Surface Pro 3: Great Service at the Microsoft Store

I dropped by the Microsoft Store to invest some time getting to know the Surface 3. Almost as an afterthought on the way in I decided to make an appointment to see a technical specialist while I was in there. The main problem was that the keyboard was unresponsive when waking from sleep. The keys would light up but the key presses did not register on the Surface Pro 3.

The workaround was to remove and replace the keyboard after resuming from sleep.  This was mildly annoying and downright embarrassing when I had to do this in front of other people. I had read through the forums and done hard shutdowns (two button shutdowns), but to no avail.

Another issue that had been nagging at me was that the fan seemed to be on more and more of the time.  It was on almost constantly lately when in the docking station regardless of what I was doing. 

As you would expect, a machine that was running hot with the fan on most of the time was going to run slowly and it was tough on battery life.  I was lucky to get more than an hour for the last week or so.  Sometimes it would not charge when I was using it. I had to charge it while it was asleep.  It was coming out of its carrying bag warm most of the time. It was hard to tell if this was because it went into the bag hot, or if it had woken up from sleep in transit. I had gotten into the habit of putting it into hibernate mode instead of sleep.

This was  death by a thousand cuts. I’ve been up against deadlines lately and as long as it was running I just pushed on.

I had a little time in a cafe before the store opened and I made a list. And once I had it down in writing it was clear that the minor annoyances had added up and it was time to deal with them.

I had provided my litany of grief to the person who booked the appointment with the technician. By the time the appointment rolled around, the technician  had read the list and was ready for me.

I”m probably not a typical user. I have four user accounts, and I switch between them frequently. By mid-day I usually have eight or nine applications open, four browsers going,  and dozens of windows on the go. The technician took the time to go through all the user accounts looking for problems like viruses and known rogue programs.  It took a couple of hours of investigation and discussion but he made the decision to exchange the unit. 

While he was doing all the paperwork  for the new one, I bought a 128 gig Micro SD card and backed up the data that was not on OneDrive.  That took a couple of hours so I let the new unit sync up with my Microsoft account and OneDrive and reinstalled my Windows Store Applications. While that was happening I bought the Wireless Display Adapter, and on an impulse I picked up an HP Stream 7.  More on that later.

It was a long day at the Microsoft Store. I was camped out at their service desk for hours and treated attentively, and respectfully throughout. It could have been an ordeal, but everyone was pleasant  and helpful. During the times that didn’t require my attention I got updates on the latest Xbox One and I spent some quality time with the Surface 3 and its new accessories. I spoke with another technician who gave me some excellent advice that I have since applied and my network is working much better.

My new Surface Pro 3 is doing fine. I had to reinstall all my legacy applications, user accounts and preferences and I’m still migrating data. I’m happy to report that the unit is only slightly warm, and I haven’t heard the fan once.

When you live with technology you know that things fail. What matters is what people do when that happens. The people at the Microsoft store stepped up and did a great job.

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