The Government Is Investigating The Fairness Of Xbox Live, PSN, And Switch Online
The UK government has started an investigation into Xbox Live, PSN and Switch Online to decide whether the online services are fair for consumers.
The Competition and Markets Authority is looking into a number of aspects of the services, including price hikes, the number of games you receive as part of your subscription, the auto-renewal of contracts, and how the companies deal with refunds and cancellations."The Competition and Markets Authority is concerned about whether some of these companies' business practices are legal," the Government wrote in a statement. "The CMA has written to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation and Xbox requesting information about their online gaming contracts to help better understand their practices."
The CMA is also asking people to get in touch to share their experiences with the services.
"At this early stage, the CMA has not reached a view as to whether or not companies have broken consumer protection law," the Government makes clear. "However, if the CMA thinks the companies' practices are misleading or their terms are unfair, such that they are breaking consumer protection law, it could take enforcement action."
"Roll-over contracts are becoming more and more commonplace and its essential that they work well for customers," chief executive of the CMA Andrea Coscelli said. "Our investigation will look into whether the biggest online gaming companies are being fair with their customers when they automatically renew their contracts, and whether people can easily cancel or get a refund."
This announcement by the CMA follows a string of recent changes to the services. Microsoft announced that it was increasing the price of Xbox Live Gold and Sony issued a similar price hike last year. Also, Sony recently reduced the numbers of games included for PlayStation Plus members, from four games to two.