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Germany Bans Pre-Orders Without Delivery Deadlines

The Higher Regional Court of Munich has ruled in favour of consumer protection group and has now banned pre-orders that do not include a specific release date. The case brought was in regards to the pre-order of a Samsung Galaxy S6 which was advertised as “available soon” rather than having a firm launch date.

According to heise.de (via Google Translate) “In the opinion of the judges, this indeterminate statement regarding the delivery of online goods orders violates the legal duty of information of the seller.”

There is, however, some leeway within this ruling. In particular, while “coming soon” is no longer useable, if a company is able to provide a deadline like Q4 2018, that would be sufficient to circumvent this. Should that deadline be missed, the only thing that happens is that the customer is able to get a full refund with no questions asked. That’s more troublesome for, say, housing developers or car manufacturers than it is for video games, and if no payment has been taken prior to the product’s availability, then there’s no real issues with this either. In recent times, the EU PlayStation Store has started to take payment up front for pre-orders, but while we can’t speak to German retailers, those in the UK generally take payment on dispatch.

So, “coming soon” is out, but don’t expect the pre-order culture within the games industry to change much, if at all because of this.

Source: heise.de

  1. Tomhlord
    Team TSA: Writer
    Since: Apr 2009

    Makes sense to me.

    Comment posted on 16/07/2018 at 11:55.
  2. MrYd
    Since: Mar 2011

    So can they just pick any date and use that? 19th January 2038 seems a good choice.

    Comment posted on 16/07/2018 at 12:12.
  3. sanmartinez
    Since: Jun 2009

    Most of the time they will use a date like 31 december 2018 for release dates that are not yet known. Thats how they do this in The Netherlands at least

    Comment posted on 16/07/2018 at 14:44.