Guy orders DJI FPV drone; receives box with a brick

You ordered your DJI FPV drone, directly from the company. A courier company comes to deliver your box. You open it only to discover it’s been bricked. And no, we don’t mean electronically locked up. We mean replaced with a brick.

We’ve all heard of the porch pirate phenomenon by now. A box is delivered to your home and left on the porch or outside the door. Someone driving by spots it. They hop out, grab the box, jump back in the car, and take off. It happens all the time, despite the great efforts of engineer/vigilante Mark Rober. There are also rip-offs where, somewhere along the delivery line, someone removes the product from the box and replaces it with a weight.

And, apparently, has happened to someone who ordered the DJI FPV Drone.

Ring-a-ding

The story comes to us via Facebook post. The person who was supposed to receive the drone is Bryan Bailey of Lewisville, Texas. He’d ordered the DJI FPV drone directly from the company. And he was thrilled when the doorbell rang on delivery day.

But the moment he picked up the box, something didn’t feel right. The weight felt off, and whatever was in the box was sliding around from side to side. There was also blue tape on the bottom of the box, completely different from the clear tape sealing the top. We spoke with Bryan on the phone.

“It was like there was something alive inside of the box,” he says. “It is tumbling back and forth. When I laid it on my bed, it wouldn’t even lay flat. I don’t know how much the box weighs, but I know what was in the box didn’t feel right.”

And that blue tape? Alarm bells were going off.

“I knew immediately it was going to be a scam. The blue tape just… I had to film it. If it felt right I wouldn’t even have recorded it.”

Bryan has a Ring doorbell, which captured the delivery. And when he opened the box? No drone. Just what appeared to be pillow stuffing and a brick.

The drone was apparently replaced with a brick…

Posted to Facebook and YouTube

Bryan, understandably, was more than ticked. He pulled together the video and posted it to YouTube. Then he took his story to Facebook.

“Brick Found in my $1299 DJI FPV Drone Combo Box from shipping company FedEx left at my door!” he wrote, with links to his Ring video and the YouTube edit:

Now this would hurt..

Whodunnit?

That’s certainly the question. The blue tape appears to be fresh, and not at all scuffed the way you’d anticipate it would be at the end of a voyage. That led Bryan to suggest, in the banner of that video, that the courier company was responsible. “Shipping company stole my $1,300 drone,” it reads.

Some commenters jumped on the shipping company, or the person delivering the goods, as being responsible. But other amateur detectives jumped on suggesting that things might not be as they appeared. A number said they could not see any blue tape on the box as it was delivered, suggesting that Bailey himself might himself be responsible.

Others noted the delivery person was carrying the box in such a way that the blue tape would not be visible, or only partially visible. And then others were pretty convinced, despite the blurry video, that they could see the blue tape.

Bryan has been around drones – and the internet – for a while. So he let the negative comments slide. There are always going to be haters.

Where’s the drone?

We have no idea. But it seems the most likely scenario, duh, is that someone removed it from the box in between when it was shipped by DJI and when Bailey opened it.

And, commented some, that likely means DJI can and will truly brick this drone from being operational or accepting updates.

“I feel sorry for the dumb asses who think they can scam, that drone will be disabled by SN number on activation or the next forced update,” posted one person. “ROFL! You realize DJI can see where that drone flies? It has this thing called a GPS.”

That’s certainly Bryan’s hope.

“Hopefully they can blacklist to make it where it can’t fly. I’m hoping that.”

DJI

We’ve asked DJI what it does in cases like this. The answer has to come from another time zone, but we’ll update this if we hear back.

As for FedEx?

“Hopefully they call me back today,” says Bryan. “If they find the drone or know where it’s at and maybe find the guy that did it, that will be it. I want my drone, that’s all I really want.”

Bryan, hope you get flying before long and don’t wind up out-of-pocket.

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