Sony recently stated that it will not compensate retailers who refund customers because of a PS3 Firmware update to its PlayStation 3 entertainment system.
The change prevents the machine from using alternative operating systems, which it was previously able to do. Some owners installed the Linux operating system, allowing them to use their consoles as desktop computers as well as games machines.
Consumer law protects the buyers of goods if their functions change, but retailers generally cannot pass those claims on to the device makers who made the change, according to Richard Parkinson, a technology lawyer with Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind OUT-LAW.COM.
To quote: Press reports indicate that one consumer received a refund for his console from online retailer Amazon. Sony itself has said that it will not reimburse retailers who do so.
The company told reporters that the machine's main function was as a gaming console, and that an ability to run the Linux operating system is not explicitly mentioned on its packaging. Others have claimed, though, that a feature called "Install Other OS" was listed in Sony's promotional material.
"The retailer has a contract with its supplier, the distributor of the product or the overall manufacturer, so he has to look at that contract" said Parkinson. "Because this is a business to business contract you are able to exclude warranties for fitness of purpose or description, so these are very often excluded and warranties and remedies are limited."
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