Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo Among Companies Accused of Violating European Consumer Law

The Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC) has accused several online storefronts of violating European consumer protection laws, it has emerged. The complaint, which was filed on Thursday to the Norwegian Consumer Authority, mentions that the organization examined Battle.net, Origin, Steam, Uplay, Nintendo eShop, Playstation Store, and Xbox Store for unlawful practices.

The NCC has taken issue with Nintendo not offering consumers appropriate rights to cancel contracts. This specifically pertains to preorders that customers are unable to cancel. In addition to this, Steam, Origin, and PlayStation Store were allegedly found to be in violation of EU’s “right of withdrawal” rule, which allows customers (under certain conditions) to withdraw a purchase from the day of sale up to 14 days after they’ve received the product. The complaint reads:

Steam (owned by Valve Corporation), Origin (owned by Electronic Arts), and Playstation Store (owned by Sony Interactive Entertainment) are in breach of the right of withdrawal by not getting express consent from the consumer and his acknowledgement that he thereby loses his right of withdrawal.

Microsoft was initially investigated for violating the right of withdrawal rule and was included in a report filed by the Consumer Council about unsatisfactory refund practices but Norwegian publication PressFire believes that the violation may have stemmed from differences in practices between various regions. PressFire recommends that European customers speak to a European representative of the company who is familiar with regional laws to avoid receiving conflicting information.

NCC’s letter states that the digital video games market is sometimes marred by issues such as unfinished products, “invasive” digital rights management technologies, and misleading advertisements “combined with preorders.” The watchdog has been making efforts to safeguard consumer rights when purchasing video games digitally.

[Source: PressFireNCC via Gamasutra]