Break Tiny Part Of Logitech Gaming Wheel, Throw The Whole Thing Out

Here’s the problem with gadgets made of tiny pieces of plastic: tiny pieces of plastic break. They fall off and disappear. Their absence means that those gadgets no longer work Nikeros owns the Logitech G-27 racing wheel, a cool-looking gaming accessory that
currently retails for more than $200. A small part of the wheel broke, rendering the whole thing unusable. Figuring that the part would be easily replaced, he checked with Logitech for a parts list. There are no extra parts for sale to consumers: it’s buy a new wheel, or nothing.

It was said that for want of a nail the shoe, then the horse and subsequently the war was lost. For me a $2 piece of plastic was lost, and now I have a perfectly good Logitech G-27 gaming wheel that will not function. A small plastic disk which attaches the wheel to the driving unit mechanism broke, so I went to the Logitech website hoping to find a parts list. Wrong! No such list exists.

I then called tech support and after waiting on hold for 45 minutes the tech rep came on and in the typical corporate tone (do all corporations operate from the same script written by a failed TV Soap writer?) informed me that they don’t have any parts for the wheel. Yes, they still manufacture the wheel, but they won’t sell me the part.

Then, in a tone of voice suggesting that he was referring to the passing of my mother, he asked me if there was anything else the company could do to ease my pain. I had a few ideas on the subject, but I refrained from vocalizing them. So now I’m left with a useless piece of junk. Maybe I can fashion a horseshoe out of it.

That would only work for playing an incredibly boring PC game about horseshoes that doesn’t require a functional controller. You could always use the wheel to train backseat drivers (see: Simpson, Maggie.) Which isn’t very fun. The reason why this story caught our attention is that when a story about Logitech shows up in the Consumerist mailbox, it’s positive. Calling to inquire about replacement parts or out-of-warranty repair usually earns customers a free replacement thingy from Logitech. Let’s reminisce:

Granted, it’s not always sunshine and puppies when dealing with Logitech. One reader’s replacement remote came only after launching an executive e-mail carpet bomb, but the item was well out of warranty. Another used Twitter to catch the company’s attention while the product was still in warranty.

Nikeros didn’t say how old his wheel is, or its warranty status. The product has been on the market for a few years now, so his could be well out of warranty. Check likely forums to see whether other customers have experienced the same problem and found clever solutions to it. Otherwise, the EECB and Twitter methods mentioned in the last paragraph are a good place to start.

Comments

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  1. Mordac says:

    I’ve had good experience with Logitech on my wireless MX Laser mouse. I needed a new power supply and they sent a whole new mouse (full retail box). All I wanted to do was order a new power supply but they don’t sell parts (as noted in the post).

    • HotAirConsumer says:

      Same here for my MX mouse (best mouse I ever used). My hyper fast scroll wheel was jumpy with a phantom movement so I contacted them. The mouse is under warranty and they quickly sent a new retail package. I was told not to return the old one.

      I am sure for OP this is a case of out of warranty. But then again, he isn’t asking for a new device, just a replacement plastic pay to fix himself.

      • Velkyr says:

        He is most likely out of warranty. It comes with a 1 year warranty (Note: We secretly add on 9 months to the warranty because we used to be awesome like that). Even if he lied about his PID to make it look like it was in warranty, the warehouse would still check it. The only time lying about PID’s works is when it’s a product under $100.

    • neilb says:

      I can one-up that. I had an MX revolution that was replaced under warranty because I used it 8 hours a day for a year an wore out the left click button. I got a new-in-box Performance MX.
      I wore the replacement mouse out and called 3 days before the original warranty on the MX Revolution (yeah, the first one) wore out. I got a SECOND new MX Revolution. I got 3 mice for the price of one, and with a different company and poorer warranty, I may have gotten only one mouse.
      I love that they don’t require you to send in the old ones. It is a hassle.
      What has that great customer service yielded Logitech?
      I have two MX1000s (given to family), one MX revolution, and two Performance MXs (I made work buy me one and the other is on a secondary computer). 2 Logitech webcams, many more Logitech mice throughout the years that are corded. Man, I love Logitech. I hope this never changes.
      OP, you might ask politely for them to send you the part. I would be AMAZED if they said no. If your wheel is under warranty, then they might send you a whole new wheel in retail packaging!

      • nXt says:

        Exact same thing happened to me with the exact same products. MX Revolution left click sticking, Performance MX new replacement. Too bad the Performance MX sucks. I ended up eBay’ing it and buying the G700. This mouse is incredible, it’s the proper upgrade to the MX Revolution!

    • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

      I had the same thing with my Logitech M500. The mouse was 3 years old and I no longer had the receipt, but they worked with me anyway, had me send a picture and then ship them the mouse. They sent me a brand-new M620 since the M500 is no longer produced. Although, the mouse did have a 5 year warranty.

  2. Torgonius wants an edit button says:

    Age of the product and warranty status are kind of the lynchpins here. This article is pretty much useless without them.

    • Back to waiting, but I did get a cute dragon ear cuff says:

      From the fine summary:

      Nikeros didn’t say how old his wheel is, or its warranty status.

      However, the summary implies (and Logitech’s website confirms) that this is still a current product and retails for $299 from Logitech direct. He is not looking for warranty replacement, he wants to buy a small part for a currently in production item.

      • Torgonius wants an edit button says:

        Yes, we don’t know if it’s in or out of warranty. That’s pretty key.

        If it’s in warranty, then Logitech should be replacing or repairing for him. If it’s out of warranty, then he needs to do a little work to find the part. It’s be super awesome if he could buy the part form Logitech, but that’s not how they are set up. They don’t need to be. And just calling someone and asking for the part isn’t exactly easy, given that most likely the phone bank and the parts warehouse may not be on the same continent.

        • Velkyr says:

          Logitech doesn’t do repairs. It’s a straight exchange, and pretty easy to go through all things considered.

          And contrary to what some believe, we don’t “have a bin of these parts sitting around”. When defectives are brought in, they are stripped and sent to the factories, or destroyed if they can’t be used. All the electronic portions are destroyed.

          As for his warranty status, based on anecdotal evidence, i’m going to say he’s not in warranty. 99% of my G27 calls were from people who are out of warranty (Based off PID + 9 month grace period). The other 1% is between people saying they bought it on eBay (Which means automatically we don’t honor the warranty) and those who purchased it recently and received a lemon.

      • Here to ruin your groove says:

        We’re still talking about an item that has been out since around 2009. Parts can change while model number stays the same.

  3. Here to ruin your groove says:

    Logitech has always been good to me even out of warranty. Most recent I had a fancy G5 mouse that was a couple of years old die on me, and they only asked for a picture of the mouse and what exactly was wrong with it. Sent me a brand new one in box.

    Anyway, have you looked on eBay for a “just for parts” gaming wheel? You may have luck with that.

  4. Lethe says:

    I can see that the good publicity they’ve had in the past is turning out to hurt them.

    People read about Logitech giving away free (essentially) replacements with few questions asked.
    They contact Logitech to get some for themselves. Logitech’s expenses rise, and they implement policies to reduce warranty replacements. So long, great customer service. Thanks scammers!

    • GoodBytes says:

      That is why we can never have nice stuff.

    • Velkyr says:

      No, they are controlling costs by outsourcing their call centers. I was being paid $11.50/h to do RMA’s for Logitech. They outsourced elsewhere so they could pay less.

  5. Murph1908 says:

    1. This isn’t a customer trying to scam a company. He’s not requesting a full replacement of the controller, just one small part that’s useless by itself.

    2. The part probably costs less than 10 cents to manufacture, and there’s probably a bin of them sitting where these things are put together.

    3. A stamp costs 45 cents.

    So for less than a buck, and the time it takes for a supervisor to grab a piece and shove it into an envelope, Logitech could make a customer who buys expensive gaming accessories happy, and get some good press.

    • Here to ruin your groove says:

      There would be no press if they sent him the part.

      Also, where do you think Logitech manufactures and boxes their products?

      • Here to ruin your groove says:

        Hit submit early by accident. But really, this isn’t a diner where to get an extra tomato you simply just walk to the back and grab a slice from a tub.

    • Torgonius wants an edit button says:

      The person he’s talking to on the phone could be anywhere in the world, and the wondrous bin of parts is probably in some warehouse in China, thousands of miles away.

      The phone person very likely has no easy, direct way of reaching a warehouse worker.

      Yes, it would be nice if Logitech (or any company) made it easy to get replacement parts, but that does nothing to help the situation now. And not knowing the age or warranty status of the controller means we don’t know what Logitech should do here.

    • bsh0544 says:

      You know if they manufacture overseas (and I’d bet my shoes they do) that bin of plastic parts is not only literally on the other side of the planet, but it’s also in a controlled inventory, and even if you could get them to pull one part and ship it to you (at Logitech, who would then have to ship it back out to the customer) it sure wouldn’t cost less than a buck. More likely to get the part they’d have to request 100 or 1000 pieces, and then they’d be stuck with the remainder sitting somewhere at some US Logitech facility being useless.

      I know it sounds insane, but when you factor in the relatively expensive time US employees have to spend touching parts and coordinating shipments with production, it’s probably cheaper to just send a new $50 mouse from a US distribution center than to get a replacement part. Now, a $200 wheel? I don’t know. It might be closer than you’d think.

      • Worstdaysinceyesterday says:

        A missing part of their process is to have replacement stock on hand in the country of sale, not the country of origin.

        • rugman11 says:

          Why would they keep random parts (which they have to pay for) sitting in a random warehouse (which they have to pay for) earning no money, when their standard practice for warranties, apparently, is just to replace the item?

    • Murph1908 says:

      Yeah, I stupidly based part of the comment on the facility being in the US.

      But the basis of it is still valid, I believe. These things probably roll on the floor and get stepped on, occasionaly.

      And there would be press about it. Laura gave examples of stories we’ve see about Logitech service.

      • Here to ruin your groove says:

        “But the basis of it is still valid, I believe. These things probably roll on the floor and get stepped on, occasionaly. “

        What? So because they get stepped on they should be available for a manager to stick in an envelope and mail it out?

        Also, this blog is 90% complaints/whining, 9% random news/politics, 1% (or less) praise. If he got what he wanted I doubt he would have written in.

  6. josephpr says:

    See, there are tradeoffs in the modern world.

    Manufacturing is contracted out to the other side of the world, and maintaining a supply/distribution system for replacement parts is probably just not cost effective for something like this. Who is this supervisor with a supply of parts in his desk drawer (or a stamp, for that matter)?

  7. longfeltwant says:

    Look online for a person with a 3D printer willing to do you a favor.

  8. Lt. Coke says:

    I have a Logitech G930. You can actually order some parts for it (the battery, the wireless stick, etc). It’s weird, Logitech picks and chooses certain products to sell parts for, expensively.

  9. blinky says:

    Go to a junkyard, find a clunker with the part you want, purchase part. Or look for a broken version of the above controller. Just make sure it’s not the same part that’s broken.

  10. guaporico says:

    Get it made using a 3D printer. Cost for something simple made of plastic should be pretty cheap.

  11. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    I would scour ebay and craigslist for a broken wheel (or even the part). This is a market and there are people who make a living parting out broken electronics.

  12. chiieddy says:

    If you’re crafty enough, could you create the part you need and send it to a 3d printing co. to manufacture for you? You might want to check Shapeways and see if someone’s already done that even.

  13. Jimmy60 says:

    I have a Logitech G27. I love the thing. It’s built very well. I don’t see it being easy to break under normal use. I know that some guys have modded it and attached different wheels to it. He may have been trying to do that. People who don’t play racing games can be rough on it. They’ll pull hard on the wheel in an attempt to slow down (it doesn’t work but they try). If you are thrashing on it you aren’t going fast anyway. If it’s just a plastic disc I’d probably make a replacement out of aluminium.

  14. Gorbachev says:

    Seems like the perfect opportunity for someone with a 3D printer.

  15. photozz says:

    I have a 3d printer and would be happy to reproduce the part for you no charge. Contact me and we can do it.

  16. sirwired says:

    Instead of pitching a hissy fit, you ask Logitech what they are going to do to make it better. Logitech is usually pretty good at just sending you a new one for free or for cheap.

    They don’t do parts for small consumer products like this… I don’t know anybody that does,

    • Velkyr says:

      “for free or cheap”

      There is no cheap. Logitech pays for shipment to and from your house. We can even schedule a UPS pickup if you aren’t able to drop it off at the store yourself.

  17. hokiehor14 says:

    I had the same experience with logitech and a harmony one universal remote. While I was gone for a week, the IR LED burnt out. I called logitech to see if they could repair it, and they said, nope, we don’t repair things. The best they could do was offer a 50% off coupon. Seemed like a waste of what was mostly a fully functional remote.

    • sirwired says:

      If you knew exactly what the issue was, why didn’t you swap out the IR LED? It’s absolutely true that no company offers component-level repairs on cheap consumer products any more, it’s just not worth the trouble.

      But nothing stops you from placing an order with DigiKey/Jameco/etc. and pulling out the ‘ol solder wick and pencil and doing it yourself.

  18. Velkyr says:

    As someone who worked at Logitech customer care in the AVCDG department (Audio-Video-Control Devices-Gaming), we would RMA the product, no questions asked, if it was in warranty (And it’s quite easy to make up the numbers to say you are in warranty). Because this product is $200, we would need the product back prior to sending it out. Anything over $100 is an automatic sendback (Unless we screwed up, then we take that into consideration).

    We can also ask for any product back we think you may be scamming us (And there are a lot of scammers who call logitech…).

    Also, if you call logitech, expect to be hung up on constantly. Before May, one of two call centers was in Canada, the other in the Philippines. The Canadian call center was supposed to take ~40% of all calls. Due to the other call center hanging up on people (Sometimes the second they answered), we were taking around ~90%.

    Well, they just recently (As of may) moved the call center in Canada over to another Phillippine call center.

    So good luck actually getting through!

  19. cottercutie says:

    I sent in an email to Logitech about 2 weeks ago since my solar keyboard went kaput (computer thought ctrl key was engaged, yet it fell off). Logitech simply asked for a picture of the keyboard, the serial number, receipt and had a new one sent out within 48 hours. Pretty painless, actually. I was expecting the usual runaround from a corporation but I was pleasantly surprised.

  20. Sian says:
  21. dush says:

    D’oh, the rep was giving you an opening. You were supposed to say half jokingly, well a new one would be nice. And then they would say sure we can do that to satisfy a customer.
    They just can’t be the one to offer it first.

  22. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Gah! I hate when this happens. I had a laptop holder thingy that had teeny plastic hinges. When they broke, it would no longer prop open. It was completely intact in every other respect. This is what happens when companies cheap out and use that brittle plastic instead of something stronger. Of course, they only want you to buy another thingy. :P

  23. Portlandia says:

    I had great luck with logitech. I bought their top of the line Harmony 1100 remote refurbished for $100 (usually $350). It broke within a month, the LCD would freeze. I spent 15 minutes with tech support and they said they would send out a replacement. I received a brand new, full retail packaging remote (refurbs were out of stock). I was very happy and has worked well since.

  24. NotEd says:

    I’ve had 2 Logitech Harmony remotes replaced for free while out of warranty, but I am assuming the game controllers are warrantied by a different division of the company.

    This reminds me of the Rock Band drum kit I have where the cable between the drums and the PS3 were eaten by my puppy. The cable is hardwired to the drum, so I couldn’t just pop it off and replace it with another long USB cable. Online recommends cutting the damaged part of the cable out and splicing the ends of the cable back together, but that would leave it too short.
    Thought about taking them appart and putting on a new cable, but I’ve not been able to get the set open to disconnect the cable.
    I wrote for support on it twice, hoping they would have some help or a replacement plan. Twice I was thanked for being loyal customer and told that they did not cover customer damage, even though I was just hoping to get some kind of refurbished part for exchange.
    I played the drums once. 3+ years ago. Never touched the game since. Maybe if I was more adventurous I would’ve fixed it. Guess I don’t care anymore now.

  25. nXt says:

    So this guy calls to ask to buy a part?
    Why not call or email for warranty support/repair?
    Logitech’s customer service/warranty on all their devices ARE FREAKING AWESOME! I LOVE THEIR WARRANTY POLICY! I’ve NEVER had an issue with their warranty! They either give me a brand new replacement of the same device or a newer version of the device!!!!!

  26. Jawaka says:

    Why should a customer EECB the company just because the company doesn’t make replacement parts? Have we really turned into a society where we just shame everyone in order to get our way all the time?

    Logitech (and most other tech companies) don’t have replacement parts. If the product breaks under warranty they replace the entire unit. The OP should have asked Logitech how much an out of warranty replacement would have cost. It would usually cost less than buying a new one.

  27. ferd says:

    I bought a used camera on ebay to fix a broken latch on mine. Got a memory card in the bonus.

  28. QrazyQat says:

    I would also get in touch with the Wingman Team (http://www.wingmanteam.com/), which is connected with Logitech and deals with gaming goodies. They were very good about helping me out when my Momo Force wheel had problems; ended up sending me a new replacement wheel.

  29. wickedpixel says:

    This sounds like the kind of problem mass market 3D printers will eventually solve

  30. The Porkchop Express says:

    Try to find a busted one online, obviously not busted in the same way, and take the part off that.

  31. TomClements says:

    I make my own parts at home. Shape Lock is awesome!