This article should have been about how our latest acquisition, another DJI Inspire 1 Pro, has quickly become a valuable addition to our inventory, but instead it’s become just another disaster story of customer dissatisfaction and frustration.
It all began with the first attempt to buy one of these drones, from a leading online UK supplier, with delivery scheduled for two days later, but finally, after almost two weeks of waiting, being told that, actually, they never were in stock, we have no idea when DJI will be delivering again, if ever, but don’t hold yer breath!
So on to supplier number two, another reputable online supplier, but US based this time. Drone and batteries duly arrived on the appointed day amid much excitement and anticipation, only to discover after the initial testing that there was no video feed from the camera and all the camera controls were completely inaccessible.
A quick phone call to DJI support established that the camera firmware required updating, a procedure quite familiar to us, with the notable exception that we had honestly never seen it fail 9 times in a row before! Another quick phone call to DJI resulted in us sending the upgrade log files to them and being told that the problem cannot be fixed by us and requires the drone to be sent back to DJI for repair, a process which will take between 4 and 6 weeks. Not bad for a brand new bit of kit.
Technology tolerance (?)
At times like this one starts wondering what it is about computers, drones and cameras that makes us more tolerant of them than so many other technology items. Who could imagine, for instance, bothering with a new car, washing machine, or vacuum cleaner, that simply didn’t work on arrival. Being told that all you need to do is service your shiny new car to get it running would probably send you over the edge, but this is effectively what we have come to expect every time we buy a new camera, laptop or drone.
Days or even weeks of downtime before the thing begins to become useful, let alone lives up to its promise, accompanied by a software journey that inevitably ends with at least one or two upgrades required in other areas and an unknown number of unpleasant surprises further down the line. This has become par for the course in this studio.
Anyway, back to the point. We can manage with existing drones for a week or two until this mess is sorted out, but it’s not much fun trying to look professional when equipment supplies and suppliers are so unreliable. Probably the moral of this story is to make sure your online shop is telling you the truth before committing your credit card to their tender mercies, because even if they do readily respond to delivery and machinery failures, you will find the time you set aside for testing and familiarisation vanishes before your eyes, as in this case.
One this is for sure, though. We’ve learnt not to just turn up on the day with untested equipment that arrived this morning and hope for the best!