the customer without them having to return the console.
Directive 1999/44/EC states that goods must:
- comply with the description given by the seller and posses the same qualities and characteristics as other similar goods
- be fit for the purpose which the consumer requires them and which was made known to the seller at the time of purchase.
The key statement is “which was made known to the seller at the time of purchase,” where Sony made it known at the time of purchase that you would be able to install an ‘Other OS.’ This was raised with Amazon, and their policy was to offer a partial refund whether that feature had been used by said consumer or not. It should be noted that in European law responsibility is placed on the retailer and not the manufacturer. However, Amazon is likely to pass the cost to Sony.
Amazon responds [via PlayStation University]:
We are writing to confirm that we have processed your refund in the amount of £84.00 for your Order 666-5327564-4432412.
Item Refund: £71.49
Item Tax Refund: £12.51
This refund is for the following item(s):
Item: Sony PlayStation 3 Console (60GB Premium Version)
Reason for refund: Account adjustment
The following is the breakdown of your refund for this item:
If other retailers start offering refunds similar to Amazon then this could end up costing Sony a considerable about of money. Sony may have no other option than to reinstate ‘Other OS’ or instead take legal action to prove that they are not acting outside of the law. Of course, there’s the simple fact that the PS3’s user agreement states:
“Without limitation, services may include the provision of the latest update or download of new release that may include security patches, new technology or revised settings and features which may prevent access to unauthorized or pirated content, or use of unauthorized hardware or software in connection with the PS3 system.”