DJI can rot in hell where they belong. There are major concerns regarding privacy and security with their invasive software, not to mention the over-the-top geo-fencing annoyance, though i suppose it's a necessary evil to keep in check all the idiots that ought to have stuck to Lincoln Logs instead of flying remotely operated aircraft.
With DJI out of the picture, i came very close to pulling the trigger on an Autel Evo II Pro, then i started reading about how the quality of their support has recently sunk like a lead balloon. Apparently Autel used to have great support, but something has obviously changed, including two key people who have left the company for what appears to be grievances with how the company is managed.
The following is a small sample of customer dissatisfaction with Autel's support, mostly from the Autel Pilots forums and most from 2022:
This appears to be from a support tech...
Due to a historically large influx of service tickets, phone calls, and email inquiries, we are experiencing delayed response times. The Customer Service/Tech Support team is a very small team, and we cover the entirety of North and South America. We are working diligently to attend to each ticket and call we have received. We appreciate your patience as we work through the backlog!
Phone service for the Customer Service/Tech Support team will be closed Thursday-Friday Feb 10-11th, and will resume as normal Monday Feb 14th.
Support requests are apparently exceeding the norm, so the answer is to close support rather than hire more people? Really? And why are there so many support requests?
Another customer in the same thread...
This is April 15th, 2022 and I have that problem with a drone I bought two weeks ago and can't get support to answer emails, phones or chats.
I tried to call them 10 times over April 13th and 14th. Each time waited in the queue and when I was 2 or 1, they asked me to leave a message and hung up after I left the message. On the evening (EDT), I got through to a very helpful gentleman. My three emails have not yet been responded to as of this morning.
This is VERY disconcerting. Buying a warranty is a waste of money if no one is going to be available to help. I bought my warranty before I flew my drone for the first time had some questions, called, emailed and was able to get a person in the chat window, he told me “let me get someone to help you with that, 30 minutes later I had to go back to work without no one coming to the chat. Is very sad. I bought the light to try Autel before the Evo 3 came out and this situation is directing me to never buy an Autel drone ever again. They will have to show a lot of progress before I can trust them again.
Anyone else getting any response from autel support? I submitted an email ticket two weeks ago and besides the automated response I've heard nothing. I've called and left voice mail as well but no response.
The last few times I needed tech support it literally took weeks and several emails to get a reply.
I can't even replace my drone or get an answer from tech support and I'm growing impatient. With each passing day, I'm having second thoughts about investing this much money in a drone if the company can't support it.
They aren't responding. I emailed them three weeks ago and chased them up twice but didn't even get an acknowledgement.
My letter to Autel after months of complaining and no help !
Subject: Non Existent customer service, my words falling on deaf ears.
I have just recently read this on Autel site. I own an Evo 1 and its a shame that they decided not to supply parts or service for it I fly only 8-10 times a year and it sucks that I paid $1000.00 for a drone that doesn't manufacture spare parts/ batteries. Good Bye Autel.
With an inability to provide any reasonable connection or response to customers, Autel is more detrimental to their growth and success, than any effort mounted by a competitor. [...]
From unanswered phone calls and unanswered messages to unanswered or unrealistically delayed email responses. This is the unfortunate mode of operation for Autel.
One of the problems that may be related to the horrible support lately was the leaving of one of their most liked support techs, Ken Booth. One customer wrote...
"Just wanted to let you all know that my last day with Autel Robotics is Sunday. I feel that under the current conditions at the company that I can no longer provide the support that I'm known for. I wish the user base the best."
Another user comments...
Yep! I read this sad news as well ! I’m sure wherever he goes, he’ll got more appreciation because he is the top 10 in customer services. Autel will regret to lose him.
Guessing he ran into the same brick wall CEO Randall Warnas ran into trying to get things done. Unfortunately Maxwell Lee has always wanted his son to run the company and it was said years ago the only reason Maxwell Lee (Autel) started into drones was to give his son a company to run.
Looks like he is running it into the ground.
I don't know what the managerial dynamics are in Autel but it's obvious things are not good. Maybe the younger Lee is finding out what Randall also learned after joining the company. Working with the owner is just not possible.
Sadly with Ken’s departure, things won’t get better. He was the strongest thread between Autel and the consumer. He pushed for a substantial improvement of their customer service platform and was essentially met with an “We don’t care” response from executive levels. One can rarely get through by phone and rarely receive responses to email inquiries currently. Autel needs to drastically change and improve their customer service and communication. At present, Autel isn’t a stellar company. They do have some great drone platforms but that not what it’s all about. If Autel cannot service their vendors or customers efficiently and effectively, they literally are no better than their competitor. Currently Autel executives are their own worst enemy due to inexperienced and unprofessional business tactics.
So much promise and Randall confirmed Autel is just another Chinese monopoly with no desire to look out for their employees and one would reason, their customers.
No response from Autel so far. I tried calling and was on hold 25 minutes and suddenly they shut the phone by saying We will try calling you back I did not choose that option !
Feb 16th I kept checking if they had replied to my Email, no I kept trying to reach them on phone and finally got through.
She said there is no way she can help me fix the problem over the phone, I will have to ship both back and since its a user problem they will not cover the shipping even tho its under warranty ! They seem to know the problem and when I asked why have the Standard and Smart Firmware in the same line next to one another, I got no answer back. [...]
February 23rd and still waiting for a reply from Autel. Both Autel EVO2 Pro not working due to firmware issues.
It seems Autel is waiting for my warranty to expire on both drones so they can throw the Hot Potato at me !
Shame on you Autel.
Two weeks ago, I emailed Autel Robotics tech support about my water damaged EVO II. I got the automated reply that said a support representative would be contacting me soon. I didn't hear anything so after about 4 days I sent another email. Still nothing. After 10 days, I sent yet another email, still nothing. Now it's been two weeks and I have sent them a fourth email and I'm not hold my breath waiting for a reply. Is this normal? It's frustrating as hell.
This has not been my experience in the past.