Games News

Nintendo's eShop breaches EU consumer rights, pre-orders must be refundable up until launch

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Super Mario with zombie eyes in front of Nintendo eshop sign
Nintendo: Must. Not. Give. Refund.

Nintendo will soon have to amend their policy on refunds, following the Norwegian Consumer Council's research, whereby the company's eShop failed to meet the necessary requirements for refunding its customers.

With Steam, Origin, Playstation Store, Xbox Store, Uplay and Battle.net all under the microscope, Nintendo's eShop turned out to be the worst of the lot. Yeah, the Mario guys. I know, right? Not like he's a mascot for a gargantuan corporation or anything.

In fact, Nintendo eShop's refund policy is pretty scary - it simply states "all sales are final". The company goes as far as advising customers to check again before shelling out the cash, because once they do - they can kiss it goodbye.

NintendoA court hammer resting on the table with law books on itThe Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The NCC notified Nintendo of Europe that their policy is not in line with European Consumer Rights Directive, whereby customers in the wider European economic region are entitled to withdrawing from purchases, provided they're made prior to commencement of distribution.

In layman's terms - you are free to change your mind on the purchase and get a full refund if and only if they didn't start shipping it to you yet. Moreover, customers who consented to not cancelling pre-orders are still legally entitled to do so, as long as the game hasn't hit the shelves. 

Consumer rights dictate that cancelling pre-orders must be a simple process that is clear and accessible. In this respect though, it seems like it's just Origin and Steam who managed to make the grade with "adequate systems in place".

As for the rest of the pack, NCC found them to have proper refund mechanisms, although they weren't ideal. Namely, some require users go as far as to contact customer support while others simply aren't as user friendly as the NCC would've liked.