Okay, how many of us have fallen victim to this: saying we’re going to cancel our subscriptions, forgetting, and then being charged a hefty sum of money for a year’s more. It’s a vicious cycle that, unless you remember to cancel or take your card details off, would leave you with lighter pockets.
Auto-renewal has long been criticised across the industry, and back in 2019, the CMA launched an investigation into Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo’s online subscription services. Auto-renewal was part of this, but its concerns also included cancellation and refund policies, terms and conditions, and price increases.
As a result of this investigation, Nintendo has announced that they will be updating their Nintendo Switch Online guidelines. This means that NSO will no longer be sold with the automatic renewal turned on, and users will now have to opt in if they wish to continue to pay. Sony has also agreed to make similar changes to PS Plus. This is welcome news for us forgetful lot here, especially as it follows Xbox’s changes from back in January, which our sister site Pure Xbox reported on at the time.
Michael Grenfell, executive director of enforcement at the CMA, was very happy with the announcement:
“As a result of our investigations, a number of changes have been made across this sector to protect customers and help tackle concerns about auto-renewing subscriptions. Today’s announcement therefore concludes our investigations into the online video gaming sector. Companies in other sectors which offer subscriptions that auto-renew should review their practices to ensure they comply with consumer protection law.”
The CMA has now closed its investigation into these online subscription services in response to these changes. This should make things much more customer-friendly for those who only want to try NSO, or who can only afford the service for short intervals.
How do you feel about the change? Let us know in the comments.