Starting to lose trust in fairphone (not as bad as it sounds thanks to the awesome community here)

Hi everyone,

this post is a combination of a rant and thinking out loud in the hope that you, the fairphone community, can restore my trust and hope in fairphone.

For context: I used the FP2 briefly but could not stay with it, since I use my phone extensively for my work. I use a FP3 for the last 4 months as my one and only phone and was satisfied with it until the often discussed call bug - I can only make calls using a wired headset - hit my phone.

Since then I am in contact with the fairphone support - I believe for close to three weeks now- and got the validation, that yes, fairphone knows about this problem and yes, it is widespread, but no, they don’t have solution (yet?) and no, they don’t communicate it officially.

It is the last part that’s really starting to kill my enthusiasm for fairphone, even if I love the idea. When a company rolls out updates that damages part of the product, I expect clear and open communication. Since I only got the information above by contacting the support, and after a lengthy and heated mail discussion, I ask myself if I can trust fairphone in regards to their future commitments.

Please change my mind, I do want to support the idea, but the practices of the company do make it difficult for me.

P.S.: I apologize for typing or spelling errors.



first of all: I feel you. Fairphone is clearly lacking a lot of professional processes.

They still have my sympathy, and I tend to see them as a project for the greater good that deserves my support.

But I would not choose a Fairphone as the main the device which I use for business. Here I would probably choose from the devices that Google officially recommends for such a use case.

Just my personal two cents on this.

Best wishes,


Hi Thomas,

I hoped that the FP3 would be ready for prime time plus I am testing the FP3 to see if it is feasible for the business for my healthcare clients. Sadly it is not.

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What is wrong with the calls ? It is not mentioned in your text.

I don’t want to defend Fairphone that released a buggy software but what do you expect since somebody else than you with an FP3 can have a perfectly working phone? They know some people have a problem and are looking for a solution before communicating or better releasing a better software.

The problem with calls is right there in my post.

To your question: I expect fairphone to offer a solution for the problem and communicate openly that there is a widespread problem. You find a lot of similar problem reports in the forum.

I only got the statement, that they know about the problem and are working on it, after I soecifically asked for it 4 to 5 times in my conversation with the support team. That is not the way a company should communicate such problems professionally.

As someone who has had zero problems with her FP3 in almost a year of owning one, I suspect there are more happy customers than unhappy ones. It’s just that the happy ones don’t join a community forum to broadcast their satisfaction. I don’t see any reason for Fairphone to make some sort of statement about an issue that is not affecting all users and is most likely affecting a minority of users. I think such statements are generally reserved for hazardous situations, or have we all forgotten the Samsung’s recall of randomly exploding devices?

I contacted support by phone yesterday because I had decided to return the new modules after the underwhelming reviews and a financial setback, and got hold of an employee immediately who instructed me quite clearly on how to return the modules. After reading some of the experiences here, this was a pleasant surprise. The only comment I’d possibly have is for a Dutch company with a Dutch phone number to offer the option of Dutch customer support, but as an English teacher I wasn’t particularly bothered by having to speak English.


Thanks for your positive comment. I get that that primarily unsatisfied customers vent their frustration - I work in communication myself - but the call issue seems to be, to quote the support, “affecting a larger number of people than we thougth”.

If that is the case it would warrant an official statement in my opinion. Transparent and active communication would go a long way in building customer relationships.

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That’s pretty similar to my experience with the customer support. I ordered the new modules and decided to cancel my order after the delivery delay because I had read the not too positive feedback regarding the modules here in the forum. FP returned my money within the next two days.


I do really feel for you as well.
Still, you can’t expect any company, that plans to stay in business, to communicate all kinds of troubles.
That it affects more people, than they expected is a rather vague statement, that depends on their expectations. My bet would be, that - out of your understandable frustration - you have a way higher number in mind, than Fairphone does.
What would be your threshold for a need to communicate? Hazardous stuff like exploding batteries for sure, but what percentage of faulty phones; 5, 10, 25, 33, 50 or another??
Let’s guess, that 5% of the phones have got the problem (which, I guess, will be more, than they would expect). Doing a report on this would mean, that for every user facing or going to the problem they would also alert 19 others, that will never have those troubles but might get wary using the phone and starting to look for troubles.

And this will worsen, the more problems are communicated.
Therefore, in my very own opinion, I really doubt that active communication will help establishing good customer relationships in any case. They will have to be limited to severe or special cases. I have no idea, if that applies to these troubles, since I haven’t enough facts to judge it (_and, to be honest, I don’t have enough expertise to do it, even if I knew the facts:).


I am with you that they should not communicate every problem and blow it out of proportion. But a simple statement in a newsletter “a few customers experience call problems, if this affects you, please get in touch” would be enough to show proactive communication - which is good business practice in my opinion and experience. Even Samsung does this (if you are registered in their newsletter or member hub).

I am not advocating for unreasonable, frontpage statements but for professionall communication in the established channels with existing customers. Or they could, a crazy thougth, post a thread in this Community forum and use it as way to reach out.

I am well aware that my personal experience makes this issue more important to me than it probably is in the grand picture for fairphone, but this issue is not the only one after the android 10 update and fairphones communication - thou getting better - is far below the standard level in the industry.


I think so, too. But the important question is: is this experience enough for you to consider giving up on FP? I personally would do so if they’d seem to ignore the criticism and would not learn from their mistakes. That would mean stagnation rather than improvement.


That’s the question I am wrestling with and why I started this thread - to hear other fairphone users experiences and points of view. I fundamentally support the IDEA of fairphone. Now I am trying to decide if I can support the execution as well.


A phone should do what everyone expects from a phone. If even the most basic and most important thing does not work, which is talking to other people (excluding WiFi calls), I would not wait any longer and get another phone. I am thinking of a good friend of mine who sits in a wheelchair. He already had to call the ambulance several times because of his bad condition. This is a very, very serious task to be executed by a phone! If it does not fulfill that task, somebody could DIE!


Interesting point. For me it’s rather unimportant that doing normal calls works. Although I agree of course that I would expect being able to do so with a phone. :slight_smile:


What will you do in case of emergency when the normal calls do not work?

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It might sound strange nowadays, but I leave the house quite often without a phone at all (completely crazy eh? Is that possible? :wink: ). I guess I would do what people did in earlier times: Ask others for help. Not a big deal since I am (unfortunately) almost never alone here.


What an alien concept. Can you write a detailed How-To :slight_smile: ?

But it doesn’t take away from the justified expectation that a phone (or any product for that matter) shouldn’t be faulty.
Getting from “You’re using it wrong!” to “You’re using it!” as a justification for a fault will not help much, although I personally kind of like it, but it’s not everybody’s humour :slight_smile: .


Haha, sure! Please don’t get me wrong: I understand that people are upset about that and of course Fairphone has to fix it, especially since it is really a basic feature, nothing fancy.
I am just trying to look at things also from other - maybe uncommon - angels, because I realize for myself regularly that it gives you amazing new insights and these three words “what everyone expects” from @DeepSea triggered that reflex I guess :slight_smile:


I totally understand and to be honest could theoretically live with the problem. BUT I am also testing FP3 regarding use as a business device for health care workers. And whatever I personally think: They have to able to make calls without headsets or rather in any form the coose to. In other words: They need reliable devices. So far, fairphone 3 does not fit the bill. Honestly I am sad about it :frowning:

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As long as those others don’t have a FP3 and are not affected by that call issue this approach seems reasonable :wink:
Seriously: It may not be the most often used feature of a smartphone but I would definitely consider it one of the most important ones. Maybe it can be compared with the emergency brake in the train: I rarely use it (never did until now actually), so should I care if it works or not?

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