Jeff Goin Experience With DJI Osmo Mobile

2017-02-14 Hand held 3-axis Gimbal Stabilizer for Phone (Note 4). The unfolding "DJI Disaster"

I ordered the DJI Osmo Mobile 3-Axis stabilizer on Nov, 2016 and it arrived soon after. We would be shooting video from which we could extract stills for the upcoming Paraglider & Paramotor Instructor book.

The device worked wonderfully using just the basic features available out of the box. Then I loaded the App which soon started crashing and could not be counted on--it was useless as a result. Maybe it works on the I-Phone but not on the Galaxy Note 4. No big deal, it turns out, because all the necessary functionality is sufficiently available for our purposes. You can still control the device sufficiently using its external buttons.

After getting used to it, we headed for Costa Rica and got some great footage there. On about day 5 the adjustment knob fell off. I don't know where it happened but it was not in the bag or car. This knob tightens two arms down to hold the phone in place. It's not a show-stopper, in fact I could make the necessary adjustments with nothing more than two coins against the stub. I still wanted a knob. That's where I run into the worst customer service I've ever experienced. Here goes.

  1. December, in Costa Rica. I contacted DJI through their online chat support. They asked many questions, asked for proof of purchase to see if it was within warranty, asked for a picture of the knobless unit, all of which I provided. All that was completely reasonable, especially when they said they would send a new knob and I should get an email within 24 hours. Cool, I thought, that's pretty good service.
  2. December, 3 days later or so. No email. I contact support again. After going through the same questions in a chat session, and providing the same documents, they said I would get an email within 24 hours about how to proceed.
  3. Over a week passed. We arrived home and I fashioned a rubber knob which worked fine. I almost skipped contacting them again but still wanted the metal knob that belonged on the device. Among other things, it would be slightly better balanced.
  4. January 23. I contact chat support again and go through the same drill although this time they say I have to send it in. Send it in? Why? I just need the knob! The unit works fine. I try to BUY just the knob and can't find any way to do it. Nope, we need to have you send it in but it will be free, and that's the only way to get warranty service.
  5. OK, uncle, I send it in but take some precautions as described below.

My worry is that somehow the unit gets damaged in the process and they say I damaged it, dropped it or something. So I took a video of the RMA shipment label they sent me with the unit working so, if a question came up legally, I could show that the unit worked fine. I sent it off.

This is the video

Weeks later I get this email:

Yes, they want me to pay for a half-hour service and $20 freight!!!

At this point I'm just livid and now it's a matter of principle. I'd rather forego the device and pay the $100 filing fee for small claims court, buy another one from a company that has a decent service reputation and chalk it up to learning. Everybody has their limits. I've never been to small claims court but have never had a company behave so poorly in the face of such an easy solution to such reasoned requests. I was never mean or threatening, I essentially pleaded for them to honor their warranty or at least be rational. Had they said, "I'm sorry, things falling off is not covered by warrantee but we can sell you the knob for $20 (it's $4 according to their own email)" I would have accepted it. I won't now, but I sure would have near the beginning.

I responded to their letter today Feb 14, 2017 so we'll see what happens.

Dear DJI,

Three times I contacted you (check your chat logs under my email address) asking only for a knob to replace the one that fell off. Twice you said you could do that and the third time you said I would have to send it in even though I explained that the device itself was fine. But that was the only way I could get warranty service so I sent it in.

Now I get a bill?

Do you see the illogic in this? If a door knob fell off your month-old car would you expect to get a bill from the dealership?

Please do the right thing and send me my device with its knob at no charge to me.

Jeff Goin

Stay tuned.

No Cigar 2017 Apr 25

I had two more correspondences where they asked me for the same picture and video about the case to which I responded (this link is all that's necessary).

Sometime last month they sent the device back without the knob. Of course I put homemade knob back on to use it but it's not the same weight because I can't find a replacement.

Off to small claims court.

This now counts as the worst customer service I've ever experienced, exceeding that of HP Computers 10 years ago and the first time I've felt compelled to seek a court resolution. We'll see if I follow through with it given the nutty busy schedule of my life.

Screwed by DJI 2017 June 15

I got the thing back, sans the knob. What a waste.

So I looked to file a lawsuit and found out that DJI doesn't have a US address, only the service does. And the "Headquarters" address is in China. In other words, I'm ship out of luck. I can't even buy the damn $4 knob, they've wasted shipping, prompted me to wait to see if I can buy another manufacturer's drone and generally left a horrible taste in my mouth.



1. Proof of purchase showing it was well within the 12 month warranty period.
2. Picture that I sent to show the missing knob. Tim and I were sitting at table in Costa Rica. I remember considering myself lucky that it was such an easy problem to resolve.
Apparently not.

© 2016 Jeff Goin & Tim Kaiser   Remember: If there's air there, it should be flown in!