I was on the verge of buying the phone librem5 but now I'm really hesitant


#1

Edit: I emailed this exact post to Purism since that's where they answer these things. I've added their answer for anyone interested.

I’m really positive toward the goals of Purism! Especially the Librem 5 and hopefully its predecessors.
I was on the verge of buying the phone but then I noticed something and got really hesitant.

These question are aimed at the phone but could apply to any Librem item.

Why is there no official RMA process available/written?
I know that you probably have some kind of support process through email, but a written article about the policies and processes would provide less doubt for new customers.

We have it, just not published yet.

No ETA specified hmm…

How would I get a Librem product repaired?
This in particular is what worries me the most being a EU citizen. Shipping to the US for repair and then back, would probably take a long time. That’s not really optimal for a critical everyday device like a phone.
Furthermore it worries me that Purism also doesn’t have any articles about repairs.

We have a service partner in Germany, so customer from EU ship their broken devices there. Of course, we are paying the shipping.

No answer to my question about an article/terms

Why is the warranty only 1 year?
In the EU consumers get a minimum of 2 years warranty by law. However companies with quality products will usually provide more than that. So does a lot of decent US tech companies.
Doesn’t Purism have confidence in their hardware?

This is what manufacturer is giving us, we are not financially big enough yet to offer more. And we’re US based company, so we’re bound by that EU law.

I guess they mean not bound. I understand but it’s a bummer, whether big enough to not by the phone i don’t know yet.

Other than these doubts I’m very happy to see Purism push the limit and bring us all true freedom to the phone market. I’m exited every time there’s a new blog post about the Librem5.
I hope it will be a great success and I wish you all the best.

Thank you


#2

you aren’t completely wrong to doubt them. imagine that the battery is also “removable” but not “hot-swapable” - all in the name of #thinness.


#3

Shipping to the US for repair and then back, would probably take a long time.

Unless I’m mistaken non-American repairs go to a German reseller. However, I may be incorrect.

Perhaps @mladen could clear things up?


#4

That is indeed the case.


#5

How would Purism have an article about repairing a device they still haven’t finished designing?

There are not that many companies in the US that provide longer than a 2 year warranty. The norm by far and large is 1 year.

For both of these answers I think their response to you is completely honest and you shouldn’t read into or put words in their mouths. I think people, just in general, are not familiar with how companies work when they are not at the Apple, Google, MS, etc. levels.

A small company without an unlimited amount of capital that establishes a RMA process and then through no fault of their own have a critical product failure could very easily go bankrupt if they are not able to navigate the way in which the fault is fixed. This does not make them dishonest or shady. To me it means they deeply care about what they are doing, they realize they are one of the few doing it, they understand that they are tiny compared to the giants encroaching around them, and they are doing what they can to live up to their philosophies while ensuring they are able to stay in a position to see it through.

Many of the compromises that are known about their products are the result of the way the industry works and the near impossibility to do any other way. They are opposing the industry in the way they are striving to function and the products they are designing and releasing. Show me another company going as far? Want to know why there aren’t any? Because it is nearly impossible to do.

Find me a phone that gives you even a fraction of what the Librem 5 does in the way of personal digital freedoms. There isn’t one. So here is the important part: You can’t have it all. You can’t have all the convenience and assurance that you’d get with a mega corporation because their profits absorb any such incidence, and all of the anti-industry freedoms that Purism encompasses.

As someone who has bought a Librem 13, Librekey, and pre-ordered the Librem 5 I can tell you that I’m impressed with their customer service, given their manpower levels, and just how willing they are to work with what must be a needy customer base. (Very few know how all of the security underpinnings work, and must rely on the forum and customer service for assistance.)

On top of this they are available in chat, social media, and here on the forums. I’ve talked to several of Purism’s staff to include the CEO, CSO, developers, and customer support. They are bending over backwards to be available despite the demands they are under to finish the monster load of work before them.

I can’t think of a company doing more to earn my trust and loyalty.


#6

How would Purism have an article about repairing a device they still haven’t finished designing?

As I said “These question are aimed at the phone but could apply to any Librem item.”
What I meant is; What is the process for getting a Librem product repaired or returned? Not a guide on how to repair the Librem 5 yourself. (Which would be cool though) The fact is that they have had products out for years, yet there is no articles to be found about RMA or repairs for any of them anywhere. It’s just weird.

For both of these answers I think their response to you is completely honest and you shouldn’t read into or put words in their mouths.

I didn’t.

[< Rant about big tech companies >]

I know Purism isn’t a huge tech empire lol.

So here is the important part: You can’t have it all.

Is a few written words about the process of repair and how I would return a broken product, asking for it all?
I think it’s pretty basic.


#7

Some warranty/return info here:

https://puri.sm/policies/

Generally, if you want to return your laptop for repair, email support@puri.sm
There’s a pinned thread in the forums for how to contact Purism with various requests here:

There’s also the wiki, which has some info, but is definitely fairly barebones at the moment

https://wiki.puri.sm/


#8

No of course not. I too would like it in stone as well. However the way you frame it and the naming of this thread seems to pin your doubt on those elements.

If you search this forum you’ll find many people who have returned their laptops for repairs or even just returns. But remember that one of the key tenants of their products is the ability for you to fix it yourself.

My point is that Purism cares about their customers and this forum details that.

I am just trying to give you a full counter point to your cocerns.


#9

I am the very happy owner of a Librem 13 and a Librem Key, I also crowdfunded the Librem 5. I am very happy with the products, I love them very much. My big worry is PureOS on the Librem 5 because I had some issues with it on the laptop, it is currently running Ubuntu. To be honest I should give it another whirl, I was a complete neophyte to Linux when I that happened and maybe now I could use PureOS better.

Anyhow the point to this is: while I am very satisfied now, this was a roller-coaster. I ordered my Librem 13 in August 2017 but only received it in January 2018. Some of it is my fault, I got the TPM added while waiting for the order so it pushed me back, I got the machine though.

A couple months after receiving the laptop it stopped charging properly, after a back and forth of emails with Goran Stevanovic (this is where this really pertains to your post) I shipped the laptop back to Purism for repairs. They accommodated me very well, especially considering I live in the Canadian Arctic. It came back with the same issue and I had to send it back again, both times the issue was the power brick and not the Librem 13. I have been using it without a hitch since, it has been about 6 months.

I pre-ordered a Librem-Key and it ended up being shipped to Germany instead of Canada, a simple email asking where my key was solved the issue.

All in all, my purchasing experience hasn’t been perfect but Purism has taken great care of me and have so far solved all of my issues to my satisfaction. The laptop is awesome and so is the key.

Customer service 10/10 would complain again :stuck_out_tongue:

TLDR: Encountered issues but an email to customer service always solves the problem.


#11

Canadian and I would imagine South American repairs also go to the US. That’s where mine went.


#12

it’s probably too soon to know for sure but when the time comes and someone gets a hold of the final librem 5 smartphone later in 2019 maybe stop by here and say if it works by connecting it directly to the ethernet cable with a rj45 adapter hub.

it’s just a minor thing really but does anybody know if debian like distros have a proper GUI way to the command line way of - sudo pppoeconf - for fiber pppoe connections . from what i’ve tried for initial setup the only way to reach the GUI is if you first use the CLI command.

later edit: will test myself soon i hope !