Recently DJI began offering an add on protection service to reduce repair expenses for drone pilots. As a leading repair facility based in Los Angeles, we receive repairs from across the USA. Many of the DJI products we repair are submitted by owners who purchased the DJI Care Refresh and have opted to not use it. A quick Google search for “DJI Care Refresh experiences” will certainly give you plenty of reasons why, however online forums are often riddled with posts from those with bad experiences. Customers with great experiences rarely post in these forums so we thought it would be helpful to give you our perspective based on facts so you can make a more informed decision when it comes to purchasing DJI Care Refresh or filing a claim.
If you’re about to lay down your hard earned cash on a new DJI drone, coming up with the extra funds can be a real stretch for some consumers. Keep in mind that once your drone is powered up and the DJI Go 4 App connects to the internet, you have just 48 hours to register a DJI Care refresh service to that drones serial number. If you miss that opportunity, DJI offers a more involved method of proof where you must submit a video of the drone in the air operating. DJI Care Refresh coverage lasts for 12 months and cannot be renewed. The cost is based on the DJI aircraft you’re planning on covering, and costs range from $59 – $299 dollars. Under the plan you can receive two replacement products in the 12 months. While there is no deductible, DJI does charge you a fee each time you send in a drone for replacement. However you want to word the fine print, it sure sounds like a deductible to us! The fee varies from $49 – $209 the time and costs up to $329 the second time. Prices in Europe, UK and AU may vary. If you have an aircraft like the Inspire 2, the gimbal must be covered under a separate policy and has its own associated replacement fees.
In addition, there are a list of exclusions where DJI will deny your claim and provide you with a repair estimate instead.
DJI Care Refresh does not cover the following:
1) Lost or partially lost aircraft, gimbal or accessories.
2) Stolen, forgotten, or abandoned product.
3) Damage caused by flight under unsuitable conditions.
4) Remote controller, battery of Inspire 2, Phantom 4 Pro and Phantom 4 Advanced, and modification accessories.
5) Deliberate losses.
6) Abrasions and shell damage that do not affect the performance of the product.
7) Direct or indirect losses caused by force majeure.
8) Replacement requests for damage incurred outside the period of validity.
9) Extra fees resulting from technical enhancements or performance improvements.
10) Damage resulting from modifications that are not in accordance with manual recommendations, or the use of incompatible batteries and charger.
11) Damage resulting from the use of third party accessories, batteries or software.
Based on the information provided above, you may be unsure if DJI Care Refresh is a good investment. In certain circumstances we feel the DJI Care Refresh provides peace of mind when a crash is catastrophic, particularly on a more expensive model. Cameras like that found on the Inspire 2 and Phantom 4 Pro are very expensive. Having the plan can provide much needed financial relief when the parts hit the pavement.
What if I need it repaired right now?
The reason many pilots are skipping out on DJI’s replacement plan for routine repairs is quite simple. Most of our customers that the process is cumbersome and time consuming, often taking weeks longer than initially projected. Others are put off by DJI’s habit of replacing your drone with a different one thats “like new” instead of repairing the original.
What if my claim is denied?
Customers who’ve endured the process of filing a claim and been denied are presented with a factory repair estimate at their weakest emotional state. Feeling hopeless they accept the repair costs and bite the bullet. The fact that DJI makes some repair parts impossible to obtain for self repair, it’s no wonder why customers are frustrated and unhappy.
Repairs options are available!
Like any repair on your car, home or electronic product, repair options that meet or even exceed factory standards are available. As a 5 star Google rated repair facility, we understand how important it is to get back in the air. Your job, vacation or business may depend on it. If you have DJI Care Refresh we recommend hanging on to your two replacements for dire emergencies. Wasting it on routine, low cost repairs can leave you heartbroken should you encounter a serious crash after your Refresh plan runs out or expires. Before you contact DJI, consider professional repair service options like AerialPixels. Repairs are guaranteed and more affordable than you may expect. With same day service available it’s great to know you have options when you’re in a jam.
At AerialPixels everyday is truly an adventure. No matter how hectic things can get, I never lose sight of how important our customers and clients are. When Fabio walked through our door just five minutes to closing, I had no idea how much of an impact he would have on not only myself, but also the entire staff at AerialPixels. Unable to speak more than a few words of english, we used Google translate on our phone to communicate. To our amazement, Fabio had driven his BMW motorcyle to Los Angeles to have his Mavic repaired. That may seem like no big deal until you consider that his trip began in Brazil! His story went on as he explained his trip of a lifetime would take him north to Alaska. His final destination would be Miami, where his belongings and motorcycle would be shipped back home. Throughout the trip his wife and children flew to various places like the Grand Canyon to meet with him.
The trip of a lifetime certainly deserves to be documented in style, but Fabio’s Mavic had a bit of a rough ride and was suffering from the typical gimbal issues that plague many Mavics that have taken a bit of abuse. Since Fabio was passing through and had no address for shipping, we took his Mavic to the shop and assessed the damage. Fabio decided LA would be a cool place to kick it for the night and enjoy some dinner, so we helped him find a great place to stay for about $65 bucks and told him to meet us at the shop in the morning after a well deserved night of sleep.
As you can see, the ribbon cable on Fabio’s Mavic Pro had delaminated and bubbled up. With copper traces damaged, the gimbal shook and vibrated while the DJI Go App reported hardware errors and other camera related problems.
When Fabio rolled in around 11 am the next morning, his Mavic was as good as new. We updated the firmware, calibrated the IMU, obstacle avoidance sensors and performed a test flight. Just for good measure we also like to shoot a few seconds of video to confirm thats working as well.
Fabio was overjoyed. Much of his family will never have the opportunity to leave their small town. The video and images from this epic trip are irreplaceable memories. Everyone at AerialPixels is deeply appreciative we could make such a profound difference.
Are crashes a thing of the past? While obstacle avoidance should reduce the likely-hood of piling your aircraft into the ground, there are many scenarios where these safety measures will fall short. When in doubt, consult the manual included with your aircraft or at least watch some crashes on YouTube for your model. While this post doesn’t address every possible scenario, I do hope to outline the majority of reasons you should be on the alert even when flying an aircraft with avoidance.
Tree branches and twigs are a nightmare for avoidance systems. Their round shape and small cross section are practically invisible to sonar. Forward facing avoidance cameras are unlikely to lock on, especially if they enter the field of view suddenly or from slightly off center.
When it’s off ( No kidding )
Sounds crazy but yes, people often will disable the avoidance because they’re intentionally trying to fly through or near something on purpose. A good example of this would be when you’re trying to get a close look at the roof of your house or want to fly past an object of interest to jazz up your next video clip. Often avoidance will ruin these shots, causing your aircraft to stop suddenly when you don’t want it to. Pilots in these scenarios will disable avoidance and forget it’s off.
Avoidance systems rely on an array of sensors with different capabilities. Low light or low contrast surfaces have posed issues in the past and will continue to in the future. Avoid surfaces that are glossy, all one color or places poorly lit.
Depending on your model, flights at high speed can render avoidance useless.
Water is especially good at confusing downward facing cameras and sonar, especially if there are waves.
All cameras must have good exposure to work well. While sunsets are glorious, the glare can defeat even the most robust systems currently available.
The biggest problem with avoidance systems is that pilots get a false sense of security. Assuming a crash is impossible causes many pilots to fly without fear. Even worse, some pilots will make it game to fly towards objects or people to demonstrate the avoidance capabilities. Always consider these avoidance systems to be emergency backups to safe piloting practices.
Are you tired of feeling like your hands are tied when it comes to soldering wires on your radio control model? Come join us at AerialPixels for a hands on workshop. In just 90 minutes you’ll learn how to solder like a pro!
Learn to solder the most common R/C related components such as:
- Bullet connectors
- Speed controls
- FPV gear
- Wire extensions
- Capacitor packs
In addition, we’ll cover soldering iron maintenance, care, safety and accessories. Students attending are invited to bring their own irons if desired. Shop soldering irons will be available. The soldering workshop is limited to 10 students. Just $99
Soldering workshops will be held on Saturdays at noon. Please arrive 30 minutes prior to start time for setup.
To reserve your seat, call 800-411-9635 or go to AerialPixels.com and look for Training under our Services.