Issues and customer service

Hey Fairphone,

I submitted a support request (#524975) 9 days ago, as my FP3+ doesn’t charge anymore. I cannot use the phone properly as it is obviously not portable anymore because it needs to be plugged all the time.
I had NO answer at all from customer support, despite the warranty being still active.
I have been a long time supporter of the brand and the philosophy, but only now I am starting to accept that you are just a gigantic marketing fraud.

  • You keep on releasing new products, hence devoting all your ressources to help the clients that have bought the latest model. I have been experiencing that since the fairphone 2.

  • It is strictly against your leitmotiv, as spare parts of new models don’t fit on previous ones ; then when discontinuig the production for the older ones, they are not anymore repairable for life.

  • Releasing new phone models isn’t acceptable anymore as you are way past prototyping now, and you should focus on fixing issues with the current models before thinking of developping new ones.

I am so disappointed on what I used to believe to be finally a good solution in the phone industry, but I will not be baited any longer. As soon as my FP3+ dies for good, I will never buy from you again, and believe that I will let everyone know of your practices. Should have called yourself UNFAIRPHONE, you pattented liars.

Since I have to do this myself, I’ll buy a new battery, hoping it will solve my issue. If it doesn’t work, I will also replace the bottom module.
In any case, I intend to be refunded as it is still under warranty and you should be doing this.

I understand your Frustration and note with “you” FP is not adressed here but other user like you. I dont know your case, however I think the bottom modul is more often the culprit than the battery, so if I would be you, I would start with this.

In general the support has a reply time of around 5 working days, so yours is older but not that much. Often it helps to pick up the phone and call them, just have your ticket number at hand.

Hi and welcome to the forum albeit with a really nuisance of a phone and sloooow response from Fairphone.

As long as the phone doesn’t show any poor use then you will be entitled to a warranty, but this would not include refund if you decide to sort the issue yourself.

Do you have a #fairphoneangel near you that maybe able to help you try alternative battery and module etc.

Back to the now and recent efforts on your part as this is a charging issue have you tried to see if it could be the charger or the cable and have you cleaned the USP port.

When, not if, you get a response form Fairphone, you are likely to be frustrated by questions on ‘what have you done’ ‘try this’

As you indicted the phone works when plugged in it would be fair to rule out the charger, cable and bottom module to begin with and if that is the case then can you please test the battery.

Dial *#*#66#*#* then Service tests > Test Single > Battery Status Check you will almost certainly be asked to perform this when Fairphone get back to you.

Speak later

All the best

The phone started dysfunctioning after a day spent outside in a very hot weather, so it is possible that the phone had overheated even though I protected it from direct sun.
In these conditions, I think the battery may have been alterated, whereas I do not see how the bottom module could have been damaged (no dust or water inside for example, I even tried to deeply clean and dry it just in case).

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Thanks for the information. Do you happen to have a #fairphoneangel close who might be able to swap battery etc to find the issue, before you buy something?

No I have noone helping me with this issue as I stated before (I’m sorry but I cannot grasp how it has been 9 days not having a single comeback from the official support but here it takes less than 1h)
I already tested plugging with several chargers and cables, and from different power sources ; nothing worked
I bought a new battery this morning as I cannot wait any longer to have a working device !

according to this test the battery health is good ; then why is it not charging ?? what could have possibly happen to the bottom module whilst doing litteraly nothing ?

About the issue : when I plug in the phone, the charging LED lights up, but the phone doesn’t detect the charging. Over a full night of charging in plane mode, the battery only gets like 20% top of charging.
If I try to turn off the phone then plug it in, it starts an automatic boot loop where it tells me “please do not unplug, FP is charging” and it starts over continuously

It does sound like a poor connection so any of the parts, charger, cable and USP port of the phone could be suspects.

It’s done to trying alternative chargers, adapters and cleaning the USN port.

I’ll provide some links as it’s not the most conducive of jobs when all you want to do is relax and use the phone.

Links to follow

Here’s one on slow charging, as in overnight especially Although linking to one post you’d be better informed reading the whole topic -ish

Cleaning the USB Port

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Fairphone Angel are no Fairphone employees and have nothing to do with official support nor do they have access to the support system.
Fairphoneangel are user like you who offer non-profit help to others, if possible also personally, thats all.

That… isn’t how any consumer electronics market has ever worked until it is mature and almost nothing is changing on decadal timescales (and often not even then). Desktop PCs might be there, almost, but mobile phones? Not a chance. If Fairphone don’t do both new model development and (because of who they are) old model support as well they’ll go out of business, and they know it.

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I don’t agree with most points but one point I can agree with: Fairphone’s customer support is ridiculously slow and it’s been a known problem for what feels like years. In fact, I’m already waiting 16 days for a response to a ticket myself currently.

I really think Fairphone needs to step up their game on customer support because as it is now I cannot in good faith recommend the brand to anyone who is not close enough for me to be able to debug in real life too.

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I recommend you to call the support.
At the moment I also have a technical problem with my FP3+. After opening my ticket, I also waited in vain for a week for an answer. The phone call finally helped me, even though my problem is still being processed.

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I quite agree with you, but here is my point : Fairphone isn’t supposed to be the same as any other electronics brand, thus the comparison isn’t relevant in my opinion. The goal is actually the opposite : not being the same as the other mobile phone companies, but right now I feel like it’s the same. How does unveiling a new model once a year contributes to reducing the carbon footprint et material consumption of the mobile phone industry ? It just boosts the needs of industrial means for production, increases the price, the number of potential technical issues and extends the hanging time before getting help from support due to a wider variety of possible setups.
I had a FP2 years ago, and I gave up on it because Fairphone announced that it would discontinue the support and spare parts production for this model a couple years later : how is that in any way contributing to keeping the same phone for several years while upgrading only some of the parts ?

I see several people disagree with me, I know I’m being harsh on Fairphone but my personal experience until now with Fairphone is the following : I have been a customer since 5 or 6 years, and I had to send back my phone to warranty at least 4 times, had to switch defective modules at least 5 times, implying an overall cumulative time of maybe 6 months not being able to use my phone properly with the intended performances. Overall I had something like 4 or 5 different phones due to warranty replacements.
Moreover, the global service provided by fairphone has been nothing but underwhelming to me.
Meanwhile some friends of mine who have had a “conventionnal” phone have been able to keep their phone for longer than that, with cheaper price and higher performances on every point, and did not have any single issue. Hence their carbon and material footprint is way smaller than mine, which wasn’t at all what I intended.
Then I’m sorry but my fairphone experience is over now : I believed in it and thought it could make a difference, but I will not anymore be part of this.

That’s stretching the reality Fairphone release a phone every two+ years.

They have produced 4 models in ten years and I doubt there will be a new model next year so 11÷4 is 2y 9 months.

I hope you don’t think any upgrade like offering new camera modules to get an FP3+ counts.

Yes I never did go along with that notion, in fact I kept away from Fairphone since FP1 as it didn’t come with Ubuntu :slight_smile: and I thought it would be a pain to use and that support would be flaky at least.

However my daughter into human rights issues wanted one because of the Fair trade in Gold etc. and factory workers wages. I was dubious about what the quality would be like, and after eight months gave up. Meanwhile I had bought myself one.

So I have two without any problems and I’m sold on the Fair trade aspect and luckily don’t have much to do with support, which is truly laggy +

So I can see that if you have problem like you experience and Fair Trade is not the focus then yes Fairphone may not be the way to go for you.

Carbon footprint ??? Who knows what is being used in cheap manufacturing processes. The end product is not a way to measure, it’s the cheap methods that screw the environment and the people’s well being not a bit of carbon or electronic ‘waste’

All the best

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Seems you have had bad luck, I used my FP2 more than 5 years and I had to change the bottom modul and first case once after a year. Other than that I had zero major issues. On the other Hand your friends might have had good luck, I’m pretty sure when you check other OEM Forums you will find many people who have issues.

And to repeat numbers

Since the product launch of the first Fairphone (2013), just 400,000 devices have been sold. By comparison, there were already more than one billion active iPhones in 2020, and Apple wants to sell another 300 million devices this year. Fairphone made a net profit of €2.8 million in 2020 - Apple broke its own records for fiscal 2021 with a net profit of US$94.7 billion. Responsible for almost 50%: the iPhone. Samsung’s net profit increased by 51.1% to 39.91 trillion won (US$33.2 billion) in 2021.

Translated with Deepl from this article

Fairphone cannot exist without developing New devives, with support of existing models they will not earn the money they need to pay their bills and employees.

Hi Leap,

As you have tried multiple cables, my guess it’s the bottom module at fault here. There are 24 (12 mirrored (mostly)) connections on a USB C so it is possible that even though two of the 4 power pins connect okay, the CC and VBUS pins which I’ve read are responsible for charging are broken. If there has been a short, could it have damaged the mainboard? I don’t know if the bottom module protects or just passes through. Another question for FP I suppose. Anyway, if it were me, a new bottom module would be next my list to try.

Not really relevant but:
I had one cable (binned now) that will only charge my FP3 if plugged in one way round. It would light the LED up if inserted the ‘wrong’ way round though. Because of this, I assume that either not all the pins of the USB C in the FP3 are wired up, or one side is damaged perhaps even by the original faulty cable. I bought 3 new cables over a year ago and they all work whatever the orientation. One thing I have noticed it that all USB-C cables aren’t equal. Some cheaper ones really aren’t up to the job and don’t last long.

Fairphone email support is a waste of effort. Not only that, after they eventually deal with your request, you get a lip service survey asking ‘how did we do?’. I always ignore them as I don’t think that is ethical behaviour towards their staff. I hope they don’t get paid a bonus decided buy their number of 5 star ratings! What happens when a staff member tells a customer something they don’t want to hear and gets an unfair zero rating?

yvmuell is right that phone support is much better. Forget emailing them, phone them. They have always been polite and very helpful when I’ve called. Off the record I’d give every encounter (3 times?) 5 stars.

As far as FP bringing out new models go, it does seem to be a biannual event. Will there be a FP5 in September 2023 with world component shortages and cost ? Ideally (for purely selfish reasons) I think FP should have produced a FP3++ 5G with a better spec mainboard… But reality kicks in and I think it would probably be cost prohibitive to design a replacement mainboard that fits in exactly the same space with pins and contacts as they are now. Though probably possible, far cheaper to tell a designer what you want out and give them a blank canvas. Then build a phone round the board.

Good luck getting your FP3 charging again.

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