I surf, and ride motorcycles, so my girl decided a gopro would make a cool xmas gift this year. We went to New Zealand in December so she gave it to me early...
So before we left on our trip, she ordered a Hero3 silver from gopro's website, which advertised "ships by Nov 30th" when she placed the order. After hearing nothing for 4 business days, not even an order confirmation, but having her CC charged $300+tax, she checked the website again and it said the Hero 3 cameras were on 14 day backorder. She then attmpetd to call GoPro. Big mistake. It took 54 minutes to get a live person on the phone. They stated that they could not guarantee when the camera would ship, and could not cancel the order. She gave up, called her Credit card company and disputed the charge, then she went to Best Buy and bought the camera off the shelf there for the same price. The camera from the gopro website never showed up and she got a cryptic email two weeks later from a manager saying the order was cancelled.
Fast forward two weeks. We used the camera in New Zealand while enjoying our trip, and I was learning to use the camera etc... It seemed ot work OK but had really bad battery life but not a huge deal as I ordered the extended battery pack along with several other accessories, totall around $120. Then we went on a road trip to Baja for New Years. While driving south the GoPro locked up. At that point it wouldn't record at all, evena fter removing the battery and memory card and reinsterting. When we got back I found out it had corrupted the memory card so badly that I couldn't get any videos from that trip off of it. I then followed gopro instructions to reset the camera, and the website said there was a known issue and directed me to update the firmware, but I already had the most recent. Long story slightly shorter, I spent several hours messing with the camera, was hung up on after waiting on hold for 45 min by gopro support, and bought another SD card ($20), before returning it to Best Buy and getting a replacemnet camera.
Now I have my new camera #2 all updated with the same FW (12/15/2012) and new memory card (which I have two of now) and it seems to work. Yay! So I start recording my commute to work on my motorcycle. After a couple weeks, this camera starts doing the EXACT same thing as my last one. Locks up, corrupts memory cards, factory reset/FW flash/Card reformat doesn't help for more than a few videos. This took about 30-40 videos to start happening, just like the first camera. This time I email gopro support hoping fro better luck. I didn't hear back for 9 days, when I got an email telling me to do all the things I had already tried (and I ahd told them I tried in my first email) and suggesting that I had bought a substandard memory card, which is the same thing their website says (I bought two class 10 san diesk cards along with teh class 10 best buy gave me with the camera). So, I took this camera back to Best Buy as well and complained heavily to their staff about GoPro and the camera. They urged me to try one mroe camera so I did.
Strike 4 (yes there are more than 3):
GoPro Hero3 camera #3 seems to work, jsut like #1 and #2. I start recording videos on my motorcycle and in my truck and what do you know... After about 2 weeks and 25 videos, it locks up, same symptoms as the first two. I waste another 2 horus messing with camera #3, then give up and take it back to Best Buy. They refuse to give me a full refund and I end up with store credit instead. I really can't blame then since it took me 2 1/2 months to ask for my money back after replacing two of them already.
Strike 5 (poosibly another gopro strike):
I write a review of the camera on Amazon and state my experience. Within 2 weeks my review is removed, no word from Amazon about it. I also noticed that sevveral other negative reviews had been taken down (all with the same problems I had) and the camera's rating had actually increased from 2 stars to three. It seems that gopro was actively complaining about negative reviews to Amazon and likely using the "spiteful" clause in Amazon's review process to get them taken down.
As far as I'm concerned the Hero3 is a broken product and most people simply haven't used them enough to find out. It has an issue with the memory card controller that corrupts them over time, and I think it may be related to power loss events occurring while it is recording but I'm not sure. GoPro is handling things very very poorly, posting silly messages on their support site about users belonging to a tribe etc, but they aren't even answering the phones. I really believe this company is headed down the toilet, and fast. I'm still out about $120 for the accessories I got for that POS, and I honesltly wish the worst for that company. It was a horrible experience.