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Nintendo might be landing itself in trouble over eShop refund policies

The Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC) has been at the forefront of many battles against the world’s many platform holders. The NCC has taken on the likes of Valve, Sony, and EA for not doing their due diligence when it comes to pre-order policies. Now with the Switch gaining in popularity, the NCC has turned its attention towards Nintendo.

The NCC dropped its initial complaint back in February, calling on Nintendo to respond to avoid further legal action. At the time, a Nintendo representative offered the following statement in response to the NCC’s questions: “The operation of Nintendo eShop in Europe is fully compliant with European laws relating to the statutory rights of consumers.”

It turns out that the NCC was not satisfied with Nintendo’s reply and has since handed the case off to law enforcement, requesting that they investigate and potentially take action against Nintendo of Europe.

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The investigation has been handed over to German authorities, as Nintendo of Europe is based in Frankfurt, Germany. The NCC had previously asked Nintendo to offer a better explanation for its pre-order system. There were three questions posed towards the company: ‘Can consumers freely cancel or withdraw from a pre-order or pre-purchase before the release of a game? If yes, how does the consumer proceed to forward such a claim? If not, what is the legal reasoning?’

As Valve discovered a couple of years ago, a ‘no digital refunds’ policy is considered illegal in some countries. Since then, Steam, Origin, uPlay and Microsoft have all put systems in place for digital refunds. At this point, Sony and Nintendo seem to be the furthest behind on that front.

If German authorities agree that Nintendo’s policies fall against EU consumer protection laws, then the case could go to court.

KitGuru Says: It’s good to see the NCC still battling away to get consumers the rights they deserve. Do you think that Nintendo is in the wrong here?

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