2022-07-02
Image: Nintendo Life

The approach to consumer rights at Nintendo’s eShop, especially the approach to pre-orders and refunds, has always sparked a bit of controversy. In Europe, the policy of not allowing refunds for pre-orders in e-shops has led to a proceeding. This is the case where Nintendo suspended the appeal and won the case. But now the German Court of Appeals has overturned that decision following the work of the German Consumer Organization Federation (VZBV) and the Norwegian Consumer Council.

Nintendo has already made minor policy changes in September 2020, and pre-orders more than 7 days before the game’s release can be canceled directly from the eShop or Nintendo Account page. For example, testing this today reveals that if you select pre-ordering a game within 7 days, you’ll see “pre-ordering and purchasing” and you don’t have the right to “voluntary cancellation” immediately. rice field. If you select a game that is more than 7 days old, you will see a long page explaining your right to cancel up to that point. Payments and preloads will also be postponed until one week before the release.this Customer page It also describes the cancellation process.

This process has been in place for over a year and may require further adjustments following the outcome of a proceeding in which Nintendo apparently accepted the outcome.The following is Summary of the case And the latest results (translated from German).

Nintendo had already offered a video game for download in its e-shop before the official release date. Downloads typically included a “preload” that covered the game software and an icon that appeared on the game console. The game was unlocked by updating only on the official start date. Such online purchases can usually be canceled within 14 days without explaining why.

However, Nintendo ruled out the right to withdraw and relied on legal exceptions. However, the downloads available after pre-ordering did not yet include the games available, so the preconditions for the revocation right were not met. Until the release date, the game is of no value to the buyer and Nintendo’s contract will never be fulfilled.

… the Frankfurt am Main District Court first dismissed the vzbv proceedings. After appealing to the Frankfurt High District Court, consumer advocates are now successful. At the hearing, after discussing the legal situation, the judge advised Nintendo to accept vzbv’s allegations of injunctive relief as justification. The company has adhered to this. In the approval decision, the court upheld the entire vzbv proceeding. As is customary in such judgments, the approval judgment does not include the basis for the decision.

Currently, eShop can revoke the statutory right to cancel a pre-order within 7 days of release, but this notion of services / products offered by preload is part of what has been overturned. As a result, the eShop may be updated and this policy may change shortly. Pay attention to the changes.

Ultimately, such cases are intended to ensure that digital / download products have the same consumer rights as physical products. The results of this court set us for potential positive progress in the field for EU Switch owners.