Are Fairphone dead already?

:slight_smile: , good to read,
would not be the first developer team on planet that detects that self managing makes more fun and leads faster to usable results that do matter.
may I refer to this if I ever need an additional reference in discussion whit managers?

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I had my backcover quickly replaced when I send them the message that it got cracked

(sorry for previous failed quotes)

I am not convinced that the speed and efficiency of response of customer support actually lies at the top of our worries concerning Fairphone. I feel that the number of staff, their efficiency and professionalism is at the top of its class. I have myself submitted a couple tickets recently and got fast and friendly service. The real issue is that FP launched a device that is largely unstable and unreliable, triggering so many queries that Support is not able to deal with all of them in a timely manner. I used to have a FP1 which was working absolutely fine, the only feature not working at all being the GPS. When it did have issues, software updates would solve them. That’s because the hardware had already been tested, proven and used under a different brand. Then for a lot more money came the FP2 bigger, heavier, uglier, with its flurry of problems that software updates may solve but trigger other issues. A nice try at building a phone from the ground up for FP, but a lot more time and effort should have been spent in quality testing and correction- probably too nice or too lenient as well with suppliers and manufacturers…

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I had a software bricked fp2 in June. Replacement after two weeks OK. But I quickened fairphone answer with a public Twit mentioning my support number.

Since then, bricked again with an out of order screen. Phone unusable for three weeks an support request still pending… I’m using an older phone and hope fairphone will get back to me before summer ends :wink:

Let’s not have this discussion again. :tired_face:
FP2 doesn’t have any major issues that you have to accept - if you can’t find a solution for your problem and it is not being considered a software bug (meaning there is hope that an update will fix it soon) then you’ll need to contact support. That was the same with FP1, it was just produced at smaller scales so the support team could keep up more easily. With the FP1 you didn’t have to just live with a non functioning GPS either - if the #gpsguide doesn’t help then you have a hardware defect and should contact support.

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I couldn’t say it better. The real issue for fp2, is its quality. For me it boils down to two interesting features meant to get a fix it yourself phone, but not tested enough:

  1. New assembly system without ribbon connectors. I fear some electrical contact issues
  2. Casing isn’t sealed enough and I fear that after some time dust comes inside, see proximity sensor issue
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Sorry Paul but I am afraid that you are wrong on this one. I did send my FP1 to have the GPS repaired. It was sent back to me wiped and factory reset and for weeks I thought nothing had been done to it because the GPS was just as non-functional as before. I then found out that the motherboard had been replaced because the IMEI number on the device differed from the one on the box. So no, I am not just complaining without having tried to do something about it :yum:

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I didn’t suppose that you didn’t try anything, I’m just saying in general that there are things that can be done. If after a repair your GPS still doesn’t work than it seems they gave you another malfunctioning mainboard. It happens.

A post was merged into an existing topic: Support request not answered yet

I second this. There should be more openness.

Also, @Douwe: Why was your post marked as solution? There is no such thing as a solution to an open question like this.

In any case, I did get a response (even though I am not very happy with it) and I am still in a discussion. I am still worried about the state of Fairphone, but I am also still a fan. So I hope everything will be fine.

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The support manager is working on a blog post that will shed an even clearer light on the issues at Fairphone then my post. This should be online in the coming weeks.

Why my post was marked as a solution only the OP or another admin knows, I didn’t do that myself as I am not that smug :wink:

Thank you for staying a fan and believe me when I say we know we are underperforming in the support dept. and trying many different solutions to make this better.

I did that. I don’t see why an official answer from the community manager of Fairphone saying “We’re having some issues we have to work through, but no, we’re not dead.” would not count as a clarifying answer to the question “Are Fairphone dead?”.
Also marking the answer gives it more visibility and it sure is the most helpful answer to people who visit the topic because the title intrigued them.

PS: But since you’re the OP feel free to remove the mark if [don’t know how to end this sentence].

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I wonder if the support issue is based on hardware issues. Is there a manager position that can possible answer both questions? I’m not trying to nitpick here, but I’m afraid that there will be only a blog post about support and how they are going to optimize their workflow - but not about what causes the stress for the support team in the first place: phones not working correctly.

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Well, just my 2 (EUR)cents:
I’m absolutely happy with my FP2. Yes, it is big, yes it might not be the most beautiful phone on the planet (I don’t care) but I did not notice a “flurry of problems” - it works like expected for me. The quality is absolutely fine. I bought it so I can show other people that it is possible even nowadays to build electronics that is repairable and doesn’t need to be thrown away after 1 yr. And that it is even possible to build that electronics without exploiting the people in poorer countries (which are poor because of that exploitation).

Well, all I want to say is that I fully suport the idea of Fairphone. Please keep up the good work! And maybe we should be a bit more patient when a good idea needs more time…

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I totally agree with you. This topic from my perspective is about how Fairphone communicates. People still see Fairphone more as a project than a company. They want to know what’s going on.

I also think that software and hardware issues kill support right now. It’s not the 1% faulty phones, replacing 1000 broken phones is manageable. It’s people that want to know if their phone has a hard- or software bug. So they try to get it fixed early.

If you get a working FP2 you’re lucky and you don’t write about that a lot, you just pull your updates. If you get a faulty one … you end up posting in the forum. So what we see here in the forum is far from reality, but right now it’s the only source we have, so we are back to communications again. What users do here is just speculation without hard facts.

I think more than 1% of software and hardware issues make the support slow. If we would knew what was going on, helping people in the forum would get much easier.

But speculation (like what I do here right now) is what you end up with if there is no more input from the other side that just tries to avoid saying something that could make things worse. There is no hard info what problems the different releases try to fix. The Changelogs are pretty vague. The also forget to mention things like a full baseband firmware replacement.

I have no idea how to fix this, but I came here to discuss the creation and use of fair electronics. Communication is a big part of this. So why don’t we discuss this as well?

Do you have an idea how quality problems (if they exist at all) could be openly addressed without making things worse? I personally like it if a company tells me:

“We know what’s wrong, we are working on a solution. We have no official fix yet, but this is the problem … we will work with our xxx and let you know once we figured out how.”

“We found a solution. All XX with the problem YY need a new ZZ. We will send you a new ZZ so you can put it in yourself” [=Like the camera module with AF issues, but this is not official yet … same for some screen issues.]

“We found a solution. All XX with the problem YY need a software update ZZ. Please install ZZ once we have it out hopefully next week.” [=Like phones that drop calls, for sensor calibration, or for phones that tend to ruin the sim card … there is no real Changelog, so it’s hard to figure out what problems are purely software related. ]

Update/Support calculations

These are some calculations, try your own.

If only 1% of the phones are really broken (DOA) they would have to deal with 1 000 customers. Lets multiple that with the factor 10 for other questions 10 000 tickets. Lets say that each ticket needs 5 replies, that would be 50 000 “support actions” for 10 people. In an hour a person can do like 20 replies. 8 times 20, so 160 per day, 800 per working week. Let’s assume the 10 work most of the time, so 8 000 a week. Not so sure, but 8 000 from 50 000 actions per week doesn’t look too bad. So to answer most tickets in 2 to 3 months sounds reasonable.

If there are fixes for all problems and customers are happy with the answer they get. If they aren’t … ticket numbers and replies will explode (software breaks the phone again) people will ask more and more. So that’s why I assume the number of faulty hardware/hard software issues is much higher. But I guess they will publish a blog post soon.

It would also help differentiating more between software (open source), bin blobs/ODM problems/fixes and hardware issues, but this is hard to do without a good Changelog.

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Good for you if you did not have any problems. That does not mean however that others are talking rubbish when they say they did! I first heard about Fairphone in June 2013. A month later I was ordering the FP1. I also put money aside for months as soon as I heard about the FP2. As one of the first supporters of Fairphone I don’t really want to be lectured onwhat it is about or how patient I should be. But in the end it is firstly a product, and an expensive one. If the buyer of this product is not satisfied it is legitimate for them to say it. There won’t be a FP3 for me but that does’nt mean that I don’t support the concept. I just think that too much energy is put in the publicity of the concept at the expense of the quality of the end-product itself.

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Dear Bas van Abel and Team making the Fairphone!

After long time of serching and recherche I choosed to buy an new Fairphone from T-Mobile. I’m absolutely convinced of the idea and the project. For me it’s more than a phone. It’s a way to get in contact with people and tell them the story of the fairphone, discuss the actual inbalanced worldeconomics and society…

…but…

…after using the Fairphone for three weeks problems of different kind rise. As a ideologicaly convinced person I’m really dissatisfied with the phone.
It’s not only the actual easy way of ethical green based marketing! It’s not only a pot of 5€ and several ethical and ecological Project! It’s not only the trust in a community solving, sharing different problems and making marketing!

If you want to be part of the crazy capitalistic world of electronics you need to have a straight foreward phone with almost no problems - espacially depending making calls! It would be better to have less functions and higher resilience, than having a battle with the big mobile phone producers!

Otherwise Fairphone and related projects will stay hippie and nice to have, instead of getting a real alternative to reslilient phones, like an old nokia :wink:

I hope you will find the right way. I will test another week before I possibly switch phone in favor and need of secure function in every day life.

Greets from Graz,
Christian

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Hey Christian,
sorry to hear you encounter problems, but as with all electronic products, some devices have faults, and there are some bugs.
If you search the forum you will find answers how to deal with most of the bugs, about the others I’m convinced they will be solved, as so many already have been through the monthly updates.

In case you really got a Monday device or you have a faulty part, just claim it under warranty and get it fixed.

The FP2 is great working phone, I use mine since December and it has been proven as a reliable phone I use for work.
So just get your phone up to date or let it get fixed if something is broken.

Though indeed, support is unsatisfyingly slow.

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Lost my temper, patience and bought me a huawei mate 8. Nothing but trouble with fp2. At this moment no microphone when on a telephone call (should be the first amendment for a phone) .
Cover after half a year use also broke down.

thanks, but this was it for me
( fp1still working fine)