01 Apr The mess that is Microsoft Complete – Surface Pro Service Request
So on March 11th, my Microsoft Surface Pro 128GB suffered some catastrophic damage. I put the Surface in my briefcase and left the room. About 30 seconds later, I heard my girlfriend scream my name as I rush back to discover my briefcase had tipped over and the surface slid out and fell about 3 feet onto tile floor. Needless to say, the Surface did not survive. As visible below, the screen had cracked and glass shards were flaking off the screen. Surprisingly, the Surface internals had survived and the unit did function.
tl;dr (Full Story Below)
They did not replace it in store.
They did not overnight it as promised.
It was not shipped within 2 days of arriving.
My package is lost and was never sent to FedEx.
3+ weeks and I don’t have any idea where my Surface is.
Update: My device was returned without being repaired
I was accused of tampering with the device and voiding the warranty
Microsoft finally admitted to making a mistake after 6 weeks
The store was understanding and helped me fix their mistake
At this point, I was very fortunate to had bought the $150 Microsoft Complete warranty package which covered accidents like this. I decided to drive to the Wilmington DE Microsoft Store about 1 hour away after work. I made an appointment and got there right on time. The staff was very friendly but in the end, I was forced to ship it out to their service center to get it fixed. I asked them why I could not exchange it in store and they told me they were “out of stock”. I asked again but this time it was “they do not have any service replacements but do have Surfaces in stock”. This was the first alarm that this wasn’t going to be a hassle free return. I insisted that I would like to get the unit back within 5 days for a business trip and they told me they would overnight it to the repair facility. I paid the $50 deducible as required in the insurance policy and drove the 1+ hour home. Fast forward 3 weeks and I still have no clue when I will receive my Surface back.
So I left the service store on March 13th with the hope that I would get it back when I got home from my trip. Fast forward 1 week and it hasn’t even arrived at the repair facility. It clearly wasn’t overnighted and the FedEx tracking number I got kept saying “not found”.
Finally, 7 days later they finally got the Surface. It took 1 week to arrive despite being told several times it would be sent overnight. Clearly I was lied to here.
So since the email said it would be shipped in 2 days, I thought I was going to be getting it back soon. 3 days later I heard nothing. I decided to contact Microsoft chat to see where it was at. They didn’t help, at all. This was all I got from the live chat.
March 23rd, 10 days after shipping the device from the Microsoft store.
You: I see. Could I get that tracking information now so I know when to expect it?
Karen P: The tracking information will be sent to you, once it is shipped.
You: Oh, so it has not shipped. Do you know how it is normally shipped then? Ground or overnight shipping? Because the store told me it would be sent overnight but it took over a week for the support site to show that it has arrived.
Karen P: When the item is shipped it is sent via FedEx. I cannot say for sure if it is sent via ground or overnight shipping.
Karen P: I am sorry that this is taking longer than you were expecting.
You: Ok. Well thank you for your help. I’ll await that email.
Karen P: Is there anything else I can assist you with, or answer for you today?
You: That’s all. Thanks.
So it had been over the 2 days I was told in the email and they couldn’t even give me an update.
I waited another 5 days for an update and finally got the shipping notification. It only took 3 days longer than I was told.
The only problem? The tracking number doesn’t work. I’ve been checking it every day to see if FedEx will recognize the tracking number but all I get is not found. The package is definitely lost and was never sent to FedEx.
I contacted support again. Got the run around.
Spencer L: Now, I have one quick question, then I can let you know what we found out. Were able to use this tracking number to track the order previously or has it always given you this error?
Jim Washkau: It’s always given this error.
Spencer L: Okay, that means I have some good news.
Spencer L: What can happen, is that the tracking number doesn’t take effect on the site until the device gets scanned into a sorting facility, so this order is being shipped as we speak, it just hasn’t been scanned into the sorting facility by FedEx yet.
Jim Washkau: I see. Do you know if these return packages are normally shipped via ground or overnight?
Spencer L: They are typically shipped via ground, it usually takes between 3-6 days for you to receive the device once it has left our facilities!
Jim Washkau: Ok. Then I will await for the tracking to update. Thank you for your help.
Spencer L: Is there anything else I can help you resolve today?
Jim Washkau: That’s all. Thanks.
Spencer L: Thanks for contacting Surface Support and have a great day!
By now, I’m completely fed up. I contacted support again and all they can do is escalate it to their “Microsoft Care Team”. Another 3-5 business days just to figure out where my Surface is. What a great experience.
Marlena A: Hmm, by my calculations (now that I’m looking at the right calendar), you should have received your device by now.
Jim Washkau: That’s what I have thought too but the tracking shows
Jim Washkau: Not found
Marlena A: Did you contact your local FedEx location to see if they had it at their store?
Jim Washkau: I don’t have any tracking number to go by as there is nothing under the number that was given to me
Jim Washkau: ****************** does not work.
Marlena A: That certainly is interesting. Yes, I see that number here, and you’re correct. It does not bring up anything.
Marlena A: I do not like to see my, and Microsoft’s, customer upset, inconvenienced, frustrated, confused or concerned in any way regarding their device, so I always strive to create and maintain the best positive customer experience. I know what it is like to get home and open up that pristine box to find a device you invested in not working for you in all the ways it could – I have been there many times. This is why any issue you come across with your device is no more acceptable to me than it is to you.
Marlena A: So would you mind if I took 2-3 minutes to see what we can do for you?
Jim Washkau: Sure.
Marlena A: Thank you so much for your patience.
Marlena A: Okay, I am still looking into our next step, and gathering all the information I can for us.
Marlena A: Are you still in the chat line with me, Jim?
Jim Washkau: Yes, I am here
Marlena A: Oh good! I thought I had lost you for a moment there.
Marlena A: While looking into this, I was checking through the FedEx site, checking through our tools and checking on myservice.surface.com.
Jim Washkau: Ok
Marlena A: What I found was inconclusive, as our tools say your device shipped on the 26th, but then nothing comes up with the FedEx tracking number.
Marlena A: I can see how frustrating and concerning this is, Jim, I’m just getting confirmation on our next step.
Jim Washkau: Sure, take your time.
Marlena A: Thank you so much, Jim!
Marlena A: While we are waiting on that confirmation, I can answer any other questions you may have regarding your device.
Marlena A: Aside from this particular issue, is there anything else I can assist you with today or any questions I can answer?
Jim Washkau: No, just this. Thanks
Marlena A: Great!
Marlena A: Thank you so, so much for your patience, Jim!
Marlena A: I have what we need to do next.
Jim Washkau: Ok
Marlena A: What we need to do is to send this case up to our CARE team, and our specialists will investigate this case.
Marlena A: Then they will contact you in about 3-5 business days with further information.
Jim Washkau: It will take 3-5 days? Will they be calling me?
Marlena A: They will either call you, or send you an email.
Marlena A: That is our next step, may I please get a phone number you can be reached at, your primary email and your main hours of availability?
Marlena A: With this turn around time, they should be able to contact you by Friday, and if not Friday, Monday or Tuesday at the latest.
Jim Washkau: My phone number is**********, email is *************, I’m available at any time.
Marlena A: Thank you! I will record this now.
Jim Washkau: And can you please escalate this case. I’ve been waiting for 3 weeks now.
Marlena A: Yes, this is precisely what we are doing right now.
Marlena A: That is what the CARE team is.
Jim Washkau: Another 3-5 days just to see if it has been shipped is not exactly escalating.
Marlena A: Oh no, what they will do is investigate this case and see why there is inconsistent information, and try and locate your device.
Jim Washkau: very well.
Marlena A: Thank you for understanding.
Marlena A: Now, did you set this order up yourself online?
Jim Washkau: no, I brought it to a service store
Marlena A: Oh, alright!
Jim Washkau: microsoft store that is
Marlena A: And what was the original issue?
Jim Washkau: The screen had cracked.
Marlena A: Okay!
Marlena A: I’m just filling out a required form for the CARE team.
Marlena A: So today we were discussing your exchange shipment, and where it is. In the ended, we had to send up your case to the CARE team.
Marlena A: I have taken detailed notes on all steps and questions throughout our interaction, and if needed be, you can use your service number to give to the next agent you come in contact with regarding this issue. Your service number is: **********.
Marlena A: Everything is complete on my end and looks good to go! Aside from this particular issue, is there anything else I can assist you with today or any questions I can answer?
Jim Washkau: No, that is all.
Marlena A: For any further concerns, inquiries or issues, please contact us again here at Surface Support, if it is of a related issue, you can use your service request number for more efficient support. Or you could also refer to surface.com for reference to the support forums. It was nice making your acquaintance today. Thank you for contacting us, I hope you have a great afternoon!
To end your chat please click X near the top of the chat window.
Needless to say, I am very frustrated. I was promised that it would be overnighted and then sent out within 2 days of arriving. I’m on 3 weeks now and am being told it’s going to be another 5 days to hear back from this “Care Team” + the time it takes to ship back to me if they manage to find it. Microsoft is clearly lost at managing hardware. I expected better for a $200+ warranty service. Until Microsoft figures out how to do things like Apple (in-store replacements and repairs), they won’t be competitive. What a disappointment.
Update as of May 3rd, 2013:
I’ve had my Surface for a few weeks but it wasn’t without headache. I got my Surface back from the service facility on March 30th expecting a nice, new, repaired Surface. I opened the box and guess what. They DIDN’T REPAIR IT AFTER OVER 3 WEEKS. After all this effort, they sent it back saying the device had “excessive damage or was tampered with”. I was furious.
I called up the Surface number and let them have it for over 2 hours. They kept insisting there was “nothing more they could do and the device has been blacklisted”. They didn’t care that I had the extended warranty that covered screen damage for this exact reason. I asked for the supervisor and he was barely of any further help. In the end, after 2 hours on a support line, all they offered was have the care team look into it. Nobody admitted that a mistake had been made. However, I did manage to get them to call the original store I brought the Surface to and explain the situation. I told them I was going to the store again and I wanted the unit replaced.
The next day I got there and they were actually extremely helpful. They exchanged my broken unit with a new one and was apologetic for the situation. This was really the only good experience through this whole ordeal. The store was understanding of the circumstances and didn’t cause me any further headache.
So now at this point I finally have a working Surface and am being a lot more careful with it. Probably too careful. The screen can break and one bad fall will do it. 2 weeks later the Microsoft CARE team finally got back to me saying a mistake was made and the repair facility did not treat it as a Microsoft Complete warranty. It’s obvious that this system is a mess and for 3+ weeks they screwed up over and over. If this happens to you, make sure you get your device replaced in-store and avoid shipping it out at all costs. They’ll give you the run around blame it on you.