Changes to Xbox Game Pass as well as Xbox Live Gold are being implemented as a result of the UK CMA. Microsoft will even close unused subscriptions as a result of the changes, making it easier for customers to keep track of their subscriptions.
Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass subscribers will soon see a change in billing methods, thanks to a complaint filed by the UK’s competition watchdog (CMA). The CMA, the UK’s regulatory body, has announced that it ‘has secured undertakings with Microsoft’ to prevent unintended renewals of both subscription services.
Microsoft Changing Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass subscription services
The CMA found several issues, including both subscription services on the GOV.UK website. In response to this criticism, Microsoft has started to allow the following changes.
Greater transparency: Microsoft will make it clearer upfront what Xbox membership entails and how it will auto-renew if a customer does not turn off auto-renewal; when it will do so; how it will charge; and also how the customer can get a refund if an accidental renewal occurs. According to the company, existing customers with recurring 12-month contracts will be contacted by Microsoft with the possibility to end their contracts and claim a pro-rata refund.
Microsoft would also contact current customers who haven’t used their memberships in a long period of time and are still paying for them. Microsoft will stop accepting payments from these customers if they do not use their memberships after being reminded about how to stop them.
Microsoft will provide clearer warnings of price increases and make it easier for customers to cancel auto-renewal if they don’t need to pay the higher price.
Microsoft is changing its own Xbox Live Gold but also Xbox Game Pass services worldwide, despite the fact that the CMA only governs the UK. Although these changes will initially only affect UK subscriptions, they are expected to spread to other markets in the near future. As a side note, the CMA hopes that other companies will follow Microsoft’s lead and ensure that they adhere to English rather than Welsh consumer laws. However, it’s unclear how many people will do so voluntarily.