AW: Freerunner GSM Buzz fix, warranty and hopes...

MarcO'Chapeau marco at
Mon Mar 9 22:54:06 CET 2009

Hi folks,

I just received this reply from TRIsoft. They asked me to forward it to the
community, so there goes.

I would like to thank TRIsoft for this crystal clear reply. 

While I understand the position OM is in, the difficulties for a rather
small company to handle so much and the community aspect that make Openmoko
so unique, I do not always understand the silence. I was surprised to see
that TRIsoft shares a similar feeling. I would have expected OM to at least
talk a little more to the distributors.

My only hope is that this message helps to shift the debate to finding
ideas of logistical solutions, and that eventually we hear from Openmoko,
even if it is to admit that they don't know what to do yet.


On Mon, 9 Mar 2009 21:38:37 +0100, "TRIsoft" <info at> wrote:
> Marc,
> after trying to access the mailing list via the nabble
> interface, we finally gave up. Please be so kind and
> post this reply also in the community mailing list.
>> It is not my first time asking this both on the lists 
>> and to Trisoft. It won't be the last I fear...
> Sorry, but this left us a bit confused. The last email
> from you was in July 2008. We had no report from you,
> that you're affected by the buzz problem.
>> -- snipped questions about how to and what's the status --
> The main problem for all resellers is, that we don't have
> access to any more information than you do.
> Under normal circumstances the procedure for a rework is
> plain and easy:
> - Manufacturer notices a problem
> - Procedure to solve the problem will be found and tested
> - Procedure will be announced officially to the resellers
> - Depending on the kind of failure (f.e. safety critic) all
>   units will be reworked or just "if customer reports".
> Unfortunately Openmoko is not the usual kind of manufacturer.
> The situation for all resellers (and for us) looks as follows:
> We have a small number of people (less than 10) who reported
> that the buzz problem is an issue for them.
> Joerg posted on the list since at least November about the buzz
> fix and also put the SOP-PDF in his personal webfolder. But this
> fix is in no way "official".
> Why is "official" so important? Simple: If you start reworking
> units, you'll always fry some. Also if a fix is not thoroughly
> tested, you'll maybe damage another section while fixing the
> reported problem. To make sure that this won't happen is the 
> job of the manufacturer. Usually they have some "quality and
> reliability department" taking care of this kind of stuff.
>> I am more and more thinking that warranty at Openmoko is a 
>> do-it-yourself concept... While I am not a lawyer I would 
>> think a do-it-yourself warranty is no warranty, and we are 
>> meant to have one... This is not just ranting.
>> Legally, I would say Openmoko would be troubled if some 
>> consumer association started asking questions.
> Offering an RoHS compliant rework on SMD parts as a "do it yourself"
> solution is in no way possible. 
>> Same goes for Trisoft, which remain unusually silent when I 
>> ask this kind of question without being public about it.
> Can't be. Every customer who askied us about the buzz fix, got 
> exactly the same information we're now posting.
>> Now that everybody is in CC, let's get some answers.
> Ok, now we reach the really ugly point: Communication.
> To get an answer from some Openmoko official, you should post
> something like "Hey, i painted my coffee mug in OM colors" or
> "I ported the 27th version of Tetris on my FreeRunner".
> Openmoko is for sure the most community oriented company we ever
> got in touch with. But unfortunately they lack everything that
> you're used to get whily working with a manufacturer.
> For example: For every other company you'll have a "who to
> call, which butt to kick list". Name and contact for the 
> various departments (purchasing, sales, accounting, logistics,
> spare parts, service...). Don't expect, that such a thing
> exists for Openmoko.
> So all we can do is shoot emails into the deep space of
> Openmoko and see, who answers. With luck, there's a sig under
> the name, so you don't need to guess if the answer is from the
> "support" or "vice president of room cleaning".
> Don't get us wrong, we love the idea and the approach Openmoko
> made and still fully support it. But the lack of professionality
> in some cases is ruining the fun.
> Back to the buzz topic. What have we done?
> Since early January we had a lot of chit chat with Steve and
> other folks at OM regarding how to go ahead with the buzz.
> Answers were "we need to test the SOP to finalize it and we
> don't have a plan how to manage a rework". We offered a plan
> for a (if neccessary) EU wide rework including all handling,
> rework, shipping back to the customers... - silence.
> After some more forth and back the final quote is:
> "It's very tough work for a small team of folks who have never 
> managed this before. So please bear with us."
> Sweet. It's ok, if you don't have an idea how to solve such
> a thing properly. But here (and in some other cases) solutions
> and advises from people with manufacturing experience are
> ignored.
> So, we're in the middle of you all. We can't help our customers
> because there's no "this is the fix, do it" from Openmoko 
> available. On the other hand all ideas and suggestions to 
> Openmoko result in kinda "Oh, that's interesting, thanks" and
> continuing silence.
> Sorry that we took the answer to your post as an opportunity
> to vent some pressure and frustration, but it's time to wake
> up some of the sleeping guys at OM.
> Ok, community, let's shout out loud into direction of the 
> OM officials (whoever these actually are: You claim to be a
> company and a manufacturer. Try to act like one. Trusting that
> the community will solve it by itself or trying to pray the
> issues away will definitely work not!
> ///TRIsoft
> Marc Stephan
> __________________________________
> ///TRIsoft  Fischer & Stephan OHG
> Lwenberger Str.4  30966 Hemmingen
> Amtsgericht Hannover HRA 25165
> Telefon : 0800-TRIsoft (0800-8747638)
>           gebhrenfrei
> Telefax : 0511 94294-99
> E-Mail  : info at
> internet:
> __________________________________

Marc-Olivier Barre.
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