Kotaku: Joy-Con repair centre highly overwhelmed with repairs

by Pierre Bell

Kotaku has been talking to an unnamed supervisor at United Radio which is a Nintendo Joy-Con repair centre in New York who has told the publication that they were constantly overwhelmed with repairs for the Nintendo Switch’s unique controllers. The issue centre around Joy-Con drift which Nintendo rarely acknowledges and has been faced with class-action lawsuits from frustrated customers. Even Nintendo’s president Shuntaro Furukawa had to apologise to customers back in 2020:

“Regarding the Joy-Con, we apologize for any trouble caused to our customers,” Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa said at a recent investor question and answer session. “We are continuing to aim to improve our products, but as the Joy-Con is the subject of a class-action lawsuit in the United States and this is still a pending issue, we would it like to refrain from responding about any specific actions.”

Nintendo president, Shuntaro Furukawa, speaking to investors in 2020

Kotaku says that the company based in New York only has one native permanent English speaker and most of the temporary workers are Vietnamese immigrants. The workers are either on work visas or are American citizens and Kotaku was told that some even celebrated passing their citizenship tests during their employment at the company. United Radio also had a really high turnover rate of employees. The person who Kotaku spoke to said that conditions at the firm were “very stressful,” due to the amount of Joy-Cons sent in by customers for repair and that the high turnover resulted in “lots of” repair mistakes.

“According to Kotaku’s source, customers who sent in their Joy-Cons from 2017 to 2018 were sent new replacements. For a while, this speedy solution helped alleviate the pressure. After that first year, however, the shop’s staff were forced to repair every set of Joy-Cons. Turnaround times were tight and the pace was difficult to maintain. The shop was held to a standard of repairing 90 percent of incoming Joy-Cons within four days, regardless of whether the staffing company sent them new workers or not.”