My Surface Pro 4 Horror Story

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[Old Story – August 23, 2018]

Thought I’ll just let go, but every time I look at this device, I can’t resist.

First year, I suffered with multitude of software issues.

Second year started with the [in]famous “flickering screen”. It started after a software update. I remember spending days trying to “reset” “reinstall” thinking it’s a software issue. Took some time to realize it’s actually a wide-spread hardware issue.

Was considering getting a new laptop. But, unfortunately, because I had to suffer more, and so heard about the “replacement program”

Reluctantly called the Microsoft support. After the first call I was like “That’s it? that easy?”. Had no idea about the kind of horrendous support from Microsoft and FedEx was awaiting Me.

That’s when problems with Software and “flickering screen” started looking so small. MY GOD, THEIR SUPPORT. It was a 45 days of misery for me. It felt like someone is trying to deliberately harass Me.

All the while, it’s an infinite loop of Me asking Microsoft to arrange a pick-up at “address 1”, and an ***** from fedex calling me to tell that he is coming to “address 2”. Did I keep changing “address 1”? No, it’s the exact same address I dictated some 10 times over phone and mail

What’s even worse is, email is just a fraction of the story. Talk about those 10s and 10s of phone calls happened with geniuses at Microsoft India and FedEx India

In a day when even local food delivery services operate at minutes accuracy, how can 2 big companies like Microsoft and FedEx mes-up so bad? How is it even possible that such ignorance can continue for 45 long days.

[New Story – January 2019]

The horror story continues..

After a lot of complaining, emails and phone calls My old Surface Pro has finally been replaced.

But you know what, the new [refurbished] one started flickering from the 2nd day of usage.

What is happening here? How can Microsoft be so ignorant? It seems more like arrogance.

Don’t they do even basic level of quality control?

This thing is really affecting my career at this point of time.

I tweeted about it here [URL=”https://twitter.com/venkatsreekanth/status/1087284903090089985″]https://twitter.com/venkatsreekanth/status/1087284903090089985[/URL]

Please do retweet

Comments (14)

14 responses to “My Surface Pro 4 Horror Story”

  1. Tony Barrett

    The Surface line are just plagued with software and hardware issues. If you have a good one - you're lucky, but MS just don't seem to be able to get their OWN hardware and software working together properly and reliably. They're not worth the time or hassle, and MS consumer support is just awful. I wouldn't buy a Surface even if I had the money! I genuinely feel sorry for you.

    • robinwilson16

      In reply to ghostrider:

      I have had a lot of issues with my Surfaces in the past. Mostly with them not waking from sleep and having to hold the power button down to do a hard reset which still happens although not very often anymore.

      Also every Microsoft wireless mouse I have had has had an issue and so have keyboards (wired tends to be fine). On the ARC mouse I am using now I regularly have to switch off and back on as the scroll wheel goes crazy. The keyboards requires the wireless dongle to be so close to the keyboard that it defeats the purpose of a wireless keyboard!

      At least they get some things right and their latest Surfaces are a lot more reliable than the early ones that used to be really frustrating sometimes. Store Apps are still unreliable though and OneDrive has caused me a lot of frustration too.

    • Dave

      In reply to ghostrider:
      Similar power button issue with Asus mini transformer. Not only after 'sleep' but occasionally after close down as well. Thought that the damn thing was bricked but will come on eventually if you keep the power button depressed. Also with 18.09 update the battery is draining away to nothing when put in sleep mode.


    • venkatsreekanth

      In reply to ghostrider:

      As long as they keep getting easy money from those big corporations, they can never understand the sensitivity of consumer market I guess.

  2. Bats

    What software do you have installed in your machine?

  3. harmjr

    Mine the surface type cover keyboard went out. They wanted to tell me at first it was the type cover. Then drivers and well two weeks of headache later its the port. But mine is out of warranty so I gave up. I am on the fence on if I will buy another Surface device.

    • venkatsreekanth

      In reply to harmjr:

      Yeah, the USB port on mine has bean bad since day 1. You have to have your USB device inserted at a very particular position, else it won't be detected.

    • wright_is

      In reply to harmjr:

      I had an SP3, which my old employer bought off of me so that I could use it at work. When I left the company, I looked around for a replacement.

      I looked at how I had used it and found that I had spent 95%+ of the time with it docked, 4.5% of the time as a laptop and 0.5% as a tablet.

      In the end, I went for an HP Spectre X360. It was a much more practical design, for my needs. It was a toss-up between that or a Lenovo Yoga. The only downside was the screen format (16:9 as opposed to 3:2), but it doesn't really bother me.

      I liked my SP3 a lot, but I just found my usage didn't really call for that formfactor and a traditional laptop that could be used in tablet mode was better suited.

  4. Xatom

    You were warned by consumer reports. You ignored them at your peril.

    • venkatsreekanth

      In reply to Xatom:

      Well, I bought it some 2.5 years back. The device started malfunctioning immediately after completion of 1 year.


      At that time, I don't think there was any consumer report thing. It was all praises from the media and fanboys alike.


      All "great" reviews without ever mentioning those countless software issues it had back then.


      The moment I started using the device, I realized how "superficial" those reviews were

  5. wright_is

    I had a SP3, whose battery died at around 18 months - and once the battery is dead, you can't even boot it when it is connected to the mains!

    In my case, Microsoft just swapped it out. Luckily it was still within the standard warranty period.

  6. wright_is

    And news this morning was that the Marvell wireless chip in most Surface devices* has multiple zero-day vulnerabilities in the firmware.

    https://www.helpnetsecurity.com/2019/01/21/marvell-avastar-wi-fi-vulnerability/

    The vulnerable Marvell Avastar Wi-Fi can be found in Sony PlayStation 4, Microsoft Surface computers, Xbox One, Samsung Chromebooks, certain smartphones (e.g., Galaxy J1), Valve SteamLink and other devices.


    * And about a billion other devices

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