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Leaked Memo Reveals Substantial Microsoft Surface Book Returns

August 14, 2017, 4:26 PM UTC

After Microsoft’s Surface line of devices was taken to task by Consumer Reports, a leaked Microsoft memo suggests the findings could be accurate.

Longtime Microsoft reporter Paul Thurrott on Sunday published a memo that he says, was sent internally at Microsoft. The memo, which was leaked to Thurrott by an unidentified source, says Microsoft’s Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 suffered from “some quality issues” that have since been addressed in subsequent updates.

The memo’s author, Surface chief Panos Panay, said that Microsoft’s Surface Book laptop suffered a 17% return rate after its release in late-2015, according to Thurrott. The Surface Pro 4 tablet was just behind with a 16% return rate, the memo says. However, he told recipients in the undated memo that Microsoft (MSFT) has worked to address the apparent defects that caused users to return them, and the entire Surface line of devices now have an “incidents per unit” rate of less than 1%.

The leaked memo comes just days after Consumer Reports removed its “recommended” badge from all Microsoft laptops and tablets, including the aforementioned Surface Book. The magazine’s testers said that they had surveyed Surface customers on the product line’s reliability. Consumer Reports found that 25% of Surface owners suffered reliability problems within the first two of years of ownership.

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According to Consumer Reports, users reported problems with the Surface devices freezing or shutting down without warning. The Surface devices’ touchscreens would also become unresponsive after use, according to customers.

In the memo, Panay acknowledged “some quality issues” with Surface devices. And according to Thurrott, who spoke to a source about those problems, many of them were due to custom settings crafted by Microsoft that didn’t work well. However, Panay also said that some problems Consumer Reports characterized as “failures,” like the aforementioned touchscreen problems, were in many cases fixed by the user and not actual malfunctions.

Ultimately, Panay says that while there had been some troubles in the Surface line, they’ve largely been addressed now. And more recently shipped units of its popular devices are reliable and far less likely to suffer defects.

Microsoft did not respond to a Fortune request for comment on the Thurrott report.