Eligibility for the Surface Pro 4 replacement program — Microsoft Flickergate Fix

Dropping pool balls on it will not solve your screen flicker issues. But it's probably one of the few things owners haven't tried.                  Sarah Tew  CNET

Dropping pool balls on it will not solve your screen flicker issues. But it's probably one of the few things owners haven't tried. Sarah Tew CNET

As further noted by Microsoft, the replacement program is available to consumers and business users alike and does not cover any Surface Pro 4 units that were damaged due to any external factor, or through use with a product that isn't being sold or licensed by Microsoft, or devices that were repaired by a third party.

Considering the Surface Pro 4 went on sale in October 2015, the earliest adopters still have a few more months to submit a claim. If you had to pay for an out-of-warranty fix - which might have ran you up to $800 - Microsoft will be issuing you a refund. And if you spent out of pocket to fix this problem after the expiration of the warranty, Microsoft will reimburse you. Unfortunately, the issue persisted, and has done so for nearly three years.

The Surface Pro 4 problem, which has since been dubbed by its users as "flickergate", apparently occurs randomly. It wasn't immediately clear what was causing this problem, whether it was a software issue that could be fixed through a simple update or whether it was a hardware issue that required fix or replacement.

Only Surface Pro 4 devices, of any configuration, are covered under this program.


"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".

"Once an agent has determined that your device is eligible for replacement, you will need to prepare your Surface for service. 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 can not be addressed with a firmware or driver update", reads the support page.

Microsoft also notes that the replacement program only applies to Surface Pro 4 devices, and only models that are experiencing screen flickering are eligible for replacement. Microsoft took a long time to roll out a definitive solution to the problem, but better late than never.

It is unclear how many Surface Pro 4 units are affected by the problem.

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