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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    Fantastic! I will be writing a longer message of gratitude to the agent who helped as I do my happy dance. I finally got a working device without any problems plaguing it. I went over it with a fine-tooth comb, among other things making sure the fan was not grinding and the display was pixel-perfect. But that is not all: for all my time and trouble, I will be receiving an Arc Touch Mouse Surface Edition free of charge in the mail. And to top it off, my warranty has been extended until May 27th, 2019. My satisfaction has surpassed expectations!
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2018
  2. DRTigerlilly

    DRTigerlilly Tablet Lead Mod (Retired) Super Moderator

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    glad it worked out!
     
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  3. sonichedgehog360

    sonichedgehog360 Editor-in-Chief of TechAndTiny Senior Member

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    Wishing you and everyone else luck as well with Flickergate!
     
  4. sonichedgehog360

    sonichedgehog360 Editor-in-Chief of TechAndTiny Senior Member

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    I spoke too soon. I can only guess at this point, but just days after my replacement, someone, likely someone at the Store, tampered with my warranty information after everything had been confirmed, reconfirmed and settled. I just so happened to be looking at my app store permissions online today, just as I had looked yesterday, and I saw something that was out of line, where it now says my device is out of warranty. I can only imagine that it was one of the employees who is being investigated that is the culprit and they had to go out in a burning glory and burn the city, so to speak. Man, this is nuts. Whatever sick individual there did this must be filled with vengeance and bitterness to pull a stunt like this...
     
  5. DRTigerlilly

    DRTigerlilly Tablet Lead Mod (Retired) Super Moderator

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    Their warranty system is a bit screwy right now, they have been supposedly updating the database.
    The replacement devices I received had warranty dates not commensurate with the original purchase date.

    You might have to provide purchase information receipts, to have the original warranty information restored. That's the situation I currently find myself in where the current device, the warranty expiration is before the actual end date of the original device. (out of warranty)

    I don't think the store employees have anything to do with it TBH.

    EDIT: Previous to this morning this device had an expiry date of July 6, 2018, though the original warranty would have had an expiry of August 6, 2018, this morning it changed to being expired April 21, 2018, despite being in dialog with Microsoft from March 29, 2018 when I received this device.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
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  6. sonichedgehog360

    sonichedgehog360 Editor-in-Chief of TechAndTiny Senior Member

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    Based upon what I am hearing from support and the fact the Store had written down my old and new serial numbers, I am highly distrustful of what this Microsoft Store may have done and is doing behind the scenes with my device. As a matter of fact, from what I gather from online support, this Microsoft Store may have recorded internal notes which are vindictive, libelous and targeting my character. I have absolutely zero tolerance for this kind of treatment and I hope they take swift corrective measurements as I continue my dialogue with online support and their upper management.
     
  7. DRTigerlilly

    DRTigerlilly Tablet Lead Mod (Retired) Super Moderator

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    Understood.
    Hope you get some resolution.

    Sent from my m8 using Tapatalk
     
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  8. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops My friends call me Jeff Senior Member

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    @sonichedgehog360 , I just read this whole thread and I'm so sorry to hear what you've been though! Clearly Microsoft's retailing division has never heard of Apple or Amazon, or if they have they've made a strategic decision to be the opposite of those companies, which have an ethic of never letting customers walk away feeling unfairly treated (and I happen to hate Apple as a company!).

    In my experience, despite what the rude store staff told you about having authority over online/telephone staff, my experience in these kinds of matters with large corporations (far too numerous to even want to think about!) is that you do best over the phone (not chat) and by escalating to the highest level of management they will allow you to speak to. Your story pretty much "tells itself" and I think there is a better than even chance that a person with reasonable seniority in the retail/service operation would likely be able to restore the latter warranty. Your best off when speaking to these people to sound very calm and businesslike and, well, easy to sympathize with. I would state your case along the lines of: "I've had to deal with so many people online, in the store, etc and it seems each person only knows a small piece of the story and it was hard for me explain that I have a long time very devoted MS customer and rarely have problems with your wonderful products or staff, but this was just an unlucky sequence of events and all that I'm asking is for the warranty on this third (?) device be extended for one year so that I can rest assured that I won't have to worry."

    Anyway, that kind of humble yet firm delivery, when made to a person with enough seniority - and distance from any of the people or experiences you endured - such a person finds it far more pleasant to leave the customer happier than they found them. And I think you are likely on to something about stores and quotas relative to returns; it's a common retail phenomenon and because MS has long enjoyed a reputation of being quite generous with return/replacements in the stores it's all the more likely that their numbers appeared to be unfavorable to the bean counters who live to squeeze more profit out of every operation they touch.

    In the end, I do counsel you to put it in perspective and, as long as the device is now working well, resolve either to just enjoy it or, frankly, if this experience has soured you on Microsoft, shop around for a replacement - there are so many wonderful SP clones around, that you can buy from Amazon! - and sell yours while it is in the peak of health and performance. "They" only win when they make you feel depressed. :D:thumbsup:
     
  9. sonichedgehog360

    sonichedgehog360 Editor-in-Chief of TechAndTiny Senior Member

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    I am seriously considering going with an alternative, especially since the warranty extension fell through. Though this was a piece of work to dissect and tackle, I continue wholeheartedly enjoying life with friends and family. Are there any Surface clones you recommend in particular?
     
  10. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops My friends call me Jeff Senior Member

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    To @sonichedgehog360 and others who may read this: I know it's very long and detailed but I'm not just bloviating but seriously wanted to create a how-to guide to successfully identify and acquire excellent tech in a world full of wonderful and often duplicative products, which includes some truly bad apples and increasingly - or does it just feel that way?!) unscrupulous vendors with prices and service/support practices getting worse by the day. Plus, this OP has just been through an extended ordeal with loveable Microsoft and he deserves the kind of support from our community that makes ours truly unique. (I welcome, and value constructive feedback as to whether you disagree with my advice or think it could be given more succinctly. If you think it's of any value (and not duplicated elsewhere) let me know and I'll ask a mod to help me make it a "sticky.")

    So here goes:

    I have read many reviews but I don't know enough about any particular models to make a recommendation to you. I know both the Lenovo Miix series and the HP x2 have had some excellent reviews in the past. I do have a somewhat systematic approach to suggest:

    1) start a thread in the "What Tablet PC Should I Buy forum. The form required is tedious, but just answer the questions that matter to you and leave the rest blank. Almost all the highly knowledgeable long term members check new threads regularly, so you'll get advice from the best of the best":thumbsup:. Title your thread something like: "Need to replace Surface Pro4 and refuse to buy from Microsoft. " Before your objectives are listed you can write a brief statement. I'd just succinctly indicate you had a series of terrible experience with MS Support, possibly with a link to this thread, and then let your answers to the questions explain what you need, how much you can pay, etc. (I know you may be familiar with this forum, but figured it would be worthwhile to provide a mini-guide in case you aren't.)

    2) For those models recommended that appeal to you I strongly advise you to read (or view on YouTube) a couple of "professional" reviews. Mobiletechreview. com (video, superb) and notebookcheck.net (written, full of test results and comparison charts to competing models) are perfect for this. Theverge.com is good too, but they only review a subset of what's out there.

    3) When you have narrowed down to a couple of models I strongly advise checking Amazon's owner reviews of the products you're considering. No one review should be given too much weight, but they have such large samples of owners that even the average overall ratings can improve your odds of avoiding products that may work well out of the box (and thus for professional reviews) but become hell to live with for a large # of owners often in a short while and by looking at some negative reviews (1-3 stars) you'll get a sense of people's experience with the brand's svce and support. My prime example for this, though not relevant for your category, is the Dell XPS 13 series. Year after year these win all the sites' awards as #1 ultrabook, and they do have stunning designs and specs, but for almost every year in the 5 or so series they've made the average customer satisfaction grade on Amazon has had about 30% of owners giving them unfavorable ratings (1-3stars) and lots of details of hdwe/sftwe issues as well as svce nightmares. As a rule I won't buy a major piece of gear that doesn't pull at least a 4-star average (with at least a few 100 reviews), and 4.3-4.5 star averages may not be a guarantee of your result, but picking a device with those averages gives you an excellent chance. There are millions and millions of happy Dell XPS13 owners, no doubt, but with so many competing models that don't have almost 1/3 of owners unhappy, I'm not sure why you would want to start with bad odds. (Note: there are many clichés about why consumers ratings are not reliable (people usually post only when they're unhappy, some ratings are from people that don't even own the model, etc, etc ad nauseum!) But I'm something of a "quant jock," and I can assure you that some of those beliefs are simply wrong and others are completely mitigated by the relatively large sample size for most products simply because Amazon has such a huge base of owners. The key is not the absolute satisfaction %, but to compare that measure among models you are considering.

    4) Only buy from vendors that give you at least 14 days - far better 30 - to return unconditionally for full refund.

    Though I am known for writing annoyingly long posts expressing my *opinions, * please know that I took the time to draw this out because you have been burned and I want you to improve your chances of a good outcome, and because I've been a member for some 8+ years and have purchased over 40 devices in that time frame and have learned how to use this combo of expert recommendations and analytics to make the process more efficient and pleading.
     
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