The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) starts an investigation into the three companies’ business running methods over their subscription renovations.
Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo are currently being investigated to guarantee that they don’t violate UK consumer law regarding to auto-update terms of their online subscription services, and also their Ts & Cs, and cancellation and recompense policies.
The CMA has reached to all three companies inquiring for some details on their online gaming contracts, and is asking buyers to share their own service experiences with CMA.
“Roll-over contracts are becoming more and more commonplace and its essential that they work well for customers,” said CMA chief executive, Andrea Coscelli (via GamesIndustry.biz).
“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.”
The actual issues of the case:
- are the contract terms inequitable? Can it gives them more power to change the quality of the deal? For example, they can remove some games and increase the price.
- how easy a refund cancellation? Can the terms make it difficult for people to cancel their purchase or get their recompense?
- is the auto-renewal process fair enough? – were customers explained that their membership will be turned over, are they regularly reminded that they are on a roll-over contract before farther payments are taken, and is auto-renewal is the main option?
As the investigation has only just started, the CMA hasn’t “reached a view as to whether or not companies have broken consumer protection law,” yet.