PS3 Owner Refunded (Without Return) for Missing Other OS

Retailer Amazon has offered a partial refund to a European PS3 owner following his complaint about the removal of the console’s ‘Other OS’ feature. Firmware 3.21 infamously removed the ability to install other Operating Systems (such as Yellow Dog Linux) on the PlayStation 3. Though the feature was widely unused by the majority of PS3 gamers, many were angered by Sony’s audacity to remotely disable an original PS3 feature. One gamer has come up trumps, citing European law to earn a partial refund.

That’s a partial refund from Amazon without returning their PS3. Said gamer is NeoGAF Forum moderator ‘iapetus‘, who cited European law to argue that his original 60GB console, which was considerably out of warranty and Amazon’s 30-day guarantee, no longer operated as advertised. The online retailer’s policy was to offer a refund weighing in at approximately 20 per cent of the console’s original value. Amazon responds:

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)
Quantity: 1
ASIN: B0007SV734
Reason for refund: Account adjustment

The following is the breakdown of your refund for this item:

Said European law is Directive 1999/44/EC, which was accepted into European Parliament on 1 January 2002. Apart from requiring all European member states to alter their legislation to carry at least a two-year warranty on all new consumer goods (the UK’s Sale of Goods Act offers up to 6 years possible protection) the Directive also includes a stipulation relevant to Sony’s removal of the PS3’s Other OS. The two points read:

“The 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.

This cost will most likely be passed over to Sony and if such refunds get out of hand, 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. Sony’s argument may be that they are allowed to change the software side of their console, since it does not act as an alteration to hardware. Moreover, Sony may argue that they have given Other OS users an option to not update their console; though this is an option that will stop these gamers from going online or playing future PS3 games. 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.”

As for the US, consumer protection is not as wide reaching as in Europe, but we could certainly see a class action suit against Sony on the same grounds. As for George Hotz, the hacker who many blame for the removal of the PS3’s Other OS, he now claims to have enabled the feature after updating to firmware v3.21, as shown in the following YouTube video:

Who do you blame? Hackers, or Sony? Will you try to gain a partial refund for your ‘fat’ PlayStation 3?

Readers Comments (14)

  1. Ive gone for the PHAT PS3 60GB partial refund option today the 11th, form AMAZON.
    Once I read this I thought you know what email AMAZON and complain and see what they can do for me. In for a penny in for a pound.
    Clearly Updating would not allow me to play games on PSN so Im up for a refund.
    Im a UK citizen covered by the EU Directive this buyer protection law.

    I will keep you informed. It will only work if you bought form the Amazon or any advertisement in the EU where sales advert (clearly) states “the option for another OS to be installed” which is an original feature that has been removed by SONY that doesnt allow your console to be used in the way it was advertised.

    Hurrah!

  2. rascal

    This law is applicable for upto 6 (SIX) years in the EU.

  3. SIX years in ENGLAND ,
    FIVE in Scotland
    other EU states will have different amounts of time from purchase date.

  4. As George Hotz himself said “Hacking is not about getting what you didn’t pay for, it’s about getting what you did.”
    Sony are one of the only companies I know of that actively REMOVE features from their products for their own ends. The exploit was not created by Geohot for piracy or exploitation, that is just a direction some developers go down. Much like the original iPhone jailbreak, the PS3 exploit was aimed at creating a community of homebrew software development. Also, the OtherOS was a nice feature, but it’s inability to access the HyperVisor (which is what the exploit aimed to give access to) hinders the ability of the OtherOS, as it cannot access any of the higher functions of the hardware (e.g. the BluRay drive, the full power of the CPU and GPU etc…).

  5. get the refund if you can, maybe sony wont pull this again

  6. Nathan Broadbent April 13, 2010 @ 07:56

    Sadly I was not awarded a partial refund on my PS3 : Sony Playstation 3 – Amazon Refund Query http://bit.ly/at1oFD

  7. I have attempted to contact Sony on multiple levels about the issue and have yet to receive a satisfactory response. I now have the option to escalate my concerns with the Consumer Affairs division of SCEA, which I will. My argument as with many others stems from the feature being a selling point and worked to convince me to buy. As another user stated this is very much a bait and switch, look up “Crazy Eddie, bait and switch” and you will see what all of us are talking about.

    I support Sony in there attempts to make the console more secure but not at the cost of advertised features. I do not condone or support piracy on any game console, and believe this to be the root cause of much of this heated debate. But, it is quite a big jump to say that piracy would have been possible. I question this too as the bluray specification was also sold as having a BR+ feature which offered further encryption. Would security not be enhanced by switching new games to the other format? This is just another continuation of the standard business practice of Sony corporation, and the big business way of doing things “to” the customer rather than “for” the customer.

  8. im from the USA and i hope all of my ps3 brothers and sisters get together and go after sony for doing this.i know somebody mom or dad is a lawyer lets get this thing going.the power is in the people.GEOHOT KEEP DOING YOUR THING

  9. i know somebody dad or mom is a lawyer.let all my ps3 brothers and sisters stand up and go after sony for doing this to us.im from the USA the power is in the people and together we can do it.GEOHOT keep doing your thing.

  10. This isn’t the first time Sony has pulled this sort of trick. A few years ago, they installed stealth software on your computer if you played one of their CDs (and had a PC with autorun enabled). They were forced to supply a removal tool when a jillion people complained.

  11. Interesting to read how PS3 got a tax-relief, just because it was sold as a computer with Linux capability:

    http://boardsus.playstation.com/t5/PlayStation-3-Updates/Sony-dodged-euro-tax-laws-because-ps3-sold-as-computer/m-p/45463000

    I wonder what has changed?

  12. Patrick Steen April 26, 2010 @ 08:30

    It was never sold under that tax bracket, as the rules were changed in the EU after the PS2 was released.

  13. 2010 Maryland Tax December 5, 2010 @ 05:29

    Ok i totally agree with you but what is the best procedure for Maryland state tax filing online and which one is the best site for check our state tax refund status?

  14. david yurman discount November 2, 2011 @ 07:20

    wonderful post-keep ’em coming

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