Consumer disputes regarding online games are the second-most common after disputes over transportation, with account theft the top complaint, the Executive Yuan’s Consumer Protection Committee said on Wednesday last week.
The number of disputes has grown steadily since last year, likely because more people are staying indoors during the COVID-19 pandemic, senior consumer ombudsman Wang Te-ming (王德明) said, predicting that the number would continue to rise as the pandemic continues.
More than 1,440 disputes have so far been filed this year, in addition to more than 3,600 from last year, committee statistics showed.
Of those filed last year, 1,177 were over allegedly stolen accounts, while 1,102 were over canceled refunds, the data showed.
Additionally, 277 disputes were over poor Internet connections, more than 100 were over in-game item theft and more than 140 were for underage purchases, the data showed.
The highest amount disputed was about NT$100,000 that a teenager spent on game tokens, the committee said.
Once a player realizes that their account or in-game item has been stolen, Wang said that they should first contact the game company to confirm the theft, and suspend the account or item.
However, if the player did not use free security features supplied by the company, it might not be responsible for providing compensation or restoring lost items, Wang added.
If a player wishes to cancel their subscription, they have the right to submit a written request to the company within seven days of opening the account, he said, adding that no reason needs to be given.
Players may also request refunds for any unused store credit and request a subscription cancelation at any time, Wang said.
The company must then refund unused credit or fees within 30 days, although it has no obligation to refund game tokens or items, he added.
However, the committee also reminded players that these rights only apply to Taiwanese game companies — disputes with foreign companies without a representative in Taiwan might have no means of recourse.
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