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.
- 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.
- 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.