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

Pander pander at
Mon Mar 9 23:22:21 CET 2009

MarcO'Chapeau wrote:
> 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.
> Regards,
> Marc.

Marc and everyone else,

Thank you for your message, Marc. I hope a solution or communication of
any kind will follow. With logistical challenges in mind, maybe other
alternatives can rise to the occasion. Just an idea could be a major
discount on a GTA03, if that would be available soon. The discount could
be a bit less than the total price of shipping a device back and forth
and having it fixed. This would also reduce risk and being without a
device. Different variations can be thought of, sending your GTA02 back
on reception of GTA03, more accessories on a GTA03. Anyway, I think it
should be desirable that possible alternatives should be thought of,
offered and chosen individually.

We all understand OpenMoko is a small company, but OpenMoko must also
understand that the community is also partly responsible for letting it
exist. I run a company myself, one person enterprise, but also I have to
play according to the rules. Most of us will find that OpenMoko is doing
a good job and is here to stay, but please solve this issue a.s.a.p.



> 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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