If you have a Surface Pro 4, you might be one of the unlucky tablet owners to suffer from a flickering screen — a problem predictably dubbed “flickergate”. Unable to come up with a fix, Microsoft has opened up a replacement program that means that affected by the problem will be able to get a new Surface Pro 4 free of charge.
Microsoft says that it has been unable to produce a patch to address the issue, and is therefore simply going to offer replacements to people. What’s not clear is why it has taken the company so long to do something; Surface 4 owners have been complaining about screen flicker since the tablet launched back in 2015.
Microsoft says: “We have heard your feedback and after careful examination, have determined that a small percentage of Surface Pro 4 devices are exhibiting a screen flicker that cannot be addressed with a firmware or driver update. To support customers affected by this issue, we will replace eligible Surface Pro 4 devices for up to three years from the date of purchase, free of charge.”
The company acknowledges that a handful of people paid for an out-of-warranty screen repair to address the problem with their Surface Pro 4, and there is further good news here. Microsoft says that anyone who paid for a replacement screen specifically to fix screen flicker is eligible for a refund.
There are a few caveats to bear in mind:
- Only Surface Pro 4 devices, of any configuration, are covered under this program.
- This offer is extended to both consumers and commercial customers.
- This program does not apply to Devices damage caused by:
- use with products not sold or licensed by Microsoft
- any external cause (for example, by being dropped, exposed to liquid, or used with inadequate ventilation)
- a repair done by anyone other than Microsoft or an authorized retailer or reseller.
- The extension of a free replacement is applicable only for Surface Pro 4 devices which are experiencing screen flickering. For other repair needs, customers will continue to receive service under their existing Limited Warranty support or Microsoft Complete.
- Microsoft provides replacement devices which are refurbished to the defined quality standards.
- Customers who have already paid an out-of-warranty fee to repair the screen flickering issue will be offered a refund and should contact Customer Support for validation.
If you have a Surface Pro 4 blighted by screen flicker, you can head over to the replacement program page to find out how to get your hands on a new unit.