UPDATE: They provided me a replacement Hero 7, the following week, after sending the faulty camera out to the Netherlands. I didn’t ask for compensation at all, nor did I ask for a non-refurbished camera (I read they often send these out). I considered maybe asking, but I do respect GoPro. Their customer service was actually quite good from my experience, they sent a new device out quickly. & I like their cameras a lot and therefore didn’t see the need to go down either route. Below is me talking about trying to get a refund / replacement after becoming aware they don’t always provide these for water damaged GoPros.
GoPro claims their newest £350 camera (Hero 7) is waterproof everywhere, just like their previous models. However after taking it into the sea in New Zealand, the camera died within a minute – purple lights showed on the screen before it turned off for good. I’m going to try and get a replacement or a refund. The plan is to call up there customer support. However, looking online I’m not sure how promising this will be as many have been denied a refund on forums etc (in short they claim anyone that has water damage must not know how to shut the GoPro battery compartment, or the seal might have been compromised by a grain of sand etc).
The frustrating thing is, I ensured the battery compartments were locked before use (as this is a new, expensive camera – I did not want to break it). I do have experience taking the Hero 5 into the sea multiple times, therefore I know how the camera works. I was not filming in deep or rough waters. The company claims the new camera is waterproof up to 10 meters. The camera was probably about max 100 cm’s below surface level.
Screenshot from a 4K video clip – filming just beneath the surface, before the purple lights came on:
Screenshot from a 4K clip – showing the water which was actually pretty calm:
GoPro’s official wording on water damage (small print on their website) is: “Because of possible user resealing error, this product is not warrantied against waterhousing leakage or any resulting damage”.
^ A grain of sand can potentially compromise this seal. This is not what I have said, but their employees on the gopro forum. If there is potential risk for your camera to not be waterproof due to a bit of sand then why don’t they try to make people aware of this potential risk? or their refund policy? Legally speaking I don’t know how they get away with that.
- 22/05/2019: I called GoPro today, said they will try to give refund and that he ‘understands’. He is asking for photos of battery compartment, charging compartment and front of camera. I believe the reason for this is: if he sees something that indicates water came through a compartment – then GoPro can claim the water damage was my fault somehow.
- 26/05/2019: After work I got around to sending GoPro photos of their faulty HERO 7. Here are two of the pictures showing the battery & charging compartment. My photographs I have sent them don’t show any corrosion or evident water damage in the compartments that can be opened by myself. Therefore I maybe fortunate enough to get a refund.
- 28/05/2019: I received an email by GoPro stating – “You will be receiving a second email containing a Return Authorization (RMA) form which lists the items we are requesting be sent to our facility below for review“.
Lesson learnt: Even though I got a replacement, I’m never taking a device that claims to be “waterproof” into water again. It really is not worth the trouble. I believe due to EU / UK legislation, and the fact that there was not any evident water damage within the compartments – I was provided a fair refund. However, I can sympathise with all the people online that don’t get a refund (many examples on google).
Therefore my advice is be cautious where you buy the GoPro camera from due to buyer rights & make effort if you take GoPro camera into the sea to ensure that there is no sand or anything that may compromise the seal… as they may not refund you! Also ensure the camera battery compartment is locked – you will hear a click when it locks 🙂
Hope that helps someone.