Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has written to Xbox, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation to tell more about their online gaming contracts and to find whether policies used for online auto-renewal, cancellation, refund policies, and their terms and conditions are not against the consumer. The investigation also includes policies for buying consoles and games, online services, co-op playing, players communication, and extra games.
The important aspect of the investigation is the auto-renewal, where a consumer’s money is auto-deducted based on the membership once the period is over. The investigation inclines to find out “are the contract term unfair?”, “how easy it is to cancel or obtain a refund” and “how fair is the auto-renewal process?”.
Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive of the CMA, said:
Roll-over contracts are becoming more and more commonplace and its essential that they work well for customers. 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.