I was downtown Chattoonga, Tennessee when then unthinkable happened. I had just taken off to get some shots and it came crashing down. It dropped out of the sky. According to DJI Support, it lost GPS Connection.
The experience with DJI Support is something that I would have prefer not to have. It has not been enjoyable. I have had to deal with aftersale support with Nikon and this is night and day different. I do not know if this is because it is a Chinese company vs Japanese or not.
At the time of this writing, I at week three of this dealing and we still are not sure what happened or when I will have my drone back. This might be due to the health concerns in the United States right now but it is alarming to say the least.
The good news I do have DJI Care Refresh so worse case, I will have to pay $40 to get a new drone but I really don’t think I should have to due to an error that DJI seemed to make.
So, I will walk you through this nightmare of a process to get my DJI Mavic Mini fixed or replaced.
DJI Support Process
As you can see, on July 17, I reached out to DJI and asked them to start the process and they send me a label via email for UPS . I had to go to Dollar Tree to get a box, some wrapping, and then to Staples to print off the label. The good thing is Staples is also a UPS Shipping Center so I could send it right there to them.
It was delivered on the 19th in Grapevipe, TX to DJI. However, it seems it took them 11 days from the time it was delivered to when they “received” it. It leads me to ask a question: Are they actually doing support in Texas or using it as a gathering point to shipping pallets of broken drones to Nanshan, Shenzhen?
What I do know is I called DJI Support on July 29 and demanded to have an update. The guy finally told me I would have my drone looked at within 24 hours! It bothers me that I had to do this to get the ball rolling.
On July 31, I got an invoice for the damage but they did not even look to see what happened and if it was the fault of the drone? They just told me that it would $16 in parts and $130 in service hours. Charging a minimum $130 for repair hours on a $399 drone seems high to me but anyways!
In my opinion, they do this to get people to use DJI Care Refresh. It was $100 cheaper to just use the refresh option. I went ahead and paid the refresh cost of $40 and hope the one they send me is not a lemon like this one was.
Worse comes to worse, I will have a drone in the air getting images again within a week even if did cost me some cash to make it happen. I still wish I knew what happened and WHY it lost GPS and just came crashing down.
DJI Support reaches out
I was on a forum for professional photographers ranting about my experience with DJI. People were sharing that they have had similar concerns. Several of them just quit doing drone photography all together.
Someone that works for DJI saw it and a member of their team, Hunter, reached out to me. He asked me what happened and he would personally look into it. It is worth saying that he only replies at night so he probably in the main office in Nanshan.