Absolutely Fed-Up With DJI Support and Quality Control

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I haven't posted for a while because I haven't flown for a while. Here's why:

On December 26 my Phantom 3 Pro that was barely three months old fell from the sky. The logs indicated it was not pilot error, in fact the drone had been in a stable hover for 4.9 seconds before it simply dropped. After the customer service manager, Nikko, told me she was sure they would be sending me a new drone I inherited someone else's problems by getting a refurb P3P sent to me. The give-away that is wasn't new was it already was given the name "Phantom Fox" which showed when I uploaded logs to healthy drones. This refurb had severe yaw errors and compass errors out of the box and messages attesting to these problems were splattered all over the logs. It could not hold a straight line and, in fact, one log entry 16:58 into a flight actually says "Ultrasonic Systems Error. Land Immediately; Motor Obstructed; Motor Idling (Loose or Missing Propeller). Of course, I had no idea that was in the log since I was busy flying. A "land immediately" message should probably show up in yellow neon on the UI and not just be hidden away in the logs, but I digress. Suffice to say, this drone should never have made it out of QC and both DJI and myself are damned lucky it didn't kill someone.

I sent it back in along with reams of log. Both Nikko and Marquez (another supervisor) assured me they would do everything in their power to make sure a new drone would be shipped but that ultimately it was the people the repair department who made the decision as to whether or not I get new or refurb. DJI replaced refurb #1 with another refurb. This one was named simply "p3p." This new one seemed to fly correctly but once it flew 50 yards away the video signal started breaking up and at 70 yards the signal was black. I was provided with a 2-day expedited shipping label with which to send back the drone. I sent it in on a Tuesday. It was received by DJI on Friday and was not check in until the following Tuesday, despite my pleas with Nikko, Marquez, and other support managers to expedite its handling because I had an upcoming trip to NY the following Tuesday and I needed the drone for it. I had already had to cancel two customer engagements and I didn't want to cancel NY. I called DJI every day to help move it along but they didn't ship it back to me in time and I cancelled the trip. I finally received the third refurb last Friday, four days after the day I was supposed to leave for New York.

I just test-flew the third refurb. It seems to also fly okay but again, the video range it terrible. It's a little better than the second refurb's. It will go about 70 yards before it starts glitching and 150 yards before it's a complete jumbled mess. The drone is unusable for professional purposes and only marginally usable for hobbyist purposes. I've had a commercial pilot license since 1993 and I have been a pro photographer even longer. As much as I enjoy flying in any form the primary purpose of my getting this drone was a make/sell videos. I am flabbergasted by what DJI calls post-sales support. I've put roughly $1,500 into my setup and It's unusable. They've got my perfectly good cash and I have an unusable heap of plastic and silicon. Spring has sprung and real estate listings are hopping and I am missing the boat because of DJI's incompetence. I've been patient and polite with them through the whole multi-month ordeal but now I see no other option than post the ordeal publicly (here), on twitter, and anywhere else I can think of. If that doesn't get their attention after trying to partner with them, collaborate with them, and finally publicly post my dismay, I guess I will have no other option than to sue them in small claims court for the cost of the drone, all accessories, and lost business. That is not my preferred route but DJI is completely unresponsive and has consumed a couple of man-days of my life when all the time I have waited in queue and running to UPS to ship yet another refurb is added up.

I'm curious what others have experiences in the way of "service" from DJI. Did you have a good experience or was your interaction as pathetic as mine has been? Has anyone come up with any techniques for getting DJI to be accountable and replace when warranted instead of re-shipping someone else's problem? Thanks in advance.
 
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I'm not sure what the solution with DJI is, but horror "customer service" stories like yours are what prompted me to buy an Autel instead of DJI. I'm crossing my fingers that Autel doesn't start doing the same thing.
 
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I would at least expect them to reset all settings to factory defaults before shipping a refurb back out to someone else. It would not inspire confidence to power up a replacement Phantom and see it already has someone else's name and settings in it, it would make me wonder what exactly they do as part of their refurbishing process if they can't even reset it.
 
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Flyer Focus, yeah, you have had a time with DJI! I thought I had it bad but not nearly as bad as you have. Mine flipped and did a power dive inverted from about 200 feet. DJI says no flight data logs, no proof of crash, etc. They did send me a new drone BUT they left off the four spring retainers that hold tension on the props!!!!! I called immediately and this yokel questioned me for 20 minutes total and finally agreed that the parts were missing! DUH!! So, he promised he would mail them, not even overnight since it was their fault, but snail mail. That was February 10th and as of today, March 6, they have not arrived. Luckilly I scrounged a set from a friend and got to fly but if he needs his back, I'm grounded I suppose. DJI claims no warranty but they cannot understand that a Phantom will not flip. You would think they would know their own products better than that! AND, my data logs stopped recording to my iPad around the first of December and did not start back up until the day after the crash, January 21st. They cannot, or won't explain that either. In fact, I have not received any correct answers from them. They have told one lie after another. I called this *%#* and he promised he would pull my file and find out what happened to the data logs and call me the next day. Guess what, he lied. I called him back three times, stayed on hold for about 23 minutes each call, then was deliberately cut . off.. I finally gave up on phoning because it did not good. I have contacted my state's Attorney General to see what requirements a Chinese company has to meet in order to sell in Mississippi. I doubt he will be able to do anything but maybe I can get some references for someone who can. This is really all my fault. I checked DJI out very well before I bought the Phantom and I felt sure that I might get a good one and therefore not have to rely on customer support but boy was I wrong! I read post after post and watched you tube videos of DJI's problems and issues documented for all to see yet I went ahead and gave them my cash. Since they have not told me how a Phantom can flip, I still worry about it happening again to me and what if it power dives into some or something and does serious injury or damage? I'm sure DJI would never admit fault in a case like that if they won't for my simple situation. Well, I can feel myself wanting to choke someone over this so I better calm down for now. I am still waiting on my retainer springs and for a report on the cause of the crash. I intend to stay on their case until I find out what I am looking for. In the meantime, I keep hoping someone will read about this situation and contact me saying they had the same thing happen to them. Then, it sounds like RECALL TIME!

So, good luck with your rebuilt drones. That is indeed tacky to not clear out the previous data. At least I got a new one, even though it could not fly. I suppose being from China allows a different kind of values. I don't think I could ever work for a company like DJI and have to do to their customers what they do. Please PM me with any new developments and I'll do the same to you. Maybe something positive will come out of this after all.
Thanks,
Jim
WA5TEF
 
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Hm I truely feel sorry for you
So far I can't say anything bad about DJI but I hope they will read your post and send you a courtesy phantom 4 pro as apology for all your troubles
 
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My experience with DJI was not a good one also , they made things up not to cover mine under warranty & I proved it to them & they just made up another excuse , but I did get my original Drone back , even after sending it back a second time ,because they didn't completely repair it the first time .
I'm not going to make excuses for them , but I think their company is growing faster then they can keep up with , in both Quality control & repair .
Is there a Lemon law in California ? I would bring it up to them at DJI & ask for a brand new working Drone like you should of got to begin with or deal with them with the Lemon law if you have one .
Just how many times do they need to get it right , the repair shop is in your State .
 
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My experience with DJI was not a good one also , they made things up not to cover mine under warranty & I proved it to them & they just made up another excuse , but I did get my original Drone back , even after sending it back a second time ,because they didn't completely repair it the first time .
I'm not going to make excuses for them , but I think their company is growing faster then they can keep up with , in both Quality control & repair .
Is there a Lemon law in California ? I would bring it up to them at DJI & ask for a brand new working Drone like you should of got to begin with or deal with them with the Lemon law if you have one .
Just how many times do they need to get it right , the repair shop is in your State .
Magnusson Moss Warranty Act may apply here?
 
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I'm not sure what the solution with DJI is, but horror "customer service" stories like yours are what prompted me to buy an Autel instead of DJI. I'm crossing my fingers that Autel doesn't start doing the same thing.
I'll have to look into Autel. I need something reliable and I need #support that moves faster than the speed of #DJI.
 
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Flyer Focus, yeah, you have had a time with DJI! I thought I had it bad but not nearly as bad as you have. Mine flipped and did a power dive inverted from about 200 feet. DJI says no flight data logs, no proof of crash, etc. They did send me a new drone BUT they left off the four spring retainers that hold tension on the props!!!!! I called immediately and this yokel questioned me for 20 minutes total and finally agreed that the parts were missing! DUH!! So, he promised he would mail them, not even overnight since it was their fault, but snail mail. That was February 10th and as of today, March 6, they have not arrived. Luckilly I scrounged a set from a friend and got to fly but if he needs his back, I'm grounded I suppose. DJI claims no warranty but they cannot understand that a Phantom will not flip. You would think they would know their own products better than that! AND, my data logs stopped recording to my iPad around the first of December and did not start back up until the day after the crash, January 21st. They cannot, or won't explain that either. In fact, I have not received any correct answers from them. They have told one lie after another. I called this *%#* and he promised he would pull my file and find out what happened to the data logs and call me the next day. Guess what, he lied. I called him back three times, stayed on hold for about 23 minutes each call, then was deliberately cut . off.. I finally gave up on phoning because it did not good. I have contacted my state's Attorney General to see what requirements a Chinese company has to meet in order to sell in Mississippi. I doubt he will be able to do anything but maybe I can get some references for someone who can. This is really all my fault. I checked DJI out very well before I bought the Phantom and I felt sure that I might get a good one and therefore not have to rely on customer support but boy was I wrong! I read post after post and watched you tube videos of DJI's problems and issues documented for all to see yet I went ahead and gave them my cash. Since they have not told me how a Phantom can flip, I still worry about it happening again to me and what if it power dives into some or something and does serious injury or damage? I'm sure DJI would never admit fault in a case like that if they won't for my simple situation. Well, I can feel myself wanting to choke someone over this so I better calm down for now. I am still waiting on my retainer springs and for a report on the cause of the crash. I intend to stay on their case until I find out what I am looking for. In the meantime, I keep hoping someone will read about this situation and contact me saying they had the same thing happen to them. Then, it sounds like RECALL TIME!

So, good luck with your rebuilt drones. That is indeed tacky to not clear out the previous data. At least I got a new one, even though it could not fly. I suppose being from China allows a different kind of values. I don't think I could ever work for a company like DJI and have to do to their customers what they do. Please PM me with any new developments and I'll do the same to you. Maybe something positive will come out of this after all.
Thanks,
Jim
WA5TEF

Hi Jim,

Sounds like yet another DJI nightmare. Hopefully there's some up-and-coming attorney out there who is looking to make a name for him/herself who will take this one as class action or contact us to be named plaintiffs. I tried being polite and patient. I didn't want to have to go the social media wingeing route but I am out of options and I need the damned thing flying NOW to establish my market presence in the San Francisco East Bay area before someone else does and scoops up all the future business out there. These guys are really getting under my skin. My money is in their back account and I'm grounded. They have no respect for their customers, or so it appears.

73 DE KB6CCA.
 
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Hmmm, try Googling "MAGNUSON-MOSS WARRANTY ACT" I am looking at it now. Might be something there.
73
Jim
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I'll have to look into Autel. I need something reliable and I need #support that moves faster than the speed of #DJI.
To be honest...I think that it is reasonable to say that there ARE NO "reliable" drones on the market. Not being a smart @$$. Just saying these things are computers in the air that are susceptible to a good number of outside variables...wind, turbulence, updrafts, thermals, software glitches, faulty soldering, poor injection molding, static interference, radio interference, wifi interference...and the list goes on.

Fact is, there are more people who are vocal because they had a problem than those who didn't. Not saying they shouldn't be vocal, but it's just odds game we're all playing here. That said, DJI customer support IS AWEFUL, that's what made me buy a SOLO...but then there was that downsizing where US based customer support turned into cutting their phone lines and leaving you hanging with only email support that took 2 weeks response time.

Anyhow, I digress, I have a P4P that I hope has no issues...but I'm not fooling myself that it never will.

Separate from above, there is a Phone # for support it sounds like?
 
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To be honest...I think that it is reasonable to say that there ARE NO "reliable" drones on the market.
That's 100% correct and it's why whichever company can build itself a reputation for good customer service will be the one that dominates the market in the future. DJI shoots itself in the foot daily and their days are numbered.
 
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Flyer Focus, yeah, you have had a time with DJI! I thought I had it bad but not nearly as bad as you have. Mine flipped and did a power dive inverted from about 200 feet. DJI says no flight data logs, no proof of crash, etc. They did send me a new drone BUT they left off the four spring retainers that hold tension on the props!!!!! I called immediately and this yokel questioned me for 20 minutes total and finally agreed that the parts were missing! DUH!! So, he promised he would mail them, not even overnight since it was their fault, but snail mail. That was February 10th and as of today, March 6, they have not arrived. Luckilly I scrounged a set from a friend and got to fly but if he needs his back, I'm grounded I suppose. DJI claims no warranty but they cannot understand that a Phantom will not flip. You would think they would know their own products better than that! AND, my data logs stopped recording to my iPad around the first of December and did not start back up until the day after the crash, January 21st. They cannot, or won't explain that either. In fact, I have not received any correct answers from them. They have told one lie after another. I called this *%#* and he promised he would pull my file and find out what happened to the data logs and call me the next day. Guess what, he lied. I called him back three times, stayed on hold for about 23 minutes each call, then was deliberately cut . off.. I finally gave up on phoning because it did not good. I have contacted my state's Attorney General to see what requirements a Chinese company has to meet in order to sell in Mississippi. I doubt he will be able to do anything but maybe I can get some references for someone who can. This is really all my fault. I checked DJI out very well before I bought the Phantom and I felt sure that I might get a good one and therefore not have to rely on customer support but boy was I wrong! I read post after post and watched you tube videos of DJI's problems and issues documented for all to see yet I went ahead and gave them my cash. Since they have not told me how a Phantom can flip, I still worry about it happening again to me and what if it power dives into some or something and does serious injury or damage? I'm sure DJI would never admit fault in a case like that if they won't for my simple situation. Well, I can feel myself wanting to choke someone over this so I better calm down for now. I am still waiting on my retainer springs and for a report on the cause of the crash. I intend to stay on their case until I find out what I am looking for. In the meantime, I keep hoping someone will read about this situation and contact me saying they had the same thing happen to them. Then, it sounds like RECALL TIME!

So, good luck with your rebuilt drones. That is indeed tacky to not clear out the previous data. At least I got a new one, even though it could not fly. I suppose being from China allows a different kind of values. I don't think I could ever work for a company like DJI and have to do to their customers what they do. Please PM me with any new developments and I'll do the same to you. Maybe something positive will come out of this after all.
Thanks,
Jim
WA5TEF
Please provide your case number via pm or email.
[email protected]
 
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Well here's an update. Seems that no amount of tweeting gets DJIs attention but Facebook sure does. I posted DJI support's page and referenced this thread on PhantomPilots here: John King - Good morning, DJI. The third refurb you sent... | Facebook .

I got an almost immediate response. After pressing I got a supervisor in the repair area to call me directly instead of having to relay through support. He was very helpful and had a completely new unit sent out to me with a new RC, battery, etc (I had to send all of mine in, of course). I do believe this one to be new. It was sent overnight for Saturday delivery since I had a commercial shoot today (Sunday). Well, I had to cancel the shoot. My clients are losing patience with me. I spent spent yesterday afternoon and this morning working on it. I have updated the firmware on both the RC and on the drone, I have calibrated the IMU, I have calibrated the gimbal, I have calibrated the compass, I have calibrated the RC. The drone and the RC connect. I can see between eight and 13 satellites. The alarm on the RC will not stop sounding and we all know the flashing red light has got to be a bad thing. I can silence the alarm if I manipulate the controls for a while. If I turn off the RC and turn it back on again the alarm again sounds. The drone is responsive and will try to fly while I have the props removed but I won't put this in the air without everything looking 100%. Also, some of the times when I turn on the drone and the gyro spins up it's excessively loud. I don't remember my original P3P or any of the refurbs they sent having a loud, whiny, gyro.

I've posted this info on the Facebook thread and I am waiting to see how they respond.

My dog is really missing seeing the drone fly. So are my customers.
 
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Also, some of the times when I turn on the drone and the gyro spins up it's excessively loud. I don't remember my original P3P or any of the refurbs they sent having a loud, whiny, gyro.
They don't have gyros. That's a cooling fan and lots of people have reported noisy fans on the P4. There's a quick fix, but I can't remember what it is.
 
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The fan thing sounds minor but the constant alarm would be a cause for concern and a bit disconcerting for the customers if they're within earshot. The saga continues, unfortunately.
 
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Okay, if it's only a fan that's not as concerning. Still, geeeze ... I now have a brand new unit since Saturday, I had to cancel my Sunday shoot, and I am still on the ground listening to BEEP BEEP BEEP ...
 
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And here it Monday. DJI support has ceased communicating me via their Facebook support page after I spent all of yesterday going through the steps to get the new drone they sent to me (after three refurbs didn't work). So, here I am, 77 days since the drone inexplicably fell from the heavens and I'm back to trying to get someone from support on the phone. You've got to be kidding.
 
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Try relinking the RC to the AC.
I too had beeping like crazy on my P3A when I first got it. Not sure what I did that fixed it but it might have been an RC upgrade. Being new out of the box, didn't know all the status indications.
 

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