Lack of refunds cited as being illegal
The German Consumer Protection Authority (VZBV) will be taking legal action against Nintendo for its harsh eShop “no refund” policy. Currently, users that buy items from the Nintendo eShop will not be able to request a refund for any reason. Even pre-orders for unreleased games are not allowed to be cancelled, which Nintendo is claiming is because of the pre-load process.
This is coming off of a campaign from the Norwegian Consumer Council earlier this year. They are involved because Nintendo of Germany resides in Norway, thus putting it within the legal confines of the country. After many months of deliberation, the council has decided to go ahead with legal proceedings and is expected to enter court within the next month.
In defense, Nintendo has cited a specific article of the European Consumer Law Directive that it claims protects their policy. According to article 16, Nintendo claims, they don’t need to offer refunds if, “the performance has begun with the consumer’s prior express consent, and with the acknowledgment that he will lose his right of withdrawal once the contract has been fully performed by the trader.”
The Norwegian Consumer Council countered with, “The company plainly states that all purchases are final. According to the right of withdrawal laid down in the Consumer Rights Directive, such terms are illegal. Until the game can be downloaded and launched, the seller cannot prohibit the consumer from cancelling their pre-order.”
Whatever decision is reached in the case, this will have an impact on the entirety of the European Union. If Nintendo is found guilty of breaking consumer protection laws, then it seems like our friends across the pond will be getting a better deal on digital purchases. Only time will tell what happens next.