My experience in buying the Surface Pro 4 in Malaysia
On October, Microsoft unveiled the new Surface Pro 4 alongside new Windows 10 hardware like the Surface Book and Lumia 950 series in a special hardware event. Both devices have since then made it to Malaysia, the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 starts at RM 3,999 and the Lumia 950 series start at RM 2,699. Now this is where I come in, I have recently bought a Surface Pro 4 here in Malaysia and my experience is not as simple as driving to Digital Mall and picking it up.
So, this adventure starts in late October when news broke out that Microsoft is opening up pre orders for the Surface Pro 4 on Lazada through the official Microsoft Store. At that time, only the black and blue type cover was available as an add on and I wanted the new teal color so I did not bother to pre order the device first as there was no bundle pricing, just a free tablet sleeve.
As it turns out, Microsoft Malaysia is only making two type cover colors available at launched opposed to having the full set available which also includes the teal, light blue and red Type Cover. Then the Surface Pro 4 was officially launched in Malaysia on November 19th and I went down to the IT store nearby to take a look at the device and I was somewhat convinced that the blue type cover was good enough in terms of looks.
The following week, I decided to buy the Surface Pro 4 through the Microsoft Authorized Seller on Lazada because they were accepting payments through a credit card without an extra charge. But little did I know that this is going to end up being a disaster. I ordered the device on Friday and through the email confirmation, the Surface Pro 4 and Type cover was supposedly arriving by the end of the following week. On Wednesday, the Type Cover arrived in the mail but I waited till Friday and there was still no sign of the tablet itself.
I have purchased through Lazada before and I know that they have a habit of sending text message notifications when the package is being dispatched but for this order, I did not receive a message beforehand. By then, It was around 11 (going to 12) and usually the courier will come by that time. So, finally, I decided to place a call to Lazada's customer service to enquire about the status of my order.
The first call that I placed went through pretty quickly and the rep on the line told me that he will follow up on my case in a forthcoming email. The email arrived a few minutes later and he basically asked whether the product that I bought is a pre-order device. I promptly replied to him by saying No, of course not. What kind of question is that, you should know that its not a pre order device in the first place. After that, I went out to get lunch and I was expecting another reply from them regarding my case but nothing popped up on my email.
After lunch around 1:30, I placed a second call to customer Lazada's customer service to enquire about the status of my order. I provided them with my order number and moments later, the person on the other side told me that the supplier of Microsoft Authorized Seller on Lazada (which is TMT Online) has recently contacted them that the product is currently out of stock and will require me to wait for about 2 weeks. At that moment, I was somewhat furious because not only did they not inform me about this matter earlier and the fact that the person on the line told me that the supplier knew they had no stock on Saturday.
@dickwyn 2/2 are having right now. Please follow this account so we can send you DM to discuss further on this. Thank you. ^Dian— Microsoft Malaysia (@MYMicrosoft) December 4, 2015
The receipt that came with the Type Cover came in handy as the Microsoft Authorized Seller on Lazada is actually served by local IT store Thunder Match Technology. So, I called them up and asked about the situation with the Surface Pro 4 and the story adds up with what Lazada told me earlier and at that point I said ok, a 2 week wait doesn't sound too bad. There was some talk about the second batch of devices being held up in customs. I told off the customer service rep on the line saying that I was not informed about the matter and I had to make a few calls to understand the matter.
Feeling a little curious, I went down to Digital Mall the following day to inquire about the stock of the Surface Pro 4 in on of Thunder Match's retail outlets. Turns out that their retail outlet there still has stock of the Surface Pro 4 but it seems that their HQ has partitioned out some units to their own retail outlets. There is most likely some miscommunication between the Lazada and Thunder Match that caused the stock availability because when I checked out the Surface Pro 4 on Lazada, it was listed there that they have 8 more units in stock.
Yeah, they cancelled my order after not being able to deliver it in two weeks. Good job @LazadaMY— dickwyn (@dickwyn) December 9, 2015
So, I waited for a few days and out of the blue, an email from Lazada came up saying that my order has been cancelled and that a refund towards my payment will be made in the next two days. This made me very even furious compared to what I was facing when they told me to wait for two weeks. It was an involuntary cancellation and I had no say in it. First they ask me to wait two weeks and then they cancel my order altogether.
So, here I am three weeks later, happily typing this article on my Surface Pro 4. Lazada's services are actually pretty good and I like the free shipping on most products but this experience gives me that will power not to recommend others to buy computers from Lazada as it might not sound that simple. Sure, you might save the extra processing fee for the credit card but you might face some problems with how I had with this supplier.
Well, that should be the end right? Nope, as it turns out the unit that I purchased from the All IT Hypermarket was defective. The left speaker was completely dead. I was busy installing all the Windows Updates on the first day and only yesterday that I noticed that the audio was a little odd while watching a YouTube video. After a closer inspection, I concluded that the left speaker is faulty.
So, today I went back to All It Hypermarket and explained the issue to the technical support counter. All went well and the tech support person agreed to replace the faulty unit with a new one. So, he brought in the Surface Pro 4 into the office to have it check out and 5 minutes later, the supervisor came out to say that they are unable to replace the unit and referred me to call Microsoft tech support and have them deal with my faulty left speaker.
At that time, I was a little impatient already as I know that the Microsoft Surface tech support will take at least 2 weeks to send me a replacement. I just could not do it because I'll be going overseas next week. So, I argued with him by saying that the wait time for Microsoft's support is just too long. I did add on other things like their 7 day exchange program and then finally after saying a mouthful, he decided to give me a replacement on the spot with one condition. If the next unit is also faulty, I will need to refer to Microsoft Surface tech support to get it resolved.
And this is the actual end of the story, at the moment I am still installing all the Windows updates while working on this article. Have you ever had such a buying experience, do share it with us in the comments section or email your experience to us at email@example.com
Stay tuned for an upcoming article where I share my thoughts on replacing the Surface Pro 3's cracked screen. Not as problematic like my Surface Pro 4 purchase but it did take quite a while to get it fixed.
Insider TalkThis is the first article on the Malaysia site that I am introducing the insider talk segment, basically this last part is where I add in all the unrelated but marginally related info.
I actually tweeted my angriness on Twitter and Microsoft Malaysia replied to my tweet and asked me to send them an email regarding the issue. I did send them a very very long email but I have yet to receive a reply from them. Microsoft should totally look into this issue as looking forward, it looks like new Microsoft phones and tablets will be exclusively available through Lazada at launch given that both the Surface Pro 4 and Lumia 950 series started off on the online shopping site.
The last part of the article where I found out that the left speaker was dead actually happened while I was writing this article actually. Was all ready to publish it and then I noticed the problem. This is probably a lesson that I should appreciate stereo audio and that you should check out the speakers next time you're buying a laptop.