Offer replacement camera parts & components
Offer replacement camera parts & components
GoPro currently remains the leader in the action camera market. If you own or use one, you know what it is capable of. It seems the harsher or more dangerous the environment you expose it to, the better potential footage one can obtain with any of the GoPro models. With that said, damaging these cameras is inevitable and one would think as a manufacturer of such expensive devices GoPro would offer replacement parts for when the inevitable happens.
GoPro has not thus far offered any parts and has not indicated this even as a possibility on the horizon. I have exchanged several emails with GoPro support and have attached a snippet of what was discussed below. The content is self-explanatory. The most common forms of damage to the GoPro chassis is LCD damage and cracked front lenses. Both of which are easily (user) replaceable parts though GoPro will threaten to void your warranty if you so much as unsnap the front grey cover. Parts should be available and are not worth more than $25. Instead, GoPro offers a 40% discount toward a new camera IF the customer sends their damaged camera in. So, for a Hero3+ model with a cracked LCD or Lens a customer would pay $240 for a new replacement and ship their "broken" camera back to GoPro for them to fix for pennies and sell refurbished.
I am posting this for two reasons - I want (1) to draw attention to the unscrupulous business activity of the GoPro Corporation and (2) to hopefully encourage the company to start offering parts. As a side advantage, I’d hope consumers will keep this information in mind when looking to purchase an action camera and potentially avoid GoPro if they feel as strongly as I do about it.
See email conversation below:
GoPro Support -
Thanks for getting back to me with those details. At this time we only offer replacement under warranty or a discount toward a new camera because it is not cost effective to have camera's sent in for repairs and there is not enough requests for camera parts to justify a program.
After looking at your photos you camera is out of warranty because it was voided once the camera was taken apart. Even though it is out of warranty, I can make a special exception in this case and help you out by offering a 40% discount on the purchase of a new camera from our web store. This discount can be applied to the HERO3+ Black or Silver Edition camera. In order to give you this deal I'd first need to set up a return authorization so you can send in the damaged camera. Once it is received I can provide the 40% discount code.
Should you like to take us up on this offer, please let me know by replying directly to this email. Once I hear back, I can get the process started.
What do you mean it is out of warranty because it was taken apart?? The front grey panel was hanging off after a crash I did not actually attempt to remove it myself though since it was already off I was able to identify the damage. The ring around the lens was also broken off after impact and that was the only reason that was removed as well.
I was under the impression that damage due to physical impact is a user error so would not be covered anyway. Please advise what the warranty would cover and what you’re trying to indicate here.
What would the full purchase price be for a hero3 Black edition Plus model?
Gopro Support -
Thanks for getting back to me with your concern. For a little more clarification, the warranty normally only includes manufacturing defects. In this instance the camera looked like it was taken apart or tampered with for repair, as a result of physical impact from user error, which voids the warranty. We still want to help you out though by offering you a discount toward a new camera, to get you up and rolling!
Let me be more specific – If I had not touched the camera after the incident, are you saying that it would have been covered under warranty and replaced for free? I ask because I have friends with various GoPro models and I’d like to advise them how to proceed after a similar incident.
I will not be purchasing a new camera even at a discount. To be perfectly honest this is an unscrupulous business act and I will not be purchasing any other GoPro products. The LCD is a 10 dollar part so basically you want me to ship you a perfectly functioning camera (minus the $10 display) and you want me to pay you an additional ~$150 or more for GoPro to re-use the parts. Furthermore you threaten to “void my warranty” after only basic disassembly of the camera. I’d question the legality of that and I intend to open a case with the federal trade commission if only to draw attention to your company.
Not offering replacement parts for such an expensive device is simply a business practice I will not support by investing more dollars in any GoPro products. I would appreciate this being taken to management for review and I would appreciate a response.
In addition, I will do my very best to warn friends, colleagues, co-workers, and family to stay away from GoPro products. I will also be posting this email transcript on various chat forums, YouTube, etc… to try to get the word out to avoid this company at all costs.
Have a great day.
GoPro Support -
I definitely understand your concerns and apologize for any miscommunication or confusion on my end. Our goal here is to have your best interest at heart, and not add to the frustration of a damaged camera.
Unfortunately we do not have a repair service in place because we have found that parts and labour can often become such an expense that replacing the camera can be a more cost effect solution. As we do not have a repair service, here in support we do not have access to hardware components of the camera such as the LCD.
The discount is in no way intended to offend or undermine your attempts to repair your camera and is instead the best solution we can provide in unfortunate situations such as these. We don’t want you to feel like you’re forced to purchase a new camera, and the discount is available to you at any time.
A temporary work around to the damaged LCD would be to use the GoPro App or Wi-Fi Remote to be able to navigate the menu and options.
My apologies again that we reached a point of frustration. I am here to help out and provide you with the best solutions we have available.
Please accept my apologies if my last message came across as overly hostile. I understand you are doing all you can within the constraints of the GoPro company. With that said, I still need to be clear that I can not and will not support a company which refuses to offer replacement parts. If you search the internet forums, chat groups, and EBay you will find a large and growing community of people trading broken cameras and parts because they simply are not available elsewhere. GoPro has a loyal customer base and you have abandoned them when they just want to spend more money to fix their cameras.
Quite possibly, with all the working components on my camera, I could sell it for 50 dollars less than the full price of the camera. I see an auction right now for two broken GoPro Hero3+ black edition cameras and it has just soared past $200.
I’m bringing this up only to showcase that GoPro and their refusal to offer parts has left users “on their own” and forcing the repair process into private back channels. There is certainly a demand for these parts and your users are certainly unhappy. The facts are obvious and apparent after very little research. I understand not wanting to offer repair services as labor is quite often more than the new camera, though I, and others, are not asking for repair services to be started up. People simply want the ability to order spare parts.
I will still be posting YouTube videos, be sharing all of this in as many places I can on the internet, and hoping to convince friends, family, colleagues and co-workers to avoid GoPro. Again this is not to come across as overly hostile, but in a global marketplace to ensure the business goes to the company which is willing to satisfy its customers.
I would like this sent to management so I can be sure it has been acknowledged.