Sunday, February 21, 2016

Adventures with Microsoft Support


Just a brief update. We bought the Surface at Costco and they have a 90 day return policy for computers. Yesterday I checked and we were at day 88. We headed to Costco and despite our membership having lapsed almost a month ago within five minutes we had our refund. Wish I had done that to begin with but I assumed that it would be a simple matter to replace ours.

That is excellent customer service and is the reason that we will continue to try and do business with Costco whenever possible. Microsoft, not so much.

When we got back I started what would be my third online chat with Microsoft Surface Support folks. This is much shorter and only took an hour online. The end result is that we still don’t know if it will or won’t be shipped and we likely won’t be at the shipping address if it is.

I did fax a complaint to Microsoft’s “complaint department” and find it interesting that they don’t have a customer relations department in the U.S. but do have a complaint dept. They sent me this photo of their office.


So, let me introduce you to my new best friends, Leto and Carlo.

Chat start time
Feb 20, 2016 3:29:15 PM EST

Chat end time
Feb 20, 2016 4:21:27 PM EST

Duration (actual chatting time)

Answer Tech

Chat Transcript

info: Thank you for choosing Microsoft Surface.  An Answer Tech will be with you shortly.
info: Privacy Statement
You are now chatting with 'Leto'.
Leto: Thank you for contacting Microsoft Tech Support my name is Leto how are you doing today?
Jim: Fine. This is in reference to service request ID xxxxxxxxxxx. I have returned the Surface 3 to the store I purchased it from and obtained a refund. I need the exchange canceled.
Leto: Oh I see
Leto: please give me a minute while I check the replacement
Leto: thank you for patiently waiting on the line Jim
Leto: I can see that you have a Advance Exchange made last February 12 2016
Jim: Actually 2-11 which is the date of emailed confirmation.
Leto: Nice to hear  that the you were able to accomplish at the store. I will also make sure that your request will be forwarded so this will take effect as soon as possible.
Leto: I will inform you via email within the day about the result of the request since it will undergo processing, Jim.
Leto: Aside from that, is there anything else you want me to add?
Jim: So you can cancel the exchange? That isn't a problem?
Leto: That sir I cannot confirm at the moment since it will need to be reviewed. That is why I need to make the follow up within the same day to let you know that outcome.
Jim: Just so you know, the shipping address I provided as I told the customer service rep on 2/11/16 was temporary as we are traveling. It hasn't shipped as there is no tracking number and we are outside the 3-5 days promised exchange. If it were shipped I can't control what happens to it if it comes to the address.
Leto: I do understand and thank you for letting me know about this. I have checked thoroughly and I could not see any tracking info at the moment. May I know if the address is like hotel address or house address of a relative or friend?
Jim: It is like a hotel address.
Leto: I see. Thank you for confirming as I need to present all of these information with our servicing team.
Jim: Assuming that you confirm that it hasn't shipped as it appears is there any reason that the exchange can't be canceled?
Leto: Well usually with AE or Advance Exchanger orders, they as sent within the 24hr time frame from the time an order with the same is confirmed.
Leto: That is mainly the reason. But looking at your situation I will do my best to get this done.
Jim: The same question. Is there any reason it can't be canceled if it hasn't shipped?
Leto: The answer will be that once a device is available, it will be sent right away and usually overnighted.
Jim: Please put your supervisor on.
Carlo: Hi Jim. This is Carlo. I am one of the Managers here in Surface Support.
Carlo: I believe we have a situation here about a Advance Order that has not turn up yet, right?
Jim: Correct. I initiated the request on 2/11/16. There has been no tracking number and no one on your end has been able to determine if or when a replacement would ship. This will be my third online chat since 2/11/16 plus 2 or 3 phone calls none of which generated an answer.
Jim: So, today I was able to return the device for a refund from where I purchased it and I am telling your customer representative to cancel the order. I would like confirmation that you can accomplish that.
Carlo: Looking at the information we have here we have a Estimated Ship out date of 2.19.16
Carlo: But that is still estimated sir. I am sorry if we were not able to meet the initial time line we have given.
Jim: May I speak with your supervisor?
Carlo: I am the highest point of Escalation with regards to this matter. If there is case that needs to be forwarded to someone higher than me, we forward it via a ticketing system.
Jim: At this point. You are well outside the 3-5 days promised turn around. There is no indication that the replacement has shipped. I don't want the product in any event. My question to you is, if it hasn't shipped can you cancel the order?
Carlo: All I can do at the moment is present this case to them so It could be done.
Jim: You folks set up the exchange. Why can't you cancel it?
Carlo: I understand that we have missed the supposed time line and with regards to canceling the actual order it can only be done via the Ticketing system that I mentioned. 
Carlo: If this is something we can do here at level 1 Tech no question ask sir, we will do it, after all we are consumer too at the end of the day.
Carlo: Who get's to call CS or Tech reps to about our issue's.
Jim: OK, so I'm clear. You are going to submit the ticket to close this, is that correct?
Carlo: That is our Target sir.
Jim: OK.
Carlo: I am really if the supposed quick option did not work as our servicing team are just ensuring that we send a device that you will receive are going to work better than the old unit.
Jim: I'm sorry but I don't understand what you just typed.
Carlo: *I am really sorry if the supposed quick option did not work (meet the time line) as our servicing team are just ensuring that we send a device that you will receive are going to work better than the old unit.
Carlo: Sorry, missed a few words there.
Jim: If I'm understanding what you wrote you are sorry this didn't work out. If so, thanks but it has not been a good experience and only want to get this closed.
Carlo: I hear you, Jim. Let me work on this for you.
Jim: OK, so will I receive an email update?
Carlo: The department I will be forwarding this ticket only operate during the weekdays and they have a process of making a follow up within 2-3 business days.
Jim: OK, thanks.
Carlo: I want to be transparent with you about the whole process that we got here but I will work on getting things quicker it is just that I cannot assure that yet since those guys are higher than me.
Jim: But you will send the ticket today?
Carlo: Yes sir
Jim: OK, thanks for your help.
Carlo: Please do not thank me yet.
Carlo: I don't like hearing it when it is not due or if I am not worthy
Carlo: At least not yet till we get the result.
Jim: OK
Carlo: Ok. Anything else sir?
Jim: I'm done.
Carlo: Ok. Keep safe sir. I will work on this asap


  1. You are right...Costco has excellent customer service.

  2. You did one smart thing, shopping at costco. Costco nearest me is 200 miles, but I stil maintain my membership as we get all our glasses and contact lenses there, great service and prices. Hope your ordeal is over and you can get back to blogging about hikes that make me green with envy, and I won't tell you that I've had an apple for five years now and never looked back, but then I've never had to call any of their customer support either.;))

  3. An abacus might be the answer for you , Jim. Get a good so it doesnt break and drop beads all over the floor. On the other hand, customer support only speaks Chinese. :-)


  4. We've never had a Costco near us so we never joined but now that we travel it sounds like we should. 3 months to return is excellent. My brand new Samsung Galaxy just died this morning. It's just 3 months old but I bought it from Amazon and they only have a one month. SO I spent the ENTIRE day dealing with the Samsung reps in GUESS WHERE - you got it - India. SOOOOO Frustrating. You have my seriously deepest sympathies. Wish I could just return mine.

  5. I've had excellent service from HP warranty. I purchased a portable printer that failed within the first month, after spending an hour online with them troubleshooting, they quickly replaced the unit, provided the return shipping labels.
    I got a bit of a giggle when they asked me to change circuits that powered the transformer. I had to explain that I was sitting in the middle of nowhere, and the unit was being powered by a true sine wave inverter, so I only had the one power supply, hence the need for a portable printer and we were communicating over a cellular modem. There was a rather long pause in the texting, and then they decided to replace the unit. No problems at all with the replacement.

  6. looks a lot like my chat session with them regarding my windows 10 upgrade that kept failing

  7. I have to admire your ability to save the chats and put them out there for all to see. We all have had experiences much like yours. As complaints result too often in no satisfxaction, at least one can hope that Microsoft will sell a fewer number of surfaces.

    1. I decided to only communicate via chat since you can print or email a copy to yourself. Never know when you may need a written record.

  8. This is why we buy all computers and electronics from Costco!

  9. Costco has been good to me. Bummer about all these other problems.

  10. Horror stories such as these made us feel fortunate we stayed away from Microsoft and smart phones. What a big headache.

    1. We have android smart phones, windows pc and an ipad. The most trouble free device amongst them hands down has been the android phones. If I could get by with just android OS I would opt for an android tablet.

  11. Check out Chromebooks if you have a good internet connection. I LOVE Mine! Oh, and they do have offline capabilities too.

  12. So maddening. I've been there. We always buy our computers from Costco, and so much else. Their customer service is second to none.

  13. So maddening. I've been there. We always buy our computers from Costco, and so much else. Their customer service is second to none.

  14. Out of the whole exchange, one this was correct on Microsoft end - they are not worthy in this case!