The German Consumer Protection Authority (VZBV) is taking Nintendo of Europe to court over its no-cancellation eShop pre-order policy.
This is a result of a case brought up by the Norweigan Consumer Council back in October.
“When pre-ordering a video game, you have the right to cancel your order at any time before the release date,” said Finn Myrstad, director of digital policy at the NCC.
It calls out the current Nintendo eShop policy which refuses to allow cancellations and refunds of eShop games, even pre-ordered way before release.
The Norweigan Consumer Council accuses this policy of breaking European law while Nintendo contests it by saying that pre-loading process (where a game can be downloaded ahead of release) keeps the policy legal.
Nintendo bases its defense off of article 16 of European Consumer Law Directive 2011/83. This article states that “the performance has begun with the consumer’s prior express consent, and with the acknowledgement that he will lose his right of withdrawal once the contract has been fully performed by the trader”.
The pre-loading process counts as “the performance beginning”, in Nintendo’s eyes.
The NCC denies that claim however. “The company plainly states that all purchases are final. According to the right of withdrawal laid down in the Consumer Rights Directive, such terms are illegal. Until the game can be downloaded and launched, the seller cannot prohibit the consumer from cancelling their pre-order.”
The legal process is scheduled to start in the following three to four weeks but the case may take over a year.