I am the proud owner of a Flip Mino camcorder, though over the past few weeks I’ve not been happy about owning one at all.
The camera was a gift from my wife for Christmas last year, customized with a special design pattern on the front, signifying that mine would stand out from a sea of black and white Minos. I’ve used the camera to shoot videos over the holidays, to document time with family, to capture live events and to interview others (See my Viddler channel).
Up until recently, the camera had been great. I could grab the camera at a moment’s notice and be up and filming in no time. However, after loaning it to my wife so she could record a video for one of her classes, I got it back and the thing was dead. The camera wouldn’t boot up, the screen wouldn’t come on and nothing happened when I plugged it into my computer.
Saved by the internet
While many would look for the device owner’s manual, or search for a customer service number, I turned to the internet. With a quick Google search of “flip mino won’t turn on,” I was on my way to finding the solution. I found a question/answer site asking the question, a forum post with instructions on how to reset the camera, plus a YouTube video documenting the process.
What I discovered was that the camera simply needed to be reset by taking a pin and inserting it into the reset hole within the camera’s tripod mount, then waiting five seconds before powering on. I tried this with a paperclip, but had no luck the first time. I decided to give Flip’s customer service a try, to see if they could tell me anything different.
Working with customer service, a last resort
Finding the customer service area was easy, as they had a large “support” tab identified on their website. I clicked through and found options to call their customer service, to browser the FAQs or to submit a new question. I chose to submit a question via email, because I hate waiting for operators on the phone.
I received a response to my email well within the four hour response time stated on their site (good job, Flip!), but the answer was the same as what I had found before, and actually word for word what was in the forum posting.
I figured I must have been doing it wrong. I pillaged my wife’s sewing supplies to source a pin I could use, then followed the instructions to reset the camera. After a short 15 seconds, the camera booted up and I was back in business!
Flip Mino fixed and ready for more videos!
All of my videos had been retained, just as the customer service rep had explained, and I was back to having my Flip Mino video camera again. Now that I have it working again I’m much happier about my purchase. The only thing left is to get out there and start shooting more videos!