It’s not so much a change in the refund policy as a change in the ordering procedure
In a nutshell: Nintendo Switch owners can now cancel games they have pre-ordered. Today the company announced on its Japan website that users have until seven days before the game launches to change their mind and cancel the order. TechSpot has confirmed that the changes also apply to the US and other western regions.
It used to be that Nintendo charged consumers immediately for pre-ordered titles. According to its “all-sales-are-final” policy, that meant too bad if you changed your mind about a game.
All sales are still final, but now Nintendo will not charge pre-orders until a week before the game’s release date. This procedural update gives players a fair window to withdraw their orders if they decide the title is not for them.
“A pre-order can only be canceled if it is 7 days or longer before the game’s release.”
To cancel a pre-order, users merely sign in to their account from either their Switch or a browser. In their Account Information tab, there should be a “Your Pre-Orders” section. The transaction should be listed here with an option to cancel as long as it is at least seven days before the game’s launch.
The policy/procedural change comes at an interesting time. A two-year legal battle with Norwegian and German authorities over this very issue ended with a Nintendo victory at the beginning of this year. The courts sided with the company’s no-refunds policy. The plaintiffs have appealed the decision, but it is unclear if Nintendo’s actions had anything to do with the legal wrangling. Regardless, the matter is as good as settled with the change and the case will likely be dropped.