Aviators Make Extra Money By Helping Other Aviators
LAS VEGAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The largest commercial drone show in North America, InterDrone,
opened today with the launch of 500below,
LLC, the first peer-to-peer network of drone owners supporting drone
owners. The company’s name is a reference to the FAA’s altitude ceiling
of 500 feet and below for commercial drone flights.
“Demand for drones is huge, but consumer support is awful, and new drone
aviators are extremely frustrated,” said company Founder and CEO Bill
Kimberlin today from the InterDrone conference in Las Vegas, where
500below can be found at booth/table #11 in The Hanger exhibit area.
“After paying an average of $1200 or more for a product up front and
waiting weeks or months for it to arrive, aviators find that they can’t
get anyone at the manufacturer on the phone to answer questions or help
them troubleshoot problems. Reaching a live person who understands your
aircraft, remote and mobile phone display combination is virtually
will fill this customer service gap with a platform that matches its
members to more advanced aviators who use the same combination of
aircraft, remote and display unit. When a customer logs in to 500below’s
website or coming mobile app, he enters information about the drone he
owns and the supporting devices used to fly it, then may select from a
menu of assistance categories, such as firmware upgrade, calibration
issues, connection problems or flight rules.
“The launch of 500below is good news for drone manufacturers as well as
consumers – because we will offer manufacturers access to our network of
aviators using their products. This will allow manufacturers to continue
their focus on innovation and production while 500below focuses 100% on
consumer support,” Kimberlin added.
Think of Drone Aviators Like Uber Drivers
Based on an Uber-like platform, 500below will join a growing number of
shared economy startups. As this new ecosystem of aviators comes
together and a mobile app is introduced in the coming months, 500below
believes that device-to-device support in a peer-to-peer community will
prove to be the most effective way to support highly technical devices
Quality Monitored By Pilot and Consumer Rating System
The quality of the consumer experience is measured by a rating system of
one to five stars. Any network aviator who receives a low star rating
will be locked out of the support network pending resolution of customer
issues and advanced training. And, as in Uber, support aviators will
also rate customers who call for support and may decide not to take
calls from customers with low ratings.
“This kind of assistance is already being provided for free through
blogs. Aviators obviously enjoy sharing their knowledge and helping
other pilots. We are simply providing a platform that allows aviators to
receive a fee for their advice, and also makes it easier for drone
owners to quickly find an expert who uses the same aircraft and mobile
device,” Kimberlin said.
“500 Below allows me to put to use my team’s extensive experience in
helping people find the information and assistance they need to solve
problems – experience we acquired through 14 years in the direct
response marketing industry. Our study of the drone market over this
past year has convinced us that the consumer assistance lessons we
learned translate extremely well,” he added.
The Bradford Group
Jeff Bradford, 615-515-4880 (office)