Nintendo will reportedly fix Joy-Con drift for free, even out of warranty

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If your Nintendo Switch joysticks are becoming unreliable, pointing your game in random directions even if you haven’t physically pushed them that way, you may be experiencing “Joy-Con Drift.” And though Nintendo hasn’t officially admitted to a defect, the company is now quietly repairing the controllers free of charge, according to Vice News.

Vice says it’s obtained an internal Nintendo memo that not only instructs the company’s customer service division to repair those controllers for free, but even issue refunds for previous repairs, all without needing to prove that you actually purchased a Switch and have a valid warranty.

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If true, the no-questions-asked refund would be a pretty clear sign that Nintendo’s copping to the issue — but also a sign that the company’s ready to take care of affected customers.

It definitely wouldn’t surprise me: in 2017, I reported on a previous Joy-Con issue where one of Nintendo’s controllers would de-sync from the console, and given a similar very-few-questions-asked return that I didn’t have to pay for — including a pre-paid label so I wasn’t out the cost of shipping, either. Vice says that one of its podcast producers just took advantage of a free Joy-Con drift repair, which — while not proof — is yet another indication that the report is likely true.

Nintendo declined to comment, pointing us to its previous statement: “At Nintendo, we take great pride in creating quality products and we are continuously making improvements to them. We are aware of recent reports that some Joy-Con controllers are not responding correctly. We want our consumers to have fun with Nintendo Switch, and if anything falls short of this goal we always encourage them to visit http://support.nintendo.com so we can help.”

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