Online Gadget Insurer Says 24% Of Console Claims For Spilt Drinks

By Ishaan . November 14, 2010 . 1:28pm


Ever had a console crap out on you? What was the reason?


London-based online gadget insurance company,, says that one-fourth of all console claims they’ve seen is for drinks accidentally spilt over the system. Here’s a list of the top 5 issues they come across:


1. Software problems (33%)
2. Spilt drink (24%)
3. Hardware failure (16%)
4. ‘Red Ring of Death’ (14%)
5. Game stuck in machine (5%)


Barring the Red Ring of Death, what issues have you most commonly faced with your game systems over the years? Last year, my DS Lite succumbed to a broken right hinge and is being held together by a rubber band. Oh, and my PS2 controller’s left analog stick decided to come loose.


Image sourced from Greenpeace UK.

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  • PersonaBull

    Earlier this year my old brick of a DS’ right bumper/button or whatever you’d like to call it ceased functioning. I ordered a nice new DS Lite off but somehow got a refurbished DSi instead. By some strange chance, the right bumper/button on this DSi was also absolutely useless.

    Considering I wanted to play Rune Factory, this was very much a problem.

    PS: did reimburse me fully without even having to send back the DSi. I ended up getting a good deal on Amazon and am now enjoying Rune Factory 3 immensely.

    • Assuming that you tried the common solution of blowing compressed air into the gap between the button and casing (which never worked for me either), you can buy a replacement button, open up your DS and solder it in. It lasts much longer and costs at most $15, including soldering equipment.

      • PersonaBull

        Yea, tried that. Tried putting in a replacement motherboard, even. Welcome to my confusion when it still does not work.

        I’m just gonna toss it my mother’s way. Games like Professor Layton don’t need the button anyway.

    • Exkaiser

      My first DS’ R button stopped working as well… My DS Lite’s R button started getting floppy and somewhat unresponsive, too, and then I accidentally stepped on it. Which fixed it.

      • PurpleDoom

        I wonder, why is it always the R button? I’ve seen numerous Nintendo handhelds owned by myself and some of my friends, and if one of the shoulder buttons break, it’s the R button. Never L.

        • ChaosPaladinFayt

          its mario kart DS, trust me.

      • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

        That’s hilarious. I wish I could fix more of my broken possession by stepping on them… T_T

      • Joanna

        My R button is also a little wonky. It usually works, but there are days when it is unresponsive. Blowing in it usually fixes the problem though, so I’ve had no need to replace it. Actually I’m surprised mine lasted so long. It’s almost six years old and I’ve dropped it multiple times. There is even a crack on the hinge, but the hinge and the DS still work perfectly.Guess I’m just lucky. ^^

        edit: I have a DS Lite, not the original.

    • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

      Right on! Don’t let anything stop you from enjoying Rune Factory! >:)

      • PersonaBull

        Amusingly enough, so far in my experience you pretty much never use the R button in Rune Factory 3.

        • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

          You know what? You win some, you win some more.

  • Lets see…I had a Polar White DS Lite that fell victim to that infamous hinge crack issue (it cracked so much that the top screen could be literally removed completely). Another issue was a DS Lite had a dead pixel in it. My first PSP fell victim to some weird issue where it would just literally stop working in the middle of playing a game. It last me two years, so at the release of the new model of PSP I bought it.My current PSP has a weird issue where it will just randomly bring up the “Home: Would you like to end the game” screen, sometimes it will come up literally every time its loading something from the UMD. I really hope it doesnt become unbearable as I do not really want to buy one so soon with the advent of the PSP2 right around the corner.My Nintendo Wii succumbed to the dreaded artifacting caused by a broken motherboard (as Nintendo claimed), which I have no clue how that happened though most likely due to that rampant heating of Wii connect 24, and what not.

    I think one of my Dual Shock 3’s is falling victim to having food stuck in it (well I have 4 dual shocks and just me to play my PS3, I couldnt resist picking up all the colors, and its so convenient to not have to play with one connected to the system while charging). I really should stop eating while I play games, but, its so convenient, and I do sanitize the controllers every now and again (dont want biofilm to grow on them!)

    Ive had multiple friends whose computers were messed up because they spilled their smoothie on it. I think thats a tragic issue because Smoothies are so good that I would have hated to have wasted it on my computer. Tropical Smoothie Cafe is just such an awesome smoothie joint, you just dont know!!! lol. Of all the things a smoothie could be used for, they used it on their laptop. Terrible. The game being stuck, reminds me of stories of people who put their DS cartridges in their Wii disc slot.

    • RupanIII

      Haha that’s funny about the smoothies. Reminds me of my friend/former roommate. His laptop was a magnet for drinks – ginger ale, booze, iced tea, anything. He always had a can/cup/whatever on the side. The first time he really freaked out, but then we went on my comp and found out you could just order a replacement for the keypad, pop the old one out and pop the new one in. Eventually it seemed like this would happen once a month haha, if you heard obscenities flying down the hallway in the dorm you knew he broke his laptop again

    • Kris

      I think I know what the PSP issue is. I think that the hinge for the UMD door must be a little loose for you, so when you’re playing, the PSP thinks you’ve opened the UMD door, which will bring up the home screen. I’m not exactly sure how you’d go about fixing it though… maybe tape down the switch/button/thing that makes the PSP think the UMD hatch is closed?

  • Exkaiser

    I think the most frustrating hardware failure I’ve ever had was a SNES controller. You see, my dog chew through the wire.

    A SNES controller! I only had the two! Couldn’t he have gone for my nonworking Genesis arcade controller?

    • NeoTechni

      How bad is the wire? You could probably splice the wires back together.

      Assuming you didnt throw it out

      • Exkaiser

        I was planning to splice the wires, but my family threw it out on me before I got the chance.

  • hitosura22

    i had 3 yellow lights of doom on my ps3s T_T bad luck on my part

  • MemeticRichard

    Diet Pepsi is the enemy.

    Anomaly detected. Eliminate. Eliminate. Eliminate.

  • RupanIII

    My first PSX stopped working on me. Not surprising though, it got a hell of a lot of use, installed a modchip in it too.. eventually it just stopped reading discs tho. I still have it in my room, covered in PSM stickers haha

    My PS2 was giving me disc read issues for a while, which made me nervous cause it’s chipped as well and plays anything I throw at it. Turned out I just had to clean the laser.

    My SNES is still going strong, they don’t make ’em like they used to heh Had a few controllers stop working on me tho

    • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

      What gen PSX was it? The original boxy ones are pretty reliable, but those puny PSOne’s are cheaply built…

      • RupanIII

        Believe it or not it was one of the first, the boxy ones, Christmas ’96. It did kind of take a beating though. Actually come to think of it I brought it and a tiny TV with when my fam went to Europe one summer o.o; My grandma’s place is WAY out there plus no TV, so I took kind of a makeshift PSOne/screen haha I was careful tho and it survived the trip and worked for many years after that. Somewhere along the way it got picky about discs though, especially a few of the used games I had.Do you have one of the originals still going strong? The second one I got was original also and I think it still works actually

        • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

          No dude I believe you completely. Not to fanboy spaz but Sony has had a history of reliability for me. ’96 though, that’s a long time (assuming it stopped recently). I got mine in ’00 (for sale because the newer model was coming out) and have shelved it since I got a PS2 back in ’04. I’m sure if I dusted the PSX off it’d be fine. I had a ’98 N64 as well and rarely played more than 2 hours at a time back then, so that might have helped lol… Sounds like you played yours a lot more.

          • RupanIII

            Yea, it had a long life for sure, and I consider that strong reliability myself actually. I mean it’s got a lot more delicate components and such than a cart system so I wasn’t really surprised that it didn’t last as long as my SNES or whatnot.

            I didn’t have a 64 myself but my friend has one that still works. Some of his more beat-up carts don’t load right away tho, or else they load with the graphics/pixels all messed up lol

  • Aoshi00

    I usually take very good care of my games and systems (and I think I’ve been very lucky the past PSX/PS2/360 never failed on me), but one time while I was trying to do the HDD transfer on my 360, I took out the hard drive because the transfer process wouldn’t start, and then next time I turned it on, got the RRoD… luckily MS was generous enough to grant my request by replacing w/ another like new Jpn 360. Other than that, it’s not console related, but one time I was trying to fix the rabbit antenna near my 46″ LCD, I adjusted to the highest to get better signal, bam, swung it across my TV so hard, didn’t break the glass but gave it like 3 dead pixels on the side (you don’t notice it from afar but looking at it closer you see a dot), and there’s some clouding, like a grey area against a black background ever since.. got to be the most expensive mistake I made.. I got the TV for $2000 over 3 yrs ago, I don’t want to spend money to replace it yet…I tried to take apart two of my PS2 controllers to replace the worn out rubber of the analog stick, but couldn’t quite put them back together perfectly.. I’ve only heard of my friend’s kid spilling Cola on his laptop and got it all sticky, but never happened to me though.BTW, Kinect solved the problem of eating while playing. I was playing Kinect Sports and then just turned back and grabbed some chips, I was like hey don’t need to touch the controllers.. and then the game took a picture of me grabbing the chips lol :)

    • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

      Ha I’ve tried taking apart my PS3 controller because the Sixaxis stopped working. Wouldn’t care if it weren’t for my beloved game Flower. Turns out the accelerometer (that’s what I thought it was immediately) was loose so I affixed it back in place. Making sure the analog triggers go back in place are drove me nuts, but I was able to put it back together. Luckily everything worked again, but now the 2 halves of the shell are a tiny bit loose. Also, if only controllers weren’t so expensive nowadays. :/

      As for Kinect, that’s a great feature I never thought about…

      • RupanIII

        So true about controllers ! >.< I was looking to buy another Dual Shock 3 and I couldn't believe it, a controller costs as much as a game now

        • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

          It’s so hard to justify another controller when you can buy another new game or 2 or 3 used ones… especially I mostly buy single player games for my PS3 anyway so whenever my friends and I do local multiplayer its on their 360s and Wiis.

      • Aoshi00

        yea, the dual shocks are tricky, once you pop it open, I dunno if it’s the wires, or the rubbers underneath the triggers, they just won’t let me snap the two pieces back in place.. still got the logitech wireless for my PS2 though and works pretty good.Kinect might not work w/ hardcore games so well, but w/ casual or exercise games, it really is convenient w/o all the accessories strapped to your wrists or balance board, leaving your hands free to grab chips :)No recent systems really crapped out on me either, I’ve heard much about the PS2 laser thing, never happened to me, or natural RRoD for my two 360s, other than my own fault (thank god it was still covered before the 3yr was up).

        I can’t believe so many people would spill drinks on their systems though, other than kids.

        • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

          Now there’s an idea. They should integrate chip-eating itself into some kind of gameplay… You can have fun and food at the same time!

          Sometimes I think systems fail partially because people use them for an lengthy sessions very often, and perhaps having them in badly vented/temperature places. Seriously, having food mess up your console is beyond me. Someone told me that their kid brother shoved a cookie into their Wii disc slot and (duh) it broke… O_O

      • Urgh, I had that exact same problem with my Dualshock 2. Opened it up to see if I could fix the analog stick and then the Triggers/shoulder buttons made it a nightmare to put the thing back together.

        • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

          It really is more complex than one would think judging from how the buttons work from the outside. >_<

          I remember some gaming mag did a test once on the Dualshock 2 to test abuse durability. They crushed it, muddied it, sanded it, burned it, slammed it against concrete… and in the end despite looking hideous it still (kind of) worked! But honestly, when it comes to most games, you really do need every single button, stick, and trigger to respond exactly as they should.

  • I was about to ask how someone manages to spill a drink on their console (which should be maybe 2-10 feet away) but then I remembered about portables.

    • PersonaBull

      There are plenty of ways for this to happen to a console, too. I’m pretty sure not everyone has a flat surface to put their drink on other than by the console, for one. There could also be someone holding a drink while trying to put a game in or something. Or, maybe even from a surface 2-10 feet away, someone could knock the beverage hard enough for it to get to the console pretty easily (especially with the coming of Wii, Move, and Kinect).

      That sounds just as possible, if not moreso, than spilling something on your portable which, if being used, is most likely in your hand.

  • Man Mario Party was THE N64 joystick killer, you don’t know how many of mine and my friends N64 controllers have fallen because of that game, they are all but extinct now.. More recently I had to buy a new PSP. Mine was getting some weird lines and seemed “mirrored” in some areas.

    • NeoTechni

      Mario Party also killed your hands, to the point where Nintendo had to give out gloves.

    • Apache_Chief

      Hey kids, in this minigame you have to put the palm of your hand on the joystick and spin it around for 2 minutes! Bonus points if you just put the controller face down on the ground and spin it that way! Don’t forget to stop by your nearest Funco Land to stock up on more!

  • NeoTechni

    People shouldn’t be drinking near their consoles. Portables on the other hand…

  • Apache_Chief

    The only console failures I’ve had were a Sega CD that needed a new fuse soldered in and a Saturn that needed the disc laser spun around/recalibrated. My PS2 laser seems to be going though, and I’ve had 1 RROD (actually an e74 error turned into a red ring for warranty purposes). Never had any Nintendo console break though :D

    Also, I have spilled Dr Pepper on a laptop, effectively frying the motherboard. Not one of my happier moments.

    • RupanIII

      You’ve probably already looked into it but have you tried cleaning the laser? (PS2) There are guides online for opening it up and cleaning the laser with rubbing alcohol on a Q tip. I was having a lot of read errors (‘Please insert a bla bla..’ screen) and I found this method. I was pretty skeptical but it actually made a noticeable difference.

      Also, ouch about the fried laptop >.<

  • thaKingRocka

    I find it hard to believe that these people had the foresight to buy insurance for their goods, but lacked the common sense to keep their god damn drinks away from their electronics.

    The only problems I’ve ever had with consoles were the result of shoddy craftsmanship. I don’t know where the current generation comes off knocking the 360 as if it were the first problematic piece of hardware.

    I got a Sega Master System (this system never had a single problem actually) for Christmas after the hand-me-down Atari crapped the bed. The NES was an absolute pile of crap, and deserves more hostility than nostalgia. I do not look back fondly on the days of blowing into cartridges like others do. I look back on them with disdain for Nintendo, who did work hard to redeem themselves with rock-solid hardware after that.

    The PS1 went through about eight revisions, and I know plenty of other people who had to turn it upside down just to get it to read CDs. The PS2 had DREs galore, and had weight-balancing issues with CD games. My beloved and glorious DC just plain crapped out one day. I don’t even know what the reason was. It may have been upset about me neglecting Skies of Arcadia, which would be just cause.

    The Xbox power switch stopped working one day, which made me realize that having the power button and the open tray button double as one was a strange design decision. Then, the 360 broke out the red light of death while the PS3 broke out the yellow light of death.

    Never has a spilt drink affected a system of mine, and I don’t imagine that will happen until I have kids (knock on wood). Even then, I plan to raise my kids the way I was raised with technology.

    “Get your drink out of here and don’t even think about bringing those Cheezy Poofs near this system/computer.”

  • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

    I’ve never had a console crap out on me. I guess I am fortunate. It also helps that my systems never even sit in places where food (or any falling objects) can reach unless I flung it at them.

    Controllers… now that’s a different story. So many broken. Countless reasons.

  • I’ve never spilled a drink on any piece of hardware I’ve owned. My controllers, consoles, etc. always just die out due to, “wear and tear”. Nothing I can really do about natural cause, lol.

    It’s like trying to prevent someone’s heart from stopping. Eventually, the console or piece of hardware will just die because that’s the natural order of things. Everything has an expiration date, even if you treat it as good as you can.

    • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

      Takeshi Kaneshiro from Chungking Express agrees with you.

  • Because people hate microsoft that they purposely pour drink on them since its a part of the waranty.

    maybe cos some of the store refuse to replace RROD xbox with a new one (or so i heard) that they resulted in ‘spilt-drink’ waranty

  • Chow

    I’ve only ever had two major defects, and that was a YLOD on my PS3 phat and soaking my GBA SP in some fat (ask if you want lol). Everything else was minor:- Launch PS2 doesn’t auto-play games right away (it takes about five seconds on the system menu before it does)- Dualshock2/3s keep on having some sort of mysterious liquid condensating on the more frequently used of the analogue sticks. Also, my original launch Dualshock2 started “losing lubrication” and felt squeaky after a while, but that was probably because of either food crumbs or… the loss of lubrication.My Sega Master System’s Light Phaser stopped working after a while, but it wasn’t actually a hardware problem at all. If you know how light guns worked in the ’80s, you’ll probably know what I mean by saying that my TV’s brightness wasn’t set bright enough most of the time. After I figured that out, it started working properly.As for Ishaan’s NDS having its right hinge broken, I’ve heard that that was a common defect in NDS Lites.

  • Joanna

    I’m pretty good with my systems. Not one has failed on me yet (but I also lost some of my older ones….so that may have something to do with it). The only failure I’ve had was one of my PS2’s controller’s analog sticks stopped working. I have no idea why, but I think my brother and his friend over-used it or something because I recall them complaining about it to me.Most of my wear and tear happens to my handhelds when I accidentally drop them. ^^;;; Luckily, all are still in working condition, yes even my first and only DS (6 years old too!), but they have a few scratches and cracks from the trauma of the fall.

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