Things seemed to be going well for the Surface Duo despite its somewhat older specs, that was until reviews and reports started coming in that put the dual-screen foldable’s price into question. Unsurprisingly, Microsoft appears to have decided to slash the price by a considerable amount barely two months after the product launched. More than the early price cut, however, early believers in Microsoft’s promise are now complaining about what seems to be a disorganized and inconsistent policy in how to handle returns and refunds.
It’s bad enough for these early adopters that Microsoft has pretty much confirmed that the Surface Duo is really worth so much less than what it asked for last September. The dual-screen phone sold for $1,399 and $1,599 for 128GB and 256GB of storage, respectively, but now the retail prices are $200 lower. If you buy from Best Buy and activate on AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon, you can even shave off another $100 from that price.
What’s really irking Surface Duo owners is Microsoft is handling the situation. Simply put, it won’t just give your $200 back to match the new price. What they are being told, instead, is to return the device, which is still within a 60-day return window, and use the refund to buy a new one at the lower price point. Microsoft, however, reportedly won’t release the charge for the new Surface Duo until the old one has been received.
While this means users will be getting a shiny new device, the process is not only a hassle but also has a negative impact on the environment due to potential e-waste. To add insult to injury, this policy is reportedly being applied inconsistently, depending on which store or customer representative you ask.
The reputation of the Surface Duo took a nosedive after reviews criticized some unstable parts of the software and when users reported durability issues with the phone’s hardware and design. This isn’t definitely doing the device any favors but it might also be Microsoft’s strategy to take back what may be a problematic batch and silently replace it with better ones.