Louis Rossmann commented on the RTC battery handling situation

@GhostLegion Oh BeeAPeach left Framework? Apologies,somehow I missed this though I did wonder why I hadn’t seen her around recently…

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The real shame is he seems to have known about this for some time but only now bothers to chip in about it.

:thinking: Anyway it’s good he took the time to comment. Appreciate it.

I would not pay anything substantial to fix a design flaw in a product.

It should be fully on the Companies dime. I’d maybe chip in £20 for shipping.

Don’t let them off the hook to fix an already expensive laptop.

That or give 11th gen customers a decent 20%+ discount on a new 13th or Ryzen board.

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Rossmann on his YouTube channel suggests that Framework could hire a technician dedicated to this work, charging customers only for shipping. He explains why any other approach wouldn’t be economically viable for a company the size of Framework.

But couldn’t Framework at least supply a list of world-wide repair shops able and willing to carry out this work?


Chris

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That would require reaching out to all the repair shops in all the countries they ship to, which would be tedious, and much easier for the customers to inquire about themselves, since a lot of repair companies probably wouldn’t even be able to give an answer to Framework without knowing that there will be local customers asking for the repair in the first place.

That’ll likely be my route.

And to that, can anyone recommend a reputable repair shop in Vancouver, BC? (A place that will use enameled wires…hahah)

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Preface: The coin cell issue itself has been discussed at length in Viability of an ML 1220 rechargable battery for RTC | CMOS (11th gen). This is not about the issue itself but framework’s response.

Rossman’s video with a timestamp where he proposes the correct solution: Let's talk about the framework situation, what should've been done differently, and my biases - YouTube

I was hit particularly hard by this issue where my laptop would not turn on without first being plugged in, and a bios reset would always occur. While I was able to obtain an RTC coin cell replacement from framework support, this was support’s exact words:

We see that your warranty has already expired. We can offer you an one time exception and provide you with an RTC battery replacement at no cost to you. Once our repair center has shipped it, we will update you with the tracking details.

When I responded with this being a design flaw, and asking what do when it breaks again, this was their “solution”:

A new and healthy RTC coin cell it should take around 80 days off charge to drop below an acceptable voltage but the more a customer deep cycles the cell (i.e. runs it down low) the shorter this time will become. For Customers on 11th Gen Mainboards, our guidance continues to be that if you plan to leave the laptop unused and powered down for weeks/months, to do so with power plugged in. If not, there is some percent chance that the manual reset will be needed the next time the laptop is used.

This just feels like an unacceptable way to treat a design flaw in a laptop. While the solution was fixed in later versions, the support being provided to existing 11th gen customers (early adopters who believed in framework), is lacking. I should not have to depend on the graciousness of a “one time exception” and have to keep my laptop plugged in all the time in fear of it breaking.

Onto the Louis Rossman video, he sums it up perfectly. I understand framework cannot do a recall or give us 12th gen boards (and I am not asking for that). I just want to be able to send the board to framework for a week where they can solder and give me the permanent fix. Framework has the funding to hire a single person to just sit there and fix these boards. Its the least they can do for early adopters who have been hit by this.

The broader implications of their response is that I now refuse to buy or recommend early editions of framework electronics. The new 16inch laptop looks amazing but all those moving parts screams to me that it might have design flaws. Due to Framwork’s response on the coin cell issue I do not have confidence that they will support permanent solutions if they end up being discovered. Even though I want to keep supporting them as early adopters are key to the success of these products.

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@42jd I’ll refer you to NRP’s post from January. Support changed the policy for RTC batteries. While they can’t perform the rework for you, they will continue to provide replacement RTC batteries for free, even outside of the warranty period, for as long as they can maintain a supply of them.

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@Morpheus636 This was from support two weeks. So either they are not honoring that or no one told support this (after 2 months).

My big issue is to get the new coin cell I had to take apart the laptop and do a video of a mainboard reset. Along with some other steps. Also what happens when they run out of supply? Is the laptop just useless. I’d rather have the peace of mind of a permanent fix.

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12th Gen, and I presume 13th gen + AMD 7040 series, use the same batteries (with a charging circuit to allow them to charge from the main battery), so they won’t be running out of supply any time soon. If, a long way down the road, they did run out of supply, you could have the rework performed by a trusted repair technician or source your own battery.

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@42jd Our Support team is very much aware of the process for handling this and we are indeed providing RTC batteries, gratis, to verified purchasers (or second-hand purchases) after the appropriate troubleshooting has been completed to verify that the replacement RTC will resolve the issue, regardless of warranty status. The “one-time exception” is likely something that was left over in our PFRs (Pre-Formatted Responses) and I will have that addressed immediately.

If the above didn’t happen, please PM me your order number and I will look into it.

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@TheTwistgibber Thank you for the clarification! That assuages my worries significantly. I recieved the RTC coin cell but was just extremely turned off by the “one time exception” followed by the “plug in if not using for 80 days” comment after I asked what to do in the future. The responses should definitely be updated ASAP as it gave off that Framework was not supporting a long term fix.

I still believe a framework provided board repair is the true solution, but its good to know that I can get a RTC coin cell in the future.

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@42jd We’re getting the messaging sorted as we speak. Rest assured, for 11th Gen Intel Core Framework Laptop customers that have the unfortunate situation of having this happen more than once, Framework Support will be providing replacement RTC batteries.

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As an 11th gen customer from the second batch, I was well aware of the risks I was taking buying a 1st gen product from a new company. I’m not happy that the laptop has these issues, but in my regular usage for almost two years now, I have never experienced this particular issue (I know that I am very fortunate for that to be the case.)

It has been mentioned multiple times on the forum that Framework takes hiring decisions very seriously. There have been multiple instances where they have talked about not hiring extra support staff in order to avoid “seasonal hires” that they have to let go due to the support queues going through high and low periods. I’m sure they have taken the time to weigh this decision in order to avoid doing that here.

Another thing is that most of their positions are remote. None of us know what their current office space setup is, but there is a chance that they don’t even have dedicated space that they can carve out for repairs like these, and that it would take more than just hiring another employee to accommodate fixes like these.

This should have always been the case for a company like this. I love my Framework laptop, and I want them to succeed and have lots and lots of customers in the future, but I have also been very clear that they are not an established laptop maker, and that unless you are ready to have some hardware and software issues, that you should not be buying any of their first or even second gen products. I would never recommend a Framework product to my mother, because I know that she would not be able to troubleshoot half of the problems I have seen reported on the forum, though I hope that in the future I can buy one for her when I am confident that they are ready for a user like her.

P.S. I wrote this out without fully catching up on the thread, so I am glad some of your worries have been addressed. That said, I stand by everything in this post for you and anyone else who sees this.

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@Azure It seems you missed my issue in the thread. It was not that there were hardware issues themselves, but the communication I received from Framework at the time. As an enthusiast and early supporter of Framework I expect there to be issues, but at the same time as long as the company is still existing I expect there to be support for fixing them. The RTC coin cell issue is a clear cut case of a design flaw that any reasonable company should be expected to support beyond a 2 year warranty when there is not a recall/permanent fix offered.

My correspondence with Framework laid out in no uncertain terms that they were not going be supporting a long term fix. That is why at the time I refused to recommend early adoption to anyone else. How could I trust them to support early adopters who have a higher likelihood of encountering design flaws, based on Framework’s response to their first design flaw.

Now, it is clear that the information I received was incorrect and has been cleared up. And changes have occurred internally so no one else gets informed of the wrong information like I did. But that only occurred because someone called them out on it. I stand by every word in that first post, and the subsequent ones. No company should be immune to being called out for perceived anti-consumer practices as in the best case, exemplified here with Framework, it was bad communication, but in the worst case, it could have been them reneging on their support of 11th gen boards.

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I would personally say that Framework had already provided two perfectly fine and definitely not anti-consumer solutions in the form of the RTC repair guide and the instructions they gave to just charge the laptop regularly if you weren’t using it. I don’t personally love the solution of giving out RTC batteries for the lifetime of the laptops, but maybe it’s just a temporary solution while they look at others.

I also don’t really think it was necessary to denounce Framework for this perceived “anti-consumer behavior” and that instead posing a friendlier question of “was my support agent mistaken here” would have been better. There have been a lot of instances of things like this happening, especially since Framework has been growing their support staff lately, and in all the cases that I’ve seen Framework has corrected their mistakes. While I very much understand not trusting companies due to a long history of anti-consumer practices (and you are right that companies do need to be called out IF they do actually show these behaviors). I also think that Framework deserves the benefit of the doubt especially with their very good track record so far.

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The sea of possibilities is as deep as the imagination.

People fish as they think they have an advantage over the fish and some times they get stung, bitten and some sailor washed up.

I’m a washed up sailor now sitting on the beach watching what the wind and tide brings in.

I ask for nothing but the freedom to sit and watch and the strength to deal with what arrives.

“When I’m busy pointing a finger someone else is judging me” Bob :slight_smile:

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As I’ve said, I’ll send my middle range 11th gen board back for a 25%+ discount on a middle range 13th gen. I’d say I was a satified framework customer then.

This works for those of use affected by the RTC issue, as we can go without our laptop for a few weeks.

Looks like there’s a Rework v2 coming:

With that, it should lower the skill and equipment requirement (as well as top-side only access), making the repair more attainable with quicker turn around time.

Also there’s no need to cut traces.

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@Azure That a job might be “tedious” is never in itself a good business reason for avoiding it.

However, in this case there’s no heavy lifting to be done: Framework will already have a list of worldwide repair shops that have signed or have applied to sign the NDA for the mainboard circuitry.


Chris

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I doubt that very much, what gave you that idea, it seems to say the least a bit extreme