This year after building some smaller quadcopters, I decided to build a larger hexacopter. After researching and looking at different flight controllers, I chose the 3DR Pixhawk for its features. I decided to buy it directly from 3DR and not buy a clone version because I had read some stories about quality issues with clones. I ordered my Pixhawk kit with GPS on February 19th. After waiting a week for my Pixhawk kit to arrive I was able to get it set up on my hexacopter pretty quickly upon arrival. After testing it a few times, I was not able to get the GPS to lock. I contacted 3DR on March 8th to let them know that I was having an issue with the GPS and that even after leaving it outside with a clear view of the sky for over and hour it would still not lock on. On March 9th I received a response telling me that someone from the support team would contact me. On March 10th I received an email from the support team telling me that I should wait 10 minutes for the GPS to lock (apparently they did not read my first email), and if it still does not lock I should take a video and email it to them. I notified them the same day that I had waited over an hour with a clear view of the sky multiple times and sent them a video. On March 11th they emailed me back to ask me if I was using the correct 6 pin cable. I again emailed them back the same day stating that I was using the correct cable that they provided in the kit and that I had tried a replacement cable also and the GPS would still not function with a cable that I knew worked. On March 12th 3DR emailed back and asked to me test the voltage of the pins on the GPS port of the Pixhawk with a voltmeter. Being that I am an electrician by trade this was not a huge issue because I have voltmeters lying around. I did this and found out that 3 pins were not functioning on the Pixhawk. I responded the same day with this info. What is frustrating is the fact that apparently 3DR is not capable of responding to more than one email in a day; and because they kept pushing me off on different support people and every time they responded, I had to explain and test results all over again and wait another day for a response. I finally got an RMA# on March 17th. I would like to add that during the nine days I waited for email replies, to speed up the process, I tried to call their customer support on the phone multiple times but was never able to get a hold of anyone. Each time I called, I got an automated message telling me to call during business hours or email them. Each time I called was during their stated business hours. I was also frustrated that I was asked to test pins with a voltmeter. As I said before, this is not a hard task for me but most companies would just RMA a product right away and test it themselves once it arrives to make sure it qualifies for replacement under the warranty, and not making their customers do all the work. What would they do for a customer that does not have a voltmeter? I was only slightly frustrated at this point, but this was just the beginning of my trouble with 3DR. After sending the Pixhawk and GPS back to 3DR, I received a notification on March 31st that my RMA was approved but because they were upgrading their inventory system, the new kit would not be shipped out until noon on April 3rd. That date came and went with no shipment notification.
After waiting another 48 hours, I still did not receive a shipment notification. On April 9th I sent another email requesting an ETA on the shipping date. On April 10th I received another automated email apologizing for the delay and telling me that my items would ship out on April 14th. This date also came and went with no shipment notification. I never received a response to any further emails requesting an ETA, so I again tried to call their customer service. I finally got a hold of a live person who apologized for the delay and stated that they would overnight it to me. On April 17th I received a shipment notification, however they did not overnight it and I did not receive it until almost a week later. One month and fourteen days after requesting an RMA, I finally received my Pixhawk and GPS. Unfortunately, the story does not end here. On April 27th I received another Pixhawk and GPS in the mail that 3DR sent by mistake. I tried to call them but as usual I got an automated message telling me to call back during business hours. As before, my call was during business hours. I resorted to sending them an email notifying them that they had sent me an extra Pixhawk and GPS by mistake. I received a response one business day later telling me that they would respond within one business day. Today May 5th (8 days later) I receive this message:
I have created RMA #00000 for you to send us the 1x 3DR uBlox GPS with Compass Kit and 1x 3DR Pixhawk from your order #XXXXXXXX .
Please make sure to include this RMA number on the inside of the package when you ship it. We will be sending a FedEx return label to your email soon, which you can use to ship us the 1x 3DR uBlox GPS with Compass Kit and 1x 3DR Pixhawk. The FedEx return label will expire after approximately five days. Please send me an email if you do not receive the FedEx Return label within two business days, and also, make sure to check your spam box. Thank you.
Let me know if you have any questions or if there’s anything I can do to help.
Customer Service Advocate.
Mon-Fri 8am-5pm PST
Call us toll free: (858) 982-2898
Not even a “Thank You for letting us know that we made a mistake”! This is quite possibly the worst online retailer I have ever worked with. I should have saved myself some money and bought the HobbyKing clone of the Pixhawk. Unless 3DR transforms their customer service, I don’t think they have a chance against their competitors. Their new Solo looks very nice, but if they can’t offer the customer service to go along with it, I can’t see them gaining any market share.
If you were thinking of buying from 3DR, you may want to shop elsewhere.