My relationship with the Microsoft Store deteriorated over the summer. I bought one of their top laptops toward the end of April as a graduation present for myself. The laptop promptly broke and I've been back repeatedly for repairs. Things got ridiculous during the latest bought of repairs. I had to go back to the store constantly over the past 7 days. First, Windows wouldn't start. Windows loaded and then gave me a black screen that flickered on and off. The techs in the front of the Microsoft Store didn't know what the heck was going on, so they held my laptop for repairs. I eventually get the computer back, but realize that they sent me home with the wrong power cord. The tech says "I think there's a random power cord here in the back, it must be yours. Bring your computer in and we'll see." So I go back to Mall of America. It's crowded. The tech didn't make a note of the power cord issue, so another tech fumbles around until the first tech shows up. I get my power cord and go home. I finally sit down with the right power cord, load my video game (Civilization V) and the screen does the blackout/flickering thing again. I take the laptop back to Microsoft the next day. By this time I'm annoyed, but I am purposefully chipper because I hate being dramatic angry customer guy… But this visit to the store was a hot mess. The store employee who greeted me must have been new because he had me check myself in on their computers. I had been to the store over a dozen times at this point and never had to do this. Then I get a tech who opens my computer and basically googles (bings) for solutions to my computer issues. I could have done that at home. The tech then gets into a back-and-forth with the guy who sold me the computer. The salesman says, "Why aren't you just replacing it? He's had too many issues with it. It's a lemon." The tech ignores the salesman and insists on repairing it. So not only am I in this store for the whatever-ish time, but I have to check myself in, watch an employee google for tech answers, and then listen to the employees bicker about what to do next. Plus throughout this experience, I keep getting inconsistent stories about what work is exactly being done to the computer. One person tells me that such-and-such test was done. The next employee says that was not the case. Apparently the Microsoft store employees are either not writing notes in my file, miscommunicating, or just plain making stuff up. They tell me that I have to leave my computer. I give them my passwords and leave my expensive computer at the Microsoft Store again. All of my Apple friends are laughing at me on facebook and twitter. Today I had it. I get a voicemail from the same tech who sent me home with the wrong power cord. He says they need my Steam password because they want to test my game. He's asking for the very password I gave them yesterday. I leave work early and tell my coworkers that it's time to Microsoft how I really feel. This customer service situation was officially ridiculous. So I drive to Mall of America again and this time I'm crabbified. A chipper Microsoft employee greets me at the door. Poor woman had no idea what she was getting into. Chipper MS employee: "Hi, Welcome to the Microsoft Store. How are you?!" Me: "Quite pissed off actually." Chipper MS employee : "That's gr- oh wait, why?" Me : "Because I bought an expensive laptop with you guys and I am constantly in for repairs. The techs keep sending me home without resolving the problem and now they are asking me for information that I already gave to them. This is ridiculous. I'm going to talk to my tech." Horrified MS employee : "Oh, sorry to hear that…" I turn away from the woman and zero-in on the tech at the back desk. He doesn't recognize me at first and then gets an "oh shit" look on his face like a deer in the headlights. Deer-eyed Tech: "Uh, How can I help you?" Me (glaring): "I'm here to check on my HP Envy. You called about a steam password." Deer-eyed Tech: "Uh, yes! Did you call back with it?" Me: "No, I gave it to you yesterday." Deer-eyed Tech: "So you called and told someone about it?" Me: "No. I said I gave it to you guys yesterday when I dropped the computer off. I'm assuming you guys would have made a note about it." Deer-eyed Tech: "Uh, I'll go check in the back." The tech scurries into the back room. I loom around glaring. He finally comes back. Me: "Well?" Deer-eyed Tech: "Oh it was in the notes. I guess I just overlooked it." Me (glaring more intensely): "Okay. So. When is it going to be fixed?" Deer-eyed Tech: "Uh, in a few hours! By the end of the day for sure. I'll call." Me: "Okay." I was a little deflated because I wanted to tell a manager exactly how I felt, but I left the store and waited for the call. It didn't come. I tweeted throughout this week about the epic customer service fail. The Microsoft Store account sent a "Is there anything we can do?" type tweet one day and told me to DM my details. I had to explain to @Microsoftstore that I can't DM someone who doesn't follow me, and by the time they followed me I had already picked up my not-fixed-yet computer. There was no follow up despite @Microsoftstore being tagged on my future complaints and conversations with my twitter friends about the underwhelming customer service. I was disappointed in Microsoft and determined to buy an Apple computer the next time I wanted to drop $1,500-$2,000 on a laptop and warranty. My twitter followers (2,800) and facebook friends (1,600) were aware of my entire experience and the majority of responders were turned off. So after not hearing from my deer-eyed tech, I call the Microsoft Store back and the lady who answers tells me that deer-eyes just left. I explain that I was promised a return call. She apologizes and tells me that a manager will call me back. The manager calls and says that he investigated my experienced, apologizes profusely, and asks me about all of my interactions with the store. It was refreshing that someone from the store acknowledged my poor customer experience instead of just apologizing for things not working. Another underlying issue during this experience is that normally when a customer gets a lemon computer, a store will either offer the customer a new computer or upgrade the product. The laptop I got was one of the most expensive in the store, so an upgrade wasn't likely and wouldn't really make up for the crappy service. An expensive product should work. Period. I wanted to ask for my money back so I could go to the Mac store, but such a request seemed dramatic and unlikely. So I was completely shocked when the manager offered to give me my money back and offered a new computer to me. Say what? The manager actually backed up his lines about customer service and making the customer happy. While refunding my purchase price was unexpected and extremely generous, it does make a lot of sense. I spent a lot of money on the HP Envy and the extended warranty with the expectation that it would work. The computer problems and the bad customer service experience not only soured my expression of the brand, but I was obviously broadcasting my displeasure over twitter and facebook, influencing how my network felt about the store. Plus, a customer who buys an expensive laptop will likely spend more money on other products. Instead of keeping my purchase price and driving me to Apple, (which is across the hall) the manager found a way to ensure that my next $2,000 purchase will be from them. Woop.
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