Nintendo‘s Japanese arm has implemented a new policy in which its repairs staff can refuse to fix or replace a product if the customer who submitted it behaves in an abusive manner.
As reported by Kyodo News, the company changed its repairs page in October to add new rules for players who submit faulty hardware for repair.
“When making an enquiry about a repaired product, please refrain from using any actions (including but not limited to those listed below) that go beyond what is socially acceptable as a means of fulfilling your request,” the site now reads.
“If we deem that any of these actions have taken place, we may refuse to replace or repair the product. Furthermore, if the Company deems the conduct to be malicious, it will contact the police, a lawyer, etc. and take the appropriate action.”
According to the site, actions that could make Nintendo refuse to repair a product include:
- intimidation or threats
- insulting or denigrating remarks
- invasion of privacy
- excessive demands, such as for a free repair when the warranty has expired
- demanding an apology from Nintendo or its staff without reasonable cause
- excessively repeating the same request or complaint
- defamatory comments on social networks or websites
A PR at Nintendo told Kyodo News: “We made the decision after concluding our customers would understand because of the reputation we have built of faithfully responding to them.”
According to Kyodo News’ report, there is no law against customers harassing staff in Japan, but some companies have been incorporating anti-harassment rules into its terms and conditions.
Nintendo’s move was praised by an official at Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, who said: “Some corporations have started taking a resolute stance against the issue, which is effective.”
Kansai University social psychology professor Hiromi Ikeuchi added: “In recent years, posts on social media have made visible the harassment various industries are exposed to, and consumer attitudes are also changing.
“As a result, Nintendo has successfully kept with the times by making a decision that society was ready to accept.”