Surface Care Team doesn't care

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 2' started by grumpy, Jun 20, 2014.

  1. grumpy

    grumpy Active Member

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    EDIT: :shocked: This certainly ended up longer than I intended...
    I debated whether to post this but I am growing more and more frustrated as I wait for a reply (any reply) from my Surface Care Team member.

    So, I might as well start at the beginning. Having been rather happy with the SP1 I decided to Jump on the SP2 as soon as it was a available at my local Best Buy. While satisfied with the SP1, I really like the increased storage, memory, and battery efficiency of the SP2. About a month into using the SP2, I started to notice the screen creaking on the right side of the SP2. It didn't seem like a huge problem so I decided to live with it. Then, the battery capacity indicator started to rest to 100%. Initially, it only reset infrequently, but then it got worse, resetting constantly. I waited until the January firmware update to see if that would fix anything, but it did not. By now the screen creaking was quite bad so I placed an order for an advanced exchange.

    This first exchange seemed to be quite painless. The replacement was in excellent condition and it did not exhibit the capacity resetting issue of my initial unit (of course, my initial SP2 did not exhibit the problem until more than a month of use). During the process of testing the new SP2, I noticed an odd issue the battery capacity. Once the capacity dropped below 25% the capacity indicator became erratic. Despite discovering this issue while I still had my original SP2, I decided to return the original since it still had the "bad" screen. I had to wait until they closed my existing order before I could place a new order for replacement. This took about a month.

    After that order was closed, I placed my second order for an advanced replacement. It seemed be taking a while for them to ship the replacement and by the weekend I checked the status on the myservice site. Much to my surprise, it indicated that I had already received the replacement SP2. I had not received a tracking number, nor the Surface. Since it was the weekend, I called MS and I wanted to make sure that I wouldn't be charged for the Surface. They said that they would look into and be in contact with UPS. I checked the tracking number from the myservice site and under "Left at" it listed "Other" (this will be important later). Shortly, I was contacted by the Surface Customer Care Team member Tay and informed that He contacted UPS and that they would have to perform a trace. He said that the trace should not take any longer than 7 business days. Well the trace dragged on for weeks. I reiterated to Tay, that I did not want my credit card card charged, but he was unwilling to prevent the automated system from charging my card and said that he could easily remove the charge. After nearly a month, Tay finally said that if he hadn't heard from UPS by Monday, he would send my a replacement Surface. Well lo and behold, Monday arrives and my credit card ends up charged. I immediately emailed Tay to have the charge reversed, but I got no reply. A couple of days later, I heard directly from UPS. And this is were things get really interesting.

    So Sheila from UPS calls and said that I must have the package since it was left in my mailbox. Well, this is a neat trick since I know from the previous replacement that it is impossible for the boxed SP2 to fit in my mailbox. She did not have an answer for this nor for why "Left At" was listed as "other" rather than "mailbox". Also, during this conversation, I learned that there was no signature required for the package which is why it was not delivered to my door. I don't know why MS would not pop for signature service on a $1000+ item. The day that tracking indicated it was delivered, there was actually someone home at the time. I live in a rural area with a somewhat long driveway with a turn in it. Due to the turn, and trees, the house is not visible from the end my driveway. The lack of signature requirement seems to give to UPS drive a wide berth in where packages can be dropped. In the following weeks, I had a UPS package left basically on the side of the road at the end of my drive and another one dangling from the mailbox in a plastic bag. Not expecting the package containing the SP2 (since I was never emailed a tracking number) it is quite possible that the package could have been out there all night in a rather unsecured location. Back to Sheila, she seemed unwilling to accept that the package could not be left in the mailbox. She then insisted that I call the local police to file a report which I did. The Officer was helpful and also surprised that there was not signature requirement for delivery. After all of this, I relayed the events, via email, to Tay, along with Sheila's contact information.

    Still no response from Tay. I continued to send several more emails over the course of a couple weeks with no response from Tay, and my credit card still charged. After over two weeks of no communication from Tay, I finally called support and relayed my tail of woe. A couple of hours later I received a phone message from Tay apologizing and blaming UPS. Shortly after, I receive an email from Tay, again apologizing, but this time blaming his workload. He must have read my previous messages and saw the information regarding UPS. Anyway, after another week, the credit card charges were finally reversed. After all of this I felt that perhaps a NEW SP2 was in order, but alas, Tay was unwilling or unable to accommodate that request. He offered to try and make sure I get a clean SP2, but by this time I was done with Tay. Which brings me to Josh. I called Surface support hoping that these extraordinary circumstances might warrant some special consideration. Anyways, I explained the battery issue and my previous problems, and he seemed quit helpful. He insisted on some troubleshooting (that I knew would be unsuccessful). Since testing required to the battery to drain, he sent me his email address. After I confirmed that the troubleshooting was unsuccessful, I sent an email to that effect to which he directed me back to the myservice site to place another order for a replacement. I replied that I would like a new replacement considering the trouble that I have had. I never ever heard from Josh again....

    So, back to myservice.com for another replacement. This one took a little longer than expected, but I received a phone message stating that there was some sort of delay. A couple days later, I received the tracking number and then I received the package the following day. I was a little disappointed with the condition. It had some scuffs and scratches on the back and quite a few scratches around the charge port. When I turned it on, I noticed some backlight bleeding on the lower left edge of the screen. The screen in that area did not seem rigidly secured since I could feel it "give" when pressed. Also when the lower left bezel was pressed lightly, the backlight bleeding would dramatically increase. When I looked at the bottom bezel "edge on", it looked uneven. So, despite the defects I decided to test the battery issue. And of course, it exhibited the same erratic battery behavior below 25%. So, another call to MS. The gentleman I spoke to was quite nice (I did not get his name) and seemed to be understanding. He proceeded to take down all of my information and he thought that given everything thus far that I was at least entitled to a new SP2. Of course, he didn't have the authority to guarantee such a thing, but he emphasized it in his report to the Surface Customer Care Team. He also said that he would check in with me the following week to see how things went (he never did). So, I sent the same Surface that I just received back to MS (initially the wanted me keep the defunct replacement and send in the one that I currently have).

    And that bring me to Daniel. Earlier this week, I received a message from Daniel saying that he was sorry for my problems, but that he could do nothing other than offer me another "like-new" replacement. I informed him of this issues with my last "like-new" replacement and told him that the only satisfactory outcome, at this point, is a new retail boxed replacement. Given the extraordinary circumstances, I do not think that is unreasonable. Also, if I lived near an MS store, I would have been able to do an in store exchange for a new unit. Finally, I told him that if he is unable to authorize such a request to escalate the matter someone who could. I have yet to hear a response.

    I seem unable to get beyond the unprofessional and unhelpful Surface Care Team.

    For those who made it through this tome, I congratulate you... To add insult to injury, when I removed my Type Cover 2 after composing this post, my SP2 restarted...
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2014
  2. mennogreg

    mennogreg Active Member

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    I sympathize with you. Your ordeal aside, and I by no means make light of it, the issues you experienced with your SP2 are unlikely to be rectified with a new model. Several users on here eventually developed the screen creak, either noticing it immediately or developing it over time when their SP2 overheated with the various problems that occurred with the firmware months ago. The battery meter dropping was the result of yet another firmware screwup, as I used to own an SP2 and never experienced that until I received the March (I think) firmware updates. I was fortunate in that I didn't experience the serious issues many of the users here experienced, though my unit did develop the screen creak after a month of use. The fact of the matter is there's still several problems with the firmware that have yet to be rectified, evident by the almost monthly keyboard firmware updates just to get the damn thing to work properly with the SP2 without powering it off, deactivating, or pulling the computer out of sleep. That pretty much tells you all you need to know right there: after 8 months, the Surface team can't get the keyboard to work consistently with the SP2.

    I had my SP2 stolen in April on location during a film shoot, long story short I purchased an SP1 cheaply to use in the meantime until I'm reimbursed (in which I'll likely buy an SP3). The stability of this, compared to my SP2 which wasn't so bad compared to others, is significantly superior. Could be a fluke, could be because its a bit more of a mature product that's already undergone updates; whatever the reason, the difference is night and day.

    Getting back to the problems you're having, I don't think you're going to have much luck with the merry go round of devices going back and forth, hoping to get lucky and have one that's stable. If you wish to still stick with it, the best you can hope for is getting one that doesn't creak (and with luck, won't develop it later) and continue to wait for firmware updates to eventually fix the problems the SP2 is exhibiting (and in turn, dealing with whatever else breaks with each firmware fix)
     
  3. benjitek

    benjitek Active Member

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    You have to really like the hardware, because the service that comes along with it is beyond terrible. Dealing with MS after-sales support teaches you what it's like to live alone on a deserted island :-(
     
  4. revmike

    revmike Active Member

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    The closet Microsoft store to me is 3 hours away. If I had had a similar experience as you have had I think that I would have driven the 200 miles after confirming that I could exchange mine for a new one.
     
  5. benjitek

    benjitek Active Member

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    +1, except I believe you have to have purchased your unit at one to have it replaced there.
     
  6. grumpy

    grumpy Active Member

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    Actually, my current SP2 has been pretty stable and has not developed the screen creaking. I am really just irked by the battery issue. I realize that it was caused by a firmware update, but I think that it is still fundamentally a hardware defect. I suspect some production problem with the batteries that is resulting in different behaviors for different users. And without bringing it to MS's attention, they will never fix it. Of course, it likely does not affect enough users to warrant serious investigation and and further changes could potentially cause problems for a larger pool of users. Look how long it took to fix the SD card/CPU usage issue and that affect a great many users.

    I actually do like the hardware. I was so impressed with the SP1 that bought the SP2 almost immediately. The SP1 never gave me an issue. The SP2 is my first experience with MS support. The first level guys always seem very helpful and nice, giving you a false sense of confidence that your problems will be handled in a satisfactory manner. It is when the Surface Care Team takes over that the wheels really fall off. Basically, they seem unable to do anything other than redirect you to the myservice site.

    My nearest MS store is about six hours away...

    The last nameless gentleman I spoke to (the one that was supposed to check in with me on my progress, but never did) said that If could get to an MS store, they would exchange is in store (it was his first suggestion)
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2014
  7. grumpy

    grumpy Active Member

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    Interesting... I just heard back from Daniel...after a week (but he apologized for being out of the office yesterday :rolleyes:).

    He is completely unwilling to authorize a new replacement, but for playing the MS support game he offered me my choice of one of the following lovely parting gifts...
    6 months warranty extension (I already bought the extended warranty for all the good it has done)
    Xbox live time
    Xbox Music subscription
    $50 code to use at the online Microsoft store

    All I want is a new replacement. Again, I don't think it is an unreasonable request given the entirety of my experience.

    He also said that I could try and work something out with the manager of a nearby MS store... Ummmm... Okay...:rolleyes:

    I just don't understand their total intransigence on this. An MS store would just swap it out with a new unit, surely someone could authorize a new replacement. I simply refuse to engage in another round of refurbished roulette.

    I will reiterate my request to have this escalated to someone who can authorize a new replacement. I guess I will have to wait another week for response...
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
  8. benjitek

    benjitek Active Member

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    Unfortunately, if it's customer service you're after, you need to stick with Apple products, regardless of what you think of the hardware :(
     
  9. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes Well-Known Member

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    Actually Dell small business is the best. (you don't need to be a business, you get that service the moment you buy a business class system., hence their higher price (well build quality is higher, then their home stuff as well, and much less junk pre-installed)).

    Dell will send you a technician over at your place, at the time you want, the next business day, with the needed part to replace in front of you, and not only you get to supervise the work (any damage he/she does, including scratches, are covered by Dell), and you get to make sure everything works before the technician leaves. If he can't get it fixed, or if after multiple attempts is not done, or the device is not repairable, or a monitor, Dell will ship you a refurbished device, BUT unlike Microsoft, Dell is very good at it. While I won't deny that they are bad stories out there, the great majority of times, the refurbished unit is like new, and if there is a scratch, it's tiny, hard to see, like if the Surface Pro 2 was from Dell, and you got a refurbished, it will be a light scratch on the keyboard slot or something like that, the rest will be perfect. The reason for that, is that Dell does replace the casing if it is in bad shape. Microsoft, like the great majority of the companies out there, does not. They go "It's cosmetic, too bad". Although, if you have a refurbished from Dell, and it is a cosmetic issue, you better find another fault, as they won't accept a return for a cosmetic problem. So it's not perfect, but it is something, and far above the rest of the industry. Say all you want on Dell computers, one thing that Dell does right are Monitors (especially the Ultrasharp series), and after sale service for business class systems.

    But the best best best service, like above and beyond, is Logitech. Your mouse breaks, no problem, call them up, they don't have a 1-800 number or something, so it sucks, it's long distance, but 0 wait time on the phone, and they ask you very quickly, your name, what's the problem, what did you try? if you mention what you tried, they'll ask you for your e-mail, agreed, some number on the product, and if under warranty, they immediately ship you a brand new retail box of your product. No refurbished, no open box, no "just the part". The whole set. Like you just bought it in the store. a 5-10min phone call, and you have your new mouse, keyboard, or wtv form Logitech, in the mail in a few days. AND, you don't need to send the old product. They ask you to trow it at the bin or to a recycling center for electronics if you have one. If they can't determine the warranty, they'll ask you to e-mail of fax your bill of the product with your case number, and once they have it, they process everything you'll have it in a few days the new product. And if you don't have the bill, they ask you to cut the tip of the USB cord, or mouse/keyboard receiver or something, and put the part in a normal envelop, with your case number, and ship it. That's your proof of purchase for them.

    And more:
    5-Year-Old Speaker Dies, Logitech Replaces Entire System For Free ? Consumerist
    My Cats Ruin My Mouse, Logitech Sends A Free Replacement ? Consumerist
    Logitech Helps You Out Just Because They Feel Like It ? Consumerist

    If I had to rate Microsoft warranty service, I guess i would rate it a 5/10, considering the price of product.
    The worst experience I ever had, (mind you I didn't try all companies), was ASUS. Complete with "WHAT DO YOU WANT!!!!" person on the phone, when the sales rep picks up, and the super visor (of course, asking for that after hearing this), was "Yea?! Yea yea ASUS... motherboard broken? Our products don't break! No they don't break! You broke it! Clear and simple! FINE, we will give you an RMA number".. niiice. And it took a month for them to ship a replacement motherboard which was SO freaking dusty, and had its problem on it's own, and scratched! Scratch on circuit board is killer. Clearly someone else board. A friend of mine had a similar experience 1 year after me, but his replacement board was not working. He was pissed off, he snap the board in two, and bought a different company.

    Actually, Creative was the worst. I had a trouble with a product, and I went on their support forum, for asking assistance or link to beta drivers, if any. I got banned by user name, IP, and e-mail, with the reason: "Lied about Creative quality products". Nice....

    So yea. I have had a bit of the 2 sides. Hence why I put 5/10.. meaning Microsoft does what the essential to legally say that they do what they say, plus they do try and help you out to troubleshoot the problem, they do have a toll free number to call, wait time isn't extremely long usually, the service starts friendly, and you were able to get something which is nice, but obviously doesn't solve your problem. Going to a MS store and discuss this, is just a way from the super visor to let you go, as the store manager wont' do anything as well, claiming higher up, until your do a whole scene and he wants you out, so he will give you a new device. But, what makes the situation harder is that you have a Pro 2, and they won't give you a Pro 3, and I don't think they have in store the "old" Pro 2.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2014
  10. jollywombat

    jollywombat Member

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    Agreed with Asus customer support. I love their products, but god help you if you need to RMA one. I needed to replace my Rampage IV Extreme motherboard about a year back due to it dying entirely. It took close to a week of going back and forth with their warranty service, explaining no I cannot run memtest to verify its not a memory issue, no I cannot try these other drivers, because THE MOTHERBOARD IS DEAD (even after explaining this multiple times and having them repeat it back to me, they would still request various software tests.....)

    They finally granted me an advance RMA and shipped me a replacement board. Received the board and took a look at it and it was entirely trashed. The entire CPU socket was literally drowned in thermal paste, ground into the pins, all around the retention socket etc. Soda or some similar sticky substance was spilled all over the motherboard, pooling around capacitors and chipsets. I was shocked to say the least. Immediately called Asus back and explained it to the service rep who transferred me to a manager. The manager stated that I must have done this myself, they would never ship a board out like that, and that every single board the ship out they take photos of before it leaves the service department to prove its condition. I explained that no, I did not in the one hour that I had the board in my hand do all that damage, and he said I had to have done it and he didnt believe otherwise. We went back and forth and he kept implying I was a liar and trying to cause issues for them. I was entirely shocked. I asked for the pictures of the motherboard then that they sent out to me and he complied smugly saying this will prove it to me that I was just causing trouble. Received the photos that they labeled with the serial number of the motherboard as its image name, and compared them to the motherboard they sent me. The photo they sent was of a different board that someone labeled incorrectly, likely on purpose since after all, all boards shipped out are supposed to be photoed. I had to send them a side by side comparison of their photos to the actual board showing certain chips used on the board were entirely different from what they had.

    The manager ignored this email and didnt get back to me as he said he would. I had to call in repeatedly for a full day to get ahold of him again, then he finally admitted he saw the email and he would "look into it", that was all, no apologies for accusing me of destroying the board, calling me a liar, etc.

    I managed to locate the email for a director at asus corporate for product distribution and sent him a log of everything, and thankfully he got back to me and apologized profusely for my treatment and told me he would immediately deal with it. Twenty minutes later the manager I dealt with originally called me back and apologized for the "misunderstanding". He said however they did not have any replacement boards to send me at this time, but I could send that one back to them and they would repair it within a month and send it back. I explained no, that is entirely unacceptable given the condition of that board, they would have to replace practically all components. He said sorry, nothing else he can do. Another email to the director resulted in him apologizing again and being shocked at how this was going for me (their warranty department is an outsourced 3rd party company), and he arranged to have their corporate offices overnight me an entirely new retail package of the board.

    Shocking sometimes how customer support can act.
     
    1 person likes this.
  11. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Active Member

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    Yeah, customer service of the excellent kind is becoming more of a rarity these days.

    In MS' case, they are selling an excellent product at a premium price but not offering premium customer service to go with it. That is a huge disparity between what MS thinks is great service and what Apple provides every day. I think it will bite the Surface line in the ass over time.
     
  12. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes Well-Known Member

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    Yea. It is true. Many companies does run their RMA process from a 3rd company. I hit when they do this, because the result is that they show to the company who they provide support "Look at the money we saved you, by assisting people in fixing their problem, and not make you lose money by shiping replacement product". I am certain that Microsoft uses a 3rd party company. That is why they "can't ship you a replacement one". Either they genuinely don't have one, OR it's a loss for them, as they want to show impressive figures, ignoring the fact that the costumer will no longer do affairs with you (the company).
     

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