Microsoft Repair Service

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface General Discussion' started by girarcat, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. girarcat

    girarcat Member

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    Hi! I'm about to buy a Surface Pro 2, but I've got a question about Microsoft's repair service. I read on a website that there is no repair service from Microsoft. They said that if you shatter your screen, they will not replace it, they will offer you a new Surface Pro for 450$.
    Is that true?
    I can accept that with a shattered screen (I’ve never broken any electronic device, not even a cell phone, so I’m not really worried about that) but what happens when the battery life is over? Will I have to pay 450$ in two or three years so that Microsoft gives me a new unit? In that case, the unit they send you is a new one or a used one?

    Thanks!
     
  2. oion

    oion Well-Known Member

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    No idea where the "$450" came from, but much is going to depend on the warranty services you buy. If you shatter your screen, that's accidental damage, and the regular warranty doesn't cover that--so maybe that's the "$450" thing from "a website" that you found through random searching (although you're better off contacting MS support or going to an MS store to get an official quote of some kind--the official MS boards probably is a better source of information).

    If you buy the $150 Microsoft Complete extra warranty (insurance) that covers a new Surface Pro for 2 years including accidental damage, the deductible is $50 so you'd be out $200 total for a shattered screen and Pro replacement in the first two years. If you're worried about battery life, as long as you follow basic tips to extend usable battery longevity (do an occasional complete discharge to recalibrate, don't leave empty for too long and don't leave on the charger for too long at full, avoid extreme temperatures, etc.), the battery will outlive the usual life cycle. Only people like me who don't replace devices before the 4-5 year mark should worry about battery longevity at all. If the battery dies within the first year, in the regular warranty, you get a replacement, so that's not a big deal. If it dies in the second year, I don't know how much you'd be out without the extra MS warranty service. Really, the battery is not going to die that soon, and if it's actually faulty, you should see symptoms before the warranty runs out anyway.

    I believe the fine print in replacement is that MS has the right to send you a working refurb or new unit.
     
  3. girarcat

    girarcat Member

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    thanks for your answer! What I read is that Microsoft doesn't repair the Surface, so if you shatter the screen or your battery life is over or something like that, they can only offer you a new (or maybe used) Surface.
    Here you've got the link where I read it:
    http://www.winbeta.org/news/surface...t-you-nearly-470-other-components-just-pricey

    As far as the extended warranty is concerned, I don't intend to buy it. In my country, it costs 265€ (360$) for the Surface Pro, so I don't really think it is worth it.. too much money.

    Regarding the tips to extend the battery longetivity, are you sure that you cannot leave it on the charger at full? I thought electric current just "skipped" the battery when it was full and went directly to the computer and no damage was caused to the battery, so if you wanted to extend the battery life, you had to use the computer plugged into the wall when possible.

    Bye!
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013
  4. oion

    oion Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I believe it's true that Microsoft doesn't bother repairing (the iFixit repair index is dead last, I think), so they would indeed go the replacement route. I just don't know about pricing outside of the warranty. Ouch, $360 for the extended warranty is indeed too much.

    The lithium-ion battery tips can still vary despite the new evidence that they do exhibit "memory," so I think of that particular tip (don't leave on charger) as a simple "doesn't hurt to follow" guideline; those tips I remember were from an article describing the latest Li-on research. It's entirely possible the circuitry does behave the way you say in the Surface, but I don't know how we'd know that short of asking an MS engineer or a very device-knowledgeable electrical engineer...
     
  5. be77solo

    be77solo Active Member

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    On the SP2, it shows on the desktop "%, not charging" when plugged in and the battery is full. This is like most recent laptops where it allows the battery to float a bit typically between 95-100% without keeping a constant charge going to the battery as Oion advises against. You should be fine leaving it plugged up as long as you do use the battery occasionally and cycle it monthly as recommended.
     
  6. ChemCat

    ChemCat New Member

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    The battery in the surface is lithium polymer, not lithium ion. While lithium ion has some memory effect, the Li-po battery does not at all. There is no ill effect by leaving your device plugged in overnight. Each Li-po battery has a control board that properly distributes the charge among the cells and/or block the charge from going to the cells when the battery is full.

    There are some thing to keep in mind about lipo batteries. Lipo bats tend to die if you leave it below 1% for too long (about a week or more). You shouldn't keep it at 100% for days either. The natural state of the lipo bat is around 80-90%. More than that for an extended period of time puts a lot of stress on the cells and will diminish its charge keeping capability over time.

    In other words, just do what you usually do without thinking about it. Lipo bats are a lot more forgiving than other kinds of batteries in the past. This I why electronic companies have adopted it as the standard.
     
  7. oion

    oion Well-Known Member

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    Alrighty. :) Is your point about not keeping at 100% for days is basically the same as not leaving it plugged in all the time?

    I'm still hoping for a major battery breakthrough beyond our old Lithium-based tech, within my lifetime... like for the next Surface iteration, maybe... soon. I hear nanotech is right around the corner... *cough*
     
  8. ChemCat

    ChemCat New Member

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    Yes. Keeping it plugged in all the time for days could possibly do harm. Again, I say could possibly, because control board technology improve. I have noticed a significant decrease in the frequency of lipo bats going bad from being kept plugged in all the time even though the batteries themselves are the exact same technology as before. So, the control boards have been improving behind the scene.

    The point is there's nothing wrong with keeping it plugged in over night. 'i know a lot of people are gungho about not keeping it plugged in overnight due to fear of damage.
     
  9. oion

    oion Well-Known Member

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    Ah, so the control boards. Good to know. Some people will still want to be "safe than sorry," especially when unplugging every night isn't a bad thing either. I'm not going to worry about an overnight plug-in, but I have kept it plugged in for over week before, so I won't do that anymore. I'll have to remember to do the full discharge cycle "every so often," though.

    I don't know how much battery capacity I'm going to lose in this thing since it's too early to tell, but on the plus side, there will be the power cover...
     
  10. girarcat

    girarcat Member

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    You are talking about whether or not we have to leave the tablet plugged all night, but when we are using the computer, do you think it is better to use it while it's plugged as much as we can, so that we don't use the battery? I mean, when we are at home using the tablet, do you recommend us to use it plugged on the wall if it's possible and just use the battery when we are not home?
     
  11. ChemCat

    ChemCat New Member

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    Again, do whatever you want. LiPo bat technology has improved vastly in the last couple years. If you want to keep it plugged in when you're using it at home, go ahead. If you want to occasionally plug in, go ahead. The LiPo battery is a lot more forgiving than past battery technologies.

    The harm that I was talking about is when you plug it in and then walk away for a couple weeks.

    And yes, some people would rather be safe than sorry. That is also fine also. Do whatever you feel is best. Just keep in mind that a lot of "battery wisdom" that are floating around started floating around because of the old chemical and lithium ion technology. Those were around with us for years and years, so it feels right to try to apply those "battery wisdoms" to the current battery technology. Most of the time, it's ok to do so simply because (again) the lithium polymer battery technology nowadays is very forgiving.

    There is, however, one old battery wisdom that will definitely harm your lithium polymer battery is discharging it to zero and then leaving it like that for a long time. Remember those old battery dischargers that everyone recommended you have to keep your batteries from developing the memory effect? They also recommended you discharge it to zero and keep it like that as much as possible. That may have worked with the old chemical technology, but nowadays it will definitely harm your LiPo bats. In fact, it will downright kill it.

    I gave my brother's son and daughter each a tablet last Christmas. A couple months ago, they called me and complained that his son's tablet wouldn't charge. Immediately, I asked my brother if he had left the tablet at zero for an extended period of time. He said yes. His son used it up and then forgot it at home when they went on vacation for almost 2 weeks. Yup, that would do it. I had to fish for another battery for the same tablet on ebay and replaced it for them.

    Like I said, a lot of the old battery wisdoms are still floating around simply because that old battery technology was with us for years... actually decades. And suddenly we have LiPo bat technology and people try to apply old wisdoms, sometimes with fatal results.

    Added by edit.

    My elderly dad, for example, has killed batteries in his new camera, tablet, and windows phone I got him. I keep trying to explain to him that these batteries are not the same as the old ones, and he keeps telling me it feels wrong to keep those batteries charged up. What he would do is discharge them all the way before charging them up again. I've given up telling him otherwise. Nowadays, I just replace them for him when he kills another one. He's gone through so many batteries...
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2013

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