With the popularity of consumer drones soaring sky high, we’ve seen an entire secondary industry of accessories and services created just for quadcopters. That’s to be expected with any emerging product category as we all need bags, extra batteries and other add-ons. And while Amazon has you covered with all of those, it’s hard to know what to do when your drone needs serviced.
A few weeks back I found myself in this very situation. Having flown my DJI Phantom into a patch of trees (the shot was epic!), I began scouring the interwebs for a solution to getting my drone back into the sky. Turns out, I didn’t even know where to start. Enter Drone Nerds. One of the few DJI authorized retailers and repair centers in the United States. So, with broken drone in-hand, I made my way to the Post Office in hopes that the kind fellas and gals in Florida could get me back up and running sooner rather than later…
So to be perfectly honest, I really didn’t know where to start. Drone Nerds popped up in my searching and it turned out to be a great find. But before we get into the experience, let me tell you about the damage first.
My DJI Phantom 3 Professional suffered a broken gimbal, multiple shattered legs and a cracked exterior shell. In working order, it was not. I tried to look on eBay for replacement parts but it turns out that simply attaching a new gimbal isn’t an option. You see, DJI has special tools that are used to balance the gimbal and replacing without using these tools can cause all sorts of problems. Going with an authorized dealer is the safe route, for sure.
Drone Nerds Experience
Getting started with your Drone Nerds repair is pretty straight forward. Simply hit the home page and select ‘repair service’ and fill out the on-screen ticket with contact details, drone information and what happened.
Quickly after completing the ticket you’ll receive an email detailing the next steps of getting your drone repaired. You’ll first need to send it in to the repair center for an overview and confirmation of damage. One thing that I really appreciated about Drone Nerds is that they provided step-by-step confirmation along the way.
After your drone has been received, they’ll take pictures of each piece that was shipped and provide an estimate of the repair or upgrade costs. If you choose to not go forward with Drone Nerds, your quadcopter will be returned and a $60 diagnostic fee will be charged. Throughout the entire experience you’ll be in contact with a single technician over email. I really appreciated not getting handed back-and-forth throughout this process. Our communication was clear and concise, which isn’t always the case with these services.
In my case, I totaled over $500 worth of repairs with the bulk of that coming from the built-in camera. After receiving an itemized list of the damage, Drone Nerds waited for my approval before beginning repairs.
It’s true, spending $500 to repair a drone isn’t ideal. Especially considering that a new one is available in the $700-$1,200 range pretty easily. But the reality is, very few people can repair DJI’s Phantom line of drones. So you’re going to have to pay up if you hope to take to the sky again.
Once all of the work is completed, Drone Nerds will do a test flight to confirm all of that all of the repairs went off without a hitch. A follow-up email details all of the final repairs and charges. Following payment, everything is shipped back to your address. In my experience, the repairs were completed in less than 24 hours after approval and my drone was back in the air headed home.
It’s clear that Drone Nerds does an excellent job of paying attention to the details throughout the repair process. Upon receiving my rehabbed DJI Phantom 3 Pro in the mail, I was quick to rip open the box and see how it looked. Thankfully, everything was in perfect working order. Arguably in pristine condition.
Depending on your needs, getting your drone repaired is going to be a costly endeavor. That aside, I can’t speak highly enough about the experience that I had with Drone Nerds. There were no hidden fees and every step was accurately communicated along the way without any pressure.
If you find yourself in a situation in the future with a need for a repair, I’d recommend Drone Nerds in a heartbeat. They also offer a variety of upgrade services too, if you want a little more power or features built-in to your DJI Phantom.
Visit Drone Nerds for more details on its services and pricing.