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My experience with uavrepairshop
1596 22 2015-4-26
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paul
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United States
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[EDIT: The sheer abundance of words here seems to give the impression to some that I feel this was the worst experience ever.  Not so.  It's only long because the reader and the business both deserve that I am thorough and accurate.  My experience included good and bad.  I paid a good price for a service that was provided to completion.  But given communication issues and delays, I would not choose to use this service again.  

That's the bottom line.  
Decide for yourself if it's a mountain or molehill.  If someone has a better experience that's great... please post it.]


Here's my experience with uavrepairshop.  I alluded to some concerns in another thread, but I didn't want to post this until I had my P2V+ gimbal back in my hands.

The website says: "Turnaround time for diagnostics andassessment is 24-48 hours from the time I receive your UAV."  It also says: “Orders usually ship within three business days from when received.”

Thursday, April 9th: I left voicemail, but he called back quickly and he was very receptive and helpful on the phone.  I paid the $50 diagnostic fee online and mailed my gimbal with tracking,and the expectation it would arrive by Saturday, April 11th.  The package had a note with a description ofthe gimblal’s issues and my contact information... email, address, phone.  The payment cleared the next day.

Saturday, April 11th: As expected, USPS tracking says it was delivered and signed for by "an individual".

I didn't call Saturday, Sunday or Monday because I assume he only works 5 days a week, so I figured "24-48 hours" must mean after the first workday, and although I worry about my gimbal, I didn't want to be a pest.

Tuesday April 14th: I left voicemail just to make sure he received my package.  No call back.

Wednesday, April 15th: Left voicemail again.  No call back.

Thursday, April 16th: No correspondence.

Friday, April 17th: I had still had no contact by phone, email, or any means.  At this point it had been 6 days since someone signed for that package, (8 since I mailed it) and I didn’t know if he was aware he had it, if it was delivered to the wrong house, or if he had associated it with me and my payment.  I left another voicemail and also sent an email.

About 6 hours later I did receive a returned call.  He acknowledged he had a lot of voicemails like mine, as his “day job” in I.T. had taken him away temporarily as servers were down.  I’ve been in I.T. myself so truly, I understand.  BUT… If he’s running a business which requires clients to send him hardware worth hundreds of dollars, some communication would be appropriate. Especially if the website says: “Turnaround time for diagnostics andassessment is 24-48 hours from the time I receive your UAV."  I didn’t know he had a “day job” and might have selected another repair shop if I had known.

No correspondence over the weekend.

Monday, April 20th: I received an email which includes: “…besides the obvious flex cable replacement and rotor re-attachment, the mainboard is bad too.” WHOA, HOLD UP… My gimbal had an intact ribbon cable.  I emailed him, stating I think he was referring to the wrong gimbal, and asking him to send a photo of the gimbal he’s talking about.  His brief response was “ok, I’ll double check.  thanks for letting meknow.”  (No acknowledgement of my request for a photo.)  I also emailed again with the same description of symptoms I had included with my package, hoping it would help to identify which one was mine.

It seems if I hadn’t caught this, I would have been paying more for someone else’s repairs, and might never have known why I paid so much when I got a working gimbal back.

8 hours later, he emailed acknowledging I was correct -- he had described repairs for the wrong gimbal.  He also said he had emailed another customer, describing to him repairs for my gimbal.

Oddly, neither of his two emails describing necessary repairs included the cost of such repairs, and neither told me the next steps.

Anyway, in the latter email, he said mine required a pitch sensor board and motor replacement.  I questioned this via email because my pitch had actually worked fine… Only the roll axis had any problems and the pitch axis had no cosmetic damage. (And after all, he had already given me a diagnosis of the wrong gimbal, so I still don’t know if he’s talking about mine.)

He replied, proposing we talk by phone.  (Note that I had never before heard him answer live when I call.)  But I called and he did answer.  He described the packaging of my gimbal accurately, and he explained how the pitch axis was involved and I was satisfied with that explanation.  He told me the total cost of repair would be $110 (in addition to the $50 I had paid for diagnosis.)

He also told me he had several working gimbals in inventory, and in the interest of expedience, he could send one of them to me tomorrow morning, rather than waiting to repair mine.  I agreed, and said “I can pay you online within a couple hours”.  He said “Don’t worry about that.”  (Or words to that effect.  The feeling was he wasn’t concerned that I might fail to pay, and that I shouldn’t go out of my way to do it.)

Tuesday, April 21st: Well, I did indeed forget to pay until early the next morning, and I paid at about the same time he said he had promised to mail the gimbal.  Now mind you, I don’t expect him to mail a gimbal out until he’s been paid, but it appeared to have been his plan to mail it anyway, and he seemed to express confidence he would be paid, so I mailed him: “Hi, I paid the $110 early this morning, not last night as I intended.  Sorry for that.  Of course I wouldn't expect you to mail a gimbal before you're paid, but did you send ittoday?”  No reply until the next day.

Wednesday, April 22nd: He called to tell me he had mailed the package the same morning, (not the prior morning as he had stated he would) therefore I should expect it by Saturday, April 25th.  I asked if he could provide a tracking number for the shipment, and he said he would email that to me the next day.  The website says: “Every package sent out will be followed upwith a shipping provider tracking information.” Well, that just didn’t happen, even when I asked for it.

Saturday, April 25th: Although I never got atracking number, a fully functional gimbal was on my doorstep.  It appears to be in good shape.
Ultimately, I paid $50 diagnostic fee + $110 for repairs, +$12.50 for one way shipping.  So thetotal out-of-pocket $172.50 isn’t too bad. It also appears that his expertise is solid.

BUT… I had been without my gimbal for 16 days and I had been led to expect much faster turnaround. And lack of organization and communication caused me to worry severaltimes.

Was this just an exceptional isolated circumstance?  To some extent, maybe.  He’s not out to cheat anyone, and he can do the work at a reasonable price.  But since he’s not the only game in town, I will send any future repairs elsewhere.

2015-4-26
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nrgwise
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United States
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Sorry you had to wait so long and also thanks for sharing the story.  Hope you get back to happier things like...flying?
2015-4-26
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kirk2579
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Flight distance : 37415 ft
United States
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I all honesty I have read this twice.  While some of the emails may have been slow and you caught a potential mixup early on. It was handled and solved promptly per you.

the 15 day time frame you mentioned included shipping time and 2 weekends
.
You had verification they got it on Saturday yet also called very quickly to ask if they got it and you knew they did...
It was turned around in about 7 days vs the 3 in the ad. getting it to you Sat  ( Tues-Fri, Mon-wed)  then ship.

You say price is fair,  the work is good,  yet you seem to want to punish this person for 3-4 days slow and being a bad emailer.

Have you read about DJI communication and turnaround time, lol
You are holding this guy trying to save use time and money to a standard even a multimillion dollar company cannot come close to.  

Be careful what you ask for.

good luck and have fun flying


PS, I am self employed and you can never please all the people all the time no matter how hard you try.  I actually go bitched at the other day by a customer,  why?  I did the job I was hired to do faster than expected.....  30 years and never got that one before.
2015-4-26
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paul
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kirk2579@aol.co Posted at 2015-4-27 10:01
I all honesty I have read this twice.  While some of the emails may have been slow and you caught a  ...

So that I'll know how to respond, are you asserting that:

A) I described my experience inaccurately.
or
B) A description of my experience should not have been posted for some reason.
or
C) Both.

P.S. Since you state you're self-employed I should mention that I'm also self-employed in a service business.  I bought the business 7 years ago, and have since more than doubled the client base and added 6 employees, with zero advertising in an environment saturated with competition.  We thrive on word-of-mouth only.  Based on results, I think I can speak with some authority about customer service.  Since not every business has a good reputation, and the majority actually fail, the simple fact that a person owns a business does not necessarily demonstrate customer service expertise.

P.S. My position is neither more nor less than this: I paid a good price for a service that was provided to my satisfaction, albeit with delays which I came to understand eventually.  But in the course of that service, poor communication caused stress.  As I see it, the take-away for any business owner should be this: Set expectations realistically, meet expectations consistently, but in the rare cases that expectations cannot be met, communicate thoroughly and promptly, resetting the expectations realistically once again, and follow through.

Again I ask: A, B, or C?
2015-4-26
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kirk2579
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paul@westpointd Posted at 2015-4-27 11:13
So that I'll know how to respond, are you asserting that:

A) I described my experience inaccurate ...

since you asked I think you needlessly added to his workload by calling to ask something you knew the answer to.

I looked at site and it appears as if setup late in 2014. I agree that changing some info to reflect current vs then turn around times would be helpful.

I am thinking that since Christmas so many new phantoms have hit the streets that everyone that repairs /fixes may be far busier than they ever thought.  Just my guess on that.

I thought when I read it , how do you say?

mountain out of mole hill.

That's all, you certainly have the right to post but that is what crossed my mind upon reading.

take care and have fun flying!
2015-4-27
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paul
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Okay, so it seems you're acknowledging it's accurate, and there's no reason not to post it.  Thanks.

At most, you suggest it was inappropriate to call him Tuesday (48 working hours after it arrived), and again Wednesday (72 working hours after it arrived) and even Friday (120 working hours after it arrived).... when his website says I'll hear back within 24 to 48 hours.  Your reasoning is that my calls added to his workload.  I certainly didn't call multiple times a day, and of course no workload is added when he doesn't actually do the work of calling back.

No, I certainly did not know he had received it.  I only knew it was signed for by "an individual"... I probably should have mentioned that the tracking said it was delivered to a different city than I had mailed it to... 20 minutes away.  The fact that it wasn't acknowledged even implied it had been misplaced.  Yes, I feel I had good reason to call.

As long as I described the experience accurately and without bias, (including also some positive aspects of my experience) then I welcome the reader to determine for himself whether this is a service they wish to employ.  If they feel these facts amount to "mole hill", so be it.  I never labeled it a mountain.

You could ask: "How would I feel?"  Well, my business is my only livelihood.  I'm 48 years old and have no fallback career so without it, I'm screwed.  Of course my reputation is extremely important to me.  That's why I believe in simple ideas like transparency and accountability.  I COUNT ON people to post reviews of my business, as well as my many competitors.  But before that happens, if there's an area that can be improved, the first way I usually find out is when the customer calls, as I did.  When that happens, I nip it in the bud.  I might offer a discount, refund, or expedited service if we've broken any promises, whether those promises are on our website, in our contract, or verbal.  That happened here.  And when it did, there was still a lack of communication.
2015-4-27
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spuckett7
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Boy, I really hesitate to ask this question because I don't want it to ignite into something, ok?  I'm just curious if kirk2579 has any actual  personal experience with  uavrepairshop?

I for one value experience, good or bad,  over opinion.  I thought the whole purpose of this forum was to share experience and help each other out.  The main reason I'm here is to learn.  
2015-4-27
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kirk2579
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spuckett7 Posted at 2015-4-28 05:23
Boy, I really hesitate to ask this question because I don't want it to ignite into something, ok?  I ...

Other than an email asking a question that was promply answered for free about repair of tilted gimbal no I have not.
I still think 15 days including 2 weekends and shipping time turn around on a repair is not an event  woth complaining about


2015-4-27
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droneflyers.com
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United States
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Well, that's certainly a good price and much quicker than most other options.....

I also would not complain about it - then again, I'd suggest for the repair shop to remove where it says they come quickly....

The shop definitely lost money on this deal....all those calls and contacts do away with any potential profits. He's got to stop using the phone if he ever wants to make $$. You can't BS and work at the same time.....email or online tickets would be better, IMHO.
2015-4-27
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paul
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droneflyers.com Posted at 2015-4-28 07:25
Well, that's certainly a good price and much quicker than most other options.....

I also would not  ...

How many times do you think we spoke on the phone?

Pretty much for this transaction to happen at all, there's one call before you pay, one after diagnosis, then one to inform that it's shipped.  That's three.  I spoke to him on the phone 3 times, exactly.
2015-4-27
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yorlik
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kirk2579@aol.co Posted at 2015-4-28 07:07
I still think 15 days including 2 weekends and shipping time turn around on a repair is not an event  woth complaining about

I could agree it is a non event but only if that met his advertised turn around times, which it did not.  It is irrelevant if he got busy since Christmas - he did not hire more people or change his advertised turn around times.

You cannot argue that he missed his promises by 300+%.  It is irrelevant if his actual is better than the competition;  the relevant fact is he totally missed his advertised turn around time.

The OP acknowledged he does a top notch job, but that does not clear him from failing to meet his advertised turn around time.

I must side with OP:  he either needs to turn around per his advertised terms or change his advertised terms.  Yes, I too am a small business owner and would certainly NEVER leave wrong advertisements up for potential new customers to see and count on for such a long time.  Sorry but I say you are totally wrong in this one Kirk.  If a potential customer cannot believe his advertised specs, how can they have faith he will meet ANY?

I think OP,  giving his experience,   did all a favor, even the repair house (now other potential new customers can plan accordingly and decide if they are willing and able to wait the REAL turn around times.
2015-4-27
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our0borus
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Gives me another option to consider instead of sending my bird off to DJI.  Yowser, from what I read about those turn arounds times!
2015-4-27
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tonyray955
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I looked at the site and it does say:
"Turn around time for diagnostics and assessment is 24-48 hours from the time I receive your UAV" it doesn't say 1 to 2 business days

It also says: “Orders usually ship within three business days from when received.”

Paul wasn't able to get a hold of  him until Friday a full week after he had received the gimbal and when he did get in contact no repairs had been done and not only that he told him about the wrong gimbal and wanted to charge him for the repair of someone else gimbal and if Paul hadn't caught it he would have paid the higher price and would have got that persons gimbal. Another thing is Paul never did get his gimbal repaired or get it back he ended up with another gimbal the shop just happened to have on hand.

I want to thank Paul for letting us know about his experience I know I will never use that shop.      
2015-4-27
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roy
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DJI is telling us 5-6 weeks turn around.I am in my sixth week and no news yet. I'll be on the phone Monday at the start of the seventh week. It went in for a firmware issue and no hardware problems. Did the 3.12 update and it killed my gimbal panning.
2015-4-27
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paul
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I edited my original post with a clarifying preface.  I think the fact that my post was long may give a different impression than I intended.
2015-4-27
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kirk2579
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paul@westpointd Posted at 2015-4-28 10:04
I edited my original post with a clarifying preface.  I think the fact that my post was long may giv ...

fair enough
2015-4-27
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kirk2579
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yorlik Posted at 2015-4-28 07:59
I could agree it is a non event but only if that met his advertised turn around times, which it did ...

I agree the change need be made in web notice , but days late is  not weeks is all I said in the end.
yes he can hire help and then the 170 goes to 250 etc. etc.
lets just agree to disagree on how bad the service was.
2015-4-27
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kirk2579
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tonyray955 Posted at 2015-4-28 08:42
I looked at the site and it does say:
"Turn around time for diagnostics and assessment is 24-48 hour ...

many repair shops offer depot swap for speed, so do most mfg..
It was offered and he accepted end of story on that.
in fact I have seen some wish dji would do just that to facilitae turn around time or at least offer that as option. great idea by the way.

yes the guy was a 3 or 4 days late ! come on really! that is really so terrible. if end result was high priced or crappy game on! but it was not.

I believe the OP and I are good with his edit , I feel he got my original read!
2015-4-27
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paul
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"the guy was a 3 or 4 days late ! come on really!"

Being late is one thing.  Being late and avoiding contact with the client is quite another.
2015-4-27
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kirk2579
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I tried !
lets agree  to disagree  and just go fly and have fun with our toys!
2015-4-27
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gnixon2015
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i used dronefly and they fixed it within 1 business day of receipt.  i expect they are going to ship it out to me tomorrow or the next day.  very happy with their service assuming the drone is returned in working order.
2015-4-27
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yorlik
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kirk2579@aol.co Posted at 2015-4-28 10:30
lets just agree to disagree on how bad the service was.

fair enough!   Agree, let's go fly!
2015-4-28
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kjkisatsky
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I called that guy at UAVrepairshop and left a message about sending mine in for repair, never called me back.  I sent mine back to DJI instead.
2015-4-29
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