Getting ghosted by support

So I sent in my phone before Christmas for service about my modem issue and I touch base with them once a week or so to see what’s going on. I’ve been emailing @joao.azevedo and support and now I don’t get any response from either one. He keeps telling me that he’ll check with the support team to find out what’s going on with it and then never comes back with a response about it. Like not even to tell me that they haven’t gotten to it yet. I’m a little concerned that I will not be getting my phone back any time soon. Has anyone else had trouble getting anything out of the support team?

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No, but I have not contacted them recently myself. I suggest patiently waiting for a response about your device’s status.

Do I have a choice? lol.

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I ordered something back in… Maybe October? But I did not read carefully that the item was only on sale for back order. Basically they want to sell it, but it’s not like a Librem 5 that they make themselves, and they didn’t have any on-hand.

Whenever I email support, I always indicate that I don’t care when I get the product but just wanted to know the status. As recently as this week, I always see a 1.5 day response time if I check in. The replies are often short, but they acknowledge that I checked in with them maybe because I make it feel easy and with no pressure.

Given that I feel like I’m a pretty reasonable, fairly timeless customer who is okay with waiting a long period of time, I could understand some stress if you were under a higher pressure. I guess fwiw I tinkered with one of my Librem 5’s and broke its modem, and had included a modem in my order along with other the things that I’m still waiting for, in the hopes that my backup tinker Librem 5 whose modem I broke will be something I can fix myself by using a new modem. So maybe our situations are in that regard somehow similar.

But, given that I’m guessing they have these long delays at support (maybe more demand than supply??) if you get more annoyed at them, and they’re powerless to do anything about it at that time, I wouldn’t be totally surprised if they wait to message you back until they have new information, perhaps to avoid unnecessary stress.

I am just a customer and am in no way affiliated with Purism, so all my opinions might be completely uninformed and wrong.

Good luck!

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I’m probably the poster child for this.

I was trying to get my phone working in 2022 and was asked to disable 3G only and send them the log files from that attempt. And I never heard back after three attempts.

I didn’t realize it had been over a year and a half until I went looking just now.

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I’m always very diplomatic and not demanding in my wording, just looking for feedback so it’s not like I’m breathing down their necks. I touch base once a week which I think is reasonable.

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I ordered a product on the store page one time and waited a while without contacting support, and when I finally checked in a few months later I found that they forgot. They were able to ship me the item when I communicated about it with them, but initially they were thinking they already sent it and forgot to ever send it.

Given that it sounded like an honest mistake and once I was in communication with support the item shipped pretty quickly, I’m guessing their processes must be fairly manual. If they forgot you for a year and a half, maybe this was human error and at some point if they ever did see it they assumed you didn’t check back in so maybe you resolved your own issue? I’m not sure, just speculating.

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Certainly possible.

I have just submitted a request for help updating the modem firmware, so let’s see what happens.

[EDIT: have received a response.]

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A couple of back and forths, and finally I was asked to send a screenshot.

I sent it, haven’t heard back. Too early to tell for sure but I have a bad feeling about this.

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But then you did say that it has been just two days? (And it’s now the weekend. I doubt Support does much, if anything, on Saturday. and Sundays.)

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Any updates?

I don’t know anyone and don’t have any access to be able to help, but, I am interested in your experience. The company is seeking investment and if they cannot get the customer experience right now that we are a substantial way out of the lock downs, this sort of issue should affect potential investors interest.

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So, just a random thought, given the libre community nature of free software, if the guys at support are too busy what if the guys here on the forums try to help you? Is the problem literally that the Librem 5 modem isn’t working? I have a Librem 5 where the modem is working. Maybe that can be useful in some way.

OK I guess I wasn’t too terribly clear…no I am not expecting anything this weekend.

I first contacted them (this time around) because I wanted help reflashing the modem firmware (an operation you have to contact support for because it’s risky). I got that help very, very quickly, but then reported the phone still couldn’t make calls. Support wanted a screen shot of the utility screen, which I sent them two days later. This time there was no quick response, not even an acknoledgement that it was received.

This is exactly the point at which they dropped me last time (i.e., right after I sent them data they had asked for), so admittedly my antennae are up, waiting for it to happen again. Realistically, I won’t conclude it has happened again for a while (a week or so, and after follow up emails); at this point I’m just worried.

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Personally, I think it’s a bad modem. Or, given that this modem is already a replacement, perhaps the antenna is defective. I just have to walk through this (again) with tech support and either find out that’s what it is, or something else. For now we’re just trying to establish I have the right firmware. Once we’re there I’ll describe what I am seeing in great detail (weak signals even right next to a cell tower, the phone having a hard time finding t-mobile, etc.). We’ll just have to see…and it depends on staying in contact with support.

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I have two Librem 5’s, and one has a bad modem because I opened it up for the fun of seeing the inside. And, inside when I tried to detach and reattach everything I learned the hard way that the modem connection is fairly weak and should be handled with care, by visibly breaking it after applying too much force.

For me, inside the mobile settings there is a menu that has fine control of whether we are using 3G, or 4G or whatever. Have you messed with that?

As far as I can see, there is no default. This was kind of new to me versus Android, which seemed to always just handle this stuff magically.

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Purism is a small company, and I think support consists of 2-4 people max. With the amount of people they are having to assist, and the VAST area of support that Linux requires, especially for people unfamiliar with Linux, there is just A LOT of demand and so little time. On top of this most of the things being requested are probably things that have been answered already many times.

That being said I think that there are cultural things that might be at play here as well. I do not think that any of the support staff is from North America. This means that things like convenience and the customer is always right are most likely not part of the dynamic. This can be jarring for us Americans.

All this said, I feel like I have nothing but good support from Purism and their support staff. I am just realistic about the turn around time due to their size and work!

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… which also means that reproducing a problem that only happens in the US (for example) in one specific location - or getting to a conclusion that there is a problem with the specific modem - could take time.

It would be the same challenge in my country, but worse. No staff of any type located here - so no possibility of any staff directly reproducing the problem. No familiarity with the three networks that are available here - and the possible quirks of those networks.

I think there is work needed to at least give more logging information about what is happening on the host side when the modem is not able to be persuaded to do its thing.

After an appropriate amount of time, and assuming still no response, you can also try pinging @‌JCS to see whether he can follow up on your behalf.

As an aside, last time I tried to use that, which was recently, - I wanted 4G-only now that the 3G network is defunct, and the 2G network was shut down a decade ago - it actually gave an error. I don’t know whether that’s because it (indirectly) depends on what is negotiated with the carrier or because something else went wrong. (So I left it at “2G, 3G, 4G (Preferred)”, which does work for me anyway.)

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That was the last thing that happened before the ghosting of 2022: I was told to switch to 2G, 3G, 4G (Preferred) and attempt to make a call, then send the log.

So I made sure that’s what’s selected this time. No need to waste a round of log-sending.

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I think though when you send in your phone for repair, i.e. you don’t have it, that should be some sort of priority and for the time it takes, a simple status update on what’s going on with it, even to say we haven’t gotten to it, reassures me that I’m going to get it back, at this point I’m quite sure that there is a possibility that I won’t get it back. It went in to them before Christmas. Don’t think that is really acceptable no matter where you come from. If the issue is bad enough for someone to send it in (at my expense which was almost $70 CAD with $1000 insurance, now twice) I would think this would be some sort of priority.

The worrisome thing is that I think they do think it’s a priority but they do not have an answer and therefore they haven’t been able to update me or turn it around in a timely fashion. I am sort of torn as to whether I just let them hang on to it or have them send it back so I can at least feel like I can get some use out of it, but I also don’t want to drop another $70 to send it back again.

I’ve defended them from the beginning, but I think it’s not much to ask that they provide regular unprompted updates on my RMA status.

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Agreed 100% on this, especially that we are a few years out of the lock downs. Sending in your hardware and not having a way to provide status updates or some sort of intermediary interface to check on updates is not acceptable for a company seeking investment.

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