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A Lesson Learned... Buying from DJI...
4585 29 2015-6-18
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emptymind
lvl.2

United States
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We tested our Phantom 3 last week for the first time by hovering to 20 feet and then discovered a severe gimbal fault (bad horizon tilt). We emailed DJI about this and yesterday they replied that they can only repair this and to call for a RMA and ship the Phantom back. We told them we bought this for a documentary film shoot in 3 weeks time so we cannot wait for a repair.

DJI tell me they only replace faulty Phantoms within 7 days of delivery regardless of faulty products. I cannot believe this is true - this fault was obviously there on delivery. No seller would do this to customers. Unfortunately we unboxed our Phantom 10 days after delivery because I was on a film shoot abroad.

Beside buying direct from DJI our other mistake was using paypal. Now we have to probably file a money-back demand from paypal.

A lesson learned - never buy direct from manufacturers. You have no recourse. Clearly we will miss our film shoot and not only will we not have aerial footage that we planned in our film, but probably not get our money back.

PS. We also ordered and paid for the DJI case two weeks ago and even though they told me it is in stock for shipping within 5 days... they now admit it is not in stock and it will ship at the earliest in July.... then again with no drone to take on our shoot, this is moot.
2015-6-18
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vu.q.le
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2015-6-18
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Rob88
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Canada
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Silly question . . . but have you tried to adjust the gimbal?   Try a gimbal auto calibration and if it doesn't work, do it again.  If it is still off, you can do a manual adjustment under "adjust gimbal roll".

I was filming a triathlon last week and noticed the horizon was not level.  I paused mid-flight, adjusted the roll, and carried on.  The footage was perfect and was picked up by two TV stations.
2015-6-18
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gregg1r
First Officer

United States
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Sorry to hear of your problems.

Have you thought of purchasing a new unit from a more local dealer that has stock and then disputing the PayPal transaction?

In my experience, PayPal is more customer oriented than the credit card companies.

The credit card company if you don't pay will ding your credit. PayPal on the other hand will advocate for you. If the vendor doesn't respond, PayPal freezes their account.

If enough people complain to PayPal, PayPal will not allow any transactions which I'd say is a large portion of the online sales.
2015-6-18
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fhagan02
Second Officer
Flight distance : 1854908 ft
United States
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So sorry to hear as I've been down this path too.

B&H Photo every time for me. 30 day return policy. I've returned defective DJI products to them before vs trying to deal with DJI. Filled out the simple B&H online return in seconds. Got a PRE-PAID shipping label via email in seconds. Shipped the unit. Had a brand new one is 6 days. That's customer service.

GoPro is the only other manufacturer I'll buy direct from. They are fantastic. If only they made a quad copter.....in say 2016.....but that's fantasizing....isn't it?

2015-6-18
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emptymind
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United States
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We buy a lot of equipment almost exclusively with B&H but they did not have the Phantom 3 available when we ordered. If we had known we would be dealing directly with a Chinese company from Shenzhen then we would never have ordered. I've never dealt with a company that is so unprepared and inadequate in dealing with its customers as DJI.

I have had my assistant constantly calling DJI service center for the last seven hours - still no one picks up. The best we got was a message that said it would be 40 minutes to reach a rep... then after 30 minutes the message tells us to call back as the volume of calls is too high and they hang up!!

We have made a claim with Paypal and luckily enough my company makes over 200 transactions per week with them, so they should be on our side.
2015-6-18
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2015-6-18
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jon.godfrey
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United Kingdom
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there is LOADS of advice on how to fix this issue on this forum.  Have you tried any of them?  After firmware updates cold IMU calibration?  It worked perfectly for me.
2015-6-18
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gregg1r
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jon.godfrey Posted at 2015-6-19 05:35
there is LOADS of advice on how to fix this issue on this forum.  Have you tried any of them?  After ...

Jon, I see that of lately a few of your posts are being shielded.

I don't think anyone here purchased a Phantom 3 expecting to spend numerous hours updating and deleting reinstalling software on a quad that was advertised as a turn key, ready to fly out of the box unit.

Frank Wang's absence from April New York Phantom launch was an admission that things weren't all good in DJI land.

I don't think anyone here wants the Phantom 3 to fail, otherwise they wouldn't have plunked down their hard earned cash for the quad.

Frank, it's time to "Come on Down" as they say on the "Price is Right". Address the masses and explain what your company is doing to address the problems. Humble pie tastes better warm than cold. Do it now, please?  
2015-6-18
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Rob88
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Canada
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gregg1r Posted at 2015-6-19 05:55
Jon, I see that of lately a few of your posts are being shielded.

I don't think anyone here purch ...

Actually . . . I did expect issues like this.

Last year, a friend of mine bought a new vehicle, with all the bells and whistles, including navigation.  I decided it was time to upgrade my old BMW and stumbled across this Chinese item: Android Multimedia System

Now I can stream Spotify in my car, watch movies (not a good idea), surf the internet, navigate, send email, access and reset the car's computer, set custom gauges displaying 0-60 times, torque, horsepower, cost per mile travelled . . . I even have a built in dash cam . . . the list is endless.  However, what's also endless are the firmware updates and constant tinkering.

So I sort of expected more of the same with the Phantom.  Basically, I think the Chinese business philosophy is not what we're used to.  We're used to companies testing products thoroughly before going to market because if they don't they will be sued, there will be recalls, etc.  On the other hand, I think the Chinese are fiercely competitive and want to be first to market with a product, whether it's ready or not.  As for recalls and law suits, those are probably unknown in China, at least as we understand them.

So the good news is that the Chinese are bringing us amazing technology as fast as they can.  But sometimes, that may be too fast.  So the way I see it, either you wait a few years until the technology matures, or you jump in and essentially become a beta tester.

BTW, I have logged 86 flights since I got my Phantom, and I have never even once tested the auto take off, auto land, or RTH features.  I'm sure they work fine . . . but I don't want to find out they don't.

Just my two cents . . . don't shoot the messenger

2015-6-18
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mtnmaddman
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jon.godfrey Posted at 2015-6-19 05:35
there is LOADS of advice on how to fix this issue on this forum.  Have you tried any of them?  After ...

why are they shielding your posts Jon
2015-6-18
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Mark97564
Second Officer
Flight distance : 2067749 ft
United States
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What I do is use paypal to pay for stuff but select my visa check card as the way to let paypal take my money from my bank account..  That way I've got paypal to back me up if I need and visa and my bank..  I can reverse a charge on my Visa card in 20 minutes and they will take it right back from PayPal if need be..  It's annoying how electronic draft is default and every time I buy something I've gotta change the payment type but hey, it's a little extra protection
2015-6-18
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Mark97564
Second Officer
Flight distance : 2067749 ft
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Also what dou mean mtnmaddman? Who is shielding his posts? And how do you know?
2015-6-18
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flyfi
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jon.godfrey Posted at 2015-6-19 05:35
there is LOADS of advice on how to fix this issue on this forum.  Have you tried any of them?  After ...

its brand new. why should he have to fix it?

dont listen to these people. pack it up and send it back if its broken.

yes, its an inconvenience. you paid for a BRAND NEW RTF out of the box unit. if thats not what you received, then why keep it?!
2015-6-18
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Rob88
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Canada
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flyfi Posted at 2015-6-19 06:44
its brand new. why should he have to fix it?

dont listen to these people. pack it up and send it  ...

Fix it?  I'm not sure it's broken.  From the description in the original post, it sounds like it may just need to be calibrated.
2015-6-18
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emptymind
lvl.2

United States
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Yes, I did not expect to do all these things to get a brand new Phantom to fly correct. But I am willing to do them and I have... three times we have calibrated.
My post is specifically that I could have avoided all these problems by not going though DJI and buying from say, B&H or Amazon. I should have a perfect machine out of the box and if not, DJI should be doing better than they are in not only fixing this but dealing with customers.
I finally talked to customer service after a 40 minute wait on the phone and even though they agree my Phantom is brand new they stubbornly refuse to exchange or replace. All they talk about is helping me to fix this over the phone or by emailing me some steps to take. Incredible really for a new product purchase.
The one thing we have not tried is updating to this weeks firmware then calibrating... but from what I see the latest firmware is not well received.
2015-6-18
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droneflyers.com
First Officer
Flight distance : 60709 ft
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United States
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I had a bad horizon tilt and it pretty much fixed itself after a while...lots of hints and tips about how to do so.

Ideally it would be perfect on every one. But it isn't.

It should be noted that this stuff is hobby equipment - neither designed nor supported for those "gotta do a professional shoot" this weekend crowd. Not to say you can't do it, but considering that until the P3 the only thing capable of this quality was the Inspire or 5K plus, you have to put it in perspective.

I noticed a lot of "prosumer" P3 buyers bought two - and also have an Inspire. They use some of them as backups and for different shots. That's a total of $5500 worth of equipment, still very low when it comes to doing anything even semi-pro.

But, yeah, I agree with you....if I thought I wanted to possibly return my bird, I'd buy from Amazon or B&H, etc.
Since I'm a hobbyist, though, I like to learn about tuning and fixing them....so in my case I don't mind fiddling with them.

We are simply not there yet in terms of drones being either regular consumer electronics or prosumer and heavily supported tools.
2015-6-18
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BMWKante
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droneflyers.com Posted at 2015-6-19 08:12
I had a bad horizon tilt and it pretty much fixed itself after a while...lots of hints and tips abou ...


How does it fixed itself? I am asking because my P3A is also affected by a tilted horizon.
2015-6-19
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bobbyjefflove
lvl.1

United States
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Mine has been running pretty good, where in the US are you located?  If you are near Houston, you can borrow mine.  Anyone else out there wanna help this guy out?
2015-6-19
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jon.godfrey
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flyfi Posted at 2015-6-19 06:44
its brand new. why should he have to fix it?

dont listen to these people. pack it up and send it  ...

Not fix as in repair but things such as calibrate … fix the issue not the aircraft.
2015-6-19
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jon.godfrey
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BMWKante Posted at 2015-6-19 16:42
How does it fixed itself? I am asking because my P3A is also affected by a tilted horizon.

Tilted horizon is resolved by calibration.
2015-6-19
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gregg1r
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Mark97564 Posted at 2015-6-19 06:40
Also what dou mean mtnmaddman? Who is shielding his posts? And how do you know?

I posted up about the shielding as I've seen a few of Jon's post marked as being shielded by moderator.

Someone's been a bad boy. Mention the name of a competitor or a number of other infractions and the Shield gets used.
2015-6-19
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msjh
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flyfi Posted at 2015-6-19 06:44
its brand new. why should he have to fix it?

dont listen to these people. pack it up and send it  ...

High technology products frequently have early-life issues.  This is well-known.

If you don't want to take the risk of such problems, order a more mature product; for example, the Inspire.
2015-6-19
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gregg1r
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msjh Posted at 2015-6-19 23:10
High technology products frequently have early-life issues.  This is well-known.

If you don't wan ...

Nope!

Looking at the Inspire board, they've got problems also.

While true, a newer product is somewhat expected to have some problems, the installed base of Phantom 3 units is probably 40 times larger. This makes identifying problems much easier when you perform Pareto analysis. If it was a once in 10,000 unit anomaly, it is difficult to establish root cause. The same issue effecting a large sample of your product is much easier to find the fault.

Before purchasing a new model year car, I rented the model I was interested in. Rental vehicles are subjected to more abuse than I would do and they racked up many more miles than I would generate in a year. Works like a charm.
2015-6-19
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msjh
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gregg1r Posted at 2015-6-19 23:24
Nope!

Looking at the Inspire board, they've got problems also.

I didn't say the Inspire was trouble-free, but it's early-life issues are largely addressed.
2015-6-19
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leon
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United States
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I also, have the the drifting Horizon, I have placed the P3P on a perfectly level desk, and calibrated the gimbal, When I start flying the gimbal stays level, and then after about 3 minutes in to the flight the gimbal starts to drift towards a left side tilt, about 2-3 degrees, I have tried to even do a Gimbal Cal in mid flight with no wind, but it does not work. I'm not sticking my P3 in a fridge to do a IMU Cal, I'm also running the latest FW 1.2.6 and all the calibrations were done.  It should not be a physical gimbal issue. It will get fixed. In the mean time I just do a -2 adjustment in early flight to the gimbal roll, if it drifts then I just fix it in post.
2015-6-19
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aburkefl
First Officer
Flight distance : 78612 ft
United States
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I placed an order directly to DJI using PayPal. When I got tired of waiting for my batteries, I contacted PayPal Didn't wait too long on the phone and a nice young lady talked me through the process of filing a dispute. PayPal cautions you that it might take up to 20 days for the process to complete and that once the process completes, it might take several days for the "refund" to hit your bank account.

Mine was resolved and my refund sent in about three days. The money went back into my PayPal wallet immediately. Pretty fast and pretty painless.

Called Drone Nerds in the Miami area. They said they were getting shipments of batteries on a moderately regular basis and were quickly selling what they received. I ordered two batteries (this past  Thursday) and they're scheduled for arrival tomorrow afternoon.
2015-6-21
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Jack57
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Canada
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aburkefl@gmail. Posted at 2015-6-22 08:11
I placed an order directly to DJI using PayPal. When I got tired of waiting for my batteries, I cont ...


I though that when you order through dji using PayPal or a credit/debit card, and you cancel your order doesn't the money go back to your bank automatically after a few days...? I never knew that you have to contact PayPal to process a dispute so that you can get the money back onto your account, I thought dji would do that for you once you cancel your order. Does the same apply to major credit cards?
2015-6-21
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aburkefl
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Flight distance : 78612 ft
United States
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Jack57 Posted at 2015-6-22 08:44
I though that when you order through dji using PayPal or a credit/debit card, and you cancel your ...

I searched for a way on the DJI web site to cancel my order. Couldn't find it. In fairness, perhaps I didn't look long enough! I started out with PayPal and explained - they took my money immediately, but it's been a month now and I still haven't seen my order, etc. So PayPal initiated the "dispute" from their side.

Then, when I came back here, someone else pointed out the email address to place/cancel orders. I went there and cancelled my order. Note from DJI said my "....request was under review...."

A day or two later they noted my order had been cancelled and that it might take a few days before the money was returned to my bank account. I signed into PayPal and my wallet already had the refund.

A very few times in the past, I've had problems with a purchase. In those few instances, I went directly to my credit card company. Never took very long to get things resolved. As a lady told me a long time ago when I made a dispute - "...hit 'em where it hurts - in the pocket book!"
2015-6-22
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fansf9b73eed
lvl.1

United States
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Never purchase from the dji site directly they put estimated delivery times on their site but don't even come close to achieving that time frame. I ordered with a 3-5 day shipping time. I was told it was shipping the next day. The next day after nothing changed I contacted them to ask what the deal was and they said sorry as of yesterday we are out of stock and we don't know when we will get this item in or when it will ship sorry. Should have ordered it from amazon and accepted the unknown time frame at least then I wouldn't get my hopes up for no reason at all
2017-1-24
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