Has Purism refunded you? Is Purism going insolvent?

I received the phone (about 3 years later). I had to pay about EUR 130 in customs on top. The phone had a technical fault. Purism promised a refund of the phone AND deduct 10% of the phone price (to make checks). I sent back the phone. They then confirmed to make a refund of USD 654 within…yes within 6 months! I then enquired in November: “It seems to me Purism is fearing it is going to face insolvency. Please confirm you will pay the refund by latest 31.12.2022.” It then replied: “I am sorry but I have no new information. It is unlikely that the refund will happen this year.”

Now they have the phone and the money. Does not sound right.

Why would anyone need 6 months for a refund?

Are they going bust?


This definitely doesn’t sound right. Maybe ask some people like @Kyle_Rankin or @mladen what’s the reason for this shady business practice.

Since those cases of denied or delayed refunds seem to be quite common with Purism I’d suggest to get in touch with each other and at least contact the FTC (there’s more info about that on r/purism on Reddit), and/or contact a lawyer, and/or contact the media to spread awareness. For example Phoronix had reported on some issues with Purism already.


Layman speculations:

Probably because you are a low ranking creditor according to US law. In case of insolvency it would be a big problem if they paid you before higher ranking creditors.

The risk of imminent insolvency seems very low to me because Purism do make good money on Librem14 and Librem5 USA sales. Sadly supply chain risks are still a thing. If the remaining librem5s from China were all lost or delayed indefinitely it would be a big problem. Managing this risk probably include holding back refunds to low ranking creditors.

So when can you expect a refund? Supply chain risks are eliminated when enough Librem5s from China hits Carlsbad and are confirmed to work. Keep an eye on the new deliveries from China.


This looks to me like a pure guess with no ground or proof. It could be true it could be false.

Just to give you an example.
Let us imagine that Northrop sells a B-2 bomber for 200 Million USD.
I can imagine that this would be way more than the manufacturing costs, so you could claim that they “make good money”.
But in fact the costs per aircraft in 1997 were estimated at over 2 Billion per aircraft if you count for the R&D involved in it.
Without insider information it is just pure guessing. No facts at all.

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Instead of a refund you should have asked for a “repair”.

At least the subject matter of the “wait” would be different.


Yeah, that’s why I wrote
Layman speculations:

The risk of imminent insolvency seems very low to me because Purism do make good money on Librem14 and Librem5 USA sales.

Please don’t do partial quotes.

(TLDR: no)

I ordered in April of 2018. I ended up in the Evergreen batch. I first requested a refund in Sept 2021, almost 3½ years later. I was told I could have a refund when my phone was ready to ship.
In May 2022, I was finally informed that my device was ready to ship. I requested a refund. I was told that my refund ticket would take “several weeks to process”. In June I asked what the status was, and they informed me that:

I checked with my colleagues and your refund is scheduled to be
processed in Q4 2022.

I am sorry for this.

So now as Q4 draws to a close, we will see whether I get a refund, or another excuse.


One should always make a distinction between lacking liquidity and being insolvent. Liquidity refers to the ability to meet maturing liabilities, the latter to the fact that their assets are worth less than their liabilities. One can remain insolvent as long as one has liquidity. As an example, a large number of European banks were insolvent in 2011, but they did not collapse because the ECB made sure that they had liquidity to pay their maturing liabilities.

The question of whether Purism is insolvent is currently irrelevant; the question is do they have cash flow to meet their maturing liabilities. It does seem that they do currently.


I have been satisfied with the Librem 5 device I received. With that being said, I do find it concerning that Purism is not providing refunds to those who are due to receive their devices. For the longest time they referred to their updated policy as an excuse not to give refunds, and now it sounds like they are not doing that. It sounds sus to me…

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Liquidity is probably the least concern. Recent investment campaigns have secured Purism 5-10 millions. This was just before the recent rate hikes.

I agree completely.

I believe that they are going insolvent. I am waiting/hoping for a refund of my Librem 14. I asked months ago for a refund and keep getting “It’s in the queue, I’ll let you know when something changes” response. I doubt anything will change and only hope that the law enforcement makes an example of them…

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I just got my email saying they’re going to ship. Answered the 3 questions, ordered some accessories.

This was for the non-USA phone ordered May 2019.

We shall see what happens.


All these unfounded speculations about Purism insolvency… What is this? Some sort of disinformation campaign by Alphabet or Apple?


I doubt anything like that, but yeah, my impression is really the opposite. Purism has raised a lot of money in the past year or so, seems to be finally getting through the supply chain issues, has been hiring people, and has been making a lot of great announcements lately.

Meanwhile on the SW development side things are coming along on so many fronts it can be hard to keep up.

I am hopeful for big things in the coming years from Purism - certainly not insolvency.


Maybe all the Big Tech firms are going insolvent, given all the layoffs we hear about everyday. :crazy_face:



This doesn’t address the question of “insolvency”. There’s a big difference between being able to deliver phones (they appear to be doing that) and providing refunds (they don’t appear to be doing this).

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I guess I’m not clear on the definition. Would “all the cash is tied up in building phones” qualify as insolvent?

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Well, yes, so do I. I just wanted to make a point. :slightly_smiling_face:

Insolvent means “unable or unwilling to pay debts”. It’s possible that a company could be taking in money and producing+delivering a product and still not be able to pay its debts. There might be assets to cover the debts, but those assets might not be liquid or might be
voluntarily be devoted to service other debts.

That’s the common definition. Bankruptcy code defines insolvency as the inability to service some debts because the total assets are fewer than the total debts. Again, though,
a company can still be doing business and producing products … but still not be servicing
some debts because they simply do not have enough assets.