PS3 owner gets refund over "Other OS" removal

By on April 9, 2010, 3:15 PM
Sony's controversial decision to disable the "Install Other OS" feature on PlayStation 3 consoles via a firmware update caused quite a stir recently. Although most users were probably unaffected by the move, those who had been running a Linux distribution on their consoles were understandably irked at the fact that Sony was taking away a feature it had advertized when they purchased their unit.

Forum moderator, "lapetus," over at NeoGAF decided to take matters into his own hands by invoking European consumer protection laws in a complaint filed to Amazon, where he'd bought his PS3. The tactic earned him a refund of 84 from Amazon without physically returning the console. The law in question, Directive 1999/44/EC, is placed on retailers, not product manufacturers, and states that goods must "be fit for the purpose which the consumer requires them and which was made known to the seller at the time of purchase."

Sony might argue that the firmware update wasn't mandatory, or that it changed the console's software and not its hardware features. But if a raft of similar complaints crop up then retailers could attempt to pressure Sony into paying the bill or re-enabling the Other OS functionality. There's no such law in the U.S. as points out, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a class action suit filed against Sony for the removal.

User Comments: 17

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thatguyandrew92 said:

Why the **** does he get money without having to return the console?

Guest said:

Yea... lapetus our saviour!!!! How many X-Boxes did you return sir? You now hav 80 bucks to get the game you always wanted. Mega Man 10!!!! Yea.

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

When posts about this happening first popped up I thought it was an April fools joke - guess the joke was on me when it applied on April 1st.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

thatguyandrew92 said:

Why the **** does he get money without having to return the console?

Because the quality of his product was degraded. He paid for a product with x amount of features, 1 of those being the ability to run Linux, but Sony killed that, so he no longer has the same amount of features he bought. It's a kind of bizarre loopy logic to the law, but one that is intended to protect consumers from being shafted.

And Sony can't state that the update wasn't mandatory, since failure to update would prevent connection to their online services. You can't shove something down peoples' throats, and then claim they didn't have to swallow it.

Guest said:

well for the time being i have found something to bypass this update. I re-posted it on my site here's the link

follow this and you'll be good to go at least until Sony requires at least 3.21 for there games or until they restore the feature

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I had no idea they removed it because I rarely used it anyway. The ps3 isn't really functional as a computer, regardless of which version of linux you are using. I've tried several stripped down versions of linux, and all of them were painfully slow. This doesn't bother me at all.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

LNCPapa said:

When posts about this happening first popped up I thought it was an April fools joke - guess the joke was on me when it applied on April 1st.

Same here, thought it was just a really poor joke for April 1st...then they actually did it.

PS3 has been losing some major features over the years, PS2 support, SACD support and finally 3rd party OS support. If something like this happened to hardware I owned I'd be pretty upset especially retroactively removing features. Good for him getting a refund, I'm sure many will try to follow and we'll see what happens. What Sony did wasn't consumer friendly at all but I doubt there ever were more then a few thousand that used it to begin with.

Guest said:

The recent decision by Sony to remove my

Guest said:

The decision to remove my other os function in order to continue to purchase games and movies on Playstation Network is unacceptable. My loyalty to Sony is wearing thin unfortunately . I have called 1-800-345-7669 two times this week to express my discontent. I have enjoyed my Playstation 3 to the fullest, and want to continue to do so. I have played Super Audio CD's, utilised 352kps Atrac for music burning, bought countless Blu-Ray movies, as well as play PS2 and PS1 disks. All three memory card slots are employed as well. I want my Linux and Firefox programs to be accessible, not banned. Sony, restore my trust in your brand. My microphones an recording equipment have your name on it.

Guest said:

it's for people like you that this will not happend .Instaed of begging this company just don't buy their product.

if everyone does that they will be forced to do it.

thatguyandrew92 said:

Poor Amazon, it's not even their fault...

Richy2k9 said:

hello ...

poor amazon indeed!

i was one of the fool believing in an April's fool prank & had a very bad day doing the backup-format-restore-update (i have a lot of data on the beast)

even if i 'somewhat' accept SONY's reason behind this, i think it's a hard loss & i hate losing features, even if i don't really use them.

hey, i'm also one of those who buy a lot of games & blu-rays just for the sake of owning them, i do updates of all my games even if i don't play them, so i want all my features working.....

the one's to blame are those supporting the hackers, they want the fort down, so SONY now have no choice than to counterattack.

don't go after modified FW might be dangerous in the long run,

i just hope SONY would do something for us in return & i already accepted their apologies somewhere else ...


Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Poor Amazon, it's not even their fault...

Oh, but in the end this could be just what is needed. Imagine if big outlets refuse to carry Sony products due to liabilities of being sued like in this case? That is exactly what the law intends, to make the offending company actually feel a consequence to their actions by strangling their sales chain, rather than just getting the equivalent of a little slap on the wrist if it was a few cases that were brought directly against the big corporation. Actions like this suit (if they occur in enough numbers) could cripple sales avenues for Sony, and actually make their arrogance and complete disdain for customers hurt.

Badfinger said:

PS3 and Xbox360 sound like nightmares with all their issues, I bought a Wii and action packed FPS's I will stick to my PC for them.

Guest said:

Because he paid for a product that had certain advertised features which were taken away later.

Guest said:

I look forward for a class action suit in this case. I was trying to log into Playstation Store and the PS3 wanted to force me to upgrade! (Optional Upgrade ... my ***)

Guest said:

Hi Everyone,

I am now going to add my bit along with some legalities which SONY are not following in any territory.

I am an innovator and I bought the PS3 for one reason only, to research and develop. The Cell BE chip inside of it, SONY didn't design it. For that I thank IBM, but only if I could afford one of their fabulous Blades ($50,000.00 I think). This will be my re-embursement and will not settle for less unless they want to get me the PCI board from Mentor Graphics, the other developer of the chip. The last time I checked £7,000.00.

Anyway, here we go. I bought my system in 2005 or 2006, well before the update of 3.21. In fact I have been so busy with using Linux on it developing algorithms and using the IBM SDK, I missed it. So this week my friend came round and wanted to look on the store. Low and behold version 3.41 and no mention of functions being removed from the advertised system. So already the missed updates and later ones do not state the removal of these functions either. I am now in a possition where SONY have not referenced these changes and should be in each and every released revision. The plot thikens and so does the noose surounding SONY's neck. Go on hang yourself.

OK, so I have read the law suit raised in California, interesting that some laws there have major similarities to UK law. We call it the Trades Description Act, which notes that the product being sold must be exact to its description. The law suit brings this up fabulously in many areas including the point of sale and not stating that SONY can update or do what they want. Instead this information is enclosed in the box after you have bought the product.

Regarding Terms and Conditions, UK law is to be revised where T and C should not extend past a sheet of A4 paper, bullet pointed too. So this will be good when it arrives here.

Lets move on to False Advertising, where in the US I believe it is called unfair trade. Bare with me I am not a lawyer or barrister. This is selling something under false pretense and ties in very nicely with the Trades Description Act. All round anyway, they are liars about the product that is being sold, changing it at will.

There is a whole load of legal stuff in this, but here in the UK I will be approaching the Office of Fair Trading, Consumer Rights, Department of Trade and Industry (Now Business Innovation and Skills) and the EU Directive.

EU Directive stood up to Microsoft when they only allowed knowledge surrounding Explorer and forced them to release an update to notify users of this change.

Anyway that is it so far and hope to hear from the lawyer who is taking SONY to court this September regarding this matter.

Myself, if they don't change what they have done and replace to continue my research, then I will also be looking for seven years of research and I think it is something like two years of implementation and initial testing on the platform. If I had spent more time on it then I might have finished before they destroyed valuable research in to photorealistic rendering of 3D scenes in real time. What a game environment that would have made. I hope we get to find out.


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