While other platforms offer returns (including games) within a certain period (Steam, for example, allows you to get your money back within 48 hours), Nintendo has a much stricter policy in this regard. The company’s website for Americas explicitly states that: “We are unable to provide refunds or exchanges for mistaken purchases.”
This is bad news, especially for those who made a mistake and bought the wrong game (or even the wrong version of the game). At a minimum, you won’t find a refund form to just fill it out and get your money back.
However, if at this point you’re ready to give up, don’t despair – there’s still a chance.
When you may need to refund a game on Nintendo
Frankly, there could be a lot of questions. From the fact, as I said above, that you can just misclick and buy the wrong title to the fact that the game might just disappoint you. Here are the most common reasons why people might apply for a refund:
- The game turned out to be uninteresting
- Accidental purchase (including buying the wrong game)
- The game didn’t meet expectations
- You want to make a refund for pre-order
While these reasons may sound frivolous, you should understand that the company’s return policy must be subject to local law. For example, in the US, there are no laws governing the returns policy, so each company is free to handle the issue in its own way.
However, in the EU, the returns policy means that you have the right to get your money back if less than 14 days have passed, including for online purchases. In the EU, according to the regulations, during this period, you can get your funds back in full and without giving a reason.
Yes, Nintendo is still reluctant to make refunds in Europe (citing that “this statutory right to cancel expires earlier for contracts for digital content that is not provided intangible media if we started after you expressly agreed that we could start our work before the end of the cancellation period, and you acknowledge that you thereby lose the right to cancel”), but the company recently lost an appeal in Germany, which found that this interpretation of the law was not correct.
Nintendo has already tweaked its policy and added instructions on how to use the right for European residents to get refunds on pre-orders.
How to refund a physical Nintendo Switch games
But let’s go back to how you can get a refund in practice (although I can’t guarantee that you will definitely get one). First, let’s talk about physical games.
If you bought the game on physical media, a lot of your ability to get a refund depends on the seller. In most cases, you can return an unopened game, but if it has been opened and used, it makes things more complicated.
Some retailers may allow you to return even such a game, while others refuse to do so, citing that you started using the product.
The best advice, in this case, is, first, don’t start playing the game if you’re not sure you need it. Secondly, contact the retailer to get information on whether you can get a refund. In doing so, be quite insistent that you want your money back.
From personal experience, I can tell you that persistence is largely the key to success. If you are clear about your position, it greatly increases your chances of getting your money back.
However, while it’s easier to return physical games, it’s more complicated when it comes to returning games you bought for the Nintendo Switch in eShop.
How to refund a Nintendo Switch game you purchased on eShop
Nintendo has consistently not offer refunds for purchases made through the eShop since the Nintendo DSi. They add a special checkbox that you absolutely must check before you make a purchase, stating that you agree to be denied your right to withdrawal.
However, as I said, Nintendo has changed their policy for people in Europe and the United Kingdom, so their policy now states that: “When you pre-order, you have a statutory right to cancel the contract within 14 days without giving any reasons.
The company did, however, keep the note that the 14 days may expire earlier for digital content, as long as you explicitly agree (by checking the appropriate box) that you forfeit the right to cancel.
It’s actually quite confusing, quite frankly. However, you still have the option of getting a refund. At the very least, there is evidence that Customer Support can give you a refund if you write a request.
For example, one user on StackExchange indicated that Customer Support made a refund, even though they indicated that it was a one-time promotion.
So, if you want to get a refund, you should write to customer support and describe your circumstances and you have a chance of getting a refund. Of course, there’s no guarantee, but it’s better to try than to sit idly by.