I probably shouldn’t post this given the way I feel right now but after the excitement of the Microsoft Surface RT launch I was really looking forward to getting mine. I didn’t place my pre-order until the 24th October, as I wanted to read some reviews first, so I wasn’t disappointed not to receive it on the October 26th launch day. I figured I’d receive my Surface RT sometime in the next week.
What I wasn’t expecting today was to receive an email from the Microsoft Store stating this:
The following item(s) have been cancelled from your order:
Product SKU: 9JR-00027
Product Name: Surface with Windows RT
Qty Ordered: 1
Reason for cancellation: Other
This took me completely by surprise because when I pre-ordered they held the amount which meant the transaction was pre-authorised even though it hadn’t actually been debited from my account. I was straight on the phone to the helpline only to be told that they had tried to claim the full amount again, instead of matching up with the previous authorisation to complete the transaction, and this had been rejected due to insufficient funds.
I was told by the person I spoke with that this was an automated system and that the cancellation was irreversible. I could place another order but there is now a 3 week waiting list for new orders on the UK store. After speaking to Microsoft I was straight on the phone to my bank who confirmed that the amount was still assigned to them and all they had to do was claim against the pre-authorisation code (which they kindly gave me).
Another call to the Microsoft Store helpline only to be told that yes they could escalate the issue but they had to send me an email which I could reply to. I waited (im)patiently for about 15-20 minutes but no email. I wanted to get this escalated while there was still a chance of getting the order fulfilled, without waiting 3 weeks, so I called back only to be told the email could take 2-3 hours to arrive!!
This is so disappointing and I can only imagine how many people have been affected by this processing error. I can only hope that Microsoft pick up on this issue and do the right thing for any customers affected.
How has your experience been with the Surface RT launch? Please let me know in the comments.
Update: Still feeling helpless and frustrated I decided on one more action and this was to email Steven Sinofsky at Microsoft since I had noticed, via his twitter feed, that he was trying to help customers experiencing issues with their orders. I received a short but positive response:
From: Steven Sinofsky
Sent: 29 October 2012 18:30
To: Jason Coombes
Subject: RE: Microsoft Store - Order Cancelation Notice (Order #...)
thanks for the note. we’ll look into hs.
Sent from Surface RT
I think there is some irony in that email signature. 😉
Update 2: I was relieved to receive this response via twitter:
Apologies. Identified small number of orders inadvertently cancelled-expect phone/email next business day.
Hopefully I should get the promised call/email today and with a little luck maybe my Surface can be fulfilled to the original timeframe (2nd November). I have to add that I am very impressed that Steven Sinofsky took the time to get people looking into this. If anyone doubts the commitment from Microsoft about getting into hardware perhaps this will show how seriously they are taking it.