Look, customer service can be faulty anywhere and no company is immune to this. While Nintendo tends to have a reputation for treating fans well, the fact remains that sometimes things don’t go the way you want. The story goes as follows: A new Wii U owner transferred $400 worth of Wii Virtual Console and WiiWare games over to his Wii U. The Wii U broke (faulty system, bricked on it’s own apparently) and so he brought the system back to GameStop to exchange it for a new one. The problem, of course, was that since you can’t transfer Nintendo Network IDs between consoles, he couldn’t put the old Wii content on his new Wii U—it was already tied to his old Network ID he couldn’t recover.

He called customer service and after awhile, they gave him $200 credit towards buying games on the Wii U eShop. The problem here is that it was $400 worth of items and 99% of them are not even available on the eShop as it stands. He does note the customer service representative from Nintendo was the nicest lady ever, so at least we can take solace in the fact that Nintendo’s reputation for being kind to customers is still intact.

Of course, this raises several issues. For starters, the user in question made some mistakes. When his Wii U stopped working, the correct call would have been to contact customer service instead of returning the item, especially after he transferred his content. We already know Nintendo themselves would have just had him send in the console. They would have transferred the Network ID for him to an all new system and sent it back his way. Likely a one to two week affair, but at least you’re not getting “screwed”. My second issue I personally have with this whole ordeal is… does he no longer own the console he purchased the content on? I understand the convenience of narrowing it down to one console, but if he still owns the content and has the Wii system he had it on… then what’s the issue? Nintendo just gave you $200 to purchase Wii U stuff while you still have access to the $400 of content you purchased on a different console.

Now, none of this excuses the fact that everything could have been avoided if Nintendo didn’t lock Nintendo Network IDs to consoles. While I presume Nintendo is going to lift that restriction eventually, fact is it can be problematic for some customers. When a console breaks after purchase, it’s customary to return it to where you bought it and exchange it for a new one. That naturally can make anyone wary since they could lose eShop purchases by doing what is common for many customers. Since you can transfer accounts on all generation seven consoles, most consumers may not be aware of such issues.

So, while the situation could have been handled better by the customer, he shouldn’t be angry that Nintendo gave him a $200 credit instead of $400. Still, this points out yet another major flaw in Nintendo’s concept with locking Network IDs.

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Our Verdict

Nathanial Rumphol-Janc
I am the current Editor-in-Chief of Zelda Informer and have been running the show here since July 16th, 2008. I've actually been running Zelda Fan sites since 1998, so I've been in this "industry" for roughly 16 years. I'm 28 years old and have two kids, one biological, the other more of a step daughter (not legally yet, but practically). I live with my girlfriend and our two kids (Aiden, age 1 and half, Melody age 3 and half). I'm attending college to create video games web applications, and I naturally love Nintendo (I run a Zeld a website after all!). For those curious, I currently own a Wii U, Xbox One, 3DS, PlayStation 3, and a gaming PC (and a gaming capable laptop too!). I do plan to eventually get a PlayStation 4, likely when more comes out I am interested in playing on the system. I do play the Wii U more than any other system I own.

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