Like many of you, I purchased a Librem 14. Mine arrived roughly 6 weeks ago and I had been using it for about one month until the laptop failed to charge. The charging issue has been brought up many times and has been documented by several users. Some have been able to catch it before it fully discharges, others have not. Some of those who have been through the RMA process with Purism have been through it multiple times.
Given the firmware which likely (nothing I have see guarantees this), is causing the issue was forked by Purism, the issue is theirs to fix permanently. Yet, somehow some users still have this issue.
I opened up a case with Purism and followed their RMA process to the letter. They give you a checklist, which I followed. Prior to doing anything, I asked the support rep if I could remove the SSD so that I could access the data. I was told I can. Per Purism’s own RMA checklist, it says to remove your data prior to sending the device in. Given that the device could not power on, and support knew this, I had to physically remove the SSD. I followed the process here https://forums.puri.sm/t/decrypting-an-external-m-2/17023/10.
I had asked for a refund because I do not want to be one of the customers that has to wonder if the device is going to go through this same issue again and with some users, as mentioned before, they’ve been through it multiple times.
After patiently waiting, I was told that my refund request was denied due to the fact that there are scratches, dirt, and stains on the notebook. By Purism’s own support staff’s admission, there is no impact on functionality due to this. But they won’t do a refund anyway. Not only is this ridiculous, but it is also against the requirements companies must hold up in the EU (ref - https://europa.eu/youreurope/business/dealing-with-customers/consumer-contracts-guarantees/consumer-guarantees/index_en.htm)).
Asking your users to follow a process and then blaming them for doing so is counterintuitive and echos the spirit of companies Purism claims to be nothing like.
I was offered to have the motherboard replaced, which based on the previous issues some users are having, does not guarantee that the issue at hand is resolved permanently, since some users are clearly still impacted, some of them (oddly enough) even recurring.
Products must be reliable. Otherwise, I can go through the RMA process again and again with no end in sight. Is this really better than any other alternative?
I am not posting this to hate on Purism. In fact, I even had come to the conclusion that I want to support Purism in this thread. https://forums.puri.sm/t/current-state-of-librem-5-usability/16837/24
But, no company that treats issues and it’s customers in this way is going to be around for long. From what I understand, Framework had a similar issue with the battery due to something going on in the BIOS and that update has resolved that issue (at least according to some of the users).
Customers should not be punished for purchasing your products. If anything, what I have learned through this process is that the Librem 14 is at best unreliable because you never know what is going to happen to it. Purism is going to ask you to do certain things and then when they feel like it, will come up with reasons to not refund you, even when they legally should.
Just to touch on the legally should part. If you ship to the EU, the EU considers you serving their market. This is why companies like Framework do not ship to all EU countries yet. And so, while this seems to be an oversight or lack of knowledge, you still should resolve recurring issues because it is smart for business so that forum posts like this (and others) don’t pop up.
I can always buy another notebook from a competitor, but at this point, I can pretty much kiss both my money and my laptop goodbye. Let’s see how long this post stays up. I am genuinely curious…