Everything is a problem

Fairphone2 is mine for over five months. A delusion. This FP2 has a touch screen that sometimes goes crazy and sometimes unresponsive and I can not answer the call. Often the screen disappears and turns black and then on again after a few minutes. Sometimes the phone turns off suddenly. Depart often unintentional calls. The battery does not last more than half a day. Every day a surprise. FP1 was better: had low memory and low battery but it worked.
I’m sorry
Severino Filippi
Italy

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If you have a phone where nothing seems to work, and the workarounds here in the forum didn’t help (most issue you describe have been discussed here), then I would claim a warranty case, so you get your phone fixed or replaced. In that case you will need to get in contact with Fairphone support.
With electronic devices there are unfortunately always some where the hardware malfunctions.

I agree with you, as most of time. But I think it would really help if we could answer questions like this one with a default answer. This would also help the support …

“It’s a known problem that affects phones with a certain display (see official link), please contact the help desk so that they can replace the screen.”

Like it was done with the FP1 batteries.

Right now I’m not sure if it’s a design issue with the connectors or just the screen. Is there an official answer to this that I’ve missed? Just wondering.

By the way, here is a blog entry written by the support guys … nothing new in there, but maybe interesting for you to read.

https://www.fairphone.com/2016/08/04/were-sorry-to-keep-you-waiting-an-update-from-customer-support/

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Well, I wouldn’t have found one either, so you are not alone.
I guess that for me as many others here in the forum, it became kind of a standard reply to suggest re-assembling the phone, since a couple of users reported it helped them. It also makes sense to a certain extent, but I agree with you, it would be good to know what the actual root causes are, so the community support could be better targeted.

Thanks for pointing out the blog post, such a statement was long overdue!

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Yes, but it explains nothing. It only addresses the emotional aspect of frustrated consumers that want their expensive gadgets to work. It does not sound like a project trying to engineer a working phone together with a community by being transparent. It’s exactly what I expected. Not a single reason is given why support is swamped. There are too many requests. Really? About what? I guess it’s easy to group those …

How can I trust a company to handle the reporting of fair mining right … if they are not honest with their own problems? I don’t think users will run away screaming, if they figure out that some parts of the phone have issues and need to be replaced. Stuff like that happens. And it should be covered in the contracts with the suppliers … if they have learned something from the FP1.

You cannot design something without any issues. But you can be much more open about it. Building a fair phone and to show that it is somehow possible was the whole idea. So far I have not learned much about this “building”. It all happens behind the scenes and everyone is too busy to talk about it …

I just hope for FP that the AMA will give some useful results. I hope at least some users with useful questions will show up for it.

Well it’s all right, everything’ll work out fine … Well it’s all right, remember to live and let live … Well it’s all right, the best you can do is forgive … Well it’s all right, we’re going to the end of the line. :slight_smile:

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I’d say, nobody’s perfect. If you feel Fairphone’s statement is not detailed enough about their support problems, then simply ask them (in the forum, not via support ticket ;)) about details. Maybe they didn’t bother about factual details when they had to address the driving force in this matter, which is frustration. But if they really refuse to give details about the diversity of the support requests, you may actually make up your mind as you did in your statement.

Have you watched the video about the FP1’s production in China, where they (among others) also interview the factory workers?

This video only is certainly not fully unfolding the whole “building” process, but in my opinion with that knowledge, along with their blog posts on manufacturing, it’s really harsh to say, “it all happens behind the scenes and everyone is too busy to talk about it”.

And maybe you also find something in the 38min Q&A, where the community could ask any questions about the FP2:

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@Trust. My arguments are mainly about FP’s communication. You use FPs communication to prove that my arguments are not valid. This will not work.

All I can say is: Try asking yourself. I did and also discussed/speculated about this as good as I could.

Here is my favorite picture from the Q&A session you linked.

@fp1_wo_sw_updates I had to think for a while, but with your most recent post adjustment you clearified it yourself and made me have to explain a bit in the following lines. So I tried to put it as short as possbile to not annoy any potential readers.

TL;DR:
I truely appreciate that you make up your mind, are critical but fair, and you question things and don’t simply take them as they are said. I admit that I am not as critical and questioning as you are. But I am patient and forgiving. And I sometimes understand why somebody uses “white lies” or omits information which would make things only worse.

Telling by the ticket numbers, which were massively increasing since the first FP2 devices were shipped, I’m guessing (for lack of knowing) that the modularity is a key aspect when talking FP2 problems. Nobody has ever done a modular smartphone before, so we can’t expect a startup company to do it right from the start.


Let me start by mentioning something, we as a community must never forget:
Fairphone is a private company, which - however revolutionary their goals are - at the end of the day MUST earn more money than they spend to sustain. What we will probably never be able to answer is, are they gonna stay true to their values or give in to the capitalistic reality, when it comes to such a crossroad.

I chose my nick name “Trust” for a reason. Trust is different from belief. If you don’t know whether a statement is true and you have nothing to indicate to yourself that the source of this statement is legit or trustworthy, you either believe in it or you don’t. If the source however has proven in the past, by making statements which became true or keeping promises which he/she/it made, then that’s building up trust (or mistrust, depending on the outcome).

So for me, trust is a very important thing, because it’s THE only thing I have, to make a judgement if I can’t tell the truth right away.

The “problem” we have as a community is that there is - to some extent - only one source for the actions and internal doings of Fairphone, namely Fairphone themselves. So if they tell something which is not verified by some other independent source, we can only go by what we know so far from and about Fairphone and ask ourselves whether we trust in it, believe in it, or neither.

In the past years, I have become very careful with questions like “Have you seen it?” or “Where is the proof?”, because such “KO questions” very quickly put your mind in a state in which you doubt the validity of everything you haven’t seen with your own eyes. It’s sort of the ultimate mistrust and you cannot live in a society with that mindset, because a society is based on trust. We trust in the value of money though on plain aspects it’s worthless. We trust in judges taking the law seriously, though some don’t. We trust in doctors not trying to kill us for some reason, though some do. (Side note: Mistrusting a whole group of people because of some very few bad examples is a “phobia”).

Of course you need proof to build up trust. But you shouldn’t need it everytime and everywhere, because that’s not trust, but rather control - the exact opposite. I don’t trust Fairphone for everything they say. You mentioned good examples why. I support the values though and thus the project.

Back to the topic:

You’re absolutely right with that. So think through how things would develop if Fairphone publicly states something, knowing it would make things worse? We as a community would then know what the exact problem is. Various media might report “Fairphone - a dying project” and suddenly, noone is interested in Fairphone’s products anymore, because who will maintain their product?

Now, who would benefit from that? Certainly not Fairphone. And we as a community can’t do much with that information about “why things are bad” except for communicating it. So from that perspective, I could understand that whatever company (not only Fariphone) would not publicate problems which they don’t have a solution for yet, because all that does is create uncertenty among everyone involved. That’s very counter productive.

“Hey guys, sorry, we have a major problem with […] and because of […] we are very sorry that we can’t fix this for device generation X.”

A statement like this woud be an absolutely stunning act of honesty. Unfortunately, statements on such a honesty level have alway been very rare. And that has a reason, namely honesty - as good it is - is not always the right way. Sometimes, honesty can do more harm than a lie.

Just think about the last time somebody asked you for a favor and you made up something just because you didn’t like to do it. You could have told the truth, that you simply don’t want to. But instead, you made something up to avoid being labeled “not caring” or “lazy” or even looked upon as an “ass”.

Such “white lies” are also reasonable in larger scales, e.g. if politicians, companies, countries etc. try to prevent harm which they would encounter if they told the truth. And even though I don’t appreciate this - as the one being lied to - I can understand it sometimes.

I assume they don’t do such differentiation, because it would barely make any difference. Only few people in our community would really understand the impact of certain changes if explained in computer scientific detail. That’s why in my opinion it’s most reasonable to explain it in a way that most people actually understand what’s going on.

They could of course publish the changelog in two ways: “simple” and “detailed”, but again I’m questioning the resonability of this effort, especially when we are complaining about the support being overworked.

To close the circle:
I truely appreciate that you make up your mind, are critical but fair, and you question things and don’t simply take them as they are said. I admit that I am not as critical and questioning as you are. But I am also someone who doesn’t give up one someone or something on the first bad news.

I have given second and third chances, not because I have much experiences with doing so, but because it’s my conviction that somebody has to give chances in order to spread trust in the society.

It may of course be dangerous at some point and I might get disappointed at some point. But no risk, no reward - that’s life.

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Hey @Trust, I came here to discuss things not to be right so I highly appreciate that you took your time to answer me.

For me it looks like you are slowly drifting into a digression on attachment theory. I’m sure we can also touch John Nash on the way.

To make it brief: For you it’s enough to “trust”, for me it’s currently not. I think FP could do more without loosing anything, they would gain even more trust – depending on the topic, of course, as you have already pointed out.

And Changelogs as an example are cheap. Developers do them automatically with every commitment they make. :slight_smile: Same is true for hardware issues stats. They get generate by support … how they want to “frame” it … up to FP, of course. There are many ways to do this right.

Just for you, I will use the word “honesty”. It’s not my term, but for you it might will work better.

If you look back into the past you can see how they managed the issues with the FP1. They made good decisions (“Do not promise anything”) and bad ones (“Don’t give out any information that can be seen as unfavorable for us in anyway”).

The problem is: Breaking off communication or just pretending that there is no problem anymore is a good way to destroy trust, right?

Update: Possible fixes I see are: “All clear” messages, how we solved stuff, how we found a bug, how we dealt with this, and so on. There are really many ways to do this better.

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Just what I think too!

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People call me “philosopher” and “thinktank” sometimes, but I’m far from being a social theorist, so please excuse me that I’ve never heard of the “attachment theory”. :sweat_smile: Also, I only know John Nash from the matematical part of my studies and later on the movie “A beautiful mind”. :sweat_smile:

If you have a comment like “Screen sleep timeout can be set freely instead of selecting a value from a list”, then everyone understands that, but it says nothing about the actual software changes that were made to achieve this.

Commit comments must have a quality so developers can read up what changes were made, in case they encounter a problem they can’t solve reasonably or don’t know the origin of. If such comments are made properly, they are of course very detailed. But their detail is on source code level. And unless you are familiar with the software (FPOS) or at least the programming language, you will barely understand what they mean.

That’s why I’m saying, commit comments are not useful as public changelogs and why there is a need for a translation from “developer language” into “human readable” language.

Indeed. I agree that changelogs don’t have to be less detailed just because they are “human readable”. But I’d suggest “think before acting” to avoid wasting time energy unnecessarily:

In my opinon, it would be senseful to track, how many users actually read the changelog and ask those who do, whether they’d like it to be more detailed. If a lot of them (not necessarily the majority) say “more details please”, FP should be encouraged to do so. I personally would appreciate more detailed changelogs, too. Having said that I don’t need to know every detail.

I think it’s a balancing thing between the effort to write a changelog, the feedback by the community and the necessity of certain details. I’d assume that most users only care about changes they can actually experience. Making a certain function more stable or efficient is not something you’d need in a changelog.

Of course, I wouldn’t doubt that.

  • “All clear” messages
  • what do you mean by that?
  • how we solved stuff
  • If it affect my user experience, I’d probably want to know the how. But if it’s just a fixed bug/issue, I don’t think anyone cares how it was solved.
  • how we found a bug
  • Do you really care how a bug was found? I don’t.
  • how we dealt with this
  • Good one. This is senseful if there is not THE one solution. In such case, users should know, so they can give feedback.

It has some interesting details on how people learn how to trust. I’m sure it also helps to understand the term “Social capital” and how this applies to the different social and economic constructions of things with different goals like: A “company”, a “community” and a “movement” and how the term “trust” is used and misused in those and by whom.

For the rest … I don’t want to repeat myself. I think:

  • Changelogs do enhance trust. They show that people do stuff and show what caused an issue. And that it was fixed. Not sure what you have experienced, but they are easy to do. If you do your bug tracking and management right. We are not talking about code commits for newly written code, we are talking about the commitment of fixes to known, described and debugged … bugs. (Bug ID XXX fixed by commit 1, 2, and 3).

  • This “project” is about the “making” of a fair phone. What if we see that most bugs that limit the longevity and usability of the phone are caused by issues in the bin blobs, the google mobiles services, the baseband? Or maybe (lets hope not?) by the the design? Or by Android? Or the code from Qualcomm? This is interesting stuff to learn on the way and one of the reason why this project is interesting. The plan was never to just make working hardware for plain consumers. The plan was to make the hardware better … together with the community.

  • I want to know if FP is able to debug their own hardware/software or if they are limited due to the bin blobs and other stuff. Is it contracted out? Even if they cannot talk about it, I want to know the limitations. For the reason: See above :slight_smile:

An “All clear” message tells you that a hardware/software bug was really fixed. The problem does not exist anymore. If you were hesitating to buy a FP2 because of this problem, don’t hold back, go and buy it, it’s all good now.

Oooooh, now I get what you mean! :relieved: You are talking about an issue tracking system (like JIRA or Mantis) where each issue has its own ticket with its own state and comments.

I do absolutely support that! It doesn’t necessarily have to be in a state where everyone can register and create tickets (like it is e.g. with Bohemia Interactive’s “Feedback Tracker”, as they call it), but if everyone would have read-only rights, it would definitely be a big step towards transparency.

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Just a little advertisement …

I ordered one of the first, received a dead on arrival camera and a crazy screen after a bit of time.
I gave a phonecall to the support, have been answered nicely, received a link to open a support ticket in the following hours, sent back my phone and ticket acknowledged in the following days, received a new well functioning phone in the following weeks.
I just lost the “one of the first” inscription and the original back cover color I choosed (maybe I should have written a comment in my ticket about the color), BUT I AM FULLY HAPPY WITH FAIRPHONE SUPPORT AND MY FP2!

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I just had a screen problem today. It already happened a few times before, but fixed itself after removing/replacing the battery (and therefore the back cover). Today it did not.

The symptom in my case was a black screen. If I removed the battery, replaced it, and tried to turn the phone one, it was vibrating once, as is normal during the boot process, so I suspected it was a screen connection issue.

In addition to removing the battery, what I did today was to remove the screen, check the connectors were clean (they seemed to be clean, but just in case I brushed a little bit the pins with a metalic object, and cleaned the other side with a soft cloth ; don’t know if that was necessary at all though).

Then I put the screen back, and the phone worked fine again. No more issue after a week, so I’m going to assume the problem is fixed :slight_smile:

I don’t know if it’s related, but I had a few other symptoms that happened for a few minutes and then disappeared : screen tearing (half the screen refreshing separately, making a visible vertical line when scrolling a web page for example), touch screen not responding when charging with a particular charger (doesn’t happen with another charger), and “crazy input” where the phone thinks my finger moves fast a few centimeters above its actual position and then comes back (this happened only during the first few days I used the phone, never since then). After replacing the screen, I did not observe any of these symptoms, but it’s too soon to say if theses problems are fixed since they were quite rare in the first place.

Hope this could help others having the same issues… before attempting anything else, I would suggest removing the screen, and mounting it back (don’t forget to remove the battery first).

From “everything is a problem” to "everything’s all right."
As was suggested to me by someone in the forum, i changed my SIM Card and, miracle !, with a brand new card everything goes well. I’m sorry i doubted of my Fairphone 2!
Thank you everybody!
Severino
Pontremoli
Italy

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