FP3 reboots during phone calls

Welcome to the community forum.

As this is a community forum and not the company, please let Fairphone know so they can deal with your phones and get a sense of the problem as well as the scope of it … https://support.fairphone.com/hc/en-us.

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The support answer is:

"We are sincerely sorry for the inconvenience of your reboots during calls.

Currently we are investigating this problem. To help us further, if not specified already, please provide the following information:

  1. Network provider(s)
  2. In which country are you experiencing this issue?
  3. Frequency of the issue. How often does it happen? Once a day, once a week, every phone call, etc.
  4. Does it seem connected to the use of any particular app? Only during regular phone calls, only during WhatsApp calls, only if the Maps app is open in the background, etc.

In this way we will be able to log your issue with all the information and then forward them to our product team.

Please allow us a reasonable amount of time to investigate this.
If additional details are necessary we might come back to you soon for further communication."

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Hello everyone,

I bought a Fairphone 2 (FP2). I recommended it to many relatives and friends. Then, I started experiencing random reboots during phone calls, other tasks or even when the FP2 was doing nothing. My relatives and friends too. The fact that I replaced a lot of parts of my FP2 (screen, battery, case, SIM card, microSD card) didn’t change anything. Complete factory reset and other tricks didn’t solve the problem either.

As I began receiving an increasing number of work calls on my cell, I had to make a decision: either

  1. stick to the ideals of the Fairphone company, including the protection of the environment, and continue having my phone calls and work interrupted by random reboots, or
  2. buy a Fairphone 3 (FP3)

At some point, it became a nightmare to work with the FP2. I gave up and bought the FP3, only to discover that the FP3 had the same problem of random reboots. For now, the random reboots are less frequent than on the FP2 and occur mainly during phone calls or when scrolling down a web page. But this is not normal. I can’t make a phone call without the fear of being interrupted by a random reboot.

I understand that Fairphone is a small company, that it is hard to manufacture and sell ethical electronic products. But the third generation of a smartphone brand should at least be able to make phone calls and browse the web.

I didn’t complain for years due to my full support to this project. But I’ve decided enough is enough: I will contact the Fairphone company to get replacements for both of my phones.

I’ll let you know what their answer is.

Best regards,

Swiss-fairphone

Hello everyone,

I have a first update for you about my defective FP2 and FP3. And it doesn’t look good so far.

The customer service answered but didn’t read my original message properly. They gave me solutions I already tried (and wrote about in my original message). They even gave me a solution to a problem I don’t have at all.

Everyone can make a mistake. Let’s give them a second chance. I’ll keep you updated.

Best regards,

Swiss-fairphone

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Same problem. 5+ reboots within 2 weeks, mostly during phone calls. VERY annoying issue. Why should I recommend others to buy it, when it is NOT working all the time? Why should I spend money to upgrade it, when it turns off itself out of the box? 5 more reboots and I will bring it back to the shop where I bought it, for sure. Needless to say that after such an experience there is no trust in further products of this company. Sorry, but producing something that does not work produces the BIGGER amount of electronic waste compared to WORKING products. Sorry for this post, but that’s the reality.

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Welcome to the community forum.

Sorry to contradict you, but it’s fortunately not really the reality. It is your experience, and I’m really sorry you had all these issues. But most users don’t have issues at all, or nearly none. It’s a bit a question of luck. Sometimes, some people get non-working products, but it’s bad luck, and it happens for every company.

As I just said, perhaps because this is only one bad experience, and others can be much better. People on this forum talk nearly only about their issues, so it’s not representative, and being an active member here I can confirm there aren’t 90,000 FP3 customers who complained about their issues here and asked for a solution, others will probably agree. Only a minority of customers have issues.

Ranting about it here… won’t help much. Though you are welcome to discuss calmly and try to find solutions to your issues given by other members.

I wish you good luck to solve your issues!

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Dear alex21,

I thank you for your help as an active member of this forum. Ordinary members such as myself or “chlh” depend on your hard work and dedication.

However, it doesn’t give you the right to appoint yourself judge of a subjective view by the standards of your own subjective view. Only facts confirmed by multiple sources (such as a serious, professional and independant statistical study) could, perhaps, give you the small right to state that the opposite opinion of “chlh” has stronger arguments. That is not your case in your post. For the same reason, I have asked Fairphone to give me some basic statistics (such as the number of known defective phones per 100’000 sold FP2 and FP3) in addition to my personal written complaint. It is not much and it is not an independant source, but at least, it would be a start. A start for a meaningfull talk that is based on proven facts, strict logic and respect.

“chlh” reports his personal experience about one Fairphone smartphone : he holds a very small part of reality and definitely not all of it.

I had 4 defective Fairphone smartphones out of 5 in total (belonging to me or to friends and relatives) with major defects. I am not talking about replacement parts which were defective too. Even so, I hold a very small part of reality, slightly bigger that “chlh”, but still not all of it.

You report your active forum experience. That means you hold a larger part of reality than “chlh” or myself, but a small part of reality nonetheless. Let me explain. Among customers who get a defective product, only a part of them notice or consider it as a defect. Among these customers, only a part of them complain to the manufacturer. Among these customers, only a part of them write publicly on the web. Among these customers, only a part of them write on the official Fairphone Forum. Among these customers, only a part of them can or will choose english as the language of their post. And finally, among these customers, only a part of them have had their case treated by you. This final group is your thin slice of the big pie of reality. A slice slightly larger than chlh’s or mine, but nothing to be so conclusive as you are in your post. You are using a shortcut : your logic is flawed. So you see, you are not the one that holds “The Reality” or “The Truth” or even an accurate picture of it. You just have a slightly better view than “chlh” or myself.

Therefore, you should think twice before making the following conclusive allegations contained in your post:

  • “most users don’t have issues at all, or nearly none” : you don’t know that fact conclusively, your active forum experience is not enough
  • “It’s a bit a question of luck. Sometimes, some people get non-working products, but it’s bad luck, and it happens for every company”: not a very specific or useful fact and definitely not something that will calm an angry customer/fellow forum member because his smartphone suffers from random reboots (such as “chlh”)
  • “perhaps because this is only one bad experience, and others can be much better”: I don’t think this even qualifies as a fact, it is just a hypothesis; it is even less useful than the previous allegation
  • “People on this forum talk nearly only about their issues, so it’s not representative, and being an active member here I can confirm there aren’t 90,000 FP3 customers who complained about their issues here and asked for a solution, others will probably agree. Only a minority of customers have issues”: as explained before in my previous paragraph, you are using a shortcut and your logic is flawed. You don’t know that fact conclusively because your conclusion (which could be false or true) cannot be based on the premises you exposed in your post (your active forum experience).

Let’s wait to hear from Fairphone first about their internal statistics before pointing fingers at each other.

Best regards

Swiss-fairphone

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Thanks for your lengthy post and the time you took to express this constructive feedback.

I think it is on multiple levels that this happened. I think I replied a bit impulsively, I probably did not interpret chlh’s message as frustration (which was the case), and misunderstood it as a start of a discussion with open questions, starting with an exposure of unfounded facts. And I myself answered through an exposure of unfounded facts.
I did not formulate it correctly, but my original point was telling him that although it was a part of the global reality, and it was his reality, it wasn’t “The Truth” either (nobody holds “The Truth”).
Though he is welcome to receive help, and every active member here will be glad to give him help, complaining on the forum isn’t a particularly constructive way of asking for help (I do understand his frustration, and I would be glad to help him). I am not even sure he was asking for help.
There are community guidelines and forum rules. Which means my first mistake was answering in this manner.

The way I answered results from a misunderstanding. I am glad you pointed out why my message wasn’t constructive, you are right. I will keep your feedback in mind.

Let’s stop off-topic and come back to the OP.

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Dear alex21,

Everyone makes mistakes. It happens to the best of us.

I will not talk about community guidelines and forum rules specifically (to be honest, I haven’t read them yet). But in a general way, the posts that “chlh” and you wrote both still contain some useful pieces of information (different views of reality) as well as expression of emotions, which are pieces of information too. So I think this exchange was a good thing: both in general and for the specific matter talked here (FP3 random reboots). If the Fairphone company reads forum posts occasionally , it might even help them on the technical and customer satisfaction side.

On the funny side, it confirms that you are both humans and not bots.

On the self-centered side, I love logic and helping people to understand and respect each other. It was nice.

You are right. Let’s focus back a little bit more on the core of the topic.

Best regards,

Swiss-fairphone

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That’s dangerously naive nowadays (and I could be a bot, too) :wink: .

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Hello everyone,

I have a second update for you about my defective FP2 and FP3 random reboots claim. It keeps getting worse.

It has been a week since my last e-mail (aka second chance for the Fairphone company to make things right). Now, the customer service went from not answering properly to not answering at all.

I will make one last attempt at reaching them by e-mail. After that, I am afraid I will have no choice but to take stronger steps such as submitting my case to the swiss consumer defense association (FRC), and eventually the press.

This is sad. I really believe in this company and its values. But let’s face it:

  • 4 defective smartphones out of 5 in total
  • defective replacement parts
  • no proper customer support
  • no will to be quick and transparent about hard questions (statistics about defective phones)

This “ethical” company is definitely not taking the right direction.

Best regards,

Swiss-fairphone

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You might consider to call support and talk to them, make them aware of your situation. In my experience this has helped here and there to raise the awareness of the urgency of the matter.

(And sorry if this has been suggested already somewhere - didn’t read the entire thread :expressionless: .)

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Dear amers,

I didn’t want to use my phone on top of my e-mails because Switzerland is outside the EU and still has roaming costs.

But you are right. It can’t hurt to try. I called them.

Thank you for convincing me

Best regards,

Swiss-fairphone

Dear everyone,

I have a third update about my defective FP2 and FP3 random reboots claim. There might be some little hope.

Thanks to a piece of advice by “amers”, I called them on the phone.

Fairphone finally seems to take my case seriously. The company promised an answer soon (I think the person on the phone said today or tomorrow, but I can’t remember exactly as it was a very long phone call).

It doesn’t change the fact that my case was very badly processed until now. But let’s hope that it’s over.

If it works, you will know what steps to take if that happens to you too.

Best regards,

Swiss-fairphone

Can confirm this too …

On Android 9 random reboots during calls.

On Android 10 random reboots having the device in the pocket.

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I absolutely can confirm this! Thanks Swiss-fairphone, I appreciate your statements here. This is important!

Btw. I also regularly check the Forum and I can’t confirm alex21 contradiction btw. his claims about “the reality”. What reality? The reality is that this forum is filled with customers who not even have prober phone calls without reboots etc. and are unsatisfied with customer service.

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Dear everyone,

I have a fourth update about my defective FP2 and FP3 random reboots claim. And it is very bad.

If you want to skip the explainations, you can go straight to the conclusion for my advice.

  1. Fairphone 2

The Fairphone company refuses to replace my FP2 on grounds that the manufacturing warranty has expired. I would understand that totally coming from a regular multinational company that makes non-repairable and non-durable smartphones. But the Fairphone company, on purpose:

  • manufactures and sells smartphones that can be repaired by the customer
  • manufactures and sells replacement parts to the customer
  • encourages officially the customer to find out the problem and try to fix it by himself (by buying & replacing parts if necessary)
  • sends this image of a small, ethical and transparent startup company struggling to change the electronic industry standards in social, environmental and privacy issues

That means that the user will try to read Fairphone online ressources, find the most likely cause of the defect and try to repair it. First problem, that takes time on the manufacturing warranty period. But if the first repair would works that wouldn’t be a problem : it is not long enough for the manufacturing warranty to expire. But the second problem is, after the first repair, the Fairphone product usually (not always) gets better for a while (a few months). You think it’s OK. Then, it starts malfunctioning again (same or different problem) and an other repair is needed. Again, the Fairphone product usually (not always) gets better for a while (a few months). And it goes on and on. Therefore, it is very easy for the manufacturing warranty to expire and, worse, for you to pay for countless replacement parts that were said to be the so-called solutions to your problem(s).

For example, that is how I came to replace (by paying a considerable amount of money), on a single FP2:

  • a first generation “rubber” defective FP2 case
  • a second generation “plastic” defective FP2 case
  • a defective first generation FP2 battery
  • the perfectly working SIM card that the FP2 rejected (several times)
  • the perfectly working microSD card that the FP2 rejected (several times)

Why didn’t I act as I always do with my other suppliers (complain immediately and ask for a complete replacement product or a complete refund) ? Because, for once, I was stupid enough to think that

  • given that the smartphone is made to be repaired, I had to try to repair it and not ask for a complete replacement product
  • given that the smartphone is made to be repaired, the Fairphone company wouldn’t legally trap me with the “manufacturing warranty period expiry”
  • Fairphone was an ethical company that was different from the other manufacturers
  • I shouldn’t hinder or impede this fragile project of a small, ethical and transparent startup company struggling to change the electronic industry standards by making claims I would usually automatically and immediately make against a regular multinational company
  1. Fairphone 3

The Fairphone company asked me to execute many steps to try and help them determine the cause of the random reboots on the FP3. One of the final steps was a factory reset and reinstall, a heavy and time consuming task.

The customer service didn’t read my e-mail properly, again. They didn’t bother to answer an important question (even more so after the “manufacturing warranty period expiry” legal trap on the FP2): “how long should I wait for random reboots (not) to happen after yesterday’s factory reset ?” No answer. So, again, random reboots may not happen for a while (a few months), or worse, could happen again just after the FP3 “manufacturing warranty period expiry” is reached. What would happen then ? I would be screwed again. I would have to buy parts or an entire smartphone again.

On top of that, they wrote “If the warranty for your device […] has been voided (due to user-induced damage), handling and shipping costs will be charged”. Not very nice coming from a company that officially encourages the customer to dig into the device and try repairs.

  1. Transparency

The customer service didn’t bother answering my two additionnal questions that I asked twice, one of which was: “I need to know if the FP3/FP3+ is really more reliable than the FP2, statistically speaking. Can you give me some numbers that can be compared between the FP2 and FP3/FP3+ ? Number of known defective phones per 100’000 sold phones for example ?”

Fairphone is like any other company: transparency is a marketing tool used only when it suits the company’s interest and not when hard, straight and objective questions are asked.

  1. Conclusion

Based on my experience with 5 Fairphone smartphones (and many replacement parts) so far, I can give you the following advice

4.1 do not use Fairphone products for your work or any other professional use

4.2 always have a backup spare smartphone from an other manufacturer: Fairphone may ask you to do things that will render your FP2 or FP3 unusable for some time

4.3 become a member of your national customer defense association

4.4 do not try to repair anything yourself on Fairphone products: you will lose time, money and/or manufacturing warranty (user-induced damage and/or expiry)

4.5 do not treat Fairphone differently from any other multinational company: never be fooled by the marketing image of the Fairphone company, at the slightest possible trouble

  • make and save multiple hard proofs of the problem (photos, videos, etc)
  • do not try to solve the problem by yourself, by replacement parts, etc
  • immediately write to ask for a complete replacement product
  • write and call the customer service multiple times (about every week) to get their attention
  • be very careful to check they answer your questions by straight answers (or answer at all)
  • follow all their demands to the letter quickly
  • always use letters or e-mails (or re-write everything you said on a phone call and ask for a written confirmation of everything they said)
  • make multiple copies of your exchange with the Fairphone company

4.6 be ready to submit a strong case to your national customer defense association or to a lawyer

4.7 think of anything else that could go wrong and plan for it ahead

4.8 as soon as a second company starts making repairable smartphones that cares about social, environmental and privacy issues, ditch your Fairphone product and buy this new company’s product if it looks better planed, engineered, manufactured and supported

Best regards,

Swiss-fairphone

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Dear everyone,

The content of my last e-mail:

"Dear […],

I had 4 questions.

You only answered the first one.

Pleas answer the other 3 questions.

Best regards,


[…]"

No comment.

Best regards,

Swiss-fairphone

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After my last post in this topic I miraculously didn’t had the random reboot bug during calls anymore…

But after the last two Updates to my FP3 I experienced them again today… while calling different help-hotlines which cost money every time I had to call (e.g. Hermes Delivery).

So do we have to expierence this desaster after every major update?!.. I am annoyed as hell.

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Dear Kyraler,

Do not forget to write immediately to the Fairphone company by letter or e-mail to announce that your Fairphone product is defective and that you want a complete replacement product (not just replacement parts) or a complete refund.

Otherwise, you might end up like me: you try to repair your Fairphone repeatedly, hopes that the random reboots will not happen again. Then, the manufacturing warranty period expires . After that, the Fairphone company will not give you anything for your defective repairable, durable and “long-term” smartphone.

If you are not convinced, you can get a full account of my experience: my original post and the four updates that comes after that.

The “short-term” manufacturing warranty periods in laws and contracts of european countries was a logical choice for the old, “short-term”, waste-producing and polluting economy.

In a renewable, green and “long-term” economy, where you keep objects longer, try to repair them yourself, it is not right to apply these “short-term” manufacturing warranty periods. It seems that the Fairphone company doesn’t understand that to be an ethical company you have to consider having a “long-term” legal perspective as well, including having longer manufacturing warranty periods.

They don’t seem to have a very dynamic and innovative legal team. That’s sad because dynamic legal teams can be incredible assets, speeding up innovation and reducing customer dissatisfaction at the source. In this case, it seems they are just average legal employees : doing everything the same way it has been for the last century. I know laws and contracts have to be stable and are, by nature, always late to integrate the latest changes in society. That’s OK. But here, in this so-called innovative, environmentally and socially responsible company, they seem much too late.

I hope you will have a better luck than me.

Best regards,

Swiss-fairphone

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