TECH NEWS – Both Sony and Nintendo are changing their current practice of automatically renewing subscriptions. Microsoft has previously taken similar steps.
Michael Grenfell, a senior executive at the CMA (UK Competition and Markets Authority), said:
“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.”
Following the CMA’s investigation, the two major publishers will introduce new policies on automatic renewal of subscriptions to avoid unintentional renewals.
Nintendo’s new policy is that automatic renewal will be turned off by default when subscribing to Nintendo Switch Online. Of course, those who wish to can still opt-in to auto-renew, but they will need to turn it on separately after signing up.
Sony is taking a different route. The company has pledged to notify PlayStation Plus subscribers who have not shown activity for a while and inform them how to cancel their subscription. For those who continue not to use the service but have not cancelled their subscription, Sony will not charge any additional subscription fees.
Microsoft has previously taken similar steps. Under an agreement with the CMA, it promised to make the way in which subscription information is displayed to Game Pass customers more transparent. It will also clearly describe how users can cancel their subscription and, if they are eligible, give them the option of a refund.