Warranty work oddity? (and support story)

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First a bit of background (feel free to skip down to the *** to skip the support story):
I was having issues with my 6 week old P4. Had flown it several times (~30 full flights) with no issues. Then one day I could not get images on the tablet, camera was not recording, I got an odd numbered error message. But it was also saying firmware needed to be updated. But when I tried to update to a new and then later tried to downgrade to an older one I just kept getting a firmware failure.
Gave the first guy at DJI all the info about what was happening, the error message, and what I had already tried. He asked me to do several things and I re-explained I had already done those things. He insisted we do them again together. Ok, annoying but sure I get it. We spent about an hour running through the same things over and over with the same results. Then my last battery was too low to try a firmware update again, so he told me to go charge up and try all that again and if I still had problems to contact DJI again. I was like, I did that 4 times, we did it 4 more, its not gonna change but he insisted.
Charged up and tried again, then contacted DJI again. Second guy said he was pretty sure the error indicated a problem that was going to require me to send it in, but if I wanted we could try a few things. We did, nothing worked, he told me to send it in.

*** Two days after they received the P4 they did a Damage Assessment and next day sent me a detailed estimate of the repair work and the cost. As it was under warranty and there was no damage to it, they zero'd out the cost and marked it 'Free Of Charge'. They then spent Four days 'doing the repairs' which included (Replacing Phantom 4 main control component, Replacing Phantom 4 gimbal camera and a Service Charge for the work). Then they took an additional 2 days to 'Test Flight' the unit. A day later they shipped it back to me.

I got back my original box with my original serial# on it, but its Not my original phantom nor my controller. Both are completely different units with different serial#s. I had marked my originals in multiple places so when I got them back I could see exactly what parts had been replaced. But these don't have new parts they are completely different units. The other oddity is when I booted them up, they both required a firmware update.

So the question I have for you all: Is this normal? Do they usually just send a refurbed item and not actually return your repaired item when they do warranty work? Why go through all the itemized billing showing what will be repaired, then claim 4 days of repair time, and extra day(s) for test flying, if they are just going to send a untested refurb? (or did they do the flight test with the old firmware, which would make less sense)
 
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First a bit of background (feel free to skip down to the *** to skip the support story):
I was having issues with my 6 week old P4. Had flown it several times (~30 full flights) with no issues. Then one day I could not get images on the tablet, camera was not recording, I got an odd numbered error message. But it was also saying firmware needed to be updated. But when I tried to update to a new and then later tried to downgrade to an older one I just kept getting a firmware failure.
Gave the first guy at DJI all the info about what was happening, the error message, and what I had already tried. He asked me to do several things and I re-explained I had already done those things. He insisted we do them again together. Ok, annoying but sure I get it. We spent about an hour running through the same things over and over with the same results. Then my last battery was too low to try a firmware update again, so he told me to go charge up and try all that again and if I still had problems to contact DJI again. I was like, I did that 4 times, we did it 4 more, its not gonna change but he insisted.
Charged up and tried again, then contacted DJI again. Second guy said he was pretty sure the error indicated a problem that was going to require me to send it in, but if I wanted we could try a few things. We did, nothing worked, he told me to send it in.

*** Two days after they received the P4 they did a Damage Assessment and next day sent me a detailed estimate of the repair work and the cost. As it was under warranty and there was no damage to it, they zero'd out the cost and marked it 'Free Of Charge'. They then spent Four days 'doing the repairs' which included (Replacing Phantom 4 main control component, Replacing Phantom 4 gimbal camera and a Service Charge for the work). Then they took an additional 2 days to 'Test Flight' the unit. A day later they shipped it back to me.

I got back my original box with my original serial# on it, but its Not my original phantom nor my controller. Both are completely different units with different serial#s. I had marked my originals in multiple places so when I got them back I could see exactly what parts had been replaced. But these don't have new parts they are completely different units. The other oddity is when I booted them up, they both required a firmware update.

So the question I have for you all: Is this normal? Do they usually just send a refurbed item and not actually return your repaired item when they do warranty work? Why go through all the itemized billing showing what will be repaired, then claim 4 days of repair time, and extra day(s) for test flying, if they are just going to send a untested refurb? (or did they do the flight test with the old firmware, which would make less sense)
Well out of the 3 times I've sent my P3a in ( number 4 is on it's way there right now). I've had a motor replaced ,upper shell ,then lower shell. Number 4 is for controller problems from doing what the tech on chat told me to do. When I did get my drone back from the lower shell replacement I had to do a update. Odd because they always ask if you are running the newest firmware.
 
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I have a very similar story: I bought my P4 in Sept `16. 2 weeks after purchase it threw an ESC error and would not fly. I did all the online chat / phone support thing with the last piece of advice to update the firmware. The firmware would not update, so I was told to send the P4 back for repair. The turn-around time on the drone was wicked fast. However, when I got the P4 in my hands I realized it was NOT my drone. I was fortunate enough to have taken pictures of the Ser #'s.

I just called DJI support (US) and was informed of their "policy". Their "policy" is as follows:
When after-sales service involves the replacement of a product or part, the replaced product or part becomes DJI’s property and the replacement product or part becomes your property. Only unaltered DJI products and parts are eligible for replacement.
While a product or part replaced by DJI may not be new, it will be in good working order and functionally equivalent to the original product or part. The replacement product or part will be covered under warranty for the remainder of the original product’s warranty.

In my world that's called ********** but it's a 'gotcha' that most people don't realize before they send their equipment in. It is breathtakingly BAD support but there isn't much you can do.

I called my credit card company to see if it would be covered by a claim. But wouldn't you know it, the card insurer has some *exclusions* one if which is drones. So basically DJI can say 'fuc7 yo&' and get away with it. In my case the replacement drone is older, does not maintain altitude properly, and one engine has a high pitched whine and gets very hot very quickly. I guess I'll be sending this one back too - there's no option.

If I had any advise for prospective drown owners, it would be - don't purchase from DJI.

Just in case any DJI reps are reading this - you should know that my opinion will be voiced on every social media portal I have. It may not be considerable, and may not make any difference to your company but if enough ticked-off owners do the same the drip will eventually become a torrent.
 
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I have a very similar story: I bought my P4 in Sept `16. 2 weeks after purchase it threw an ESC error and would not fly. I did all the online chat / phone support thing with the last piece of advice to update the firmware. The firmware would not update, so I was told to send the P4 back for repair. The turn-around time on the drone was wicked fast. However, when I got the P4 in my hands I realized it was NOT my drone. I was fortunate enough to have taken pictures of the Ser #'s.

I just called DJI support (US) and was informed of their "policy". Their "policy" is as follows:
When after-sales service involves the replacement of a product or part, the replaced product or part becomes DJI’s property and the replacement product or part becomes your property. Only unaltered DJI products and parts are eligible for replacement.
While a product or part replaced by DJI may not be new, it will be in good working order and functionally equivalent to the original product or part. The replacement product or part will be covered under warranty for the remainder of the original product’s warranty.

In my world that's called ********** but it's a 'gotcha' that most people don't realize before they send their equipment in. It is breathtakingly BAD support but there isn't much you can do.

I called my credit card company to see if it would be covered by a claim. But wouldn't you know it, the card insurer has some *exclusions* one if which is drones. So basically DJI can say 'fuc7 yo&' and get away with it. In my case the replacement drone is older, does not maintain altitude properly, and one engine has a high pitched whine and gets very hot very quickly. I guess I'll be sending this one back too - there's no option.

If I had any advise for prospective drown owners, it would be - don't purchase from DJI.

Just in case any DJI reps are reading this - you should know that my opinion will be voiced on every social media portal I have. It may not be considerable, and may not make any difference to your company but if enough ticked-off owners do the same the drip will eventually become a torrent.
when your the only game in town. You can play like that BUT now that there is others. We'll see what happen. The Orange pumpkin looks nice.
 
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In my world that's called ********** but it's a 'gotcha' that most people don't realize before they send their equipment in. It is breathtakingly BAD support but there isn't much you can do.
While it would be better if something could be repaired and sent back, this is not always the case. DJI is perfectly within their rights to send a refurbished unit back that is in good working order. The (obvious) failure is that the refurbished unit was not working. I'd certainly "express" concern to DJI that they should never have send a non-working unit.
 
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Nothing wrong with refurb units if they're in perfectly functioning condition and no wear and tear. Hell, it's better than the one you sent in, right?
Apple has done this for over 7 years with their iPhones. I've replaced most of my iPhones under warranty and they do not repair it most of the time. They will give you a "new" phone from a little brown box. Of course it is a refurb, but the outside is new, and it functions like new.

DJI should give you the option to have your drone repaired, where you receive your own drone back, the trade off is a longer repair time.
 
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"When after-sales service involves the replacement of a product or part, the replaced product or part becomes DJI’s property and the replacement product or part becomes your property"
Thats fine with me. They can keep the replaced(broken) parts and and send the replaced (new) ones back with the rest of My good parts that did Not need to be replaced.

and sure enough...
Well I flew it today, just some low and slow stuff in a field just to see how it ran and the replacement is not OK. The vision system can barely keep a solid video stream when just 50 feet away, at 50ft up and 150ft away I get almost as much green striping as I do video. The gimbal dial spring load is not returning to center properly, so if I adjust the gimbal down a touch and let the dial go it seems to go back to center, bit its off so the gimbal then creeps down, so i have to tap the dial up a bit to get it to center. Nudge it too much and then it starts creeping up.
But the worst part of it is the bird seems to have some altitude issues. If I run it in a straight line across the field at about 15-30ft up when I let off the controls about 25% of the time the bird dips down. Dips anywhere from 3ft to one time it dipped what had to be 10-12ft. But it does not then rise back up like I have seen some describe (yoyo?). It also is incorrect in the altitude. If I take off from a spot, fly around a bit, and return to the exact same spot hovering about 8-12inches off the ground the altimeter reads anywhere from -6ft (negative 6) to +8ft. Only once in about 6 tries did it read correctly. One of the times I did a RTH and when it got to its landing spot (did return to the correct spot) it got to about 3 inches and quickly zoomed back up about 3 feet, then dropped fast to barely touch the ground and repeated this touching down harder on each bounce. I looked at the altimeter and it was saying -3 ft. I tried to pull down to force it to land but it just kept bouncing. Finally pushed it up and hand caught it.

So it seems they sent me a unit who's vision system is only a little better than mine was, but has several other issues mine did not have. Exactly why I don't like getting refurbs back.

Oh and I call a big ole ******** on their 'test flight' before shipping crap. No way they tested this thing before sending it. Well they do just say they give it a 'test flight' they don't actually say anywhere that they won't just go ahead and ship it even it if fails.
 
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DJI should give you the option to have your drone repaired, where you receive your own drone back, the trade off is a longer repair time.
yes, had I known I would have gladly waited longer to get My drone back. It worked Perfectly other than the vision system. I had none of the other issues other users are plagued with. Now I do.
 
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yes, had I known I would have gladly waited longer to get My drone back. It worked Perfectly other than the vision system. I had none of the other issues other users are plagued with. Now I do.
And this is exactly why a 'refurbished' unit is a scam and unacceptable. I have no idea why my 'refurbished' unit was sent in. I have no idea how many hours of flight it has on it. I have no clue as to the history of this bird. I think about it like this; if I took my car to the dealer to have it repaired and they gave me another customers repaired "refurbished" car, I'd sue.

I paid nearly 2k for this thing; a refurbished unit is not acceptable and no, they are not within their rights to do so.
 
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Says who?
Says DJI in their warranty:

When after-sales service involves the replacement of a product or part, the replaced product or part becomes DJI’s property and the replacement product or part becomes your property. Only unaltered DJI products and parts are eligible for replacement.
While a product or part replaced by DJI may not be new, it will be in good working order and functionally equivalent to the original product or part. The replacement product or part will be covered under warranty for the remainder of the original product’s warranty.
 
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Says DJI in their warranty:

When after-sales service involves the replacement of a product or part, the replaced product or part becomes DJI’s property and the replacement product or part becomes your property. Only unaltered DJI products and parts are eligible for replacement.
While a product or part replaced by DJI may not be new, it will be in good working order and functionally equivalent to the original product or part. The replacement product or part will be covered under warranty for the remainder of the original product’s warranty.
Simply stating that they'll pass off used gear for repair doesn't give them the 'right'. I don't give a rip what their 'policy' is. My policy states that I get proper customer service.
 
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Simply stating that they'll pass off used gear for repair doesn't give them the 'right'. I don't give a rip what their 'policy' is. My policy states that I get proper customer service.
I'm sorry that you don't understand how a warranty works or how it's verbiage is binding. Good luck any claim you may make. You asked a question, I provided the correct answer.
 

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