This was an interesting day. My family and I went to brunch and I told them I wanted to visit the Surface Pop Up for a minute or two. I could see it from about 30 feet away. That Surface RT didn’t look right.
And play with it I did. I asked if I could take pictures? Well, I asked as I was shooting it with my Nokia Lumia 920. I even told him I was sending a few shots to Twitter.
I’m not exactly sure how it came up now. I told him I had an RT device and that I really liked this one. I recall lamenting that fact and that I REALLY wanted the Pro now.
He non-nonchalantly tells me that I can “trade in my RT” for the Pro. “As long as it’s in new condition,” and “make up the difference.”
I repeatedly asked if this were true as I just don’t see this as a positive move for Microsoft. Are you sure I asked? “Yes.” He also said “Full value.” I inquired more, and he stated “Full value of the Surface RT.” Which to me, sounded like a buy-back program and not a “bottom dollar for your used gear” type deal.
So what would you do? Right, Twitter. Have you ever broken a big story before? I don’t get many chances to either. I’m not saying this is a big story but it was big for me. As I was walking away from the Surface Pop Up store my phone started buzzing. And buzzing, and buzzing. That was the feel of a tweet getting sent around and re-tweeted. My phone buzzed for an hour easy!
Immediately the Twitter folks reacted. Most were stunned, some wondered why. A few cheered. Think of the ramifications though. If Microsoft announced a trade in program from RT to Pro it would look pretty bad for the RT. It would look like a company that has admitted defeat on a platform. @barbbowman let me know on Twitter that all Microsoft Stores have trade in “cheat sheets” and last December her local store was offering $300 to $400 for Surface RT. Perhaps the store rep didn’t tell me enough.
@bdsams called his local Ohio store and was told by a manager that if he brought in his RT in good working condition, it’s “value” would be applied to a purchase of a Pro. Richard Hay, from WindowsObserver.com, called his local Orlando store and was informed there is not a trade in program. This sounds more like @barbbowman’s cheat sheet value and that my store rep got it wrong.
Regardless, it sent a flurry of traffic to Twitter and no doubt every Microsoft Store in the nation got a phone call from press and then probably from “a suit” to inform them on how to handle this situation when asked.
The Next Web got a hold of the story and thankfully, gave this blog a mention. TNW said that the store rep most likely got the 30 day return policy confused and over extended it. I don’t think that’s the case. I think that on Surface Pro availability, Feb 9th, you will be able to trade in your RT, but not for full value. My guess is that Microsoft will take it back but at a much lower price than what you paid. I also think this information was not conveyed properly to me by my Indianapolis Pop Up store. That’s just my best guess from all the information that has been presented. I don’t know if I would box up my RT and head to the mall just yet! Let’s give it a few days and see what Microsoft says.
I’ll be discussing this story and more with @BenThePCGuy this Wednesday at 11:30 AM PST Live right here on Surface Geeks.
Update: It seems Microsoft has been in contact with a few folks to let them know that the above simply isn’t the case. They didn’t contact me directly, big surprise, but I feel the need to update this article to do the right thing as I don’t want anyone thinking I just put this out there for a few hits. I still don’t know why the store rep told me what he did. I felt he truly believed in what he was telling me but I still felt the need to ask him multiple times if this information was correct. Regardless, it was awesome to get my hands on the Pro.
If your curious if this was a link bait piece or not? My analytics show an average day of hits for Sunday. Nothing more, nothing less.