Customers' long-standing problem with the battery life on the Surface Pro 3 has taken a new twist. Microsoft's tablet/laptop hybrid has been dogged by battery failure issues this year. Microsoft had promised certain ways to get a replacement battery pack. However, the company is now going back on its earlier promises, according to customers.
The Surface Pro 3 is an excellent piece of hardware, but sadly it has had battery issues long term. The support page on Microsoft's official channel is now around 140 pages. This has been a long standing issue that we discuss shortly, but earlier in the year Microsoft made some promises to affected users.
During a Reddit AMA to discuss the issue, Surface VP Panos Pinay said “To sum up: We've built a great battery into the product (details above). IF the battery fails during the warranty period, we'll replace the battery. IF the battery fails after the warranty period, you'll call Microsoft support and arrange for the battery to be replaced. The cost will be $200 USD.”
Microsoft promised two options for customers based on their warranty status. Those still covered by the warranty would get a new battery for free. Those outside their warranty would have to pay $200 for a new battery. That figure is at least less than having to buy a replacement Surface Pro 3.
The problem is, Microsoft is not honoring the statement above. Customers are now reporting that the company is not offering the $200 battery. Instead, Surface Pro 3 owners are being told to buy a replacement unit at a cost of $450.
Surface Pro 3 Problems
The Surface Pro 3 has been plagued by battery issues this year. The device was losing battery life quickly, mostly under one hour. Users noted that devices with SIMPLO batteries were more frequently affected.
Microsoft was quick to respond and say that it would conduct an investigation into the problem. However, the company said it would not pay for fixes with replacement units. The best offer from Redmond was to reduce the price of a replacement to $500. That changed when the problem was found to be software related.
The company rolled out a firmware update that “fixed” the issue. Microsoft described the problem as such: “Think of this like a fuel gauge in a car, where the car looks to the fuel gauge to determine how much to fill the tank,” Microsoft says. “In this case, if the fuel gauge isn't working right, the car would also not be able to fill the tank — even though the tank is fine.”
Unfortunately, the firmware patch did not solve the problem. Last month, users started complaining again about poor battery degradation on the Surface Pro 3. This time it is all devices affected, even those with LG batteries. This latest twist has only added fuel to customer dissatisfaction with Microsoft and the way it has handled this situation.