Pro-consumer Update Now on PlayStation Plus and Nintendo Switch Online. Sony and Nintendo have decided to make changes on how they handle auto-renewing PlayStation Plus and Nintendo Switch Online subscriptions in the United Kingdoms, after some similar pro-consumer changes that were made by Microsoft earlier in the year.
Alongside an investigation by the UK’s Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) Sony and Nintendo would be rolling out alterations to the services. This would make it a lot harder for inactive subscribers to pay for the services that they do not need anymore by accident.
Pro-consumer Update Now on PlayStation Plus and Nintendo Switch Online
Sony has finally decided that they would no longer accept Payments from PlayStation Plus Members that have not used the service for a long time now. And they would remind inactive subscribers how to stop making payments for the service.
Meanwhile, Nintendo has already decided to make changes to its renewal policy. The online subscription by Nintendo is no longer sold with an auto-renewal set as the default option, preventing players from automatically taking out the monthly renewing contracts.
PlayStation Plus and Nintendo Switch Online Charges
Before, PlayStation Plus and Nintendo Switch Online would indefinitely charge their players until they decide to end their membership actively. What this means is that you might actually pay up for the service accidentally for months at a time simply because you forgot to can it.
According to the CMA, these changes would go some way to stop that from happening. And in turn, it would protect their consumers that often find it unclear whether their subscriptions automatically roll over each month. And customers that find turning of the auto-renewal process hard.
According to the CMA’s executive director of enforcement, Michael Grenfell “As a result of our investigations, a number of changes have been made across this sector to protect customers and aid in tackling concerns about auto-renewing subscriptions.”
The announcement coming today, therefore, concludes the investigation into the online video gaming sector. Companies that are in other sectors that offer subscriptions that auto-renew should review their practices in other to ensure that they comply with the consumer protection law.”
Microsoft Leads the way
This update is followed by similar changes that were made by Microsoft to its Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game pass membership earlier this year. Like Sony, Microsoft now would be reminding inactive customers how to stop their subscription payments, and eventually, stop taking payments from them if they choose to not make use of their membership.
Later, The CMA clarified to the Verge that these changes “to inactive subscriptions would initially roll out in the UK and would be made available globally soon enough”, possibly suggesting that Nintendo and Sony also would rollout their changes worldwide too.
Microsoft has been quite committed to adaption its refunds policy. The company would contact customers that have taken out recurring 12-month packages and offer them the option to end their contract. Also, they would grant a pro-rata refund for all unused months that they paid for without even realizing they did.
There is still room for improvement. PlayStation Plus and Xbox game pass users still have not been offered the option to turn off auto-renewal when they first take out a subscription. This means that they would have to manually switch it off, or rely on Microsoft and Sony’s reminders. And if you forget to ask for a refund for any inactive that you used by accident, you would get left out of pocket.