When the Microsoft Surface with Windows RT was released last fall, I picked one up immediately. While the Windows RT version isn’t as powerful as its Windows 8 Pro counterpart, it’s still a fantastic device. Then, sometime in late January, I broke my audio jack. I’m almost certain that it was my fault – I was using an old audio splitter which probably dislodged the internal components when it was pushed in too deep. As a result, while the speakers still worked fine, overall audio quality was poor and dialog was almost unintelligible.

At the time, I was reviewing the Acer Iconia W510 and the Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T, so most of my entertainment was being consumed on one of those devices. Between that and my busy schedule, I didn’t get around to calling the Surface customer service department until the beginning of last week. I fully expected them to say that it was my fault or that I’d wanted too long to report the issue, but to my surprise they quickly offered to fix the issue. After running through a few tests to ensure that the problem wasn’t software-related, the customer service representative emailed me an overnight shipping label and I sent in my Surface RT for repair. A week later, I received a brand-new device – if it’s a refurbished model, it’s almost impossible to tell – which has been working perfectly.

While the Surface is well-built, no product is without some issues. The fact that Microsoft replaced the device without question was impressive, and I’m sure I could have decreased the turnaround time by bringing the device to a Microsoft Store. I’ve heard anecdotal evidence that Microsoft’s policy is just as relaxed for Surface accessories as well, with many Microsoft Stores replacing Touch Covers on the spot – no receipt or exchange needed. Compare this to my nightmarish experience with Alienware or the annoying time-intensive process most companies make you go through.

What’s your best customer service experience?

(I thought about titling this piece “Microsoft’s great customer Surface,” but I decided to spare everyone from having to read that terrible pun – at least, in the headline.)