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Dead/Defective Batteries

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Tenly, May 30, 2016.

  1. Tenly

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    So - DJI's new greed driven policy regarding after market batteries has left me the owner of 2 $140 novelty paperweights in the shape of a Phantom 3 Battery.

    Both of the batteries are brand new and have the exact specifications of the DJI OEM batteries - but one of the recent Phantom 3 firmware updates has introduced a check to make sure that the batteries you are using were purchased from DJI.

    I think they crossed the line though by disabling the aircraft if it is using non-DJI batteries. It's completely reasonable for them to pop up a message advising the user that they are not using "official" batteries and that they do so at their own risk. It's unreasonable for them to refuse to let me accept that risk and fly anyways. All they have to do is add the battery info to the flight logs and they are covered as far as any liability or warranty issues are concerned. They have tried (poorly and unsuccessfully) to claim that this firmware change is about safety when it is so obviously about greed.

    The biggest problem I have with the way they have introduced this change is that it was okay one day and not the next. If this restriction were in place from the day I bought my Phantom, I could have lived with it and I never would have bought aftermarket batteries - but it wasn't. And there was nothing documented in the manuals saying that it could only be used with authentic DJI batteries. I purchased the batteries, they worked very well for one or two flights - and then DJI prohibited them. Their whimsical, greedy policy change had instantly rendered $290 of my property completely useless. They introduced this policy without any thought or care as to how it would affect existing customers - and when they were made aware of how it affects their customers - they still didn't care! There were a number of ways they could have done this better which would have shown at least some degree of care for existing customers. They could have a) started the new policy with every new Phantom sold but grandfathered all of the existing Phantoms in so that if you already purchased your Phantom and already purchased batteries, they would continue to work for the next 2 years. They could have mounted an exchange program where they would let you exchange your aftermarket batteries (with receipt) for DJI credit in the same amount to which you could apply to OEM batteries or other accessories.

    What they've done is the equivalent of breaking into my house, seeing $290 on the kitchen table and burning it - for no real reason - and not even offering an apology.

    I understand that most of you reading this probably swear by OEM batteries and aren't affected by this decision - so ignore the actual circumstances and just look at how they've handled this from a customer service perspective - because the next time they do this - it may very well be about something that you care about. So forget that this was about batteries and look at the basic facts:
    - 1. DJI thought up a way to generate more money
    - 2. Implementing their idea would destroy the $ of some existing customers
    - 3. Someone identified a way to do it without costing existing customers $.
    - 4. DJI didn't give a **** about existing customers.

    If it wasn't obvious before, it should be now. This company is greedy and corrupt and doesn't give a rats *** about existing customers.

    Next month, some executive at DJI might decide that with the purchase of your drone, you are only entitled to fly for up to 40 minutes per day and implement that decision via firmware. At the same time, they will begin selling extended flight packs or subscriptions which will allow you to fly 60+ minutes per day.

    As ludicrous as that sounds, I hesitated to type it out - because if someone at DJI reads it - I guaranteed it will be discussed in next months sales meeting as a very real possibility....

    I know that nothing I do or say is going to change any of their policies - and I own too much in the way of accessories to easily switch to Yuneec or someone else - but I think more and more about it every day - and I certainly steer my friends away from DJI with my stories about how they treat their customers.

    It's a shame that customer service wasn't more of a priority for them. I would love to call some media attention to these practices - perhaps that would be possible via their affiliation with Apple. Yeah - I thin an email to Apple about DJI's customer relation policies might be the exact right place to start....!!!

    Happy flying everyone!
     
  2. Reed L

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    So when you downgrade your firmware, it still doesn't allow your batteries to work?
     
  3. Tenly

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    I expect that that might work - but the AutoPilot software I use frequently requires the latest firmware to work. He latest firmware also presumably contains bug-fixes and other useful things.

    Are you suggesting that if it did work, that that would be an acceptable solution?
     
  4. Tenly

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    This message actually turned into a rant but it's original intention was to try to find one or two people to send me their dead or defective DJI batteries rather than throwing them away.

    If I replace the head unit - the piece with the buttons and LEDs from a real DJI battery, albeit a dead one - with the head unit on one of my aftermarket batteries - then my aftermarket battery will present itself to the drone as a DJI battery and allow me to use it. Of course I would pay the shipping.

    So if anyone has a battery go dead - please consider helping me out and sending me your dead battery. I need 2 in total.
     
  5. Reed L

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    If it works it simply shows you why many of us have no need for any updates...
    Acceptable? I think you know that answer yourself :)
     
  6. Phill2

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    I expect more of this sort of thing now that they're involved with Apple.
    Next model Phantom i5????
     
    Tenly likes this.
  7. Mark The Droner

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    You might try flying without an app. See if that works.

    If it works, you might try flying with Litchi. I've read people have had success doing this.
     
  8. ferraript

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    it's well known fact that DJI blocked non-original batteries in DJI GO 2.6.1 and also in Phantom FW 1.7, so I think you have no right to complain about this
    and if you want to use some product, you have to accept the conditions/policy of company that made it
    if you don't like it, don't buy it
     
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  9. Phill2

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    Fair comment but these conditions weren't in place when the product was sold.
    It's like changing the rules after the game has started.
    Personally I wouldn't use anything but DJI batteries but I think it's unfair on those that choose to.
     
    Reed L likes this.
  10. Tenly

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    I definitely do have a right to complain! I bought my Phantom last September and there was no such restriction! I bought my aftermarket batteries in February when there was no such restriction.

    The firmware restrictions were released in April without warning and rendered my previous investments useless. I broke no rules when I purchased them.

    Your comments are only valid when applied to people purchasing their Phantoms AFTER the 2.6.1 firmware was released. For the rest of us - it was a costly slap in the face for which DJI has no remorse and has offered no remedy.

    It would be like your phone manufacturer announcing today that from now on, the phone would only operate when inside one of their bumper cases. It doesn't matter if you already bought an expensive Otterbox. Your Otterbox is now useless and the only thing you can do is to go buy a new bumper case.

    Get it now?
     
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  11. timmer

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    They apparently are not the exact specifications or they would work, no?

    I believe DJI has every right to do this. How many times to you think they were burned by performing warranty work on a Phantom that crashed due to using an inferior facsimile of a battery?
     
  12. Darmie

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    Can you not just put the BIN file on the sd card, and upgrade the firware on the non dji battery?
     
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  13. Not A Speck Of Cereal

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    And yet, DJI may very well have valid business justifications for doing this; that is, aside from the "greed" that you attribute them in the OP.

    Consider this: 3rd party batteries that do not perform properly can hurt the DJI brand. At worse, a bird that crashes because of a 3rd party battery makes for an unhappy customer, regardless of who manufactured the battery.

    Testing: they test their products using official batteries. They do not test them using 3rd party batteries. Therefore, they cannot control and assure the quality of their products if there are untested 3rd party components involved.

    Lastly, to address this "greed" issue, since you bring it up: a lot of the profit from these products come from the accessories. This is true for a lot of global consumer devices. The profit margin on accessories is typically much higher than the device itself. In many cases, manufactures would not be able to do business without the profits from accessories, as the margins from the main product line are too small.

    What you call greed can be more accurately referred to as them having a business model.

    Chris

    PS: I'm not affiliated with DJI in any way other than being an owner of DJI products.
     
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  14. Tenly

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    You've missed the point entirely.

    It's not about the fact that they did it - it's about the way that they did it.
     
  15. drm

    drm

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    "an email to Apple about DJI's customer relation policies might be the exact right place to start" -- you're talking about Apple, a company that obsoletes all previous accessories with every new product release...
     
  16. Not A Speck Of Cereal

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    Actually, I think you missed my point.

    You don't want them to block you from using your untested batteries regardless of what method they use, you just want them to warn you that they will not be liable for any damaged to the craft while using them. This would allow you to keep using the 3rd party batteries. That's what I read in your post.

    They might very well be blocking them because they want to sell you their batteries. What you call greed I call a business model. It seems to me that this is the part that you don't like, not the "way they that did it".

    But that is really your beef, then how do you think they should have done it? Should they have given you fair warning that the batteries would stop working in some future firmware upgrade? That sounds fair, but you still would have had unusable batteries.

    At the end of the day, blocking you from using them was them simply protecting their investments. It's probably the way you would have done it in their shoes.

    At any rate, I wish you luck finding battery shells to wrap around your cells.

    Chris
     
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  17. Wolfiesden

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    No, I don't think so but I have not tried it. DJI has religated firmware updates (at least to the RC) to be done through GO. You can't put the FW on a USB and do the RC. It would not surprise me if they are moving to that situation for the battery and eventually the aircraft.

    Happy with my firmware and no-GO. I fly where I want to. When I want to. And with what battery I want to.
     
    Reed L likes this.
  18. ryanmanchester

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    Got a tb48 here, brand new just one issue, won't charge, cvp refuse to accept responsibility


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  19. CCDD

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    A simple case of being penny wise and pound foolish. There's no evidence that both OEM and aftermarket batteries are exactly the same. I always wondered why anyone would take the chance of saving just a "few" bucks at risking the loss of their Phantom or possibly injuring someone. It's no different with those using after market propellors with the exception that DJI can't shut down usage for using such.
     
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  20. Tenly

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    It should have been their policy from the start - from the day they started selling them - but it wasn't. They allowed people to spend their $ on after market batteries - and the batteries worked! Since it was their poor planning that enabled the situation - they should have done something to compensate their customers - who did nothing wrong - even if it was just to offer a big discount on OEM batteries to replace the perfectly functional batteries they rendered useless (upon sending in your aftermarket battery and receipt) - or, they should have allowed those batteries to continue to be used at the risk of the pilot - for 2 years - the average expected lifetime of the batteries.

    What's next? RFID chips in the props so that DJI can ensure you only use their props?

    If you don't see how this was a bad way for them to treat customers that did nothing wrong - I can't explain it any more clearly. You'll understand better when their next decision affects your wallet.
     
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