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

Late last year and/or early this year, I looked at the legalities of when companies must issue refunds for cancelled orders (NOT PRE-ORDERS, for goodness sake), and legally I think it had to be within 2 weeks.

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@samruthsky, I have checked via what was posted on the Purism web site when you ordered the L5, and Purism never promised you “it would only take about 2 months from the date of order to ship”. When you pre-ordered the L5 on Aug. 12, 2021, the Purism web site at the time stated:

Backorder shipping resumes October 2021. Place your order now, get it Q4 2021 – Q1 2022.
A post about the electronics supply chain from Purism CEO Todd Weaver

The Purism web site at that time stated that it would restart shipping of the L5 in Oct. 2021 (2 months) for people in the backorder queue, but new orders like yours would ship between Oct 2021 and March 2022 (2 - 8 months). Purism’s web page describing the L5 (on Aug. 12, 2021) had a table at the bottom saying that the “lead time” for the L5 was “180 days”. In addition, the Librem 5 order page linked to an article explaining the supply chain problems and the table in the article showed “blocker parts” of the L5 as being “current CPUs (unavailable until October), RAM, ICs”. Purism was saying that it was trying to get the parts, and the news was filled with supply chain problems.

I’m guessing that you misunderstood what Purism was saying when it said that shipping would resume in Oct. 2021, because Purism had a whole backlog of old orders before it could ship any new orders.

Yes, but you left out an important detail. At the time when you ordered the L5, the Purism “Policy” page stated:

Return policy

  1. If, for any reason, you want to cancel your order before it was shipped, we will issue a full refund.

  2. If you want to draw funds from any product that you: back, pre-order, early purchase, pre-purchase: when your pre-order is reached in the shipping queue you can decide whether to have it shipped or opt for some other option.

Purism was promising you a full refund when it reached your position in the shipping queue, which has not yet been reached and you were making a “pre-order”.

The first graphic you posted is too low resolution to be legible, but it looks like the standard receipt for an order. The email from Mladen is not promising that you will get your refund in three weeks. All he is saying is that he will forward your refund request to the finance department and “it could take a few weeks for the processing to be completed”. Maybe you interpreted that email to say that you will get your refund within 3 weeks, but that isn’t what Mladen wrote to you. When the finance department processed your refund request, it is highly likely that they told you that you would get your refund when they got to your position in the order queue, but you didn’t post that email.

I can sympathize with your frustration, but that is different from you having a legitimate complaint to file with the BBB, FTC, State Attorney (which state?) and Department of Consumer Affairs (which state?). The legitimate complaint that you can make is that Purism underestimated how long it would take to ship your order (2-8 months or 180 days lead time), but given the state of the global supply chain for electronics, and Purism’s own article about its problems obtaining parts linked to on the order page, I don’t think that the authorities are going to take your filed complaints seriously.

I think the situation is very different for the people who pre-ordered before Feb. 2020. Frankly, I would have sympathy for your position if you had said that you didn’t know the refund policy when you ordered the Librem 5 or if you had said Purism should have stated that policy on the Librem 5 order page. However, you are arguing that Purism “lied” to you about when you would get your refund, and I don’t see the evidence for that. On the shipping time, you have more of an argument, since it looks like it will take 2.5 times longer to ship than Purism was promising when you pre-ordered, but these aren’t ordinary times, and there is a lead time of 52 weeks just to get the i.MX 8M Quad processor.


Sorry, it’s actually only seven working days.

How Quickly You Must Make a Refund

When you must make a Rule-required refund, the following applies:

  • If the customer paid by cash, check, money order, or by credit where a third party is the creditor, or by any other method except credit where you are a creditor, you must refund the correct amount within seven working days after the order is cancelled.

It was my understanding that the original poster had made a regular order, not a pre-order. If so, that clause about “back, pre-order, early purchase, pre-purchase” doesn’t apply and Purism is legally obligated to issue a full refund for a cancelled order (not a pre-order) within 7 working days.


Purism was saying a “180 day lead time” on the Librem 5 product page and the button to go to the Librem 5 order page said “Pre-Order Now” in the Purism “Products” page at the time that @samruthsky ordered, according to

It is hard for @samruthsky to argue that he/she wasn’t making a “pre-order”.

I guess so. I think I’m still jaded against Purism because they tried to do this with me with my regular order for a Librem 5 USA at the end of last year. I got my money back through a credit card chargeback (thank goodness), but they were not abiding by the law (or even common sense fiscal ethics) when they refused to guarantee a refund time or issue a refund for my cancelled order (not a pre-order) within 7 working days.


What do you mean by this, what is a “left field issue”?

Is there a legal basis for making a distinction between orders and pre-orders?

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I mean, if the button you’re clicking says “Pre-Order Now”…

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“Purism never promised you “it would only take about 2 months from the date of order to ship”. When you pre-ordered the L5 on Aug. 12, 2021, the Purism web site at the time stated:
Backorder shipping resumes October 2021. Place your order now, get it Q4 2021 – Q1 2022.”

The representative I asked which I have a screenshot of our communications in fact told me 50-52 days ship time once I ordered. Even if you are going by the latest possible “promised” date mentioned on the order site, that is still 6 months late to this date now.

“I’m guessing that you misunderstood what Purism was saying when it said that shipping would resume in Oct. 2021, because Purism had a whole backlog of old orders before it could ship any new orders.”

Instead of guessing that I’m the only one misunderstanding their order site, why not question why their language is so vague and easy to misinterpret?
Where did I miss on their order page Purism announcing “We have a whole backlog of orders from before this pre-order shipping, so even though we are telling you a prediction of 2 months we actually have no idea when your order will ship, it could take as long 1-3 years or never arrive at all depending on supply chain issues. Since this is a “pre-order” refunds are also subject to whenever the order is ready to ship”
Just because they pasted a link to an article about supply chain issues on the order page does not equate to any clear and transparent statement about shipping policies, how they handle supply chain issues or the fact that they had a backlog. Why should someone take this as a waiver of responsibility for Purism?

This distinction between “orders” and “pre-orders” in the return policy is incredibly vague. In the second statement which is somehow meant to draw a line between ”orders” and “pre-orders”; “If you want to draw funds from any product” - why not just say “refund”? “you can decide whether to have it shipped or opt for some other option.” - what is “some other option”? Why not just say “For pre-orders, early purchases and pre-purchases however, refunds will not be issued until it has been reached in the shipping queue, the timing of which is dependent on backorders and supply chain issues” That’s more honest.

like David.boddie mentioned is there even a legal distinction between orders and pre-orders?

As Johnk stated, I’m not the only one who has experienced this and clearly it’s not only with those who made “pre-orders”.
There are many reviews available to see of people who have had experiences like mine. Purism needs to take accountability for their lack of transparency and purposefully sparse and unclear language designed to manipulate customers’ expectations.


The entire structure of refunds.

Its saying that the issue is “coming out of left field,” aka “from out of nowhere.” Sounds like you’ve never heard this before, but if you have, then forgive me if I’m about to insult your intelligence:

It is an idiom describing something said that is unexpected and has no clear point of origin. “Blindsided” is similar in meaning, but not quite the same. For example, you might be blindsided by an accusation that you stole something because the accusation came from out of left field (aka, it came from out of nowhere) because your mother is the last person you’d expect to accuse you of being a thief.


Wikipedia: “Out of left field” is American slang meaning “unexpected”, “odd” or “strange” . The phrase came from baseball terminology, referring to a play in which the ball is thrown from the area covered by the left fielder to either home plate or first base, surprising the runner.

I didn’t know this either (now baseball enthusiast). Learn something new everyday. :smile:

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I believe that “blindsided” is also US sporting metaphor.

If a person is not a native (US) english speaker then some of this explanation isn’t really helping.

So Purism should step up to the plate and deliver the phone already. LOL.

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You haven’t posted a screenshot of that communication, and I find it hard to believe your story about being told that Purism would ship your order within 50-52 days when it is contradicted by what was posted on the Librem 5 order form on the Purism web site. Considering how many things you have gotten wrong so far, I don’t find your story very credible.

The Purism refund policy has not changed since you ordered the L5. Here was the refund policy on August 12, 2021:
And here it is today:

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I still don’t know why there’s a distinction between orders and pre-orders. The latest news item ( refers to orders (not pre-orders) for purchases going all the way back to September 2018.

I know some here will say that most purchases are pre-orders because there wasn’t stock ready to ship, or even in the pipeline, when those customers made their purchases. If that’s the case then any Librem 5 purchase from now until the backlog is cleared is going to be treated as a pre-order and fall under item 2 in the return policy, and I think prospective customers should be aware of that.

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When you think about it, it’s a strange concept anyway, and basically without meaning:

pre-order: order before you order

By hitting “submit,” it’s obvious that you’re sending an order. Lol.

It’s like being “pre-qualified.” Either you are, or you aren’t.


True. I hate the use of such confusing wordings that have the potential to confuse people.
It is much better to write something straight forward like:
"If you order now, the following policy would apply … ".
Without confusing terminology like “in stock”, “pre order” ect.

But we already talked about this 100 times and it brings nothing to continue this discussion.
There are 2 things that are very clear:

  1. People are used to receive their orders in short time frames and the extreme delivery times for Librem 5 made many customers very angry.

  2. Librem 5 is an unique project and we want it to succeed. Nobody benefits if Purism gets a fine from some regulator or gets less orders due to bad reviews. The society will lose if the project fails. So on the one side I understand why people are angry. On the other side I don’t support their anti Purism actions. Purism is not the yet another Chinese Android brand that could disappear without being missed by anyone.

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There is nothing confusing about the term “in stock.” It is either “in stock” (and thus in a warehouse ready to ship), or it is not “in stock” (and thus not yet in a warehouse ready to ship). The fact that Purism has tried to make “in stock” confusing should be alarming (along with their other unethical business practices).

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I think the people calling all orders before shipping parity are conflating pre-orders (orders placed before general sale) and back orders (orders placed after general sale has begun but when there is insufficient stock to meet the demand).

Though I do appreciate that Purism just calls them orders.

Edit: I miss-read this as “not providing an order”. My bad, though the explanation below still articulates my point on backorder vs preorder

I think that’s contradicted by Purism providing an “order number”… so no, it’s not obvious that when you go through the “buy now” link that you wouldn’t be ordering now especially when you receive an “order number”, how could you receive an order number if it wasn’t an order…

When you order at a restaurant you aren’t pre-ordering even though the food hasn’t been made yet, you’re placing an order. There are many other examples of placing an order and then waiting for what you ordered without it being a pre-order…

Conflating pre-order and back-order helps no one.

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