Okay, how many of us have fallen victim to this: saying we want to cancel our subscriptions, forget about it and then be charged a large sum of money for one more year. It is a vicious circle that, unless you remember to cancel or take your card information off, would leave you with lighter pockets.
Automatic renewal has long been criticized across the industry, and back in 2019, the CMA launched a study of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo’s online subscription services. Automatic 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 update 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 sign up if they want to continue paying. Sony has also agreed to make similar changes to the PS Plus. This is welcome news for those of us who forget a 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, CEO of Enforcement at CMA, was very pleased with the announcement:
“As a result of our research, a number of changes have been made across this sector to protect customers and help address concerns about automatic subscription renewal. Today’s announcement therefore concludes our research into the online video game sector. Companies in other sectors that offerers who renew automatically should review their practices to ensure that they comply with the Consumer Protection Act. “
The CMA has now completed its study of 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 at short intervals.
How are you doing with the change? Tell us in the comments.