Pine64 quality of the hardware support : the PinePhone case
#1
Hello,

I like the open projects. I like the idea to have a community around some hardware like those sold by Pine64. But when there is some troubles with the hardware, it's a big problem when there is no support.

I take the case of my PinePhone, “Community Edition: Manjaro with Convergence Package" received in November.

Some screens show a defect that progress in few months : the capacitive layer and LCD screen are no more fully bonded. The dedicated thread is : https://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?tid=13636 / 'Screen dying already?'.

The LCD screen works perfectly and has no defect. At this point, I have a vertical line of the capacitive layer that doesn't respond.

I opened a first ticket in July. A new ticket in August because there is no reply from the first. No reply at this moment.


07-10-21 : Ticket #10442 opened - (July)
I explain the problem, give the link on the thread where the picture from April to July show the degradation.
07-10-21 : Reply from the support.
A picture is asked, even if the picture is present in the thread given in the ticket : ticket not read !
07-10-21 : I send the picture.
07-12-21 : Reply from the support :
Quote:From your picture provide, you may need to replace the LCD panel. Unfortunately, as per your order#151001 warranty is expired. 
– All single board and accessories sold on the Pine Microsystems Inc. (PINE64) store are entitled to a 30 days Limited Warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.
Please refer to https://store.pine64.org/?page_id=443

However, you may contact sales at sales@pine64.org to check whether you may place order for the replacement LCD panel.

Thank you.

Regards,

support team #4...

Huh I wasn't very happy with that reply. The most important was the ticket was 'Closed'. For me this reply is like : 'We can't ignore that there is a problem with some batchs of screens and it's impossible to see it during the warranty period, but it doesn't matter, you have to pay for a new screen'.

I've asked for a better proposition : no reply from the support.



07-21-21 : Mail to 'sales' as proposed by 'support team #4'.
Because I have no reply from the support, I explain to 'sales' the situation with the ticket ID. The reply was send too at 'info@pine64.org'. So, at this moment : support team, sales and 'info' know my problem.
Can I hope some help ? No. No reply form 'support' or 'info'.

This is the reply :

Quote:Dear [...],

Product issue we will let support team to communicate with you.
Thank you!

Regards,


Pine64 team


07-29-21 : Ticket #10442 - (July)
I send the pictures of screen to show the degradation in few months. I wait a reply : nothing.
Since the 07-12-2021, there is no other activity than the mine on the ticket.
From April to July, the degradation of the screen :
               



08-03-21 : Ticket #10634 opened - (August)
I hope to have a reply, so I make a new ticket.
I propose to send the screen to diagnose it.
I make an other proposition that seems for me in the idea of a community project.
If I buy a new screen (defective ?), the additional costs are higher than 50 % of the cost of the screen.


At this moment :
  • my LCD works perfectly;
  • the capacitve layer has a vertical line unusable;
  • the delamination of the screen affect some other PinePhones.
  • I can't unlock my encrypted PinePhone;
  • there is no reply from 'support', 'sales' and 'info'.



If I've chosen a PinePhone, it is because is a 'community' project. I understand that the price is the lower as possible. I like this. If all is not perfect, I understand. In this situation I a have a hardware problem like some other people. As it's a community project, I've expected some help from Pine64. The only response from Pine64 is '30 days Limited Warranty against defects in materials and workmanship'.

Even if the PinePhone is not the best smartphone on the market, I like it  and I want to continue to participate at this project or an other. I would like to buy the keyboard.

The new PineNote is great. I have two e-readers, but the software is locked. An open source solution is what I'm waiting from years. Yes ... but if there is some troubles, the solution can't be 'You must buy an other PineNote'.

I like the support from people here. I help when I can. The community is around hardware and some support is needed on it.

I hope that someone at Pine64 could find some time to read my tickets and, maybe, propose a solution.
  Reply
#2
I've had pretty much exactly the same support situation with Pine64 as you (same screen delamination and unresponsiveness issues – though the latter was most likely due to a drop –, support responded with exactly the same words, advised to buy a new screen and closed ticket, no more answers after I asked about the situation with the screen because a new screen might show the same issues). I just ended up ordering a new screen because I need it to be working. It's too bad because with the few other inquiries I had support was always very quick and helpful with responses. Dead silence sheds a bad light. The issue is obviously known by now and even a "sorry, we really don't have any idea about the cause so far, but we're still looking into it" would have been much better than just no answers at all.
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#3
I'm not too happy with what I'm reading, especially because I have the exact same issue as you describe; I actually started the "Screen dying already?" thread you mention at the very beginning. I remember you from the thread too, actually. Making a new thread for this isn't a bad idea, hopefully it'll get more attention this way.

I said I have the exact same issue, but my interaction with PINE64 support (signed off as "support team #4" in the ticket too) had a very different outcome. After I provided photos at their request, the support representative had asked me to mail my PinePhone to them, saying their engineers would like to have a look at it. A day after it had arrived, I was told they had confirmed the issue and will ship me a PinePhone back for replacement, asking me for a shipping address. No fuss, no linking to the PINE64 store for me to buy my own replacement screen. They knew it was a Manjaro CE and they knew my order number, meaning they knew I had purchased the device back in November and that the issue had started and the ticket was submitted well past 30 days from purchase.

Would @Luke or @tllim care to comment what is going on? Why is the support team treating different people with the same issue differently?
  Reply
#4
Some troubles with the tickets service or holiday period for all team support ?

After 16 days, my second ticket #10634 is 'unassigned'   Huh
  Reply
#5
I'm 2 months into this issue and have now asked for a refund on my device. If Pine don't want to deal with their manufacturing defects then I don't want anything to do with them. For me it's now a case of step up or refund.
  Reply
#6
(10-06-2021, 10:25 AM)ridecar2 Wrote: I'm 2 months into this issue and have now asked for a refund on my device. If Pine don't want to deal with their manufacturing defects then I don't want anything to do with them. For me it's now a case of step up or refund.

You won't get far with this, after all there is just a 30 day warranty on the device. This is what we all signed up for, it's an experimental device and shortcomings should be expected. This doesn't include obvious defects of course. That's why I agree that the screen issue needs to be addressed (with the possiblity of a replacement) since it seems like a manufacturing defect which Pine64 should properly investigate and take up with their supplier. And they really need to do this (although my hopes are not high at this point). But asking for a full refund in this case (after months of usage I guess) seems unwarranted and is not something that should be expected of a non profit hardware supplier.
  Reply
#7
(10-06-2021, 11:00 AM)kqlnut Wrote:
(10-06-2021, 10:25 AM)ridecar2 Wrote: I'm 2 months into this issue and have now asked for a refund on my device. If Pine don't want to deal with their manufacturing defects then I don't want anything to do with them. For me it's now a case of step up or refund.

You won't get far with this, after all there is just a 30 day warranty on the device. This is what we all signed up for, it's an experimental device and shortcomings should be expected. This doesn't include obvious defects of course. That's why I agree that the screen issue needs to be addressed (with the possiblity of a replacement) since it seems like a manufacturing defect which Pine64 should properly investigate and take up with their supplier. And they really need to do this (although my hopes are not high at this point). But asking for a full refund in this case (after months of usage I guess) seems unwarranted and is not something that should be expected of a non profit hardware supplier.

I haven't ask for a full refund, but I don't want the alone reply 'buy an other screen'. I like understand why I a have a problem. If I am the origin of the problem buying an other screen is not a solution because I have no information from Pine64 explaining my error if it exists. If it is a hardware problem, does I have only to expect that the new screen is not defective ? If it is defective, buying again a new screen is not a good solution for me.

If it's experimental, some troubles can exist and it is normal. In an experimental work you must try to understand AND explain what's happen. In this situation, the silence of Pine64 and the management of the counter of view for my thread are a real problem.

Why no interaction with the customers ?
Why no explications ?
Why this silence ?
  Reply
#8
Pine64's "support" is utterly deplorable. Some fanboys will deny it until it bites them personally, and some will deny it even then.
  Reply


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