• Microsoft refuses to honor Panos Panay’s promise for $200 replacement of defective Surface Pro 3 batteries

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    And a whole lot of Surface Pro 3 owners are steamed about it. InfoWorld Woody on Windows.
    [See the full post at: Microsoft refuses to honor Panos Panay’s promise for $200 replacement of defective Surface Pro 3 batteries]

    Viewing 19 reply threads
    • #31581

      I have not followed the Surface Pro story at all, but I’ve just skimmed your InfoWorld article, and the situation sounds bad.

      I’m wondering if a person who has been really affected and is out of a lot of money could do a chargeback with their credit card (the one they used to buy the Surface Pro) about this issue. A lot of credit cards will allow you to do a chargeback with them (where they refund you your money and pursue the original seller for it) if you have received a bad product that did not perform as it was promised to and if you’ve tried to work things out but have been refused adequate resolution from the company who made the product/sold the product.

      Most periods for chargebacks are 12 months from the purchase date, but I think (though I might be incorrect) that some credit cards have, as a special benefit, an extension to that protection, perhaps up to 2 years.

    • #31582

      Interesting idea. I’ll run it up the flagpole….

    • #31583

      Someone sold me the wrong part for my oven. They refused to refund my money, even though it was obviously the wrong part (I showed them the broken part and the replacement part) because their catalog showed the wrong part; i.e., it wasn’t “their” fault.

      My credit card company credited me the amount of the purchase when I explained it to them. This was about two months after the date of purchase.

      They didn’t charge back the customer; they simply gave me the money.

    • #31584

      What is the actual manufacturing cost of these batteries? It can’t be any more than $200 each, including the cost of shipping one to a customer.

      It would appear that Microsoft is so arrogant that they think they can do whatever they want without repurcussions. Either that, or they’ve lost their head. Not sure which.

    • #31585

      The big problem is that it’s a bear to replace them.

    • #31586

      That may be the case that the cc company does not get the money from the original seller. I had assumed they did, since that would make financial sense, but maybe they don’t pursue it.

      I have heard a number of people say that the seller gets a bad reputation with the credit card company if a chargeback is accepted on one of their transactions, and they try to avoid having chargebacks lodged against them and do not like to build up a history of them because it’s problematic for them in their relationship with the cc company.

      You can also contact the seller and say that you are considering doing a cc chargeback, and if they haven’t taken you seriously before, it might spur them to want to negotiate with you rather than lose a chargeback with their cc company.

      To do a chargeback, there is a form to fill out with the cc company, it’s pretty straightforward. You’ll want to have as many relevant records as you can gather, such as your receipt of the transaction, copies of any correspondence you’ve had from the company, repair bills by other companies that tried to help you fix the issue, even evidence of major public about-faces such as Panay’s statement and the subsequent MS statements.

      To find out the exact steps to take, and to see if you have chargeback protection that extends beyond 12 months, call the phone number on the back of your credit card and ask customer service.

      There is also, of course, the class action lawsuit route, but that usually takes a couple of years to provide any kind of financial compensation.

      On this Surface Pro issue, keep your eyes out for announcements of such a suit; they don’t always contact everyone who is eligible, so you need to watch the suits that are being announced (on dedicated websites for that sort of thing) and make sure to enter any that you qualify for.

      I will post this comment, and then go find a list of such websites to attach to this comment, for people’s general information.

    • #31587

      They don’t have a head now, or a heart…

      or a soul!

      …scene fades to black …duhm duhm duhmmmmm (scary music) …a woman screams

    • #31588

      Please NOTE:

      Now that I’m thinking about it, I think I was wrong about one thing earlier,

      but maybe the general situation that I describe below will STILL help a number of people who had Surface Pro problems:

      I now think that the coverage that some credit cards extend
      to 2 years from the standard 1 year is
      NOT the “chargeback” coverage,
      but they do do this on a different kind of coverage (which I describe below).

      Indeed, I don’t know what the “chargeback” time period is, it might not be a year — it might be 90 days, it might be 6 months, it might be 5 years — so you’ll have to check with your credit card company (the one that you used to purchase the item you have a complaint about) on their chargeback rules.

      And I think looking into whether you can do a chargeback is worth doing, if you are talking about an expensive product and a woeful response from the company on a faulty product.

      However, what some cards DO DOUBLE is the time given for the normal warranty coverage of an item.

      I am certain about this, it’s a fact.

      Some cards do this, for no extra cost.

      For example:
      You buy a television with a 1-year manufacturer warranty.
      Many credit cards will double that warranty, so you would get an extra year of warranty on that item, making 2 years total.
      If something bad happened to it in that special extended warranty period, something that was covered under its original warranty terms, the credit card company would cover you for that.

      They are often pretty good about being fair about this, I have heard.

      Some cards are more cooperative than others on honoring an extended warranty — Amex has a very good reputation on that.

    • #31589

      As I mentioned in my comment above, in case you bought a Surface Pro and in the future there is a class action lawsuit about the product,
      not all class action cases successfully contact the whole group of proper claimants who should put in an application for their share of the distribution of settlement funds,
      so here are some websites that list current class action lawsuits which you might want to take a look at once in a while.

      [Note: When I tried to post this the first time, Woody’s site automatically refused to publish my post without explanation, and it’s probably because I have external links in it.
      I am going to try to put some carriage returns in the links, to fool the site’s censoring program. If that works, then just delete those carriage returns in these website addresses if you wish to look at them online.]





      If you live in the US (these websites are for the US only) and if you’ve never before looked into the many ongoing class action suits,
      I bet you will be surprised to find on those lists some settled lawsuits on items that you have bought in the past and on which you can now claim a cash settlement.

      It’s not to promote being litigious —
      other people have already conducted the lawsuits and they won them (or they won an out-of-court negotiation) —
      it’s just encouraging honest customers to get the rightful compensation that people who bought the items in question were deemed to deserve (in the settlement agreements of the lawsuits).

    • #31590

      I’m not sure why those links got bounced. But they’re here now.

    • #31591

      The links were bounced when they were written the normal way as urls,
      but adding in some of the line breaks* fooled the system, which allowed them through.

      * Ah, it’s a relief to remember that a “line break” is what a typewriter carriage return is called in modern lingo! The term has been eluding me for a while now. Maybe it’s the fish oil capsule I took this morning. 🙂

    • #31592

      Pretty much the same deal, just an old trick in a new game?


      First, there was the shady cartel of lightbulb manufacturers in 1920s Germany who reduced the working lives of their bulbs from 2,500 hours to 1,000. Thus that great motor of capitalist profit, built-in obsolescence, was born.


      Part 1, which aired on BBC 2, follows Peretti across the globe as he traces the rise of planned obsolescence—from deliberately shortened lifespans in light bulbs to non-replaceable batteries in the original iPod. Along the way, he pops into General Motors to explore the birth of the one-model-a-year car (GM called it “the organized creation of dissatisfaction”). And he drops by IKEA and Apple to investigate “continual obsolescence”—the engineered desire to buy something a little newer, a little better, a lot sooner than is actually necessary.

      “But the flipside of the hysteria for the new is that the new becomes unwanted—fast,” Peretti explains. “Yesterday’s desired item is tomorrow’s piece of trash.”

      That point becomes particularly plain as Peretti tours an e-waste recycling facility in California. On the pallets waiting to be processed for recycling: boxes and boxes of brand new electronic equipment. Even unused, they aren’t new enough to appeal to consumers. It’s the ultimate extrapolation of planned obsolescence: things can be deemed obsolete before they are even opened.

    • #31593

      All of this is why when I look at laptops I check if the battery, HDD/SSD, and memory are user replaceable. If not, I move one.

      Sending a laptop to the manufacturer to replace those items is like sending your car back to the manufacturer to change the oil or upgrade the tires.

    • #31594

      Regarding understanding chargebacks —

      I am *not* saying that a chargeback would work in the case of a Surface Pro that was defective and for which MS wouldn’t honor their prior published promises –

      (I just don’t know if a chargeback would work or not; obviously it would be way down on the list of remedies to try for) –

      But here is some general information about chargebacks:





      (Consumerist is the website associated with Consumer Reports magazine)

    • #31595

      Regarding the extended product warranties that some credit cards offer their customers for free,
      here is some general information.

      If a person had bought a malfunctioning Surface Pro with a credit card that gives extended warranty protection,
      depending on what exactly the manufacturer’s Surface Pro warranty specified (which I do not know about because I did not buy a Surface Pro – maybe Microsoft’s product warranty was only 90 days, maybe it specifically excluded batteries…),
      then that person might still be in the extended warranty period offered by the credit card, and might be able to see if there are some remedies that can still be obtained. It’s worth at least checking into.


      “All four major card payment networks — Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express — offer similar (and free) extended warranties for products purchased with their cards.
      They can add up to an extra year to the warranty that came with the item.
      Most cards offer warranty protection in some form”

      “Unbeknownst to many consumers, credit cards provide a number of ancillary benefits, including rental car insurance and extended product warranties.
      These benefits generally do not come from credit card issuers, but rather from the card networks that each card is linked to.
      In this study, we will explore the extended warranty programs offered by the four major card networks: Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.”

    • #31596

      In the UK it may be possible to claim a refund for ‘faulty’ goods from your credit card company under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

      Here’s a useful link


      I don’t know much about computers (which is why I take Woody’s advice!) but I am a former lawyer so I know what I’m talking about in this context.

    • #31597

      I believe the cc companies keep track of chargebacks and pertinent details as well as the rate. If the rate is excessive compared to others in their retail group the retailer will get charged higher fees and eventually not allowed to accept ccs if they do not get their act together.

    • #31598

      In my experience you can file a dispute with your credit card company if you believe the product is not up to your satisfaction. This allows your credit card company to work for you with the vendor. Sometimes this helps, as I have been refunded for a product I sent back to Dell which they wanted to fix rather than refund. People should read their card agreements, many have extended warranties for some purchases. For myself I would never buy a Microsoft product period. When they screw up their own products like the Surface line. It begs the question, why should you invest in such a product?

    • #31599

      Would there not also be a remedy under the Sale of Goods Act (or Consumer Rights Act as it is now) as clearly the goods are not fit for purpose

    • #31600

      Quite likely, yes. But if you paid over ÂŁ100 for it with a credit card, why not let the credit card company fight the battle for you?

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