Report: Nintendo Now Repairing Broken Switch Joy-Cons for Free, Will Refund Prior Repairs

A new report suggests Nintendo is now repairing Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers suffering from the “drifting” issue, entirely for free.

The new report (via VICE) claims to have obtained a Nintendo internal memo, stating that Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons must be repaired for free, even if it is no longer under warranty.

The alleged memo was sent to Nintendo customer service representatives, stating “the company will no longer charge customers seeking Joy-Con repairs, and refund those who’ve already paid” and repairs are to be offered at “at no-charge” as VICE Games claims. This is all after customer service has been through troubleshooting steps with consumers to ensure there really is a fault.

“Customers will no longer be requested to provide proof of purchase for Joy-Con repairs. Additionally 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.”

VICE Games states their source is “familiar with Nintendo’s updated customer support documentation.” Suffice to say, they only offered to speak under anonymity. VICE Games attempted to approach Nintendo for comment, but the response seemed more general, with VICE Games stating it was “the same statement it released to various publications over the weekend.”

“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 so we can help.”

Their article continues, stating “if someone previously paid for Joy-Con repairs […] they can be issued a refund.” However, no information was offered on when this offer extends to, or if proof of paying for a repair would be required.

If true, this is all likely in response to the class action lawsuit taken against Nintendo for the Joy-Con “drifting” issue. The alleged document is said to not mention the issue, only stating there have been “recent reports,” and that it is likely to generate a lot of questions. “We want to quickly handle these questions to restore consumers smiles.”

The alleged document also discuss common questions to representatives related to the Joy-Con, including the lawsuit. It allegedly states “We have nothing to announce on this topic.”. It also allegedly attempts to calm any concerns consumers may have over the upcoming Switch Lite, stating “We expect our hardware to perform as designed.”

Vice Games own podcast producer Ricardo “Cado” Contreras decided to test if the new policy was true. Despite some initial troubleshooting, Contreras did get his Joy-Con repaired

“We asked Cado to call up Nintendo customer support, given what we know now, and see how it went. On the first call, he was told to update the firmware of his Joy-Con controllers. After installing the update and going through a calibration process, he was told to call back if the Joy-Con Drift issue returned. It did, of course, only minutes later.

On the second call, the representative gave no pushback, and immediately offered a pre-paid shipping label, meaning the cost of shipping and repairing would be taken care of by Nintendo.”

While we have no confirmation if this documentation is legitimate, we are unsure if this offer extends outside of the US. We will keep you informed as we learn more.


Ryan was a former Niche Gamer contributor.

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