My August 17th order of an “in stock” Librem 15 still hasn’t shipped, though the last business week of October is now soon upon us. Youness’ blog posts from June and August about Coreboot/SATA problems causing delays received some decent press (Hackernews front page, if I recall), but haven’t been followed by any subsequent updates. Are these Coreboot problems still delaying shipment, or have they been resolved to satisfaction? If the latter, is there some new technical issue delaying shipments? Is there any way that the open source hw/driver community could help to resolve?
Surely as time goes by with no shipments, Purism must be at risk of a rising and costly rate of chargebacks. One constructive suggestion I might offer is to communicate more proactively with customers whose shipments are delayed. While purism’s support has been responsive when I initiate contact (I was assured that my laptop would be shipped “well before” the end of October), I suspect that customers would feel much better if they didn’t have to reach out first. If, for example, Purism would send an unsolicited note to waiting customers along the lines of “Hey, your laptop hasn’t shipped yet; here’s why, and here’s what we are doing about it,” and then keep following up with updates like this on a weekly or biweekly cadence, it would go a long way toward maintaining a positive relationship with customers, even if the delays do keep mounting. Communication and acknowledgment are key.
In my experience, other open source hardware ventures that have been very good at proactive customer relations include OSSC (the Open Source Scanline Converter from Videogameperfection.com) and HD Retrovision. They have a good practice of giving regular updates to paying customers about how the shipping queue is going, any difficulties in supply chain or tech, etc., and it makes one feel much more assured that, even if they are having difficulties now, they will ultimately deliver. I would suggest that Purism’s leadership consider looking into or reaching out to these other companies for inspiration on best practices.
Anyway, thanks for listening!