Framework support exploited my limited time and misdirected enthusiasm
Framework appears to knowingly violate implied warranty law.
Framework lost my trust and support at this time, but has a path to make things right.
This is unrelated to the Framework 16 roll out.
Screenshots are also attached on the Reddit post with the same title.
Recently the F4 keycap on my Framework 13 split in two with no discernible cause. On a laptop that is less that two years old, this seemed to be an defect with quality control or design. I submitted a photo to support requesting a replacement, fully confident that Framework would respond with integrity.
Framework support responded several times asking for photos. Each email requested photos that were increasingly irrelevant to my ticket. I happily responded to all emails with the requested photos and answers to whatever questions they had. After nearly two weeks and several emails, I asked for an explanation as the requests seemed completely irrelevant to my ticket. Support acknowledged that “the F4 key caps split issue has nothing to do with the connectors on the input cover” and that I would need to purchase a replacement keyboard or input cover since the laptop is out of warranty.
It’s clear that Framework had no intention of providing support, but nonetheless withheld this information for nearly two weeks while they repeatedly benefited from my time and information. I would have been more than happy to help if stood by their product, and may have considered helping if they were transparent about their intentions. Framework instead appeared to opportunistically exploit one of their most vocally-enthusiastic customers.
as Framework collected my state’s sales tax at the time of sale, they were/are aware that they must comply with my state’s four-year post-purchase “implied warranty” law for items that are not abused by the consumer and have a reasonable expectation to be within their useful life. This law supersedes manufacturer warranties. There is no reasonable expectation that a laptop keyboard should fail in less than two years of use (or four, for that matter). Subjectivity aside, the two year threshold is especially reasonable as Framework offers a two year warranty in the EU. My case is therefore clearly in scope for my state’s law.
I responded to their rejection, asking them if they will comply with my state’s implied warranty law.
This is where Framework could make things right. Unfortunately, they did the opposite. Framework responded asserting “Customer-Induced Damage,” without evidence, in contradiction with yesterday’s communication in which they stated that my device is simply outside warranty, and only after I invoked the implied warranty law. I responded to clarify that the broken keycap would not have been supported under warranty, which was promptly confirmed with encouragement to purchase a new input cover.
Framework had every opportunity to previously identify “Customer-Induced Damage,” which
Framework declared “customer-induced damage”, without evidence, after Maine’s implied warranty law was invoked and that
Framework asserted that this is “Customer-Induced Damage” furthermore contradicting yesterday’s response, in which the exact language was: “Upon checking on your account, the laptop is already beyond our 1-year warranty period. Unfortunately, we can’t process process replacement on our end.”
I’m genuinely speechless.
The “Framework” for my response:
In the US, the rights of businesses generally supersede the rights of consumers. This creates subset of consumers who realize and loathe their systemic exploitation. Subconsciously or deliberately, these consumer’s only tool for reciprocity is to make it clear to the business that they will not be taken advantage of.
Framework’s pitch to investors and customers alike is predicated upon winning this segment of the market through a return to decency in business through consistent demonstrations of good-faith, transparency, and response to feedback. As a result, Framework benefits enormously from free product development, UX research, marketing etc. from enthusiastic crowds of supporters who are ecstatic about the company’s potential to get consumables right and defy the perverse incentives within America’s economic landscape to over-invest in returns on a 3-12 month horizon.
Admittedly a given company’s transparency and integrity is difficult to fully verify. This is especially true with Framework, who maintains full control over their forums on most platforms and has a very-real need to protect certain information. Plenty of folks on Framework’s platforms, including Reddit, have expressed cynicism about whether Framework’s pro-consumer model is merely marketing, rather than an actual business case. After all, we all know how Silicon Valley VC’s behave and Framework is beholden to these VC’s.
With great sadness, my recent experience with Framework support compels me to no longer advocate for Framework’s product and, more importantly, as a company. Moving forward, I must treat Framework as any other VC-backed, PE-controlled, or publicly-traded business by anticipating and reciprocating the greed, manipulation, and cynicism that they deploy against their consumers. This decision is painful, as I provided years of free marketing through enthusiastic support on reddit (as can be verified by my post history) and referred numerous sales. Who knows how many additional sales resulted from my posts and comments on these forums.
As Framework received my initial request 11 days ago, my understanding is that they have 19 remaining days to comply with the implied warranty law in my state. If a replacement keyboard or input cover does not arrive before February 12, I will submit a formal complaint with my state’s Attorney General office, who are well known for enthusiasm toward this particular law. It’s safe to assume that this is not an isolated incident, so I will informed my State’s AG office of Framework’s attempt to not comply with the law regardless.
Please note that I have self-reflected on the text that follows and believe that feedback about this section is accurate. It was a bit much. I’ll leave it in an effort to practice what I preach.
If Framework does the following:
Complies with my implied warranty part replacement request
Provide evidence of policy and procedural change to comply with all implied warranty laws proactively, without prompting from the consumer
Provide evidence of policy and procedural change to ensure that support only solicits resources from consumers (time, knowledge, publicity, etc.) with full transparency and consent about what Framework will or will not do to help.
I will do the following:
Update, rather than delete, this negative review on this and all other public forums to ensure visibility for Framework’s correction. This strikes me as excellent marketing. Conversely, this also ensures accountability if Framework reverses course.
Inform my state AG office that I am satisfied with Frameworks response
Maintain the wholehearted belief that Framework did right by their supporters
Consider Framework for future purchases, including recommendations to others
C’mon Nirav. We all think you’re better than this.