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dji service warranty complaint
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7502 73 2015-3-23
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simon
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Flight distance : 131184 ft
Australia
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For two months now i have been trying to get my phantom 2 replaced or repaired. After 4 months of flying perectly over oceans and rivers in Queensland my phantom 2 dropped from the sky like a rock into the ocean. I was flying in GPS mode after calibration. Because I lost the SD card in the mad scramble to remove all the batteries and cards to try and save the gropro and phantom from further damage, DJI keep trying to offer me a discount on a new phantom, but refuse to replace or fix my phantom 2.

When i had an issue with my gopro switiching on and off, they sent me a replacement before they had even recieved my faulty unit! That is great customer service.

And no it wasnt a fly away. The phantom was flying in easterly direction at approximatly 10 m in height and it just dropped from the sky into the sea. The phantom is clearly at fault.

So if you dont fly with video or lose the video, you are not entitled to a warranty replacement. That is unacceptbale i think. I didnt want to come on the forums, but i am tired of the emails offfering me a discount. I dont want to use DJI again if they cannot honour warranty issues.
2015-3-23
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johnwarr
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Hi Simon, unfortunately unless you can supply DJI with some evidence to support your claim, then a discount on a new Phantom is the best deal you will get.
By ignoring the recommendation not to fly over bodies of water you have left yourself with little chance of a warranty claim as the extra damage caused by the water will make it impossible to find the original cause of the accident.
I do sympathise with you as I fly over water a lot, but I understand the risks and accept them.
2015-3-23
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simon
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johnwarr@live.c Posted at 2015-3-23 17:19
Hi Simon, unfortunately unless you can supply DJI with some evidence to support your claim, then a d ...

Can you please tell me where it "recommends" not to fly over water?

I am sorry this is terrible customer service when compared with other companies like gopro. They did not question how i used the gopro. They sent a replacement before receiving my faulty gopro unit!

I am considering legal action with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission  
2015-3-23
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simon
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Australia
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And furthermore, if you are flying a calibrated phantom in GPS mode, how can it be considered "risky" if the product is good? It is only risky if the product has potential to fail, and therefore cannot be considered a high quality product?
2015-3-23
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Gerry1124
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simon@simsurf.c Posted at 2015-3-23 17:49
And furthermore, if you are flying a calibrated phantom in GPS mode, how can it be considered "risky ...

2015-3-23
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johnwarr
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Your user manual will have a section on flight environment requirements.  
There is no UAV manufacture in the world that will just give you a new model after crashing without good evidence to support your claim, the water damage makes any analysis useless, and without any other proof who is to say that pilot error was not to blame ?
Any flying is a risk, nothing will ever be 100% reliable, what you have to do is manage the risk as best you can, and accept it.
  
2015-3-23
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simon
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I have the phone numbers of completely independent witnesses who watched it drop from the sky. I am an environmental scientist and professional photographer, and i completely understand risk management. Working on large mining and coal seam gas projects, the first thing we do every morning is have a 'tool box' meeting to identify any risks during the work for the day and how they can be managed.

As i stated previously GOPRO did not question or analyse how i was using their product when it failed. I called them, explained the failure (switching on and off randomly) and they sent me a new gopro without waiting to receive my faulty unit. There is clearly a huge difference in customer service in my opinion.

Not only did i lose the phantom 2 but my replacement brand new gopro 4! You could understand why i am extremely upset.

How can  gopro replace units with no problems or evidence dramas and not DJI? There is clearly a difference in customer service philosophy.
2015-3-23
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simon
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Flight distance : 131184 ft
Australia
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I dont know if you are laughing at me or with me But if i have calibrated the phantom with 9 GPS signals locked in, i believe i have managed all the risks to the best of my ability and only a faulty unit can be attributed to it dropping from the sky?
2015-3-23
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Gerry1124
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simon@simsurf.c Posted at 2015-3-23 18:24
I have the phone numbers of completely independent witnesses who watched it drop from the sky. I am  ...

How can  gopro replace units with no problems or evidence dramas and not DJI? There is clearly a difference in customer service philosophy.

Gopro is a US based company in San Mateo, California and DJI is Chinese based.  Big difference in company operations and cultures than in the US.  Without and video or positive material evidence, I think the best deal you will get is the standard 30% discount offer on a new one.
2015-3-23
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simon
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Gerry1124 Posted at 2015-3-23 18:53
How can  gopro replace units with no problems or evidence dramas and not DJI? There is clearly a d ...

Oh well it looks like the ACCC and small claims tribunal for me. I am not writing off $1800 with a faulty product. And when i dealt with gopro, it was through hong kong.
2015-3-23
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Gerry1124
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simon@simsurf.c Posted at 2015-3-23 19:03
Oh well it looks like the ACCC and small claims tribunal for me. I am not writing off $1800 with a ...

Good luck with that.
2015-3-23
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UAVForum.UK
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simon@simsurf.c Posted at 2015-3-23 19:03
Oh well it looks like the ACCC and small claims tribunal for me. I am not writing off $1800 with a ...

Did you do a full pre-flight maintenance check before take off? Can you honestly say all the screws were tightened, battery contacts were cleaned, no cracks in the props? We tend to think these machines will just keep going without any thought of this sometimes and then wonder why things like this happen. As stated in previous replies I think 30% is the best you're  going to get.
2015-3-23
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gary.ok
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United States
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Simon;  You are on the right track here in my opinion.  I am sometimes surprised at how willing some folks are to let DJI dictate what constitutes warranty, and at some of the bad information that you get in that regards.  First off read the warranty for your country.  There is no language in the warranty documents to suggest 30% discount as a remedy for a warranty claim.  It is an initial offer meant to make most people just give up and go away.  Second there is nothing in the manual that suggest flying around or over bodies of water will violate the warranty, so dismiss that comment too.  What it says is "keep the Phantom away from bodies of water".  It also says that about trees.  So does that mean you shouldn't fly over trees either.  No it means don't run into them, same thing with the water which you wouldn't have done had the thing not just decided to quit working.  In regards to it being on you to prove the failure mode.  Again something a lot of people say, but per the law at least in the US completely not true.  The burden is on the manufacturer to prove operation is outside of the manufacturers recommendations and the cause of the failure.  DJI is a Chinese company who is licensed to sell in the US or Australia in your case, and as such they are required to operate under local law.   In the us warranty is a law (Magnuson-Moss Consumer Warranty Act.) that can be enforced.  Not sure about Australia, but again I would push like hell to make them step up.  I second the comments on GoPro.  Never a question on what happened.  If its in the warranty period it gets replaced.
2015-3-23
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johnwarr
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You are quite correct, DJI do not have to offer any discount for an out of warranty claim, they do it out of kindness to their users.
2015-3-23
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gary.ok
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In the eyes of the law it makes them coapible.  Save all your emails where they tried to settle. There is nothing that suggest that this is an out of warranty claim.  At least in the US the major components are warranted for a year. File a small claims case and see how quickly the 30% jumps to 50%. Others on here have reported pushing back and getting a second offer. I took Hyundai to court a couple of years ago over a warranty claim, and it was amazing how fast they jumped to settle. I would also suggest filing a complaint with the better business bureau if you have such a thing in Australia. Point being is stuff fails, but you didn't do anything to cause the failure. You're within the warranty period and by law they have to cover it.  
2015-3-23
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rdc44444
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Did you have the P2 version 3? Did you ever check the ESC or wires? I think the problem you have is that there is no way of proving whether it was operator error or product failure. Yes it would be great if they just gave you brand new one however if word got out that they were doing that do you know how many people would blame every crash on product failure or flyaway and demand a new bird?. There are plenty of dishonest people out there. I was actually thinking the other day maybe I should wear a GoPro attached to a helmet to record every LOS flight so if it does come crashing out of the sky (due to faulty wire or esc) I have video proof since I'm flying the version 3 with the esc/wire issue.  Sorry for your loss. Sucks that it happened so early. Never fly more than you can afford to lose as eventually everyones luck is going to run out. Its just a matter of time.
2015-3-23
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rdc44444
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simon@simsurf.c Posted at 2015-3-23 18:24
I have the phone numbers of completely independent witnesses who watched it drop from the sky. I am  ...

How do they know you didnt accidentally perform a CSC? I know how you feel. I would be extremely upset if it happened to me. It would be nice if these came with a flight recorder box like commercial airliners.
2015-3-23
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adrianjacobs
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In the UK, your claim would be against the retailer, not the manufacturer (assuming you purchased from a seller in the UK).  If the manufacturer reimburses the retailer, that's up to them and has no bearing on the claim.

It avoids all and any international legal issues. Is it not the same in the US and/or Australia?
2015-3-23
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adrianjacobs
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rdc44444 said "Yes it would be great if they just gave you brand new one however if word got out that they were doing that do you know how many people would blame every crash on product failure or flyaway and demand a new bird?"

That's just one of the risks of manufacturing and selling flying machines, isn't it?  If you cant make reliable products OR you can't prove was the user fault when something goes wrong, don't sell the products.
2015-3-23
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rdc44444
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adrianjacobs@nt Posted at 2015-3-24 00:11
rdc44444 said "Yes it would be great if they just gave you brand new one however if word got out tha ...

Okay maybe I'm missing something here. I live in the U.S. and I'm not a lawyer but I thought the burden of proof was on the consumer. If I bought a brand new car and crashed it and then turned around and said the brakes stopped working I want a brand new car why would I be entitled to new car without proof? Even if I had several passenger in the car that swore as eyewitnesses yes he pushed on the brakes I dont think that would cut it.  I watch a lot of Judge Judy and she will sometimes scream at the plantiff "Where is your proof? This is a court of law you need proof"....lol

If you do take them to small claims court let us know how it turns out. I wonder if eyewitnesses alone would be enough proof although I doubt it.
2015-3-23
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adrianjacobs
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I think, in the USA, you're right.  You have much weaker consumer protection laws.  We can go after the retailer which is generally easier than the (overseas) manufacturer.

Anecdote - I once bought a pair of roller blades for my daughter from a shop on Venice Beach, L.A, when we were there on holiday.  We walked out the shop, she put them on, and one of the wheels fell off.  We went back to the shop for a refund and was told they were sold with no warranty.  I made a fuss and they called the cops.  Then I got escorted from the shop.
2015-3-23
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droneflyers.com
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I guess I'm somewhat flabbergasted that someone who admits flying over water for many months - thinks the Phantom has a guarantee to never have any unscheduled landings! I'm amazed it lasted that long. If I were to fly mostly over water, I doubt I'd get 10 flights before my bird went down for one reason or another.

More power to anyone if DJI replaces or fixes a crashed unit.....

The USA actually has pretty decent consumer protection laws. However, we also understand the concept of user risk. For example, you can go to a ski area and crash into rocks, trees, buildings, etc. and cannot sue the company or state (in VT, for example). It's implied that the sport of skiing is dangerous.

It would seem to me that an experimental hobby like R/C also entails a lot of risk. I flew model rockets for many years and never asked Estes to replace those which I lost. I built Balsa airplanes which only lasted for 2 flights - never asked any company to replace those.

Short of a known and admitted defect...unrelated to lack of maintenance or to any normal failure rate of experimental aircraft.....I don't think any crash would or should be covered. The only way to do this would be to raise prices so that those of us who fly more carefully will be penalized by those who take greater risks.

While a component failure within the warranty period should be covered, if this happened when I was flying over a volcano, DJI should not have to fix or replace my melted craft. I'd have to recover the craft and open it and show a failed component. Or, DJI would have to have a specific tech bulletin about said part, etc.


I constantly get asked why I state "if you continually fly your Phantom over water, chances are great that you will lose it to King Neptune". I say it because it is true.....not trying to stop people from taking risks, just trying to educate them that they need to consider them.
2015-3-23
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Gerry1124
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gary.ok@hotmail Posted at 2015-3-23 23:36
In the eyes of the law it makes them coapible.  Save all your emails where they tried to settle. The ...

Did you still have your Hyundai in possession to back up your claim, or was it at the bottom of the ocean?
2015-3-23
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ed
lvl.2

United States
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Had your Phantom ever had a crash or tip over in the past?  I've been reading that stopping the props like that can damage the ESCs.
2015-3-23
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JATO
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United States
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simon@simsurf.c Posted at 2015-3-23 19:03
Oh well it looks like the ACCC and small claims tribunal for me. I am not writing off $1800 with a ...

Simon,
If your sure your Phantom was in order and all checked out before the flight don't give up. At least do the small claims court it does not  cost much to file a claim. Make sure you have as much documentation as possible, flight time, height etc. Get statements from the people who saw it. Be sure to search and find as many other examples similar to yours.

The info in the link below is for California but it should help you understand what you need to do and things not to do if you feel you really have a case. Be sure to get the process for your location or the location where you have file. Also in a lot of cases if the defended does show the Judge sides with the plaintiff.
http://www.monterey.courts.ca.gov/SmallClaims/HowTos.aspx

The other issue is collecting your judgement if you win, again this is for Ca but it make be of some use to you.
http://cc-courthelp.org/index.cf ... age&pageId=4780

I am so tried of hearing how DJI won't honor their warranty and how the user should just eat the loss because it's a hobby and it is a risk...bla bla bla.  Instead of them making you prove it was not operator error they should have to prove it was.

Lastly justice is not blind, remember drones are not well loved.
2015-3-23
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adrianjacobs
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United Kingdom
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I don't remember anyone mentioning that I was buying an experimental product when I bought my phantom.  
2015-3-23
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gary.ok
lvl.4
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Yes I did have the car. Point taken, and that may well be the deciding factor here. I guess all I am saying is the burden of proof is on the manufacturer even though all of them will try and shift that to the consumer.  Don't let them, and certainly don't do it to yourself. The CSC comment is case in point.  Say he accidentally did a CSC move and shut the motors off. One could argue that this is a design flaw and had it been designed correctly the motors should not be allowed to shut off in flight.  Under that argument it should be covered under warranty.  Others could argue that the manual says don't do that and so it's not DJI's problem.  But see the only argument that counts is the one the judge believes. Warranty spending is a cost of doing business. A good company gives customers the benefit of the doubt and minimizes its warranty spending by product development and improvement.  A bad company does it by hiding from their obligations.
2015-3-23
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johnwarr
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Any company that gives the customer the benefit of the doubt will not be in business very long.
I am very happy with my V+ but lets say I fancy the new version, so if I ring up DJI and say it flew away, they will just send me a new one under warranty ? Don't think so....
I was a business owner for many years, and I can tell you that the general public are the most dishonest bunch out there, everyone these days seems to think they are entitled to something for free.
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gary.ok
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droneflyers.com Posted at 2015-3-24 01:13
I guess I'm somewhat flabbergasted that someone who admits flying over water for many months - think ...

You can't be serious that every 10 flights or so your bird goes down for one reason or another. What on earth are you doing or not doing to make that happen.  These things are not that hard to fly. I can't for the life of me figure out how some folks seem to crash all the time.  You're probably right. You shouldn't fly over water
2015-3-23
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gary.ok
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That's so not true. Case in point GoPro gives the customer the benefit of the doubt.  Anybody who runs a business knows warranty is a cost of doing business and customers are everything.  
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Gerry1124
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gary.ok@hotmail Posted at 2015-3-24 02:29
That's so not true. Case in point GoPro gives the customer the benefit of the doubt.  Anybody who ru ...


Gopro is not DJI.  Gopro runs their company according to US laws because their headquarters is in San Mateo, California.  DJI is in China.  China has a different business culture.
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gary.ok
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That's not true. Any company that sells into the U.S. market is bound by U.S. Laws regardless of where they are headquartered. It is not about their business culture. Warranty is a legal contract between the manufacturer and the consumer. Two items one has a warranty and one does not. Which one do you purchase?  You pay more for the piece of mind when you buy a product that offers a warranty, and when a company does not honor that warranty they are taking away what you rightfully purchased.   In my case with Hyundai it was the fact that they offered a 100,000 mile warranty that made me buy their product in the first place. By the way Korean company doing business in the U.S?  
2015-3-23
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rdc44444
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Every company has a different policy when it comes to warranty and corporate culture and how much they are willing to give for customer satisfaction. I don't think it has anything to do with it being a Chinese vs American company. 3dr robotics is an american drone company and they only have a 90 day warranty for the entire drone. DJI warranty goes from 3 months to one year depending on the part. Walker (a chinese company i believe has only a 7 day warranty). DJI warranty is not bad compared to others.

Warranty is a cost of doing business however if DJI took everyones word and just handed out free phantoms then either the cost would get passed on to us with higher prices or more likely they would go out of business.
2015-3-23
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droneflyers.com
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gary.ok@hotmail Posted at 2015-3-24 02:29
That's so not true. Case in point GoPro gives the customer the benefit of the doubt.  Anybody who ru ...

Ask Apple if they will fix your iphone which dropped into the water.

GoPro actually sold me a camera with a discount code that worked - took the money from my paypal, scheduled delivery and then canceled it saying the discount was not valid. With some users they actually called the cameras back while they were already out for delivery to the customer! This despite the discount price still being very profitable for GoPro.

You may have had a good experience. That's often luck.

In the first 30 days things can be different - Amazon and the credit card companies (and even paypal) have set the rules there. But after that you are generally on your own unless it's a proven defect in materials or workmanship.

I'm not defending DJI - they could sell the units for MUCH more  - normal warranty costs with electronics are 1-5%, but DJI would have to add 20% or so to cover things no questions asked. If that's what customers really want, a secondary insurance or warranty company may come along and offer something to you for 30% a year (of original cost - plus a deductible).

Most everyone who flies a lot has unscheduled landings. DJI themselves admitted - through their director of aerial imaging - that all their contacts who flew over water regularly lost quadcopter to the seas.

Those are the facts. Reality. We can discuss it until we are blue in the face, but quadcopters are not reliable and may never be. Future models may have airbags that save them by floating them, etc.
2015-3-23
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rdc44444
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gary.ok@hotmail Posted at 2015-3-24 02:50
That's not true. Any company that sells into the U.S. market is bound by U.S. Laws regardless of whe ...

Im not a legal expert by any means but what law are you referring to? Yes DJI has a warranty however how are they breaking U.S warranty law in this situation?
2015-3-23
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droneflyers.com
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gary.ok@hotmail Posted at 2015-3-24 02:50
That's not true. Any company that sells into the U.S. market is bound by U.S. Laws regardless of whe ...

You are 100% correct but both warranties and patent/trademark and other litigation often rely on who is ready to spend the most money defending their case.

Autos are a mass market product and it's fair to say that your car should have had the warranty offered. Read DJI's warranty and tell us where it says they will fix it if you drop it into water? Or where it says it is guaranteed never to crash? I don't think these things are in there.

One of their specs in the warranty:
"Labels, Serial Numbers, waterproof mark, false proof mark, etc. show no signs of tampering or altering;"

"waterproof mark"? - that's usually something in the copter which determines if it gets wet. Smart phones have them too. If they got wet, no go on any warranty.

If the OP does claim warranty - it needs to be sent back and they need to look and determine if it's a defect in workmanship and materials which caused the unscheduled landing. They need to pay for the shipment to DJI.

This sounds like what should happen - assuming they feel strongly that something in the unit actually failed and can be found.

2015-3-23
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gary.ok
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In the United states it is the Magnuson-Moss Consumer Warranty Act.  Basically you are correct that when a company puts a warranty down in writing, publishes the warranty, and sells products under the published warranty they are bound by what's in the agreement. It's not a policy it's a law. They have full discretion to put in the document whatever they want, but once they accept a contract or in this case money they are obligated by law to honor what's in it.  I am really surprised how few consumers understand warranty. Oh just FYI typical warranty spending on consumer electronics is 3% of sales. Very very low in comparison to other industries. So no they would not have to add 20%.
2015-3-23
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rdc4444
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gary.ok@hotmail Posted at 2015-3-24 05:39
In the United states it is the Magnuson-Moss Consumer Warranty Act.  Basically you are correct that  ...

You still haven't explained how they have broken the law in this situation. The fact that it simply dropped from the sky could mean he had a defective battery which isn't covered under dji warranty.
2. Following situations are not subject to warranty service conditions:
  • Damage caused by operating the unit with a low charged or defective battery.




2015-3-23
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droneflyers.com
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Lots of possibilities here. Maybe the FPV setup did something weird? Maybe the GoPro turned on it's own wireless?

Could be literally dozens of things.....and just as we often never know with multi-million dollar aircraft, we'll never know in this case. Part of the black box (the video) was discarded by the user....

I feel for anyone who loses something. Heck, I just bought something local here for $1000 and went back to the store two days later and asked about return or exchange (it's in perfect condition). No dice. I'm stuck with it and will sell it at a great loss.

I should have done my homework before I bought.
2015-3-23
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myron
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http://forum.dji.com/forum.php?m ... ra=page%3D1&lang=en
http://forum.dji.com/forum.php?m ... age%3D1&lang=en
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