We indeed look at our repair statistics! Fairphone 1 is a completely different phone than Fairphone 2 (off the shelf design, not modulair, etc.) but of course there is still a lot to learn. Since having a repair center in the Netherlands is expensive (Dutch labour costs…) you want to make to make sure that when a phone is sent to our repair center, it really needs to go there.
When we just started out, end '13/early '14, we were a lot less skilled and experienced in this process. That is why with a group of people we decided we wanted to keep repair statistics in order to minimise costs as much as possible. Information we track is obviously what is broken (display, motherboard, battery), if the repair is in- or out of warranty, the full resolution time (how long does it take to get the phone from customer and back?). With this data we hope to have improved customer satisfaction.
We are in constant communication with our factory in China, of course they are very interested to know what goes wrong with the product. Earlier this year we have made a big improvement on our production line with such information, making sure production processes were performed in a way less prone to factory faults.
Currently we are focusing our support on the hardware and the stock Fairphone Android as this is being used by 98% of our users.
In the next website we will start making room for more community generated content and we already started encouraging community members to help writing these kind of articles so we can include them in our official support.
Hey, not sure if I really understand you! Are you referring to sent-in repairs that are out of warranty? In 90% of the cases we are dealing with either waterdamage or with broken displays. If the damage is in-warranty, so a factory fault, we try to avoid sending in by replacing the corresponding modules. However, sometimes we still have to research in-warranty cases at our repair center. We usually do this when we can’t figure out from a distance what the problem is. Sometimes you need to thoroughly test a phone to find out! For example, the communication between modules can be the problem, which can be harder to locate through calling or email.
Hi Rifraff! What I heard around here is that the (now) planned release date is the 24th of August. I’m not sure from the top of my head if we included the patches for that vulnerability in it, but if it was released in the monthly security patch from Google, you can be pretty sure it will be in ours as well. Otherwise, it will be in next months update.
I guess you can guess my follow up question: Does support also keep statistics?
I feel that there is an “information tracking” gap between all the tickets that come in … and the ones that end up in the repair center (I thought you did this in house, by the way …).
So do you also try to tag and analyse these? It would help to find out the problems that need official articles, software updates or other help fast. Sharing those stats with the community could also help, because there is no public bug tracker right now.
Continuing the twrp topic, so you know whether it’s planned to upgrade to a newer version of twrp? Something in the 3.x range? Because people with encrypted devices would need a recent version (if description is supported at all, send quite difficult in recovery)
Edit:send -> seems
Yes, of course we keep statistics as well. Otherwise we would be completely lost! Our main (communication) system is Zendesk, which is connected to our order system, financial system, shipping, etc. Zendesk has an datacenter called Insight, which is vital to our functioning.
Regarding the information tracking gap - it would be great if we can in the future separate the repair tickets from the ‘other’ tickets. The nature of a repair ticket is very different from any other ticket (mainly the resolution time is different) which skews the data which we use. That is why it would be great to make that separation, unfortunately our current set up does not allow it. Maybe in the near future, this is a project to come! Regarding the data which we have in our system, we are continuously working to get a better oversight of what our tickets consist of. We can this way indeed make much better assessments of the kind of support material, macro’s ( = templates) and tutorials we need, and therefore reduce the amount of tickets created in the first place.
We don’t do our repairs in house, but we have a very trusty repair center with whom we have a very good relationship. Their main business is repairing Fairphones, and the knowledge and experience they’ve built up over the last years is staggering.
regarding customer support for the software part, do you plan to provide something like Bugzilla or Mantis in order to have better tracking of bugs (and better to distinguish even between FP OS and FP open OS issues)? I see lots of duplicate topics on the forum because novice users don’t use the search button and ask always the same things
Thank you very much!
If a phone goes to our repair center and we are not sure why it is malfunctioning, there is a possibility of in or out of warranty. So that is how you can find that there is a factory fault, and therefore an in-warranty return. Not every factory fault can be spotted from a distance by one of our agents. Some faults have to be ‘found’ by one of our technicians in the repair center. Or, you find out that the phone has been swimming in river, and the repair will need to be an out-of-warranty one…
Another reason for an in-warranty return would be what we call a cool-off: a customer may return his or her phone within 14 days after receiving it for a refund. But in this case we don’t send it to our repair center, but to the distribution center, where the phone can start a new life as a refurbished phone.
Hi Michiel, thanks for taking your time for this AMA and also thanks to your team for the great work they do!
I think it is quite obvious to everyone that the backlog that accumulated was quite frustrating for many users. It made me wonder, how could that have happened? Why do you think was it nor foreseeable that there would be so many additional support requests that Fairphone seemed to be surprised, or at least hasn’t been able to cover this amount of requests. Or what do you think has triggered this seemingly unforeseeable flood of requests?
For some users here it left the impression that FP2 is a bad product, since apparently the support team got overwhelmed by requests.
Hey DjDas! I’m sure the mods on this forum will agree on the duplicate topics frustration Unfortunately this is something I don’t know. I see quite some questions on our software and the plans we have, so I will concur with @Douwe to see if we can get a member of that team in an AMA soon… Would be nice though!
Hey! First of all, let me state that as customer support manager here at Fairphone I of course am responsible for the wellbeing of this part of the company, and that it has deeply pained me to see all the frustrated people who should have received better support. Why did it go wrong? I think that there is not one reason that this has happened, but multiple.
Although we were prepared for a spike in the amount of tickets that was going to happen at the launch of FP2, we were not prepared for the huge amount of tickets that came in from January (launch FP2) onwards. Not because FP2 is a bad product, but the modularity, the reverse logistics coming with the modularity and the complexity of our systems and processes overall made it difficult to keep up. And I kid you not, the flu wave which hit our team and left us bleeded out for a long time really hurt us as well! You can read more about it in the blog I published last week. (although I’m pretty sure you read it)
What is most important is that after we have cleared this backlog - we are on our way now - we don’t let this happen again. And believe me, we have now taken measures which makes me confident that this won’t happen again. Already having nightmares for the Fairphone 3 launch…
Hey Emmy! Me and @anon48893843 enjoyed this a great deal and I think this is a nice thing to do again with other team members.
We are now going to eat our cold pizza and drink our warm beer as we missed that opportunity during the AMA
Thank you for being part of this first AMA and we hope that it brought you the answers you were hoping for. If you want to share with us what went well and what could be better, please go to the AMA topic here.
I now close this topic as the first AMA has come to an end!
Thank you all for joining us tonight and have a good evening (if it is evening where you are)