I normally skip the Christmas seasons. Sometimes, I wait to see if something I want will go on sale. Last year, I waited to buy a Fitbit and got my Fitbit Charge HR for 30 dollars off. This year, when I decided to upgrade to a Charge 2, I didn’t wait for the Christmas sales. I would have saved twenty dollars but I am quite in love with this device and the twenty dollars does not upset me.
I have been waiting for sales on electronics and computer devices. I had been using my husbands Nexus 10. A several year old tablet. The battery died on it over the summer and I’ve been looking for a replacement.
I have a laptop. An Alienware MX14 that works fine. It is from 2011 but still a strong, robust machine. It has started to experience random freezes of late. It is also heavy. Six and a half pounds heavy plus battery and mouse. It becomes exhausting to drag around and after five, almost six years of doing so, I want something lighter.
The next problem was that I want to write on my tablets. I’ve recently become invested in some writing software. I tried yWriter because it is free and my productivity skyrocketed. I’m moving to Scrivener because it is a bit more feature heavy. But, nether is cloud based and the structure of it is better for me then gdocs.
I’ve spent a lot of time over the last six weeks figuring out ways to move documents between gdocs and the various programs. Conversions take 2-3 steps to get the document back to a text format. Its frustrating and irritating.
I also want to draw. I’ve been working kind of on a cartoon. My computer drawing skills are not to terribly bad. I tried a Samsung Tab A for a bit with pen. I liked it a but the OS won’t be supported for much longer and the tablet is already two years old.
That started my hunt for a tablet with a pen. From there, I expanded to Chromebooks. Samsung is coming out with a Chromebook with a pen. It sounded perfect until I sat and used Chrome the OS. That was when I learned that I am a Windows junky.
Back to the drawing board I stormed and that is how the Microsoft Surface series bubbled up. They had kept appearing on the artist sites as a great drawing experience on the high end of budget. At the time, my focus was towards replacing my tablet and not my laptop. But, I realized I could do both with a Surface. It is a laptop in tablet form and Windows 10 supports a mobile format. I was also here for the horror show that was Windows 8 on a PC when Microsoft decided that everyone wanted to use a tablet interface forever. Still, intrigued I started to dig deeper and found my solution.
A Surface replaces my laptop and tablet, lets me draw, can use my windows based writing programs, and weighs a pound and a half. A lot of research later and I was waiting for the Black Friday sales.
I settled on their main special. The middle of the road version which will suit me just fine. It is not the beastly gaming machine that my Alienware is, but I rarely play anything more stressful then Prison Architect or Civilization on a small screen.
This all led to me sitting at my computer on Wednesday night, waiting for midnight to tick around and order my new machine. I’ve never ordered from Microsoft’s online store. It went well except that the bundle they created for their Black Friday deal did not allow me to add Microsoft Complete which is an accident protection plan.
Surfaces are tablets with computer innards. They are a bit more fragile then a tablet and tablets and phones are known well enough to shatter already. Investing a pretty chunk of change into a device I will drag everywhere, the replacement insurance seemed like a good idea. Only, I could not buy it. If you do not buy their insurance package when you order from their site, you have to go to a Microsoft store with the device and order it once they have made sure that the item is not currently damaged.
That policy did not bother me if I had chosen to not purchase the insurance. But, I did. And I could not due to their website not being where it needed to be for Black Friday. They corrected it after I ordered but I did not feel that I should have to take the hit for this. The nearest Microsoft physical store is about half an hour away, tucked against the city. This is the shopping season and that particular mall is never slow.
You have 45 days to add it, but it is accent protection. Protection that I wanted from day one. I decided to call them.
Calling on Thanksgiving was not the smartest thing to do in retrospect. I hit an outside customer service line but I decided to work with it. The first one read me the script and said I could not add it. I responded that I was unhappy with that response considering the reason I had not added it upon purchase was an error from their website. I asked to be escalated, and I was. That lady said that they’d add it. She put me on hold and came back about five minutes later to say that she was incorrect and they could not add it and that I’d have to go to the store. I expressed my displeasure that they could not add the insurance policy to a package that had not yet shipped. However, I did not yell because it was not their fault.
Later that day I received a, “How did we do!” survey and I ripped it apart. I made sure to comment on the politeness of the two people I had spoken with. Still, I was not happy with the experience and I made it known.
Imagine my surprise when I got an e-mail from their global escalation services the following day offering to let me add the insurance before the package shipped. To my surprise, they called me on Saturday and we had the matter settled in under five minutes.
I was pleased and it points to the power of polite complaint. But for now, the doorbell just rang and UPS delivered my new toy. Time to set it up.