An Open Letter to Microsoft Store [UPDATE]

Dear Microsoft,

I have been waiting 22 days for a refund on my Surface. I've contacted Microsoft via phone and text chat multiple times, and I have yet to receive a refund. I am increasingly frustrated with the total lack of accountability from your Store, and I am growing convinced that I will never buy from Microsoft again.

I purchased a Microsoft Surface on November 25th. I ultimately found that the Surface Pro would be best for my needs, so I decided to cancel my order. I called online support and was told that my cancellation had been processed.

The next day, to my surprise, I received three e-mails: a shipment notification, a "cancellation request" (which was obviously a failure), and return instructions. I was disappointed that my order could not be cancelled, but I figured that orders must be processed quickly to speed up shipment and get products in customers' hands as soon as possible. So I decided to follow the e-mail instructions and return my Surface.

I received a UPS label from Microsoft on November 28th and printed it out. I dropped off the Surface at my local UPS store on December 1st. I followed its progress online (Tracking number 1Z8W36F59092792138) and saw that it was delivered to your facility in Grove City, Ohio, on December 5th.


According to the Microsoft return policy, and the return instructions e-mail I received from Microsoft:

"Once the product is received, your refund should appear within 5-7 business days."

Since your Store received my return on December 5th, fully 12 business days have gone by. Yet I have not received a refund, and you continue to hold onto $643.09 for a product that has been out my hands for 22 days.

This would be bad enough if it wasn't for your poor customer service that is apparently totally disconnected from your warehousing and shipment operations, and claims zero responsibility for this unexplained delay in refunding my money. I have had to remain on the phone for upwards of an hour to confirm detail after detail about my order. This is evidently a stalling technique, as I am repeatedly told that the return has not been processed and, worse, you claim that my return has not been received. Anyone with an internet browser can see that this is plainly not the case.

There's no explanation or ability to contact the facility, of course. Instead, I am repeatedly asked if I in fact ordered from your Store, and if I sent the product back to the correct address.

Text chatting on the online Store is no different. Microsoft has had my package for double the amount of time you claim is necessary to process a refund, with no results. I used your shipping label to send the product back in its original packaging! I fail to see where I went wrong.

I am at my wit's end dealing with your Store. I am tired of calling you and receiving zero help, zero results, and zero follow-up from your staff. Your competitors would not -- and do not -- tolerate this kind of service. You have no problem charging my credit card immediately, and no problem ignoring my cancellation request. Your store operates at a breakneck pace when it comes to taking my money but apparently a simple return and refund is a Herculean task. All I want is my money back.

If this situation were handled properly I would have continued to buy from the Microsoft Store in the future, in amounts far exceeding the cost of the Surface. But after this experience, I am inclined to never buy from your Store again.

In the meantime, I'd be interested to know when exactly you plan to return my money.



To his credit, Microsoft employee/evangelist @BenThePCGuy responded to my tweet:

And I just received a call from the Microsoft Store informing me that my refund would be processed after Christmas (which doesn't count as a business day). They also indicated they'd throw in a coupon. So thanks to Ben and to the Microsoft Store for following up.