Apparently it's impossible to get a Fairphone repaired if you bought it used

My FP3 broke a while ago, and I’ve been trying to get it repaired. At first I tried to do it myself, but it seems like the issue is with the connector between the display and the motherboard. I tried to go to a local repair shop, but they never even heard of Fairphone and said there’s nothing they can do to help me.

I contacted Fairphone support, but apparently I can’t send it in for repairs because I need an invoice I never received from the reseller. Apparently, “To be able to continue with a repair, we need to positively identify your device.”, which I don’t get. I’m fairly sure no other company pulls stuff like this.

This feels extremely ironic considering the consequence of this is more e-waste and being less fair to their customers. Any other phone manufacturer would have accepted my device in for repairs, with or without an invoice.

The worst part is that now I need to get a new phone, but I’m torn between supporting a company that does this nonsense (I would be willing to pay for the repair, but they apparently don’t want my money) and is essentially forcing me to buy a whole new phone, and just buying some random phone from a company that probably isn’t as ethical in their supply chain but at least will repair my phone even if I don’t have an invoice but again, not being ethical.


Hi and welcome to the forum.

It’s to stop fraud and theft. Anyone could steal or buy a stolen phone etc.

Other companies may not be so conscientious as they just want your money not your integrity :slight_smile:

If you contact the seller maybe they can provide a copy of a bill of receipt etc.
You probably don’t have a valid warranty once you’ve taken it apart without advice from Fairphone.

Regarding a DIY repair. You cannot user exchange the core module so the only option given your suspicions is to replace the display module which you can do yourself for a smaller financial outlay.

You don’t say what is wrong and what you have done, in detail to effect a repair. Maybe someone here can provide some insight and if you are lucky you may find a fairphoneangel near you.

The connector

  • Are the pogo pins movable
  • Are they and the display contacts really clean
  • Are the five ‘solder’ contacts with the core module shield clean
  • When you re-fasten ensure you do the screws around the contacts first, not too tight, then the remainder ~ not too tight , then tighten the ones around the contacts etc.

See this post and those below it


Sorry, but I don’t buy it. There’s no reason to have such a policy in place other than to force people who bought a Fairphone second-hand to buy a new one if it breaks.

There’s no way of contacting the seller, because of the way the website I used works. Seller details are not available unless they performed the sale through the website, and unfortunately resellers here in Romania tend to cancel orders placed through the marketplace and contact the customer directly. As I bought the phone roughly two years ago there’s nothing I can do to find out that information again.

This policy isn’t protecting anyone other than Fairphone’s monetary interests. Even entertaining the idea that the phone did turn out to be stolen, I wouldn’t be responsible for the theft, and refusing a repair wouldn’t be doing anyone any good, since in its current state it’s non-functional.

Fairphone is not the police, and refusing repair for arbitrary reasons is an anti-consumer practice meant to drive more profits to the company.

I’ve already done this, and it didn’t solve the problem. One of the connector pins on the motherboard is corroded, and there’s nothing I can do to fix it. I tried isopropyl alcohol, but it did nothing to solve the issue, not even visually. I wasn’t expecting warranty, I was willing to pay for repairs, but that doesn’t seem to be an option.

Regardless, I’m not sure what this shifting of blame is intended to do, since I do take responsibility for breaking the phone. I just wanted to not have to buy an entirely new device to replace it because of one damaged contact.


There is no blame. Fairphone’s business is around fair trade for the miners and factory workers. A modular phone is a benefit for the end consumer, but I see no reason to have a problem with their wanting to know the phone’s original owner.

Fairphone don’t sell to everyone, they are country specific and the warranty is therefore country specific, so why would repairs be any different.


Surely there seem to be reasons for this policy. I fully agree to @anon9989719’s statement.

On the other hand, for serious reasons, why would I pay money for something valuable without any proof of purchase. In any case this would be untrustworthy business to me. There’s always some proof of purchase at someones hands, why loose it (some persons here did within the warranty period… :roll_eyes:) or not pass it on when reselling. I always keep it save and pass it on should I sell an item of value. It’s useless to me anyway without the related item, but useful for the new owner. Most simple logic in second hand business.

Probably not like this. Why should they, they simply offer to take a closer look at the issue by charging the customer a flat sum so high (after warranty period) that the customer will consider to buy a new device with fresh warranty for only less more money. They don’t care about lost personal data anyway. It has nothing to do with fair repair. Fairphone does it differently.
But this case brings me to an idea how Fairphone also could tread cases without proof of purchase, just the pricey way as other manufacturers do. I believe this would be against their core values though.
I tend changing the headline to: “Apparently it’s impossible to get a Fairphone repaired without a proof of purchase”


What say you @hazelnot

It seems that is the case.

It’s not that it’s used but you don’t have proof of purchase

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Receiving proof of purchase for second-hand goods is not really something that’s done here in Romania, most people simply throw stuff like this away, and even if they don’t, they’re considered personal information that’s not supposed to be passed on.

Privacy is a pretty good reason. Most of the countries Fairphone sells their devices in are in the EU, and I wonder what GDPR regulations would have to say about this sort of practice. It should not be a company’s business what happens to their products once they’re sold. Once the money exchanges hands, it’s no longer their problem.

I can see the necessity of asking for proof of purchase in cases were warranty is involved, but this is literally just me wanting to give Fairphone money to repair my phone. Instead I’m treated like a thief for… buying a product second-hand the same way everyone buys everything second-hand where I live.

I really liked Fairphone before this debacle, but this has seriously soured me on the company. Which is legitimately sad, it’s the closest people can currently get to being able to buy new ethically-manufactured phones, but it seems that buying second-hand devices from other companies is probably a better idea considering those can at least still be serviced, instead of becoming e-waste because of some ridiculous policy.


I hope the principle of not being assumed guilty is still being upheld on our continent! (even though alot of forum members think otherwise, I agree with hazelnot)

I have never received proof of purchase for second hand goods, never.

Perhaps you find what you’re looking for over here?..:


Fully agree with the original poster. I believe that the vast majority of people don’t keep invoices for stuff like this, especially if the guarantee has run out, and especially in Spain. And I personally would think twice about handing an invoice over when selling it on too.
This practice doesn’t stop theft. My FP3 was stolen in the street last month. I actually find it annoying if the thief or eventual new owner can’t use it because then no-one can use the phone and it’s in landfill! I don’t blame the thief - I blame the society that made them think it was their best option.
Fairphone should be thinking more about circular economy than fraud.


Well that’s where some alternatives exist. I think fraud is more important that circular economy.

Sure for a global consumer industry circular economy has it’s place, but I rate personal ethics as being more important and hence would avoid fraud and theft as it disproportionately effects individuals, hence the caution in wanting evidence of ownership of a product when asking the manufacturer to repair it.

They don’t unless you ask them to get involved, then they do, simples.

Just as it is none on my business what hazenot does with their phone or where they got it form etc, until of course they voice it on a public forum that I am active on.

If someone wants to keep their views secret that’s up to them but clearly posting here is asking for opinions, unless of course the OP is never inclined to read any responses, then again it becomes my responsibility to keep the subject alive.

However I now consider the subject dead, but as mentioned the title could be change to better reflect that it’s a lack of evidence of ownership that is the problem not that it is second hand.

Finnaly. I have a second hand one from my daughter and I had to send Fairphone an email of the original email transaction between her and Fairphone. The phone will always be registered in her name,

Regarding personal info. Fairphone already have the original owner’s details and the IMEI no of the phone, they just want it confirmed that the IMEI has been legally transferred by a contract of sale.

All the best and hope you all find resolutions to whatever transpires.

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This is an interesting point actually. Even though the new owner no longer has a way of contacting the original owner in this case, it appears Fairphone does. So if the new owner agrees, Fairphone could fire off a quick email to the registered owner (which would only take about a minute using a template) asking if the new owner really did buy it from them. Problem solved (unless the registered owner doesn’t reply, in which case “hard luck, new owner!”). I can’t imagine this happens often enough for the extra administration to be an issue.
By the way, buying and selling of second hand goods almost never involves a “contract of sale” in my experience, unless it’s a car.

Agree to disagree on that one! Especially if we’re talking phone theft. Fraud on a massive scale, that’s another debate.


Yes they could but it’s not their responsibility and they cannot legitimately contact the owner to ask questions.

If however the phone was sent to them, they may well consider it an option, but not on the hearsay of a third party.

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I doubt this is how its working or that it is even true, that Fairphone can map all IMEIS to a specific person as it would mean resellers would have to document and hand over to Fairphone.

You can report to Fairphone the IMEI of your phone in case it gets stolen, this way they can check against this list in case someone wants something witbout a prrof of purchase. still I doubt they can easily link an IMEI to a name or even any contact information. To find out someone would have to dig-in in detail into their data privacy agreement which should explain this.

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Well as Yvmuell points out it may not be as simple as I imagined. They can trace each IMEI but via a reseller would be onerous on Fairphone etc.

I think unlocking a phone requires info of the IMEI to be sent to Google as clearly Fairphone have a contract to use Android.

Why are Google concerned ? Well each time an OS is updated/pushed it has to be vetted by Google via some million tests, do you imagine Google do this for free, no it’s on the basis that the phone goes to the user with Google. So sure they want to know which and how many phones are jumping ship.

Privacy and control don’t really exist together in the mobile phone world.

I think its better to not speculate what is being send to who, how etc. As at the end its pure Speculation and overall unlocking the bootloader or what is send to google is a bit off topic here.


I strongly agree with that!

And just imagine that you’d have to show a proof of ownership every time bringing your car to a repair shop for inspection or repair?

The concept of ownership (“I’m free to do what I want with things I bought since I own them” - if not restricted by law) would normally not include the vendor trying to order me how to conduct a sale and which information I have to distribute if I’m no longer in warranty.

And in addition a simple ‘unregister product’ button on the shop pages or faiphone pages would resolve such requests easily if the phone still was in warranty.
(But wasn’t able to find my registered product or an online warranty proof yet- if someone has a hint I’ll be grateful!)


But what exactly does this help to stop fraud and theft? So thieves should be aware, that if they steal a Fairphone they won’t even get a paid service if needed?

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Is that a real case. How did you buy the phone.

I bought mine from the website and have an email acknowledgment, the same as two of my daughters. I don’t need to register

There is no such thing. Warranty isn’t a given, it’s a condition, which is assessed by Fairphone. If you meet the conditions then repairs will be undertaken warranty if they deem it still valid.

Well it depends upon the integrity of the service provider.

It maybe worth asking Fairphone to detail in their terms why they won’t repair a phone from a third party as Part I of the warranty

l. Product for which Fairphone receives information from public authorities that the Product has been stolen or if you cannot disable security measures designed to prevent unauthorized access, and you cannot demonstrate you are the authorized user of the Product.

This implies that evidence that “you are the authorized used of the product” is only required if “Fairphone receives information from public authorities that the Product has been stolen”

If that is the case for a warranty what is so different if the phone is out of warranty, i.e. are there different considerations for paid repairs. There may well be, but I haven’t found a clear statement to that effect.

In the interest of trying to be constructive about the problem at hand:

Even if one local repair shop wasn’t willing to work on the phone, it might be worth looking more widely for repair shops that would. Though there might not be one local to you, there might be one that you could mail the phone to.

The Fairphone 4 does legitimately have extensive official schematics and information for repair shops, far beyond what other manufacturers provide (at least according to Louis Rossmann in 2022). Independent repair shops should be able to do many repairs on the phone, if they are full shops capable of component-level repairs and not just focused on, for example, kit-based replacement of broken screens on popular phones. And frankly, from reading posts on this forum, for paid repairs, I think I’d generally be more comfortable having a good independent shop repair my phone than Fairphone’s support. To be fair, this might also be said of many manufacturers, whose idea of paid repairs often involve charging for major whole-board replacements.

If you’re referring to the the socket on the mainboard for the display connector, it looks like that is part P4301 in the schematics (pp. 28, 31, and 53), which is a BM24-40DS/2-0.35V(51). It appears that this is not that easily available, but that the BM24-40DS/2-0.35V(53), which Digikey suggests is equivalent, is easily and cheaply available. It’s surface mount, so it might be difficult to replace yourself, but a component-level repair shop should be able to do it easily.


But I am not talking about free warranty. I mean paid repair services. For example if the core module is defect and the device is out of warranty (or the damage is not covered by warranty like water ingress etc.) - this won’t get repaired as paid service if you don’t have a proof of purchase?

Edit: if the proof of purchase is that important, then there should be very promiment warning in the packaging or attached to the phone like this:

“WARNING! Keep your proof of purchase! If you can not proof that you are the authorized owner, repairs will not be possible, also not paid ones which are not covered by the warranty. Also keep in mind to pass your proof of purchase if you sell the phone! This is a measure against fraud and theft.”