Nintendo's already made headlines for a separate legal matter this week, and now after a two-year court battle, it has reportedly won a separate case against the German Consumer Protection Authority (VZBV) and Norway's Consumer Rights Council.
The Japanese video game giant was accused of violating Norwegian and EU consumer laws, by not allowing users to cancel digital pre-orders at all. Nintendo argued the sales contract was fulfilled when the game pre-load began. The council argued against this but was overruled in a verdict at the end of last year.
The decision has since been appealed, and the next round is expected to take place in about a year and a half. Do you think you should be able to refund pre-orders on the Switch eShop? Leave a comment down below.
[source nintendoeverything.com, via reddit.com]
Oh dear...oh no that is wowie...even I, the unpopular opinion master, am speechless
If it was cancelled at least a set time before the preloads happen, then yes. But if it is almost at the time of the said preloads, or even after it happens, then a solid no.
There's a couple things to point out here:
Nintendo, according to the laws on the books, was completely in the right here. The court saw this and had no choice but to side with Nintendo. Again, this isn't my personal opinion; it's just the way the law is. Want to have it change? Change the law.
Also: Don't do pre-orders if you think you might not like the product. Like, at all. Wait. Game's not gonna go anywhere. It's digital. It's not going to sell out, because digital.
At least here in the states it's on the customer to know what the return policy is before buying a product.
My suggestion would be for Nintendo to not collect payment till the day the game launches and offer a cancel option up till the day before the sale.
@Iacobus Exactly, I don't know why someone would want to cancel a pre-order, if you are on the fence just wait for the game to release, it is not that hard.
This is why I put off buying eShop if the game is good it will come Physical cart.
@Spoony_Tech but one can always do their homework before eShop orders as well. That shouldn't be hard to do now. But then again one can always email NIN support and ask them.
I have never pre-ordered anything. It's really a bad idea. However, for those who have it's fair to cancel if a promise was unfulfilled or something about the product has drastically changed.
eShop has to be the most backwater gaming shop
Even 2nd tier CDKeys lets you cancel a pre-order on PC (steam gives you 2 weeks after launch). On PSN even after the option was gone from my account I contact them and they helped me out.
You should be able to cancel a pre-order 🤦♂️
While I think Nintendo should allow cancellations of pre-orders (especially if applicable special offers are altered), the only time Nintendo should be required to allow pre-orders to be cancelled is if the game gets cancelled or delayed indefinitely.
I forgot to ask: The law mentions that Nintendo doesn't have to provide a refund (because of said law).
But that doesn't mean Nintendo will actually do that? They can provide a refund if they so choose (if people contact support and ask)? Has anyone even tried this before all this hullabaloo and suddenly started calling Nintendo a form of Satan, Prince of Darkness?
Don't ever pre-order! I don't how's that hard to understand? The game is not going anywhere
Generally I mainly pre order if I am interested enough in a game. I just pre purchased DOOM Eternal on Steam so I can have the chance to pre load early since where I am from my internet download speed isn't exactly the greatest. I think this is Nintendo just trying to cover for the fact they don't really have a system in place right now for facilitating refunds
I'm legitimately surprised they won this one, what the hell.
Giving the consumer more choices when purchasing an item is never bad. So yeah I think you should be able to cancel. You haven’t even had a chance to play the game yet...
@Wolfgabe And a feature that enables people to get their money back is probably low on Nintendo's priority list.
Doesn't bother me. I very rarely pre-order from the eShop and if I do then it means I'm 100% sure that I want it.
What if you lose your job or your Switch breaks before the preorder is released and you can't afford to replace it? There are many reasons someone would cancel a preorder other than changing their mind.
Why pre-order downloads? I can understand pre-ordering physical games, especially limited editions if you want the CD soundtrack to and Atlus RPG or that super-sweet Fallout 76 gear, but there is absolutely no benefit to preordering digital.
Personally so long as it is clearly stated that you can't get a refund for a pre-order, I don't see any problem with this.
I don't know how clear they are about that since I've never even bothered to check. I've never sought a refund on a digital title and it's been well over a decade since I sought a refund for anything period.
Easy and more consumer friendly workaround: when the customer pre-orders, the eShop could ask "would you like to pre-download the game? The download will start at dd.mm.yy and your right to cancel the pre-order will be forfeit".
Not that hard, is it? And if I'm unsure about it, I can choose not to download and should have a chance to cancel until the day the game is published...
I don't often pre-order on the ehsop, only if I know 100% that it'll be ok.
I do preorder stuff at a physical store, sometimes just to get a copy of limited things but I also enjoy the benefit of being able to cancel them when I'm at a physical store and move the credit around as I please.
@MsJubilee Don't ever pre-order! I don't how's that hard to understand? The game is not going anywhere
I only do this for Physical release with a release date otherwise. Only time I preorder is for Physical carts and then that gives me time to cancel if I choose to. I never order eShop they will always be there. The Physical PreOrder are for carts and extras goodies in-hand when PreOrdered
According to the EU law this checks out. If you buy a service (you NEVER own the game, you buy a license (service) of the game, no matter if it's physical or downloaded) as soon as that service is delivered (i.e. downloaded) and you agreed that you don't have the 14 day return policy (see the checkbox in the eShop) the purchase is final and non-refundable.
The fix is really easy though. Don't pre-order if you don't know the game is what you want. NOBODY is forcing you.
I think there should be 2 ways to “pre buy” games on the e-shop, but that would get complicated and messy...
1. A non refundable “pre-load” where the game is downloaded and ready when the release date arrives.
2. A refundable “pre-buy” where nothing is downloaded to your system and you possibly receive “priority” in the download queue with the rest of the people who don’t “pre-order” games.
The problem in this instance is that once software downloads to your console, if you receive a refund, the software is still there... You can bet hackers and other nefarious types would take advantage of that.
The other option is to, you know, don’t pre-buy/pre-load/pre-order anything. 🤷♂️
As much as i liked Nintendo's customer backend in the past, they really dropped the ball lately.
Back in the day, i had to get my Wii fixed twice (Disc drive issues. One time the spindle got unhinged, the other time the disc pull cylinders did) and they did it for freee without asking any questions.
These days, we have the blatant JoyCon issue which is largely ignored and when it comes to their digital license management, they're pretty much as anti-consumer as it can get.
I have no clue why this verdict was overruled in the first place, as Germany at least has a mandatory refund policy.
And i get it, people want to quickly play a game and refund it, either to finish short indies or as some sort of bizarre demo.
Steam has had its problems with that in the past as well.
And it causes quite a lot of extra work on all parties involved.
It's not entirely unreasonable for a company to be against digital refunds.
The big issue here is that it's often paired with FOMO (Fear of missing out). Many devs play on that with exclusive pre-order DLC, forcing a certain demographics hand in spending money without the chance to wait for reviews (Which now also come with launch day embargos)
But frankly, this is also on devs. Provide proper demos for your software if you don't want people to screw up your income statistics by abusing the refund system for "free trials".
All in all, i'm strongly in favor of refund policies but aware enough that they need limitations. Completely refusing to come up with a system that is both consumer friendly but also less abusable is, to be honest, extremely lazy.
Again, i wouldn't even say that it's malevolent on Nintendo's part. The reasoning behind it is sound from a companies perspective as other platforms have shown.
But they can and should do better. And, honestly, should be required to to a certain extend as well.
Pre-ordering a digital release always seemed weird to me, BUT, even if they cannot cancel the preorder, as always, they're entitled to a refund if the product turns out to be unfunctional or falsely advertised.
What kind of halfwit preorders a digital game anyway?
This is a bad result. Not even being able to refund a mistaken purchase. It is just a prohibitive process. I hope they lose the appeal.
@Iacobus what about changes in circumstances? Like you preorder a game for £50 then the next day you're made redundant?
@Dezzy This halfwit does.
Please can someone enlighten me, why you should pre-order a game on the eShop (or any other digitally store)?
@ShadowSmile That's the whole point of the pre-purchase If Nintendo would sell just a license (bound to your account) with a pre-order but not the actual download they would have been required to offer a refund. The "predownload" is not, as they say, to make sure that you can play at launch. But because of this exact loophole in the law.
If Nintendo would be forced to offer refunds in case of a preload, only one thing can happen: Nintendo will stop offering preloads to the EU.
@CupidStunt A mistaken purchase? You have to press accept and a checkbox saying you won't have the 14 day return period. If a purchase is mistaken by then it's your fault.
The only other "mistake" is if you are not happy with the product. But Nintendo doesn't sell you happiness, they sell games.
I've said it before. Do NOT pre order unless you are 100% sure you want the game.
@sanderev Of course you can. Half sleeping, child gets your Switch. But a raging fanboy can never see past a console publisher. Everything they do is perfect isnt it. No other company has such restrictive policy.
@MrBlacky I've seen a few people say this but often you get bonus content for doing so, more so outside of Nintendo but the likes of Doom Eternal are coming with Doom 64 for pre orders, Resi 3 comes with classic costumes and for South Park Fractured But Whole I got The Stick of Truth included. Then you have big files sizes these days which take hours to download so it's nice to just have it there ready, or like in March/April there are so many games coming out that its better for me to have already paid for some of them.
I will say that the likes of what I've said apply more to PSN than the eshop for example, where bonuses are more prevalent and I can buy vouchers from cd keys to make the games cheaper
You really shouldn't pre-order in general, because you never know what issues a game has that are being hidden. No, you can't "just trust the publisher", because their job first and foremost is to make the sale, honesty is only relevant if it increases sales.
If you're purchasing digitally, the game literally can't be sold out.
Pre-order bonuses are terrible to non existent these days as well.
That said, while Nintendo didn't do anything illegal, because they do things like ask you to agree to waive all your rights when making a purchase (which is itself a problem), not allowing a refund on a pre-order is simply anti- consumer, and that is the problem.
What the law decides is legal does not equal moral, and certainly not pro-consumer.
Steam in comparison, allows people to refund games within a few hours of playing it.
This is disappointing to say the least, Nintendo's policies regarding cancellation of preorders and refunding are absolutely a violation of our laws, hopefully we can have this change. Nintendo is doing this on an american standard and we don't need that bull**** over here.
This is the very reason i don't pre-order digitally, especially when the likes of Nintendo put the download instantly to pre-load making the refund option obsolete.
@CupidStunt For children you can simply enable parental controls on the Switch. Which allows you to disable purchases from the eShop unless you enter the unlock code.
Sorry but your argument is void.
Also I'm not a raging fanboy, I just keep myself to what the law says here. Nintendo does nothing wrong. Nor does Sony. Or microsoft. Or valve. Or EA. Or Ubisoft. See a pattern?!
I’m preordering animal crossing. But that’s a no brainer. If I’m not sure about game I go physical. Or if it’s not a game I’ll play more than once I’ll go physical. I did get a refund for a digital Xbox one game was one play time was less than an hour though. Australia has different laws.
@sanderev It is about customer care. I accidentally bought Pokemon Shield with money instead of my voucher. It was a mistake and what a hassle, and hours of disgusting service to get a refund so I could use my voucher.
But it us about Customer Care. Valve and Sony have a pre-order refund policy. Nintendo do not. It shows little value to the customer.
@CupidStunt No you made a mistake. That's your problem. That's like returning an already opened package to a store because you forgot your giftcard. That's stupid.
It's about the LAW. Nothing more, nothing less.
I wouldn't have refunded you anything for a mistake you made. You should be happy Nintendo did.
@DreamerDC Downloading the game is the same as opening the package (according to the law, judge). So yeah it counts.
If someone wants a game add it to the Wishlist. Piece of cake. Pre-order only games that you are sure you are really looking forward to play.
@MrBlacky Pre-ordering works for me, but I realise it may not for everyone. My rationale is:
1. I've often sat down to purchase and play a game I've been looking forward to, only to discover the download time is 4-6 hours. I like the pre-download option which allows me to play that day one release whenever my schedule allows.
2. I almost always know in advance which AAA games I'm going to buy, so pre-purchasing doesn't really make any difference to the product I end up with.
3. I'm not a fancy-pants investment type, and paying for the product a few days in advance makes no difference to my overall finances - I wouldn't be able to turn that $79.95 into more $$$ anyway.
4. I don't return or refund games. Ever. I do research games before purchase, but if dislike the title I just take it on the chin.
@Gwynbleidd Being able to download before release is overwhelmingly the most important reason that I pre-order. Australian internet is often patchy, slow and unreliable. Without a pre-download that day 1 release I've been looking forward to becomes a day 2 play. Not the end of the world, but unnecessarily inconvenient.
This ruling is a disgrace IMO. A big loss for the consumer. In the UK we have 14 day cool-off period law for online purchases, but apparently Nintendo get around this law by having the 'by starting the download you agree to waive your right of return' clause BS. An absolute disgrace. No way consumers should have to waive their right to a refund when the download starts. Nintendo should employ a grace period for all digital content so no matter what the reason people can still get a refund. The law clearing needs to be changed seeing as big companies won't do the decent thing themselves.
Once I bought a scratch card for Nintendo credit. It would not add to my Switch account, it was the wrong type of credit somehow. I contacted Nintendo who confirmed that the credit voucher had not been used but said I had to add it to a Wii U or something. The only solution they could give was for me to "give away the credit as a present to a friend". They wouldn't do anything for me and I ended up throwing the voucher in the bin. Surely Nintendo would want to build positive relationships with buying customers? Wouldn't we buy more stuff if we knew Nintendo would cover our backs if there was a mix up? Needless to say, I don't pre-order from Nintendo.
There is no point in pre-ordering anyway as you can just buy it on the day of release.
@sanderev But other companies have a policy for digital preorders, you know, games you do not actually own yet. I know it was a mistake, but most companies allow you to return something you do not own. A physical pre-order can be cancelled. What is the difference?
You should not be so blinded by rules. And you are a raging fanboy. There is more to life than gaming.
Kanne Ich habè eine refund? NEIN!
@Scottwood101 Isn't the sale made complete when purchased? (In other words, the funds are taken out of your account immediately.)
This is a case where the law was in Nintendo's favor because of the wording. Do I like it? Not really but the law's the law, no matter the circumstance.
Do we even know if Nintendo plans on enforcing this? Any real-world examples? From what I've read, this has all been theoretical thus far.
By the way, why are governments like Germany's suddenly the good guy here? Weren't they banning games left and right based upon whatever was their fancy?
@CupidStunt you do your argument a disservice when you resort to name calling. Just because someone agrees with a company doesn't mean they're a "raging fan-boy." That's really bad logic.
@SilentS Given that these days many many devs release games basically half finished with a reliance on patching... the pre-load could be a pre-load of virtually nothing.. so would not really be a fair way of determining this cut-off. The cut-off should be simple.. When you own the game (after release / full download) you can’t cancel.
Nein! Nein! Nein! Das ist nicht gut, Nintendo! exaggerated PewDiePie voice
Even Microsoft’s refund policies are way more consumer friendly.
@FTL I mostly agree with you. I used the preload as a cutoff day because, as far as I am aware, they happen hours to a day or two prior to the games release. So saying "Up until X days before preload/release" would be the deadline to cancel any pre-orders. After that, no refunds. As for the games being half finished upon release, that has always irked me, which is why, from some companies, I will never buy from in the first handful of months of a release because of missing content and/or bugs that they are becoming known for.
In the end, it should always be "Buyer Beware". Only pre-order IF you are ready to commit to whatever it is without changing your mind soon after. Best way is to wait till the last minute for digital downloads since there is no stock to worry about. Use the rest of the time to do your homework on it first.
@DreamerDC @jco83 @CupidStunt I agree and think there are two problems. 1. Governments are always playing catch up with legislation and don’t understand the digital market and are acting slowly to stop these loopholes. 2. Nintendo is greedy and is too concerned with protecting their bottom line than respecting their customers (and I say that as a fanboy). Both 1 and 2 need fixing.
@sanderev @Cosats There are a lot of reasons why people want to cancel their games, circumstances change and they can’t afford it or the customer changes their mind (shock horror).
I assume the game pops up on the home page as the system starts downloading in the days before release and this acts as a reminder for people. They then go to cancel and get a refund and they can’t. And it’s BS.
It doesn’t matter how clever people are or whatever, some people will have genuine reasons to cancel and Nintendo should respect their customers enough to honour that.
Nintendo not making a sale is far easier for them to absorb than for a single customer. Most of us only have limited funds and this just hurts the little guy.
@Jimez is that true? I’ve never pre-ordered digitally, but I’d they put the pre-load on the system instantly that is clearly just a BS way of Nintendo refusing refunds and as a community we should reject that entirely.
@Iacobus probably, but I don't see why pre ordering an item on a digital store should be any different than pre ordering a physical copy in an actual store, where you most definitely can cancel a preorder.
I also don't agree with not being able to get a refund on a game that hasn't been opened and played yet. If I download a game and don't play on it, I should then be able to get a refund as it's the equivalent of taking back a brand new unopened game to my local game store.
@Kienda I agree. Everyone makes mistakes, even the ones replying who think they do not. If you make a pre-order, and you do not have the thing you purchased, you should be able to cancel. It is just greedy and obstructive. Other companies offer a cancellation so why cant Nintendo
Your making sense, companies don’t like that. 😒
I agree though, give the consumer the option to pre-download instead of just automatically doing so. Also, just make the pre-download option available a few days before release. It’s another way the consumer can cancel their pre-order if they choose to do so.
I don’t game on PC anymore, but Steam’s couple hours of playtime rule is nice as well.
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