Most games tend to get announced months (and sometimes even years) before they actually release. As that fateful launch day draws ever closer, fans wait with bated breath to gain access to their shiny new treasure. Thus, many decide to drop some dough on a pre-order in an effort to secure their spot of being one of the first to experience a newly-released game. But, seeing that pre-orders tend to go live weeks in advance, that leaves room for minds to change. Sometimes, a previously excited customer for various reasons may become uninterested in a game. Seeing that the title hasn’t released yet, one would think that canceling that order should be easy. Well, Nintendo doesn’t think consumers should have that option at all.
Over in Europe, the court system has recently ruled in favor of Nintendo on its policy to not allow refunds for digital pre-orders made through the Nintendo eShop. Both Germany and Norway took the company to court over not giving its customers the ability to cancel the orders, but, Nintendo managed to argue its case well enough to persuade the judge to continue letting it enforce this policy.
With this being the case, that means the only way to continue having total access over your money is to simply not pre-order from the eShop, or if you do, only do it when you know for sure that you want an upcoming game. Alternatively, you should consider pre-ordering from other marketplaces if that’s possible for you.
When it comes to refunds, the eShop doesn’t even allow it for games that have been released. Unlike similar services, such as Steam, all sales are final on the eShop.