GoPro has been forced to recall its Karma drone, but the company's already turning a bad situation into a strong showing of how to keep customers (relatively) happy.
GoPro's first consumer drone was well-received by users and the media, but the company was forced to issue a recall when it became clear there was a real risk that some of them might just drop out of the sky. Understandably, some of the aforementioned users aren't too happy about that, but rather than leaving them with a bitter taste about the whole experience, GoPro is going to give them each a free Hero 5 Black, worth around £349 in the UK.
Admittedly, right now it's unclear whether purchasers outside the US will get the same level of goodwill compensation but we've contacted the company to find out, or if indeed it ever managed to launch elsewhere. It's a stark contrast to Samsung's handling of its recent Note 7 recall, for which it offered buyers of handsets a $25 credit to stick with the Samsung brand. Could it have afforded to refund £350 to each Note 7 buyer? No, there were an awful lot more Note 7 handsets sold than there were Karma drones, but Samsung could still have done a lot better with its handling of the recall overall and general customer goodwill.
That's not to say GoPro has handled things perfectly - the Karma return page doesn't include information for anywhere outside the US - it was due to go on sale last month in the UK, but is still showing a "coming soon" notice. GoPro says it intends to recommence sales of the Karma drone once the problem has been rectified, but there's no time-frame for that as yet or for international sales recommencing.
According to Phandroid, Karma buyers that are eligible for the free Hero 5 Black offer in the US will have an email confirming the offer. The Hero 5 Black isn't due to start shipping until mid-December though.
It's an expensive way for GoPro to show a little goodwill to early adopters of its newest products, but it's definitely a smart one in the long run - and it's a solid incentive to entice people to return Karma units that haven't shown any signs of faults, but could still be potentially dangerous.
Related: GoPro Hero 5 Black review
Watch: GoPro Hero 5 Black, Hero 5 Session and Karma Drone
Will you hold out to buy a Karma drone or go with a DJI? Let us know in the comments below!