UK law and Scirra terms and conditions

  • Dear Scirra,

    Please ensure that your terms and conditions are compliant with UK law - as it stands, they are not (but they should be, because you are a uk company). For reference, from your Store terms and conditions:

    and

    Consumer Rights Act 2015

    and

    Consumer Rights digital download

    It is illegal for you to refuse refunds to individuals who buy your digital products within 30 days of purchase. You are not legally allowed to add conditions to this right, but you can request assistance from your customers to make your product better; but the customer has the final say.

    This post was inspired by a thread that was deleted on Friday 23 Feb 18. Why would I bother to post this? Well, it was clear that Scirra was not compliant with UK laws (that apply to every uk seller of on-line goods) and I was a little disgusted that the thread in question was deleted as soon as it was apparent that Scirra was not compliant with the law in the uk. The individual concerned just wanted their money back and Scirra was not compliant with this customer's wishes (and rights).

    There was nothing particularly contentious in the deleted thread, other than the indication that the above pictured terms are against the law. It could be construed that the deletion of the thread was an attempt to prevent Scirra's customers from knowing their rights... Plenty of ugly threads have been left as locked without deletion.

    I think that good customer relations breeds good service and so forth; this was not an example of good customer service and I almost impulsively deleted my seller account as a direct result of this incident. I invite comment, retraction and / or apology. Or nothing - fore-warned is fore-armed when it comes to knowing your rights as customers.

  • There's a bit of misinformation here, firstly, digital goods have a 14 day refund period, not 30.

    "Sales are final" refers to the concept of consumer happiness - as in, "you, as a consumer, are happy to proceed and conclude this transaction"; and in doing so you void the possibility of disputing the sale because, and only because, you *changed your mind*. This is completely different from a product not being fit for purpose, which comes next:

    Scirra then follow this up by stating that they are compliant with UK sales laws; which is perfectly reasonable. A business is not responsible for educating a consumer on their legal rights, and an attempt to do so may result in further complications, as accidentally misinforming someone of their rights may be construed as attempting to falsely inform them; which would be a real crime.

    Given that Scirra is a game engine company and not the Citizen's Advice Bureau, I can understand why they were simply state that they comply with the relevant laws and deal with any future situations as and when they arise.

    I'm unaware of the thread in questions, but the T&Cs above seem perectly in line with eCommerce laws.

  • Beyond the download arguments, whats the law on subscriptions?

    Although it does bring up some interesting questions, you can't rely on interactions on the forum as they aren't legally binding.

    Keep in mind that its part of the ugly side of doing business, and why these things should be handled away from the public.

  • newt - customers in the UK have much better protection than they do in the US. From my experience of US consumer laws it's your fault you bought snake oil because you should have been more savvy as a consumer... Whereas, over here consumers are afforded a certain latitude if the product just doesn't work on their system and/or meet their needs and expectations. It's the customer's choice, not the seller's, as to whether this test is satisfied.

    I agree about the public argument, though, the forum is not the place to argue the toss about such details. But if you've demanded a refund that's well within your rights and is backed by the law then you should be met with a "how would you like that refund to be payed?" attitude, rather than a "no, didn't you read the small print?". It would have been much more gracious if the initial response had promoted good customer relations.

  • There's a bit of misinformation here, firstly, digital goods have a 14 day refund period, not 30.

    "Sales are final" refers to the concept of consumer happiness - as in, "you, as a consumer, are happy to proceed and conclude this transaction"; and in doing so you void the possibility of disputing the sale because, and only because, you *changed your mind*. This is completely different from a product not being fit for purpose, which comes next:

    Scirra then follow this up by stating that they are compliant with UK sales laws; which is perfectly reasonable. A business is not responsible for educating a consumer on their legal rights, and an attempt to do so may result in further complications, as accidentally misinforming someone of their rights may be construed as attempting to falsely inform them; which would be a real crime.

    Given that Scirra is a game engine company and not the Citizen's Advice Bureau, I can understand why they were simply state that they comply with the relevant laws and deal with any future situations as and when they arise.

    I'm unaware of the thread in questions, but the T&Cs above seem perectly in line with eCommerce laws.

    14 days applies for the transfer of funds after the refund has been agreed. 30 days applies to the customer deciding they don't want the product. You're mistaken - you can decide on day 29 that the product is unsuitable and then should expect to receive a refund within 14 days of that date.

    The laws are UK laws - I am not familiar with the eCommerce laws that don't apply to which you're referring... Sorry.

    Edit, just to add - I am not familiar with "sales are final" as a legal term in the uk - and you may be right that it means "we are all happy to agree to the sale" as buyer and seller. But it doesn't matter what it could mean - in this particular example - it was used as an argument to dismiss a claim for a refund. That would be against the law...

  • Refund and ask questions later is a better policy, especially since that works well with the licenses of both programs.

    Just my opinion.

  • I totally agree, No one gets hurt and everyone's credibility and moral standing remain intact.

  • The part you omitted from our T&C here:

    https://www.construct.net/gb/store/terms-and-conditions

    [quote:wd4svcxx]When you complete the electronic order form you are making a non-revocable offer to purchase, which, if accepted by us, will result in a binding contract.

    If the product is faulty, we will gladly offer refunds. Regarding the customer you mention in your first post, he sent me personally abusive and threatening messages on Facebook. One of the nastiest experiences of my 6 years working at Scirra.

    I was happy to offer him a refund if he provided me evidence of the fault. He refused to - I suspect he had a pirated C2 license, and bought C3 so he could export his project with the intention of forcing a refund once he'd done his export.

    I have no reason to believe we are not complying with UK sales laws at all.

    Secondly, historically we have always given refunds in the past on a case by case basis when not legally required to if the customer is respectful.

  • The part you omitted from our T&C here:

    https://www.construct.net/gb/store/terms-and-conditions

    [quote:33l9x888]When you complete the electronic order form you are making a non-revocable offer to purchase, which, if accepted by us, will result in a binding contract.

    If the product is faulty, we will gladly offer refunds. Regarding the customer you mention in your first post, he sent me personally abusive and threatening messages on Facebook. One of the nastiest experiences of my 6 years working at Scirra.

    I was happy to offer him a refund if he provided me evidence of the fault. He refused to - I suspect he had a pirated C2 license, and bought C3 so he could export his project with the intention of forcing a refund once he'd done his export.

    I have no reason to believe we are not complying with UK sales laws at all.

    Secondly, historically we have always given refunds in the past on a case by case basis when not legally required to if the customer is respectful.

    Hi Tom,

    He had no right to be rude or threatening.

    On my part, there was no deliberate omissions intended to mislead. The thing is - such a "non-revocable offer to purchase" that you quote is just contract law that applies to a binding agreement before the completion of the sale: ie it means that pulling out of the deal before monies have been transferred is not allowed and it has nothing to do with behavior or commitment after the sale.

    The consumer is still protected by the Consumer Rights Act after the sale has completed.

    And on the above, the consumer is the judge of whether or not the product is faulty, not the seller. Additionally - as alluded to by Elliott - buyers of on-line e-goods like c2/c3 in the EU are also permitted to receive a no-reason refund within 14 days of purchase, if one is demanded by the buyer (it's a 14 day cooling off period). So - I suggest that the T&C I quoted in the first post is not compliant with EU and British law. I don't want to get into a thread argument game of tennis because I'm not a particular champion of EU and UK law, so I'm happy to leave it at this.

  • As mentioned, we're happy to offer refunds in reasonable cases. We always try to resolve the customer's concern first, and if we can't, we do sometimes offer refunds. However if the customer outright refuses to co-operate in a suspicious way, and then is personally abusive to staff members, then they are entitled to contact a lawyer and pursue their case that way, in which case we will be pleased to draw additional attention to their atrocious behavior.

    Tom alluded to this but I do want to point out we routinely deal with fraud, abusive chargebacks, piracy and so on. We have to protect ourselves to some extent otherwise we end up with people who do things like use the product for a short amount of time, issue a chargeback, switch card and carry on. In other words we make exceptions for cases we believe may be fraudulent. If you are a genuine customer, and you have a modicum of decency to not abuse the staff, then we are entirely willing to co-operate.

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  • Don't want to get into an argument over semantics here, but also C3 is a SaaS product, emphasis being on service. Sale of services is different to sales of goods. For VAT purposes it is also treated as a service and not a product.

    If you have a particular concern with our store terms and conditions/refund policy that affects you, drop me an email. If it warrants it, I will consult with our law firm and make changes as required. Up to this point though, virtually everyone has been satisfied with how we handle and deal with refunds and faults in our products/services.

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