Microsoft Complete for Surface devices

BLUF Does anyone have experience with getting their Surface replaced or fixed with Microsoft Complete? Do they really send you a refurb that can be anything?

I cracked my SP8’s screen the other day. Badly. One crack traverses the entire diagonal of my screen. Tragic, because this machine is only a year old and I wasn’t planning on replacing it any time soon.

But! I bought Microsoft Complete. Great, I’ll just file a claim, methinks.

Not so fast. Upon reading the terms and conditions more closely, I’m afraid of what they’ll give me in return.

From this page:

Send us your broken device and we’ll send you a refurbished device.

And from my Microsoft Complete service contract:

NOTE: We reserve the right to Replace the Covered Product with a new, rebuilt or refurbished item of equal or similar features and functionality, and We make no guarantee that a Replacement will be the same model, size, dimensions or color as the previous Covered Product.

Microsoft seems to be telling me that if I make a claim with ‘cracked screen’, I’m virtually guaranteed to get a refurb or maybe anything at all.

At this point, I’m looking at three options:

  1. Send in the SP8 and risk getting a refurb (or who knows what)
  2. Give in to the temptation to replace/add to it with a Surface Laptop Studio
  3. Live with the damage for an indefinite while longer. It may be unsightly, but so far utility hasn’t been compromised.

I love my SP8. It still feels new and shiny and awesome to me. That being said, a computer with better gaming performance and lapability might fit my use cases better. Hence, my lusting after the Surface Laptop Studio.

What do folks think? And, a broader question - anyone re-evaluating the value of Microsoft Complete given the above specifics? I sure am.

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Over the years, I’ve had 2 Surface tablet and 2 Duos replaced under Complete: The replacement was always new in box.

Granted, those were “early” in the life cycle of each product (no refurbished inventory yet), and the tablets were in the glorious days of the physical store when you could hand them the broken unit and they’d hand you a new box.

The language is a result of annual model changes, rapid product cycling, chip shortages, the general corporate model today of minimizing inventory storage and US litigiousness.


Yeah, I was going to say something similar to @Bishop’s reply. You can pretty much count on the replacement device being in “like new” condition. I only had to replace a surface device once (Surface Pro 2 back in the day), but the replacement seemed brand new. Only thing is that it came in a generic box, and that they left it sitting on my doorstep! :scream: If you do ask for a replacement, let us know how it goes. :+1:t2:


I would suggest take advantage of Microsoft Complete if you paid for it. Even a Refurbished device has more resale value than a tablet with a big ugly crack. Also, by “can’t guarantee it’s the same model” is likely because the old model could be out of stock and they would have to provide you a newer model.

I remember reading in the old forum that someone use Microsoft complete after new device came out and they managed to score a next gen model at no extra cost, because old model was out of stock and they can’t just turn away a Microsoft Complete buyer.


That contract language is aimed right at the two $14.45 checks my wife and I received last weekend from the settlement of the class action lawsuit against Apple (years ago) for replacing broken iPhones with refurbs. Interesting how they ever arrived at that amount, much less how the class action predator lawyers skimmed off the top (sorry, professional discrimination creeping in there).

I wonder if I can get a screen protector anymore for $14.45…


The total settlement was $310 million US. The judge approved $80 million in attorneys fees. @dstrauss

I don’t know how much of the balance is “reserved” for administrative costs of mailing notices, issuing payments, etc. Assuming those are 10% of the balance, the implication is about 14 million claimants could get $14.45 checks.

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I realize that class actions have a place (witness the infamous Ford Pinto suit which should have been class action material when the original plaintiffs uncovered this about the “exploding gas tank” problem:

Ford engineers considered a number of solutions to the fuel tank problem, including lining the fuel tank with a nylon bladder at a cost of $5.25 to $8.00 per vehicle, adding structural protection in the rear of the car at a cost of $4.20 per vehicle, and placing a plastic baffle between the fuel tank and the differential housing at a cost of $2.35 per vehicle.

But these “inconvenince” class actions serve no useful purpose other than making a handful of lawyers a lot of money for their “pain and suffering” of having brought the suit and waiting a handful of years to settle and get their cut…

SORRY - I’ll take my rant(s) and slink away…

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Only certain firms can stand up to the onslaught of talent that is retained on the defense side in most class action litigation. In a way, I don’t mind reasonable fee awards to those firms for small issues that would never be addressed “but for” the class action. Some of the fees awarded are out-of-line but that is due to judges that don’t adequately supervise class settlements. More of them should be rejected by the Court as they don’t offer anything of value to the class while they buy-off the prosecuting lawyers. Just like your $14 settlement that netted the lawyers millions.:vb-agree: On the other hand, there have been settlement classes created establishing funds, permitting claimants to avoid the litigation process, yet receive significant compensation. Those lawyers generally earned their fees. I guess it depends on who’s ox is gored.


I agree @Bronsky - guess my biggest beef is that the paltry payouts to the class serve very little benefit to anyone but the class action lawyers. I’ve seen recommendations of placing those awards in some kind of charitable fund - but the thought of government intervention and/or new bureaucracy makes me cringe as well. As I mentioned, the Ford Pinto case is the classic - literally Ford calculating how much they might lose in lawsuits vs. the cost of that $3 per car spacer between the tank and transaxle is the height of inhumanity.

Sorry - promise - I’ll give it a rest…

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My $.02. I owned a Pro 1. I used a Fuji Q330 and Asus Viva Note 8 after that, primarily as tablets with a Thinkpad Notebook (X301) as my main computer. When the Surface 3 was released, I switched to it as my main computer and tablet combined. The x86 Z8700 Atom was faster than the Core-2-Duo in the X301 and I had been happy with the performance of the Atom in the Vivanote 8. I have used a 10" Surface as my primary computer since then. I have had to replace 3 units. One, because I drove over it with my car. All of the replacement units were “replacement” units. Although I beleive they were refurbished, they were, in all respects like new. Even the batteries were at the design level and showed no wear. There were no flaws in the display or even dead pixels. I suspect that “refurbished” in that context means “remanufactured.” Due to that, I have been very happy with complete care. I preferred when there were Microsoft Stores so I could make the exchange immediately but that ship has left the port.


Not a Microsoft complete user, but my practice over the years has been to buy my Surface devices used but in mint condition from any of the U.S e-commerce sites, then find a reason to initiate a service request from MS Japan (because MS support will honor that irrespective of which region you bought it from). I usually get one devices that look newer than the ones I send, can’t really tell if they’re used, and at a lightening turn-around speed. That’s how good MS support is. This goes for both main devices like PCs, SDuo, and accessories like the Surface earbuds and KB covers.

I forgot to mention that all of them were still under warranty, usually with a couple of months to expiration.
My point is that I’d trust MS with my RTMs anytime.