MS Surface Duo 2 Terrible Support Experience (for a replacement Duo)


Active member
May 9, 2012
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First, let me say that I LOVE my Surface Duo 2. Unfortunately, the first one I received had a weak battery -- on a full charge, it only lasted a few hours. Clearly, it was just a defective battery. That can happen to any phone, and I wasn't concerned... until I tried to get it fixed. This started the single worst customer experience incident of my life.

I have previously had wonderful experiences with MS support, but the support options for hardware problems through the site for devices purchase directly through Microsoft are nonexistent (for anyone reading this looking for help, I now realize it may work better to instead go through:, but that's not where MS' website original lead me in looking for Duo 2 or Store purchase support). It's as if MS never considered users would have this need and never linked its support page to the devices. In may case, because my Duo 2 worked (just with a limited batter), I didn't want to send in the unit I had until after I received the replacement. This is standard "advance replacement" and common for things like phones. After hours of trying to get a human, I finally got people to agree that this was possible.

First though, if you try to seek chat or other support help for the Surface Duo, it's missing from the list of devices in your account that can get service. Other Surface devices are listed, and Xboxes, but not any of my Duos (1 or 2). Oh, but wait, if you reload the page, now the Duos are there. This is 100% reproducible. The Duos often don't appear at first, but will generally appear if you refresh the page. WHAT!?

OK, so after that, the support process ultimately dumps you on this page: From there you can get to chat, for which no one ever joins the Duo chat (been on hold for hours multiple times, even when it says there is no one in front of me in the queue) or to a list of phone numbers for Microsoft Store Support to support products purchased through the MS Store at, which has phone numbers at : Calling the North America number presents an automated system that just directs back (unless I lie about my problem to trick the system) to, which goes back to the same page with the phone number I just called! It's the most infuriating infinite loop where the website gives you a phone number that tells you to go to that website. WORST POSSIBLE EXPERIENCE.

This is so bad, I need to describe it further: you call the number (877-696-7786 for North America), and it asks what you want. If you ask for a representative, it says, OK, but please tell what you're calling about so I can get you to the right person. For almost any answer, it just tells you that support is handled through, the very website that provided the phone number to call for support! If you swear in frustration, as I did, the automated system tells you to keep it professional, like the robot is offended at my language. So they went through the trouble of building in voice recognition for swear words, but not to actually help their customers. Maybe instead, it should recognize that it's broken and ******* people off if callers start swearing... (for what it's worth, I would not talk that way to a real person.)

OK, as if that's not bad enough, like I said above, if you lie to the automated attendant on the purpose of the call, you deceive it into routing you to a person. Finally I got someone to agree to send me an advance replacement Duo, but then things got even worse. The first person promised me it was coming and that I'd get a tracking number at my Microsoft account email address. It never arrived. I called back a few days later, lied again to get past the automated attendant to a person, who apologized, assured me they were taking care of it. Again nothing. Finally, on the third attempt another couple of days later (total of hours on hold at this point), someone did get me a tracking number. Yay, it was on its way... right?

Well, MS finally shipped the replacement. After 2 days in transit, UPS tracking showed that UPS was returning it to MS because it was mislabeled for hazardous materials. Per UPS:

Returning to Sender
A hazardous materials irregularity occurred with this package. We'll contact the sender with additional information. / The package will be returned to the sender.

So Microsoft can't even ship a Duo, without UPS bouncing it back because they did it wrong.

After another dozen phone calls and dozens of emails and hours wasted, MS finally sent another unit out two weeks later. This one reached me (it's my current Duo 2 -- still using it today, and it is awesome with great battery life). But that's not the end of the story. The worst part is still to come.

2 days after confirming the replacement worked and sending my unit back, MS charged my credit card for a whole new Duo 2 for failing to have returned my original phone for the first one they screwed up.

Oh, and the email they send to tell you that they're charging your card for failing to return the original is from a non-monitored address (so you can't reply), and it has no phone number to call to appeal the decision. Any entry on the support site for any variation I could think of on "charge dispute" or "mischarged credit card" just take you to your list of orders, which is useless and suggest checking with the party who may have used the credit card without my permission. It's apparently impossible from Microsoft's perspective that they are at fault. I've been emailing the old support tickets hoping to reach someone, but no response in 2 days of complaints (4 days since sending back my original Duo 2)

In a potentially positive twist, literally as I was writing this to post to Windows Central, I just received a reply from MS that they will credit my card when they receive back the old phone (UPS tracking shows that be will later this week). So MAYBE, if they don't screw that up too, this will end well (I do love the Duo 2), other than the hours of time wasted on this.

But here's my takeaway: MS website and support systems are just completely not set up to help Duo customers. I still believe MS support is great for everything else, but for the Duo, that is, by a wide margin, the worst customer service experience of my life -- over a month to get a replacement Duo 2, hours on the phone, and then they charged my card for failing to return my original Duo 2, after I had already sent it back and even though it was returned before the deadline.


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Mar 1, 2011
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You're right that sounds like a terrible experience. I've sent my Duo in twice and each time I used I didn't have any problems either time. Sorry to hear your experience was vastly different from mine.


Active member
May 9, 2012
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HeyCori, I had the same issues that Zac has described with my original Surface Duo (Duo 1). Through tech support, MS suggested replacing it, which surprised me, because I assumed the issues were software not hardware. That exchange happened flawlessly as an advance exchange (and the new Duo worked nearly perfectly, no longer having most of the problems that Zac and many of us assumed were software problems -- I now believe these subtle hardware defects are why some people had positive and some poor experiences with the Duo).

That was a very different and much better experience from this one with the Duo 2. I don't recall exactly how I started the process to try to replace the Duo 2, but it may also have originated through as you said. That is definitely a page I checked as part of the process, and the link to Devices from that page is the one that often doesn't show the Surface Duos (1 or 2) until you refresh the page (it always correctly shows Xbox systems and other Surface hardware). But from that page, whatever I did, however I searched for an option, I was never directed to the all-powerful subpage:

In hindsight, I would offer 2 thoughts:

1. If you haven't yet bought a Duo 2: The device is fantastic and all I'd hoped, but better to buy it through someone other than Microsoft, where you can deal with that retailer's return/exchange customer service if you need to return or exchange it.

2. If you did already buy it from Microsoft: The advance replacement was the part that seemed to confound them with Duo 2. If I had been willing to send mine back first (I was not), it could have been handled more easily. However, there is a link that's specifically supports Advance Replacement, which I hadn't found until after I was too far along the process:

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