German Court Forces Nintendo To Improve Its Refund Policy For Preorders

In the past few years, the German and Norwegian governments started dragging Nintendo across the courts because the authorities of these countries believed that the policy of refunds for the Switch was in violation of European law on consumer protection. The court initially decided in favor of Nintendo. However, they appealed and were able to get a different decision.

The news are published via the Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband (VZBV) -the consumer protection organization that is based in Germany. The short version of the news:

  • Before, Nintendo did not offer refunds on pre-orders made through its online e-Shop.
  • Nintendo took the lead in its first court case with Germany and Norway however, several months later, the rules were relaxedand refunds were allowed provided that there was at least seven days between game release and the date of release.
  • Following the second round of trials, the prosecutors were able to show that, even in a relaxed version this policy is in violation of legal rights for consumers across Europe.
  • Nintendo has to change its policies for Germany and Norway in order that the money is back up to the time of release of the game.

According to VZBV states, for digital purchases, you can give a full reimbursement within 14 days after purchase without providing a reason. Nintendo attempted to defend itself by pointing out the claim that eShop pre-orders usually allow pre-loads that allow users to play the game when it is released. Launch. So, the paid-game download service is deemed to have been completed before release.

The Higher Land Court in Frankfurt issued a new decision. It sided in the opinion that German authorities and Norwegian authorities made that pre-orders can’t be initiated before the launch. Therefore the purchase will be unusable for the consumer. It also means that once the game’s released, Nintendo has not kept its end of the agreement and has to provide refunds upon request from the consumer.

As VZBV notes, Nintendo has already altered its policy on returns for Germany and Norway Refunds are now accepted on pre-orders of any kind if the release date hasn’t been announced yet. However, the official support web pages provide a timeframe seven days before the release. We believe that if, after the initial court hearing, the rules were looser in all regions, not just those in Germany and Norway, the new relaxed rules will be extended to other countries as well.

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