Maddening run-around on a warranty claim for a defective display

Hi folks,

I am wondering if anyone has any advice for dealing with the Framework warranty team. My new Framework 13 laptop developed lines and artifacts on the display less than a week after I got it. The warranty team asked me to try some DIY repairs. When that didn’t work, they asked me to send pictures, then told me that the display is not under warranty because there is an “impact mark” and “significant damage,” with a “visible crack.”

Here’s what they’re pointing to and saying (that’s my brown finger and their red circle):

The thing is, I have also sent them pictures with the display powered down that show that there is no crack, no impact mark, and no damage. Like this one:

They’re not responding any more and I’m just utterly confused about what to do. It’s like returning a rental car and having them say “you crashed the car, we’re charging you for repairs” when there’s not a mark on it.

Any ideas? I wanted to buy a laptop from a company that shared my principles about repair, but I wanted to at least start with a working machine!

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No crack or mark doesn’t mean that the display is defective.

Welcome to the forum.

I would expect Framework support has a list of possible failure modes for the screens, with multiple example pictures. It’s possible that the type of artifacts in your picture are listed as only occurring after physical damage. Is it possible that the laptop sustained any hits, falls, was carried in a bag with other items unprotected, or was out of your possession? Damage could occur but not be visible immediately after the event.

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Josh_Cook - the point is that the screen looks fine when turned off but shows lines on the display when turned on: it sure seems like it’s defective but they’re saying it’s cracked. And it’s not.

MJ1: the computer didn’t suffer any physical damage. We only had it for a week out of the box.

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I would suggest getting better screen-off pictures to provide to support. For screen off pictures, you need to have a room light source create glare on the screen right where the issue is. I have a crack on my backup cell phone that is completely invisible without glare positioned right on the crack. This would help show if there is a crack. Though this doesn’t work 100% on matte screens like the laptop has. The matte layer is overtop, and makes it so you can’t see as easily. Also need higher resolution or alternatively some close up shots screen-off with glare. Can’t see anything at the resolution of your screen-off picture.
I’d cut a tiny piece of a post-it note and place it on the frame below but to the side of the crack as a reference. Then take screen-on and multiple screen-off pictures with it there.

To me, it looks like the LCD panel itself is cracked but the plastic layer on top of it is not. Its not glass, so there isn’t normally a visible shatter when there is an impact.

Did you close your laptop on something (anything, even a stack of paper with a staple or a paperclip)? Or put it in a bag with anything hard in the same compartment? I’ve seen both of those cause issues like this on other devices.

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Zooming in again, it really does look like a crack. The matte layer overtop hides cracks well when the screen is off.

Thanks for the help all. I sure didn’t do anything to this laptop that I haven’t done with 20 years worth of laptops before it, and there was definitely no noticeable moment of trauma to the screen.

I did as MJ1 suggests and tried to take a pic with the glare directly over the place that Morpheus thinks is cracked. I sure can’t see anything with the screen off.

And here’s the pic with the screen on again.

I think I forgot how well the matte layer on screens hide cracks when screen-off. Even huge cracks can be very hard to see.

detect cracked LCD panel without backlight or power on
Huge crack pictured here with multiple crack lines meeting at one point, and yet you see virtually nothing screen-off.

I’m left thinking either (1) the display was defective in that it had a crack when it arrived, or (2) the displays on Framework’s new laptops are incredibly fragile–more so than any other laptop I’ve ever owned.

Either way, I’m frustrated. I had such high hopes for Framework and its business model.

I don’t think this is the case, at least I haven’t seen many reports of broken screens. I think I’ve seen maybe one other. If they were fragile, there should be more reports. And I’ve at least read the titles of every thread here for, many months… I also keep an eye on the Framework community on reddit. I do recall someone’s teacher sitting on their Framework without damage.

I’m not associated with Framework in any way, I’m just active because I really like how open source they are. With everything posted to their github.


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Does the 13th gen come with the CNC case?

I’m sorry this situation happened to you. Never fun, but especially no fun on a brand new laptop. That said, I’m looking at the photos you attached and from my 30+ years owning laptops, it does appear this damage is the result of an impact or too much pressure applied near the circled area (the circle FW support sent to you). If it came this way out of the box then I’d fully agree with you that FW should replace the LCD under warranty. But it didn’t, it occured after approximately a week as you describe.

Then I see this photo you posted and see scratch lines on the bezel below the area where the LCD is damaged. Is it possible that whatever caused the scratches to the bezel also damaged the LCD? I get you’re unhappy and I bet many of us would feel the same as you. If you look on the bright side with a FW laptop you can replace the damaged LCD for $179 (when available). That’s probably half the price it would cost to replace an LCD on most other laptops. I suggest getting back with support to see about them releasing a replacement matte screen for you.

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Well you’re not going to see posts from the people that support helped with their DOA screens. For example, my matte screen was DOA and I’m pretty sure this is the first I’m mentioning that on the forums. Mine was a very different set of symptoms though (half the screen was always black and it started happening immediately instead of a week later).

Anyway, I’ve still got my old, very-used, glossy (:face_vomiting:) screen that probably has a fair bit of dust or whatever accumulated around the edges just sitting in a box in the corner of my room. If you (Sambhav) want to save the $179 and don’t care about it being used+glossy+dirty and you live in the united states, I could mail it to you. All I’d ask in return is the cost of shipping (and only after you’ve received it and confirmed its working. If it gets damaged in shipping then I couldn’t in good conscious take any cash from you).


I’ve been working in IT for around 15 years now and the company I currently work for only issues laptops and everyone gets 2 monitors at their station, 400 employee company. currently I’m the Network Engineer, but I also fulfill the role of help desk manager as an additional duty. The only time I’ve ever seen a screen break like that is from physical damage. There’s what looks like scuffs on the bezel and, for a week old computer, way more fingerprints and grease than I would expect

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I have noticed that my screen is visibly warped (when the display is off, my reflection looks a bit like those “warping mirrors” that stretch or shrink you). It’s not much of an issue while I’m using it, and it isn’t damaged (yet), but it sounds like inappropriate mounting of the display during manufacturing may be a more widespread problem than it seems!

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uppp, I see a crack, think this was from physical damage as well.

If you believe this is the case then you should be contacting Framework support ASAP (if you haven’t already).

It’s kind of disappointing how fragile our electronics gets. They were touted as indestructible, nearly, with solid state technology featuring no moving parts, and yet here we are.

I also have a great record of doing that -- accidentally plugged in a “wrong” thing, fried the entire motherboard. $400+ replacement for a (5 year by now) by-then flagship. A Dell, as well. Another slight press, and my iPad screen shattered completely.

Sometimes, these just happen. You can blame it on defect but it’s highly likely not.
At least it’s framework, where replacements are relatively inexpensive, and repairs are easy.

shine the light source from the side toward the possible cracks. And observe from the point of the light source. Cracks reflect light, and the angling bounce most of the distractive light away from you.

Is it at all possible there could be a foreign object, maybe a stray piece of metal or something from manufacturing trapped behind the screen, that eventually cracked it from normal usage of opening and closing the screen?

Everyone here keeps responding that it is a crack and should not be covered, but the reason for the crack is important.

Then again, it is also possible something struck it that you were not aware of (got any kids in the house)?