Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Repair Center Was Overwhelmed Every Week, Ex-Employee Claims

One company tasked with fixing faulty Joy-Cons had to deal with thousands of controllers arriving every week.


A new report on Nintendo's process for dealing with faulty Joy-Cons has revealed how the repair center tasked with fixing those controllers was soon overwhelmed with work. While Nintendo of America would be in charge of processing customer repair requests, a company called United Radio was responsible for the actual work on the east coast.

Based in Syracuse, New York, United Radio soon found itself swamped with thousands of Joy-Cons suffering from various faults, every week. "We ended up having to set up an entire new workspace just for Joy-Con repair," a former United Radio employee said to Kotaku.

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Nintendo would send new replacements to customers who sent in their Joy-Cons between 2017 and 2018, the first year that that Switch was on sale, after which United Radio was allegedly tasked with repairing every controller that was sent its way.

To cope with the volume of Joy-Cons being shipped to the company, agency workers were hired to help get the workload under control. The problem here was many of these workers weren't native English speakers, which led to communications issues in a "stressful" working environment. Mistakes during the repair process frequently occurred and turnover amongst staff was high.

When it first launched, Joy-Con drift was a common issue with the controllers, eventually leading to a class action lawsuit being filed against Nintendo in 2019. Nintendo's president Shuntaro Furukawa apologized for it back in 2020, and Nintendo currently fixes faulty Joy-Cons for free. Expect those numbers to increase once Nintendo Switch Sports ships and reports of controllers being accidentally hurled increase.

The new OLED model of the Switch features the same Joy-Cons as the base model, but one YouTuber has come up with a surprisingly easy fix for drift issues. In other Nintendo news, the company has denied allegations made through a National Labor Relations Board filing that it fired a worker because of unionization efforts.

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