Sony and Nintendo update gaming subscription auto-renewals after UK investigation

Sony and Nintendo are making changes to their gaming subscriptions in the UK after working with a regulator in the country (through Engadget† The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has expressed concerns about how people could be charged indefinitely until they proactively terminate them, which could mean paying for services they don’t use.

For PlayStation Plus: “Sony has agreed to take measures to protect customers who have not used their membership for a long time but are still paying”, the CMA said:† “Sony will contact these customers to remind them how to stop payments and, if they don’t continue using their subscriptions, Sony will eventually stop taking further payments.” We’ve reached out to Sony to see if these changes will only apply in the UK or will be extended to other countries.

The CMA “has also been in contact with Nintendo, which has changed its business practices in the course of the investigation so that Nintendo Switch Online Service will no longer be sold with automatic renewal as the default option,” the regulator said. “This means people won’t automatically renew contracts, which addresses some of the CMA’s concerns that people will get stuck.” The change will apply on the “Nintendo eShop and on the Nintendo website in all countries and regions operated by Nintendo of Europe,” the company said in a statement to The edge

Microsoft also committed to changes in January in response to CMA concerns, including contacting customers who were still paying for memberships they hadn’t used in a long time. At the time, Microsoft told The edge that it would initially roll out its changes in the UK and make them available worldwide soon.

The CMA first announced it was investigating the three companies’ automatic renewal practices in 2019† That investigation is now closed, the CMA said on Wednesday.

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