It’s time for Microsoft to fix the Surface Pro 4 mess by offering no-hassle refurb SP5s

While some folks with congenital Surface Pro 4 problems get free exchanges, others don’t even get the time of day. We could use some consistency in the exchange policy — and some sympathy for those who bought the worst Surface device ever.

Microsoft Surface Pro 3
Michael Homnick

Microsoft’s exchange policy on bad Surface Pro 4s flops around from day to day, from location to location. From Flickergate to bad TypeCovers to battery drain to touch that doesn’t, the SP4 is a disaster — and it’s been that way for three years.

It’s time that Microsoft faced up to the mess it created and offered to exchange a refurbished Surface Pro 5 (er, Surface Pro (2017)) to those with SP4 problems. No questions. No hassles. No bull. Replace one out-of-date machine with another.

If you own a Surface Pro 4, you have undoubtedly heard about the problems.

  • It took more than two years for Microsoft to ’fess up to the Flickergate defect and do something about it.
  • I’ve been following complaints about Surface Pro 4 TypeCover defects for more than a year, and there’s still been no official acknowledgment.
  • Then there was the September 2018 patch that killed touch on Surface Pro 4s. The official Answers Forum response says that Microsoft is “investigating.” That and a buck will buy you a cup o’ coffee.
  • For more than a year we’ve had multiple reports of batteries bleeding out completely while in Sleep.

The list goes on and on. Consumer Reports like the Surface Pro 4 so much it yanked its “Recommended” rating — and only restored it when Microsoft stopped selling the SP4.

Microsoft’s response to the problems runs all over the map. Some people get replacements for their defective machines if they push hard enough. Others get a blank stare.

Microsoft MVP Barb Bowman has a simple solution:

Microsoft should offer every Surface Pro 4 owner a free Surface Pro 2017 (5th generation) refurb replacement.

Microsoft isn’t selling SP5s any more. Their warehouses must be bulging. SP4 owners would get a machine that works — most of the time, anyway. Granted, it’s a refurb, and SP5 isn’t the latest version, but it’s one whole heckuvalot better than the junk they have now. And with problems cropping up over and over again, I’d bet Microsoft would save money in the long run by taking the high road.

Not to mention that it’s the right thing to do.

We’ll keep you posted on the AskWoody Lounge.

Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.

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