Nintendo Scratches My 3DS And Loses Data During Repair, Shrugs

Initially, Shawn thought that Nintendo had done a really great job repairing his 3DS. The control pad was working nicely. Only something wasn’t right: the pouch was missing where the SD memory card should have been. There was also a scratch on the device that hadn’t been there before. Cards themselves are cheap: it’s the data that’s irreplaceable, and that’s already gone. So what’s Shawn so upset about? Mostly that no one at Nintendo will admit that anything went wrong.

On Christmas Eve, I decided to play my Nintendo 3DS for the first time in a while, and I noticed that the control pad had become very loose and difficult to play with. I call up Nintendo, see what my options are for repairing the control pad, and I set up a repair order. They ask me to remove any accessories such as the stylus, except to include the SD card, and I send my 3DS with its SD card on its way with no problems. So far, everything’s been going perfectly.

That is, until January 10th, when it came back to me. I opened up the box and found my 3DS sitting in there. First thing I did was test out the control pad to see if it was working, and it was! They did an excellent job at repairing what I had asked them to fix. I’ve had my 3DS repaired with Nintendo before, so I knew to check for a separate pouch in the box. However, this time, there is no pouch. My first thought is that maybe they forgot to put it in a pouch, and kept it loose in the box, so I spent some time digging through the box and sorting through the packing peanuts, but my SD card is nowhere. I check back in my 3DS’s SD card slot, but that’s empty too.

I call Nintendo to explain the situation, and they’re very friendly about it, telling me that they’ll get in touch with the people who did the repairs to see if they can locate it.

It’s at this point, after this call, that I realize that, during the repair process, my console has gained a very deep scratch in the chassis. I look through the paperwork they included with my console to see if there was any note of this, and I notice that their repair process was essentially taking one of their refurbished units and transferring my data onto that unit. This is a completely acceptable form of repair for me in theory, but I find replacing my cosmetically-fine, but poorly-functioning unit with a functional unit in cosmetic disrepair to be completely unacceptable.

I call them once again to explain this issue, and again, they’re very friendly, and in fact, they offer to expedite my repair, as well as have it sent to Nintendo of America’s headquarters in Washington. Though it is a hassle to have to send my unit back to Nintendo and be without it for another while, I do understand that mistakes happen and I’m happy that they’re willing to expedite it at no cost to me.

Up until this morning, though there had been issues, Nintendo was very friendly and handled the problems they had caused well. They called me to inform me that they had gotten in touch with the repair center that had handled my original control pad issue, had been unable to locate my SD card, and that there are several checks in place to ensure that a mistake such as not including an SD card does not happen, and that they trusted their technicians. At this point, I understand what matters to me about my SD card—the unrecoverable pictures and save data—are gone forever. I have plenty of spare SD cards, so losing that wasn’t such a big deal, and I definitely accept some of the blame for not backing up my data before sending in my SD card, but I’ve been a loyal Nintendo customer since I was five years old and I guess I trusted them to not do something like this.

What I’m mostly upset about is that they flat-out refused to accept any sort of blame for the matter, they did not acknowledge the value of the data on the card that was lost at their fault, and they refused to do anything to attempt to make things right. As things currently stand, I was without my 3DS for two weeks, got it back with a nasty scratch and no SD card, had to send it back, and now I’m without it again. I’m hoping to get it back from their headquarters in one piece, but with the SD card situation was handled, I don’t have high expectations. I had been a longtime, loyal Nintendo fan, but they’ve lost my trust, and even if I do get my 3DS back alright, I’m not sure that I will be supporting them by buying any more games.

All in all, while I’d love to have my data back, I just wish they would have made an attempt to make things right, or at LEAST acknowledge their fault and offer an apology rather than shrug their loss of my valuable data off like it was nothing.