Microsoft ends the Surface Plus lease program | Computing
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Microsoft announced the decision via an FAQ that, sadly, didn't give us much information as to why it decided to end the program. The FAQ merely says that Microsoft came to the conclusion after “much thought and consideration.”
The service, which launched last year, allowed customers to lease a Surface device for 24 months. At the end of those 24 months, the device became theirs to keep. In addition, users had the option of upgrading to a new device after 18 months.
On the bright side, those who have already enrolled in the program will still receive all of the benefits of membership. They will be able to continue on their monthly payment plan with the option to upgrade at 18 months or they can simply make all 24 payments and keep their current Surface device. One change that is existing customers will have to deal with is that starting in October, they'll need to contact Microsoft support directly as the Surface Plus site is shutting down.
As previously noted, Microsoft didn't give us much in the way of information surrounding its decision to end the Surface Plus program. However, it's worth mentioning that the program has received some less than stellar reviews from customers. A post on Reddit discussing the merits of the program said that the plan was worth it for the zero-percent financing, but warned that Microsoft and Klarna had issues with communication.
Several of the users within the thread also warned against the 18-month upgrade, cautioning users that they'd probably be better off simply selling the device after 24 months if they wanted to get a new Surface.
One other point of contention seems to be Microsoft's choice of Klarna as its business partner. On Microsoft's support site, there are posts from several users saying they were rejected for the program despite having excellent credit scores. One user even claimed that Klarna lied to him about running a credit check on him, after receiving confirmation from Experian that no such check occurred.
Regardless of the issues, the loss of Surface Plus remains disappointing as it offered a way for people to get a Surface without having to spend so much money upfront.