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May 26, 2014

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My New Toy Loses Its Luster (or, Nintendo Can Choke On a Bag of Dicks)

After going out for dinner a couple weeks ago, I settled in for a quick Pokemon fix. Right about the time I was thinking I should save, the game blacked out on me. I figured that I had maybe jostled the charge cord while I played, so I left it to recharge overnight.

I got home from work the next day and booted it up. The power LED came on, but before the screens could wake up I heard the electric *thack* of a speaker shutting off. A second attempt yielded the same results, as did attempts without a game cartridge and without an SD card.

OK, this thing's pretty hosed. Probably had something pop loose off the motherboard. It's under warranty so I go to the Nintendo site to fill out a repair request. Except my request can't be processed at that time. Which means that, not only can I not do anything until after the weekend, I'll have to make a phone call to get things started.

On Monday at about noon I give them a call. The CSR I got knew what was going on, said it was a known thing that happens, and that everything would be free to me since the 3DS is under warranty. I should get an e-mail with a UPS shipping label in about two hours.

Did I mention that that was noon on Monday the 12th? Because that's relevant.

When I didn't get my e-mail (checking both inbox and spam folder) that day, I filled out a help request online the next morning. They said they'd resend the label. Great.

I got home that night and still had no label. A second call got me a CSR that explained that a system upgrade had screwed the warranty-repair pooch and that the office was processing requests manually to clear things out. Should take another 24 to 48 hours.

And on account of the problems caused by the upgrade, their completion time once they receive the device will be three weeks instead of the usual two.

I'm sure you can guess what I didn't have by Thursday night. Friday the 16th rolls around and I make another call. This CSR tells me that my request encountered an error of some kind, that he can't get any details on, and that there is nobody he can get to find anything out for me. But I'll get an e-mail from Nintendo when it's all straightened out.

DCUWCY. Or maybe GFY, who knows.

By Wednesday the 21st my patience was wearing... somewhat thin. I figured this call was doomed on account of the CSR's accent and how he assured me that this time the no-seriously-send-the-goddamn-label-already button would work. And just in case, he'd have it mailed out to me too.

Suuuuure. I hung up and started contemplating a drive to Redmond.

The label arrived in my inbox at 10:14 that night.

So on Thursday, May 22nd, I was able to take my 3DS to a Staples near work and hand it off for shipping. It's on its way to a repair place in upstate New York now, scheduled delivery on Tuesday the 27th.

Adding in 15 work days, that's a ship-back date of June 17th. Which I would presumably receive on Friday, June 20th. A mere six weeks after I first had the problem.

Had they not engaged in their "upgrade" fuckery I would have shipped on the 12th, had it arrive the 15th, two weeks to fix it is the 30th (day off for Memorial Day, remember) and get it back the 4th of June. So Nintendo has cost me two and a half weeks of play time, enough aggravation to last me a couple of months, and enough good will that I've gone from recommending their stuff to not.

Great work, guys. Top notch.

Edit, June 4: As expected, the package arrived at the repair facility on May 27th. On the 29th I got an e-mail through Nintendo's automated system that it had been received. Whether that means their system waited 48 hours before burping up that mail, or my 3DS sat on somebody's desk for two days, is yet to be determined. I have a funny feeling that it means my repair clock didn't start until then though, so now we're out to June 25th for me to get this thing back. Updates as they come.

Edit, June 6: Well, I just got an e-mail... consisting of nothing but headers.

Delivered-To: jfleshman@[REDACTED]
[Received list trimmed]
Date: Fri, 06 Jun 2014 05:41:41 -0700 (PDT)
Reply-To: [REDACTED]
To: jfleshman@[REDACTED]
Subject: PROD:Confirmation of Receipt - Nintendo Repair Order

It's something, I suppose?

Edit, June 11, 11:38 AM: Another week, another content-free e-mail from Nintendo. The subject of this one makes me hopeful, though:

Delivered-To: jfleshman@[REDACTED]
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 2014 08:23:43 -0700 (PDT)
Reply-To: [REDACTED]
To: jfleshman@[REDACTED]
Subject: PROD:Shipping Confirmation for Nintendo Repair Order

I'll give it a couple hours (or until I remember again) then check the site to see if it's actually on its way back. So maybe they got that "upgrade" shitshow figured out.

Edit, June 11, 12:28 PM: "A couple hours". Or, y'know, 50 minutes. The tracking number is so new UPS doesn't even have it in their system yet, so no ETA on delivery. I'm guessing I'll have my 3DS back in my grubby little mitts Monday night.

Edit, June 12, 9:52 AM: After I left work last night, all the information about the package went flooding into UPS. I don't know if the stars aligned or what, but it made it from upstate New York, to transfer points in Buffalo and Philadelphia, and to the local depot in Chantilly, overnight. It's on the truck for delivery now. The times are more than a little wonky -- the truck somehow made the seven-hour drive from Buffalo to Philly in 50 minutes -- but assuming UPS isn't completely making things up my 3DS should be waiting for me when I get home tonight.

And then back to the Pokeymoons!

Edit, June 12, 6:46 PM: It's here. And the label said it was next-day air, so that makes a bit more sense. I was worried because the box was a bit waterlogged from sitting in the rainstorm this afternoon, but the various layers of packing and wrapping kept it nice and dry. It's sitting on the table now, happily blinking its standby light.

Last edit, June 13: Everything worked fine. Overall I'm less annoyed with how things shook out earlier. Still annoyed, mind you, just not as much. Sending it back next-day was a nice touch, and like I said their upgrade issues seem to be resolved at this point.

Which is good because after seeing some promos for Hyrule Warriors, I may be in the market for a WiiU soon...

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This page last updated Jul 19, 2019 3:34:19 PM.