Microsoft will finally stop billing for dormant Xbox Live Gold and Game Pass subscriptions
If you have a dormant Xbox Live Gold or Game Pass subscription and forgot to cancel your membership, Microsoft can save you some money. Well, at least if you’re in the UK now.
The company has announced the new measure under a voluntary agreement with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The CMA has been actively investigating auto-renewing subscriptions across all major gaming platforms since 2019, but neither Sony nor Nintendo have publicly committed to any changes to their services.
Microsoft will start reaching out to those who subscribe to Xbox Live Gold or Game Pass and haven’t used the service for at least a year. It will inform customers how to opt out of future payments, and those who continue to pay but don’t use their subscription for another full year (24 months in total) will have their service automatically cancelled.
In addition to these changes, Microsoft has also agreed to provide better information about auto-renewing subscriptions, including clearer details about how often to re-renew the service and how to get refunds for unexpected renewals.
The CMA seems pleased with Microsoft’s decision and hopes other companies will follow suit. “Other companies offering auto-renewing memberships and subscriptions should take note and review their practices to ensure they comply with consumer protection laws,” Michael Grenfell, executive director of enforcement, shared in a statement on the matter.
Microsoft’s consumer-friendly changes will be applied in the UK first, but the company told The Verge that it will start rolling out globally sometime in the near future.
Popular streaming service Netflix made similar adjustments back in 2020. With Microsoft on board, we’re likely to start seeing more companies adopting this type of protection.
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