Report: Nintendo Will Refund And Repair Joy-Cons, No Questions Asked

Image: Kotaku/Alex Walker

Following a class action lawsuit in the United States and almost non-stop bad PR in the leadup to one of Nintendo's biggest releases of the year, the company has reportedly done an about-face on Joy-Con repairs according to a new report.

Kotaku alumni Patrick Klepek has gotten a banger of a scoop for VICE, reporting that Nintendo's customer support is being instructed to refund any users who have already paid for Joy-Con repairs, with future complaints to be dealt with no questions asked. Nintendo says in the internal note, which Klepek reportedly got a hold of, says that "customers will no longer be requested to provide proof of purchase for Joy-Con repairs".

"It is not necessary to confirm warranty status. If a customer requests a refund for a previously paid Joy-Con repair [...] confirm the prior repair and then issue a refund." The documentation tells service staff to take users through basic troubleshooting steps, but if that doesn't rectify the problem then repairs are to be issued "at no-charge".

In other words: if you've suffered from the horrific nightmare of Joy-Con drift, Nintendo isn't going to make a fuss about it.

Joy-Con Drift Is Becoming A Real Problem On The Switch

For months, Nintendo Switch users have been plagued by what’s become known as “Joy-Con drift.” Although they’re not touching the joystick on their Nintendo Switch controller, the console still thinks it’s moving. With no permanent fix being offered by Nintendo, they’re just sick of it.

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Nintendo Says JoyCon Wireless Issues Were Caused By 'Manufacturing Variation'

If you, like me and several other Kotaku staff, have run into a consistent left Switch JoyCon signal issue, don't worry: Nintendo says it isn't in fact a hardware problem, but a "manufacturing variation". The company also says to contact them for a fix if you're running into the problem.

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I've reached out to Nintendo Australia for confirmation of the new approach and what this means for Australian Switch owners. But the news couldn't come at a better time. A class action lawsuit was filed over the debacle, and the doubts around Joy-Con reliability have cast a shadow on the upcoming Switch Lite release. That wasn't helped by the vague response from Nintendo, which has supplied just the one statement to media outlets worldwide in the past week on the matter:

At Nintendo, we take great pride in creating quality products and we are continuously making improvements to them. We are aware of recent reports that some Joy-Con controllers are not responding correctly. We want our consumers to have fun with Nintendo Switch, and if anything falls short of this goal we always encourage them to visit http://support.nintendo.com so we can help.

VICE was able to get a Nintendo support staffer in the United States to immediately take care of a Joy-Con drift issue, providing a pre-paid shipping label confirming that Nintendo would be footing the bill for all repairs and shipping. The company is yet to publicly confirm the changed approach, and Kotaku Australia did not hear back from Nintendo Australia by the time of publication.

Update: Nintendo Australia responded to our queries post-publication, providing us with the same statement above that was provided to Kotaku and other media outlets earlier this week.


Comments

    Got my hopes up for nothing.

    I'd be more interested in hearing about what changes they're going to make to the hardware to prevent this happening in the first place. You'd assume they'll be making some kind of hardware improvements soon, otherwise these free repairs are going to cost them a fair bit of money over time.

      Yeah, "Send your controller in to Nintendo every few months for free," is a pretty fucking significant entry on the 'con' list.

        And I can't see that generating much 'Joy', for either party.

        This approach hasn't seemed to have affected Apple's sales of Macbooks.

      Thats the big thing... they need a solution cause the soon to be released Switch Lite joycons are built into the unit. Without a cause and resolution before release this could hurt them in another year again.

    I've had a joy con repaired for drift before, but not the L3/left joy con click button isn't working as well. I wonder if they'll also repair that for free (its out of warranty)

      Try for it. If not, wait a week and try again to see if the local stuff has been updated.

      If you send it in for repair, do they actually repair it and send the same one back to you? Or do they just send you back a reconditioned one? If it's the latter then just send it in, tell them you've got the drift problem, and presumably they'll just send you a reconditioned one anyway.

    Nintendo are going to repair them no questions asked.... After being threatened with a class action law suit.

    I love how a Nintendo fan will make this out as if they're the good guys. Have they actually fucking fixed the issue yet?

      "Hey my car's wheels keep falling off, I almost died"

      "No problem sir, Here is a free replacement of your car"

      "Have you fixed the problem with the wheels falling off?"

      "No sir, But we will keep giving you free replacements every time they fall off"

        Sounds like the good ol' Ford Pinto. Cheaper to pay out burns victims than to fix the rupturing fuel tank problen.

    No questions asked is a curious though I have never experienced the drift, I have however changed the shells on the joycons to custom ones. I wonder how "no questions asked" will effect that.

    so in other words, the free joy con fix isn't available for Australians?

    What’s the process for this? On their website all I can find is “if you think you have a warranty repair send your item to this address, you will need to pay for delivery and you may be charged if the fault is found to be yours”. Nothing about pre-paid packaging and no questions asked.
    Both my sets of joy cons have drift, and other issues I’m worried about them just deciding is my fault.

    I went on the support site and set up a repair the day after I saw this post so will update on here when I can. I was emailed a Service Request form and a Return Authority, boxed up my L & R joycons (they're both drifting) and sent it via Australia Post (didn't cost anything). I've been having the drifting issue just around the 12 month mark on the left joy-con, bought a wired then a wireless pro controller and since then the right joycon has started to drift (and that's with not using it as much since we had the other controllers). Fingers crossed!

    I’ve just gotten an email saying my repair request has been completed under warranty and it will be sent in the next 5 business days. My warranty ended in Dec 2018 so this is a good sign that they are going ahead with these joycon repairs with no issue.

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