The Competition and Markets Authority over in the United Kingdom is investigating Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft for their auto-renewal functionality for their online services, including the premium version of the Nintendo Network, PlayStation Network and PlayStation Now, as well as Xbox Live and the Xbox Game Pass.
Nintendo Enthusiast is reporting that the CMA is currently investigating whether or not these services and their renewal functionality is fair to consumers.
CMA chief executive, Andrea Coscelli briefly explained…
“Our investigation will look into whether the biggest online gaming companies are being fair with their customers when they automatically renew their contracts, and whether people can easily cancel or get a refund. Should we find that the firms aren’t treating people fairly under consumer protection law, we are fully prepared to take action.”
This might explain why Sony recently changed their refund policies, giving gamers 14-days to refund games that they purchased digitally but haven’t streamed or downloaded, as well as offering easier accessibility for canceling PlayStation Now and PlayStation Plus.
There haven’t been any widespread complaints about Nintendo or Microsoft giving them issues with canceling the online service subscriptions, but the CMA wants your feedback – whether it be positive or negative – regarding this topic matter for their investigation.
They want to know if the annual contracts are fair, if the refund policies are easy to use, and if the auto-renewal process is easy to cancel or modify. I don’t think there have been many complaints about the functionality of these features so much as there have been complaints that console gamers have to pay to play games online in the first place, oftentimes with shoddy connections or peer-to-peer network infrastructure that you can access for free playing games on PC.
Anyway, if you want to send feedback to the CMA regarding this topic, you can use the GOV.UK contact page to do so.
(Thanks for the news tip Voice of Fanservice)