In the case of long-distance sales contracts, which include contracts that end online, consumers generally have the right to a 14-day refund. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, for example, when a product is available immediately upon purchase, as is usually the case with downloads. For example, Nintendo has waived the right to withdraw from its e-stores – but only if it is a pre-order placed before the game’s release date. However, there is no game until the release date in the download provided, and it was only activated by the update of the official release date.
Nintendo relies on the exception
Nintendo considered the exception rule applicable here and excludes the right to withdraw. Of Federal Association of Consumers (vbzb) He took action against it and filed a restraining order in the Regional Court in Frankfurt, Maine. He submitted that the exemption does not apply here as the game is not yet available directly to buyers. The deal on Nintendo’s behalf has not yet been executed, so the customer should have been given the right to withdraw. Following an appeal by the Consumer Advisory Center, the district court dismissed the action in the first instance. Before the High Court in Frankfurt, Judge Nintendo recommended that the injunction be upheld. Nintendo agreed, and the Consumer Association’s complaint was fully upheld.
This ruling formally applies only to Norwegian consumers
The move follows a complaint by Forbrukerrådet, a Norwegian consumer organization. It has already criticized Nintendo’s approach in 2018. However, Nintendo Frankfurt, Europe’s store manager, is in Maine, so the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection appointed the Federal Association of Consumers to enforce the law following an enforcement request by the Norwegian Consumer Commission (NCA).
Formally, the ruling applies only to Norwegian consumers, but the legal situation in Norway is similar to that in EU member states. Nintendo has now replaced both the German and Norwegian version of its store.
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