John Paczkowski

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China Complaining About Surface Warranty While Surface Still Well Under Warranty

Surface_blackFirst Apple, now Microsoft, too, is drawing criticism for its warranty practices in China.

In a Monday broadcast, China National Radio, a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, called on Microsoft to adjust its warranty on Surface to reflect local practices. The company currently offers a one-year parts-and-repair warranty on the tablet; Beijing believes it should also provide an additional two-year warranty on major parts.

Coming as it does after similar outcry against Apple prompted the iPhone maker to issue a rare public apology and pledge to amend its warranty and repair policies, some are speculating that China is looking for a similar response from Microsoft. China National Radio insists this isn’t the case. A reporter for the outlet told Bloomberg that the story was driven by listener complaints about Microsoft’s Surface warranty.

And that may well be the case. Thing is, Surface debuted in China just a few months ago. So, any tablet sold in the country is well covered by Microsoft’s current warranty, belying those reports of consumer complaints.

It’s certainly possible that Chinese consumers feel that Microsoft should provide that additional two-year parts warranty, but right now there’s little reason for them to feel unfairly deprived of it. Surface hasn’t been available in China long enough for them to actually need it. Every single Surface sold in China so far has at least five months left on its parts-and-repair warranty.

Reached for comment, Microsoft insisted the warranty it offers on Surface does indeed satisfy China’s requirements.

“Consistent with Chinese law, Surface Pro and its main components are covered under a two-year warranty. Microsoft’s warranty for Surface (and all our products) complies with – and may exceed – what local consumer law requires,” a company spokesman told AllThingsD. “We stand behind our products with a manufacturer’s warranty – which is additional to our commitment to honor any statutory obligation – as either a manufacturer or retailer – to repair or replace a faulty product.”


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald