Negative Microsoft Store Experience and Surface Pro 4 Exchange Fiasco

Discussion in 'Microsoft' started by sonichedgehog360, Apr 24, 2018.

  1. sonichedgehog360

    sonichedgehog360 Editor-in-Chief of TechAndTiny Senior Member

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    Moderator Note, this thread is a split thread from the Flickergate thread with slight modifications,


    My Surface Pro 4 i7’s fan has developed a grating within and will probably be going out by the look of it. Two problems would make things worse and I also use my device everywhere throughout the day which worries me more. Twice within the last two weeks, the fan had a loud buzzing sound like a drill or an extremely loud bee was buzzing. Additionally, when I hold it upside down and run a stress test, the fan will grate slightly against the interior of the chassis when held upside down and shook ever so slightly. What irritates me to no end is the technicians at Microsoft Store are unable to hear it but both myself and the family member (who is in her 60s) can hear the difference! We even stood in a quiet room, listened to my Surface Pro 4 and a Store unit both running a stress test. When moving the Store’s upside down, it just changed pitch and muffling relative to the ear but otherwise the whoosh was smooth. When moving mine upside down, there was a light grating in the sound. What is irritating none of their trained techs (three of them) could hear it in switching between the two unit back and forth within seconds of one another. What incompetence! Since the second closest store is 3 hours from my home, I now have no clue what to do. Here is the message I just sent Microsoft support (edited for clarity), for which I should be getting a call back within the next hour:

    My Surface Pro 4 i7’s fan has developed a slight grating sound, and it also has had a violent vibration and loud buzzing on two separate occasions. The agents at my local store are pretending to not hear it. My entire family can hear the problem clearly, and I am a long term Surface and Microsoft aficionado (see my usernames “Hifihedgehog” and “Sonichedgehog360” on Twitter and TabletPCReview). I get the impression they are lying so they do not have to replace it. I listened to both mine and their Surface Pro 4’s fans under load and both the family member with me, who is 60, and I can both clearly hear the grating sound within the normal woosh of the fan that a properly functioning unit does not have. I need this case addressed by tier 3 since I believe this local store is specifically trying to keep people from exchanging their defective products to save face, keep a quota, or just not be bothered. Help!​
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2018
  2. DRTigerlilly

    DRTigerlilly Tablet Lead Mod (Retired) Super Moderator

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    Sigh, I hope you can get that sorted soon, it sounds like the fan could be failling or damaged.
    Even though @Big'Un has had success with the new firmware alleviating his problems, other's have had no change. Obviously, it could be a case of the damage being too far gone for the firmware to do it's job. I don't know what to think.

    In other news, Microsoft has lost my complete warranty details from their system, and I now have to reconfirm my purchasing information.
     
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  3. sonichedgehog360

    sonichedgehog360 Editor-in-Chief of TechAndTiny Senior Member

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    Sorry for the complaint being a bit emotionally charged, but I was really shooken up by what happened because there used to be kind, honest people there when I have visited over the years. I have some great memories there, and they were smashed into pieces by this debauchery and underhandedness. It turns out they actually were lying right in front of us and trying to make us feel like we were imagining something. I was so shaken up by it all since I would NEVER have expected this or wanted to believe this about this location or any Microsoft Store, for that matter. I have had so many years of positive, outstanding experiences that it came right out of left field.

    While there, we spun up the fan on my unit and a store unit with a synthetic load test and compared the units with the each other. Even without this silly exercise, the grinding was painfully obvious. Yet this manager and his two technicians claimed they could not hear it. Angrily, I retorted to the family member with me while waiting, who is age 60 and also hears the grating plain as day, that these people must be deaf and listen to rock music at full volume all day long!

    At one point, I stood for 20 minutes in a back room (I almost felt like I was being interrogated rather than testing my device there, and actually, that was it) with two other technicians (they did not let the family member come with me) saying to them “Can you hear this or that?” again and again while they feigned ignorance. They made me feel like I was the emperor with his new clothes, but any normal human being could hear it. Yes, it was that bad.

    Towards the end, the manager even had the gall to say he heard a click in his perfectly functioning store unit to try to downplay my complaint while I was listening in back with them. In reality, their store unit had a clean, stable whoosh, and the grinding or scraping of my unit’s fan was cleanly and clearly audible. After, when the family member asked to listen in back as well, the manager just refused, firmly and repeatedly.

    As I imagine, he did not want to be proven wrong when he had two lying technicians to vouch for him as he did not want the score evened with a second witness to make him look bad. We were furious, confused, saddened, and disappointed all at once by this underhanded dishonesty and manipulation. But as you can imagine, I have since gotten this elevated to proper channels at Microsoft support so these abusive people get reprimanded and fired from this location.

    Luckily, I also contacted Microsoft directly for a warranty exchange and they were much easier to deal with, kinder, more honest and more understanding. It was so soothing and relieving to hear a good human being after that disaster. I am relieved for now, but that entire experience was horrific and nerve-racking! I am not visiting this location ever again until they clean house from top to bottom there to rid that store of this unsavory lot.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
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  4. DRTigerlilly

    DRTigerlilly Tablet Lead Mod (Retired) Super Moderator

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    really sorry about your experience, and I can entirely understand you being irate.

    Try this on for size, this person, has a 48 day old purchased new, New Surface Pro, that a Microsoft Store is refusing to fix, saying he's out of warranty.

    Bad customer support can happen, but it sounds like you're getting things resolved, fingers crossed.
     
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  5. sonichedgehog360

    sonichedgehog360 Editor-in-Chief of TechAndTiny Senior Member

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    I did some searching online right now and it seems like this has been happening a lot more often recently, so much so that it seems uncanny. I am almost wondering if internally Microsoft has just started evaluating their Stores by the number of monthly repairs as a new indicator for their standards of excellence. I wonder if that as a result, Stores are purposely taking deceptive measures to reduce repairs in order to artificially lower their numbers so they look better. If true, it would seem they want to pass the buck to corporate’s general warranty service so local warranty work does not tarnish their monthly targets. I know that this musing is all quite speculative, but it seems rather fishy why these warranty service denials are happening more frequently in recent memory than a year ago.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
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  6. sonichedgehog360

    sonichedgehog360 Editor-in-Chief of TechAndTiny Senior Member

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    Good news! I got my replacement device in the mail today. Bad news! It has a loose part in it:



    So I called Surface support and I got a supervisor named Felix on the line who was understanding and quickly realized how flabbergasted I was. He then reached out and arranged an exchange at my local Microsoft Store—so far, so good. I tell you, this Microsoft Store location has some odd ducks. Soon after I get off the phone with the supervisor and arrive at the Store, the technician (Rob) says this: “The Store trumps Surface online. We can override anything they do.” Yet he comes back with the replacement. So much for not being overridden. Probing a bit, we find out this technician used to be the manager of a defunct kiosk location which had been recently shuttered in my state—interesting.

    After the agent on the phone assured me that a replacement unit has a 90-day warranty, Rob had to flare his plumage and say: “Look over it because this is the last one we will ever replace for you.” Having ruffled some feathers, I will be back tomorrow since there is a hard 24-hour waiting period between exchanges of devices. I sense some arrogance in this technician, as if he felt his ego gets degraded or tarnished from processing warranty replacements. Before we left, we again called Felix and he spoke to the store manager for a good 3-5 minutes over my phone. I sense it was about a bit more than just my warranty exchange. It is just a real shame my device warranty support and my customer service experience has been caught in the crosshairs of the hubris and unprofessionalism at this location. I almost feel like requesting a complimentary upgrade to a New Surface Pro just for the sparks and steam I have had to deal with over the last two weeks.

    Reddit cross-post:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/Surface/comments/8hraxv/an_unfriendly_surface_pro_4_warranty_exchange/
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2018
  7. DRTigerlilly

    DRTigerlilly Tablet Lead Mod (Retired) Super Moderator

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    is this the same store from before? jeesh

    Sent from my m8 using Tapatalk
     
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  8. sonichedgehog360

    sonichedgehog360 Editor-in-Chief of TechAndTiny Senior Member

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    Yes, unbelievably! I am not sure if I should laugh at how immature these store agents or what. At this point, I have gotten this issue very visible: a Google review, a Microsoft Support investigation, a Reddit post, and even tweets to Panos Panay and other members of the Surface and Microsoft Store team. All I know is the other Stores out in Utah, where I attended college, I have been to are not like this. Unfortunately, there is just one Store in my state now here in the Midwest and it is literally all I have to work with. It pains me to see people, including myself, having to deal employees like this ruin the experience by going against the grain of excellence and satisfaction that the Surface brand strives to stand for. I wish that Store had a better sport about it. I love Surface. But to prevent everyone in going forward from having an incident like mine, I am putting it out there in the open. This was the last straw on the camel’s back.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2018
  9. DRTigerlilly

    DRTigerlilly Tablet Lead Mod (Retired) Super Moderator

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    I take it there are no other's nearby?

    Sent from my m8 using Tapatalk
     
  10. sonichedgehog360

    sonichedgehog360 Editor-in-Chief of TechAndTiny Senior Member

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    Nope. As I mentioned in today’s post, the other one, a kiosk, closed a couple years ago. The next closest one is a four hour drive from my home in a neighboring state.
     
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