JAPANESE GAMING OUTFIT Nintendo has been accused of illegally denying European customers refunds on pre-ordered games.
The Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC) said this week that Nintendo is the worst offender out of the seven major digital video games distributors.
After carrying out an analysis on digital game stores, including Nintendo's eShop, the Council noticed that the firm states that "all sales are final" when consumers' pre-order a title, which it claims breaks European laws.
In a letter sent to Nintendo, the Council argues that a pre-ordered game cannot qualify for an exemption to Europe's Consumer Rights Directive for digital content because the supply of content has not yet begun.
"This exemption only applies to digital content where the performance has begun. The performance has not begun for games that have not yet been released."
Commenting on the action, Finn Myrstad, director of digital policy at the NCC, said: "Nintendo needs to change their practice. They should comply with the law, and give consumers a clearway to execute their rights if they wish to cancel their order. Regardless of the system the platform has for pre-orders and refunds, the right of withdrawal should apply before the release date.
"The Norwegian Consumer Council trusts that Nintendo wants their customers to be satisfied, and that they will make the necessary changes in order to bring their platform in line with European law."
It wasn't just Nintendo that caught the critical eye of the NCC, as in its analysis it notes that "only Origin and Steam had adequate systems in place for refunding purchased video games".
While Microsoft and Sony offer customers the ability to obtain a refund on a pre-ordered game, the NCC called out the firms' respective Playstation and Xbox stores, along with Battle.net and Uplay, for failing to give customers satisfactory means to be able to do so. µ
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