• All in all, I started out as a truly excited believer – but now I cannot justify why I would ever do business with 3DR again.  It is not about Solo launch glitches, those can be fixed – it is about the company’s integrity, not so easily fixed. 

    I have worked for a company that is notorious for bad product launches, but eventually gets the issues fixed, so as an early adopter of Solo, I was not expecting a glitch free launch.  However, what I have gotten was not expected.

    Honesty & Integrity (not). 

    1. When I pre-ordered my Solo in APRIL the site specifically states that “Orders will be shipped in the order that they are received.”  This legend still exists today on the Solo store.  The reality is that customers who did not pre order were able to buy at retail stores weeks before my solo shipped AND they got their free 2nd battery at the time they got their Solo (I was told that I would have to wait until mid-July (per Jay Rodriguez) because they needed the batteries to fulfil other peoples orders.  Yet they were able to re-stock Best Buy today – before stocking other existing customers).  So much for any loyalty to their existing, excited customer base.

    2. I was told that replacement parts are not available because all available parts were going toward production of new units to fulfill existing customer backorders (by Israel in 3DR customer Service).  Yet today Best Buy got new Solos in for retail distribution. 

    3. I was told on June 27th by Trent Scobs that an order was placed for my part and that I would be “receiving the tracking number from FedEx shortly”.  That was over 2 weeks ago and no tracking order has been provided.

    Communication/Responsiveness (not)

    1.  After Trent’s email of 6/27 there has been no response at all ( point #2 above)

    2. On July 3rd, a week after not receiving the FedEx tracking number, I sent an email reply expressing dissatisfaction and indicating that I either need to have the tracking number and the part – or – I needed an RMA to return the unit under the 30 day MBG.  To this point I have neither.

    3. I have tried calling Solo numerous times, only to sit on hold for 20 min. and finally get dumped off the line.

    4. In a final attempt, I have sent emails to everyone that I have communicated with, every alias I could find, and even to Colin – and all are unanswered (although it hasn’t been 3 days J)

    World Class Support (not)

    1. Read 3DRs own description of their support and contrast to points 4-7 above.  Do you think that is world class support…or even mediocre support?

    2. 3DR launched a new product and apparently didn’t reserve any spare parts for support (see point 2 above).  At worst case their launch plan didn’t account for massive failures and reserve enough parts…but if that is the case, then why ship more units to retail channels before fixing existing customers issues?

    3. Calls don’t go through to the support center.  Emails don’t get responded to – even in the 3 day timeframe that the automated response system claims.  (a pretty low bar for “world class”

    So, how did I get to this point?


    When I finally received my Solo, during its second flight, on auto, it suddenly took off at its highest speed and ran into some trees, breaking 3 blades and burning out a motor.  The logs were went to 3DR and they determined that it was a loss of GPS lock and offered free repair.  So far, so good.  I had purchased additional blades because I am realistic enough to expect to lose some.  I wasn’t expecting my Solo to continue to drive its motor at the highest speed possible after it became stuck and was not making any movement in any direction.  And realistically, I would even pay for the motor – if I could actually get one.

    When it became apparent that 3DR couldn’t provide the replacement part until well past the 30 day window – I asked Israel for an RMA to return it.  Instead of issuing the RMA, he asked for some time to talk to someone who could get me the part.  That was 6/25 or 6/26.

    Instead of issuing the return RMA, Trent replied with the email stating my tracking number would come “shortly”.

    When the tracking number didn’t come in a week, I once again asked for either the tracking number – or – an RMA to return under the 30 day guarantee. 

    Since then it has been nothing but crickets.


    So, what would I have done differently if I were 3DR?

    1.  I would have fulfilled orders in the order in which they were received.  Once I realized that I had sold out my production pipeline, I would stop taking pre-orders or at least inform my potential customers that they wouldn’t get their pre-order until after the units were available at retail (OK, I wouldn’t tell a customer that – would you?).

    2. I would have reserved spare parts from the initial run.  If 3DR didn’t that is a rookie mistake.

    3. When I realized that I had a much higher demand for replacement parts than I had stocked, I would divert some of the parts for new production to support the people that had already paid along with setting an honest delivery date to those still ordering (see point A)

    4. If I didn’t actually have replacement parts, and a customer wanted his money back guarantee honored, I would have honored that request on the spot – not led him to believe he was going to get a replacement part.

    5. If I failed to deliver on something that I told a customer, I would pro-actively reach out to that customer and let them know and re-negotiate.

    6. I would respond to all emails in the timeframe that I (or the automated system) said that I would.

    7. If I could not respond, then I would adjust the automated reply to a realistic response time (in 3DRs case that seems to be about 10 days).

    8. If I can’t answer the phones in 20 min…WOW

    9. If I can’t answer emails in 10 days, I need to hire more people

    10. I would respond to the customers 2 and 3rd request for an RMA to return under the 30 day money back guarantee. 

    I have all the emails and screen shots to back this up.


    Next stop, the bank to reverse the charges on my Visa.  Maybe that will get a response.

    • Wow, I know at this point my chances are slim.  I am a seasoned early adopter myself and I have seen this many of times over the years from highly respected tech companies in many different sectors.  We can only hope that Chris Anderson, Jordi Munoz and Colin are sitting in a war room consulting with their investors right now trying to get their hands wrapped around this.  I can understand the missed guess as there are countless first time drone owners picking these up that could not be accounted for.  

      Of course it doesn't help the gimble missed the release, but one could only assume that it's dev was pushed to the side after the overwhelming pre-order response they were not prepared to fill came in. I've been in your situation before, some companies handle this better than others but they've also been through it a few times.  Let's hope this 3 year old company is consulting with their investors and learns quickly because I really hate being grounded less then 10 days after dropping $1600. i'm only on the first email and waiting on the response, I'll keep you posted on my upcoming experience as well. fingers crossed.

      Hey maybe they will read your post and get some pointers...:).

      keep us posted on any progress that is or is not made.

    • I did not get the response that I expected in response to my 3rd request for an RMA to return for refund:


      I do really understand your frustration, and I really apologize for this inconvenience that this has caused you. We are trying to do the best we could to fulfill all the orders that we received daily. And the truth it is that we ran out of motor pods last days, if you want I can check first hour tomorrow morning if we received the new batch of motor pods, if so, I will forward your information to shipping department so they can ship this to you as soon as we have the new ones.

      Let me know if you have any questions or doubts about it.

      Best regards.

      Trent Scobs"

  • I reached out to them yesterday requesting an exchange and haven't heard back yet.  I'm grounded and in need of a replacement for the weekend...  I bought my at a BB but had to drive 2hrs to pick up. I plan to check with my local BB to see if they will honor the exchange tomorrow and have one shipped to me from another location as I know there are none with-in a respectable driving distance now... .

    As for the support, I have read in other places they are having trouble keeping up with support right now.  This should be a non-issue for money back though, looks like a call to an automated survey, receive a code and return it with that code. did you follow these steps that are listed in the documented warranty to execute the money back guarantee process? It looks pretty straight forward and no ridiculous stipulations listed. Looks like the only stipulation that they could not honor it would be "All items must be in new or like-new conditions without cracks, dents or scratches to the body (except propellers)."  which is reasonable otherwise everyone that is grounded from wreck-less operation would be sending them in for their money back.  

    • I wish you luck in getting a replacement by the weekend.  I honestly hope your story is opposite of mine.

  • Who did you actually buy it from?

    • direct form 3DR.  Pre-ordered in April.

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