French authorities have levied fines against both Valve and Ubisoft over refund policies on Steam and Uplay. In France consumers have a 14 day window to demand a refund from digital services, Ubisoft at this time has no refund policy for Uplay and whilst Valve offer a 14 day refund, it’s tied to time played.
Article L221-18 of the French Consumer Code states that the 14 day refund window is final, and that there are no exceptions for playtime meaning that Valve’s policy also breaks this condition. Article L221-5 states that digital services can violate L221-18, but that the stores in question have to state that consumers are being denied the right to refund under L221-18.
Ubisoft has been fined €180,000 and Valve will pay a fine of €147,000. Neither will break the banks of these juggernauts, but it may indicate changes in at least how these two stores present themselves in France in the future.