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Nov 03, 2016, 12:03 PM
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3DR Customer Service- Since Solo Price Drop- What's your experience?


I've been a long time supporter of 3DR, used pixhawk and recommended them to friends.

I may have been the first one in Kansas to get a Solo.

I got it on a weekend and when I took it out, it wouldn't work. The controller was out of calibration. I submitted a trouble ticket and first thing Monday morning, 3dr called me and explained how to fix things. Granted, it was a bummer having to wait through the weekend, but I never expected them to be available over the weekend. But then again I did expect it to work when I bought it.

Later on Solo's were still hard to find and I had a person who was desperate to get his hands on one want to give me a trade that was way in my favor. So grudgingly I got rid of the solo.


I've watched prices and wanted one since then, but couldn't justify it.

After the price drop at Best Buy, I got weak and bought another.

This time, I got the initial "does it work flight" of about 3 minutes and packed it back up to do other things. This was on a Wed Oct 12. the following week I didn't have time to do anything. Finally on Friday the 21st I got to use it for the second time.

The first flight, my tablet did not want to work correctly and it wouldn't allow me to do any kind of flight mode change. I rebooted everything and used my phone. I brought it up to a hover, I pushed forward on the stick, and the Solo took off in a sweeping left hand turn and smashed directly into my neighbors house. I had no control on the sticks, none of the controller buttons to switch modes, or return home, nothing.

No damage was done, so I went inside to sulk.

Saturday night I decided I was going to try again. I took off and hovered a bit and moved around to make sure I wouldn't have a fly away. After getting a bit of confidence I started to rise in altitude and moving forward.

Then, it got quiet, dead quiet. It had lost power completely and was falling out of the sky. I wasn't able to do anything before it hit the concrete and exploded shattering the drone as well as my go pro.

After looking online, I saw where if it was a problem with the SOLO that 3DR would replace the unit and my gopro.

I submitted the logs and waited for a phone call during the week. The call never came.

Suddenly I was a game of email tag with their customer service. The worlds slowest game of tag. It seemed to me that I had a brand new SOLO that died for no reason and they'd be eager to help me out like they were in my past dealings with them.

I could not have been more wrong.

They will not do any kind of phone support.

Emails have been extremely slow. I was lucky to get one email a day. I would reply to their questions and then would not hear back until the following afternoon or day after that.

After several times submitting different info and over a week of emails, I got the news I was waiting for. The Solo had suffered a Brown Out for some reason and they would replace it. Yet every time I mentioned my gopro being destroyed, no one would even mention it in their reply.

Here's where it gets good.

They would provide a fedex return label, and RMA. However that label was a Fedex HOME DELIVERY label? First of all, I expected it to be an express label, second, why is it shipping as a non business?

Once the Solo is received and they examine it further, which may take 7-10 business days, they will ship me a REFURBISHED solo. I explained that this was not acceptable to me. I had purchased a NEW unit that failed on it's 3rd flight and suddenly I was getting downgraded to a refurb unit (I trust a refurb completely, but it's the point that I bought a new one).

I still had not gotten any word in email about my gopro being killed. Finally I had to call them out for ignoring my gopro question and asked why they were dancing around the subject.

I was told "GoPro has run out of stock on Hero 3/4 and there is nothing we can do about your camera".

Well, OK, even to get a used hero4 it's going to cost me about $200. So how about giving me some extra spare parts to help make up the cost and repair my damaged opinion of the company.

I was told "Unfortunately, we do not offer any discounts or additional items in regards of the GoPro. We apologize for the inconvenience this caused. "

So, here I am. It's going to be a month from the time I bought the Solo until I get it back, if not longer.

I have to pay an additional $200ish to replace my gopro.

I feel like I'm being punished for some reason.

Wait a month to get the product you paid for. Then you don't get a "new" replacement, but a used one. And lost my camera.

I know with the price drop on the Solo, they have to be getting overwhelmed by newbies and their problems. That's understandable that service might be slower than usual.

I can't forgive how I am being compensated for an error with their aircraft.

They already have my money for the Solo and several Pixhawk. Selling them off won't hurt 3DR in any way. I will not be buying or recommending any of their products. I'll have to switch brands, or maybe just order chinese knock off's of Pixhawks.

So here I wait, looking for a cheap gopro, so my wife doesn't kill me for spending more money.


Thanks for letting me vent!

What has anyone else's experience been?
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Nov 03, 2016, 12:28 PM
Registered User
Mine is zero. I needed a new GPS shell and GPS puck and was told they no longer make them and are no longer sold as parts. I asked if I could send it in for repair and was told no due to the first reason. Granted it is out of warranty since I bought it second hand. But still, I would think I could purchase spare parts if I wanted.
Nov 03, 2016, 12:49 PM
Critic at Large
craigiri's Avatar
There is plenty of stock of H4's at GoPro.
In fact, the Karma drone is only being shipped with GoPro 4's.
Plenty on Amazon and in stores when I checked.

Bottom line is that 3DR is broke and cannot (and could not before) stand behind such a warranty. Earlier they were just using other people's money to pretend.

If you want a hole in your wallet keep throwing money at that thing. Some guys are guying 4 as backups...when for the same price or less they could buy (for example) a $340 refurb P3S WITH camera and many more app features, et.

Your money - your choice. 3DR is virtually out of business in all but name.
Nov 03, 2016, 01:51 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
The money is already spent. I'd have to sell it for $200 extra to cover the cost of my camera.

I'll keep it unless I can sell it for what I've got in it.


It's good ammunition to know that GoPro is shipping Karma with a hero4. I'll be sure to mention that.
Nov 03, 2016, 04:58 PM
Registered User

Where's Rusty??


No thread is complete without Rutsy defending Solo and 3DR. Or maybe not 3DR any more since even the former acolytes have seen that 3DR has abandoned them.

If the Solo + Gimbal prices continue to drop I might buy one just for parts. Has to get down to $250 or less I think.
Nov 03, 2016, 05:02 PM
Critic at Large
craigiri's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by smocksam
The money is already spent. I'd have to sell it for $200 extra to cover the cost of my camera.

I'll keep it unless I can sell it for what I've got in it.


It's good ammunition to know that GoPro is shipping Karma with a hero4. I'll be sure to mention that.
Ammunition doesn't matter. Not only is 3DR history, but GoPro just halted their stock trading after devastating losses.....

Not much free money out there. From a financial perspective you should part yours out and get a great deal on something or another. Up to you. Even Autel has a $499 sale now on Amazon.

Get flying......but not with that POS>
Nov 03, 2016, 06:00 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
I've got a number of larger self built and a racer, so having something to fly isn't a problem.

I wanted something smaller that didn't require hauling them in the truck and be reliable.


Well, that might be shot
Nov 03, 2016, 08:29 PM
Registered User
At best buy, it sells solo+ gimbal+extra battery+extra props+$20for some kind of photo album for $399.

Granted, Solo is not for beginners. Not a fly right out of the box type like the DJI phantom.

By for experienced APM DIY folks, with few hours setup time, it is a perfect flying machine for extremely great price. The computing resources in the radio is still ahead of the curve. It is really a developer delight.

Even you're not a developer, you still can get a lot of great video easily with smart shots.

As for support services, no doubt it is not the same but that should be expected when the price is cut more than 70%.
Nov 04, 2016, 07:33 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by PE9999
At best buy, it sells solo+ gimbal+extra
Granted, Solo is not for beginners. Not a fly right out of the box type like the DJI phantom.
.
Explain how it is not.... Props on, power up, wait for GPS, Hold fly.... It set also by default to be very slow for first timers also. So not sure how it is not a first timers.
Nov 06, 2016, 12:32 PM
Registered User
PatR's Avatar
First timers tend to crash things a lot. First timers should not buy the expensive stuff until they learn how to fly on the cheap, disposable stuff. They get themselves into trouble, regularly, with any of the higher end systems.

As for 3DR, it's a dead company. If you buy a Solo you should understand you are pretty much on your own. If you are not capable of going to the Arducopter site and learning how to work with the system a 3DR flight control system is not for you.


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Nov 06, 2016, 01:42 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rinzler
Explain how it is not.... Props on, power up, wait for GPS, Hold fly.... It set also by default to be very slow for first timers also. So not sure how it is not a first timers.
I don't know if you actually own a Solo. Right out of the box, you need to do firmware updates right away. It is not simple as 123. The lost connection issues is well documented. Then the gimbal installation, the HDMI plug may seems plugged but not. When the user can't see the video, they don't know what to do. The booklet said hero3 camera. Unless you have hero4 black, some functions will be missed. Then the infamous GPS issues. My point is, unless you spend time remedy the issues, Solo is not for someone who want to fly Right after they tear open the box, put on the prop , charge the battery download an app then go flying.

That said, @ 399, I think it is worth the trouble to do a little preparation for an everyday quad. It is a very good AP platform for beginners and experienced users. I have several for my business.
Nov 06, 2016, 01:59 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatR
First timers tend to crash things a lot. First timers should not buy the expensive stuff until they learn how to fly on the cheap, disposable stuff. They get themselves into trouble, regularly, with any of the higher end systems.

As for 3DR, it's a dead company. If you buy a Solo you should understand you are pretty much on your own. If you are not capable of going to the Arducopter site and learning how to work with the system a 3DR flight control system is not for you.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
3DR may be out of hardware business, but they will still be around. The face of 3DR just announced he started a new company doing software too.
As for hardware, I believe it will pickup a Chinese manufacturer once the IP issues resolved. If not, the APM DIY market is big enough to support Solo. In fact, at 399, the quad is at the disposable price, if it breaks and you don't bother with the repair, you can just go out and grab another one.h
Nov 06, 2016, 02:35 PM
Critic at Large
craigiri's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PE9999
In fact, at 399, the quad is at the disposable price, if it breaks and you don't bother with the repair, you can just go out and grab another one.h
If it crashes you are out the quad and often the camera. That's a minimum of $700+

You can, today, get a Autel X-Star for $499 - which is fully supported 24/7, 4K, etc.
It has dual GPS that actually works.
http://amzn.to/2eCSCsU

IMHO, neither are disposable but some folks have more money to burn than others.

Again, fine for those hobbyists who 100% know what they are getting - but not fine for "consumers" who want to buy and fly.

3DR is history. As with all these companies, cast-offs will start their own ventures - some will work out, some won't. Those consumers who actually want to fly and take pics and video shouldn't have to wonder how about this kind of stuff.
Nov 06, 2016, 07:02 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by craigiri
If it crashes you are out the quad and often the camera. That's a minimum of $700+

You can, today, get a Autel X-Star for $499 - which is fully supported 24/7, 4K, etc.
It has dual GPS that actually works.
http://amzn.to/2eCSCsU

IMHO, neither are disposable but some folks have more money to burn than others.

Again, fine for those hobbyists who 100% know what they are getting - but not fine for "consumers" who want to buy and fly.

3DR is history. As with all these companies, cast-offs will start their own ventures - some will work out, some won't. Those consumers who actually want to fly and take pics and video shouldn't have to wonder how about this kind of stuff.
in term of crash proof, I think Solo has better chance survive a light crash than the other. The shell and the arms are stronger than the other. and for its price, it is much cheaper to replace.

BTW, I knew you have issue with 3DR, but for the nth time, 3DR is not history, Chris and Collin will do ok, spreading rumor is only making you a biased person.

one more argument, other than Behop, 3DR Solo is the only sub $500 uav in FAA approved list, which is a plus if you want to use your drone for business.
Last edited by PE9999; Nov 06, 2016 at 07:33 PM.


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