Ghosted with no refund for phone - do not trust this company!

I remember someone else commenting on similar accusations that Purism is not very good at scamming because they keep shipping phones to their customers :yum: Like me, I’m typing this on my Librem5, I patiently waited years glued on the Estimate your Librem5 shipping topic until they reached my place in the queue, and then I received it.


Librem 5 has an assembled in the USA product. - the parts that a regular person would have no hope analyzing are still made in china.

but you haven’t even tried using it? - and the Librem hardware isn’t exactly going to scream past it in a race… - still this is something that I’ve said in a previous comment, those just looking at specifications, without having actually used the device are guessing, they don’t know how well the thing performs, or what optimizations might make relatively weak looking hardware perform out of its class.
(it’s just as bad when the Librem “haters” do it to the librem.)

no, the Librem is (rightly) criticized as being like a beta release because it purports to be a finished product.
The pine phone doesn’t have the same criticisms, because it claims to be a beta release - if you were to say this librem phone is a bit like a pre-release beta version people would (rightly) say that sucks.
if you say this pine phone is a bit like a pre-release beta version people would (rightly) ask you what did you expect when buying a product that is called beta?
-you see the situation is the same, but the customer expectation is different based on what they were told at the point of sale.

I agree, I think (based on the reviews etc that I’ve seen), that it is subjectively the best device for me - that’s why I ordered one. (note, ordered, not backed, pre-bought, etc.) I ordered one with a promise that they could deliver in a “few months”.

Linking to other articles of crappy corporate behavior does not absolve purism if their duty to do better.
This is a classic “what about” argument. I say Purism make promised that they cannot deliver, and then withhold refunds from sales contracts they know that they cannot complete. - you say, but what about Tesla…

uuuuh… that’s kind of exactly the problem with Purism too though?
They took my money years ago, promising delivery in a few months. - that money is long since gone and I have no device, and they keep emailing asking for people to invest so they can afford to buy components?
This is pretty much a definition of a ponzi scheme. Purism already spent the funds they’ll need to make my device, - they are relying on new customers to get funds to buy the component parts to fulfil old orders… eventually, (if they run out of new customers to fund the back orders) they’ll leave people disappointed - the irony of course is the only people that entered into an agreement with purism knowing they could lose money are the funding backers… and it’s them who are shouting hardest in support search for fresh suckers to help fund their go at actually getting the device!

but there is a (huge) difference between supporting purism (as you have by project backing, or supporting as I have done by buying product) and supporting their shady business practices.
I can say, I support the products, and I support the goals, but I do not support their business practices. - and to be honest, we’ve seen time and time again that they are very slow to respond…
It took months last year for them to actually change their website from “order now and get it in a few months” to say “pre-order now, we have very delayed delivery times”

  • this is a sales practice they were using where they would deliberately lie to their customers to secure orders. - and it took months of people complaining in these forums before they just did the right thing and gave an honest(ish) account of their lead times.

I don’t see it as overconfidence…
we’re coming up to about 3 years since this went from pre-order to order: (11-oct-2019) (16-oct-2019)
(but it was backorder in the shop)

in December of 2022 (9 months into the pandemic, whilst supply lines were shutdown and they knew they had no components to fulfil backorders and could not supply new orders, they were saying “place your order now and get it in a few months.”

Kyle was making posts in this forum and sending out news letters talking about supply chain issues, but in April it still said “place your order now and get it in a few months!”

and even then the update they made was to change to “currently shipping back orders place your order now and get it in a few months” - so honest(ish) acknowledging the delays, but STILL making promises they knew they couldn’t keep on delivery times.

so… up to that point you could have believed maybe they didn’t notice… but they noticed, and made a conscious choice to keep lying to customers.

Even when they said that they stopped shipping because they had no parts to build devices with… they kept lying to customers.

this time last year they were telling people, order in October '21 and you’ll have a phone by Q1 2022,
we’ve now just about to enter Q4 2022 and people who ordered a year before that are still waiting…
This is more than overconfidence and poor delivery.

Honestly… I’ve seen it all now, you sit there talking as if Purism can do no wrong when it purposefully misrepresents itself to customers to secure orders, whilst calling out another company that is advertising with some integrity!!

You’re conflating extended delivery times and poor ethics.

A company that advertises buy now and get it in 2 years probably has the same lead times as a Librem phone, but are significantly more honest in what they are saying…

I’d rather buy from a company that doesn’t lie to its customers.

what about those that were told they could buy now and get in a few months in the end of 2020 or in the first quarter of 2021? - what about when as above Purism knew (and Kyle was saying they didn’t have parts.) but they kept saying buy it now get in in a few months (over a year into the pandemic?)

Kyle (many times) hid behind “a few months” being vague, but what about this people who ordered in Oct’21 being told the could get it Q4 '21 or Q1 '22 - it’s at least 6 months after these guys were told they’d have the device… but they are still waiting…

what would you call it when an entity make a promise to deliver something in a given timescale but they know that they can’t?

If you waited YEARS, then it’s clear that you were a project backer. - the company said, hey give us money now, we’ll use your funds to develop products. if we are successful at bringing a product to market you can have it, as a reward for believing in us…
The agreement you made was really complete when they used the funds to pay developers. you took your chance, knowing that there was a possibility the deal wouldn’t work out.
You are not a consumer, you were an investor, and you were looking for a reward or dividend (you invested in a product idea, your dividend is the phone.)

The experience I am writing about, (and the one the thread starter is talking about is very different.
the contract we had with Purism is that we would purchase a phone that was complete, and which they said was shipping, and that we’d get it (in a few months, or by Q4’21/Q1’22)… but actually, Purism took our money, and used it to fund that reward to their early investors. - and they appear to be left in a position where they don’t have funds or supply lines to secure components, (are sending emails - I think 3 in the last year) asking for funding, - the last one, of a few days ago specifically says that they need funds to buy parts.

It’s like claiming that Barnie Madoff wasn’t a scammer because some early investors did get some money out.


The word origin of blindsided is “old english” from the 1600’s. Is it also a US football term? Yes, but it’s derivative and in alignment with the original meaning.

1 Like

We know now that even with all of the phones in pallets, Pursim has never shipped the Librem 5 at the rate that would have allowed them to clear their full backlog in 6 months. That they would assert that in 2019 is either a lie or incompetence.

Stop making excuses for Purism. If Purism gave a 6 month lead time in 2019 and didn’t have their FCC cert … that’s on Purism. It’s all their own fault. Not only that, recall that Purism waited until Sept 2019 to reveal that they were going to release their phone in non-production batches … they knew in 2019 that 6 months until the delivery of what they eventually called Evergreen was impossible. So don’t cover up that reality with your FCC cert bullshit that didn’t even become relevant until delays in 2021.

Either way it may not be helpful in explaining to someone who is not a native english speaker, which was the context of my post i.e. in respect of the two specific posters who were grappling with these expressions.

1 Like

This one ? :nerd_face:

1 Like

Sky’s Edge has experienced the same problems getting parts for its Rotary Un-Smartphone as Purism, so it has had to keep breaking its promised shipping dates just like Purism. In February 10th, 2020, Sky’s Edge’s founder posted an announcement on his personal web site about a kit to build the Un-Smartphone and in 2020, he managed to ship a small number of the kits (over 100). In Jan. 2021, Sky’s Edge website promised that it would ship the Un-Smartphone “before Summer 2021”. In May 2021, the website said: “Update due to the global microchip shortage: Ships no earlier than September 2021 and as late as early 2022.” In Jan 2022, it said: “Complete kits will be available no sooner than January for the N. American region. The global version is more affected by the shortages, so a shipping estimate is TBA.” In April 2022, it said: “Pre-orders placed now will be shipped around November of 2022.” Now the website says: “Pre-orders placed now will be shipped in the spring of 2023.”

Customers who ordered the Un-Smartphone in January 2021 expected to receive their phones “before Summer 2021”, but now they are being told that it won’t ship until Spring 2023. Sky’s Edge hasn’t been around as long as Purism, so its customers haven’t been waiting as long for its products, but it seems really strange to praise Sky’s Edge while simultaneously criticizing Purism.


I feel that you’re intentionally letting the point slip over your head just so that you can defend Purism…
I haven’t made comment on global shortages, (I think everyone accepts that they happened) I’ve made comment on customer service, updates and estimates given around those unavoidable delays…

that’s why my comment said I’d rather buy from a company that honestly told me something was years away, rather than a company that promised it’d be next month 24 times. - there is a difference here.

Bearing in mind that purism at the time were using JIT production, knowing they couldn’t get parts, and saying that they would not only reach the (hundreds/thousands?) of phones backorders but also reach parity, at a time when they had no stock or components… I don’t know what the unsmart phone did (I’m not following the project.) - but I imagine that this person may be looking for components in the tens to hundreds scale rather than the hundreds to thousands scale…

My response was to say if they are given honest updates that’s a world apart from consistently making promises that you know you won’t keep. - purism must have known that they wouldn’t/couldn’t secure the thousands of CPUs they needed. - but still advertised they cloud/would…

to go to the examples that you gave, this is like me saying I could write three hundred thousand lines of code, and claiming that would mean I’m just as competent as the team at purism… - well, yeah… but it’d all be absolutely useless! Would you argue it doesn’t matter than I’m making a dishonest argument saying I can write 300,000 of code if I know that the code would be useless?

It’s what you’re choosing to measure as an output. - in the examples that you gave it’s the usefulness and reliability of code. In the examples that I gave it’s the usefulness and reliability of the estimated delivery.

I don’t really know how to put it any other way to you. - People feel they were lied to because they were lied to.
if the exact same delays happened, but with honest and realistic updates these threads wouldn’t keep happening.

These threads keep happening because people keep letting their emotions rule their expectations. If you really feel the way you do and you really know what you know (you say a lot that you know the state of Purism’s inventory), then you shouldn’t come here to argue with strangers about it. Go write to your DA. Go complain to Purism itself. Waging an online crusade whose only purpose is to vent your anger instead of actually trying to solve your problem isn’t going to help anything.

1 Like

Of course, how could I have been so stupid to have not realized that Purism play no part in setting these expectations…

I’m quoting from Todds blogs. - you can match the sate of the blogs where he was saying they both had no components, and no hope of getting components with the pages from the linked above when the sales page gave quite a different picture for both the possibility of being able to create hundreds of devices to both clear the backlog and deal with any/all new orders.

I’m not American, I don’t have a DA, and the country I’m in has no jurisdiction over Purism. - it would be exceedingly costly for me to start legal action in the states.

With luck waging an online crusade will do one of two things.
1, stop Purism stop acting in a way that is quite unethical with the way it advertises it’s products.
2, or, stop people buying their product with the result that the company fails.

the first is the hope, the second is what I would hope will be the inevitable consequence if they keep carrying on the way that they do.

I never said that.

Maybe. Regardless, I want no more part of it.

The point, clearly, is to warn others. Buyer Beware! If you already know better, then ignore it.

Which is fine – he never required you to participate. You volunteered. But, that brings up the question about why you seem to always participate in threads like this?

If I had to explain you wouldn’t understand, and that’s all the attention I’m giving to your bait.

Please don’t denigrate people. There’s enough negativity in this thread.

1 Like

No explanation from you is necessary or requested – it seems self-evident. You completely missed his intention/point. IMO you behaved like a smug ass toward him. And then you stalked off like he was somehow asking for your bullying/time/attention. That’s my understanding of this situation. You seem to enjoy harassing and demeaning people who want to say bad things about Purism.

So you want to screw many people who really want this product to succeed because no matter what you say, it is the best on the market. Furthermore many people already spent money on the devices and want that the work on the software moves forward and that the devices receive software updates over longer period of time.
So in short - as you got negative experience, you want thousands of people to suffer from negative consequences.
Very nice from you, thank you.

The truth is, that you have no proof whatsoever of criminal intention of Purism. Your considerations are not a real direct proof, but just indicators that support your theory, but can’t definitively prove it.
You can guess and I can guess. You guess criminal intention. I guess that there are people at Purism who also really wanted this product to succeed and have decided that keeping cash for keeping the company afloat is more important than keeping a promt refund policy. I guess that if they had 100 million USD funding, this would have never happened.
It is just a guess. Just like yours is just a guess.

Now let us move on. I want my Librem 5 smartphone to succeed and I recommend it to other people because for me fighting the monopolies of Google, Apple, and PRC is important. No words from your side are going to change that.
The only thing that you can do is to bring tens or hundreds million USD on the table and build a better device. Then we can talk again.

If myself and others like me get together and force a class action lawsuit against Purism, here is what will happen.
1.) A judge will order Purism to comply with every and all FTC laws that Purism is currently violating. I doubt that the judge will try to split hairs when it comes to the definition of “pre-order” vs “order”. He has the power to end Purism all together if Purism does not comply with his orders.
2.) Purism will either go out of business because they are not capable of issuing the refunds per the law without collecting many more pre-orders first to keep the illegal scheme going, or will be shut down by the court outright.
3.) Those of us who get our refunds won’t give a damn about what everyone else here says or thinks about us. We’ll have our money and Purism will have been punished for their violations of the law. The prevailing social purpose will be to not violate people’s legal rights to refunds when the seller does not comply with the law. Screw the whole “protects your privacy” thing. I just want my money back and to see Purism punished for their mis-deeds at this point.
4.) Todd and company will all have to go out and get real jobs working for someone else. They’ll have to hope that no government agency prosecutes them for their money-pyramidding scheme and wide scale violation of FTC and Securities laws.
5.) I’ll feel a sense of satisfaction when I read all of these details in the daily newspaper or see Todd doing the perp-walk on the evening television news. Maybe I’ll donate my refund to a registered charity.

All of this while enjoying your made in China Google phone with a modem which you have no idea what it is doing and if and when it is sending data against your will.

1 Like

Absolutely, I can endure a lack of privacy more than I can endure a lack of honesty and wholesale violations of trade and banking laws in the the companies that I choose to do business with.

I’ve completely lost all confidence in Purism. I know they are lieing to me with just about every excuse they put out there. They do not operate like a company that respects their customers. I no longer wish Purism to become a successful company. If Purism becomes successful, they will have done it using means that are morally repulsive to me. I would rather lose my money and my privacy than to see a company become successful through the use of these unethical and morally repugnant means. I didn’t agree to fund only a perpetual improvement of opensource software when I made the purchase of a Librem 5. I just want my damned hardware to start with. But now, I don’t even want that because it comes from a company that I can’t respect. Purism was completely off the rails long before anyone even thought about a Pandemic. The global supply chain issues were a great smokescreen for an already-failing company.

A successful company would never so blatantly violate trade laws by not shipping, not complying with laws that govern transactions when the campany can’t meet their shipping commitments, and ghosting customers who try to exercise their legal rights. These tactics attack financial integrity itself, and erode overall integrity in financial trades of any kind, in-general. We can’t allow this behavior in our society. It’s time for Purism to either close-up or be taken down using legal means.

1 Like

you would need to add the context to this that I am one of the people that are caught up in this.
they have my money, I don’t have their device. - if they shut shop tomorrow, I loose (money), BUT society wins (less unethical business practices).

if they are unethical, or if this is a pyramid scheme, your point of view is you are happy for the next guy to to loose money as that lowers your personal loss or increases your gain.

Of the two positions, I’d rather be taking my stance, (even though I’m a buyer, not a backer - and entered into this not thinking my money was at risk i’d rather be at the end of that chain, than supporting it for personal gain.)

I can’t take the stand that I’m ok, and if I can just get enough people to keep the money rolling I might win. - I can’t support them no matter what.

But, notice how you only quoted half of what I said? The full context is I’d like Purism to both exist, carry on AND be better. - but it seems that they (over many years of people complaining) don’t want to get better… (and I understand that, if I could tell a small lie to a stranger to secure my livelihood, I’d be very tempted to as well.)

Anyway. if your argument is so weak you have to misrepresent what I say to make it, you might want to consider what you’re arguing for!

who said criminal? - I haven’t said that… - but, if you want to go there…

If the crime is false advertising, the relevant legislation in the US would be. the Lanham act.

For this to be a crime, you’d have to pass a number of tests.

(1) defendant made false or misleading statements as to his own products (or another’s);
On April 30th 2021 Todd wrote a blog post (the ball and supply chain post) that effectively says, we have no more stock, we have no more parts, we have no way of getting parts, and suppliers have jacked up their prices to such levels that even though there are technically parts out there, we just can’t afford to buy them. - this was a really strong statement. but it had to be effectively bullied out of the company because of all the threads in this forum.

At the same time the shop, on April 30th was still saying buy now and get it in a few months. (and linking to the January blog article and November 2020 shipping update.
the shop stayed that way until may or June of that year.

They also had written on their blog that they were expecting a flood of orders as the product moved from a backers project, to general sale. - and they new that changing this status at that time, but also saying that they can’t actually deliver would have limited those sales.

so, test 1 is complete, Purism made false or misleading statements about their levels of stock. and that was (likely) designed to influence the purchasing decision.

(2) actual deception, or at least a tendency to deceive a substantial portion of the intended audience;
The statements are made on the shop page, - they are likely to deceive anybody looking at that page considering a purchase.

(3) deception is material in that it is likely to influence purchasing decisions;
I say that you are less likely to purchase, if you realize that your money is at risk.
when I purchased the device it said, but it now and get it in a few months. - for me, this means in (or around 3 months (90 days) - I specifically paid with a credit card. because you can charge back or claw back funds inside of 120 days. - so in theory, based on the advertising representations made by Purism, I was safe. if they’d said, 6 months, or 2 years, I’d maybe have waited until the shipping parity was actually reached.
Specifically their statements influence purchasers by understating the risk of their capital, and the delivery times of the product.

(4) the advertised goods travel in interstate commerce; and
The goods are definitely sold between states and internationally.

(5) a likelihood of injury to plaintiff. However, the plaintiff does not have to prove actual injury.
Purism have admitted (in the funding round 2 email) that they couldn’t buy components, and required more community funding to finance the parts for orders they already got paid for.

So… I said, unethical… but if you want to call it criminal… I guess you could be right!

Actually, quite the opposite, I would give them the full benefit of the doubt, there is that saying “never attribute to malice what could be explained by incompetency.” (Hanlons razor)

But when you’re talking about if something is criminal… (well that’s a matter of facts and law, opinions, or old sayings, don’t matter…)

It might not be obvious, but the act doesn’t require an intent to deceive, - there are two relevant concepts in law mens rea, and actus reus.
Mens rea means an act of the mind, this is a thing that requires intent, and marks a distinction between doing something by accident, or meaning to do something. (e.g. the different between murder and manslaughter.)
Actus reus means the act of doing it. - like speeding is an offence, it doesn’t matter if you means to be speeding, or just happened to not look down for a bit. you did it, the offence is complete.
False advertising is an act, and doesn’t require a guilty mind, or intent. the tests are pretty simple did it happen. - just like speeding, (and the law doesn’t really care why, or what your intent was.)

Purism made a statement in their blog on April 30th that they could not meet orders or secure parts for an unknown duration.
on the same day (and for at least a month afterwards) the shop page said buy now, get in a few months.
Those are mutually exclusive statements, they cannot both be true. - you can’t both not know when you can deliver and know you can deliver in a few months. So no, it’s not just theory, it is perfectly true, and factual that Purism made misleading and false statements in their advertising.

or in short, I can definitly prove it, because I can link to independently archived pages in showing that Purism advertised that you could get you device in a few months. AND I can link to information from their CEO that knew this isn’t possible. - this isn’t a grand conspiracy. it’s a simple series of statements…

I think that’s a fair guess. (it’s the same as the guess I made) but without seeing their books or asking them we can’t know that.

Sure, I’ll happily move on from saying Purism should do better, or advertise more ethically, as soon as these threads stop happening. - these threads are a sign that things need to improve. not that the company should put its head in the sand any hope nothing happens.

So do I! (don’t forget we both have cash in this game, and, and as a general release buying, rather than a backer. I potentially have more cash in it!)

I can’t recommend a company that doesn’t act in an ethical way. The sad part about that is it’d be so easy for me to say to friends and family here’s a great product. simple to talk to the managers at work and see about getting it on our authorized purchase lists. (assuming that it works with enterprise MDM) it costs me nothing to say this company has a great product, but long lead times. but I can’t make that kind of recommendation that people spend money if I can’t know that they’ll actually get what they order!

-maybe when they reach shipping parity? at least the main issue would have taken care of itself then!!

But now we’re back to the what if all the sales were going to (for example) pinephone, could they bring a better device, faster, with more backers?
It’s fine if you’re willing to support unethical companies. - I mean I filled up from a BP service station just the other day. -but you should be aware of what you are doing.

(of course) I think I’m fairly judging the situation.
when people say Purism are just a scam - I suggest that they look at the evidence.
when people say conde contributions don’t matter I’m fully on board with the argument that they do.
when people say there are no issues with false advertising at purism, I say that there is (and yes, also prove it.
I think there is nuance, Purism is not all good, but not all bad. (we don’t have to be polarized into extreme camps.

I think that you are being unfair. in judging the situation since you are saying, there is no false advertising and appear to suggest even if there were you’re happy with that since you gain the device and updates for as long as they are around.

1 Like