Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Disappointed with Nintendo Repair Service

My son's Nintendo DSi XL stopped reading games last week. He takes excellent care of his DS so I was surprised that we were having issues with it. So I called tech support.  I was informed that my warranty was still good and I could send it in to be repaired. The only way the repair would not be covered is if the issue was due to physical damage, like a liquid being spilled on or in it. I knew that something like that never happened, so I sent it in expecting to fall under the warranty.

This morning I received an email from Nintendo to let me know the status of my repair had been updated. I was pretty shocked to see this:

"Our repair technician has evaluated your system and determined that the cause of the problem is not covered by our warranty because it was not caused by a manufacturer's defect. Our technicians found that the game slot connector pins are bent, broken, or misaligned. This damage is the cause of the problem with your system."

Wait, what? First of all, which is it? Is the pin bent, broke or misaligned? Apparently they cannot be that specific. Once they were open, I called up Nintendo customer service again to see if I could get some clarification on this. I asked how in the world could my seven year old have damaged a pin inside the game card slot? The representative from Nintendo said he couldn't be sure, but that usually it is caused by a game card being forced in the wrong way or being shoved in too hard. I can assure you that my son did not do that because I supervise all my kids when they play video games. I explained as much to the representative - oh well for me though.

Does Nintendo really make such low quality products that they can't even last a year? My son takes excellent care of his DS system and all of the games. When they are not in use, they are neatly put away in his carrying case. I don't for a minute believe that this issue was due to "physical damage" caused by the user. I searched around on the Nintendo technical support forums and found other threads where people were having the same issue. So it seems like it is pretty common to me and therefor a manufacturing defect. The systems should be made better so that pins cannot break so easily.

So how much is this little pin (or perhaps several pins) going to set me back you ask? Well just the repair alone is $80. Once you add in shipping and tax, the total is $95. Oh but they try convincing me this is a good deal because it is 53% cheaper then buying a new system for $170. Well currently, Target and K-Mart both have the DSi XL on sale for $130 - so really not so much of a great deal then. I don't have the money just laying around, and I am beyond angry and disappointed that I have to repair such a young system. But my son is a good kid who works hard at school and doesn't deserve to lose his gaming system just because it is made poorly. So now I have to decide if I want to pay $80 to fix a used system or pay $130 for a completely new system. A K-Mart gift card I have will bring my out of pocket expense for a new one down to $80. With shipping and tax it is about 50 cents cheaper to get the new one rather than fix the old one.

So yes, I am disappointed. And angry. This is a win-win situation for Nintendo because one way or the other, they are getting $95 of my money. And I can't help but feeling like they are taking advantage of me and countless others. What happened to making quality products that would last for years?


  1. That is awful! Hope you get some sort of resolution.

  2. I had a similar issue with PlanetBox. They tried telling me that the wear on my bag was not a defect, but in fact normal wear and tear - which I knew it was not. I responded back with how unhappy I was, and that I'd be sure to let all my mommy friends with school age children know. That I'd be shopping for a new product because I wasn't giving them any more of my money, etc etc. Finally I raised enough stink that I got it replaced.

    Can you call back and ask for a manager? Demand that this has to be a manufacturer issue because you've found so many others online on their forum that have the same issues, etc?? I would keep fighting, it can't hurt to try. (Even as annoying as it is.)

  3. Im sorry this happend to you :( I have heard of MANY complaints over the years of Nintendos quality, and LACK of customer service. Take for example the original NES - The big joke is that to make the old cartridge games work you had to blow in them, then blow in the machine, then put the cartridge partially into the machine and slam it down and in at the same time. Then finally after that they would work, if they didnt you repeated that procedure until it did. Nintendo doesn't really care what we Americans think about their company, since we all still go out and buy their product...and we will continue to do so. They will be releasing a new system soon (the Wii U) and I can bet sales in America will be out of sight and people will be paying a million dollars on ebay to get their child that system for Christmas.

    1. YES, I remember doing this vividly! We even had to insert a baseball card above the game cartridge to give it a snugger fit. Sad to see that quality hasn't improved much over the years.

      This mom may be done with Nintendo. We recently got the Star Wars xBox Kinect bundle, so I think all new games we purchase will be for that and NOT our Wii.

    2. I will definitely not be paying anything for it! I think the wii we have now stinks compared to the Xbox kinect we just set up. Wish we hadn't gotten Wii in 1st place!!!

  4. I've never been a fan of Nintendo for this very reason. A huge company making money hand over fist chooses to treat their customers like this doesn't warrant your money.

  5. My son's DSi broke last year, the screen blacked out and the power light was still on. They told me (without seeing it) that it would cost me $90 to fix it. We had told them that we would not be paying that and they offered us a repair for $75, still didn't go for it. We ended up paying for a 3DS at tax time instead, it sucked to pay for a whole new system but it wasn't my son's fault it broke and I wanted him to have a game to play.

  6. I am a bit surprised to hear that. We sent my daughters back because it wouldn't charge and they sent us a new one. No charge. it was really fast too. Have you called them?
    We deal with Nintendo in Canada. I wonder if that makes a difference?

  7. I am so sorry this happened to you. I hate dealing with customer service and broken electronics. They always seem to try to get out of replacing it with some stupid excuse. Don't even get me started on what Dell put me through to fix my laptop when it was THEIR fault. I feel your pain. Ugh. I hope things are resolved soon!

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  9. Our son's Nintendo DSI XL had a shortage where the charger connects & had to be returned within a few weeks 1.5 years ago. 1 year afterwards the new one has the same problem. We bought the "extra warranty"
    At Wal Mart & were told we did not have to keep the receipt NOR register the item. When I called they said that since I did not register the item & have no receipt & did not keep receipt not register my 1 year old Nikon camera & it's zoom won't work that they will fix one or the other. We went through the "extra" insurance program to get our run around BUT APPARENTLY the DSI xl is horrible if it needs replaced or fixed 2 x within a year!!! & the wal Mart people don't know what they are talking about when they say you don't have to keep the receipt NOR register the items. One told me that the seriel # was in the system when purchased so the warranty co
    Had all they need. JUST ONE RIP OFF AFTER ANOTHER these days.

  10. I know what you mean. I haven't deal with Nintendo myself but I have noticed that the few times I have tried to collect on warranties they will often try to come up with some technicality, or it will take a lot of time and work on my part to make it happen.

  11. I believe they their warranty is a fraud ,i just purchase a lot of nintendo 3ds and find that 9 of them are not working but they were in warranty ,and guess what nintendo dont recover even a single of them every time they lie that this ie either liquid damage ,or pin broken in card slot or power port broken i think their warranty is nothing but a joke

  12. Truce, i just got the "liquid" BS response, called today, right now i got $25 off the repair, but i'm going to call again tomorrow and ask for a manager. i've had my 3ds just over a month and the circle pad won't respond and it acts like the left on the d-pad is pressed down...

  13. I bought a brand new DSi XL last November. First mini game system I have ever owned, but I have owned every Nintendo game console since 1987. I'm 32 yrs old and the only one who plays my DSi. My only child isn't even 2 yet. I own no pets. I've played it a grand total of maybe 30 times. I orginally bought it for a 9 hr plane ride, with many subsequent plane trips over a 2 month period. I still have the cheap cover, the original sales receipt, and the original box.
    Yesterday, I took it out of the game drawer. It worked fine, but it wouldn't charge. I noticed that the charger input was bent. After a few times of putting the charger in and out, a black piece fell out. I put it back in and placed some tape over it.
    I called Nintendo customer service and was told that problems like that aren't covered under the warranty because they are problems caused by the handler. He said I might have put it in wrong or bent it while pulling it out. I know I've never done any of these things. We went back and forth about replacing it. He offered me a $45 discount on the $80+ charge of fixing it and a longer warranty. I almost fell for it, but ended up declining in the end. I asked him something and he said, "you are getting a really good deal". No, I'm not getting a good deal. I'm getting screwed. I have a warranty and it's useless. I bought a brand new $200 system, treated it like gold, barely used it, and it broke in 1 yr and 1 week.
    I will never buy another Nintendo product as long as I live. I'm reminded of the warranty joke from Tommy Boy..."I can sh&* in a box and call it a warranty"...well that is what Nintendo has done, in my opinion.


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