Poll: What would you do if Fairphone could not afford covering warranty repairs?

Hi fellow Fairphoners,

first of all, I don’t want to forecast any worst case scenario! I am just making up my mind about the Fairphone community and the company, due to the problems the Fairphone support is facing since the release of the FP2.

There is an alarming increase in the backlog of support requests as you could read in a respective blog post from early August '16. Fairphone had to hire more people to handle the situation. What we didn’t get to know (yet) is, how affordable this increase of support staff is and how many of the requests had to be processed as warranty repairs, because both could have a longterm negative impact on the company’s financial sustainability and thus the whole project. That’s why I asked myself the following question and would like to pass it on to you, the community.

If Fairphone stated, they could not afford any further warranty repairs and asked the community to - instead of insisting on their warranty repair - pay the necessary spare part on their own…

What would you do?

To clearify:
This poll is intended to make you think about a very hypothetical and very unlikely event. It’s intended to make you ask yourself "How far would I go to support this project?"

  • I would pay the spare part, despite my right for a warranty repair.
  • I would insist on my right for a warranty repair.
  • I don’t know (yet).
  • I consider this poll useful, but don’t want do give an opinion.
  • I consider this poll not useful and/or counter-productive.

0 voters

(I’d plead Fairphone staff to not vote here. ;))

If you have any additional input, just post below. I’m very interested to read it!

Have a nice day,

I doubt about the legality of Fairphone not covering the warranty, and that could be less favourable for them than covering it.


I don’t think they would reject anyone’s claim for warranty repairs, for the very reason of legality as you mentioned.

The question above means, “if they asked you to pay the spare part at your own expense”, not “if they required or forced you to refrain from your warranty rights”.


It’s actually the backlog that you see there, not the requests themselves.


That’s of course true. Since the backlog is caused by an increase of “new tickets per time period” while the rate of processing tickets could not keep up, I figured it would be easier to understand if I cut it down to “the number of support requests increased”.

But I updated the respective part to avoid desinformation or misunderstanding.

Have you also maybe made up your mind why this backlog increased this way ? Also, why it was not remedied over long time ? Other question : Would a company proudly present the 100.000th device if this could be not the correct amount due to many devices sent back ? If there are only few devices sent back why couldn’t support service be improved earlier ?

Yes, I have made up my mind why this backlog increased this way:

As for the second part of your post, I feel like you’re asking me in a criticizing way, but I don’t seem to get what you’re actually criticizing.

I am not saying that Fairphone is falsifying their numbes, if that is what you mean. But at the same time, just because somebody has a problem with his phone and opens a support ticket, doesn’t mean he’s giving the phone back. So neither is a support request reducing the number of sold phones.

I actually do believe that very few people are really that unhappy with their phone that they return it. At least, there are very few in the forum who are writing to do so. And I guess the forum is the first place people go to ask for help.

Since only Fairphone can read the support tickets, hence only they know the variety of the problems reported in these tickets, we as a community can only go by what we read in the forum.

Either way, I am not able to say, how many devices are sent back for repair, nor how long it takes to repair a device, because I guess this is very much dependent on the very problem and how quickly its origin can be found. All I can tell by the backlog history is that from time the first FP2s were shipped (end of 2015), the backlog started to grow noticeably.

I might of course be absolutely mistaken. Maybe the majority of tickets is come from some FP1(U) problems which occured in the same time period. But I find that rather unlikely compared to my former assumption.

Companies like Apple or Samsung would probably not do a lot of investigation, but rather just make a backup of the sent in phone, flash the backup to a new identical device and send that one back to you. But I guess that’s neither the philosophy of Fairphone, nor in their budget.

Why do you think FP would ever state they cannot afford legal warranty ? You write nobody knows about this and nobody knows about that. Do you think not knowing is a good basis for asking for more money or even renounce of legal warranty ?

Only for our fantasy: If your poll would show many people pay more money especially for neglecting support services then support staff team could be even more reduced . More people at FP would loose their job instead of more people getting new jobs as it is now happening.

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I am not making assertions based on assumption. If you however find me asserting something based on non-facts, please point me to it and I will correct that, because that’s not something I want to do.

If I don’t know something, because I simply cannot know it, I make it very clear that what I’m about to write is purely myself making up my own mind. It’s at best a thought to discuss or disprove, which ever fits your mindset.

So, with what I said above, I believe you’re misunderstanding my point. I never wrote that I think FP would ever state that. What I wrote was: [quote=“Trust, post:1, topic:21200”]
That’s why I asked myself the following question and would like to pass it on to you

The words “I asked myself” should actually indicate very clearly that I’m just speaking my mind and don’t assert that this might happen. I also made that clear in the very first line(s) of my post:

Now, for your last statement:

Ultra short answer:
If a company hires people (creates jobs) by which their balance becomes negative and which would cause the company to go bankrupt, then all employees lose their job, not only those which had been hired. That’s why I wrote “I hope you can afford this expansionin another thread.

Long answer:
Either we’re misunderstanding here or we simply disagree. Since I can’t tell which it is, let me reveal my mind palace to you:

Imagine, without any prejudice or correlation to reality, let’s just say there was a mistake in the FP2 production where a quickly degrading material was built in all FP2 and Fairphone would have to replace all these damaged FP2 modules under warranty. Let’s also assume, this wave of warranty repairs would cost the company so much money that it would mean their soon bankruptcy if nothing changes.

Now, in this hypothetical fantasy scenario, imagine, Fairphone would address to the community, explain the situation (and its causes) and ask the community for help.

Imagine, Fairphone would still repair each phone under warranty if the owner insists on his/her right. But imagine, they would kindly ask the community to pay the spare parts on their own, because otherwise the company would go bankrupt. I’m not saying this would be the only way out! I’m just building up a scenario here.

So, in this fantasy scenario, if you had the choice between insisting on your warranty repair and paying for the spare part, what would you do?

So in this scenario, people who are willing to follow Fairphone’s plea would probably purchase spare parts without contacting support, because they would already know which module is defective. But that does not at all mean that people would neglect support, because there are still the other “usual” issues, aside from what happened in this fantasy scenario.

Side note:
In another poll, 21% out of 188 Fairphoners voted that they would be willing to pay more than 20€ for an OS upgrade of their FP1. Only 9% were not willing to pay anything. (In the end, they all payed nothing.) And that’s just software. Here, in the poll of this thread, we’re talking hardware.

But that’s what this poll question is intended to make people think about. A very hypothetical and very unlikely event, yet something to ask yourself “How far would I go to support this project?”.


I think this poll is counter-productive and not very useful.
I would take over a part of the costs for a spare part, maybe even all of it. As this is my individual point of view. I rather pay for a spare part instead of keeping/dumping something useless otherwise. Usually I can afford environment-friendliness. The good thing is, I can replace all by my self in FP.
I don´t believe they started off this movement to drop-out half the way. I tend to believe they will go on and also take care of their responsibilities.
I would have never supported any other company with such a huge amount if it would operate anywhere in Germany as I have experienced most of the companies here are not trustworthy. (Ever read about VW?..)


Well, VW is not really an example for a company which attempts to make the world a better place. So I wouldn’t trust them either. :grin:

But if a company puts effort into proving that they are honest with their ideals and transparent with their product, I’d for instance rather buy my clothes from a german company called “Trigema” with the label “100% Made in Germany” than from a “big player” who’s just fighting with the other contestants for the lowest price.


Hey , I know that you are not asserting things but rather make assumptions, questionable assumptions. Also, you don’t show what your individual point of view is but rather lead it all up to the voters. I feel that you are a bit hiding behind your questionable assumptions . So I am making just one objection against your poll. If voters would give up their right of legal warranty and buy a spare part instead just because FP do s.th. hypothetic and cowardly like saying they cannot afford to repair it, the voter would give definetly the wrong answer to FP (not to you) by doing the next erratic purchase. With their hypothetic offer to help FP they would signal that it is OK to sell a defective device . This is not the way FP would understand they have to improve their broken device by repair or replace it. And I don’t think the customer helps FP this way to improve their product. And this can’t be right. Legal warranty not only protects the customer from bad prodcts. Legal warranty gives the producer the chance for improvement. If FP wouldnot get this chance they would only do their own thing without real customer involvement. Do you want this?

Now you may see that we have fundamental different point of views. But buying defictive parts is not how product evolution works in reality. And nobody can tell me that the customers are satisfied with your assumption better to renounce warranty.

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If I create a poll, I of course try to not let my personal opinion influence the voters. Having said that, I believe that asking certain question is in itself already a clue about the asking person’s opinion. This might be considered as “hiding”, but I feel I’ve stated my opinion very clearly in other sections of this forum, for instance here in the “TL;DR” part at the top. And I’ll state again that I am very positive about the idea of a modular, sustainable and fair phone and that I am willing to accept some downsides if it’s necessary to support this project.

And that’s the determining factor. Are they saying something just to save money or are they honest about it. I am forgiving and I put trust into people. But when my trust or forgiveness should be abused, I will very quickly withdraw them and I guess a lot of people in this community would do the same if they’d feel fooled. Probably those who request a refund do very much feel that way.

I agree, that would not be the right signal.

And here we get into a tricky situation. Fairphone is a small company with limited financial resources. To improve a product, you need to invest manpower, thus money, hence you need to make money. But you need to start with something to even be able to make money.

If you have a not-so-good product, it’s the power of markting/branding which makes it appear good. It’s a science in itself how to sell a product as “good” when many people involved in this product’s creation know how and where it’s definitely not good. Apple has almost perfectionized this technique. They don’t simply have customers, they have fans. And so am I a Fairphone fan.

My point is: I don’t feel as if anyone is denying the downsides of the FP devices. Some of my friends actually just regard it as an overpriced average phone, because they only see hardware and benchmarks, but not the efforts towards fairness and responsibilty, which cannot be measured in bytes, pixels or benchmarks.

I see where you’re coming from. Warranty is a measure in favor of the customers, so producers are forced to keep at least some level of quality. Because if they don’t, the producers (and not the customers) will have to pay for repairs and replacements.

Technically, I agree. Without warranty Fairphone would not be forced to interact with the customers. But that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t want to, because I believe they would still want to, because that’s the whole purpose why the company was founded. It’s a question of philosophy - whether you do something out of legal duty or out of conviction.

I agree. I’ve got to confess, I haven’t looked at it from all possible angles and I’m thankful for people like you, showing me points of view which I’d probably not get on my own. :slight_smile:

14 days have passed, and almost 40 people have participated in the poll. But the community consist of way more than just 40 people. So it would be nice if more people took part in this. :slight_smile:

-> Show me the poll

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