Please see the previous edit underneath this post to see the original post, with story and context and a great platter of controversy.
After probably about 6 cumulative hours complaining to various representatives from UK, US, and for some reason Danish (?) Nintendo support, I have pulled off the impossible. I have managed to get a refund from Nintendo for a digital purchase.
Please read the previous edits if you're interested in why I wanted a refund, otherwise continue here. This will hopefully serve as a guide to help the good people here do the same if ever they should feel the need to. I also hope the discussion we've started about consumer-friendly returns policy can develop a bit more here in light of this.
It took a long while, but in 3-5 business days i'll have the money back and i'll send it straight back for some online Mario Kart goodness. Feel very free to recommend alternatives but they *must* be playable online. I have a few scars with respect to my perception of Nintendo. I know that many people would have given up long before they got what they deserved, and the time we could have spent playing was instead wasted phoning an employee called Rasmus. Some of the most egregious practises, like not being able to cancel preorders, need to be gone and buried, and here's hoping that all platforms reach the standard that Steam, Epic Games and Win Store/Xbox set.
So there you have it. The Gold standard is here: https://www.epicgames.com/site/en-US/store-refund-policy
You can even get a refund there to benefit from a sale or if the game becomes free.
How to get a refund
1. Make a regular refund request.
2. Be rejected and be told something like "no refunds once activated".
3. Push a bit more and you'll be told more specifically that there are no refunds except in cases where the game is faulty.
4. Claim that the game is faulty (doesn't matter what you say, it's not her job to decide):
5. Be referred from the Nintendo Store to the Nintendo eShop. These are the guys (?) that make the decision, so don't be an arsehole in this next email. I didn't hear back from them for 3 days, and still haven't. They aren't the sociable types it seems. I don't think they get emails very often.
6. Wait. Relax. Vent on an online forum. Don't launch the game. Make sure it stays at 3 mins or however long you had it running for before you realised it wasn't what you wanted.
7. Notice that the game has been removed from the "redownload" section of the switch eShop. Contact the store again (who actually have a customer support team) to confirm that your refund is ready.
I can't comment as to whether it's possible to go straight to the email. The Nintendo Store is the party which issues the refund, but the eShop is the party which takes the decision of whether to issue it or not in light of the one valid reason - "faultiness".
Some other things I did which I don't think were effective at all:
1. Opened a ticket to return the console and a second ticket to have some incredibly minor stick drift repaired. I was gonna have fun fixing it myself, but not anymore while its still under warranty.
2. Phoned the corporate parent of the UK store - the European store. I had a lovely chat with a Rasmus and an Astrid. They answered in Danish but spoke incredible English too. The guy even said "it sucks, man", and that although he gets some games free from the company, he couldn't get a refund for Wolfenstein New Collossus even though it ran hot and blurry. They had the authority to access my case but were still bound by the same T&C's and the same awful returns policy.
3. Phoning the US store. Apart from some nice complements about my "British" (smh) accent, she was actually quite rude. She did say however, that they don't offer refunds because "people are trying to get free games", "confused parents wanting free games". She also went on a bizarre tirade about parenting. Very strange.
4. Leaving a bad review for NSMBUD. "0 stars, no multiplayer at all with Switch lite" (Don't worry, I've removed it now).