Surface Pro 3 Battery-gate: Piecing it Together

Surface Pro 3 Battery-gate: Piecing it Together

After much discussion and additional research into what is affectionately coming to be called “battery-gate,” there’s much more seriousness to this issue than I think anyone originally perceived.

Read through the original report to get caught up: Batteries in Certain Surface Pro 3 Models are Degrading Quickly with No Response from Microsoft

Here’s what we know right now…

  • There were two different manufacturers that supplied batteries for the Surface Pro 3, SIMPLO and LG.
  • The SIMPLO battery experiences severe storage capacity degradation over time. Some customers report only 1-2 hours of battery life.
  • The LG batteries still work just fine and experience only minimal (if any) battery capacity issues.
  • Despite an ever-growing multi-page thread in the Microsoft web-based forums, and customers calling support (or using the online support chat), Microsoft support individuals have no clue there are problems – still. They still continue to walk the customer through a series of troubleshooting steps.
  • One customer reports that a support individual actually found an internal email talking about the battery issue.
  • Microsoft support will usually wave the incident fee, but to replace the failing battery, wants to charge the customer $450 US.
  • According to a reliable source, an individual at Microsoft persistently approached the engineering team with warning about the SIMPLO problems to no avail. If true, this could’ve been headed off early on.

I can understand sticking to policy about charging for service out of warranty, however, there’s two things here that concern me.

First…where did the $450 US come from? Panay and Surface team said on Reddit that…

IF the battery fails after the warranty period, you’ll call Microsoft support and arrange for the battery to be replaced. The cost will be $200 USD.

Secondly, why punish customers for accidentally getting a Surface Pro 3 with the wrong manufacturer battery? It’s not like any customer would explicitly choose the SIMPLO option. Perusing the SIMPLO web site, despite some challenges with the English language, the Taiwanese company seems reputable (if you believe the company’s virtue stream in the page header).

More to come…

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