I do not know how many have had issues with 3DR/ udrones customer service. I am quite disappointed with their customer service response:
1. I do not see any customer service number to call/ enquire. I am surprised!!
2. Not completely informative and I have to wait days before getting information on an order/ any issues with an order before even placing it.
3. The udrones website is not completely informative, with broken links, lack of information on money payment methods on checkout (udrones).
Also, I wanted to avail coupon code as I am ordering for an institution project, but they do not provide coupon code for udrones (which is again, part of 3DR linkage, if I understand correctly). They earlier said they would, but later said the information was incorrect from their side. I am ordering Quad-D frame assembled arducopter which is not available directly on 3DR. The International FedEx shipping charges at udrones is 136$, more than twice at 3DR and this can't be combined with products bought at 3DR simultaneously!
I completely respect APM and have my contributions via forums too where ever I can, but having ordered a product, must go hand in hand with an informative website and an available customer service when you need them.
Hope this really improves!
Smart businesses listen to their customers - that's if they want to stay in business.
I have really liked the live chat feature of HobbyKing. Maybe 3DR should consider this. However, try and get Hobbyking on the phone, or the CEO of the company on forums and see how far you get...
There is no doubt 3DR is kind of in its infancy right now and has growing pains, but compare it to the customer service of other international hobby suppliers and they are pretty good.
I do think that every email should be answered in less than an hour during normal business hours, however. This needs to be a priority.
Yes, they do have 1800 numbers, I've called, and was asked to send an email instead. Perhaps no value to the community, but I get a certain sense of redeeming confidence in 3DR knowing that their management listens and responds to their customers and supporters in these very threads. What other company do you know would do that?
It certainly raises my level of respect for them and makes we want to "give them another shot".
If you had never had an issue this thread would be meaningless, unfortunately, that does not apply to me or the handful of other people posting.
Ps. What exactly is an Atome (in reference to this thread)
My experience has been with 3DR. Although the problem has always been corrected in the end, I have had to make a considerable investment in the process. My observation is simply that the 3DR responders do not carefully read the entire email and answer point by point. I have tried to make it easy by using "1,2,3" so they could answer each in turn but nope, doesn't work. The last time with the "free" fix for the APM fuse problem, I just gave up. It was not worth the rise in blood pressure. 3DR leadership needs to pull some random samples from the question and answers and do some serious coaching or firings.
I agree, the switch from the old online shop to the new was very messy.
Love the product....CS, not so much. Listening?
Similar experience here, I had bought a board and GPS early this year, and they flew great on my first copter. Well, i was a newb at flying anything RC, so i crashed it multiple times, rebuilt it, it was great.
While trying to diagnose some problems that occurred upon a major frame rebuild, I got some help reading logs from the devs here. Many signs were pointing towards the fact that something on the board had gone wrong. turns out my logs showed voltages in excess of 6+v. The only power supply that board ever saw was from the 3DR PM, and JP1 removed by default. I debated asking for an RMA, but decided to purchase another board since the multiple crashes may have contributed to, if not whole-ly caused my board failure.
...So I purchased another board. Board was shipped very quickly. But - as I started to configure it and test the various sensors, it initially appeared that the compass was off by 90 degrees upon every connect. Turns out, it actually was reporting a N (360/0) heading upon each and every connect, and the compass wasnt initializing properly. After seeking help here, I contacted help@3dr on 06/20, and they SLOWLY suggested various tests, like 1 troubleshooting step per email, and only a response every 2 days. this was the most painfully slow troubleshooting process ever. Things only slowed down once I finally got an RMA going. It takes 2+ days to get responses? I was told I would be emailed a fedex label for shipping but it takes 2 days for the fedex label to show up, and the return address was wrong. I was worried that i may loose my board for ever if it shipped with that label, so i emailed help and asked them to correct it, didnt hear back for days except for the autogenerated response "we will get back to you in 2 days". By the time someone acknowledged my address change, the fedex label had expired. then it takes another 2 days for a new label to show up. Before i even got the second label, I just went to fedex and shipped it myself. $8 isnt much for a $160 board.
I understand that 3dr is producing an open source project, but it feels like they dont have the desire to support it. The troubleshooting that was suggested was things like "did you re-load the firmware?" followed by a 2 day email silence after i respond the same day. And the support on diydrones is spotty - most likely because devs are spread to thin, but beyond that, the structure of this forum as a website is not intuitive nor effective for the discussion. IMO, a traditional forum structure would be better suited for this type of discussion.
...tldr: The 2 days lead time for each response, the multiple day turnaround on an autogenerated shipping label email, and the painfully slow troubleshooting process add up to how ever many days there are between june 20 to now. After purchasing a second board to replaced the old crashed one out of good faith, My RMA process for the brand new board has taken way too long. Its not so much the wait as the complete email silence that irks me. On top of that, it really seems like help@3dr and support@3dr know very little about the APM boards compared to the devs here (obviously, right?), and yet, its still like pulling teeth to get a real answer here @ diydrones. At this point, It is nearly 2x the cost to get a 3dr branded product over a clone which is frustrating when I debated getting a clone and decided that I wanted the real thing (with the support?) since i see that there are real people behind 3dr and diydrones and I love their project(s) . I truely hope that these cust service issues are due to demand growing a little faster than anticipated.
quadcopters are neat
I understand 3DR is undergoing a lot of change in their fulfillment and customer service system. My experience as a first-time customer:
- Ordered from the old Udrones store around 1 May and was frustrated because (expensive) FedEx Int'l was the only way to get parts to us in Hawaii.
- Received our first APM 2.5+ with accessories fairly fast, and everything worked well together for seven or eight flight sessions.
- Placed a second order for a PX4 board and associated parts from the new store.3drobotics.com. USPS Priority Shipping was available on the new store-- huzzah!
- Suddenly APM board stopped being able to initialize compass and such. Voltage regulator symptoms were the same as described in this thread: http://diydrones.ning.com/forum/topics/apm-2-5-no-dataflash-compass...
- Emailed help@3dr asking for an RMA to get a new APM board. Received automated response promising a reply in 48 hours. Never did receive a human response to that email (and a couple follow-up emails over the next week).
- Meanwhile...the PX4 order never arrived after a week or so. Some cryptic text on the 3DR order status page now said "backordered". 3DR did not reach out in any way to say "Hey, your item is backordered", and none of the items in the order were listed as "backorder" when I placed the order.
- After I emailed sales@3dr they informed me that one small item (a $2 cable on the $300 PX4 order) had been backordered, holding up the whole shipment. They resolved the backorder issue by sending a slightly longer cable and gave me a USPS tracking number that day for the whole PX4 order.
- After waiting (and waiting) on the RMA request, and seeing that the PX4 shipment had not been handed off to USPS in the typical timeframe, I called customer service and spoke with "Sam".
- Sam spoke with the Shipping Dept. and apparently my PX4 order had never left the 3DR building, although it should have left almost a week prior. There was no real explanation from the Shipping Dept. other than, it should have gone out.
- It was apparently difficult for Sam to find my original APM order in the order system, even though he had my customer ID. Perhaps this was due to the switchover from the Udrones store.
- At the end of the call, Sam promised that the PX4 order would ship and that I would receive an RMA number with instructions by the end of today. I'll keep you posted.
My takeaways so far:
- The email@example.com email address is currently a black hole. Maybe someone is reading the emails? But they are not responding. It should not be this difficult to get an RMA.
- If you're paying a price premium for 3DR-branded products solely in anticipation of service and support, it may not be worthwhile. (If, on the other hand, you're trying to support one of the cornerstones of the diydrones community, that's another story.)
- Next time we need to order 3DR-branded parts I will try to order them first via another channel, rather than directly from 3DR, in the hope that the dealer can buffer us from 3DR's fulfillment and support issues.
I had a recent rather crap experience with 3DR support too... my APM2 and MinimOSD blew up just after Xmas so I
Given one of the major reasons to pay the extra for a 3DR board is the so called support (vs a RCTimer or other clone), I don't feel I'm getting the love... or the value to justify the difference in cost!
I also agree with the point that each support contact should have a unique Id so it can be tracked and prioritised. I'm sure over new years is a busy time, but the support was very adhoc. If I knew my request was being tracked and I was in a line, I would have been much happier about it!