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Chuck's Soap Box: Ridiculous Lawsuit Threats
724 16 2017-10-6
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Charles Adams
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I'm going to try and tackle topics which interest me as soap box items.  Hopefully our forum participants find these topics as interesting as I.

We have seen various unhappy customers come here into the forums to make a complaint, and pretty quickly start making legal threats and threats of lawsuits.  In this forum topic I will discuss why these threats are ineffective, and some better approaches to achieving one's desired results.

When a threat is made (this applies to any threat), one of three pieces of information is being imparted to the parties involved in the conflict.  The person making the thread doesn't want to execute the threat, can't execute the threat, or is ignorant to the complexities of executing the threat.  Details follow about each of these three data points.


  • The person making the threat doesn't want to execute the threat.  If the person wanted to do something, he/she would just do it.  Because he/she isn't just doing it, only threatening, he/she is hoping that the relative cost of executing the threat is perceived to be less for him/her than it is for this/her adversary, and is hoping that the costs can be avoided entirely.
  • The person making the threat can't execute the threat.  The person is in fact powerless, but is making an effort to get a result in spite of being powerless.  In essence, he/she is bluffing.
  • The person is ignorant of the complexities of executing the threat. Without any knowledge, the person goes off half-cocked and starts throwing threats left and right because they don't really understand the commitment required to execute the threat.  This is the weakest position to be in should the adverse parties realize the threat is made from a position of ignorance.

The power of a threat comes from two sources:  A perception that the party is willing to execute the threat and a perception that the relative cost of execution will be less for the party making it than for the party being threatened.  If either of these perceptions work against the individual making the threat, then there is no power and influence.

There is a third item that gives a threat power, which is often misunderstood.  If a threat has any power, that power only exists prior to its execution.  Once executed, the threat loses all power and is no longer a factor.  The power of influence moves away from the "threat" and moves to the act itself.  By executing the threat, you've traded your ability to influence the outcome during "negotiations" (when talk is inexpensive) to a phase where influencing the outcome comes with direct costs and consequences.

Coming into these forums and throwing a lawsuit threat into a conversation early is a sign of desperation, weakness, and inflexibility.  DJI is the largest consumer drone company in the world.  The terms and conditions and licenses to which you agreed when you activated your drone gives the company a pretty good position.  They know the risks of giving flying Cuisinarts to the general public.  They have taken steps to protect their company.  Read your terms and conditions, you will find that you "signed" away your rights to sue or to be a party of a class action lawsuit (p.s. you can always sue, no matter what the contract says, you've only weakened your starting position by signing the contract, you have never really given it up).

Another factor working against the threat is that you are not working with (talking directly to) any of the board of directors.  You are working with our moderators.  To a moderator on this board, a threat of a lawsuit is an abstract concept.  A threat is far less powerful when it is in abstract.  It's one thing to hear about how your neighbors were threatened.  It's entirely another thing to be personally threatened or have your family threatened.  Your reaction is pre-programmed (thanks again Darwin).  An abstract threat is not going to have much influence on our moderators.  In abstract, they know that any pain inflicted on the company could impact them, but the threat is not directly tangible.

Finally, our moderators are NOT interested in screwing you.  They really do want to achieve a balanced result which satisfies the company and consumer.  Sometimes this is to the entire satisfaction of the consumer, sometimes it's not.  In cases where it's not to your satisfaction, they aren't happy about it.  They are not throwing a party because of your pain and misery.

The best way to come to a satisfactory conclusion is to help them help you.  They cannot guarantee your happiness or a satisfactory conclusion, but they will guarantee that if you work with them, they will try.  Use this.  Give them positive reasons to be vested in a positive outcome to your situation.

If in the end you feel that you have no choice but to resort to legal action, it will be a more meaningful and powerful statement when you have exhausted your other possibilities.

2017-10-6
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Wachtberger
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Excellent analysis Charles!
2017-10-6
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Charles Adams
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Wachtberger Posted at 2017-10-6 08:31
Excellent analysis Charles!

I really want people to get the results they desire.  I've seen so many people use methods and tactics that will never help them to get there.

I've never "pounced" on an individual who makes a "lawsuit threat" at the time of the threat, because tempers are too heated for the conversation to be productive.  I've waited until there was a time when there hasn't been a recent threat, so that nobody thinks I'm specifically being harsh on a single individual.

This isn't a pro-DJI rant (or I hope it doesn't come across that way).  This is a pro-"here's how you get what you want" rant.
2017-10-6
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djiuser_Kf4iPA3
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That's good advice for life in general, not just for drones....
2017-10-6
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Charles Adams
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I have a series of "soap box" topics that I've been sitting on, waiting for the right moment to bring up (when not in the heat of a conflict).  This is a trial balloon to see how the forum community receives my "soap box" rants.
2017-10-6
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Montfrooij
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Great piece.
Now lets hope someone with an angry mindset is ready for this ratio.
2017-10-6
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hallmark007
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“Those who cry the loudest are not always the ones who are hurt the most”

I sometimes cringe when I see the headlines of a thread CLASS ACTION. As someone who runs a small business I can tell those who complain the most usually have the least to complain about.
People who are reasonable about their difficulties usually get looked after first , “there is more than one way to skin a cat” . Nobody goes out of there way to bring problems on others particularly their customers.
Yes we live in an era where CS is hugely important, we must also understand that dji is only 11 years old companies like Apple who seem be the benchmark these days, when I look back to when they were at the same stage as dji, they were not without their problems, I seem to remember a young Steve jobs being ousted and many problems with their new releases.

“The more you talk about them, the more important they will feel. The more you listen to them, the more important you will make them feel.”
2017-10-6
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Charles Adams
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hallmark007 Posted at 2017-10-6 10:13
“Those who cry the loudest are not always the ones who are hurt the most”

I sometimes cringe when I see the headlines of a thread CLASS ACTION. As someone who runs a small business I can tell those who complain the most usually have the least to complain about.

You must read a lot, or have an eidetic memory, or both.  Your quotes (from wise women and men of past and present eras) are always welcome to read, and never ends.

History has a lot of, well....   history.
2017-10-6
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Kloo Gee
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I eagerly await volume 2 of the Chuck's Soap Box series.  I'm quite sure it will be another topic close to my lips.
2017-10-6
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hallmark007
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Charles Adams Posted at 2017-10-6 10:19
You must read a lot, or have an eidetic memory, or both.  Your quotes (from wise women and men of past and present eras) are always welcome to read, and never ends.

History has a lot of, well....   history.

When both your parents were school teachers...
2017-10-6
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LOKY
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Would be more or less, if you want to pull the trigger on some bad guy, just do it and not keeping advertising.
2017-10-6
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Charles Adams
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Kloo Gee Posted at 2017-10-6 10:58
I eagerly await volume 2 of the Chuck's Soap Box series.  I'm quite sure it will be another topic close to my lips.

Thanks.  I've a few topics in mind.  Some of which are based on my opinions (such as this one), some of which I have no opinion but want to be enlightened.  Some of which will kick the hornets nest.  All inspired by topics or threads that are already present.
2017-10-6
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fans0c10c3ea
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Your logic is spot on. Unfortionality I belive that the posters you describe are running on more emotion that logic. I will be looking for your next Soap Box topic.
2017-10-6
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DronerX
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Well said.  Another key point is that if a person keeps threatening a lawsuit, but never acts, they lose complete credibility.  It's like the boy who cried wolf once to often....
2017-10-6
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Wachtberger
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I very much look forward to the "hornets nest"!
2017-10-6
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Rawsome
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Bravo, well spoken Charles!
2017-10-6
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DJIisTerrible
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Very well said Charles, I wish I would've read this before my lawsuit post

Speaking from experience, I feel like a lot of the people extremely frustrated with DJI, aren't mad just because they felt cheated or robbed. I think we all wish the best for DJI. The emotional posts are common across the drone forums because customers of DJI aren't trying to purchase a drone. They're purchasing the "hope" of pursuing their dream or business. When the person selling them the tools that they expect will bring their business to that next level, is the same person that robs them of any momentum, it becomes more emotional.

You see a lot of empty threats, because even if you get stabbed in the back by a friend, you don't want to hurt your friend back. You just want them to stop hurting people. To attack/sue DJI would represent suing the hope of pursuing your dream.

I love how well your post was written. It will help diffuse a lot of new threads on here.
2018-4-21
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