It's coming up on a year since Fallout 76 was first released, and for some disgruntled Australian players, the time for a refund has finally arrived. If you requested one during the right time period, anyway.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which enforces consumer protection laws in Australia, has ruled Bethesda's parent company ZeniMax must offer refunds for certain Fallout 76 customers. Under Australian Consumer Law, customers are able to request a refund if a product is faulty or drastically differs from the description - and ZeniMax is in trouble for suggesting this option was unavailable.
In a statement, the ACCC explained that in the immediate aftermath of Fallout 76's release, it received multiple consumer complaints claiming ZeniMax told consumers they were not able to request a refund even after experiencing technical issues, such as "problems with the servers, lagging, graphic and visual problems".
As part of the ruling, ZeniMax has admitted it was "likely to have misled certain Australian consumers about their rights to a refund when they experienced faults with their Fallout 76 game", according to the ACCC. ZeniMax has also agreed to amend its customer service documents to clarify consumer rights under ACL.
If you're hoping to take advantage of this particular enforceable refund ruling, however, there's a caveat: you must have contacted ZeniMax between 24th November 2018 and 1st June 2019 to ask for a refund. And you've got to be Australian, obviously. You can check out the full details over here if all that applies to you. It's unclear whether Australians who request a refund from June onwards will have any success with ZeniMax - but at least they now know it's an option.
This isn't the first time the ACCC has been involved in a game refund dispute: back in 2014, Valve was sued by the government body for its cumbersome Steam refund policy. Perhaps it isn't surprising that Fallout 76 has also caught some flak, given the state it released in.