Shady Company to do business with

I really wanted to support this company and the Librem 5 phone. In fact, I ordered one on August 20th! Due to delays, I had to cancel my order on September 24th and put in for a refund. Still waiting for that refund and now they say several more weeks.

I wonder what kind of company does this and how ethical they are?

Does the company actually have phones and hardware or are they just a front?


Yes, they have. There are 2 versions of the phone. One made in China and one made in the USA. The USA version gets sent to you within 10 days.
The Chinese version has a lead time of 52 Weeks and you ordered August the 20th.
At the time of your order August 2022, the lead times were clearly stated on the website, so you should have known that an order in August 2022 is expected to be delivered until August 2023.
Purism– Librem 5
And the refund policy was such that you don’t get your money back before reaching your place in the queue.
So in your case you have ordered without reading the small text.

There are other people who have way more legitimate criticism, because in the past some waited for 4 years for the Chinese version and the US version was also delayed by months. And some customers were affected by changing refund policy which Purism was apparently allowed to do because it is not a classic corporation, but a for social purpose company and thus apparently softer rules apply. So some customers have really very good reasons to be angry. But this is not in your case.


How do you know they didn’t order the USA version?

And the refund policy was such that you don’t get your money back before reaching your place in the queue.

This is irrelevant. The FTC clearly states that refunds must be made within seven working days.

Edit: Also I don’t see how the refund policy you’re referring to applies to the Librem 5 or Librem 5 USA. In the whole order process of a Librem 5 it never says that this is a “back, pre-order, early purchase, pre-purchase”, on the contrary it explicitly says things like “Place order”. So even by Purism’s logic the Librem 5 is just a regular order and hence:

If, for any reason, you want to cancel your order before it was shipped, we will issue a full refund.

Thanks @Hristo for the context, I appreciate it. Hadn’t even known about that social purpose thing.

However, I’d also like to add:

So some customers have really very good reasons to be angry. But this is not in your case.

Please let’s not weigh up hardships against each other.
I’d say that one’s grief is always valid, no matter if they could have had it even worse.

I don’t know it, but I assume it because Purism announced that shipping parity for Librem 5 USA has been reached at the beginning of August and the user has ordered end of August and claims that his Librem 5 has not been dispatched within 35 days.

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Absolutely true. Just I don’t know how to express it, because I am here at the forum for maybe for a year or something and I have seen many rants from people who got really angry, and they had really extreme cases. I would also not like the idea of having my money blocked for 4 years.

And the customer base of Purism is very diverse. Different customers have very different expectations. Obviously, if a person has tried to buy a Raspberry Pi 4 with 8GB of RAM, owns a PinePhone and has participated in IndieGoGo campaigns, this person would have very different expectations compared to a customer that is used to get his or her Samsung/iPhone on the next day and working out of the box.


My order was placed in May 2019, still waiting.

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January 2019 still waiting but expecting an email very soon. I’m one of those raspberry pi Linux Goomba people who went into this with very low expectations. I assumed I may never get a phone but saw supporting the effort worthwhile.


That is not correct. The return policy is effectively part of the sales agreement and can not be modified after Purism has been paid. It’s a contract and corporate status has nothing to do with this. Also, the FTC Mail Order Rule applies uniformly to every US corporation. Please don’t spread misinformation.

The only “rule change” for an SPC is in regard to shareholder expectations. In the US, companies can be sued if they act in a way that is contrary to shareholder profits. If you are an SPC, the corporation can sacrifice shareholder profits if they are doing so in order to follow the social purpose stated in their articles of incorporation ( ). Of course it also requires Purism to file a Social Purpose Report annually which documents the choices they made in following their social purpose —> and Purism hasn’t ever filed one, so they are not really protected by their SPC status at this point.


Thank you for the clarification.

So, you said that you never saw a topic removed here. What about the topic about Lawsuit against Purism which you just today replied to? Where is that topic gone? Do you see now what company is this Purism? They present themselves as freedom fighters, but ban people who speak open, remove the topics which they dont like. So where is that topic? And please dont tell me that there were some violation on that topic. If so, you would just mention about it, but there were none.

Purism said many times here, that they will not provide a place to discuss a lawsuit against them, on their own money.


Thats obvious. Then lets them know not to present themselves as freedom fighters with their Librem products.

They are fighting for the freedom of software on the phones. It’s proven by their actual contribution to the free software, which everyone can independently verify. Yes, their hardware is not as available as they promised. It doesn’t make them non-freedom-fighters. Also, helping you to destroy the company would not promote freedom.


Just to be clear, are you saying that it should be tolerated when a company breaks the law, as long as they do some good as well? Because not giving refunds within seven working days when a customer canceled the order is against the law.

Purism :wink:

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If you look at my profile, you can obviously see that I’m a fan of Purism. I’m still waiting for my Librem 5. I do not think that delaying refunds is fine, but I can also understand that paying all refunds at once could destroy the company, which is the only company actively developing GNU/Linux on the phones. Everyone can decide by themselves what is more important here. An argument for Purism is that – if they succeed – millions of people or more can benefit from the mobile Linux, whereas if all refunds are paid, hunderds (?) of people would benefit…


Yes, true. They deleted the other topic.
I have not noticed such cases in the past and I had the impression that they don’t do it because there are topics with a lot of criticism.
It is so sad that we even have to discuss this topic of refunds. I guess that we are talking about a 6 or 7 digit number (worst case several thousand refund requests times on average something likely under 1000 EUR per case) which is for so many companies pocket change so that it is very sad if Purism don’t have enough liquidity to just pay to avoid the stress, bad karma and bad publicity.
I wish that someone could come up with sufficient funding to save the day and bring the vision of Linux smartphone to a success.
Musk might spend more than 40 000 000 000 USD for the time wasting Twitter and we are talking here about a 6 to 7 digit number. Such a shame.


What’s there to understand about that? That’s literately the point where a company needs to file for bankruptcy. Or do you also understand when you pay a craftsman to fix your house, but they won’t show up for months, because they don’t have the money anymore to pay for the materials they need for your house — the money you actually already gave them?

An argument for Purism is that – if they succeed – millions of people or more can benefit from the mobile Linux, whereas if all refunds are paid, hunderds (?) of people would benefit…

By this logic every company should stay in business for ever, no matter how crappy their business practices are.

Also in the case of Purism this logic makes even less sense than for other companies, since Purism’s products are or should be open anyway, so any successor with a better business plan could continue right where Purism had to stop.


I waited four years. It is a small company. Stop it. I have my phone and I love it and I waited.