Nintendo Reportedly Offering Free Joy-Con Repair After Policy Change

A leaked internal memo suggests Nintendo is offering free Joy-Con repair and shipping if standard troubleshooting doesn't fix the issue.

Since a class-action lawsuit was announced against Nintendo last week regarding Joy-Con drift, there's reportedly been a large enough response from users to warrant an internal policy change at Nintendo Support.

Joy-Con repairs will now be free, with no warranty or proof of purchase information required. Nintendo has allegedly informed its support representatives to provide a pre-paid shipping label for consumers needing Joy-Con repair. Those who've had repair work done can submit refund requests as well.

Given reports that suggested repairs themselves cost $40 before shipping — half the price of a new Joy-Con pair — that's a substantial policy change.

The news comes from an internal memo sent to Vice by a "source familiar with Nintendo's updated customer report documentation." While Vice credits Kotaku's report on the drift problem with prompting this action, and The Verge originally reached out for a statement from Nintendo, Vice's source doesn't discuss a cause one way or the other.

In other words, it could be a change prompted by the lawsuit or by consumer reactions — or, because this is Nintendo, something else entirely.

Earlier, we reported on another change to Nintendo Support, as the company made Joy-Con troubleshooting the Support page's main focal point. Now, according to Vice's internal memo, support reps are instructed to walk the caller through standard Joy-Con troubleshooting procedures, including updating the controllers' firmware and ask them to call back if it doesn't fix the issue.

During the second call, if the issue persists, reps are to request the caller send their Joy-Con in for repair, no questions asked.

This same policy memo also provided two standard responses relating to questions about the Nintendo Switch Lite's controller performance and the company's response to the current lawsuit. For the former, the response is that the company expects no performance issues, and the latter is the usual "nothing to announce on this topic."


Josh Broadwell started gaming in the early '90s. But it wasn't until 2017 he started writing about them, after finishing two history degrees and deciding a career in academia just wasn't the best way forward. You'll usually find him playing RPGs, strategy games, or platformers, but he's up for almost anything that seems interesting.

Platforms Nintendo Switch
Published Jul. 24th 2019

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