I Just Want A Nintendo 3DS That's Not Broken

Ray is a huge Nintendo fan. Which is why it hurts so much that every time he tries to get his defective 3DS replaced, they send him another one that has a different defect. The first 3DS had dead pixels, the second had deep scratches, and the top screen was sliding on the third. Now he’s on his fourth DS, and it too has troubs. The touch screen keeps slanting to a greater and greater degree. Why, Nintendo, why have you forsaken your loyal follower?

Ray writes:

March 27th was a pretty big day for gamers as Nintendo put out their 3DS. I had my worries about if the system would work for me, but upon seeing one launch day I ran right out to get one. Little did I know then that my $250 investment would haunt me for months after the fact.

A few weeks in with my system, I noticed there were some clusters of dead pixels on the system that were forming in the focal point of the 3D screen, making seeing the effect difficult. On April 24th, I put in my first repair ticket to get that system replaced. On the 6th of May, they sent it back to me, arriving half a week later. When I opened the package, the system was covered in deep scratches on top of the system, and some smaller ones on the touch screen. I called Nintendo up and explained that this was unacceptable to receive the system in such a condition. May 11th, the system was back to New York to get repaired yet again. On the 19th of May, it was repaired and sent back to me several days later with a letter of apology. This system unfortunately had a dead pixel on the screen but it was out of the way enough so that it was not an issue, and I was satisfied with my system.

June 6th, the eShop update hits at last. Giving me the ability to download Excitebike and that Pokemon 3D app for free, as well as access to 3D trailers of games, among other things. That night I played excitebike for half an hour before heading to bed, my system in mint condition and me finally feeling excited that my waiting and frustration was finally paying off at last. I placed the system on its charger to prepare itself for the next day, and I went to bed. The next morning I woke up, and my system’s top screen had begun to slide down to one side IN the system. I could not believe my eyes. I sat there measuring it out and leveling it and sure enough, the angle was getting worse as the day went on.

I called Nintendo, upset at this new development. I opted to take the replacement option where they send me a 3DS in advance, then I send them my old one. They explain that this is not an option due to my system having been repaired so many times, but eventually I got them to agree to the advance replacement on the condition that I have not purchased any games with actual money on the 3DS, as there was no way for me to recover these to the replacement 3DS without having it done at a repair center. Since I have not bought any games on the eShop, just the free software, I was allowed to do the advance replacement.

My hope was that I would have a working 3DS at long last in time for the weekend, as the long awaited Legend of Zelda 3DS remake is hitting. Nintendo shipped me my replacement 3DS on June 9th, with 2 day shipping though it hit during the weekend so I got my system in on monday. When I opened the box the system appeared to have arrived in one piece, but then I noticed that the touch screen had been slanted sideways. It was only slightly at first, so I decided to see if it would get any worse over time. It began to slide a slight bit more, however it wasn’t until Monday night when I would understand that this system was not an acceptable replacement.

paperworkandboxes.jpgThe view of the paperwork and boxes from all the shipping back and forth.

I was playing Excitebike again, just tinkering with it as something to pass the time with. I set my system down on the desk and went to get a glass of water, and upon my return the top screen had a weird VHS tracking bug like visual artifact all along the top row. It was freaking out and acting like it was trying to be 3D even though the screen was on 2D mode. I went to bed extremely disappointed, and in the morning that is when I decided to contact you, the consumerist. I have enclosed a picture the recent “VHS” glitch, though it has gone away since it came back briefly as I was writing this. I can also send pictures of the other system with the tilted top screen, and scan any of the paperwork if needed. I have two weeks to return my old system from today. I would appreciate any help as soon as you can offer it!

- Ray

Send it back for yet another replacement and cross your fingers? Nintendo usually takes really good care of its customers so if you escalate this letter above just the basic customer service return level you might get them to send you a 3DS that has been checked out by a human who cares rather than just grabbing a random one from the box o’ 3DS’s.