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What did I do to deserve this?

Roger S

Well-Known Member
Join
Apr 6, 2018
Messages
128
Age
35
I purchased a refurbished Spark th' ninking it might be better than new, presumably having been through QA twice. However I'm beginning to think once a lemon always a lemon. The following is my experience.
Spark would not connect at 2.4 GHZ in Auto channel select -> lost connection ~300-500 ft. Sent AC back to dji ( where main board was replaced (for exactly what reason I wasn’t told).

After repair I had trouble connecting on 1st flight attempt. DJI support assisted getting connected. On take off instead of ascending Spark flew horizontally into a fence. DJI had me re-calibrate controller, which then wouldn’t connect.

I changed controllers and was able to take off normally. However still no auto connect at 2.4 GHz.

Spark now intermittently loses connection within a few feet.

“compass error” when trying to take off (no nearby magnetic materials). Re-calibrated compass. Compass error messages persist, also loss of GPS in open area, clear sky.

While ascending after taking off altitude seems to display correctly till AC reaches 20-25 ft then indicates loss of altitude, though AC is still ascending resulting in a crash landing from ~20ft altitude (landing on soft lawn). Later Spark “returned to home” several blocks away.

Returned AC to dji a 2nd time after which they reported:

“After carrying out the damage assessment, we found Non-warranty damage. Unfortunately, damage that is not caused by a product malfunction or is out of the warranty period is not covered by DJI aftersales policy. Damage was not caused by product malfunction.”

Following this was an invoice for $329:























Item List

Aircraft Main Board


Quantity: 1

Net Price : 162.00

Total Price: 162.00

Vision System

Quantity: 1

Net Price : 31.00

Total Price: 31.00

3D Sensor System

Quantity: 1

Net Price : 36.00

Total Price: 36.00

GPS

Quantity: 1

Net Price : 14.00

Total Price: 14.00

Repair Service Fee

Quantity: 1

Net Price : 65.00

Total Price: 65.00

Tax (Ca sales tax)

15.31

Freight

0.00

Total Amount

329.87

Discount of Material

72.90

Discount of Service

19.50

Total Payment (USD$)

230.91
 

Maniac_au

Active Member
Join
Apr 27, 2019
Messages
26
Age
57
Best to upload the logs from your phone for someone to look at.
If the crash was very minor & didn’t show much structural damage I would hazard a guess @ Core Board malfunction was the cause.
 

RJB1

Member
Join
Jul 4, 2019
Messages
16
Age
57
This is my big fear of sending my Spark off to their "service centre" for a intermittent problem similar to yours. I've been having a big blow up with them on their online chat, their forum, on the phone and emails. And all they say is "send it to our service centre" They refuse to tell me who is at this service center, they refuse to allow me to talk to anyone at their service center, and my closest DJI service center is 3000km away. So once its gone to them, who knows what they will do or say. Looks like in your case they just changed everything that might be associated with your problem and hope for the best and send you a bill. Are you in Cali? Where is your service center? I'm really thinking that the service center in Australia is just a clearing house, they take stuff in and ship it somewhere else to be worked on. Why else would they be so secretive about the place? They claim its because they can't just have people calling up, why? how many of these things are actually going wrong then, that they can't handle a telephone call like any normal business?
 

Maniac_au

Active Member
Join
Apr 27, 2019
Messages
26
Age
57
No, I’m in Australia, so I sent mine to Melbourne and as such they didn’t just change everything & hope for the best, they confirmed the fault, which even after checking online myself I was pretty sure was the problem. Showed the cost of the one part needing replaced, & the cost for labour, all waived as in warranty.

Yes, I got a new replacement, not a refurb, as it was effectively new when it went in.
As you suspect yes they DJI probably do not repair locally, as happens with a lot of things, Computer Motherboards for example, as its not cost effective.
There are D1Stores in Brisbane that do warranty repairs as well as paid repairs in store but only on units that they sold for warranty repair.

Your malfunction is very similar to mine except all my disconnects were either when testing on the bench or very low level flights
I would suggest to Upload your flight logs here for someone to look @ they may assist you getting the decision changed if they show anything was malfunctioning before especially as you say it had Compass errors, as well as disconnecting.
Just a suggestion.
I take it that you are in the US, as your invoice is in US$.
 

Roger S

Well-Known Member
Join
Apr 6, 2018
Messages
128
Age
35
Best to upload the logs from your phone for someone to look at.
If the crash was very minor & didn’t show much structural damage I would hazard a guess @ Core Board malfunction was the cause.
dji told me that flight logs are stored on the main board of the AC which I wasnt previously aware. They apparently don't need the data uploaded from dji Go.
 

Maniac_au

Active Member
Join
Apr 27, 2019
Messages
26
Age
57
But smart people here and the Mavic site have had decisions reversed with the logs from DJI Go 4
 

Roger S

Well-Known Member
Join
Apr 6, 2018
Messages
128
Age
35
This is my big fear of sending my Spark off to their "service centre" for a intermittent problem similar to yours. I've been having a big blow up with them on their online chat, their forum, on the phone and emails. And all they say is "send it to our service centre" They refuse to tell me who is at this service center, they refuse to allow me to talk to anyone at their service center, and my closest DJI service center is 3000km away. So once its gone to them, who knows what they will do or say. Looks like in your case they just changed everything that might be associated with your problem and hope for the best and send you a bill. Are you in Cali? Where is your service center? I'm really thinking that the service center in Australia is just a clearing house, they take stuff in and ship it somewhere else to be worked on. Why else would they be so secretive about the place? They claim its because they can't just have people calling up, why? how many of these things are actually going wrong then, that they can't handle a telephone call like any normal business?
I'm.in California. The service center is in Texas.
 

Maniac_au

Active Member
Join
Apr 27, 2019
Messages
26
Age
57
Ah okay, are they only charging you this time because of the physical damage?
As your app flight logs might show more information to refute their rejection of your claim.
 

Roger S

Well-Known Member
Join
Apr 6, 2018
Messages
128
Age
35
But smart people here and the Mavic site have had decisions reversed with the logs from DJI Go 4
Thanks for the tip. I'll upload the data. The guy who I complained to yesterday said he'd file a "dispute", I haven't received a confirmation email yet.
 

Maniac_au

Active Member
Join
Apr 27, 2019
Messages
26
Age
57
Best to have it looked here or the MavicPilots forum as they may be able to determine if AC error or Pilot error.
 

Roger S

Well-Known Member
Join
Apr 6, 2018
Messages
128
Age
35
Sometimes it pays to complain. I was just informed by dji, "Your repair service of SPARK will be covered under warranty. Repair will be finished within three to six business days.

Hopefully everything will be fine and I'll be able to keep this one long enough to feel confident investing in a Mavic. (I lost 2 previous Sparks to flyaway, so I don't yet feel ready to upgrade.)
 

Spark 317

Well-Known Member
Premium Pilot
Join
Jul 10, 2017
Messages
3,788
Loc
Indiana, USA
Sometimes it pays to complain. I was just informed by dji, "Your repair service of SPARK will be covered under warranty. Repair will be finished within three to six business days.

"The squeaky wheel gets the grease.". 👍
 

Locutus40

Well-Known Member
Join
Sep 17, 2018
Messages
242
I purchased a refurbished Spark th' ninking it might be better than new, presumably having been through QA twice. However I'm beginning to think once a lemon always a lemon. The following is my experience.
Spark would not connect at 2.4 GHZ in Auto channel select -> lost connection ~300-500 ft. Sent AC back to dji ( where main board was replaced (for exactly what reason I wasn’t told).

After repair I had trouble connecting on 1st flight attempt. DJI support assisted getting connected. On take off instead of ascending Spark flew horizontally into a fence. DJI had me re-calibrate controller, which then wouldn’t connect.

I changed controllers and was able to take off normally. However still no auto connect at 2.4 GHz.

Spark now intermittently loses connection within a few feet.

“compass error” when trying to take off (no nearby magnetic materials). Re-calibrated compass. Compass error messages persist, also loss of GPS in open area, clear sky.

While ascending after taking off altitude seems to display correctly till AC reaches 20-25 ft then indicates loss of altitude, though AC is still ascending resulting in a crash landing from ~20ft altitude (landing on soft lawn). Later Spark “returned to home” several blocks away.

Returned AC to dji a 2nd time after which they reported:

“After carrying out the damage assessment, we found Non-warranty damage. Unfortunately, damage that is not caused by a product malfunction or is out of the warranty period is not covered by DJI aftersales policy. Damage was not caused by product malfunction.”

Following this was an invoice for $329:























Item List

Aircraft Main Board


Quantity: 1

Net Price : 162.00

Total Price: 162.00

Vision System

Quantity: 1

Net Price : 31.00

Total Price: 31.00

3D Sensor System

Quantity: 1

Net Price : 36.00

Total Price: 36.00

GPS

Quantity: 1

Net Price : 14.00

Total Price: 14.00

Repair Service Fee

Quantity: 1

Net Price : 65.00

Total Price: 65.00

Tax (Ca sales tax)

15.31

Freight

0.00

Total Amount

329.87

Discount of Material

72.90

Discount of Service

19.50

Total Payment (USD$)

230.91
yea you never wanna buy any refurbed item from dji meaning its had issues and repaired.... i bought some goggles off a company and got screwed luckly they took them back and im waiting for a refund.. from dji refurbed so i dont buy refurbed stuff anymore.. either used or new... dji cant be trusted they have proven that...
 

JSM

Active Member
Join
Jun 29, 2019
Messages
33
Age
62
Sometimes it pays to complain. I was just informed by dji, "Your repair service of SPARK will be covered under warranty. Repair will be finished within three to six business days.

Hopefully everything will be fine and I'll be able to keep this one long enough to feel confident investing in a Mavic. (I lost 2 previous Sparks to flyaway, so I don't yet feel ready to upgrade.)
Roger, would be curious to know the circumstances of your fly aways (have had one experience however managed to get the Spark back!!)
 

Roger S

Well-Known Member
Join
Apr 6, 2018
Messages
128
Age
35
Roger, would be curious to know the circumstances of your fly aways (have had one experience however managed to get the Spark back!!)
The first flyaway was a least partially my fault as I was flying from my home where GPS is weak. If I couldn't get a GPS lock on my deck I'd I'd ascend 20 feet or so which was usually adequate. In this instance I flew about a 100 feet into an open area, then the AC stopped responding, though still connected, and flew off into the woods.

With my 2nd Spark I was flying a Litchi way point mission I flown numerous times before in a remote area (no known interference) and strong GPS signal. I momentarily turned my attention then heard a lost connection beep from the controller. The Spark had turned 90 degrees off course and flown into oblivion. After reviewing the flight record people at Litchi said it looked like GPS interference. WTF?. dji wouldn't even look at the issue since I was using other party software.

The 3rd Spark flew away or mistook a location several blocks away as Home while I was attempting to document all the malfunctions I was experiencing since dji replaced the main board. In this case I was lucky as I was in civilization and was able to track it down using the Find My Drone utility.
 

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