Skip to main content

Workers at Nintendo’s third-party repair partner were reportedly overwhelmed with Joy-Con repairs 

Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

Workers at Nintendo’s third-party repair facility reportedly faced a “very stressful” work environment caused by a deluge of Switches sent in for issues related to Joy-Con drift, according to a report from Kotaku. A former supervisor at the New York-based United Radio, the company that partners with Nintendo to repair broken devices, told Kotaku that the large volume of Joy-Con repairs resulted in a high turnover rate and “lots of” mistakes.

United Radio is its own company — Nintendo merely acts as the middleman, handling customer communications and leaving the repairing to United Radio, which serves Nintendo customers located in the eastern half of the US. The ubiquity of Joy-Con drift led to “easily thousands” of Joy-Cons that passed through United Radio in a single week, and prompted the company to set up a workstation dedicated to Joy-Con repair, the former supervisor told Kotaku.

Joy-Con drift is a widespread issue that causes the controllers to input movement when there is none, which often manifests itself as your character moving around on-screen when you’re not touching your thumbsticks. Although many Switch owners hoped the newer OLED model would fix Joy-Con drift, the issue still persists and Nintendo itself suggested it may never be fixed. In 2019, Nintendo started repairing Joy-Con drift for free, even with an expired warranty.

According to Kotaku, United Radio hires many temporary workers through the staffing firm Aerotek. Workers reportedly become eligible to be hired as full-time United Radio employees after three months of work. However, the former supervisor told Kotaku that most temporary employees stopped working after two-and-a-half months, whether they just didn’t show up for work or were fired. This reportedly made it hard to establish an experienced team of workers, inevitably leading to errors. In one example of such errors, a customer on Reddit said their Switch was returned with another person’s save data on it. There are numerous other complaints online, citing faulty repairs, missing components, or damage to their system.

A high turnover rate wasn’t the only issue contributing to repair mistakes — a language barrier also posed challenges, the former supervisor told Kotaku. The supervisor claims they were the only native English speaker on the job, making it difficult to train employees. Bi-lingual workers would reportedly often have to “act as a liaison” to relay information between the trainer and trainee.

Tight turnaround times didn’t help with these issues, either. The former supervisor told Kotaku that United Radio would simply replace any broken Joy-Cons from 2017 to 2018. After that period, workers were reportedly required to repair 90 percent of Joy-Cons within four days of receiving them. It’s unclear if these policies were mandated by Nintendo. The Verge reached out to Nintendo with a request for comment but didn’t immediately hear back.

As Kotaku notes, Nintendo doesn’t just rely on contracted employees to do repairs. Former and current employees at Nintendo’s Redmond, Washington headquarters told Kotaku that Nintendo employs temporary workers for 11-month cycles with a two-month (or longer) break in between, with employees losing access to healthcare during this window. Earlier this week, a former Nintendo employee filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, claiming that they were fired by Nintendo and staffing agency Aston Carter for attempting to organize a union.



Source: The Verge

Popular posts from this blog

Review: The Teracube 2e is a more sustainable phone that you can afford

It just got easier to be green. If you know me or read my work here at AC, you know that I feel strongly about a few things when it comes to smartphones and consumer tech, and those things are not necessarily what some of my colleagues or others in the tech-sphere care about. You can have your 10x optical zoom cameras, folding phones, and 50W wireless charging devices all day, but I'm more interested in affordable to mid-range devices that last longer than you'd expect and which are at least trying to do environmental and social good. Sounds great, but it seems that it's harder to find this combination of features in a phone than the ultra-premium specced-out devices we typically talk about here on this website. That's why I was excited when I had the chance to write this Teracube 2e review. Teracube is a relatively new smartphone OEM based out of Redmond, WA, and founder Sharad Mittal's stated goal is to change the "disposable nature of the consumer ele

Google's new Guest Mode is like incognito mode for Google Assistant

Your interactions with Google Assistant will not be saved when Guest Mode is turned on. What you need to know Google Assistant is getting a new Guest Mode for privacy-conscious users. When it's turned on, the virtual assistant will not save any of its interactions with you. Turning it on and off is as simple as a single voice command. Google this week announced a new Guest Mode for its virtual assistant that's designed with privacy-conscious folks in mind. A simple "Hey Google, turn on Guest Mode" will ensure that none of your interactions with Google Assistant are collected by the company and nor will they be used to 'personalize your experience' — often an indirect way of referring to targeted ads. When it's on, the Assistant will play a special chime to let you know. Smart displays with Assistant will also show a guest icon on the screen. And you can always check for yourself by saying, "Hey Google, is Guest Mode on?" Even with G

Spotify Q1 beats on sales of $2B with monthly active users up 31% to 286M

The coronavirus may be decimating some corners of the economy, but the impact on the digital music, as evidenced by the world’s biggest music streaming company, appears to be minimal. Today Spotify reported its earnings for Q1 with revenues of €1.848 billion ($2 billion at today’s rates) and an inching into a positive net income of $1 million. Monthly active users (not total subscribers) now stand at 286 million, with paid (premium) users at 130 million and ad-supported monthly active users at 163 million. Ad-supported users are growing at a slightly higher rate at the moment, at 32% versus 31%, Spotify said. Spotify beat  analysts’ forecasts on both sales — they had on average been expecting revenues of $1.86 billion — and EPS, which had been forecast to be -$0.49 but came in at -$0.20 on a diluted basis and $0.00 undiluted. The numbers underscore the positive signals we’ve had from the wider industry. More generally, we have seen a huge boost in streaming media services — includ

Adobe is giving students and teachers free access to Creative Cloud

Your university's IT admin will need to make an application for access. What you need to know Adobe is temporarily making Creative Cloud free for teachers and students. The offer is aimed at enabling them to continue being productive as they work and study from home. Students cannot individually avail the promo, however, as the application for access needs to be made by a university's IT admin. As universities around the world shut their campuses and organizations ask their employees to work from home, many tech companies are making their products available to educational institutes free for use. Google and Microsoft have both made their large-scale communication and videoconferencing tools free for everyone, and now Adobe is temporarily giving free Creative Cloud access to students and teachers. The subscription, which usually costs $79.49 per month, will give affected students and teachers access to the entire range of Adobe's applications, such as Photoshop