Fairphone really has to sort out its warranty support

This is my favourite one:

Why on earth do they think the battery must be replaced when it is not even a part of the testing procedure?

Because if the procedure you quoted from Fairphone Support’s email works as described it suggests that the bottom module’s USB port does work. So they conclude that the charging problem must have its cause elsewhere.

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This procedure just verifies that the phone draws current, but it does not verify if either the battery or the bottom module (or both) is/are at fault. I would not say “the battery must be replaced” but “it is recommended to replace the battery” as the next (and maybe not final) step in troubleshooting that issue.

I think it’s very good work by customer support that if they have a huge backlog they still make sure people get a reply-email after a

with a text quickly compiled of pre-written building blocks that thoroughly describe how you can troubleshoot the issue. Sure it’s impersonal and it might sound a odd if the text contains instructions for some stuff you already tried, but then again I’m pretty sure you didn’t try all of it - heck there is even stuff in there I didn’t know yet.
A support member can probably filter all unanswered requests for terms like “battery” and “charging”, then quickly scam through the emails (e.g. to see if they contain other issues as well) and in 10 minuter answer 50-100 requests that way. After that they’d probably need a 10 minutes break because their head is smoking, but still I think it’s very wise to do that. Sure most request won’t be solved that way, but some will find a solution in the troubleshooting instructions and the others will most likely at least know for sure what needs to be replaced (avoiding sending different modules back and forth).

Maybe it would be better if the email clearly stated that it is composed of building blocks and that some of it may contain stuff that the user already tried - to avoid aggravating them.

PS: Oh and I don’t think it’s really necessary to separate this discussion from this topic - which isn’t just about speed, but also quality.


Most support team member probably speak German. Some of them are German, I think, and many Dutch people also will be able to talk to you in German.

Now that it is 3 months since my first very kind support request to the producer, I totally lost faith to the idea. I am fighting since 3 months now to receive a return ticket for a totally broke FP 2. I am one of the ver first FP 2 supporters, fought with all kinds of troubles using FP 2, defended the phone to everybody showing up with troubles, paied great money for spare parts (cover, battery, microphone, new FP from a friend). And I get thanked with a joke of support from the producer. I LOST FAITH!! As I am an attorney I will have to chose further actions that I NEVER EVER thought I would do, when it comes to a company called "FAIR"phone. To help the community understand why FP lost one of its biggest supporters, please see the attached correspondence:

Sep 28, 11:19 CEST

Hi you fairphoners,
my phone now broke totally. I got along with the following issues for a long period but am unable to use my now broken FP II anymore, so really need to send it in for being repaired or exchanged. I am really sorry…

Issues I delt with for a while:

  • bluetooth broke
  • one Simcard does not work in either slot but in other phones
  • faulty microphone issue
  • recharging working in just a certain angel
  • unable to connect to certain headsets properly

New issue that makes it impossible to use the phone anymore:

Could you please be so nice and open a return ticket?

Thank you very much.

Best regards, Ronny.

Oct 7, 17:42 CEST

Dear Ronny,

First of all, we would like to apologize for not replying to your request earlier. In the pas few weeks our small support team has been overwhelmed by the amount of support requests we’ve received. And we were unable to answer as quickly as we wanted.

#1 Blue-tooth: When bluetooth is not working correctly for the customer it is recommended to first make sure the phone is completely up to date. Customers should be running the latest version of Android 6.0 we have offered.

To check if there is an update available the customer has to connect to WiFi.
When connected to WiFi open the app Updater.
It should show the latest available version. If it is already installed it says so. If not follow the instructions in the screen.
No connectivity possible
If the phone is up-to-date and the phone can still not be connected it needs to be tested with 3 different Bluetooth devices.
If it can’t connect with any of those the bluetooth adapter is defective and the core module needs to be repaired/replaced.
Start a procedure to send the phone in for repair.
The defect needs to be registered as a CONN-BLUETOOTH-DEAD for the repair technician and reporting to Fairphone.
Unstable connectivity
If the connection can be made, but the connection is not stable (and tested with three different devices) the Antenne is defective and needs to be repaired.
Start a procedure to send the phone back in for repair.
The defect needs to be registered as a CONN-BLUETOOTH for the repair technician and reporting to Fairphone.

#2 SIM issue: The problem you describe about the SIM card not connecting can have two different causes.

We would like you to try a different but new SIM card in your phone to see if this makes a difference.
Maybe you can borrow one of your family or friends. When the sim card is older than a year, we strongly recommend obtaining a new sim card right away within your contract with your provider.

If the problem is not solved with a different SIM card it can be there is a defect on the motherboard.
For this I would like to have some information from you.

Can you remove the SIM card from the phone and provide us with a picture of the SIM card readers?
Did you use a Nano SIM card with adapter in the SIM card reader?

If you can provide a picture and tell us if you use a Nano SIM card that would be very helpful for the next steps in solving the problem and providing you with a solution.

#3 Microphone Issue: First of all, please remove the bottom module from the phone and place then it back in. If you need them, we have video instructions on how to remove a module from the phone. Please be aware that you have to remove the bottom module and not the top module as is shown in the instruction video.

If the microphone still doesn’t work properly, we would like you to try the following test.
Please go to the Checkup tool (Settings > Maintenance) and click Primary microphone. Follow the on-screen instructions and perform the test. If everything is working correctly, you should be able to hear your own voice through the ear speaker while talking into the microphone.

If you can not hear yourself through the ear speaker, or if the sound is distorted, please reply to this e-mail to let us know.

On the other hand, if you can hear yourself during the test but you still experience some distortion during calls (over network or internet), something else is interfering with the microphone signal:

Your network connection might not be working correctly. Please test the phone with other SIM cards. Yours might be faulty and require replacement
Your internet connection might not be working correctly. Please test the phone with other WiFi networks
You might accidentally be blocking the microphone while talking or keeping it too far away from your mouth; try to adjust the position of the phone while calling
Something else might be interfering with the proper working conditions of your phone. Try to identify which app might be the culprit with the help of safe mode. If all else fails, a factory reset might be in order.

I will tentatively mark this ticket as solved. If your phone fails the hardware test or if you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to let me know.

#4 Recharging Issue: Since replacing your microphone will solve this issue, I will not address this issue further.

#5 Headsets Issue: This can have two different causes.
First and most common is that the headphone is not compatible with the Fairphone 2.
On our support website we have an article which gives more information about what works and what does not. You can read it here: My headphone or headset does not work correctly on my Fairphone 2.

If your own headphone doesn’t work we recommend to test it with two different ones. If all of them do not work we want to know.
In that case we will start a procedure to replace the top module.

Best regards,


Oct 7, 21:54 CEST

Dear Savvas,

thanks a lot for your answer and dont worry about the delay. But: Due to the not mentioned and worse issue I have (Screen not working, please check my message again), all your solutions will not help as I am unable to even check the fortune. I Have no chance but to send the phone in. I tried to change the screen with a friends screen, this will not help. My phone is definitly broke (also I for sure tried all your suggestions, I am not a geek but very familiar with technics).

Could you please open a return ticket?

Thank you and have a good weekend.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen

Ronny Frenzel

Oct 23, 20:58 CEST

I am getting a little bit upset due to no answer on my issue. I really need my phone fixed…

Mit freundlichen Grüßen

Ronny Frenzel

Nov 5, 17:01 CET

Dear Ronny,

Thank you for your message and for supporting Fairphone. We are sorry you are experiencing issues with your device and we will do our best to quickly help you out.

We are also sorry for the fact that we did not address this issue in our previous email. Even though you probably tried most of the following, we kindly ask you to try them again since it is very important for us to know all the details.

Please keep in mind, that for the issue that you are describing it would be very helpful to have some pictures.

The first thing we would like to ask is to remove the display module from the phone and place it back to see if the problem with this is solved.
You can find a video tutorial and other tips on our support website here: How to remove the display module from the Fairphone 2.

Second it is really important that your phone is running on the latest software, in previous updates we have solved a lot of issues with the screen which might just be solved when using the latest software version. You can find how to update on our support page here: How to update your Fairphone 2 to the latest software

If the problem is not solved with removing the display and installing the latest update we would like to look further into your case.

We have categorized the display problems in three main issues with both different information that we would need in this case:

Full / partly insensitive touch function
Display over sensitive / Ghost touches
No image / broken image

  1. Full / partly insensitive touch function:
    If a patch of your display is insensitive to touch, please test it with the Checkup tool. Go to Settings > Maintenance > Checkup > Free drawing. Try to paint on the whole screen with your finger.
    Then take a screenshot (hold the volume down button and the power button) and send it back to us through this mail conversation.
  1. Display over sensitive / Ghost touches:
    If your display is over sensitive, scrolls and/or activates apps by it self when charging, this is a known issue.
    Some chargers cause the digitiser to misbehave under some circumstances. If you have this issue, try the following steps:

Lock your screen (click on the Power button);
Disconnect your device from the charger;
Unlock your screen in order to get a normal access to your device again.

We recommend you to try different cables and chargers, or to charge your Fairphone 2 directly on your computer with a USB cable for example.

However, if your display is over sensitive, scrolls and/or activates apps by it self in any other situation, please film your Fairphone 2 behaving like this and send us the video. You can do so by using a file hosting service like wetransfer.com:

Send the file to your own email address.
Check your inbox and find the wetransfer message.
Copy the download link and send it to us by replying to this email.

  1. No image / broken image
    If you see no image or have a broken image we would like to verify this. You might see a crack, stripes, coloured pixels or it stays black. Please send us a picture to clarify if we can really help you with a new display module or that we have to take other steps.

Please let us know if you have any further questions. We look forward to your reply with the requested information if the problem is not solved.

Best regards,


Nov 14, 23:19 CET

Dear Fairphone team,

I am sorry for late reply. But I am really getting frustrated about been asked to answer questions that I allready answered in my very first inquiry (now months ago!). Again to hit your demands…

  1. Phone runs latest software (allready told you)
  2. removing display does not help (allready told you)
  3. now image/broken image (allready told you and sent you a link with exact the same issues)

I am frustrated and feel like you really might lose one of the biggest supporters and defenders. What can I tell when asked how the the phone works? I know I use my phone above average. So I know things can break once. Also I know that you are busy handling many issues of all kinds of users. But this support is not satisfying. I rely on using my phone for business purpose. If this wont work out well, I will have to buy a non fair phone that will work :frowning:

Best regards, Ronny.

PS: see attached pictures of the screen issue. Please recognize that the phone is totally broke and the fixing of one will not make it usable again so it is neccessare to exchange the phone.

Dec 17, 15:15 CET

Dear Ronny,

thank you for your reply.
We are sorry that it took us so long to answer to your contact. Since we receive a lot of request on a daily basis we can`t answer every ticket as fast as we want to.
When this happens and you didn’t receive an answer within 2-3 days, please just call us directly so we can help you right away.

We received your last information together with the pictures of the described faultiness.
We will just check for further steps internally before contacting you again.

We hope you’re experiencing a nice Christmas time.

Best regards,


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Ronny I understand your frustration. I just read your entire conversation with support and find it is a series of unfortunate events:

  1. Savvas overlooked your main problem in the first reply. This definitely shouldn’t happen.
  2. Support took a long time to reply at every step. A known but severe issue.
  3. On November 5th Savvas wrote you a very detailed eMail about troubleshooting and further documenting your issue. Arguably this is the mail you should have gotten first, more than one month earlier. And included in that mail should also be the info that calling the support team will help speed things up which they only mentioned another month later.
  4. You understandably got frustrated so instead of cooperating you just got angry:

Actually you didn’t and even if you had the latest software installed when you wrote your first message there were several updates in between. Judging by the fact that your screen didn’t work during that time you probably didn’t update. Savvas sent you a link to a guide to updating your FP2 which works even without a working screen.

As I said I completely understand your frustration, but there is a quite simple solution to your problem: Write your order number and IMEI number into your support ticket if you haven’t already and then call support with your ticket number at hand.

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Dear Paulakreuzer,

I understand and totally appreciate your effort on this issue. And I wont transport my anger to your for sure. But due to the severe multiple issues of my phone that added up over the time, a software update will not bring the phone back on line. The issues poped up one after the other and none of the updates in between did solve any. Now that finalle the screen issue made the phone unusable, it was secure time to send it in. This I do now. There is no reason for the manufacturer to put me on phone support, when he knows that the phone is broke. Sounds ironic but… well it is ironic. I send the phone in today. If the support wont work this way, I will buy a shift phone and ask everybody I know not to buy a fairphone. Like I said, I am a first hour supporter and supported above my borders, but telling me after one more month, that my pictures will be looked at now and they will come up on me in any time in the future is more than a joke.

But again: I totally appreciate your effort and help!


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The other issues have been adressed in the first reply by support and probably have nothing to do with your current issue and just because they weren’t solved by software updates (e.g. it’s possible to fix a broken bottom module with a software update) doesn’t mean your current issue won’t.
There is a chance that an update would fix your screen and then instead of having to send in the whole phone for repair you may only need to be sent a new bottom module and replace your SIM and headset.
So it’s definitely worth a try even if chances are slim.

I’m sure you know somebody else who has a phone and would lend it to you for a few minutes for such an important call. I’m not saying you have to call them, just that long waiting periods for eMail replies are a known issue and that things are usually done with one call that via eMail take many replies back and forth.

Please don’t send in the phone before Support tells you where to send it and what to print out and stick on your parcel. If your phone gets lost after you sent it on your own you won’t be able to claim any form of compensation - even if you can prove that support was unsatisfactory.

Again, I very well understand your frustration, but you’re probably just a short phone call away from getting the return-ticket, so why give up now?

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Unfortunately I would guess no support - whatever stuff you consider - works this way.
You always have to use a special return form or a RMA-no. so the addressee knows what it’s all about.

Sending your phone in without any such form might ultimately result in at least further delay.

I really feel for you and wholeheartedly understand your anger and frustration and that you feel like the phone is totally broke, yet I still have to agree with Paula, that it might be your phone can be fixed with replacing two modules.

On the other hand, I have my doubts as well and I have to agree, that a response time of one month is an absolute no-go.
I assume, you always used your service-no. as a reference, so they could place the mail easily.

And even if you might loose faith in the company, don’t loose faith in the idea as such!

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Dear Paula,

thanks again for being so positive! I sent the phone in today anyways. This is the chance for Fairphone to solve the case and make my trust come back. After three months of a not usable phone I am not really willing try out any repair adventures that will finally eat up my warranty because two years are almost over. And: Last mail to Fairphone resolved into the message, that now it will be looked at my pictures. It is not beyond possibility that the next mail could be that the support needs to buy glases to take a closer look. I dont use this word too often but thats really “ridiculous”. I planed a frame of 4 years of FP-usage to regain the plus of extra costs from the beginning. Due to all expanses I had so far this 4 years changed to 5,5 years. This support case adds another 3 months.

The phone was sent in to the manufacturer with a trackable id. Losing the package will lead to even higher costs. The support have had several chances to open a return ticket. As it did not we have to step back to the common solution suggested by law: send in and demand return.

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Of course I added the email conversation plus a letter of what I demand. I don`t know any law that would demand a return ticket.

I have set a really fair deadline.

If so, I would be happy to save some environment by having Fairphone replace these two modules.

I was really fine with 1 month as first reaction. Also I was fine with another month after questioning back. I was a little angry inside to have to wait for the third month, but ok… But telling me “we have to look at your pictures and will back on your case” after three months and after knowing that the customer is at least worried is just insane… :frowning:

Sure I did. The whole conversation was allways readable down below and has been refered to.

I sure will not… But I am really unable to support FP anymore, what really makes mit sad…

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Everyone decides how important ethical behaviour is to them. You’re comfortable with admitting that it’s less important than personal convenience, that’s your call.

Know yourself.

Of course there is not. But sending your phone in without one will result in longer waiting period for you, more work for support and therefore longer waiting periods for everybody else who will need support in the future.[quote=“Ronny_Frenzel, post:53, topic:31924”]
I was a little angry inside to have to wait for the third month, but ok… But telling me “we have to look at your pictures and will back on your case” after three months and after knowing that the customer is at least worried is just insane.

They did tell you though that they’d get back at you in a few days - which after almost 3 months of waiting doesn’t seem like an insane time-frame to me.

I would not have to buy a Fairphone for such reasons. Tell me about a different project that cares for the workers of a smartphone factory and I will donate to it.

I am really excited how many days the few days will be. The past showed it was rather a couple of weeks. Dont want to be sarcastic, but I did not lose my faith due to my own behavior.

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Do you mean you “should” not have to buy a Fairphone for such reasons?

Sorry, but to quote Donald Rumsfeld, “you go to war with the army you have”. I can’t tell you about “a different project that cares for the workers of a smartphone factory” (or the miners of the ore, or the people who live in conflict destroyed regions, or the environmental degradation caused by lack of attention to recycling…) because no such project exists.

Fairphone is the only game in town.


There is no project other than Fairphone that supports conflict free-minerals, improves working conditions of miners in Africa as well as factory workers in China, supports recycling eWaste, supports fair-trade & FLOSS software, builds a community and educates it about the issues they try to fight, etc, etc. …
If you want to support all that you can donate to all the causes Fairphone donates to and to all the NGOs Fairphone cooperates with, but even then - if you donated 530€ to all those and spent around 530€ on a different phone you probably did more damage than good compared to buying a Fairphone and you’d be about 530€ poorer.

If you say so, they should tell how much money to donate, without delivering their product at all. That would be most sustainable. Not everybody who buys a Fairphone needs one. But those who really need it should be supported adequately.


Wow, that’s crezy. They obviously send you the their internal troubleshooting guide in the first mail. Reading „the customer needs to test …“ would get me angry to. I’m pretty sure now Fairphone kind of outsources support or really puts to much pressure on the support team – or they are simply often not very careful or caring. Would make me angry to.