There was a deal struck. Phone orders were to be shipped in the order they were received. The ability for anyone to pay extra to cut in to a different line to get essentially the same product (regardless of where it was manufactured) if you pay extra was not a part of that deal.
Librem 5’s are really just computers, even running the same OS as their other computers Purism sells. So are the people whom bought Librem 14’s also cutting in line? Librem server? Sure they’ve got a slightly different set of optional parts but it’s still a computer running the same OS that you could put an m.2 modem in, so why aren’t you complaining about them cutting in line?
No one’s cutting, I don’t know why you have this idea in your head that its ‘cutting in line’.Two different facilities. In any case you should atleast be happy because that could potentially mean you get your phone sooner the more people that move over to the other line.
Well in fact for regular business if I buy something, the company has to deliver it. And if they cannot you would get a compensation in money to buy this product somewhere else.
For example if I buy a football shirt at a store when it is at a special offer (50 % off) and the company makes a contract selling me one and later cannot sell it to me because they don’t have sufficient in stock I have the right of compensation. Not the amount of what I payed but of the shirt, which means if I have to buy it in another store the full 100 %.
This would mean that as purism has two lines of an identical product just produced in different locations I can understand @StevenR’s point of being cut in line. I would even understand someone who says if the librem5 of one location is not deliverable that they would request to get it from a different production line - as in the end it’s an identical product produced in a different location.
On the other hand most of us will likely not ask this as we are aware of the financial implications of this for purism, we are good people and at least until pre-order state this was a crowd funding. But the frustration also has to be understood by the company (not their employees which we can always see are hard working). Some years ago I was very proud buying a librem 5 telling it to everyone, now everyone asks me regularly where the phone is laughing at me that I got scammed. When I read blog entries the blame is always on something else and purism did no mistake. I am still waiting and hope that I finally get the phone, but I also bought a pine phone now, which ships in 1-2 months after ordering from a location in Europe (which by purism is explained as too complicated and therefore 0 steps foreward for years…).
I am also annoyed by Purism as a company changing the rules of the game wanting to refund people once they are in line. I am not asking for a refund, as I still want to librem5 and I can understand that it could hurt purism as a company, but this is from a customer protection and ethical responsible company unacceptable and unworthy.
As always happy to be corrected if I did not read all the posts or remember something incorrect.
I’m reasonably confident this is inaccurate. My understanding is that while the two separate products will function the same, they are actually made from different, albeit comparable, parts.
I’ll agree that there is some significant overlap, but there’s more than just location that is different; in turn not identical products coming out of different lines.
Very much agree
Because this is a crowdsourced project, I tend to want to give Purism some slack where appropriate. But I have seen several warning signs that tell me that Purism is marginalizeing their pre-order customers without who, there would be no Librem 5.
I think that more and more, people should stop pre-ordering any version of the Librem 5 until after Purism starts delivering in significant quantities. Unlike most products, Purism has an exact number of customers that have committed to making a purchase. Those chips for those orders should have been sitting in a Purism storage location before the Pandemic even started, pending a huge volume ramp-up. I am an Engineer who has been personally responsible for getting new products released to production. Apparently, no real ramp-up was planned for the Librem 5. The celebratory shipping announcements from Purism were made over a year and a half ago (pre-pandemic). This mistake by Purism took place over a year and a half ago. And Purism is not taking ownership of that mistake.
If only a six-month delay were on the line now, I would wait silently. But there will be more excuses and more celebratory pumping of the market to send Purism more money for yet more pre-orders, coming six months now. We won’t find out about the new mistakes when they should be disclosed. Purism won’t disclose them until after their self-imposed deadline has passed and they know that they have to say something. That is not how things should be done. If Purism understands that their life blood (new pre-orders) is about to evaporate, maybe they’ll start treating their pre-pay customers reasonably. Give us more information. If you won’t tell us how many pre-orders you have and how many phones have shipped so far, so that we can assess our personal risk, then let’s just stop all of the pre-orders right now until you give us those numbers or ship us our phones, and issue refunds (as originally promised) immediately to those who have requested refunds. If you won’t tell us what we want to know and you won’t ramp-up production (a real production ramp) or issue the promised refunds, I will have no forgiveness when the market crunch for the chips ends if anything else goes wrong. Let some Attorney General subpoena that information from Purism and let the prosecutors and regulators decide if Purism is being reasonable, or if it’s a ponzi scheme that has no prospect of succeeding.
It looks to me like Purism is in survival mode now. Let’s say you lose your job and so money is short when it comes to paying all of your bills. So you pay your rent and utilities, max-out your credit cards and then don’t have enough money to pay your monthly credit card bill. If your creditors don’t call, that’s great. But eventually they do call. So you give them some story and make new promises to buy more time. Say whatever you have to say to buy more time. Then before your credit report starts taking credit reporting hits, you go out and get as many new credit cards as you can to keep the scheme rolling as long as us possible. Make up stories, whatever it takes. Eventually if you can’t deliver, the courts need to get involved.
You know that you’re being swindled when the stories don’t make sense anymore, and promises are broken too many times. It looks to me like that is where Purism is at now. Their biggest tell is their unwillingness to provide disclosures that could bite them later when they need to change the next set of lies to match the new circumstances. If Todd won’t trust me to asses my own risk when he fails to deliver, then no one else should trust him either. ALL LIBREM 5 PRE-ORDERS NEED TO STOP until after Purism shows proof of a significant production ramp-up.
With all respect but, you make a pretty big story with little evidence.
I think that there is quite a bit of evidence to suggest that Purism are indeed just hanging in there financially. The change in refund policy alone should ring alarm bells. I do feel that the OP labours the point ad nauseum, however he, like many other people have had a gutfull of bullshit, half truths and omissions.
I’m like most of us with an order for an L5 sitting there. I don’t rate my chances of getting it, certainly any time soon, very highly.
I am in the exact same situation.
I actually knew they had an American manufactured and Chinese manufactured unit, it’s on website and order page.
I also expect that even with the american assembled version some parts were going to be manufactured in china and imported / bought via distributors here. And if I am wrong, that would be even more emazing.
I also knew there was risk with the product. Mark Shuttleworth who is wroth hundreds of millions could not product an Ubuntu phone and both Pinephone and Purism managed to get something out with some pros and cons.
I also could have bought the Pinephone but the on/off switches for the modem are under the back case and I want a switch on the side of the phone.
If you have staff you have people that have to get paid and have to eat. You also have leases and vendors and politicans making terrible decisions to shut the economies of the entire western world which can be devestating when you are in a low margin business like the hardware business.
Add to that that they also took on the challenge of building software that would give them the user experience they were dreaming about in a fully open stack.
I also have the benefit of running my own business, having staff that have to eat, leases and so forth … I kinda knew how difficult all of this is.
I’m not trying to negate your experience, your feelings and experience is absolutely valid.
Not even giving you a hard time if you did not do the research because it’s not easy being a consumer and understanding what you are really buying. I happen to be in IT and I know how the sausage is made. It’s easy for me to look at a situation and be able to sympathize.
I am just gently pointing out that if Mark Shuttleworth could not get an Ubuntu phone out the door at all with all of his resources, having Pinephone on the market + LIbrem 5 basically shipping but slowly is amazing.
Add to that western politicians decided to shut down western economies over basically nothing (while Wuhan is fully open and has been fully open since last July) and one can see the frustration of us consumers and them.
I will be honest with you about one thing: I am NEVER AGAIN starting a business that has employees, or leases or anything of the sort. I have NO IDEA HOW TODD SLEEPS AT NIGHT. No idea how he keeps on going given the pressures of a low margin business service a niche of a niche of a niche customer. And boy does every consumer of consumer grade niche tech love to complain. You have to have elephant skin to make it in the business Todd is in.
I am 100% as frustrated as you, just not at Todd. I also have an order for the Pyra handheld linux machine and that is suffering the same kinds of deltays for lots of similar kinds of reasons.
Making and selling stuff is waaaaay harder than most people know.
It’s starting to fit that pattern. For a social purpose company, Purism chooses to keep a lot of secrets about sales and delivery successes (or lack thereof). Those who make new pre-orders have little to go by, other than the optimism that Purism projects. What does Purism have to hide? With no real production ramp-up nearly two years after their shipping announcement, it’s looking like if a person pays in-full for their phone today, it’ll be a minimum of two to three years or more from now before they get their phone, not counting the pandemic delays. With all of Purism’s optimism, maybe they’ve collected the money on 50K phones, shipped only 200 phones, and run out of money. Typically a sales order is an asset. But what happens when too many sales orders become liabilities because you’ve already spent the money and can’t afford to manufacture the product for the remaining orders? When you go to the bank looking for a loan, the last thing you want to do is admit that you’re already up to your eyeballs in-debt and that your expenses significantly out-weigh your revenues. Project success and optimism and avoid talking about liabilities. That’s what Purism appears to be doing now.
Purism is free to tell me that I got it all wrong because they’ve got x amount of money in the bank and have already shipped y number of phones. The adage that “you can’t handle the truth” seems to be the most feasible excuse. That is absolutely what their silence about the numbers tells me they are saying.
Maybe the shipping announcement was… early. ButI think that others showed, that there were more than 200 phones delivered and so Purism did ramp up production to a certain degree. Or am I wrong on this? My imagination is that shipping would have continued if these supply chain shortages didn’t occur.
Thanks. As it happens, I do run a hardware business and have done for more than 20 years, but thanks for educating me about what it’s like to run a business. I’ve also had to deal with the coronavirus and I’ve still kept the promises I’ve made to my customers. And I also have to eat, as do my customers. When they pay me money, they expect me to deliver, because if I don’t, they have neither their money, nor my product, so they don’t get to pay their bills and they don’t get to eat. Equally, when I pay my money, I expect to get delivered what I paid for because literally everyone has the same “coronavirus” excuse and if I pay everyone money and don’t get anything delivered, because, you know “coronavirus” - then I don’t get to eat. I totally understand the problems caused by the coronavirus but we all have those same problems. That’s no excuse to take someone’s money “because you have to eat” and not deliver anything - because, you know, we also have to eat. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect to have what I paid for delivered, or else to have my money back so I can spend it on someone who is - you know, going to actually deliver what I paid them for. Everyone else is expected to, and we do.
I might tolerate the BS if Purism would have apologized to the L5 USA customers and explained that some people had waited for over two years. So Shipping of the L5 USA orders would be delayed for six months or until those people reached their chronological place in line. Integrity is integrity and Purism has abandoned theirs. If you placed your pre-order early, you’re like a credit line that has been used-up and the borrower is too worried about his new opportunities now, then to honor previous agreements which do not generate new revenues now. It doesn’t matter to me why Purism did it. As I said it, it’s a slap in the face.
In case you are right - wouldn’t it be better to let it continue until new pre-orders finance themselves and past liabilities? We don’t know if you are right and if you are, Purism cannot tell, because it would directly destroy any trust into buying any product which would default the company. Telling everyone not to buy those products might have the same effect.
Also I would like to add that companies with financial problems often show symptoms like low moral between employees or leaving employees. There was someone leaving some years ago also ranting about the librem 5 project, but ever since I dind’t hear any of this sort so currently I would not bet on purism having financial issues which they cannot resolve. I further more don’t want to speculate over those things - there will always stick something in the readers head even if unseasoned.
Apologies, was not trying to talk down to you.
When it comes to wanting others to take a risk because I don’t want to lose my money, I don’t think that way. When you realize that you’ve most likely been taken advantage of, the next step is verification. If you’re right, bring integrity back in to the deal at almost any cost. If that involves losing your money, then so be it.
I once rented a home and spent a lot of money making it perfect as it was when I moved in, before moving out. The landlord refused to even inspect it with me present and just kept my deposit, figuring that it would cost me more to sue her than it was worth to me. The claim had to be made in small claims court. There was a one page form to fill out to file the case. Instead of filling out the form, I paid an attorney hundreds of dollars to generate a set of formal pleadings for me to file myself. No attorneys are allowed in small claims court. But my formal pleadings to the court that I filed myself, went on the public record for anyone to read who ever considers doing business with her in the future. I settled for 100% of damages in mediation and took a loss, at least getting all my deposit money back at a cost of $500. I was prepared to take a loss of thousands of dollars if necessary to get at least all of my deposit back considering that she tried to steal from me. Most importantly, she felt the pain, gave my money back, had to apologize (in mediation) and a public record told anyone who wanted to look her up in the future, what she did to someone else (the formal pleadings tell the whole story). Sometimes, some things are worth more than the money.
I believe that Purism’s refusal to share sales and fulfillment information at this point is immoral, at the least. If Purism were to have kept their own published timelines, the situation would be different. But things have gone seriously wrong. And that’s ok, except if the original deal (many details of it) aren’t going to be honored, then we have the right to re-assess our risk now. Like the landlady who refused to return a justifiably due deposit, Todd and company do what they think others will not sue them for, not what is right. Anyone who wants their pre-order money back from Purism should be paid back immediately, and with no legal action required to get it. But Purism changed the written agreement after many people had already pre-paid. That action by Purism was immoral.
You know, at the end of the day, whether you’re a staunch supporter of Purism, or not, and whether you’ve pre-ordered a L5 or not, the fact remains that right now the general public has a very negative impression or attitude or idea about the kind of company Purism is because there’s so much darn negative posts in so many forms out there on the Internet, slamming them daily.
Add to that the endless comments of how Purism has poor communication, never responds adequately (in the opinion of the general public) to what’s actually going on, I now know of not one single friend or contact that I have who believes in privacy and security and what Purism is doing that is willing to spend one dime with the company until it’s widely believed that they are actually shipping within a week or so of orders being placed.
Which may mean they’ll be lucky to get more than a handful of orders in the next 6 to 9 months for any L5, since many believe (and that’s nothing more than public opinion with no facts, but basing it on what they’ve heard about Purism in the past) that an order placed today still may not be received for another year or two. The result is almost no one (very few) will spend money with them.
The average consumer frankly doesn’t give a rats ass why there are delays or why Purism is having problems filling orders. All they know is they’re not gonna spend the money and not receive anything and not know when they possibly might receive it, especially knowing that a refund isn’t even a possibility until supposedly when their phone is ready to ship, which is an unknown, without asking the credit card company to file a charge back and go through that process.
So maybe the speculation could be how does the company stay in business for another year with no revenue stream from their phones, and I honestly don’t think there’s a big revenue stream for their other products right now, (yes folks guess numbers but they are guesses, nothing more) and most even here have stated unequivocally that they won’t order an L14 until the next batch comes out without the soldering blob.
So yes, I’m sure that many of the sources for their problems are out of their control but much of it is theirs, but either way the average consumer is not going to part with their money in that kind of a situation. So is that tiny portion of Linux smart phone/computer users in the world enough to support the company for another year or more with all the unanswered questions and doubts as to when product may actually get delivered?
Just all my humble opinion and I have run businesses myself for nearly 3 decades and I fully understand supply chain problems and they exist now in other industries outside of just phone manufacturing, but most companies are pretty straightforward in what they can and can’t do and state that clearly to the public.
Purism’s fall back (from my point of view since last August when I first ordered my L 14) is “well this is what we think might happen as of today”, and then they disappear for a month and come back with some other vague statement again. Rinse and repeat.
So I to fall in that category of I love what Purism is attempting to do and I tip my hat to them for all that they’ve accomplished, but I, like most people I know, cannot part with $8-900 for a product and then sit back and wait having no idea when in the future they may get that product. And if it does become too long they can’t get a refund? It’s a lose lose for the average customer.
You’re post is absolutely spot on. I posted some time ago that Purism needs someone beyond the well meaning techies to communicate to the public. I was pretty much bagged for this. I stand by it.
To have just one person out there shit canning your company is a thousand too many given the influence of the net now. My guess is that there is very much a siege mentality in the Purism bunker. I just hope things aren’t already terminal.
I thought about your post and the other two guys posts. I appreciate your position, and it has merit, as do the positions of the other two guys.
Here is my call on this:
- Between my self and the two other business owners, apparently we have 70 years of combined business experience. I believe them when they say they own businessess at 20yrs and 30yrs respectively (me 20yrs), and their points of view have merit because in business they only thing you have at the end of the day (after a positive balance sheet) is your word. Do as you say, say as you do.
You guys are right, more and better can always be done.
- HOWEVER, I am jumping in to balance the conversation here a bit in the other direction. I mean no disrespect nor to invalidate perfectly valid points you guys made. Having agreed with you guys, my call on this topic is this:
a) I have absolutely no clue how a tiny company is supposed to access the kinds of resources necessary to babysit the infinite amounts of opinions and posts out there?
I thought about this point a lot over the years, and honestly, when you think about community management it basically boils down to this:
You cannot police every single opinion, nor should you try to, it is a waste of resources.
As a vendor, you are almost always (especially in todays political climate where a single pronoun can align you accidentally with the wrong political faction and kill 50% of your marketplace with a single twitter post) is served best by keeping their mouth SHUT, keeping their posts ABSOLUTELY NEUTRAL and pick specific posts and issues to provide feedback on so you can maximize your public image statistically. We police civilization this way, you only need a police large enough to threaten everyone into compliance, just enough jumping into conversation is necessary to kind of offer enough of a counterbalance.
So far I have seen their staff take a balanced and neutral approach and really try to address only ciritical discussions particularly those about openness and related issues.
Everything could always be better, okay, they are trying.
b) Next, do you guys truly believe that Todd started a HARDWARE COMPANY that is and INCREDIBLY LOW MARGIN BUSINESS at the best of times servicing A NICHE OF A NICHE OF A NICHE OF A NICHE OF USERBASE and not try to do the best for them and get everything out on time?
Do any of you actually support open source users? Have you actually seen how demanding open source / free software users are OF EVERY SINGLE DEVELOPER IN THE ECOSYSTEM while not paying for a single thing, not learning even the basic skill set to submit proper and useful tickets, just act plain rude and demanding as if free software devs are actually Apple or something (ever try to get a refund from Apple or Microsoft?). I love my fellow Linux users, but honestly, they are the worst of the worst because they will spend their whole life on a forum to complain about something they cannot even return for a refund while at the same time not even having the decency to donate something to a random dev just out of the kindness of their heart.
I feel very protective of all free software devs and anyone that works hard and puts their livelyhood on the line to make my (and your) life better. Do you know why I feel protective of these people?
Because I could never get my self to work with anyone in the free software / open source community for free or in a low margin role. Absolutely never, not just because there is no money in it, you guys simply don’t make it enjoyable or worth while. At all. All you guys do is look all situations only from your perspective (I realize the irony as I post this, feel free to mock me) and just bitch and complain.
Look, business happens. Cashflow is sometimes good, sometimes bad. Sometimes you do great at communication other times not.
Here is Christian Von Koenigsegg talking about his business exploits, watch the 22min segment talking about financing, pay attention to where he admits that there have been times where cashflow was short:
Business is a wild and wooly ride and YOU NEVER EVER escape risk. EVER. All that you can hope fore is to skim enough off of the top and hide it in securities and diversified assets such that if the thing tanks (and like any casino knows, the longer you play the higher the odds of the house winning) you have a nest egg so you can afford your depends.
So, my call? Is Todd looking to run with the money? Yeah, that is clearly not the case. You guys have been bitching and complaining about Purism since he started and he is still selling laptops so no. Might Pursim be in trouble? All companies have business cycles, sure, maybe, who knows. We aren’t in a Trump economy where you could print clients, we are in a communist economy where top down control is being attempted.
c) Let’s not forget, these are not normal economic conditions that the western free world is under.
The communist dictatorship in China had opened up the whole country to 1.2 billion people since last July. Our, so called free marketeers and capitalists shut down the entire western economy for over a year now.
These absolute geniuses closed the entire western world for what is, COMPARATIVELY a nothing burger. After all, we didn’t close the entire goddamned country for ww1 nor ww2. Do you guys know that during ww2 that France was basically open for business (internally) duing the Nazi occupation? Hitler occupied France and didn’t frickin shut the whole country down, our geniuses shut down the entire western economy of something slightly more dangerous than a flu.
These are NOT normal times. Los Angeles has 100s of thousands of homeless camping in the city, San Fran has poop patrols, wood costs alone for the average new house jumped by $60k in the last 4 or 5 months alone, our governments are printing money like there is no tomorrow creating an inflationary scare we have not seen since the great depression and the fed has been bailing out the banks, funds and other insitutions with pure cash injections now since the 2008 crisis. A crisis, where by the way, the entire planet did not have any credit flow for 48 hours.
We aren’t living in a time where Todd cannot source parts that he needs. We are living in a time where Ford, Apple and Microsoft cannot source 100% of the parts they needs because our genious leadership shut everything down over a flu.
- So, the complaints you guys post are important. They are the kind of feedback and pressure that we need to keep on the vendor to keep messaging to them that delivery times are important and that they cannot drop the ball on this. Of all the things they have to fix, it is delivery times.
You guys re right.
But, because you guys are such loudmouth complainers (and holy shit do you complain everywhere you can post) your sheer glee at posting and sharing this negativity so totally overwhelms any positive news, feedback or conversation that you completely and irresponsibly paint this bizarro world picture of everything is doom everything is gloom your money is stolen you have been ripped off.
I simply do not see any indication of ill will, ill intention or anything of the sort. If Todd and company wanted to run away with the money, he had a few mil in seed money raised from the crowdfunding and could have just cashed out, closed shop and bought him self a beach house somewhere cheap.
So, don’t stop posting even if it is negative. You do you. I just want to balance the conversation out a bit, life is complicated.
NOTE: I have no association with Purism in any way shape or form, I have one phone on order since 2019.