Seven weeks after fresh complaints emerged about a new battery issue affecting its Surface Pro 3 tablet, Microsoft finally released new firmware this week which it says has fixed the problem.
It was the second major issue for the Surface Pro 3's batteries this year. The first affected some devices that shipped with batteries manufactured by Simplo, while the more recent problem was confined to those with LGC batteries. In each case, only a limited number of the tablets were affected.
Users affected by the LGC battery issue described extremely rapid battery drain, with a 100% charge dropping to zero in as little as 90 minutes. Some devices were more seriously affected, with users reporting that their batteries weren't holding their charging at all, and that they were unable to use the tablet unless it was plugged into the mains.
Their frustrations grew as many claimed that Microsoft had been less than helpful, initially refusing to acknowledge that there was any issue affecting battery performance on its tablets for weeks. The problem was particularly troubling for those whose Surface Pro 3s were no longer under warranty, as Microsoft's support team offered them no option but to pay up to $450 USD or £400 GBP for an out-of-warranty replacement.
As InfoWorld noted in September, Microsoft had done exactly the same thing during the earlier Simplo battery issues, charging users hundreds of dollars for out-of-warranty replacements. It wasn't until after the problem began attracting headlines on tech sites, prompting Microsoft to finally acknowledge the issue - four months after users first began reporting it - that the company eventually refunded those charges.
Now, with the release of its latest firmware update to resolve the newer LGC battery issue, Microsoft has said that it's already issuing refunds to all eligible customers.
"We've gathered additional details about which customers were affected and are committed to making sure that the people who experienced this issue are taken care of," the company said. "We have reached out to those customers and all refunds were processed in October 2016."
It further clarified that all customers "who've been affected by this issue and who paid for an out-of-warranty exchange of their Surface Pro 3 were refunded the cost of their out-of-warranty exchange."
However, if your device was affected by the LGC battery issue, and you paid for an out-of-warranty replacement, but you haven't received an email from Microsoft informing you that your refund is being processed, the company says that you should contact Surface support.