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Internal Microsoft memo sheds light on Surface device return rates

Last week, we learned that Consumer Reports would no longer be recommending Microsoft’s Surface line of devices, citing a high number of errors amongst surveyed users. At the time, Microsoft brushed it off, claiming the numbers to be inaccurate. Now this week, an internal memo at Microsoft has given us an inside look at return rates for a few of Microsoft’s Surface devices.

An internal memo from Microsoft has appeared on The Verge, showing return rates for the Surface Book laptop sitting at around 17 percent during its launch period, then falling to just over 10 percent six months after launch. Meanwhile, the Surface Pro 4 tablet saw return rates of around 16 percent at launch, dropping to just under 10 percent six months after launch.

On the other side, the Surface Pro 3 launch went smoother, with return rates sitting at 11 percent during launch and then dipping down to just 5 percent throughout the rest of its lifetime. It seems that in total, the Surface Book has had the most trouble of all the Surface devices when it comes to return rates.

According to Microsoft’s Surface head, Panos Panay, who penned the memo, the recent Consumer Reports survey didn’t reflect the work the company has put into fixing the problems with the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book. It seems Microsoft things the launch period return rates had an impact on the survey overall.

If Microsoft has managed to get return rates down over the last 12 months, then that should be reflected in the next annual Consumer Reports survey.

KitGuru Says: When we originally posted about last week’s Surface survey results, we heard from a few readers who had both been happy and unhappy with their Surface. If Microsoft has made necessary improvements over the last year, then the next survey should come out a little different.

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  • FrankVVV

    I don’t know what normal return rates are, but around 10% isn’t that still pretty high?