Microsoft Store

No-one ever talks about great customer service. As someone who spent a past life working in retail, I'm only too aware of this. Not once would you hear of one of your customers seeking out the manager to praise your efforts, no matter how much you had done. But should a customer be unhappy, well, everyone heard about it. That seems to be the way, regardless of the company. "Oh, xxx company is terrible, worst service ever." Perhaps because we're usually calling for help when something bad has happened, or we're in a fix we just can't get out of.

So I want to talk about the good. I want to speak a little about how the UK Microsoft Surface support team gave excellent service and helped me out when all I saw was an expensive bill headed my way. My Surface Pro 3 got a cracked screen.

The backstory first on the damage, since it's no doubt a question people will ask. I'm pretty protective of expensive pieces of equipment like the Surface Pro 3. When you're spending hundreds and hundreds of pounds on a device, why wouldn't you be? It's never been dropped, it lives in a drawer overnight with nothing on top of it and if it leaves the house it's in a pretty well-padded protective sleeve. So imagine my horror when I pull it out of the drawer, and there's a network of fine cracks across the display.

As it happens, something may have swelled inside pushing up on the glass. The cracks all originate at the hole at the top where the front microphone sits, and since there was no sign of impact damage anywhere on the tablet it seems like a plausible explanation. But I'm still expecting a bill.

So I'm extremely happy when the Surface team not only takes my word for the damage but agrees without a second thought that it can be swapped under the warranty and would send one out straight away. All I have to do is package up the damaged one and send it back. No drama. No having to drive 90 minutes each way to a store to see someone, but the earliest booking is in a week's time (ahem). Just a pleasant conversation with an extremely helpful outcome.

So, thanks to Microsoft for having superb customer service. It was my first experience dealing with them directly, and it's the right impression to walk away with. The Microsoft Store isn't that big in the UK yet, and there are no physical locations at all, but I'd certainly like to see it grow. The range of devices on offer here doesn't come close to rivalling the U.S. equivalent, but I'll be going there first in the future, just in case.

Good customer service matters.

My poor Surface Pro 3, in case you were curious