Oculus gifts boy replacement VR headset as father, son wait for small claims ruling against Facebook

When the man saw hundreds of similar complaints online he got upset; the large company was ignoring legions of customers.
ALAMO, Calif. (KGO) -- An East Bay father squared off against social media giant Facebook in small claims court Monday -- all over a defective virtual reality headset sold by Facebook's Oculus VR.

Both sides are now awaiting a judge's ruling in a remarkable battle between a single dad and the high-tech powerhouse.

7 On Your Side first told Mark Redman's story in January. 7 On Your side spoke with him for his explanation why an ordinary citizen took on one of the world's biggest companies.

It began when his son Bobby's Oculus VR device broke down while still under warranty. Oculus wouldn't replace it. When Redman saw hundreds of similar complaints online he got upset; the large company was ignoring legions of customers.

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An Alamo dad is taking Facebook to small claims court -- in a dispute that began with a faulty virtual reality headset.

"It says 'left controller not connected...'" said Bobby.

Bobby's Oculus VR headset stopped working last summer.

"It went completely blank, it wouldn't boot up at all," Bobby explained.

He father kept asking for a replacement under his warranty. Redman only got delays, then a denial.

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"They said they were out of stock. I said, 'I want my money back.' They said, 'No, we're not gonna do that, we'll give you some extra credits,'" he said.

Redman complained to the Better Business Bureau. Oculus never responded. Redman saw hundreds of similar complaints, also ignored.

The BBB gave an F rating to Oculus and its owner, Facebook.

Months later, Redman filed suit in small claims court.

"It's not about the money, it's the principle. Large companies shouldn't treat customers this way," he said.

He spent hundreds of dollars trying to find where to serve court papers.

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Facebook sent high-powered attorneys Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe to try to stop the lawsuit.

Finally on Monday, Redman and his son got their day in court. Mark showed the judge a 377-page book full of documents, showing all his efforts to get Oculus to honor a warranty.

"My emails to Oculus, Bobby's emails to Oculus, my letters to the attorneys, the attorney's responses..." said Redman. "The judge was not impressed with everything they put me through. Her eyes went wide when she saw all my documentation."

"A large corporation like this, making a parent come to court and have to fight this hard to get a refund, it's egregious and outrageous," he continued.

Father and son emerged from the courtroom with a gift -- a new Oculus headset, which Facebook gave them right there in the courtroom.

"They apologized for all we went through, they were very nice..." Redman said. "They offered it as a gift to my son for everything he went through."

Now, Redman and Facebook are awaiting the judge's ruling on possible damages.

Facebook, owned by Meta platforms, didn't respond to our request for comment.

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

Have a question for Michael and the 7 On Your Side team? Fill out the form HERE! 7OYS's consumer hotline is a free consumer mediation service for those in the San Francisco Bay Area. We assist individuals with consumer-related issues; we cannot assist on cases between businesses, or cases involving family law, criminal matters, landlord/tenant disputes, labor issues, or medical issues. Please review our FAQ here. As a part of our process in assisting you, it is necessary that we contact the company / agency you are writing about. If you do not wish us to contact them, please let us know right away, as it will affect our ability to work on your case. Due to the high volume of emails we receive, please allow 3-5 business days for a response.

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