The skies were blue, there was no wind to speak of, the sun was shining. Just a great day for flying. The building you decided to capture is glowing with the sun’s radiance on its glass and the shot is perfect. Then, then it happened! A stray wind has made it around the building and next thing you know, PANIC. The drone isn’t responding, drifting into the building caught up in the wind gust. Oh NO! Noooooooo! It’s made contact with the building, it’s coming down. You’re frantic on the sticks but nothing. There’s nothing to be done, it’s just not responding. That moment you knew would come, that moment you had been dreading. It’s here. YOU HAVE CRASHED YOUR DRONE!
Once the dust settles and the churning in your gut has subsided from racing over to the now crashed quad, you’re looking down at the pieces of what once was your drone. Luckily, after a quick check, there was no damage to the building and no one was hurt.
Well now, what do you do? The damage is bad, gimbal’s broken and arm is broken. Certainly, no longer flyable, you can’t fix this, you’re going to need help.
How to contact DJI Customer Support
If you own a DJI drone, there’s DJI customer support. Contacting DJI can be done in a few ways: by email, online support, or by phone. The DJI Customer Support chat is available at www.dji.com/support, or you can send an email using the form on the same page. From the US, you can call (818) 235-0789 during regular business hours (PST).
Before you contact them, there are a few things to consider. First of all, do you have Care Refresh? Care refresh is sort of like your do-over button.
What is DJI Care Refresh?
DJI Care Refresh is a 12-month service plan that provides complete and comprehensive coverage should your DJI product be damaged during normal use. Normal product warranties don’t cover accidental damage. There is also an extension to this program for an additional year of coverage, known as Care Refresh Plus.
What is DJI Care Refresh Plus?
DJI Care Refresh Plus provides a one-year extension to your DJI Care Refresh plan. On top of all the DJI Care Refresh benefits, DJI Care Refresh Plus also increases your product warranty by at least 12 months.
The DJI Care Refresh programs are only available for the first two years of ownership. It includes two replacement aircraft in a year and still provides replacement aircraft beyond the two covered at a reduced cost as seen in the chart below.
|Product||First Replacement Fee ($)||Second Replacement Fee ($)|
|DJI Mavic Air 2||69||99|
|DJI Mavic Mini||40||49|
|DJI Mavic 2||119||139|
|DJI Mavic Pro||79||129|
|DJI Mavic Pro Platinum||89||139|
|DJI Mavic Air||69||99|
|DJI Osmo Action||29||39|
|DJI Osmo Pocket||N/A||N/A|
|DJI Osmo Mobile 3||N/A||N/A|
|DJI Inspire 2||209||329|
|DJI Zenmuse X5S||149||219|
|DJI Zenmuse X7||379||529|
|DJI Phantom 4 Pro Series||99||149|
|DJI Phantom 4 Advanced||99||139|
|DJI Phantom 3 SE||69||79|
I have Care Refresh. What do I do now?
So, you have Care Refresh and it’s now time to contact DJI. As mentioned above, contacting DJI can be done in three ways.
1. By email
This is direct and takes around 24 hours to get a response, although they do tend to answer sooner. By clicking on the email option on the support page, you will be provided a form to fill out that will initiate a response from DJI when sent in. From there the process is much the same as when you contact DJI by Phone or through online support.
2. Online support
This is another option and probably the fastest next to calling that is available. This opens a chat box to a DJI representative. Again, the process is the same once you have made contact and have discussed your issue with the online representative.
For me, I like to speak to someone and be able to have a flowing conversation. Something that the other two options lack. Depending on your location, the phone number may vary. Simply locate your country or region’s number and call it.
Number list for DJI Customer Support:
|UNITED STATES & CANADA
+1 818 235 0789
Mon-Sun 7:00AM – 5:00PM (PST)
Mon-Fri 8:00AM – 4:00PM (GMT+0)
+61 1300 090 802
Mon-Fri 9:00AM – 5:00PM (GMT+10)
+31 20 654 5202
Mon-Fri 9:00AM – 5:00PM (GMT+1)
Once going through the computer voiced options and choosing either choosing option 1 (Technical Support) or option 3 which is the option for Care Refresh related claims, you will then be able to discuss with a person what happened and they will walk you through what to do next.
One of the best benefits to these types of programs is that once the crashed drone has been received by DJI, a replacement is sent out within 24 hours. So, there is a quick turnaround time on the replacement getting back to you and you can get back to flying.
Should I Get Care Refresh?
These programs can be of great benefit for a hobbyist pilot, and commercial pilot alike. These programs cover parts, repair, replacement, and shipping. If new to piloting drones, this is a wonderful program to be a part of for some safety and security for your drone. As every drone pilot will crash at one time or another, this applies to all drone pilots inexperienced and experienced.
It is, however, not your only option. Most, if not all, commercial drone pilots have and maintain something called HULL insurance on their gear. It’s usually included in their business liability coverage. This is something most commercial pilots have due to being required by most companies they may provide services to.
Having hull insurance could be a better option for you depending on what you’re flying and how you fly it. It could be a good option for either the hobbyist or commercial pilot alike. As a free-standing insurance policy there can be red tape involved and this could potentially cost you time and money as a claim is processed. Something to consider.
As a commercial pilot of some experience, I would highly recommend having something protecting your equipment, as well as something covering liability. Especially if you fly in more urban areas where any crash could potentially damage something on the ground.
I don’t have Care Refresh. What do I do when I crash my drone?
If you don’t have Care Refresh, you not out of it just yet. Once again you can choose one of the three methods for contacting DJI. In these cases, it might be best to communicate initially by phone, just to limit any confusion.
Here you would want to choose option number one from the options provided when calling. You’ll be transferred to Technical Support. You’ll want to be able to explain in some detail what happened and the representative will then issue a service ticket. They will also provide you with an address to send your ailing drone to.
Unlike with Care Refresh, the shipping cost would not be covered and you would need to send your damaged drone in at your own cost. Now DJI makes a good effort to get things processed quickly, but that being said this could be a time-consuming process. So be aware of that. So, you’ve got everything packed and shipped. What happens next?
Once receiving your broken drone, you will be contacted with an estimate of repair. You may also be asked if you would like for DJI to process the logs. This is an extra fee and could be a waste or benefit for you depending on what is determined by the results.
Wait, what! Yes, it is true that if it is determined that the drone crashed due to equipment failure and is still within its warranty period of one year, you’re off the hook. All DJI products come with an included warranty against equipment failure, but there’s a whole lot of fine print though.
DJI may lower the estimated repair cost or even replace at no cost. Now, this is only the case if it can be verified through the flight logs what caused the crash was due solely to something within the craft as the cause of it crashing. This does happen sometimes, however, it likely wouldn’t be the case for most crashes.
So, you now have the estimated cost of repair in hand and just have to give the go or no go-to DJI. Once giving them the go-ahead, they will either repair the craft you sent in or depending on the severity of damage may replace it with a new replacement/refurbished craft.
Once that has been done, you will receive your drone back and you’ll be able to get back out there and fly.
I have my ticket. What do I send in?
Here’s something that comes up fairly often. Whether you’re using Care Refresh or not, ONLY SEND IN THE BROKEN EQUIPMENT. Do not send in undamaged items such as your spare batteries or controller. DJI only wants the damaged items. They will only issue a repair ticket for the damaged item and you may not get the undamaged items back.
Oh yes, that’s right and it has happened. Someone already having a bad day, sends in his whole kit. Case, controller, extra batteries. When the replacement came back, it was only the drone. Nothing else.
It’s not like DJI did it intentionally, and in the end, he did get his equipment back. It took a good long while and many frustrating phone calls and emails. So be sure to follow the instructions and only send in the damaged items to be repaired.
The way DJI has it set up, there is a ticket number assigned to the item being sent in, and the number covers only that item. Anything else received would not have a number associated with it that can be tracked to the owner, like the ticket number is.
How long will it take to get my repaired drone back?
Now, you wait. DJI will do their best of course to make it a timely process and turnaround. All things take time though. There’s the shipping time involved, there’s the processing time involved. If you have Care Refresh, that time frame is certainly shorter than if you don’t have Care Refresh.
Still, you’ll be out of the skies for a spell. The day will come though when your newly repaired or replaced drone has made it back to you. Seeing as you most likely only sent in the damaged aircraft, you will need to pair your controller to the new replacement drone.
This is a straightforward process and you can follow the easy step-by-step process we’ve outlined in this article. So, you’re paired back to your controller and your drone is good to go. Get out there and fly!
One other thing!
Just one other thing. Crashing your drone is going to happen; it happens to the safest and best of us. Sometimes a crash occurs due to no real fault of your own, sometimes you took a risky chance, and well, you knew it was risky.
Either way, no matter the cause of your crash it’s going to shake you up some. After all, there’s the cost, the repair time, that nagging question as to what you could have done differently. It’s going to affect your confidence.
Don’t let that happen, take it for what it is. A learning experience! Yes, there’s something to be learned from crashing even.