The Nintendo Switch eShop now lets you cancel a pre-ordered game, up to a week before its release.
Previously, payment was taken as soon as you pre-purchased a game. This has changed so that payment is now taken seven days before a game’s launch – at which point you can no longer cancel your pre-order.
The change does not affect pre-orders made within a week of launch (which will be charged immediately) or existing pre-orders already placed.
“Required funds will automatically be paid out of available funds at the time of payment. The expected payment date is no sooner than seven days before the product is released,” Nintendo’s updated eShop smallprint now states.
“You may cancel your pre-orders up until time of payment. You can check the product’s expected payment date by selecting Shop Menu in your Nintendo Account settings then selecting Your Pre-orders, or via Your Pre-orders under Account Information on Nintendo eShop on your device.”
The inability to cancel pre-orders made via the eShop has been branded illegal by some European consumer rights groups, and the matter has been taken to court, leading to some awkward headlines. For over two years, German and Norwegian consumer authorities have been working to get Nintendo’s eShop pre-order practices declared illegal under European law.
Ordinarily, European consumers have the right to cancel a pre-order at any time before a game’s release, but Nintendo insisted eShop users waived that right prior to any purchases by ticking a box stating, “I consent that Nintendo begins with the performance of its obligations before the cancellation period ends. I acknowledge that I thereby lose my right to cancel.”
Germany’s courts ruled in Nintendo’s favour, leading to both German and Norwegian consumer authorities filing an appeal – one which we’re still waiting to hear.