Louiss Rossman on Purism

600 people still waiting for refunds. Just fucking lol. That’s over half million dollars they need give back. And they use money from other products to subsidize the L5.

Yes financially it’s looking pretty ugly.


Where does the information came from?


@linmob , Rossmann said that he was uninstalling GrapheneOS on his personal phone because he was worried that he wouldn’t be able to trust the OS after publicly criticizing behavior of the lead developer of GrapheneOS. However, at the end of Rossmann’s second video on Purism, he tells people who care about security to use GrapheneOS, instead of the Librem 5, so Rossmann seems to continue advocating for the OS, despite his public dispute with Micay.

From what I have read, GrapheneOS is the better choice if security is your only consideration, but it you want a reasonable balance between security and usability, Calyx OS is the better choice. However, my experience with installing LineageOS on my phones is that I always end up installing proprietary apps from dubious sources in order to use them, so I open myself up to the mountains of malware in the Andoid ecosystem, and I think that most people are in the same boat with the AOSP derivatives. It is great that you have a more secure user space in AOSP, but the chance that you are going to install malware in a AOSP-derivative is much higher than using a Debian derivative like PureOS which only allows FOSS in its repositories. Likewise, there is a higher probability that you won’t be getting future security updates with a phone using an AOSP derivative, because the phone is no longer supported by the manufacturer. With the Librem 5, we can count on getting getting security updates for the next 10 years from NXP and we will get endless kernel updates, and the situation is similar for the PinePhone.


I do think it’s fair to differentiate between the different markets for the device:

  • Privacy/Security focused individuals, who want a daily driver.
  • Linux on Mobile enthusiasts who want to see more modifiable/open products, who may or may not use it as a daily driver.

For the people that were trying to buy a phone for privacy purposes, they don’t really care if it’s AOSP or Linux under the hood, they’re looking for something that suits their personal threat model. Even if the L5 was completely perfect, if you’re that concerned about your security/privacy, then waiting four years just isn’t going to fly. If your budget isn’t limitless, then hundreds of dollars lost is a big deal. I believe this population is the one that Louis is worried about. They don’t care about Purism’s contribution to the open source community; they bought a product, they want the product, without a bunch of shady changes to the terms and conditions.

That doesn’t include the Kickstarter people - they knew the risks.

If you’re just trying to advance Linux on Mobile, then you might have more tolerance to wait. You’re likely more ideologically driven, and not having this phone is not as impactful. This population sees the value of the open source contributions and feels that their money wasn’t wasted.

It’s all a matter of perspective. Looked at through the lens of, “I paid for a product and was told it would be delivered by X date, cannot get a refund, and the company keeps changing its story,” it’s easy to see why so many people are upset.


@EasyMac308 , It is a fair point that there are different segments of customers for the L5, and anyone who preordered the Librem 5 in 2017 thinking that they would get a usable privacy/security phone in Jan. 2019 was probably very disappointed.

However, Rossmann’s comments separating the people who preordered the L5 on Kickstarter vs those who ordered from Purism make no sense, because Purism never used an external crowdfunding platform to sell the L5.

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It was in the email from the Purism employee to Louis Rossmann that he read to the world in his second video on Purism.


I suspect he’s using “Kickstarter” synonymously with “Crowd Funding”, the same way people use “Kleenex” to refer to any brand of tissue. Inaccurate, but not dishonest.


I agree, Purism Support flat-out told me, “I’m afraid we cannot promise refund, since our policy is clear on this”

I bought a Librem laptop 4.5 months ago.
After 2 weeks, the battery wouldn’t charge (at all).
I sent it in for them to repair.
After crickets for a month and a half, I finally hear back that it’s repaired and sent back.
It works for another month, then doesn’t turn on at all. No matter how long we charged it, held the button, Nada.

I emailed Support / Mladen and asked for a refund because I’ve used the laptop a total of a month and a half in the 4 months I’ve owned it. I need a laptop that I can rely on for work, and this has not been what I need.
They responded with the quote above.
After negotiating, I sent it back in, they’re going to swap the motherboard (I guess) and send it back.
I told them if it breaks again, we need to revisit the refund policy.


I RMAed my L14 three times in the first eight months or so I had it for the same issue. It was embarassing, professionally, since I’d convinced my boss that this was going to be great and I wanted to support Purism’s mission, and it turned out to be a lemon.

It’s been fine since the most recent RMA (going on several months), but I figured they had figured out the issue and later folks wouldn’t have the same problem. That sucks that you’re having the same problem.

I had threatened to get my VAR involved (I’m a corporate customer), and that’s when the final RMA worked. Read into that what you will.

I’d recommend that, if you paid with credit card, that you check how long you have to file a complaint with them, and be prepared to do so if it fails again.


I get where Rossman is coming from. I read through the L5 landing page (Purism– Librem 5 after changes) before purchase. I expected I would be buying a new phone ergo I expected a device that would perform like the other commercial phones sans the stalkers. The prices also seemed comparable. The ad implied it.

I’m a consumer, not a wanna-be geek, not wanting to be a phone engineer, adept with Linux or anything I would not have to do on the pro phones.

IMO, there is no shame in telling the truth.

Yes. Rossman loves the sound of his voice, and repeated himself, especially the last 5 minutes - very much like under the “Recent Articles” (https://puri.sm/).

He seems to have a definite lack of the ability to get a point across without dropping the F bomb so many times. Something better left in the sleaze-bars and dockside taverns. I’m not a prude, but there is a time and place. I hope he gets a grammar helper for his Bday.

Last I looked today, there were “17K” likes out of 244K views but a whopping 3,788 Comments!
Out of a possible 1.84 million subscribers. Not all subscribers read everything, and some just haven’t unsubscribed.
If I were Puri, I’d be a lot less defensive of critiques and take them as a education good or bad.

Is Rossman wrong about his claims? I don’t think so.
Could he fix things for Puri? Probably, but Puri would need to go through some serious upgrades; changes that would benefit Puri, and it’s potential customers.
The email Rossman read sounds like Puri on the defence. It mentions Rossman’s ‘bully’ post. The email Rossman read aloud sounded more like a cry-bully rant.

IMO: Puri - drop the ‘poor us’ image. Admit when things go wrong and move toward a positive present and future. And for the good of all, honour refunds.



IMO: Even if “tricky economics” played a roll in denying/delaying refunds, it’s not up to him to remind his viewers of why Puri can’t or wouldn’t pony up with refunds, or plea for clemency while refund delays are sorted out. It was about denied/delayed refunds. Not a sales pitch for Puri.

Rossman was harsh - a gutter-rant because that’s what sells views.

When I read that stuff Puri put out over delays, or denied refunds, or delayed refunds, and such, it seemed to me to not address the issues, rather the posts were about woe-is-us.



I think Louis was very clear that this is about how Purism treats customers, in other words human beings who purchased an advertised product.

The difficulty of a project in no way justifies treating people badly.

It indeed is ironical that a “social purpose company” ghosts customers and lacks transparency. A simple Blog post by Purism describing the problem (miscalculation ?) and the solution would also have caused some damage to their reputation. But, not communicating the issue just made things even worse.

Miscalculation is just a form of misjudgment. Admitting miscalculation is not that much of a big deal, and to some extent had to be expected when trying to build mobile phone.

“The phone is more expensive than expected, so we currently can not pay refunds as we would like to. Refunds may be delayed, but they will be honored.”

Something like that, more elaborated, would have been an honest message. They didn’t do it, and now are perceived as being dishonest. You can’t run a company as “social purpose” and be dishonest. It just makes no sense.

Anyone who lies once is not believed, even if he speaks the truth.


In my opinion not the price (or miscalculation) was the issue - it was Corona . Without shipment delays we could have our devices 2-3 years earlier. I’m sure delays are the main reasons for refund requests. For example I read about people who wanted a refund, because they bought another phone in the meantime or who just lost trust in Purism, because they did not ship (how without CPUs?).

Does it make Purisms behavior better? No. It just makes more sense in my mind.


Also there are more reasons for the delay: Frequently Asked Questions · Wiki · Librem5 / Librem 5 Community Wiki · GitLab

I don’t know why you bought laptop from Purism. Their specs are not great and they are very expensive. If you wanted a Linux laptop with commercial support you should have got System76 if you are in North America or Tuxedo if you are in Europe. They have wider range of options available too.

What if the OP wanted the kill switches, disabled Intel ME, coreboot with Heads and Librem Key, compatibility with Qubes and so on?


None of that matters when the machine doesn’t even turn on.

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The Kill switches were a huge win at the time. Didn’t think they’d go “Inception” and plant ideas into my laptop’s mind.

Plus, I’ve never owned a smartphone (90s Amish), and I thought my first would be from Purism because of the cool connected screens feature … now, not so likely.

In the grand scheme of things, a poor gamble on a privacy-focused laptop is a loss I’m okay with compared to the grander decisions we’ve all been facing the past 3 years (Big Tech, Big Gov, Big Pharma, Big Banks).

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In the wiki landing page, there are 89 lines of possibly, maybe, a answer to a noobs question. 1068 words, in the FAQ table of contents. Once I knew they were there, along with docs.puri.sm By the way, the page is missing a image server-side

And, the page calls out to a personal wordpress site and it’s pages. Raises my eyebrows. I block places like wordpress - maybe that’s why the image appears to be missing.

All the links you give, go to the same page on the same FAQ on the same line [anchor].
The lines explaining something about phones and their intricate parts and design and what-ever, is 1000+ words for the kahunas to understand.
As a consumer, I read it twice and still don’t know what it is Puri is on about. Don’t know, or even need to know what a “Qualcomm Snapdragon”, is, or Xiaomi Surge is. Just words to try baffle or befuddle me.
Stop trying to sell Puri ability to gobbledygook the bajeepers out of us noobs and talk about the phone without the blitz, bling, and glamour. It’s not a WP site your’e building, you should be building our confidence in Puri, but not with excuses.

IMO: #87 in the FAQ fits the description of If you can’t baffle them intelligence :face_with_spiral_eyes:, then befuddle them with bull :poop:!

Back to Rossman. I think Puri still doesn’t get where he is coming from. Remember, he zeroed in on, several historical events via Puri unforeseen consequences.
I don’t like his style, his yelling, swearing, unprofessional and repeating himself, but I think his remarks were right. Frankly, if his number of views, and comments on his channel mean anything, I wouldn’t want to be with that sort.

Let it go. It was just a gust of ill wind passing by.

Comparing today to last December, Puri is now on a roll. I see a few things here and there have improved. Don’t let the Rossman’s stop the progress. Use his rant as added fuel. Prove him wrong.


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Yes, looks like a bug. Happens for more than just Amos though. If I look at the pages where I was the last one to edit then likewise the “Last edited by” is followed by a broken image.

The image is inline data in the HTML, purports to be GIF, and I assume it is supposed to be my “public avatar” but it doesn’t seem to work.

As the HTML is, I assume, all automatically generated, it may be beyond my pay grade to resolve that. So we’ll all just have to live with it. :wink:

Nope. Happens for me too and I am not doing anything special in that regard.

I think you are right but I can’t see it. Where is that exactly?

As a community Wiki (as distinct from the documentation that is produced by and officially sanctioned by Purism), there is going to be a divergence of perspectives on what is appropriate.

I suspect that, if I could find the link in question, my perspective would be that it is appropriate. No eyebrows raised. :wink:

Again, it’s a community Wiki, not written by Purism, not trying to sell or market anything by Purism as such. Evidently the level of detail may be more than what you are after.