English

Broken products not replaced


#1

Hello everyone, I would like to know if somebody else had an experience similar to what happened to me, or may be I was particulalry unlucky.
I bought 2 Fairphones: in the first one the camera broke after few weeks from the first use, in the second one was not working from the beginning.
I asked for support and the customer service gave me a copy/paste answer redirecting to the troubleshooting section of the website, according to which I have to fix the phones by myself. I insisted but the kind of answers was the same.
Now, I share the ethic approach of Fairphone but refusing to provide assistance/replace flawed products has little to do with ethic and more with breach of customer protection laws.

Thank you for your support!


#2

You mean … https://support.fairphone.com/hc/en-us/articles/115001041206-Troubleshoot-your-Fairphone-2-issue ?

“In this troubleshooter you find the top reasons why Fairphone 2 owners ask for our support. Have a look below if that is something you can diagnose and solve yourself. If not, we’ll direct you to the option of contacting us.

According to the warranty

“Once you notify us of the defect, we will guide you through the process of returning your Fairphone 2 and/or its modules. Our technical experts will then diagnose the cause of the defect.”

Going through the troubleshooter may be part of the “process” and may give support valuable hints to ideally speed up diagnosing the defect.

I would agree there should be a way to get to your goal somehow without the online troubleshooter, but without further insight into what exactly the communication was, this looks a bit like a misunderstanding or miscommunication of some sort.

@Monica.Ciovica: Can you help?


#3

Yes - I have a similar experience. My FP2 was not what the English call “of merchantable quality” straight out of the box; i.e., in layman’s terms, it is/was crap. Since then it has got progressively worse - the phone now only works on speaker; the battery lasts maybe 2 hours and takes at least 24 hours to charge fully; the camera, which itself is pretty disappointing by camera phone standards, initially did not work, then it worked for a while (but only when the phone was super hot - it runs at up to 85 degrees celcius) but now it says I don’t have a camera; the torch stopped working, which is super-annoying when I visit the countryside where it is pitch black at night, etc. etc.

I am one more full factory reset away from accepting that my FP2 is a terrible product / bad mistake / headed for the recycling bin, and I’ll buy a refurbished second hand phone. (My wife bought a refurbished phone from Mobile Genius in the UK, and it was cheaper and better in every respect than my FP2 was when brand new … and it actually worked!)

I also find FP’s customer service to be contrary to FP’s “ethical” claims. FP’s tactics seem to be to wear down their customer until you give up.


#4

Thank you for your reply.
The troubleshooting process implied using a particular kind of screwdriver that I don’t have and I should buy…I think this is really too much to ask to a customer for a flawed product, not a product broken after years of use.

Normal people do not have the time for and are not eager to be phone technicians…


#5

Thank you Andrew, unfortunately I totally agree with every line.

What you mean to do with your Fairphone?
Throwing away 2/phones just after the purchasing is all but environmentally sustainable, while my old “unfair” phone lasted years and years


#6

Do you have #fairphoneangels near you? They can help you with unscrewing and troubleshooting.


#7

The mentioned screwdriver is a standard tool since decades, which most household already have anyway.
If not, a friendly neighbor will help you out, I am sure. You do not need any kind of phone technician skills, that in particular is the most coolest feature of the phone. It´s yours to open. No other manufacturer allows that.


#8

I really do not find anything cool in opening a phone, especially a flawed product.
I undrestand and share the view of fixing a broken product, but in my case the 2 products were flawed from the first use.

This is a fraude!


#9

It is not tragic to disassemble your phone. All you need is an PH0 screw driver and follow the video.
Don’t forget that it is module phone and not one brick.
Ask a friend who might help you.

When did this problem started? Did you drop the phone? If so, then disassembling the phone is the top solution.
Did you try another application?
If the front camera is the problematic, this is a known problem and it is application’s problem. I used the Open Camera and the problem solved.

Please describe the problem.


#10

Imagine, after following the steps @AnotherElk mentioned, you can tell the support, which module of the phone has a defect and they send only that module to you. Your benefit: You do not need to send in your whole phone, you are able to switch the one part by yourself and it is working again. You keep your phone, no need for a spare one for the repair time, and you can use it while the spare part is sended to you. The switch of the module only takes 10 min in worst case.
I really cant see anything to complain about is this unique process. It is sustainable, future orientated and shows example character for the whole industry.
This is exactly what Fairphone is known for.


#11

This does not appeal to everybody in the same way, as we can see.

This will not be resolved by our community here, this is a thing between Fairphone and the customer.

I think the normal support process seems to be laid out to provide the quickest possible solution with hopefully preventing unnecessary returns of whole phones or parts for repair or replacement.

However, this is not the easiest solution for the customer, which would be “Here’s my complaint, deal with it somehow and spare me any unnecessary involvement.”
That’s a legitimate approach from a customer’s point of view, too.
Fairphone have to deal with it somehow.


#12

In this case I need to ask: Why to buy a Fairphone, when these process is not identified as a most sustainable way by the customer?


#13

Hi Alessandra, apologies for your inconveniences. I do understand that there might have been a miscommunication with our customer support. However, indeed the first reply from their side is focused on the troubleshooting, since very often, by using it you are able to fix the phone yourself. This is what we’ve always communicated about the phone - if you can’t open it, you don’t own it.
Troubleshooting does not mean they ‘refused’ to provide assistance as you mentioned above, but that you were informed of the first step in the repair process.
Can you share with me your ticket number (via pm) so I can check with the team?
If in need of further assistance in the future, please know you can also call them at +31 20 788 4400.

Best, Monica


#14

I most certainly had no idea about the details of the support process when I bought my Fairphone 2. There might have been (and still be) other positive points about it :slight_smile: .

In the end we’re all different individuals, we’ll have to deal with that as best as we can.


#15

I totally agree with you!!
Fairphone customers are not all tech addicts and/or community members. There are many users out there, that just want a phone to use and enjoy. And if Fairphone wants to increase it’s impact, they have to sell most of its phones to such people, as they are the vast majority (in my opinion at least).
So I really appreciate, that @Monica.Ciovica has replied the way she did. :slight_smile:


#16

Yes Fairphone users are not all tech addicts. But following the instruction on the video https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Fairphone+2+Rear+Camera+Module+Replacement/54993, everyone can do this. The phone is created to be reassamled. I had the same problem as Alessandra Pallottel and was weared about the answer of the FP-Support. They want me to destroy my brand new FP2… It take me 5 Minutes (including taking photos for the support) and together with the support we identified the broken front camera module -> got a new one and changed it (only 3 minutes now…) It is really easy and if you are in fear of it just contact a Fairphone Angel close to your town.


#17

Thank you for bringing your positive example to this thread.


#18

Is sending in your phone really easier? In this case, you have to “rescue” your data and settings because it is not guaranteed that it will survive the repair. You have to go to the parcel shop to hand over your phone, and have to wait several weeks without having a smartphone.


#19

Beware of buying a refurbished second hand phone. I bought one and had constant trouble with it. The battery lasted about two hours and the sound was unreliable. When eventually FP grudgingly provided a ‘new’ battery it worked hardly any better than the earlier one. The worst of all was dire support from FP. It was almost a blessing when someone nicked the phone and I decided to buy one that works properly at about half the price. Yes I feel guilty and hope FP3 will come as a reliable product so I can return to FP before too long.


#20

Regarding the complexity of the support process on the customer’s end … yes.

People who care about this will have a data backup at this point anyway, or they either unwittingly or deliberately are set up to sync most of their data to Google (at least in Android’s case).

When the next step in a support case is sending in the phone, I would expect support to advise the customer accordingly.

Regarding the complexity of the support process on the customer’s end … this is easy.

That probably a large majority of this community including myself in the same situation would choose to just go through the troubleshooter, open the phone and disassemble and reassemble some module(s) doesn’t make sending a parcel more complicated.
And after troubleshooting you might still end up sending a parcel anyway, so you at least have to be prepared to do this anyway.

… more precisely: without having the smartphone you sent in.
How much of a bother that might be depends on the individual needs and the precautions taken in view of those needs :wink: .