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Love your phone longer: Tips from our customer support team

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Hi, I’m Johnny from Customer Support. A major part my job is being here to help when you have a problem. But my role is about much more than just solving technical glitches — it’s also about helping you understand your phone inside and out so you can make the most of this impressive little device.

[ Editor’s note: If you need help with a problem it is best to check our online troubleshooter for quick answers to common problems. Otherwise, please read on for tips from the team… ]

We hope you and your phone will be together for a long time. To keep your relationship going strong, there are many things you can do to get to know it better, take good care of it, recognize possible issues and maybe even repair it yourself. After all, it is yours to open, and yours to keep. To help you along the way, we’ve picked our top ten ways to keep your old phone going longer or make your new phone last for years to come:

  • Get to know your phone. Even if your phone is old, you’re likely to learn something new by reading the user guide! So many of the support calls we handle are for questions like what chargers will work, what headsets our community has tested, and other basics about using your phone. The Fairphone 2 and Fairphone 1 user guides are online — take five minutes and have a quick look.
  • Really get to know your phone. If you’re holding a Fairphone 2, you’re holding the world’s first modular phone! Don’t be afraid to open it up and have a look around. Remove the back cover, take the screen off… heck, get crazy and remove all the modules! It might seem a bit scary at first, but the more comfortable you are taking your phone apart, the more confident you’ll be when it’s time to repair something. Still a bit nervous to do it alone? Find a community member nearby and take the plunge together! Note: This tip is only for the Fairphone 2. Disassembling other brands of phones might void their warranty.
 
Chris, one of our forum moderators, at the 2017 community event.
  • Make a backup to keep your files safe. These days, phones are basically mini computers. And they’re packed with personal information and precious memories. But once that treasured baby picture is lost, sadly there’s nothing we can do to help recover it. Check out this article on how to back up your Fairphone 2.
  • Install those updates! Our software engineers work hard to protect you from security problems and to fix bugs on a monthly basis. Keeping your software up to date is an easy way to protect your data and correct problems you didn’t even know existed.
  • Treat your phone with care. Your phone does so much for you, so give it the love it deserves. For example, don’t sit on it, sleep on it, or step on it! Don’t leave it out in the rain or let it take a tumble down the stairs. And if you like rock climbing, bungee jumping or skateboarding, maybe take your phone out of your back pocket first.
  • Our website is here to help. We have really comprehensive online support, and work very hard to provide up-to-date solutions to the problems our customers have faced in the past. If something is going wrong, start by using our step by step troubleshooting tool. It will point you to the most relevant answers, or save time if you do have to call. Still can’t find what you need? Just get in touch.
  • The Fairphone community rocks. We have so many passionate, intelligent, and generous community members, we feel like they’re part of the team. If you have problems or questions regarding your Fairphone, you can tap into their knowledge on our community forum.
  • We’ll do our best, but we don’t have all the answers. We get a wide spectrum of support requests. Some are really easy to answer, but others come from technical ninjas with skills that far surpass our expertise. For anyone who loves code or is proud to be a geek, you’re better off visiting our open source developers website or this section of the forum — there’s lots of great work going on there.
  • Charge it up, but don’t over do it. You can’t overcharge your Fairphone — the phone will stop sipping electricity when its full, so go on and give it an overnight charge right out of the box. But do unplug the charger when it’s done to conserve energy — your charger uses electricity even when it is not plugged into a phone.
  • Repair it right. We love it when our users take full advantage of the modular design, like replacing modules or disassembling their phone for cleaning. But just be sure to do it right! Find a safe (dry!) place, a flat surface and use the right tools — usually nothing more than your hands and a Phillips screwdriver. Finally, take care when replacing the screws. You want things to be secure but not too tight. Too much pressure can damage certain components.

Bonus tip: If you can afford it, get your phone insured. A warranty only covers manufacturing defects, but insurance will help you take care of accidents, theft, or all-too-common toilet-related incidents. We don’t have any specific companies we’d like to recommend, but a quick online search or visit to our forum should give you plenty of options.

Help is on its way

Our department is proud to go above and beyond when duty calls. Legend has it that one of our colleagues made a nighttime home delivery of a new screen to a customer whose phone was unusable. We’ve also been known to resurrect a dead phone with all its data intact simply by swapping the customer’s non-standard charger. And to keep our response times in check, we sometimes organize “ticket marathons” during the weekend.

What makes us happiest is transforming anger or frustration into satisfaction. When you’re at your wit’s end, we’re ready to take your call — in English, German, Dutch or French.

But of course, we sincerely hope you never have a problem with your phone in the first place. So we hope these tips will give you peace of mind and help you make the most of your phone. Thank you for being part of the movement, and happy Fairphoning!

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