ALTA's Grounded - Critical Issue - please read

Discussion in 'ALTA' started by Tabb Firchau, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

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    Sorry but these kind of posts are just very frustrating to read. It is so easy to blame someone else on the internet. Don't blame Freefly for doing what they need to do. Even if you lose one job, don't blame anyone but yourself because you should always have backups as a professional. IF you don't have a backup then you are leaving yourself up for failure. I have 2 backups in case something goes wrong. On a set where time is of the essence you don't have time to even troubleshoot for 5 minutes sometimes. That's when you break out the backup. I think it would be kind of naive for anyone to have all their eggs in one basket especially when those eggs just hatched out of the freefly nest. It's a brand new system, and you should keep that mindset during any conversion process from one rig to another. If I invested in an Alta I would have kept at least one existing rig that I was using before the alta came out. The alta is not the only rig that can get jobs done. It's not like the MOVI when it was brand new. Sorry for the rant but this is just ridiculous.
     
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  2. Peter Lethbridge

    Peter Lethbridge New Member

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    Have to disagree with you there. But its a free world and you can expression your opinion if you like. We have different size rigs for different jobs. On the top end (i.e. Alta, Mov15, Red) I'm not in a position to duplicate that so of kit at the moment. That doesn't mean I can't do jobs, if that's what you are implying.
     
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  3. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

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    Plain and simple, if you can't do a job because you don't have an Alta available, don't blame anyone but yourself. You put yourself in that position.
     
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  4. Peter Lethbridge

    Peter Lethbridge New Member

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    Let it go. I think we've had enough of your wisdom
     
  5. Tom Hirschmann

    Tom Hirschmann New Member

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    Good on FreeFly to admit the problems they have had to date and rectify them. It takes integrity and balls to admit you screwed up and fix it. I've purchased many multirotors that had significant problems that were never official acknowledged, much less fixed.

    However, I can completely understand the frustration of other owners. With FreeFly's pedigree, premium price tag, and the time that they said was put into development, it is at the very least annoying that we have to go through these teething pains that should have been caught pre-production. I had to send back two units and this will be my third RMA in the first month of ownership. I'm sure it's stressful at FreeFly HQ these days but as a long time customer I'm happy to see that they are standing behind their product.

    It's the unfortunate price we pay for being on the bleeding edge of a new industry. Looking forward to things settling with the ALTA and putting ours to work.
     
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  6. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    Look, guys, google "flip of death", and you'll see what happens when a UAV company buries its head in the sand and refuses to acknowledge problems. Have any of you crashed your ALTA for reasons that are mysterious, only to find out later that the crash was caused by a problem Freefly knew about and chose not to discuss? No, I didn't think so. We're just not used to proactive support like this. Truth is, most current owners were preorder customers (including myself) who put deposits down without ever seeing a working ALTA in person. That's faith! And contrary to what it might seem, this is exactly why you had that faith in that little company in Washington. Because we all know how seriously they take their work. Will I miss my ALTA? Yes. Will I lose out on opportunities when it's gone? Probably. Will I be discussing a catastrophic crash with the UAV Grief Counselor because of a problem with frayed signal wires? Probably not.
     
  7. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

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    Peter as you so well pointed out in your previous post "its a free world and you can expression your opinion if you like". I can understand your frustration as you have put down a good capital investment, I"m sure its frustrating but that's part of the UAV world we live in. If you want to play you have to pay, and if you don't have the desire, money or ability to build a quality backup that's not a vendor issue that's a poor business plan. No matter how good any one product is, you have to go with the assumption that any part can or will fail one way or another (and it usually happens at the worst time possible) IF you don't approach flights, jobs and clients like that you won't last long doing UAV work. At least that's one person's opinion that has racked up over 2500 flights in a 3.5 year period of time.
     
  8. Chris Jordan

    Chris Jordan Member

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    Google DJI and you'll see Flip of Death - Lofting - FC turn off - GPS flyaway - etc. THIS SUCKS. Of course it does. BUT these guys at Freefly are GOOD PEOPLE. THAT is more important than any job. (Myself included, this will hurt, but TI"S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD!) More jobs will come. Support them. Help them. Yeah their stuff is pricey. They are a very new company, and need the over head to continue to create for YOU to be better than the other guy with a Ronin or be steady or whatever.

    This issue must have absolutely devastated them. BUT they told us anyway instead of waiting for something to happen (like DJI) and they are taking care of it within 10 days?? (DJI turn around 6 months)
     
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  9. Adam Paugh

    Adam Paugh Distributor

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    We submitted the RMA request at 8:18am and received a pre-paid shipping label for the return at 10:55am today.

    Greetings,
    Adam
     
  10. Ben Ruffell

    Ben Ruffell Active Member

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    I think this is a very valid point for those of us based outside of the USA. In our case, the downtime will be a month.

    I'm in a similar boat, in the UK, have jobs to do. will loose money as a result of being without the machine for 2 weeks. I can't say I'm pleased. Perhaps a more logical approach for the foreign owners would be for Freefly to send a replacement machine and swap it out with the current one. They are all new. This would reduce/eliminate the downtime. I don't think any new European user has anywhere use that could cause the problem

    When I have had faulty equipment from other companies, they send out a working replacement straight away.
    (and I guess that Freefly have them as they are still selling new in the store).

    The new replacement is also a much, much easier way of dealing with Customs and import / export costs as it is a straight warranty replacement.

    Freefly has a dealer network here, but so far, it's just sales. No support.

    Also, I am not too happy about having the rig shipped across the world a couple more times, opening up the possibility of shipping damage.

    It is a month long loss of income, and with Freefly continuing to sell new rigs, it's an opportunity for new purchases to come into the market and disrupt it.

    I also agree with this: (and own at least two of all critical components)
    IF you don't have a backup then you are leaving yourself up for failure. I have 2 backups in case something goes wrong

    But, that would not be a lot of help with having two Alta's grounded.

    It is good that Freefly are being open and honest about the process. I appreciate the communication.

    I do however continue to see all of their publicity videos posted daily showcasing the level of testing that has been undertaken. It makes me ask, how was this not discovered during this testing process?

    One other thing. We have been trying to order spare prop's ever since we got the Alta, but that have never been available. Maybe now, with the company slowing down on pumping out new units, and focusing on their early adopters, they will have a chance to add some of these critical spare components to the warehouse.
    That would be one positive.

    (We submitted the support ticket as soon as we received the service bulletin, but nothing back yet).

    I have faith and trust in Freefly, and I know that they will sort it out. (It's the reason why so many of us here choose to invest in them).
     
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  11. georgemcnabb

    georgemcnabb Member

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    I've got to say. Those of us who are outside of the United States are in a totally different basket to the rest of the ALTA customers. I'm not frustrated with freefly at all I'm so happy that they have the integrity to say hey we f'd up and let's fix this. Imagine the cost to them.

    But for us international owners we are open to so much more risk. Customs and duty issues are one thing, I paid nearly $3000 in tax as it came into the country and will have to work with local customs to get around that - which is going to be another lengthy process and delay. Then the risk of shipping the unit worldwide is another massive risk, I think they are lucky to arrive in one piece after seeing how shipping companies treat packages first hand!

    It definitely would be good if we got sent replacement units and sent back the original ALTA, however I can understand that this would be pretty costly for FF.

    Sadly we are all in the same boat, but let's not squabble on these forums, as Freefly make some of the best products in the world right now in my opinion. And without them we wouldn't be better than the rest. So sadly we are at their mercy, but rather that than a company that doesn't give a damn if their customers crash their UAV because of a design fault with $50k worth of equipment on it.
     
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  12. Humberto Barchini

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    I´m in the same boat here... live in Paraguay South America... My Alta has arrived 5 days ago... only 4 test fly with different setup... and have a lot of work booked (and yes I have 2 S1000 and 1 S900 with GH3 and GH4 but is not what the client need)
    As you say it will be nice if they can send a new equipment and then we ship ours... the cost of exporting an importing again are big...
    The other solution is to leave the Alta with the arms opened and locked, so de 200+ cycles don´t count... I´m already know how to transport a cinestar8 in my vehicle.... ;)
     
  13. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
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  14. MIke Magee

    MIke Magee Active Member

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    Same here Adam. Ours is already in the mail!
    -m

     
  15. Howard Dapp

    Howard Dapp Active Member

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    All the back and forth is hilarious. If grown men are unhappy and want to vent let them vent...it's their money that was spent. Typing a page long post on how they should run their business is senseless to me. At the end of the day FF will take care of their customers and all will be happy.
     
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  16. Josh Lambeth

    Josh Lambeth Well-Known Member

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    Shipped ours today! I'll be out on other jobs for the next 2 weeks so no big deal for me... plus I still have our big SynDrones X8 HL.

    Hope to get it back soon... My only concern is hopefully I get the same ALTA back because the serial number is now registered with the FAA and N-Number!

    Josh
     
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  17. Josh - You will get your same unit back with the same serial number.
     
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  18. Sam Collins

    Sam Collins New Member

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    Ok I'm going to throw in my 2 cents. I recommended my company buy the alta and m15 as we are a aerial company and I was tasked with the aquisisition. I went with freely for the same reasons that everybody else did. I am glad that they are resolving this issue .....BUT we are talking really serious money here for serious commercial gear. Sure you should have redundancy but if I put $40000 australian dollars on a forklift, or delivery van and then found that I would lose (probably a month) of work then I would not be patting the company on the back.
    Damn straight , fix it. And I am glad that freely is doing it's best to make sure that it's customers have units they can rely apon. But this is still a bit shit. Me and many others are losing money.Freefly charge a premium price. I don't give a damn about how they feel as they don't pay my bills. And fanboys blowing smoke up freeflys bum just doesn't make sense to me. I am in business. I spend money so I can make money. I have lost the ability to make money for a period of time. This is bad business for me. I am sure freely will resolve this issue and in time we will all get our units back and get to work. But I am losing money and opportunities. And people saying that I should have enough resources to absorb this or have another alternative up my sleeve, or even better thank freefly because all the other companies are worse are obviously not living in the same business world as me
     
  19. Markku Rytinki

    Markku Rytinki New Member

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    How can you say that you are aerialfilming business if you do not have backup drone? the fact is that drones will always have problems at some point.
    good job freefly when informed of the problem right away.
     
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  20. Humberto Barchini

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    After 5 days (only) in Paraguay my Alta is at local FEDEX office waiting 48 hrs (working hours) for clearance to fly again to USA...
    I submitted the RMA last night... received the ticket this morning...
    I hope they can fix it and send it ASAP...
     

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