My GoPro Hero5 Black got water inside the LCD screen in the front. It is a common problem with this camera and GoPro has no problems with the camera being returned within a reasonable time after purchase. Mine was bought 8 months before the leakage occurred.
I was snorkeling in maybe 2-meter deep water, the camera was closed properly and yet the display stopped working and I could clearly see water inside.
I took a picture of the damaged camera
Since I travel and the person who gave me the camera bought the camera 8 months ago on the other side of the Philippines, I had no receipt and no idea how to claim any warranty, But it was my guess that for a 400 US$ worth camera there should be some: money-back guarantee or replacement program.
On the GoPro website, I found no information whatsoever on the subject. So I decided to contact support.
That took ages.
Really I cannot see that stupid child anymore telling me to hang on while they try to connect me with an agent.
With a lot of internet failure, I had to reconnect several times losing my position in the cue and a cue there was. It took over 4 hours of perseverance to get through to a support person.
Only to find out that yes, this was a warranty case (could I send a picture of the leakage) and no they do not offer store credits or something like that, I had to be in the same place for half a month to start the warranty procedure. I had to confirm an address and shipping would take up to 2 weeks.
But I’m a nomad, how do you guys handle that?
They have no flexibility whatsoever for travelers and nomads. They do not accept P.O. boxes, I happen to have one in the US, kind of LBC thing, I have my goods shipped there and they forward it to whatever address I give them. Not an option for GoPro.
So they closed my ticket after I told them I would contact them again once I had an address.
Little did I know, once I had an address I had to go through the whole waiting thing again
This time it took over 5 hours before I got through to an agent at support. And they are not impressed when you share your irritation about that, then just follow the lines in their screen:
Hi, have a nice day how can I help you do you have a case number already
At one moment I was wondering if the person on the other side was actually a person
It was that the agent made a typo that I realized it was an actual person, but the chat is rather emotionless and the lines are static, almost unreal polite and stiff.
Anyway, I confirmed my address, and a bunch of emails came in. Not at first, but after a second waiting in line online (this time only 1 hour, lucky me) for I missed one of the promised emails with the so important RMA.
Can you please keep my ticket open so I can contact you?? Yes ma’am, we are sorry for any inconvenience you experience
Yes, okay, do not close my ticket until I have a new camera!
So a got an email with a bunch of links providing me with instructions on how to pack my GoPro and what papers I need to include in the package.
The search for a print shop during brownout was not a success, the next day I got all the documents printed. And please when you read this: print everything, and print it 3 times, otherwise, like me, you have to go back.
The instructions you get state nothing about printing things 3x
Since the website of UPS malfunctioned, I contacted them by email and they replied stating I have to hand over 3 copies of a receipt, a label and the RMA and Invoice provided by either UPS or GoPro.
Good to know, otherwise the courier would have come for nothing.
And they do not come for free. No matter what you read on the internet, sometimes a pick-up fee needs to be paid.
I had to pay 180 pesos to the driver. You get a receipt for that from UPS.
I read on the internet that some pay 1500 pesos. I guess it is all about how far they have to drive to get to you. Or maybe the distance to the nearby UPS point.
Now my parcel is on its way to Singapore. The UPS guy told me 3 to 4 days for my parcel to arrive there, from there it will be about 10-14 days before I receive a new one.
I can’t wait.
Total costs including all the xerox copies and the tape I needed to buy the whole thing has cost me 230 pesos, and some gasoline from the motorbike. That is a lot cheaper than replacing the camera yourself.
In the end, I consider their service being good, but the inflexibility towards travelers and the ‘nogo’ on store credits was a bit of a bummer to me.
It would have been much easier to exchange the camera at o local dealer or me shipping the broken camera and them providing me with store credits.
As for GoPro worldwide, this is such an expensive procedure, since they pay for all the shipping
When you google for more detailed information like I did, you read that people all over the world claim warranty for all sorts of malfunction of this so a very popular camera that is so-called waterproof and unbreakable.
So all over the world couriers are driving to and fro with replacements. Crazy….right?
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Jeanette, a Dutch female nomad, started to travel the world at the age of 17. Walker of beaches, shell searcher and iPhone photographer. Writer and owner of two websites
Currently, she lives in Mexico.
She is an emigration coach and works online.