So I sent my surface to Microsoft for service last week...
...and it was the best.experience.ever.
About two months back, I noticed that my Touch Cover started splitting along the seams. A good friend of mine was friendly enough to inform me that not only the cover was splitting apart, but that the VaporMG started flaking off as well. Honestly, the device was showing its age and amount of use.
And there was this little "bug" that's been annoying me ever since I bought it: It has some sort of dynamic contrast, and after a little while, it would start to freak out and change brightness not slowly and smooth, but very abruptly. It was especially bad whenever screen brightness was down to the minimum. VERY annoying if you're trying to do some browsing while your loved one is already sleeping - it is almost like a small flash going off. I've spent tens of hours trying to find a fix, but nothing would cure it.
So, in the face of an ugly touch cover and a worn tablet, I called Microsoft to have it repaired. I had ordered the Surface from Germany because it wasn't available in my country at the time, and another thing of mine is: I hate hotlines. So I was expecting trouble when I rang them.
I didn't them troubles.
What I got instead was a VERY nice folk on the other end, and while he didn't speak perfect German, he did put up an effort and did his best. When I explained my troubles to him, we were first talking about the touch cover - "If it's splitting, just send it to us and we'll replace it". Done. Then the surface. Explained the flickering.
He: "So, did you try restarting your Surface?"
I: "I rebooted, that fixes it for a few minutes. Then I cleaned it through the system settings, that didn't help. Then I completely wiped the OS, didn't help either."
He: "Okay, sounds like you know what you're doing, you've done our standard procedures. Just send us the Surface as well, we will replace it."
Done. No stupid questionnaires about system updates and applications and alignment of stars, but a simple "OK, I trust your abilities" route. (I once spent half an hour on Packard Bell's hotline over a fried notebook. For example, I was asked to try and boot into safe mode - on a Notebook that would not turn on at all. In the end I was sent a new power brick before I was allowed to send them my Notebook.)
While we were waiting for the shipping labels to be created, he went on an told me about Windows RT 8.1 coming out soon, and its new features, and that it'll include Outlook. Nice way to shorten the wait. The next day I got a call from them if I had received my labels yet, and some more instructions on how to properly send my stuff. Two days later, confirmation E-mail that they received the items, day after that, replacements are underway.
Yesterday I got a call again, asking if I noticed that I missed my Surface delivery. Kind of creepy - but I had really missed it, and the UPS guy didn't leave a note at my door - so I wouldn't have noticed it. So he informed me that I should call UPS, because they - unlike other delivery services - return your shipment after the third unsuccessful delivery attempt. So I went and paid UPS a visit today, and got my new Surface, and my new touch cover.
Best thing about the whole story: Whenever I was called, it was the same guy I had originally talked to. It is a minor point, but it makes it a so much more natural experience. I really feel that Microsoft is going all the way with its support for Surface, and I just wish other OEMs would follow suit.
TL;DR: They were awesome on every single step of the process. It was quick, it was easy, it was pleasant. The only way they could possibly done better in my mind was to send me a Surface 2. Which would be asking a bit much, honestly :)
So, did you ever need Microsoft hardware support? How was your experience? Care to share a story?
(Typing this significantly reduced wating for the update to 8.1 RT)