I have been a PC enthusiast back to the beginning of Windows XP. Thought Vista was an improvement and 7 was very very good.

In Nov 2013 I went to a Dell Win 8.1 laptop and that is when the trouble began. First, I should say I am not a gamer just email and web surfing mostly. No unusual uses but I always enjoyed computers until 8.1. The Dell had touchpad issues that were never resolved with software or a replacement touchpad. I was astonished at the frequency with which I had to use forced shutdowns when things froze and task manager wouldn't pull up. I thought that had gone away with 7. Eventually, I have made my peace with the problems and continue to use it although not happily. I will say that Dell provided fair to good customer service. That said, I generally never had to use customer service in the past as I either figured it out or found a solution online.

For a tablet we had been using an Ipad, our first Apple product since 1994, and we weren't happy with it. We really needed another PC.

So, in Nov 2014 we took the plunge and bought a Surface 3 Wifi running Win 10. I agree with what many have said, in that, it seemed to combine the best of 7 and 8.1. We liked it, but it started out with problems right out of the box. First, it kept dropping 128gb microsd cards. Apparently, a common problem but luckily I found a card that would work. I did work with Microsoft CS and wasn't impressed with their knowledge. It was even kicked up to a MS Engineer and again, not impressed. He kept referring me to downloads that weren't for the right Surface but he was a nice guy and tried.

Then the Surface refused to install each iteration of firmware updates although it installed all Win 10 updates without an issue. About a week ago, the screen developed flickering on the left side and wouldn't allow you to get to the login screen unless you detached the typecover. Then last Thursday it wouldn't boot even with the Win 10 recovery USB I had made when I first set it up. It wouldn't boot from the recovery USB I had made with my imaging software. Just went to a red screen and eventually, a black screen with the word Surface and saying it was preparing bitlocker recovery although hours later that was still what was on the screen. Oh yeah, I should add that Win 10 was also no stranger to many instances of freezing requiring forced shutdowns. This on a machine that had almost nothing but the original software installed.

This leaves me with the final customer service experience. I'm sure we are all well aware that most tech support is offshore. I spoke with three different techs on this and am dismayed to find them woefully ignorant of anything that isn't in their script. The conclusion was to replace the Surface but we have to do it by FedEx. We are traveling I tell them and only at our location for a week but nope you can't get them to FedEx overnight, the best they can do is 3-5 days. I think, that ought to work, after all, this is Thursday morning when we were talking and I opted for the "Advanced Exchange". As I sit here today it hasn't shipped and Monday is a holiday although the offshore tech support wasn't aware of that.

This is, in part, to vent, but also to wonder out loud if this is the best that one of the biggest corporations can do. I wonder what percentage of Surfaces are failing and when they might do a better job with their OS rather than what still appears to be a step back from 7. If it weren't for the fact that we love the touch screen I would go back. It is getting tiring hearing my friends remind me of how good Apple CS is even though there is a price to be paid on the front end.