Microsoft Store Can’t Exchange A Defective Computer Properly, Sends Me Wrong Refund

Albert wrote to us about his problems with his Cyber Monday purchase from the Microsoft Store. No, we haven’t been sitting on his message for almost two months: he’s been struggling with Microsoft for that long, trying to get this transaction to make sense. One important thing that he learned: just because he’s lucky enough to live relatively near a Microsoft Store, that doesn’t mean it will do him any good.

Here’s my bad experience with Microsoft Store:

1. On 11/26/2012, I place online order of a notebook on http://www.microsoftstore.com in the total amount of $542.66 (with $200 cyber Monday discount)

2. Order was received on 11/28/2012 with a defective trackpad.

3. On 12/07/2012, I chat with customer service which is pop up on Microsoft online store asking if I can do the exchange at the Microsoft store in [redacted]. The representative confirm that I can do the exchange with the store in [redacted].

4. On 12/08/2012, I drive 50 miles round trip to Microsoft store in [redacted] for exchange request. The store inform me that I have to do the exchange with the online store because they don’t have that model in stock. The staff even cannot accept the defective laptop and order the new one for me. He advised me that I have to call the customer service and ship the defective laptop back.

5. On the same day (12/08/2012,) I call the customer service requesting the exchange. I am connected to Microsoft’s customer service located in Philippines. The rep. cannot help me right away. He advised that he has to place a new order in order to replace my defective laptop. Since my order was placed on Thanksgiving promotion period, he has to put this to escalation department so I can get the same discount price. I was advised that I should get a call on Monday December 10, 2012. I remind the representative that I will be out of country on Dec 24, 2012; therefore, I need to get this resolved right away.

6. December 11, 2012 passed, and nobody called me. Then, on December 11, 2012 I call again the customer service at noon working hour PST. Again I am connected to customer service located in Philippines. The rep. still cannot help me; she also cannot connect me to anybody who can make a decision. She promised that somebody will call me back by Friday December 14, 2012.

7. Until December 14, 2012, I don’t get any call from Microsoft. Therefore, I try to call again the customer service. This time, I am connected to customer service located in Canada. I explained to him that I only need to exchange with exactly the same laptop because the one that I got is defective. The representative talked to his manager, then advised me that he will need to place a new order at full price (total amount $778.64) in order to send me a replacement. However, he assured me not to worry because I will get a refund in the amount of $778.64 once Microsoft receives the defective laptop.

Therefore, I will still get the cyber Monday discount on this exchange order. The representative also prepared a shipping label for me to ship back the defective laptop. I asked the representative if I can get email confirmation confirming that I will get a refund for $778.64; he told me that his system doesn’t allow him to send me an email. He assure me by giving a reference number just in case I don’t get the correct refund.

8. On December 18, 2012, I received the replacement laptop. Then, I shipped back the defective laptop along with a note reminding them that I should get the refund in the amount of $778.64 because my replacement order was placed with this full price. I even put the Phone call reference# when I was advised that I will get a refund in the amount of $778.64.

9. On December 29, 2012, I get an email confirmation that my refund has been processed in the amount $542.66. This really makes me upset because it is either Microsoft doesn’t keep its promise to give me replacement without affecting the discount that I get on Thanksgiving period or Microsoft made an error again.

10. While I was out of the country from Dec 24, 2012 through Jan 14, 2013, I cannot contact Microsoft customer service because they don’t have customer support through email.

I tried to submit a survey from Microsoft hoping that somebody will contact me back through email. Their escalation support engineer sent me an email asking for detail. After I explain the situation, he never reply back to me. I send another email asking for his response. His response was simple, “Albert, If you are looking to get a refund you will need to contact the MS Store at 877.696.7786. Thanks, [redacted]“

11. On January 17, 2013, I gave it another shot to call the customer service. Again, I am connected to the customer service located in Philippines. I give her the reference number of my last call with customer service when they are processing my exchange order. Also. I explain every detail that I am supposed to get a refund in the amount of $778.64 because it is an exchange of defective notebook for exactly the same model.

However, The representative advised me that there is nothing she can help me about this. There is no note that I will get the same discount price for the exchange of defective laptop. I ask her, “does it mean the last representative who process my exchange order lies to me?” She answer me, “I am sorry about that sir, but there’s nothing she can do to help me.”

I am truly frustrated with Microsoft Store’s customer service.

Albert pointed out that other vendors might put a hold on customers’ credit cards during an exchange like this, but not an actual charge. The curious thing about this situation is that one would think that the Microsoft Store would make this exchange easier, not harder. Isn’t that what the retail stores are for, to mimic Apple’s retail and support network that supplements their e-commerce business?