Pokemon GO in regulatory hot water over its PokeCoins refund policy


Niantic was smart enough to roll out its biggest Pokemon GO update since the game's inception in the summer, when every fan will be playing increasingly more than in the dreary winter months, and it almost nailed it, save for a few glitches here and there. Now, however, it has found itself in controversy regarding Pokemon GO's clunky refund system, and in South Korea at that, where the game was launched to a great fanfare not long ago, amassing millions of loyal fans that spend a lot on in-app purchases.

The Korea Consumer Agency (KCA) has issued a warning for "unfavorable customer terms" to Niantic, after numerous complaints how the refund system works. If you, for instance, bought about $100 worth (14,500) of PokeCoins (and these things happen in countries like Japan and South Korea), then used just 100 of them, Niantic treats the whole lot as used, and won't refund you the rest within the 7-day grace period that the local law allows. Moreover, due to problems with GPS spoofers, Niantic keeps the rights to lock folks out of the game, and they won't be able to get any money spent on items withing the game back.

That is why the KCA deems the company's legal terms too broad and defensive, and wants Niantic to change them. "The terms are excessively undermining normal use of the service and are even restraining consumers' cooling-off rights," according to one representative there. "We will recommend the provider of Pokemon Go to reform the terms that are unfavorable for users. We also plan to discuss the issue with our U.S. counterpart, the Better Business Bureau, if necessary." Word to the wise - don't spend too much money on PokeCoins at once.

source: Korea Times

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5 Comments

1. Nopers unregistered

With respect to GPS spoofers, they don’t really deserve any money that they may have spent back.

3. Nine1Sickness

Posts: 896; Member since: Jan 30, 2011

Spoofers aren't dumb enough to spend money on the game.

2. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Depends, do they let you return a half eaten chocolate bar in South Korea, because it should be treated like a consumable I think.

4. collin3000

Posts: 70; Member since: Apr 28, 2015

Considering the pricing gets tiered per level that gets a touch tricky. Say I bought 14500 coins for $100 then used 5200 and asked for a refund. That would be 64.14 refunded, but a 5200 coin package is $40. Some people could deliberately use the tiered difference to cheat the system and save money. And if you think "most people wouldn't cheat it" remember how the article mentioned GPS and other cheaters because of how many people already want to.

5. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1185; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

Digital goods are not the same as physical/consumable goods. As you said, chocolate eaten cannot be returned, but if I bought the chocolate, didn't open it and returned it, I would say still get my money back, so the issue is to return what ever I bought in one piece. If I purchased an in game item with the coins, just remove that item from my account, but if I used the item, then I guess the refund wouldn't be possible.

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