Microsoft changes Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live subscription renewals

"Other companies offering memberships and subscriptions that auto-renew should take note"

Microsoft has announced that it will be changing the auto-renewals for Xbox Live Gold and Game Pass subscriptions.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced in a press release on the government website that it has secured improvements for Xbox online players following concerns about Microsoft’s use of auto-renewing subscriptions.

The CMA has secured undertakings with Microsoft which are designed to address these concerns. The improvements include:

  • Better upfront information: Microsoft will provide more transparent, upfront information to help customers understand their Xbox membership – making clear, for example, that the subscription will auto-renew unless the customer turns off auto-renewal; when the subscription will auto-renew; how much it will cost; and how the customer can receive a refund after an accidental renewal
  • Refunds: Microsoft will contact existing customers on recurring 12-month contracts and give them the option to end their contract and claim a pro-rata refund
  • Inactive memberships: Microsoft will also contact existing customers who haven’t used their memberships for a long time but are still paying. These customers will be reminded how to stop payments, and if they continue not to use their memberships, Microsoft will ultimately stop taking further payments.
  • Better information about price increases: Microsoft will give clearer notifications of any future price rises, and will ensure people know how to turn off auto-renewal if they don’t want to pay the higher price

These changes will give players clear information for making informed choices when signing up for an auto-renewing membership.

Michael Grenfell, executive director of enforcement at the CMA, added, “Other companies offering memberships and subscriptions that auto-renew should take note, and review their practices to ensure they comply with consumer protection law.”

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