Leaving a movement

I think I need to clarify two things.

The problem with the device is not that the USB-connector is not connected to the mainboard any more. If this would be the case than I would know that this was my fault and therefore I could have done something differently to prevent this from happening.
The problem is that the coating of the connector is damaged. http://www.image-share.com/ijpg-3288-100.html I guess this is caused through attrition. But what could I have done to prevent this from happening? Not charging the device as much which results in not using the device as much which raises the question why I should have bought the device in the first place.

I am not projecting my experience with my phone onto all the other devices out there. And I am not saying that the device is bad. I am disappointed that something like this happens after 18 months to me. But that is not the cause for me writing here. The reason why I am writing is that I am really disappointed how the Fairphone company / support treats my case.


I am using one cable to charge two different FP1’s. One is still working the other one is not.

I guess we all bought the FP1 for the same reason. The reason being that products we buy should be produced under fair conditions buy a fair company. I still think that products I buy should be made under fair conditions. I would have been willing to commit to the idea of a fair phone and buy a 3rd or 4th generation Fairphone after my device brakes down after 4-5 years.
But at some point I have sacrificed enough. Paying more for a device with flaws, paying 6 months in advance, not getting the device when promised, … All this would have not prevented me from buying a second device because every beginning is hard. But if the company does not care about me as an early supporter and customer than I am not willing to care about them and support them. What if I buy a second Fairphone and also get one of the unlucky devices braking down after 18 months. The company would act like this again. I am not willing to take that risk again.


I give you my “like” not because I agree with all your arguments (I don’t) but because I can understand that you’re frustrated.

It’s just that there is not much that can be done about it. It would cost too much money to replace all the mainboards with the “weak” usb-ports. And I assume FP has already spend most of their money on “designing” the FP2. And it looks like the ODM contract with the FP1 manufacturer did not really include a good clause that could have been used for fixing this issue.

But maybe FP should leave the fixing of their Fairphones to a company that actually can solder if needed. For the rest … most people have modules now :slight_smile:


Tell me where you disagree with my arguments please. Maybe I am missing something which would make everything better.

I think you have a fair point if this has worn away through normal usage. You didn’t damage the port through carelessness, it has just slowly eroded with time.

It is also interesting that you have been charging the other phone with the same cable.Does the other phone’s port show any signs of damage? If not, any ideas why not?

I looked at your photo but couldn’t see much.

What if FP gave you a 170 euro discount on a FP2 - would you be tempted?
Good luck!

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I wrote a very long article in german to the thoughtful article "FP2 - is it a poor-quality product ? (german original: bad product) "
🇩🇪 FP2 - ein schlechtes Produkt?
( didnot want to include the german language here)

Although your case looks quite different: the cheap talk about getting rather a new FP2 while talking about repairing your FP1 is like a smoking gun … to my point of view. In germany we have 2 years of legal warranty and the attrition of a USB coating was already recognised as a problem made by design. Fair repair cannot mean to involve a professional repair company and let them make money from hopeless repair cases. it would have been fair enough before your return to give a clear statement from FP not to recommend the return.

What do we learn from this ? Fairtrade doesnot not mean fair support to end customers. In opposite we cannot have both kind of fairness. Not so small misunderstanding between FP and many frustrated customers.

Concerning sustainablity is rather influenced by quality of material and a proper chain of quality management including end quality testing for every produced phone. Compared to FP1 my FP2 will not get proned as a whole but only its modules or its internal parts. Therefor poor quality maybe still an issue for both FP1 and FP2. Real sustainability for newly produced phones can only be reached by better better quality management chain not by the modular concept alone.


I can check that, I need to get a magnifier first since it is pretty small. I’ll let you know as soon as I got one. If still working phone would not show the same signs of damage than the USB-connector in the damaged phone than it would be pretty clear that the USB-connector is of low quality.

I added a rectangle to the region that causes the failure in charging, not sure though.

No, I would not be tempted. I thought that I bought a product from a company that treats anyone in a fair way participants of the whole production process as well as costumers. I do not feel that I have been treated fair. I offered a way to get this repair done with a less effort for the company as possible (getting the device repaired by the company they do business with anyway for the hardware costs of 0.50€). The answer was that the device was not made to be repaired in that way. They are not willing to make any compromise. They do not care, if they would they would at least discuss with me and tell me why the highly experienced company the hired to check the phone is not able to repair it when other companies can do that.

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Can you tell me who recognized that the coating is a problem made by design?

I agree with your arguments. It is always better not to get one the bad devices in the first place. But I give Fairphone the credit that they are a new company and that things like quality management need time to be implemented. But if there are bad devices out there than they should take care of it.

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The FP1 is a lost cause. It was a prototype for learning on how to get “fair” minerals from a supply chain into a standard phone. It’s not the long-life phone some people thought it would be.

But just try to find a store that actually cares about fixing stuff, all the part numbers can be found in the forum. This is what you need right now. Fairphone moved on, they have enough issues with the FP2 right now … putting more resources into the FP1 will bring them down. The FP1 cannot be “saved”.


I don’t search the FP1 forum since I don’t have this phone. However I couldnot find in a day the other quoting cite that I once found in the past about issues with usb ports. So I took this quote here from @fp1_wo_sw_updates . Sorry, I know that you still search for evidents for exactly the same case from other people. Hope it’s OK. I think I should correct myself due to my missing quoting cite. It maybe not a problem by design. I cannot judge this by my own. But I guess it is rather a problem made by FPs poor-quality of material and management process. I also have to admit that I couldnot really read your given foto. It was dark and a bit unsharp to my eyes. Maybe you still have another foto from a different angle ? However I am convinced that FP has a poor-quality problem with material and quality management processes. Many customers complained from time to time about bad parts and DOAs (dead-on-arrival) . The problem behind this problem is the attitude of FP to compete with bigger smartphone producers beeing on eye level with other brands . To let us think they are on eye level with the big ones they tell us it is normal industrial standard e.g. with 1% spoilt phones. I don’t believe them. Not because they boast or swagger around but because the FP2 cannot be compared with other brands. The FP1 that can be compared with other brands e.g. the smaller brands is nothing special . But FP keep telling us it was. Yes I think I left the movement . But I am not sure that I ever really took part in this movement. Even CEO of FP made clear that even FP2 is only “half-fair” traded. But since it all costs too much for a small company they make a big thing out of it.

Oh, c’mon, it really is a big thing. Try to find other company selling a product with so aggresive market competition like a smartphone but being produced almost-full fairly. You can blame Fairphone’s communication, marketing, support, product quality, FP1 hardware or FP2 software, but not that. Be fair with them you all. It’s a hard world. Let’s make it better.


Thank you @Roboe for every single word!

Probably there are a lot of customers to which the respective prices of the FP1 or FP2 make their acquisition a serious investment. Then there was a time when one had to wait to get the ordered device and currently is a time, when support is far from being reliable.
So far for our efforts, sacrifices and achievements as customers.

And then there is people who set up a company like Fairphone with limited resources in a world of customers who have been completely convenience brainwashed.

So yeah, [quote=“Roboe, post:21, topic:20270”]
it really is a big thing


Every now and then everybody complaining - don’t get me wrong, I have had my share of tech device frustrations - should be reminded, that this complaining is about a luxury device. Even though our society develops into a direction where constant connectivity is claimed to be essential, the really essential things to most people are still stuff like drinking water, food, medicine and shelter.
And if it was not for Fairphone, the complained about device would be a lot more stained with blood and tears and sweat by people having to deal much more with those essential issues every day.


Please don’t get me wrong. I am sitting this weekend in my FP2 laboratory with 2 battery protection modules for doubling FP2 batteries in Dirks FP2 case from shapeways 3D printout cases.
Maybe it is this hardware work that made me underestimate the outsight of bright sunny future of a complete fair traded phone in the future of a brave new world :wink:

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When I underestimated the movement it seems to be fair to overrate the purchase of a luxury device. However this topic helps me to remind why I even took part in the crowd funding period.
Because I take out battery several time these days I get reminded by the “writings on the wall” inside my FP2 to almost exactly the day last year when I decided to transfer money to FP.

1 year anniversary should remind me on the goals I had in mind before joining the movement.
So here follow my 3 wishes to the smartphone-fairy from last year:

I wanted a phone that is open enough for extending hardware & software by myself. Especially one that replaces google slavery or even replaces complete android by other operating systems.

The second place matching was a revolution modular design. I am afraid that most people on the forum - not only this topic - are not aware that google failed on building their modular design called Ara.
The biggest company promising to be first flag ship for making a brave new world tried and tried more than a year and … finally failed while FP prevailed. This is david against goliath story at best. ( mission accomplished!)

Only on third place on top of demand ranking was my attitude to fair traded ressources. More challenging was my request on the payment limit about the real price label that follows the biggest effort on fair traded ressources. What are the real costs of a modern smartphone ? ( already answer given by FP therefor accomplished )

One year after - only due to my requests - I have to admit that the FP2 was worth buying it. For me these answers and the values behind this are more important still today than the quality issues about a device quality standard of year 2014 that I bought in 2015.

Having my 3 wishes fullfilled today is to me more important than to be part of a movement that overrates moral issues on a luxury device. However if my FP2 breaks down by poor quality restriction then also both leading technical goals may fall with it. This is not clear with only my own device but should be reviewed at the end of this year for all FP2s. Otherwise people who took fair traded ressource at first may still follow the movement.


I agree with that, it is a big thing to start a fair phone. And you (@anon9505190) should also acknowledge that they are open about not being at a 100% fairness.

But it is not only about fairness when it comes to the production process it is also about costumer fairness. It is ok to make mistakes, it is ok not to provide a super device right from the start as a small company. But if you make mistakes you need to clean up the mess afterwards and not blame others for you own faults.

This shows the lack of customer fairness. I did not buy a prototype, I bought a full price device. And the lack of counter arguments from any of the Fairphone officials (@Douwe, @anon90052001) substantiates my impression on not being valued.

In fact the only official statement I got was from @paulakreuzer leaving me with the feeling of being a sponger that is just fishing for free / cheap spare parts.

What is the big thing here. They have the my device, they also gave it to a company that repairs phones. All they had to do was to get a usb jack and repair it. Refusing this and telling me to buy the mainboard seems to me like they just want to make more money out of the FP1 customers.

I am trying to base my purchase decision on two things fairness and resource-efficiency independent of the kind of product I am buying. The Fairphone is way better than any other smart phone when it comes to fairness, I get that. But in terms of resource-efficiency it fails heavily. To me buying an unfair device - which lasts 4-5 years (that is my experience with mobil phones) - is as good / bad as buying two fair devices which last the same time.

So next time I need a new device I will not buy a Fairphone but instead buy an unfair device and give 5%-10% of the price to charity (projects focusing on improving the working / living conditions). I just paid the 59€ and this is the last money I am going to give to Fairphone.


Dear FrankM. The forum is the place for the community to come together and discuss. Not a place for official replies. I follow this discussion with great interest and I will reply when I feel I have something to add. So far I have nothing to add to the many arguments different people have already made. The community is very well-informed.

But let me make one thing clear: the early and continued support of Fairphone 1 buyers is very highly valued. We’re doing everything within our capabilities to support all the Fairphone 1 owners out there as with, for example, the update to Android 4.4. Sadly there are limits to what we can do, and various posters in this thread have correctly pointed them out.


I don’t know what you mean with official statement, but he is also “just” a community member, so I doubt he gave you an official statement.

I see why you you’re frustrated about the situation, and I would be as well!
Yet I have the impression that mainly it is the repair company to blame, for both, being unable to do proper repairs as well as for making the judgment that the damage is not a warranty case. Sure, it can be argued that Fairphone contracted this particular company, no doubt about it. I can also understand how a company like Fairphone depends on the judgment about warranty cases of these so called “experts”, though I don’t see why Fairphone couldn’t be more accommodating after you were telling them that you used the same charger for another FP1 without any problems, and how it is not possible to do repair work that other repair shops can do. This should clearly be sign for Fairphone to think over again what contractor they chose, although I don’t know what alternatives there are available.
After all, I am very sympathetic to your frustration about this incident, but I think that I personally would be rather mad and angry about the contractor than Fairphone itself.


In the hype of a big thing so many different achievements and expectations with FP devices are packed up partly only as promises and on top of it boasts a label written with “Fairphone”. Now just at the bottom and at the end of the chain some customers seems to be the only link that can not expect the same treatment as with any other vendor or producer. THis is another big question I wanted to avoid:
Is the customer support the hidden expense to all other achievements ? I’m afraid it is and it’s bitter because the price of the FP phones seems to be even much higher.

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You care but there is nothing to be added to this statement: [quote=“fp1_wo_sw_updates, post:19, topic:20270”]
The FP1 is a lost cause. It was a prototype for learning on how to get “fair” minerals from a supply chain into a standard phone.
Well then we do definitely have a different understanding of the term “being valued”. Why are your limits exceeded by getting the device repaired by the company that checked my device? And I do not accept the statement made by the support: “it was not made to be repaired in that way”.

It feels good that many people here do understand my reason to post here and why I am disappointed. I really do, but it is upsetting that all of you find different causes for the problem just not the company Fairphone it self. I was not able to pick a company to check my phone, it was Fairphones choice. The company tells the support the reason for the problem. The support could have come to the conclusion that this is something which is caused by poor quality and not by improper use. Maybe the company that checked the phone is even willing the repair the device but Fairphone is just more interested in making more money by selling spare parts.

You are right, my formulation was wrong there.

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Dear FrankM,

Thank you for your extensive list of issues here and taking the time to lay-out what your problems with Fairphone are. I am really sorry to hear you feel so strong and negative about what once was a movement you clearly supported.

From what I understand we failed to meet your expectations, both in product quality and the way we handle your disappointment. For this there are many reasons, but I won’t repeat them as almost all of them are listed in the various replies given in this topic. Also I feel that excuses and explanations is not what you want to hear.

Clearly we never set out to build a company to disappoint people and every time we do, we feel bad and hope there are ways to make things right again. We’ve been repairing, returning, swapping and taking Fairphones 1’s back ever since we started shipping them. And we learned a lot from this, as you can read here:

But there are times where we can not make good what is wrong.

We made the Fairphone 2 with all the lessons learned from the Fairphone 1 in mind. And at one point we have to let go of the Fairphone 1. In your case it seems that repairing was no option for our repair partner. If we are going to keep going as a company, we have to rely on our partners to make judgements for us. For example: if our transport partner returns a package as undeliverable, we are also not able to see locally if there really was no letterbox.

That does not mean we do not care about of supporters; it means that we are a real company and we are limited by resources and time in the amount of effort we can give to supporting a product and the people who bought it.

As said before, I am really sorry you feel this way and I think I can speak for our entire team if I say that we wished things were different. Sadly we can’t do anything for you in this case.