While Microsoft and Steam have worked to institute refund policies for their digital stores, Sony and Nintendo have steadfastly refused to do so. And much like Sony, Nintendo is now finding itself in trouble in Europe over said refusal, where it is potentially in circumvention of consumer protection laws.
According to Nordish site PressFire, the Norwegian Consumer Council has reported Nintendo to German authorities (Germany being where Nintendo of Europe is based) over Nintendo’s refunds policy for digital pre-orders—in that there is a no-refunds policy for digital pre-orders.
The NCC feels that this is a violation of the customer’s rights. Nintendo disagrees, and cites article 16 of European Consumer Law Directive 2011/83. Specifically, Nintendo says that a refund is unnecessary if “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 official legal proceedings are expected to start soon, and it remains to be seen how this goes down in court. However, personally, I hope Nintendo is forced to change its refund policies, and come more in line with what Valve and Microsoft already offer.