Has Purism refunded you? Is Purism going insolvent?

There’s definitely an issue with their cashflow otherwise they would payout the refunds promptly. Apparently they need to balance refund requests for pre-orders for long-queue items like the Librem 5, and orders such as your own in a manageable and fair way… So there is an issue with refunding everything that should be refunded at once. I personally can only hope that it is a cashflow issue and not an insolvency issue.

Just wanted to point out that if you request a refund for a device where what you paid for was its production and development (as it was crowdfunded) and that already has been developed and is now in production, you’re not really asking for “your money back” - you’re essentially asking the company to buy it back from you in hopes that someone else will buy it later, because that money has already been used.


All devices require some amount of development and that cost is distributed across the number of devices sold regardless of if crowdfunded or not. Also many of us did not buy into a crowd funding campaign (currently shipping devices were devices purchased from Purisms website as pre-orders) so this line of reasoning becomes even less relevant.

I personally find the argument that

To either be true of nearly all purchases because the development cost is baked into the product price, and as such irrelevant, or to be an obfuscation of poor management of finances.

Respectfully, if Purism wanted all sales to be final they should have made that the crowd funding/pre-order agreement, not retroactively claim that part of the money was already spent so the customer is asking for money back that was already partially, or completely, spent.

At the current rate of shipping we’ll also be switching from pre-orders to backorder soon where that line of reasoning will fall on even more deaf ears.

Also, Purism could have at least not spent money on the production of the devices being requested as refunds if they didn’t change the policy of having to wait for your place in the queue to get a refund. That part is 100% self imposed by Purism not the customer as that policy was changed by Purism unilaterally and retroactively…

And while I think our interactions on here speak well enough that you’ll be able to take this as the, hopefully constructive, criticism that it is. For the newer people that come across this, I’m not some Purism hater or anything, I have plenty of supporting posts and feedback as well, it’s OK for someone to be supportive of something and still have criticisms of that same thing.


The person in question was talking about a Librem 14. This is a product that is listed as “in stock” and, rather than accepting shipment, they claim to have asked for a refund over 4 months ago:

This is a clear violation of Purism’s refund policy. I’m disappointed to see you
defending this sort of behavior.

Also, assuming you understood that complaint was about a Librem 14,
you characterize the Librem 14 as a “crowdfunder”. I don’t think that is true.
I think the first announcement was July 2020 and it was announced for “pre-order”. https://web.archive.org/web/20200703044237/https://shop.puri.sm/shop/librem-14/


FWIW this is in the Librem5 subforum so I too had missed the Librem14 aspect of the context change.

1 Like

Of course. But that’s irrelevant. What matters is who’s actually investing and funding it.

If I open a grocery store, I first buy items to sell with my own money, and then hope that someone will buy it back from me. If I offer an option to bring the items to your house, and you happen to request a refund, then I just send your money back, you give me the items back if you already received them, and we’re at the same state as if no transaction has ever occurred.

If I offer a service to go buy some groceries and deliver them to you, then you’re paying me to actually go buy these things. I take your money, go to some shop, buy the items you requested and then bring them back to you. If you decide that you changed your mind already after I bought your items, I don’t have your money anymore. I can decide to pay you back anyway in hopes that someone else will buy your items from me (or perhaps even I could use them myself), but that comes from my own money - it’s an additional investment I’m doing at that point, not simply “returning money”.

If I ran a project like that, I wouldn’t offer any refunds at all. I don’t think it’s reasonable to “change your mind” in such area. I’m not the one running it though, and Purism has decided otherwise. The only thing I wanted to point out is a difference between paying for existing thing where money can be simply sent back and paying for service to create and deliver the thing to you, where it’s not as simple.

I wasn’t talking about any specific “person in question”, I was talking about Librem 5 which has been mentioned in this thread several times. I don’t browse laptop-related threads on this forum.


I disagree and find it relevant based on both how Purism marketed the liberal 5 to the people currently being shipped to and how pre-orders of a product are purchasing a product not purchasing development of the product.

1 Like

No, but its unreasonable to retroactively enforce that change of mind. It would be like, in your scenario, you saying “call me before I get to the store and you can get your money back,” and then when I do, you say “actually, now you have to wait until the next time I’m in your neighborhood.”


I see.

In that case, it’s worth pointing out that the Librem 5 went from “crowdfunding” status to “pre-order” status sometime in November 2017 (after Nov 9th; before Nov 18th). IIRC, when that shifted from “crowdfunding” to “pre-order” a Purism employee on the forum confirmed, in response to a question, that the Purism refund policy applied to the Librem 5 ( this was before the refund policy was revised ).

1 Like

November 2017 is when the work on the whole project was barely starting.


That sounds to me like a Purism planning, marketing, and expectation setting problem, not a customer problem.

1 Like

Yes. I can give you the wayback machine references. November 9th 2017 it still had
it as a Campaign and asking to “join the campaign”, but by November 18th it switched
to “pre-order now” (see this page https://web.archive.org/web/20171118075457/https://puri.sm/products/ ) and if you click on that it brought you to this page https://web.archive.org/web/20171118081346/https://puri.sm/shop/librem-5/ along with this note:

Note: This was an “all-or-nothing” campaign, but we crossed well over the $1.5m goal, and will be delivering on the Librem 5 phone. If you would like a Librem 5 you can simply pre-order one of the appropriate rewards now , and we will add you to the shipping queue!

While there were still references to the campaign in the sidebar, the fact that the “order button”
switched from “Join the Campaign” to “Pre-Order” and the above text seems clear. The web
pages weren’t scrubbed of references to the campaign until Sep/Oct 2018.


It’s important to understand that user facing developers and support members don’t make financial decisions. When the financial department decided to held back refunds temporarily despite plenty of liquidity it points to another problem. My guess is the accounting principles dictates the missing batch(es) from the the Chinese suppliers is booked at 0 $. Finding alternative suppliers is probably also impossible until the US production is scaled to new levels.

This can only change when the suppliers deliver enough volume, the goods are confirmed to work and a inventory count confirms it is bookable at value. There’s nothing much Purism can do to make this go faster.

The recent uptick in phone shipments points to a new batch was received by Purism. That leaves only one missing batch.

Agreed. And I understand this. However, if they defend such behavior, they are taking a stance.

On the above quote, the emphasis is mine. In that regard:

  1. From my understanding this is ongoing and, so, should not be classed as “temporary”.

  2. What evidence do you have that there is “plenty of liquidity”.

1 Like

I ordered my Librem 5 phone on January 30, 2019 and cancelled the order in September 2020. I was told that once they get to my turn in the queue, I would get a refund. I patiently waited. Now my turn has passed and I still haven’t gotten reimbursed. So there I am again writing emails and asking them to finally refund me. Has this happened to anyone else?


Nope, nobody has ever experienced this (Just kidding). :wink:
You are not alone, but my advise is:
Contact Purism and ask them about the status of your refund.

Maybe the president (@Kyle_Rankin) could finally comment on what’s up here with Purism. Just in case you’re not aware of it, there are federal laws in place which make this behavior clearly illegal. Every time you had to delay the shipping of a phone (pre-order or regular order) you’re obligated to inform the costumer of the delay and grant them the option for a prompt refund. If they opt for a refund, you then have 7 working days to process the refund. Source

So not only is your policy to only grant refunds when the phones reach their place in the shipping queue illegal, but delaying refunds even further makes this highly unethical because you can’t even be trusted with your own words and policies.


Thanks! I should’ve mentioned that I am based in Europe. I did file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.

Isn’t about getting shipment confirmation electronic-mail at first place?

1 Like

Then we are all in luck. Because no one is doing that.