When Microsoft replaces Jasmine Cunningham’s Surface 4 pen, it neglects an important component: the tip. Now it’s balking at replacing this critical component.
Q: I need help getting a refund from Microsoft. I have a Surface 3 tablet and a Surface 4 pen. Last year, when it was still under warranty, the pen completely stopped working. I contacted Surface support and they said they’d send a replacement as long as I shipped the defective one back to them.
When the replacement came, it was just a pen in a padded envelope, minus the pen tip which sold separately for $20. I had sent everything that came with the pen, including the tip, back to Microsoft in its original box.
Microsoft said it was out of stock of pen tips. Eventually, they just offered to refund me the $20.
But the issue with that was that everyone — Walmart, Target, Best Buy — seemed to run out of stock at the same time. So that prolonged the wait. I either couldn’t find one or couldn’t afford the crazy asking prices on Amazon and eBay.
The tip is unusable. I basically couldn’t wait anymore and I bought the cheapest tip I could find on Amazon for $59. I contacted Microsoft support online, who referred me to call some number. I called them and spent two hours speaking with them with no resolution. A representative said I would get an email explaining how to submit proof of purchase for the refund but I got nothing.
I’ve also tried contacting Microsoft on social media, and I’ve tried emailing the Microsoft executives from your site, but it hasn’t worked. I guess I’m wondering what my approach should be? I would like the full $59 I paid to be refunded. — Jasmine Cunningham, Birmingham, Ala.
A: Your Surface 4 pen, a stylus used to access the tablet computer, shouldn’t have broken. But when it did, Microsoft should have promptly sent you a replacement. An entire replacement.
I don’t know why the tips are so pricey. I’ve seen some chatter on the Surface forums, but there’s no good reason for the price increase other than supply and demand. More people want the tips, therefore the prices go up. Your guess is as good as mine.
You kept a comprehensive paper trail of the correspondence between you and Microsoft, which is commendable. But I see that you also spent a considerable amount of time on the phone with a Microsoft representative. As I’ve noted many times in the past, the phone isn’t the most efficient way of resolving a problem. Unless you record the call, there’s no permanent record of it.
How to contact Microsoft
Contacting the company through social media and via the Microsoft executive contacts listed on my consumer advocacy site was a good idea. But I’m not surprised that you didn’t get a satisfactory answer. I mean, we’re talking about a $20 pen tip.
While we’re on the topic of pen tips, what is it with technology companies selling pens for $100 and tips for $20? Have we lost our minds? A simple interface like that shouldn’t cost $120. Seriously. Microsoft, you can do better.
I contacted Microsoft on your behalf. The company sent you the $59 as promised and included credit for your next purchase as an apology for the long wait.