Microsoft mishap as Band breaks up!

I know it’s been a while…but my focus has had to be elsewhere – that’s not to say I’ve been ignoring the wearable world – far from it – just check out my twitter feed and pinterest page – so there! Anyway the reason for writing this is to take you through the way a large multi-national corporation, keen to be seem as one of the leaders in wearable technology, handles an issue with their product – just as the new version of it is about to be launched onto the market.  I’ll summarise it for you – it’s not good at all!

broken_band

I bought this back in April, in fact as soon as it became available in the UK-  it looked like it would cover most if not all of the bases I wanted to track.  It did! I also loved the alerts that it gave me – but I didn’t particularly like the fit – I’ve written about the band – its good points and its bad points over the past months.

On balance I liked it enough to pre-order the Band 2 on the basis that it would address some of the comfort issues from Band 1 and it might even be a little bit water resistant too – and possibly actually allow me to see my VO2 Max score – it had stubbornly refused to show me this – apparently there are a chunk of people similarly disappointed out there!!

 

Anyway as I say I ordered the new version on 14th October and was delighted to see this along with my order confirmation email:

Save


up to £70

Trade up your Microsoft Band for the NEW Band 2 and receive up to £70. Take advantage of this great offer after you receive your Band 2*. Learn more >


 

Fantastic!!!  This was especially good news as I had already had to contact customer service to let them know that the paint was peeling of the battery covers – and as they said as long as it powers up you will qualify for the cash back!  Great!
Actually – not so great because shortly after that I noticed that it had started to give me weird calories burnt readings – bike rides which normally showed over 100 calories burnt now said 11!!
And then it got even worse – I was reaching into my overcoat pocket and the band just fell apart!  See the image above!  A fairly fatal collapse-  it no longer powers up and yes..it appears my cash back has gone as well…I sent them the following email along with the image – see above!!  I was not impressed by their response…

The situation has got a lot worse!!! The band has now simply broken apart!!!  See the image attached.  It was starting to work poorly – it only registered 11 calories for a bike ride that would normally have used over 100 and tonight it has literally fallen to pieces.

You will see that I have already ordered a new Band 2
Microsoft Store – Order Confirmation (Order #XXXXXXXXXXX)‏
However it appears that I am no longer in a position to send this one back for the £70 cashback – through no fault of my own – as it no longer powers up.
Frankly I think you should be refunding me the whole amount I paid for the Band 1 as it has never given me a VO2 max calculation and has as you already know started to show appalling signs of wear and tear.
I would therefore be very interested to hear how you want to deal with this….. Clearly 7 months before it literally falls to pieces is NOT an acceptable position – I’m sure trading standards would have a view on that!!
Please advise urgently as to your proposed course of action to resolve this serious issue.

Yours more than a little disappointed with Microsoft.

Microsoft, or rather Jess from the Band Service and Support Team responded….my formatting…
Good Morning Paul,
 
Thank you for your email and images,
 
I am very sorry to hear this has happened to you.
 
In regards to the upgrade your band would need to be in full working conditon to be eligeble for the trade up with the Store.
 
In regards to your band currently as the clasp has entirely broken off the band, this is considered excessive damage and is not covered under the Standard warranty. This is part of our terms & conditions and will not affect your rights. I can certainly set up an exchange for an out of warranty repair if this is something you would like to proceed with.
 
For a refund that would need to be done through the store as I am only technical support and at this present moment the only option I would be able to offer you is an out of warranty exchange. I understand your V02 max has never worked and that issue is still ongoing with our development support team. I cannot gaurentee a refund is possible as I am not 100% on the stores polices in regards to refunds as it is a different department.
 
If you would like to proceed with a refund you would need to contact the store by phone on 0800 026 0329 or by chat at  http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msuk/en_GB/home (the black rectangle on the right hand side.)
 
Kind regards
Jess
Band Service and Support Team
For more information on self-help resources, our services or to contact us, please visit http://www.microsoft.com/microsoft-band/en-gb/support .
Did you know you can register your Band, request a service repair and check the status of a repair on-line? Go to: http://www.microsoft.com/microsoft-band/en-gb/support/service-order

 

As you can infer from my earlier statement I was less than impressed…I wrote back…

Er, this happened in perfectly normal life. Clearly the item either had a design fault or it had a defect in the build quality.  Given that it is only 7 months old I think it is down to you to replace it.
It is most definitely in warranty!
Please get someone to contact me to arrange an exchange or a refund. 
And then further….
“The extent of the damage”../given that the device is meant to be worn during normal daily life I think that getting something out of an overcoat pocket is a perfectly normal thing to be doing and therefore the extent of the damage must mean there had to be a flaw in either the design or the manufacture…given that the device had already started to give unexpected readings I’d venture that it was failing!!

I then inquired what they meant by an “out of warranty exchange”..and got this in reply…

“An out of warranty exchange would be a paid for exchange, I have just checked through my hardware prices within my tools and currently the price for an Out Of Warranty band is approx. £110.00 incl. VAT.”
Well at this point dear reader I began to lose the plot…that isn’t an out of warranty exchange – that’s charging me over the market price for a new band!  As of the time of writing this Currys are offering me a new one for £79.99
Well dear reader – should I cancel my order for the Band 2 – clearly if the build quality of these bands is a concern – not just for me it seems…?
Or should I give Microsoft the opportunity to honour the UK trading standards legislation and ensure that the products they sell are fit for purpose and not likely to fall apart….if they are prepared to honour the cash back that would suffice.  If they continue with this “out of warranty” garbage I really think Trading Standards may need to hear about it!

 

 

 

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