I’ve had it! Microsoft has taken support to a nearly non-existent level.
Back in 2012, I bought the original Surface tablet. This was a fun time for Microsoft products in many ways. The Microsoft Store was fun to go to and I was really enjoying my Windows Phone at this time as well. The Microsoft Store had one thing going for it that kept me coming back to buy more stuff – customer service.
After the Surface experienced multiple problems, they actually let me return it for a full refund three months after purchasing it. When my Band 2 disintegrated, they gave me $200 of store credit which I used towards a new Xbox. The stores were great and they took excellent care of their customers without fail.
Now, fast forward to 2021 and there are no more Microsoft Stores. No friendly customer reps and no good way to even contact support especially if you are outside of your warranty. It’s all crickets, web link that point you in the wrong direction and endless telephone voice prompts that eventually tell you, “Goodbye” and hang up.
When my Surface Go 2 died suddenly I was unable to contact anyone at Microsoft, nobody is home. I eventually was forced to go through my account to initiate a return for the item which thankfully was under warranty. I jumped through the hoops to return the defective one and received back a squished white box with a functional Go 2 inside that it was swapped out for. Nothing inside about the previous one, just the tablet.
I am far less happy dealing with my out of warranty Surface Pro X. Once again, nobody is home at Microsoft and I can’t even find a link to submit a technical question regarding my issue. They offer a fairly pointless virtual agent that knows absolutely nothing of any real assistance and the Surface Diagnostic Toolkit is simply a waste of time and its 2.1 stars rating is a testament to that. If you do follow the support links in your account devices page, you’ll need to send the unit in at your own expense IF you can find a way past the, “Run the Surface Diagnostic Toolkit” page which you can’t until you work your way through the app itself.
Working through the diagnostic app, I was eventually offered a way to have a chat session with an agent. I accepted this with glee and watched the countdown until my number was up. I was number four in line. The agent was just like I remember they were; friendly and patient and helped me fix the OS issue.
My aggravation really lies with the fact that Microsoft’s support site sent me to dead end after dead end instead of simply offering me the correct tools I needed to resolve the issue myself. I have spent hours trying to use their suggested support procedures that were simply incorrect for an ARM based systems. Once I reached a human, it was solved rather quickly which I am thankful for.
While I am happy to have my Surface up and running again, I feel compelled to share my experiences as a frustrated consumer of Microsoft products. I really do not like where Microsoft is going on the consumer side and I’m afraid things won’t be changing anytime soon.