First, a little disclaimer. I won't be mentioning company names as this inquiry is solely about the responsibility of the parties involved, and not specifically about the entities themselves.

I believe this falls under the context of consumer rights. Its regarding downloadable games and software legitimately purchased through a vendor that turn out to have regionally geolocked licensing, preventing their installation which is not conveyed at the time of purchase.

The players:

We have the company who owns the platform and the online store where the product is purchased from. We have the purchaser in one region of the world and the receiving party in another. Both the purchaser and receiving party are members of or subscribed to the same platform and their services.

The scenario:

A digitally downloadable application is legitimately purchased through the platform's store, "Buy as gift" feature by the purchaser. Once the purchase is confirmed and processed, the licensing keys are immediately sent by the system to the receiving party which they can then use to redeem the item.

Now when they attempt to redeem the item directly through the system notification that they received, it responds with, "This product can not be redeemed as it was purchased in another region". Once the purchaser is made aware of the geolocked licensing issue, they promptly submit a request through the platform for an immediate refund and wait for up to 72 hours.

When they receive response, the request has been declined on the basis that the product has either been redeemed or used, which of course, it has not since it couldn't be installed by the receiving party as a result of the regionally geolocked licensing.

Now the inquiry:

Who should be responsible? Should the purchaser (consumer) have the expectation of a refund on the basis that they were not made aware of the geolocked licensing and potential issues ahead of the purchase?

Or does the company hold ground with the argument that by making the purchase through their platform, it is agreed that all digital purchases are non-refundable?

  • Consumer guarantees and protections Cary enormously around the world. It's not enough to know where the purchaser, the gift receiver or the seller are, all three are necessary.
    – user4657
    Apr 9, 2020 at 22:27

1 Answer 1


No refund policies are not universally legal

As Valve, the operators of the Steam platform found out when they were slapped with an AUD 3,000,000 fine for misleading consumers that they did not have a right to a refund for defective products.

You have 2 consumers in 2 countries, it is very likely that at least one of those countries gives a non-excludable right to a refund for software that doesn’t work.

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