PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch online services under investigation by UK watchdog (Pic: Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo)
Whether its the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live, or Nintendos fledgeling online service, chances are youve been served with an e-mail informing you that your online subscription has been auto-renewed.
These notices can come out of the blue and are usually made all the more frustrating when there are savings to be had purchasing membership cards for these online services through third parties.
It's something which frankly, most if not all game console owning players will experience at some stage or another.
But now it's become a big enough issue to attract the attention of the UKs Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) who will be launching an investigation into all three console giants – Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo.
The official investigation report reads:
“The CMA is concerned about whether some of these companies business practices are legal, such as their use of auto-renewals for online gaming contracts, their cancellation and refund policies and their terms and conditions.”
"The independent watchdog has already reached out to each of three platform holders and is also asking PlayStation Network, Xbox Live, and Nintendo Switch Online users to get in touch with their own experiences of these services." continues the report.
"One part of the investigation will focus on the aforementioned auto-renewal processes in place. This probe will look into whether customers are told up-front that theyre signing up for a rolling contract, as well as how regularly active users are reminded about their auto-renewal."
Another factor being considered is how easy these services can be cancelled and whether users can obtain a refund.
Finally, the CMA will study the fairness of the contract terms between PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, and their customers.
This includes price increases as well as changes to what each service is offering in terms of quality.
Microsoft recently announced that next month it will be increasing the cost of its Xbox Live subscription here in the UK due to “changing market conditions”.
A price hike of 25% across all membership plans wRead More – Source[contf] [contfnew]