Accused for years of “programmed obsolescence” on its Joy-Con, Nintendo now faces a complaint lodged with the European Commission for the premature failures observed on the controllers of the Switch … a complaint brought by the testimonies of a few 25,000 consumers.
The UFC Que Chooser had filed a complaint in September against Nintendo France for the recurring failures observed on the Joy-Con of the Switch, but it is now at a European level that the Japanese giant will have to explain: the European Bureau of Consumers Unions (BEUC) has indeed triggered the “external alert” mechanism, explains the UFC in a press release. Initiated for “deceptive, aggressive and unfair business practices», This protocol will allow the opening of a European investigation into the breakdowns observed on the Joy-Con. It should also force Nintendo to answer for these failures before the European Commission.
This action comes after UFC Choose gave notice to Nintendo to offer a free repair of the Joy-Con last November. The French association for the defense of consumers had also proposed a guide allowing this type of complaint, based on legal springs very often unknown to the general public. A guide accessible at the bottom of this press release.
Nintendo soon confronted with European authorities, but not only …
As explained by UFC Que Choisir, not content to bring the complaint to the European Commission, the external alert mechanism also extends to national consumer authorities. For France, the DGCCRF (Directorate General for Competition, Consumption and Fraud Control) will therefore be seized, with the consequences that this should represent for Nintendo.
In 88% of cases, consumers testified that their Nintendo Switch controllers broke within 2 years🎮. This is why BEUC and 9 of its members are launching a complaint against Nintendo for premature obsolescence and misleading omissions of key consumer info: https://t.co/5WCQyRaivB pic.twitter.com/zEcMvg2Q2V
— The Consumer Voice (@beuc) January 27, 2021
It should be noted that these measures are not superfluous, since 2017 and the launch of the Switch, players have reported recurring problems with the Joy-Con. Failures are often related to an issue dubbed “Joy-Con drift,” which triggers unsolicited in-game actions due to false positives. An issue for which Nintendo has already apologized. But as we explained this summer, these excuses had not been coupled with any convincing solution for the users concerned.
All the work carried out by the UFC Que Choisir and other consumer associations in Europe will therefore have been to gather testimonies to put pressure on Nintendo and trigger a unified and concerted action. In France, 9,100 testimonies have been filed at this time (it is always possible to do it at this address), against nearly 25,000 in Europe thanks to appeals from Belgian, Dutch, Portuguese, Italian, Norwegian, Slovak, Slovenian and Greek consumer associations, all members of BEUC.