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Author Topic: Why Russell Holly returned his Microsoft Surface Pro - A Cautionary Tale  (Read 7877 times)

40hz

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Interesting personal article on Geek.com about why somebody who was absolutely sold on Microsoft's Surface Pro ended up returning it for a refund. (Hint : It's not so much his problems with the technology as it was having to deal with a company that is either incompetent - or just doesn't give a damn.)

Quote
I was a launch day Surface Pro customer. I sat in line with a smile on my face, eager to take home a piece of hardware that I knew, from prior experience, that I was really going to enjoy. Yesterday I returned my Surface Pro, and I am unlikely to purchase another piece of hardware directly from Microsoft ever again.

Read it here.
 8)

Carol Haynes

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LOL - not much new there then ... MS suck at all forms of sales and aftercare for hardware and software - always have, probably always will.

Renegade

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Is this accurate?

FARMER-MILKING-A-COW.jpg
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

40hz

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LOL - not much new there then ... MS suck at all forms of sales and aftercare for hardware and software - always have, probably always will.

+1. As anybody who suffered from the whole Zune "customer experience" will testify.

About the only good hardware Microsoft ever sold IMO was a mouse. An their quality has lapsed so significantly over the last couple of years that I'll no longer buy or recommend any Microsoft mouse. Even when Staples 'bargain bins' them for $15.

This decision was made following the discovery that their "go anywhere" Mobile mice could only be knocked off a tabletop once before they'd never work again. And also after having one of their mini-USB receivers short out and melt while plugged into my GF's laptop - completely destroying the USB port it was plugged into. Fortunately, her laptop still worked after that fiasco. And it also has four other (still functioning) USB ports. So she was only moderately enraged over what happened.
 :tellme:


40hz

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Is this accurate?
 (see attachment in previous post)

Close. But a more visually...um...accurate image wouldn't be appropriate for posting here.

DoCo is a family-rated site. ;)

Carol Haynes

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Is this accurate?
 (see attachment in previous post)

Actually you could add Apple and Google on the right too - all becoming the same these days.

wraith808

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Hmmm... this comment sums up my feelings after reading that article.

Quote
Seriously? You've "returned Surface Pro, and unlikely to purchase another piece of hardware directly from Microsoft ever again" because one Microsoft store you came to happened to be closed and another was too long a drive to make it that very night? And you think this is a story worth publishing to millions of people?

It's like those people on newegg that give 1 star reviews to Asus motherboards because FedEx took too long to deliver.

40hz

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Hmmm... this comment sums up my feelings after reading that article.

Quote
Seriously? You've "returned Surface Pro, and unlikely to purchase another piece of hardware directly from Microsoft ever again" because one Microsoft store you came to happened to be closed and another was too long a drive to make it that very night? And you think this is a story worth publishing to millions of people?

It's like those people on newegg that give 1 star reviews to Asus motherboards because FedEx took too long to deliver.

I think you need to take his words in context with the other information in his article.

It wasn't simply because the store had been closed. It was because he was directed (by a Microsoft employee) to a store located a half hour away that had been closed. And he was then directed (by another Microsoft phone rep) to two other locations which he independently learned had also been closed before he tried going to them. And then, when he was finally able to ask someone at Microsoft (who did seem to know what was going on) why he was misdirected, her lame excuse was that apparently some employees had "not gotten the memo" about those locations being closed.

He is also somebody who needs a reliable mobile platform for his job. So it's not like he was bitching about not being able to access his Steam account. He was also having hardware issues which annoyed him - yet did not go on a rant about any of that - which indicates (to me at least) he's been around long enough to know the score and therefor isn't expecting perfection from any hardware platform.

Point is, you can take any comment in a lengthy article out of context and present it in isolation to make the author appear unreasonable and petty.

I don't think Russell Holly was being at all unreasonable.

And FWIW, I know three people who have bought a Surface so far. One returned hers after it repeatedly crapped out on her right out of the box - and then for good when replacement they gave her started doing the same after a few weeks. Another simply didn't care for it and ended up giving it to one of his kids. And the third (an admitted 'gadget freak') boxed it up and added it to his very large collection of other "abandoned as unusable" devices. (But such is the frequent lot of those who are numbered among the 'early adopters' of any new platform.)

None of these people I know are noobs when it comes to computer tech. In fact, two of them are among the most hard-core "road warrior" users you'll ever meet. So I think there just might be some substance to Holly's article - and some of the criticisms we're reading about Surface in other places on the web.
 :)
« Last Edit: March 04, 2013, 09:16:17 AM by 40hz »

TaoPhoenix

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I'm not thrilled with this article either. I liken it to the same way that Verizon has given me horrific lack of service on DSL but once they did finally manage to get the line going, it worked okay.

Customer Service is all the rage now but that's long been one of those things that slips even when Mfg. puts out something decent.


40hz

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It's the same old "jam yesterday, jam tomorrow" argument.

I guess I'm just old fashioned enough to feel that if you're a company with the resources and budget Microsoft can bring to bear on product development, it's not unreasonable to expect a device that works as advertised - and have a company that is willing and able to stand behind it.

I am so sick of the whole "Oh well!" and shrug more and more companies seem to be ok with giving their customers.

You don't get quality from most big businesses these days unless you demand it from them.

Big computer companies need to "Think Different." And well before their customers start answering the question "Where do you want to go today" by saying "Far away from you!"
 8)

app103

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Plenty of companies would have handled this by making him package it up in it's original packaging, ship it back to them at his expense (possibly to somewhere in China), include a check to cover shipping it back to him, tacked on something like a battery replacement fee, then do nothing but replace the battery and ship it back to him (never addressing the actual reason why he sent it back)...just to repeat the process when it still had issues. Total fees would be an amount to make you think twice about even bothering to send it back the first time.

I can't tell you the number of items I have purchased over the years that ended up in the trash because of support like this...things like headphones that cost me $6.99 and would have cost in excess of $15 to have the company replace them, while still under warranty.


And the battery example was how Sharp handled a defective watch, which I shipped back to them twice because it ran incredibly fast, each time paying return shipping costs and a battery replacement fee, and each time all they did was replace the battery and send it back to me. (The only reason why I didn't return the watch to place of purchase was because it was permanently out of stock, all I would have got was a refund, and I really wanted that cool looking watch)

wraith808

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I guess I'm just old fashioned enough to feel that if you're a company with the resources and budget Microsoft can bring to bear on product development, it's not unreasonable to expect a device that works as advertised - and have a company that is willing and able to stand behind it.

But they were.  And they did.  There was a problem with a couple of CS reps, and all the person could say was I'm sorry about the issue, because they weren't those people.  They also did help him that same night, though just with a refund.  And he even said from research that it appeared to be an isolated issue.

It wasn't that the hardware wasn't bad.  It wasn't that it didn't work for him.  It wasn't that he didn't like it.

It was that he had a bad experience with CS.

If he had prefaced the article with that, and/or put that in the title, I'd not have a problem with it.  But it's a tech site, complaining about CS, and not being overly up front about that fact in the title or at the beginning of the article.

That's my problem with it.

f0dder

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Big computer companies need to "Think Different." And well before their customers start answering the question "Where do you want to go today" by saying "Far away from you!"
...and then there's the companies that make you want to "Do Much Evil". Like, after the umpteenth Just Another Vulnerability Alert.

If he had prefaced the article with that, and/or put that in the title, I'd not have a problem with it.  But it's a tech site, complaining about CS, and not being overly up front about that fact in the title or at the beginning of the article.

That's my problem with it.
:Thmbsup:
- carpe noctem

Deozaan

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Yeah, I don't get it either. He really liked the Surface, but it had a rare problem of not recognizing the keyboard, so he was going to return it and get a new one. It sucks, but it happens. I've had to return hardware that was DoA or otherwise faulty. That didn't make me decide to never again buy from that manufacturer.

If I have awful customer service, then sure, I might switch vendors. If I have an awful CS experience with NewEgg, I might decide to order from Amazon in the future. Speaking of online purchasing, why not just order his Surface online like a sane person and not have to deal with traveling 30 minutes or an hour to go to a brick & mortar Microsoft store? I understand why it can be nice to support local business by going to your local brick and mortar store, but it's not like you're supporting "local business" anyway when going to a Microsoft store.

Aside: I didn't even know that Microsoft Stores existed. I have no idea how close the nearest one is to where I live.


4wd

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I have no idea how close the nearest one is to where I live.

It wouldn't matter anyway, it's closed.

allen

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Speaking of online purchasing, why not just order his Surface online like a sane person and not have to deal with traveling 30 minutes or an hour to go to a brick & mortar Microsoft store?

I was wondering this, too... especially for an online journalist. It would have been far more convenient than continually checking to see if a "local" store had stock. He didn't want to order one and be notified when it was in stock, either. If he couldn't walk in, see it on the shelf and grab it himself then he wasn't going to have it. Sounds like the Apple store is the way to go.

mwb1100

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I have no idea how close the nearest one is to where I live.

It wouldn't matter anyway, it's closed.

For that matter, I have no idea how closed the the nearest one is to where I live.

app103

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I think this might explain the stores, and what happened to them:


40hz

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Guess OSNews is being overly pissy and persnickety on this topic too:

Quote
One of the major lacking features in the newest Office: no Metro applications. In fact, the only reason Windows RT has a desktop at all is because the Office team was unable to create Metro applications in time for the release of Windows RT. I often thought this was a classic case of two important divisions within Microsoft not getting along and not being aligned, but now that I have my own Surface RT, I'm starting to realise that there's a far simpler, and thus more likely, explanation: Metro is simply not ready for anything serious - or for anything at all, really.
.
.
.
Whenever the topic of the lack of Metro Office came up on OSNews, I always assumed that the reason we don't yet have Metro versions of Office was because of classic internal struggles between the Office and Windows divisions. It's no secret the two haven't always seen eye to eye, and let's face it, Microsoft has had its shares of new platforms and environments destined to become the future of Windows. None of them ever panned out, so it's natural that the Office division didn't exactly take Metro and WinRT seriously.

I changed my mind on that one a little bit, though. I bought a Surface RT recently, even though I knew full-well Metro applications would be - pardon my French - shit, I never expected it to be as bad as it is. Crashing, slowness, jittery animations, lagged typing - whether it's third party or Microsoft's own applications, it's pretty clear that Metro and WinRT can barely be classified as beta, at best.

Having come to that realisation, I am convinced that at least part of the reason for the lack of Metro Office stems from the sobering fact that WinRT simply isn't up to the task of forming the base of something as complex as Office. I mean, there's a progress bar (!) when copying/pasting in the only Metro Office application (the OneNote preview application).

After a few weeks with my Surface RT, I've come to the conclusion that WinRT is more like the first few Mac OS X releases: slow, unusable, and only suited for the strong-willed. That's why we have no Metro Office yet -


hmm...that does sound like the early Mac doesn't it?

Quote
but at least it's good know they're working on it, because that means WinRT is getting better as well.

...and that sounds like something an early Mac enthusiast would say too! :P ;D

Carol Haynes

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Office 2013 is Metro Office if you run it at full screen - it is styled exactly for Metro and is all the more ugly for it. Trouble is MS couldn't quite figure out how to get it to run in Metro!