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Unhappy with Autel Customer Service

TomKnAL

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I have had a very unhappy experience with Autel Robotics Support. They have a deservedly good reputation and are generally quick to respond to problems. They failed this time.

Here is the timeline:

Sat 11/05 - I flew the X-Star several times with not problems. This is my last landing:

Sun 11/06 - I tried to DL flight logs and failed then I noticed that the X-Star would not boot at all. When powered up, the X-Star goes directly into an error mode, with all four LEDs flashing red and continuous beeping. The X-Star manual says that this "Indicates hardware problems possibly caused by IMU deviation or other abnormalities."

Mon 11/7 (02:00am) - I reported the problem to [email protected]

I was trying to read the flight logs, using the Advanced Flight Controls, then clicking of Read.
The X-Star never showed up as a drive, though the X-Star did go into the read flashing/beeping
mode. I tried a couple of times without success, then I noticed that Starlink was displaying an
error message, “No attitude data - Gimbal is entering sleep mode” The “IMU Warming Up” message
shows on Starlink as a steady message. I flew Saturday without any problems.

Mon 11/07 10:17am - Autel
I was asked some questions including "does the "IMU Warming Up" message continue to display
during flight or does it go away?"

Wed 11/09 12:43am - Me:
"Has the IMU failed? That’s what the symptoms suggest. The X-Star is not flyable."

Thu 11/10 01:31am - Me
Do you have any information about what I can do to get the X-Star flying again?

Thu 11/10 11:44am - Autel replies
I'm going over your issue with one of our technicians. Once I speak with him, I'll let you know
what I find out.

Thu 11/10 11:44am - Autel replies
How may times have you tried to get the IMU to warm up?
When you do try to warm up the IMU, how long do you wait?
Have you had any hard landings or incidences?
Have you had any successful flights?
What do the LEDs display during the IMU is warming up when you first power on the aircraft?

Note - some of these questions seem to indicate a lock of familiarity with the meaning of the
error messages.

Thu 11/10 02:33pm - Autel replies
I've spoken with the technicians and they have given me a firmware file that they would like you
to upload to your aircraft. <Instructions follow, but there was no attachment of Firmware.

Thu 11/10 07:30pm - Me
I did not get an attachment. I also called in hopes that I could get this resolved quicker,
but they were not answering the phone even thought if was before 6pm PST.

Fri 11/11 10:45am - I call Autel re the missing attachment

Fri 11/11 11:13am - Autel
Sent email with X3P_FW_V1.08.42.bin firmware

I started just the X-Star (no remote) with the firmware and waited 10 minutes each time for the lights to stop. There was no change. Still beeping with red flashing lights.

Fri 11/11 11:52am - Me
Reported that there had been no change and mentioned that I did not think the Firmware would load
because the version # was lower than that on the X-Star, 1.2.8.

Sat 11/12 10:11am - Autel
Ok. That was a different patch. I will have to talk with the technicians on Monday, but it sounds
like you will need to have it sent in for repair. Most likely it will be under Warranty but I
won't know that until I speak with my manager on Monday.

Mon 11/14 11:25am - Me
It has been over 7 days since I reported this problem. Has there been any progress?

Tue 11/15 06:28pm - Autel
"I've talked it over with the technicians. I described what has been going on and they would like
to have you send in your aircraft for an Evaluation for Warranty Service.
Would you be interested in having that done?"

Wed 11/16 01:30am - Me
"Yes" - Autel should have sent me what I needed to know to start this process without this
exchange - another day wasted

Wed 11/16 10:17am - Autel
As we've discussed, you will be sending in your aircraft for an Evaluation for Warranty Service.
This means that the technicians will take a good look at the aircraft, run it through some tests
and pull the flight logs to find out exactly what happened. From there, they will be able to
determine if the repairs will be under your warranty or if it will need to be a paid service.

Just to let you know, there is a 14-day turnaround time on our repair line. Adding the time for
your package to arrive in the greater Seattle area and back to you, that will give you some kind
of idea on how long it will take.

<This email cinluded a list of information that they needed for the RMA>

Wed 11/16 06:51pm - Me
I would have really liked to have started this process a few days after I reported the problem,
i.e, a week ago.
Will the automated email include instructions? Do I ship just the X-Star?
The Remote? Battery?

Wed 11/16 06:54pm - Autel
<Requested Proof of Purchase which I had overlooked>

Wed 11/16 08:02pm - Me
Sent Invoice

Thu 11/17 11:59am - Autel
Thank you for that information. The RMA should be coming to you shortly.

Thu 11/17 11:59am - Autel
RMA was provided. However the RMA says
"Reason for Returning: Crash/Damage while flying"
"Action Requested: Paid Repair"

Fri 11/18 02:44am - Me sent to Sr. Tech Support Manger
I reviewed some of the email traffic and showed the incorrect RMA
I was concerned that I sent the X-Star using this RMA, then I was agreeing
that it had been crashed and I was requesting "Paid Repair" so I sent:
"Both the Return Reason and the Requested Action are incorrect. The X-Star never crashed and the
action requested was Evaluation for Warranty Service. Please send me a correct RMA."

Fri 11/18 02:45am - Autel
Ticket Received.... My email included the earlier ticker # so I was puzzled by this.

Fri 11/18 02:55pm - Autel
Sr. Tech Support Manger for Autel Robotics - will look into this and get back ASAP
Attempted to call me

It has been two weeks since the problem first occurred. With shipping times and the 2-week turnaound for repairs I suspect that I will not have a functioning X-Star sooner than 5 weeks after the X-Star failed. I think I should have had a valid RMA before 11/10. It would have been close to being fixed if that happened.
 

Jim Jenkins

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They probably just have to reflash the firmware. Mine was DOA. I sent it in and they fixed. Just takes close to 2 weeks for shipping (which they paid for) round trip.
 

TomKnAL

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They sent me a prepaid 2-day shipping label, to make up for the delay. I shipped it on 11/22. 11/24 was Thanksgiving, so the delivery was scheduled for 11/25. For unknown reasons (Christmas shopping?) it was not delivered to Autel until Monday, 11/28.

At 2:47pm 11/28 I received an email from Autel: "The main board is not capable of accepting a firmware update for some reason", with an offer to replace it with a refurbished model. I asked what my options are, but assuming that it would take less time to accept a refurbished unit, I said yes to that option.

On Wednesday, 11/30, they reported that the it would be shipped on 12/2. It is scheduled to get here Friday, 12/09. I reported the IMU error on 11/7, so that's 32 days out of service.
 

Glazier

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Location
Baltimore Md
I have had a very unhappy experience with Autel Robotics Support. They have a deservedly good reputation and are generally quick to respond to problems. They failed this time.

Here is the timeline:

Sat 11/05 - I flew the X-Star several times with not problems. This is my last landing:

Sun 11/06 - I tried to DL flight logs and failed then I noticed that the X-Star would not boot at all. When powered up, the X-Star goes directly into an error mode, with all four LEDs flashing red and continuous beeping. The X-Star manual says that this "Indicates hardware problems possibly caused by IMU deviation or other abnormalities."

Mon 11/7 (02:00am) - I reported the problem to [email protected]

I was trying to read the flight logs, using the Advanced Flight Controls, then clicking of Read.
The X-Star never showed up as a drive, though the X-Star did go into the read flashing/beeping
mode. I tried a couple of times without success, then I noticed that Starlink was displaying an
error message, “No attitude data - Gimbal is entering sleep mode” The “IMU Warming Up” message
shows on Starlink as a steady message. I flew Saturday without any problems.

Mon 11/07 10:17am - Autel
I was asked some questions including "does the "IMU Warming Up" message continue to display
during flight or does it go away?"

Wed 11/09 12:43am - Me:
"Has the IMU failed? That’s what the symptoms suggest. The X-Star is not flyable."

Thu 11/10 01:31am - Me
Do you have any information about what I can do to get the X-Star flying again?

Thu 11/10 11:44am - Autel replies
I'm going over your issue with one of our technicians. Once I speak with him, I'll let you know
what I find out.

Thu 11/10 11:44am - Autel replies
How may times have you tried to get the IMU to warm up?
When you do try to warm up the IMU, how long do you wait?
Have you had any hard landings or incidences?
Have you had any successful flights?
What do the LEDs display during the IMU is warming up when you first power on the aircraft?

Note - some of these questions seem to indicate a lock of familiarity with the meaning of the
error messages.

Thu 11/10 02:33pm - Autel replies
I've spoken with the technicians and they have given me a firmware file that they would like you
to upload to your aircraft. <Instructions follow, but there was no attachment of Firmware.

Thu 11/10 07:30pm - Me
I did not get an attachment. I also called in hopes that I could get this resolved quicker,
but they were not answering the phone even thought if was before 6pm PST.

Fri 11/11 10:45am - I call Autel re the missing attachment

Fri 11/11 11:13am - Autel
Sent email with X3P_FW_V1.08.42.bin firmware

I started just the X-Star (no remote) with the firmware and waited 10 minutes each time for the lights to stop. There was no change. Still beeping with red flashing lights.

Fri 11/11 11:52am - Me
Reported that there had been no change and mentioned that I did not think the Firmware would load
because the version # was lower than that on the X-Star, 1.2.8.

Sat 11/12 10:11am - Autel
Ok. That was a different patch. I will have to talk with the technicians on Monday, but it sounds
like you will need to have it sent in for repair. Most likely it will be under Warranty but I
won't know that until I speak with my manager on Monday.

Mon 11/14 11:25am - Me
It has been over 7 days since I reported this problem. Has there been any progress?

Tue 11/15 06:28pm - Autel
"I've talked it over with the technicians. I described what has been going on and they would like
to have you send in your aircraft for an Evaluation for Warranty Service.
Would you be interested in having that done?"

Wed 11/16 01:30am - Me
"Yes" - Autel should have sent me what I needed to know to start this process without this
exchange - another day wasted

Wed 11/16 10:17am - Autel
As we've discussed, you will be sending in your aircraft for an Evaluation for Warranty Service.
This means that the technicians will take a good look at the aircraft, run it through some tests
and pull the flight logs to find out exactly what happened. From there, they will be able to
determine if the repairs will be under your warranty or if it will need to be a paid service.

Just to let you know, there is a 14-day turnaround time on our repair line. Adding the time for
your package to arrive in the greater Seattle area and back to you, that will give you some kind
of idea on how long it will take.

<This email cinluded a list of information that they needed for the RMA>

Wed 11/16 06:51pm - Me
I would have really liked to have started this process a few days after I reported the problem,
i.e, a week ago.
Will the automated email include instructions? Do I ship just the X-Star?
The Remote? Battery?

Wed 11/16 06:54pm - Autel
<Requested Proof of Purchase which I had overlooked>

Wed 11/16 08:02pm - Me
Sent Invoice

Thu 11/17 11:59am - Autel
Thank you for that information. The RMA should be coming to you shortly.

Thu 11/17 11:59am - Autel
RMA was provided. However the RMA says
"Reason for Returning: Crash/Damage while flying"
"Action Requested: Paid Repair"

Fri 11/18 02:44am - Me sent to Sr. Tech Support Manger
I reviewed some of the email traffic and showed the incorrect RMA
I was concerned that I sent the X-Star using this RMA, then I was agreeing
that it had been crashed and I was requesting "Paid Repair" so I sent:
"Both the Return Reason and the Requested Action are incorrect. The X-Star never crashed and the
action requested was Evaluation for Warranty Service. Please send me a correct RMA."

Fri 11/18 02:45am - Autel
Ticket Received.... My email included the earlier ticker # so I was puzzled by this.

Fri 11/18 02:55pm - Autel
Sr. Tech Support Manger for Autel Robotics - will look into this and get back ASAP
Attempted to call me

It has been two weeks since the problem first occurred. With shipping times and the 2-week turnaound for repairs I suspect that I will not have a functioning X-Star sooner than 5 weeks after the X-Star failed. I think I should have had a valid RMA before 11/10. It would have been close to being fixed if that happened.
Same thing happened to me . I did post it in here a while back . It's in x star premium discussion . Have a look
Premium in the shop
 

TomKnAL

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Same thing happened to me . I did post it in here a while back . It's in x star premium discussion . Have a look
Premium in the shop
Link: Premium in the shop

Sure sounds like the same problem. I overlooked your thread.

The refurbished unit has a new battery and the one I sent in had 75 charges on it.
 

Glazier

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Joined
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Messages
66
Reaction score
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Age
55
Location
Baltimore Md
Link: Premium in the shop

Sure sounds like the same problem. I overlooked your thread.

The refurbished unit has a new battery and the one I sent in had 75 charges on it.
Yeah they sent me a whole new kit , everything . Charger ,props, gimbal repair kit, battery . I have 4 batteries so the one I sent back had 25 cycles on it. I rotate batteries as I fly so they all have the same amount of cycles on them. The new battery they sent me had 3 cycles on it .
 

577-Jersey

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I had one guy(forget his name) on the phone from Autel that rubbed me wrong,he sounded in a rush and aggravated to be talking to me about a problem i had.
Other than that,they been great!
 
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TonyDrone

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I had one guy(forget his name) on the phone from Autel that rubbed me wrong,he sounded in a rush and aggravated to be talking to me about a problem i had.
Other than that,they been great!
I wonder if it was "Jason?" If so, I got the same cold vibe. I called a week ago, tried to explain the problem and he basically just said "I need an email and shipping address."
Basically cut me off and didn't really want to hear the problem.

My first experience with their customer service. I did a follow up on another question via the website chat, the person I spoke to (typed to), this time a female was actually pretty cool.
 

Tufargon

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Sure hope this turns out well for you OP.
When I contacted Autel for a simple question Jason emailed me back 14 minutes after I emailed them with the info I requested.
I don't know what i'll do if i ever need repairs because I received my XSP as a gift last Christmas from a friend that paid cash for it and didn't give me the receipt.
 

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