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Can you refund games on the Nintendo Switch?

C’mon Nintendo, this is dirty.

nintendo switch on table
Image: Unsplash

In this age of games going platinum before they’ve even been released, it’s good to know that most of the video game storefronts have a fairly liberal refund policy. I mean, you’re buying something sight unseen, before review embargoes lift, as a product, based on pre-release footage and sizzle reels. Anyone buying a car under those kinds of conditions would be wary, and you should be as a gamer.

If you bought a Nintendo Switch game as a physical product, then you could just take it back to the store. Consumer rights and all that jazz would have you with your cash in seconds, and the store left holding the bag with the game you didn’t like/was trash/didn’t work/etc.

So, what about Nintendo’s eShop? Can you return games you bought digitally, like you can on any other console or digital storefront?

So, can you refund games on the Nintendo Switch for any reason?

Short answer: No

See, Nintendo has a blanket “no” when anyone asks for a refund of a downloaded game, DLC, or in-game purchase. The company says they’re “unable to provide refunds or exchanges” which doesn’t exactly sound legal to me. Let’s face it, Nintendo is a huge company, not a business running off a trestle table in the car park behind the local Seven-Eleven.

The Norwegian Consumer Council reported Nintendo of Europe to the German authorities in 2018 for just this anti-consumer practice, and the courts ruled in Nintendo’s favor. The case is still ongoing though, as the ruling was appealed by both the German Federation of German Consumer Organizations and the Norwegian Consumer Council. Don’t expect this to be resolved anytime soon, as both parties have stated their intention to take this to the EU courts if the German ones still disagree.

While you’re here, go enter our giveaway and you might win your own Nintendo Switch console.

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