TL;DR: Framework spent so much time trying to build a sustainable laptop, they forgot to build a sustainable user base.
I placed one of the earliest Canadian orders for a Framework 13 (11th Gen). I knew, of course, that I was investing in hardware from a start-up, and that there would be growing pains and rough edges. What I didn’t expect was the degree to which these growing pains and rough edges would persist, and - arguably - worsen, with time.
My initial frustration focused around the time it took to ramp up 12th-Gen motherboards, and the delays associated with shipping. I get it, Framework’s a small company, and production capacity is hard to come by. In due course the new motherboard arrived, and installed without a hitch.
Then came the long-running - and still ongoing - problems with 11th- and 12th-Gen motherboards: CMOS battery drain in the case of the former, and the continued absence of any BIOS updates in the case of the latter. Days turned to weeks, to months. The 11th Gen fix eventually arrived; with some grumbling, I paid up to have the fix installed. The 12th Gen board, however, remains unfixed.
But more frustrating even than the delays is the sense that Framework is orphaning its earlier customers. This couldn’t have become more clear to me than with the delays surrounding support emails (now, I’m told, 4-6 days) - due to priority being given to shipping new units. In the meantime, I’m stuck with a non-functioning keyboard and no possibility of even ordering a replacement part. As with the 12th Gen BIOS, it seems like Framework is consistently assigning priority to new product at the expense of existing customers.
I appreciate that Framework is still a small company, and has a very specific mission. But I am increasingly getting the impression that, in the pursuit of growth, Framework is hanging existing users out to dry.
Now, this is fine if you bought a Framework because you want the mission of sustainable laptops to succeed - or if you happen to have a spare laptop or three lying around. (I suspect this describes a great number of people here.) But for those of us who rely on our FW13s as our only real computer, the current support situation quite simply isn’t where it needs to be.