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I've purchased vanity content on two occasions on the game 'League of Legends' - April 6th and April 10th. I have now decided that I want my money returned (a combination of lack of friends any longer playing the game, extremely volatile and childish community, and the company's attitude towards the players). The company is Riot Games. The purchases were made once using Maestro and once using a Visa.

The law described here allows me to get a refund within 14 days of the purchase, regardless of a reason. Though there is a clause which makes me unsure if this falls under my category.

exceptions include: ... "online digital content, if you have started downloading or streaming it"

The digital content does not have any physical form, it is a 'skin', a cosmetic feature that is permanent. It is not 'consumed' or used like a movie or a song would be. Though the attitude Riot Games' are taking is interfering with me enjoying this content.

Am I lawfully allowed to demand my money back? The 14 day period ends for the first item on April 20th, and they've already confirmed they received my communication in regards to this. If I'm successful in retrieving my money, my game account will be disabled - I am ok with this.

Can they fight my demand? Am I correct in this situation?

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I think the law there is quite clear - you have 14 days to return the goods for a full refund, except for digital content, which you can't return once you started downloading it. That's what it says. The arguments that you try to give were quite obvious to the law makers. I think you can assume they were aware that "digital content does not have a physical form".

Now if you purchased, but haven't downloaded or started downloading yet, then obviously you can get your money back.

You came up with some theory that this is a "visual vanity item". You can't see it unless you download it. Once you download it, that's it. If you don't download it, you can return it.

Let me repeat this: Your fancy analogies mean nothing. There are in the EU laws about being allowed to return goods for a refund. There's the general rule for buying in a store (no right other what the store offers voluntarily), online purchases (some days to return), and online purchases of digital goods (no return once you started downloading). That's the law. Your attempts at redefining the situation are totally pointless. The law says what it says. What you try to redefine doesn't mean one thing. The law clearly distinguishes several situations, and analogies don't count. What happens counts. You bought from a digital item from an online store that needs to be downloaded. And as soon as you start downloading, there is your right to return it gone.

And your reasons for wanting to return the goods are completely irrelevant. You don't need any reasons, and having reasons doesn't help you.

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    The reason I'm asking is because it's NOT a downloadable and consumable product, like a movie, a song or a venue ticket. It is a visual vanity item that stays on my account permanently (in the game). Since the company is interfering with me enjoying the game, I no longer wish to play it and therefore cannot enjoy my purchase. Also it clearly states this applies for online content "...online or outside of a shop (by telephone, mail order, from a door-to-door salesperson), you also have the right to cancel and return your order within 14 days, for any reason and with no justification." – Coma Apr 15 '16 at 20:08
  • Clarifying a bit more, imagine I eat in a restaurant (play a game) daily as many other people do, everyone get's a standard cup to drink out of for free. But people who choose may pay to get a fancy decorated cup to drink out of. One day you see that the restaurant owner has been spitting in your food, so you decide not to go there anymore. Unfortunately you already paid for the privilege of a fancy cup. It is not 'downloadable' or 'stream-able' - in this case, I'm not grabbing 'takeout' food and then asking them to return the food money, I'm asking to reimburse me for fancy cup privilege. – Coma Apr 15 '16 at 20:21
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    @Coma: That fancy cup has nothing to do with anything. – gnasher729 Apr 19 '16 at 21:08
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This term that you have invented - "visual vanity item" - is not borne out by the law, and has no special meaning.

The digital content does not have any physical form, it is a 'skin', a cosmetic feature that is permanent. It is not 'consumed' or used like a movie or a song would be.

Umm. Do the songs you purchase online disappear into the void, never to be used again? In that case I suggest that you bought not a song, but a licence to listen to the song once. When you buy a song, it is yours to listen to over and over, subject to the service provider's terms and continued existence.

You've also posted a contrived example where a restaurant owner spits in your food - this has nothing to do with your situation, you should probably stop trying to make analogies, because the one you've made suggests that you're not really able to do so in a way that present an actually analogous situation.

Note that there is a very small possibility that you may claim that the goods were not as advertised and in that way have some cause of action, however this would require that Riot Games misrepresented its product in some way to you - I don't see a "skin" being something that could misrepresent the community and the company's attitude towards the players, unless it said something like your purchase of this skin will ensure a mature community and a positive attitude of the company towards our players. If they did something like that? Maybe.

Also: Riot Games may decide to refund you your money in order to avoid brand damage - this is above and beyond their statutory obligations and you should not take this as vindication of your perspective. The best interpretation of the law suggests that they are within their rights to refuse a refund.

  • You don't need to pick apart my 'contrived' example because it is irrelevant to the question at hand. I never claimed that the goods were not as advertised (talk about contrivance). Regardless if the skin misrepresents the community or not, the page states, I quote "If you bought a good or a service online ... you also have the right to cancel and return your order within 14 days, for any reason and with no justification." But below it says this does not apply when it is "online digital content, if you have started downloading or streaming it". It is non-downloadable or streamable. – Coma Apr 18 '16 at 9:13
  • I no longer wish to use Riot's services, am I allowed to ask for a refund of my purchases within 14 days as stated? Because unlike a movie or a song or a venue ticket (which does make a difference if you read the page) it would be unfair to 'consume' and then request chargeback. This 'service' is stuck on their game server. "The best interpretation of the law suggests that they are within their rights to refuse a refund." If that's true then this is what I was looking for. – Coma Apr 18 '16 at 9:15
  • @Coma I'm not sure how you think you access online content without downloading or streaming it. Anyway, if you mean that it would be unfair to request a refund (which a term of commerce and is distinct from a chargeback which is terminology specific to card issuers and financial institutions) for tickets for movies, songs or venues, you're right, but the law doesn't require that you consume it to lose your right to refund. If you read the example on the page that you linked to, the scenario is the purchase of a ticket, and an immediate attempt to refund, without actually using the ticket. – jimsug Apr 18 '16 at 9:27
  • You don't have to accept or even heed any of the answers you are given here. But remember, we're trying to help you and arguing with us isn't going to affect the outcome of your dispute with Riot. And you don't have to accept or even heed any of the answers you are given here. – jimsug Apr 18 '16 at 9:29
  • And when I stated the example of misrepresentation, I was trying to see a possible positive outcome for you, not trying to pick it apart. Try not to see the answerers here as your adversaries, you'll have a better experience. – jimsug Apr 18 '16 at 9:30

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