Prompted by a three-year investigation from government watchdog agency the Competition and Markets Authority, gaming's Big Three have all adjusted their auto-renewal policies in the United Kingdom.
At the behest of a CMA investigation started in 2019, Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo have changed subscription auto-renewal charging policies in the UK. Microsoft and Sony will no longer charge consumers indefinitely if they are not logging in and using associated services like Xbox Game Pass, Xbox LIVE, PlayStation Now, and PlayStation Plus.
Sony's policy sees the company contacting users and reminding them to turn off auto-billing, which will be manually turned off if users are inactive for 24 months.
Nintendo's adjustments were a bit different but nonetheless welcome. Nintendo Switch Online subscriptions will no longer be sold in the UK with auto-renewal turned on in an effort to prevent consumers from signing up into a committed contract from the get-go.
Microsoft's policy change includes transparency and information, optional refunds, reminders to stop auto-billing, and turning off auto-billing if users are inactive for 24 months.
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