Nintendo (Nintendo DS Handheld)

ISSUE: The Nintendo DS system stopped recognizing game cartridges after seven rough months with my son

RESOLUTION: Replacement with a refurbished unit and near zero cost for me for cross-shipping

COMPANY RATING: Five stars (out of five)

One day, my son came to me in near tears and said, “My DS doesn't load the games. Please fix it.”

After a brief look at it, I knew it was nothing I could do and we were probably going to have to buy him a new haste! You see, since its introduction into our household as a 2007 holiday gift from grandma and grandpa, the DS had become an addiction. If he wasn't able to play his Lego Star Wars again soon, I knew we as parents would soon be suffering.

Since it was a gift, there was no receipt. I figured there was only an outside chance that a call to Nintendo would yield any result. Perhaps there was a trade-in program or something they might suggest...

A quick trip to the website provided a toll free number where a chipper person answered the phone within two rings. I was impressed.

I explained the situation and was told to read off the serial number. After doing so, I was provided options. “We'd be glad to replace the unit for you!” said the chipper female voice on the other end of the phone. You can either pay us (forget the amount - but about $60) for a brand new unit and return the old one at our expense -or- we can cross-ship you a refurbished unit and you would simply play a $5 shipping charge (so long as you return the old one in the pre-piad box) -or- you can ship us your unit and we'll ship you a refurbished unit upon receipt. Regardless of my choice, the replacement would have a new one-year warranty.

The choice was pretty simple. I'd do the cross-shipment so that my son would not go into total withdraw.

Just as promised, five business days later the box showed up. I pulled out the spotless replacement unit, plugged in my son's game and off he went...happy as could be. In its place I dropped in the broken unit and used the pre-paid UPS label to ship it back.

Given the sheer size and scope of the Nintendo operation I am in awe. The customer service was flawless. They treated me more than fairly, never asked for a date of purchase and empathized with the plight of a parent who's kid had lost his “best friend.“

So, Lego Star Wars sounds once again fill our home. May the Force be with you Nintendo and CHEERS to a perfect customer service experience.