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Nintendo eShop Pre-order Issue Has Been Passed To German Authorities

As you may already know, when you pre-order a video game on the Nintendo Switch or Nintendo 3DS eShop you can not cancel it and get a refund. This has caused some issues in the past and could potentially see Nintendo face the European courts if it is not resolved. It’s not just Nintendo though as other console manufacturers have a similar policy. Here’s the translated article by Reset Era member, Fawesum:

  • The issue is that Nintendo gives no option to cancel a pre-order even though the game isn’t released.
  • Norway is a part of the European Economic Community, which means they share many EU laws.
  • Norway’s authorities has now escalated the issue, saying they agree with the Consumer Rights Council.
  • They have forwarded the complaint to Germany, as Nintendo of Europe is based there.
  • Norway say Nintendo is breaching common EU consumer law, and are giving Germany an “enforcement request”, asking them to “consider taking action against Nintendo of Europe GmbH”.
  • Norway says “The practice of pre-loading unreleased games weeks or months before release cannot be used to circumvent the consumer’s right to withdrawal. We consider this a breach of the CRD.” That’s the Consumer Rights Directive.
  • If Germany agrees with Norway and Nintendo doesn’t do anything, this might end up in the EU courts.


31 thoughts on “Nintendo eShop Pre-order Issue Has Been Passed To German Authorities”

    1. Everything in life is about reaching a balance.

      If it solves a customer issue on one side, there will be a proportional reaction elsewhere (like — but not limited to — a worse service in the long run).

      Things cannot always go one way. Yes, as a customer I want my rights to be respected (especially if there’s a law). But it’s a give and take.

      Law of nature.

    2. I find it pretty absurd you consider it an issue of respecting the law. They’re a Japanese company that distributes across the entire world. Which do you think is more likely, that they knew perfectly well that this one relatively small market had this particular rule, and just said “oh well, screw it” knowing full well a lawsuit would cost them more in the long run, or that maybe, the company that’s been struggling to have a coherent online plan for 15 years might have had an accidental oversight?

      1. “I wouldn’t call EU “small market”, we have 511M population.”

        It’s consistently been a secondary market for Nintendo specifically. The Genesis clearly won Europe, and Nintendo’s been a distant sideshow in most other generations. Regardless of whether or not they should, Nintendo clearly designs their business for NA and JP (Even though Japan is actually a tiny market, go figure).

  1. If Nintendo is forced to allow digital pre-order refuds, Europe may most likely loose their privilege to pre-load digital games early before game releases.

    1. Yes I can see this happening but you really should be able to cancel a digital pre order if you need to so Nintendo should just allow that option without taking things away.

  2. The fact that Nintendo consumers are allowed to pre-load and play their digital pre-orders early means they are already able to use that purchased product days or weeks ahead of release date, if they do get forced to provide refunds then their only option to this solution is to deny Europe that privilege which is a possible outcome in this case.

    1. None of the pre-loads I have done have not worked early, have not been able to use the software even when my clock says its the release day, it waits until its release date in America.

    2. Every pre-load I’ve read the description on has stated “Play as soon as the game has released”. And Norwegian law is very clear that you can’t refund digital content if it has been used. So if you were to play it before release, you wouldn’t have the rights to cancel anything, as long as it starts up and works as intended ofc.

    3. I’ve never pre-loaded a game. But to my concern* the game is not made available until the release date, not a single day earlier… You just won’t have to wait on release day to download the game. So your logic doesn’t apply as the downloaded content isn’t available for use until the user downloads a small update on release day.

      They should simply allow to cancel the pre-orders (which would delete the already pre-loaded content) but keeping the pre-loading feature going, I don’t see why they would scrap the feature unless they want to retaliate customers.


    1. But yeah, we’re in a weird position where we pay to have the right trade in EU and we have to abide to a lot of stuff from EU, and we don’t have a vote in the EU Commission because of our one of a kind deal. Again, weird.

      1. That’s where you want to be. Your small population means you wouldn’t have any voting power, so joining the EU would mean you give up a lot of your own ability to self govern in exchange for…….well not very much really.

  3. I love my switch but it’s software is complete shit. It feels very much beta. I’m surprised the store works at all. Some pretty basic features are missing through out the whole Switch OS system.

    1. I find its software is pretty stable and not filled with ads. But to each their own. Every time i load up the PS4 it’s like i’m seeing a wall of ads that bog down the system experience.

  4. The difference between preload and preorder has to be clear!
    Preload : you buy the game and preload it but you wait until you have the right to use it.
    They should have never used the term “pre-order” if they wanted to avoid all of this! It should be reserved only for physical releases!

    1. Sony is also under the same umbrella. Just no one has taken Sony to court over it. Or the Sony fanboys chime in and say something false like “Sony allows it, you have to call it in”

  5. why pre-purchase if you didn’t want it in the first place, i get that there are people want a refund because they needed that money for something else but you should have thought of that and because you no longer wanted it is not an excuse.

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