Nintendo eShop refund policy is illegal in the EU

Norway's courts have passed the issue off to Germany to decide

Posted by Ashley King on July 9, 2018

As a gamer, you may have noticed that popular gaming portals like Steam, Xbox, and PlayStation all have ways to refund pre-orders that are easy for the customer to access. Nintendo doesn't. It hasn't implemented any sort of refund policy for pre-orders for the Nintendo 3DS, the Wii U, or even the Nintendo Switch. This is especially troublesome for Nintendo in Europe, where the European Economic Community expands consumer protections across multiple countries.

Since Nintendo does not give the option to obtain a refund for a pre-ordered game, Norway's authorities have escalated this issue to Germany, since that's where Nintendo of Europe is based. Norway maintains that Nintendo is in breach of EU consumer law that requires customers have the ability to receive a refund for a pre-ordered product.

Norway argues that Nintendo cannot use the practice of pre-loading games for weeks or months ahead of release as a way to circumvent consumer protection laws. According to Norweigan authorities, this is a breach of the Consumer Rights Directive. The case is being forwarded to Germany in an attempt to get Nintendo to comply with this enforcement request for its policy. If Nintendo chooses to do nothing and Germany agrees with Norway's assessment, this could go to EU courts to be decided.

What do you think of Nintendo's refund policy? Have you ever been burned by pre-ordering a game you wished you could refund on a Nintendo console or handheld?

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