Howdy, long time lurker, first time poster! Ordered July 13th 2020. Got a shipping confirmation email at the end of March and a reply after confirming said shipping info that I would get tracking info when it finally ships. No tracking info yet. Hopefully this message can help people see where they are located on this terrible conga line…
I’m a bit fussy, could you send us some screenshots?
You might be right about the need to hire a good PR person, but my take about transparency is that Purism staff is honestly doing their best.
Whenever I’ve seen a pressing issue that Purism needs to comment on, like this hotfix mess, staff will eventually give a satisfactory answer in the forums. Sure, some people might not read all the comments here, but in my opinion this is better than the alternative - making an announcement about every single question that needs answering.
While a PR person would help make their answers more cohesive and address consumer concerns more clearly, I personally like getting answers from the actual engineers involved in the project, not a media person. This also goes hand in hand with open source culture.
After the hotfix was discovered in a customer’s board, it seems that they are dealing with it reasonably well:
Nicole gave a good explanation on why the hotfix was necessary. She also explains that the hotfix is not critical to the correct functioning of the device.
Kyle offered 1 year of additional warranty for any issues caused by the fix.
A customer reported that after contacting support, Purism offered to ship their laptop specifically from a batch without the hotfix. We’re still waiting for the non-hotfixed boards to appear and see how that plays out.
Another customer reported that the hotfix is well secured under some nice fabric tape, which eliminates my last concern about the hotfix: it coming loose and shorting something out.
Is it pretty to look at? No. Specially when you take a photo and zoom at it. But people will get over it. And if you really don’t want to have an ugly board, just contact support and they will fix you up with a pretty one.
Building a custom board from scratch is not an easy task for a company like Purism. Supporting a project like this, specially pre-order, comes at a risk.
Also, it is worth noting not only what is being talked about, but also what is not being talked about. We haven’t heard anything negative from customers who got the L14 apart from the hotfix issue.
I totally agree. I think Purism could help themselves immensely by not releasing information on Friday afternoons, especially if that info has the potential to “explode” when it might be difficult to investigate and respond to promptly (i.e. over the weekend).
One of my points was Purism just shipping these laptpps with this fix and then waiting…for what? No criticism? It was always going to get attention and inevitable bad press.
I don’t get the connection between a media person not being compatible with open source culture. Is having someone between you and the devs inherently bad?
I’d suggest that Purism have done their reputation irreparable damage with large numbers of consumers and potential consumers because of their amateur approach to genuine problems and probable naivety with regard to fallout. Please note, that I loathe any attempt at spin, but I’m all for things presented clearly in laymen’s language, with empathy and in a timely manner. Getting ahead of problems rather than letting them unravel I’d suggest is preferable to the multiple debacles that Purism have presided over and fuelled the vitriol towards Purism on places like reddit. Its not good to have people out there shitbagging your business under any circumstances.
Purism’s reputation is damaged. Even with me. If they, or anybody, think there won’t be more problems they’re dreaming. If Purism think they’ve done well managing these, they’re also dreaming. Purism need to re-evaluate this part of their business where the problems that befall them are beyond their control and will continue to come.
About hiring a media person: it is not incompatible with open source. I just said that I don’t mind them not having a media person because I can get my answers from staff directly. And for the most part, all a PR person would do is spend all day on the forums and reddit answering frequently asked questions and forwarding any specific question to a staff member that can answer it. Might not be the best use of Purism resources (I know I can be wrong on that, the ROI on that is hard for me to estimate).
Most of your points are valid. I question the scale of the problem.
Purism staff, individually, are doing the best they can under the situation.
Purism as a company, not so much. They could definitively be more proactive in PR by not dealing with a crisis after it blows over.
Reputation is hard to measure. The forums might be biased, after all it is where all the drama takes place. Just for some perspective, consider the community sourced list for shipping estimates. Less than 5% of actual customers end up posting there. And that is considering very heavy delays, which makes people more anxious about their orders.
As for my experience with Purism: I first heard of them 3 years ago through the Qubes community and they are my dream PC manufacturer ever since. I never really went into the forums, but still got some news from Purism and it was mostly positive. As soon as I started actively checking the forums, I quickly became aware of all the drama that I never imagined existed.
The fact is it’s easy for us to judge from behind our keyboards. We deal with the forums.
Purism staff, on the other hand, deal with the reality of production and must tender to the silent majority of customers, not the loud minority in the forums. And as I mentioned in my previous comment, I believe they are doing an acceptable job at answering the most pertinent questions that pop up here.
Finally, whether or not you are happy with them will depend on what you expect from them.
I think most Librem laptop customers want the most secure modern laptop they can find and that’s why they picked Purism. These are people that are choosing to buy a $1500 laptop that doesn’t even have dedicated graphics. Most are running Linux (I once saw a L13 on ebay with windows installed, it made me want to throw up). They know they are buying a product that no other company can provide, so they are willing to ignore small issues if that means getting the best security.
For the Librem 5 customers, the issue is not only of security but also of privacy because of the current scenario of generalized tracking in smartphones. This makes for a potential wider audience, but the Librem 5 is nowhere near as mature a product as the Librem 14. The competitors in this field are also stronger. Add that together with the supply chain problems and huge wait times on pre-orders, it’s not looking as pretty anymore.
I think Purism needs more Marketing than PR. They could be able to better appeal to a wider audience by generating some hype about their products that actually hits the mainstream laptop consumers. This is not so simple
Maybe Purism should take a page from CryptoData’s playbook (irony intended. CryptoData sells a terrible product, but they use buzz words and market to a more general public much better than Purism does).
I disagree with alot of what you said , or rather, your reasoning. But i lack data and statistics to effectively back up my own reasoning to counter yours and you have a very polite tone so just turning it into an argument of emotion seems pointless.
One thing i will point out because people keep repeating it. “The 1500 USD laptop” that is the cheapest price point. I have a 3500USD laptop ordered. So my concerns were thus very much in line with that. Add EU Import and VAT and we are talking 4000-5500 USD.
Hype marketing and over-promising and under-delivering has been the bane since atleast when i first made a purchase from Purism in 2018 so more buzzwords and hype marketing … No. Better marketing and a PR person…Yes.
It is also very late so if i came across as rude i sm sorry, and if you would like me to answer all that you wrote i will do that after sleep and with ,to the extent that anyone can, using facts and somewhat related experience,educated guesses etc. But i worry the end point would stil be that we differ in some thoughts and opinions,albeit perhaps with much more civility than i and others have shown in the last 3 days or so.
I am on the fence but as far as delays go with the L14 i do not believe they will be up to current orders by end of may but in defense of purism they said this is what they hope to do and want to try to do, but also said it was not for sure that it will be so, my own insight into shortages suggests that even if the world reverted to normal today it would take 18 months or so for supply and demand to start matching each other so it is what it is. In the meantime as i sit on the fence on wether to refund or not, purism may well win me over (i was happy with my L15,still am)… and if i am not happy i can refund when i come up in the que but i expect that for someone like me who pre-paid for a librem 14 at very late end of 2020 it way well be between june-july or august for a delivery. Do not mind the delay but i hope if i am right,they make a statement that they are shipping but do not promise to have x ammount of people satisfied in y ammount of time and for the tenth time have to delay because someone told them information about what they could supply purism with,then couldnt, and purism already made announcement based on information that is fluid and unreliable currently.
We will see what happens. I am happy that eventually some questions and answers were given. For anything more specific i will turn to support when im up for a delivery,refund or other option.
I dont disagree with ALL your points or reasoning by the way, nor do i think either one of us could “prove” to have the more right opinion. Only Purism can really know or decide what happens at Purism.
If i could make one final observation, purism does give off a vibe of a small but highly competent team lead by a poor mans open source steve jobs (todd wheeler) making announcements, demands, changes,understimating and not taking in feedback from his team etc… i could be wrong. But i feel like the ship is kind of…run by a captain secluded in his cabin uncaring for the ocean (customers,the situation,what purism realistically can deliver and when etc) while a small but well trained crew does their best to do as the captain says,wether it is reasonable or not or if he even speaks at all.
Edit: And i may well be wrong above in that gut feeling, so nobody read this as me saying it is so or presenting it as a fact or smearing him as a person.
Anybody else receive an L14? You’d think if these were shipping consistently we’d see more people posting…
Nope. I ordered mid August and haven’t even received a shipping address verification email yet.
So, pretty much the start of every month since December…
And before all the fanbois get all hot and bothered, I’m referring to the fact that there was this:
If the hotfix is acceptable, and there’s stock, why are pre-orders from July/August 2020 still not fullfilled? What new delay is there?
Sigh… i will end up believing that they are trying to reassure us about the deadlines in order to just calm our impatience and buy time?
Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
Still and always
Is anyone seeing anyone reporting anywhere else that they’re receiving L14s? Linux forums, Reddit, etc?
I haven’t even been able to access the Purism subreddit today. I don’t recall seeing any updates recently, but I haven’t been watching as closely.
Nothing in sight from my side
Being (probably) part of the first who ordered (few days after L14 was published for pre-order), I haven’t yet recieved a shipping notice. My best guess is that the first batch was small.
That was my thought as well, until I saw “holding stock” and “probably to stay in stock”.
Well apparently they only got one pallet so how many laptops are shipped on one pallet?