Buying a Surface Pro online from the Microsoft Store was absolutely terrible. The site wouldn't accept any the 5 or so credit cards or the two paypal accounts we used. My bank (Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the 10th largest in the world) tells me that they have a lot of issues with payments to Microsoft assets (MS Store, XBox Live, others) because MS tries to perform a $0 pre-authorization on payments, which they automatically reject. Unsure why paypal failed.
Online support were tiresome to deal with. They would move slowly, ask repetitive and inane questions, and essentially just continually retry the order. The times that I was able to convince them to escalate the issue, they wouldn't perform a warm handoff to the next person, who would then start the line of questioning from the beginning. This is unlike Microsoft - I worked there in Azure Active Directory and was often on-call (for live site issues). Warm handoff is a must! Incredibly unprofessional.
The site itself was also horrible to the point where it was a little unnerving to use. Twice my support chat was ended because of a page refresh - if the session isn't going to persist, they should force the window to pop out.
On page load, the cart and current account don't appear until a few seconds after page render - The "Sign In" text eventually changes to "Hi X" and the cart eventually gets an item count. A few seconds after page load, the Surface Pro is pushed down the page by a bunch of other sales items. This happens every time.
The shopping cart doesn't persist between visits to the page, maybe it's being cleared by the failed purchase attempts.
Sometimes the shopping cart would show that it has an item in it, but clicking shows an error message along the lines of ERROR_SHOPPING_CART_IS_EMPTY - missing localisation resource, perhaps?
Sometimes the site would forget that the account we were using was a verified Uni student account and would end up in a verify-confirmed redirect loop.
The @Surface and @MicrosoftStore twitter accounts serve only as advertisements, rather than a two-way communication channel with customers. I wanted to make sure that MS knew the pain we were having, since I doubt they feel that pressure from the customer support line. They kept telling me to contact support, despite obvious signs that that was not working. They should have escalated.
Eventually I had another student friend buy the Surface Pro for us, and the problem is solved - with no help from anyone at Microsoft.
If the anecdote from my bank is correct, this has to be causing a great deal of stress to would-be customers.
What needs to happen before the people running microsoftstore.com
, the associated customer support, and the social networking accounts take their responsibilities seriously?