Estimate your Librem 5 refund 💸

Follow up, wrote me that it will take several weeks to process. I will update everybody. Let me keep it clear: I am disappoint not in how long it takes, but that they keep me in dark and luck of information.


here is my request for my “Refund”
Order Date: September 23, 2019
On Tuesday, April 18th, 2023 Purism Support
I have created a ticket for your order to be cancelled and refunded.
When it is being processed my colleagues from our financial department
will contact you to confirm the billing details. (which NEVER happened)
I sent another request May 9, 2023 asking if there was any progress and again I never got any response

same and almost same time frame

now that shipping is par when will the refunds start rolling in!

Somebody on reddit did get a response from Purism. Apparently the refunds aren’t going to be rolling in.

[reddit user on /r/purism subreddit] … so when I saw their announcement recently that they had shipped all pre-orders, I asked for the refund again. Their reply:

[Allegedly from Purism] Sadly, we do not process any refunds at the moment (not just pre-orders), but we do offer two other options which may be ok with you One is to get the phone which you have pre-ordered (we could ship it within several business days). Another is to receive a store credit +20% gratitude on top of the amount paid. As I do not have any timeline for the refund all the information I currently have indicates it will not be pr0ocessed any time soon.

As I see it, this is a (continuing and outrageous) violation of their sales agreement/contract.


sudo mv refund‐request /dev/null
sudo mv customer-order /dev/null
echo who wants to invest in Purism?
echo we are a social purpose company

The script that runs when you request a refund from Purism…


January 2019 ordered
November 2022 requested refund
Several inquiries for status ignored. One was answered with “no news”.

So far - nothing else.


So Purism comes up with a new Librem 11 tablet and promotes it after ignoring anyone who has ever requested a Librem 5 refund, after promising the refund as an initial promise to entice potential customers to make a purchase? This company is beyond just immoral. Give these people their fu…ing refunds Purism. No one should purchase anything from Purism until after the refund backlog has been fully satisfied. What the hell are they thinking at Purism? They have stolen money from a lot of people and then just moved on like those people never existed. Ethical companies don’t operate that way. Screw the whole “ethical computing” mask they wear. These people at Purism are criminals.


I’m not sure that that is logical. Customers purchasing stuff from Purism generates revenue and profit, some of which they might, apparently at their discretion, devote to providing refunds to those who have requested one.


You may call them untrustworthy for not keeping up to their policies, but for that you cannot call them thieves.
All refunders are offered the L5 or a voucher. So they don’t have lost any money.

You may also ask the question: Why did the buyer ordered the phone if he/she did not want it after all?
It’s easy to blame Purism, but as buyer you also are responsible for your actions.

I wonder, if you truly feel that way, why are you keeping your Purism product and why not get rid of it?


They can’t use either to pay unexpected expenses… those are not money…

Peoples situations change over time. Making a purchase where there is a policy that states you can get a refund at any time is generally easier than when there is no refund policy. To have that policy changed and/or not complied with is not a reflection the responsibilty of the customer that upheld their end of the agreement by exercising a portion of the agreement that allowed them to request and receive a refund. The closest that could be made to blaming the victim and making this about the customers lack of responsibility woulf be to say they should have mote thoroughly vetted purism and found that purism was not trustworthy on this front.

Purism was already compensated for the product, what would not keeping the product avcomplish here?


I guess the more world-wise purchaser might have more thoroughly assessed the risks of buying a product that did not at the time exist. It’s like buying real estate “off the plan” - you will, if you are lucky, get it in years, and you can’t be sure of what you will actually get. It is inherently more risky than buying real estate that actually exists at the time you buy it - you will get it in weeks and you know exactly what you are getting.

Financially it would achieve nothing. It would more be a case of standing on principle (as perceived by that customer).

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I can only speak for myself, but I ordered the phone in 2019 because I wanted to support a free phone. At that point a refund was possible. That affected my will to support the project.

Since then things can happen. I have been sick for 1.5 years, which badly affected my personal economy. So I want(ed) a refund. Now I am ghosted by Purism – they don’t answer my e-mails (which are not aggressive in any way). And they don’t offer a refund. And they haven’t offered me any voucher.

Things can happen to a company too, I know. But the lack of communication is not a good way to treat a supporter (they’ve had my money for several years).

Yeah, I might be an idiot, I know.

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I in no way speak for Purism …

but perhaps if you keep on asking the same question, after a while they don’t want to spend the time giving you the same answer. That’s certainly not efficient use of the time of Support staff (unless they can automate it) and likely a humble Support person doesn’t have the authority to agree to a refund (in this circumstance) or, more importantly, to make a refund happen.

Hypothetically, let’s say the answer is: No “change of mind” refunds are available. You can take the phone that you ordered, which is available for despatch, or (hypothetically and maybe) you can get store credit (voucher).

Have you actually asked for store credit?

I understand that if you just want to liberate cash, you probably don’t want store credit. So it could come down to: you want a refund, Purism isn’t willing to agree to that, stalemate.

In that scenario it would be understandable that Support really can’t do anything.

You could try to sell your place in the queue or you could take delivery of the phone and try to sell the phone. Either way, if you successfully sell then you do liberate some cash.


Absolute true. I will not blame to Purism but the cheaper opensource/lnx workers.

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When Purism unilaterally revoked their stated refund policy, they then promised to issue refunds to those in the queue who wanted refunds when their phone was ready to ship to them. Purism has recently announced that they have reached shipping pairity. That means that there should be no outstanding refunds that have not already been issued. And yet Purism announces their new Librem 11 tablet. Whatever they paid to develop the Librem 11, could have been used to pay Purism’s commitments, not to fund future growth.


Yes, all of those statements add up with everything I have witnessed during the last 4-5 years; there should be no excuse or reason to deny any refunds at this point.


“could have”? Yes.

But “should have”? is a different question.

In fact, since we don’t know the magnitude of either of the dollar amounts involved in that comparison, we can’t even be sure of “could have”.

It doesn’t say could have been used to pay Purisms commitments in full, just that the money could have gone toward paying them. We can absolutely be sure of that.


Maybe they’re refusing refunds because they don’t have cash on hand to handle it all (already spent on hardware?).

We don’t get to tell the contractor renovating our kitchen “never mind” after they’ve spent 10,000 buying the supplies to do it. At some point in the process, it was simply too late. For L5 that point was probably reached a long time ago.

The situation they got themselves into with the refund policy not having an expiration date does not seem to have had any “correct” ethical solution. If it was a choice between honoring their refund policies, and having the entire company fail (leaving their most patient and loyal customers as the ones getting screwed in the end), then I’m glad they did what they did.

Why should someone who decided they no longer wanted the device, after paying for it, get priority over someone who also paid for it but was willing to wait for as long as it takes? If the project were to fail entirely due to refunds, the latter would’ve been screwed far worse than the former is impacted now.

The devices purchased are available now. So if you still want a refund at this point, it looks an awful lot more like buyers remorse than “I can’t wait any longer and can’t afford to buy another phone”.

If “someone’s finanical situation changed” and that’s why they want a refund, that’s entirely on them. That money was spent ages ago. Had the phones shipped on time or at the time the invoice was paid, a refund wouldn’t even have occurred to them. If someone was counting on that refund money being available as some kind of safety net for a fincancial problem, that’s incredibly stupid (and hard to believe).

It sucks Purism had to renege on their original refund policy, but looking externally and considering all the known facts, it was probably the best of the bad choices.