Update on 2016-05-18: An update on the saga is here: An update on the poor customer service from Microsoft Band support


Update on 2015-12-11. I used resolver.co.uk and Microsoft didn’t respond in 14 days, so I’ve escalated the case. Apparently this goes to Satya Nadella, but I’m not convinced he really has time to deal with customer service complaints 🙂 Hopefully I’ll hear some positive news soon.


Original from November 2015: You may have seen me recently tweet about my ongoing Microsoft Band issue. Basically, it started falling apart after less than 7 months worth of use. I paid £169.99 for the Band back in April, and I feel a 24/7 fitness device should last significantly longer than that before it starts falling apart. In the UK we have some laws that govern this stuff, and I’m frankly appalled that I’ve had to start quoting those laws and (attempting to) exercise them. Most companies I’ve dealt with in the past are fantastic when devices exhibit faults early in their life and replace items with no quibbles. Not Microsoft, it seems.

I’m not the only one seeing these issues. It seems like a design flaw in the battery placement on the original Band, and one which the Band 2 works around by moving the battery location.

I’ve summarised the saga below (and even that is verging on TL;DR :)).

  • As early as 3.5 months into ownership, the Band started to show signs of early wear: the plastic skin that covers the batteries started to bulge and peel. I reported this, and was told nothing could be done as it’s purely cosmetic.

WP_20150728_15_07_49_Pro_

  • Between 6 and 7 months, the batteries started to come away from the Band strap itself. And the plastic had peeled almost completely off the Band’s batteries, causing some mild skin irritation.
    • WP_20150915_12_18_57_Pro_

      September 2015

    • November 2015

      November 2015

  • I contacted Microsoft again. They agreed to replace the Band. I shipped it off.
  • The band was then returned 14 days later, in its original state (not repaired). Included in the package was a template letter, effectively saying that I’d caused the damage and that therefore my warranty was voided and no repair would take place.

    By the way: one of the conditions that voids your warranty is “Scratches and Dents”. Yes. On a fitness band. That’s meant to be worn 24/7. Especially during activity where it might get knocked (running, football, weight training).

  • After arguing that I’d never purposefully damaged the device, Microsoft agreed to escalate the case and arrange a replacement. After 3 days of hearing nothing, I chased (I’ve spent over 8 hours of my life chasing this thing. Microsoft rarely let me know the outcome of the escalations).
  • In a series of events following I was then informed that I hadn’t packaged the device sufficiently when I originally sent it (in spite of being told that a padded jiffy bag would be fine) and so they wouldn’t replace the device.
  • I then had to resort to using under the Sale of Goods Act, complaining that the device wasn’t fit for purpose. My desired resolution was to be shipped a Band 2, as that wouldn’t exhibit the same design flaws that the original Band does. Shipping me an identical device with the same design flaws will only lead to the possibility of another return.
  • This this complaint/suggestion, was rejected by Escalations. Dead end.

So here I am. 24 calendar days since I first shipped the device back to Microsoft. Still with a faulty product. Still miffed at Microsoft. I’ve now complained about this via resolver.co.uk, but I don’t hold out much hope. What next, legal action? I hope it doesn’t have to come to that. It certainly should never have gotten this far.

 

Written by Phil Wiffen

Phil is an IT Professional working in Cambridge, England. He generally blogs about useful solutions that he comes across in his work/play.

4 Comments

Dan

Wow, pretty close to my experience. However, the US doesn’t have a law that protects us like you guys have to leverage. I posted on Twitter to their account, but it is a good thing this isn’t a necessary medical device. I’d be dead by now.

Linda

That is exactly what happened with my band and my initial contact with Microsoft. After they sent back my band with the same form letter and voiding the remainder of my warranty, I contacted Microsoft again complaining that the band was used as it was intended. They then had me send pictures of the band, which I did, and they once again claimed that it was not covered by warranty. I then went on a social media rant (twitter and their Facebook page). I was contacted by a person from Microsoft’s “escalation team” the same day that I went on my rant and was sent a replacement. I’m sure it won’t last any longer than the first band because of the design flaw, but I guess it’s better than nothing.

Sam Childs

Im having exactly the same problem so would love to know as my band has actually been sent back in a worse state than it was sent in. Im fuming.

Stuart Wells

My Microsoft Band strap has broken (the rubber strap has simply severed itself where the metal buckle part attaches to the strap). This happened during the night (as I wear it every night to measure sleep patterns, the main reason I bought it. In fact I don’t do any real exercise – I simply wear it 24/7 (bar about an hour a day whilst it charges) and of course I remove it when near water (like showering or swimming).

Given my very light usage – I am appalled at the damage it has sustained during normal usage and MS are saying it is outside the conditions of their Limited Warranty – fortunately for me I have statutory rights here in the UK provided by the Sale of Goods Act, and like you feel any fitness device should not show significant signs of wear and tear within the first year of its life – let alone completely breaking in a physical way.

What I do not really want to do it pursue my rights – I expect a company like Microsoft to fully understand their obligations under UK law and not (frankly) fob me off.

Did you get a resolution?

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