Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Microsoft

Windows Refund Day II 591

pbody writes "Sorry if this is rehashing an old topic, but I was looking for advice on how to try to get a refund for the copy of XP that is coming with the laptop I just bought when I came across this on LinuxJournal about windowsrefund.net. They are organizing "Windows Refund Day II" on January 23, 2003 -- which coincides with the LinuxWorld Expo in NYC. Knowing how the first refund day turned out, how many out there are going to the Expo and are thinking about participating? For that matter, has anybody had any luck at all getting a refund from a vendor lately?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Windows Refund Day II

Comments Filter:
  • by outz ( 448278 )
    What about a BeOS refund?
  • And me! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by djkitsch ( 576853 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @10:21AM (#4861813)
    But the other way around - I need to get a refund for Windows ME and get my copy of XP from Sony - you would have thought they'd make it easy for you to give them money, but no. You have to fill out a form on the web, print it out, mail it to France, ring up a wek later to check status, confirm the order by email and *then* send your payment. Do they *want* to lose customers?
    • Re:And me! (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @10:44AM (#4861950)
      The problem is obvious - it requires the involvement of France.
    • by GeekZilla ( 398185 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @11:01AM (#4862063)
      My friend ended up buying a Gateway PC and I told him to go back to "Gateway Country" to get his refund because he wanted to install Windows 2000 Pro-Not ME. The schmuck's at the GW store were clueless and refused to honor the EULA. A quick trip to the Washington State Attorney Generals Online Consumer Complaint Form and Corporate Gateway was calling him! They ended up (in an effort to keep a Gateway customer happy) paying him the price he paid for Winodws 2000 and the amount that I charged him to install it on his machine. The check he received from GW was around $500 US! If they had simply honored the EULA, GW would only have been out about $90? $120 tops. AND he got to keep all the software CD's that came with the PC. I don't think they ever really understood that he was entitled to the refund under the EULA.
  • Yup.. (Score:4, Informative)

    by spacefight ( 577141 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @10:21AM (#4861815)
    ... not me but another guy posted this [google.com] in ch.comp.os.linux. It's in german, but in short: he got a Dell Notebook finally without the OS (2k or XP) and he paid 7% less than with OS. Not bad.
  • no luck (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @10:21AM (#4861816)
    I tried getting a refund from a VPR Matrix (best buy brand) machine, no luck. a friend of mine tried hp, with similar luck.

    any laywers feel like taking on MSFT? this /is/ in the EULA... they do realize that, right?
  • Refund for XP (Score:5, Interesting)

    by randomErr ( 172078 ) <ervin@kosch.gmail@com> on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @10:23AM (#4861830) Homepage Journal
    Sorry if this is rehashing an old topic, but I was looking for advice on how to try to get a refund for the copy of XP that is coming with the laptop.

    Sell it on E-bay to someone who wants it.
    • Re:Refund for XP (Score:3, Interesting)

      I seem to recall someone saying that MS are actively blocking these sorts of sales on E-bay.
      • Re:Refund for XP (Score:5, Informative)

        by Gambit Thirty-Two ( 4665 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @10:30AM (#4861887)
        Just word it correctly. Dont use pictures of it, and never put the word OEM in the auction. Just say you bought your computer and the software at the same time, but you never used it, yada yada yada.

        It seems they mostly search for the words OEM. If people are worried, they'll usually pick up on it and send you and email asking "is this OEM..." etc etc.

        My only recommendations would be to make sure it isnt hardware bound, that it will install on a system other than what yours is (example: installs that check your bios to make sure thats being installed on the machine it was sent for), and to offer full money back guarantee (minus shipping of course) in case something DOES go wrong, and the person isnt 100% pleased.

  • by dirtmerchant ( 162306 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @10:26AM (#4861854) Homepage
    I really don't get the people that are in a huff over this. You've seen from past examples that Microsoft and the OEMS aren't going to honor that EULA, and frankly, more power too them. Its just going to tick people off so much that they either build their own (which is the real solution to this problem) or go with a reseller that wil provide whatever OS you feel like running (there are plenty out there).
    • by FatAlb3rt ( 533682 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @10:44AM (#4861958) Homepage
      Its just going to tick people off so much that they either build their own

      So when's the last time you built your own laptop?

    • by siskbc ( 598067 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @11:01AM (#4862065) Homepage
      So M$ is effectively breaching contract on the EULA, right? Any way one could mount an argument that this releases you from the terms of the EULA? 'Coz that would be nice....
    • by jav1231 ( 539129 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @11:28AM (#4862284)
      I think if MS doesn't uphold this portion of the EULA then it is in fact void. The problem is finding a lawyer to fight this. What would be appropriate would be to attempt the refund, get the denial, then sell the copy outright and blatent. If any litigation comes about, then take your documentation to court. The problem is that a "little guy" can't really do this, though. This needs to be tackled at a high level (EFF?). >
  • by MosesJones ( 55544 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @10:27AM (#4861859) Homepage

    We all know that MS are trying to move towards a licensing model where you pay every 3years/1 year/1 month/every day to use the software. This is interesting when you think about software as a service.

    So the software is FREE, but the service is paid for. Thus the service enables the "free" software to be used and you have paid for a period of n to use that software. This could make getting a refund harder as the service is provided by Microsoft and not the OEM, also as its paid up front from the OEM to Microsoft it blurs how refunds can be obtained. Its like car insurance, you have it, you pay for it up front, the fact that you don't have a car crash doesn't mean that you can say it wasn't used and ask for a refund.

    IANAL (Thank god) but a licensing change could make refunds even harder to get hold of.
    • by oliverthered ( 187439 ) <olivertheredNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @10:29AM (#4861882) Journal
      I can phone up tomorow, cancel it and get a pro-rata refund.
    • by daoine ( 123140 ) <moruadh1013NO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @10:36AM (#4861920)
      as its paid up front from the OEM to Microsoft it blurs how refunds can be obtained. Its like car insurance, you have it, you pay for it up front, the fact that you don't have a car crash doesn't mean that you can say it wasn't used and ask for a refund.

      But there's a flaw in your logic. In your situation, you still owned and were capable of using the car. Imagine you sold the car and bought a bike. You don't still have to pay car insurance, and insurers are generally required to give you a refund -- prorated for the time that the car was in your possession.

      The same should also be required for Microsoft -- even if it meands removing the OS at purchase time to avoid the situation altogether.

      Personally, I think it would be much easier to move to a service model -- but the cost can't come at purchase time. It has to come at activation time. If the first thing you do is reformat, there's no service charge at all.

      • by zoward ( 188110 ) <email.me.at.zoward.at.gmail.com> on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @11:24AM (#4862244) Homepage
        Personally, I think it would be much easier to move to a service model -- but the cost can't come at purchase time. It has to come at activation time. If the first thing you do is reformat, there's no service charge at all.

        Sounds great, but why would Microsoft buy into this? They currently has a stranglehold on the PC industry, so they can force the big PC makers to pay for the service up front, and they get their cut no matter what OS you choose to run on your laptop after you buy it.

        About the only reason the big PC makers would consider this is that they could charge less by forcing the user to enter a CC# the minute they register their PC, thus making their PC's look cheaper to the end user. I can envision this being a nightmare to support. For example, I buy a Dell PC, bring it home, and instead of paying the $199 up front for 3 years of MS OS rental, I format the drive and put, for example, the Plan 9 operating system on it. Suddenly the modem goes. Does Dell customer service want to troubleshoot every existing OS I can install on their hardware? Do they want to "take my word" that the problem is hardware-related and not a Plan 9 driver problem?

        More likely, a casual end user will skip the $199 registration and install their old version of 2000 or WinME/9x on the box - something Microsoft would very much not want to see happen.
    • > Its like car insurance, you have it,
      > you pay for it up front, the fact that
      > you don't have a car crash doesn't
      > mean that you can say it wasn't used
      > and ask for a refund.

      That's not a good analogy. If you have a Microsoft OS, it will crash.
  • by toupsie ( 88295 )
    Jan. 23 is my birthday and the last thing I want to coincide with it some very, very lame geek protest against Microsoft. If you don't want to buy Windows with your computer, get a Mac or build your own. It isn't that tough. I just built a Shuttle SS51G [shuttle.com] and installed Linux and NetBSD on it and I am a life long Mac user.

    Now go spend your time protesting something that is really taxing, the US Government. Sheesh!

  • well... (Score:2, Funny)

    by bethel ( 170766 )
    I'm still waiting for my DOS refund from 10 years ago. They said they would send me the money, never got though.
  • Refund? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Malicious ( 567158 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @10:29AM (#4861877)
    I always expected to get the standard software answer, if trying to return an OS.

    "Due to the nature of software piracy, we can not offer refunds or exchanges on open, or OEM software"

    • Re:Refund? (Score:2, Funny)

      by Xformer ( 595973 )
      Not that you really owned the software in the first place... you just owned the right to use it.

      Doh! Rehashing another topic :-)
  • by Alric ( 58756 ) <slashdot AT tenhundfeld DOT org> on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @10:32AM (#4861903) Homepage Journal
    If a manufacturer won't let me buy a computer without a MS OS pre-installed, I just don't buy the computer from them. I know this can't be avoided sometimes, but I think it's better for this community to support manufacturers that are not so intimately in bed with MS.

    For laptops, I would try PCTorque.com. (I have no association with the website, other than being a satisfied repeat customer.)

    And, to remain on-topic, from everything I've ever experienced or read about MS and their aggressive licensing policies/ideology, I think that it will take an outcry from corporations before MS even begins to contemplate giving refunds on unused merchandise. You've already had the opportunity to see the registration key, and that's very important to them.
  • OEMs & XP Home (Score:5, Interesting)

    by OsoLoco ( 28680 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @10:38AM (#4861929) Homepage
    I ran into an annoying problem similar, myself. I purchased a Compaq laptop last year, and they wouldn't let my buy it without an OS. So, I took the lowest priced option, XP Home, but never used it, just got the machine, installed linux and was happy. Last week, I ended up needing XP, but I didn't want to wipe my linux partition. The default recovery disks repartition AND reformat the drive rather than just being a copy of XP home + additional installers. So, since I had a valid activation key and license with the machine, I figured I could just install from a different XP home disk. No dice, apparently OEMs are given activation keys that only work for their installs. Both Compaq AND Microsoft said that if I wanted the partitioning and removal of the OEM stuff, I'd have to buy another copy. How irritating, since I HAVE a valid license. Ended up having to use the recovery disk after backing up my linux partition, and then uninstall AOL, COMPUSERVE, etc. etc. Big pain in the arse.
    • Re:OEMs & XP Home (Score:4, Informative)

      by Selivanow ( 82869 ) <selivanow@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @11:15AM (#4862158)
      If you have a valid license (the EULA, not the activation key) you can purchase a "media pack" from M$. It comes with installation media and its own activation key. I believe that you just have to pay for the cost of the media and shipping. I know that it isn't the ideal solution, but it is better than nothing. The restoration CDs that are shipped with a lot of OEM systems also prevent you from transfering the lisence to another machine or to another person or organization which is also allowed by the EULA that you implicitly agree to by using the software. We as consumers need to not only tell the OEMs that we don't want to have to purchase M$ OSes but also that if we do want the OS then we want to be able to envoke any and all of our given rights according to the EULA.

  • please people (Score:5, Insightful)

    by claude_juan ( 582361 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @10:43AM (#4861947)
    a manufacturer that pre-installs windows on their machines is not the devil for it. like it or not, most people use windows, and its good business practice to be able to pre-install it and probably cut the end user a little bit off the price of paying for the os retail.

    not everyone likes linux and mac. not everyone can build machines. most people dont like the attitude on this web site, cuz its so intolerant. its time to quit bitching and understand that the world does not need to "be freed from microsoft."

    by the way, before you get a chance to reply with all sorts of snide remarks, i built my two machines and i run linux (gentoo) and windows xp. peace.
    • Re:please people (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Corporate Troll ( 537873 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @11:01AM (#4862064) Homepage Journal
      a manufacturer that pre-installs windows on their machines is not the devil for it

      No, they are not. Of course they are not because in 95% of the time the customer wouldn't be aware of the alternative and thus will want Windows. However: have you ever *seen* the default installs of a Compaq or a Dell? No? I did: they are completely plastered with useless and idiot software, 3000 different services and stuff no normal user would ever need. Just to give you an idea: back in the Pentium days, I saw a Dell fresh out of the shop with 32Meg RAM (a lot in the time) and after bootup and doing nothing the memory usage was at 64Meg. Urks! That hurts, and that was a default install. Recent installs are better peformancewise, mainly due to cheap memory and fast CPU's, but the clutter is still there.

      That is my problems with OEM's.... Not my problem with Microsoft. That is why any OEM machine that gest into my house just get booted up with a bootdisk/cd and reformatted on the spot.

      And why don't people like Macs? (Linux I can understand) I don't get that: I used to dislike Macs, but that was a prejudice! I now have one and hell I've never had such a good system, and it's only an iBook.

    • by siskbc ( 598067 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @11:12AM (#4862144) Homepage

      You're right - the OEMs are just making money, not playing ideology.

      However, as I recall, years ago, you could get an OS-less PC from Dell. This was before M$ started strongarming companies, saying "put windows on everything you sell, or NOTHING." Obviously, from then on, OEMs sold windows on everything (this much is documented in the antitrust case).

      Point is, are the OEMs basically refusing to sell OS-less PC's because it's convenient, or through fear? I know Dell will for some business clients, because usually they have a win site-license (could be mistaken about the details). However, they won't do it for just anyone.

      I know it's hard to custom-make computers when you sell a jillion of them, but Dell does *some* tailoring of computers - it seems like formatting the HDD's of those pre-installed computers would not be that difficult to integrate into their business model. That's why I think there's still some fear of M$ involved.

  • Ehh ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by halftrack ( 454203 ) <jonkje@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @10:50AM (#4861986) Homepage
    I don't wan't to sound un/.y, but is it really fair to expect a refund for the OS when you buy a computer package? When you buy a computer from some manufacturer you don't come back with just your graphic card and demand a refund because you don't like it. Or when you buy a car, you don't return the rearbumper just because you don't like the brand of it (no auto makers don't make every part themself.) You can't demand a refund for the nVidia GPU on the Gainward card because you want an ATI chip on it. It's a package deal. You bough a package, knowing what's in it and if you're going to get a refund you'll need to return the whole package, except if it's broken. If you don't like the parts in a package you've baught you replace them yourself. You knew exactly what you were getting.
    • Re:Ehh ... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by anomaly ( 15035 ) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `3repooc.mot'> on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @10:58AM (#4862039)
      Except for the fact that when GM bundles a product with the car, I don't have a separate license agreement with GM's vendor. What these folks are saying is that they don't want to be bound by the license agreement, and in fact want the vendor to unbundle that component.

      Using the car analogy, that seems a bit unfair. This is where the car analogy breaks down. In this instance, the component supplier demands that the user agree to either follow the terms of the agreement, or the supplier agrees to not provide that component AND THE CONSUMER IS ENTITLED TO A REFUND OF THE VALUE OF THE SUPPLIED PRODUCT!

      As a result of the vendor's own terms, the consumer should get what they want.

      Besides this, the manufacturer is de facto forced to pay the component supplier for licenses on the products, even if the customer doesn't want it. It's like paying protection money so that "god forbid...it would be awful if something were to happen to your business......"

      It's a shakedown.

      Hope this sheds some light on their perspective.

      Respectfully,
      Anomaly
    • Re:Ehh ... EULA! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gosand ( 234100 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @11:03AM (#4862081)
      I don't wan't to sound un/.y, but is it really fair to expect a refund for the OS when you buy a computer package? When you buy a computer from some manufacturer you don't come back with just your graphic card and demand a refund because you don't like it. Or when you buy a car, you don't return the rearbumper just because you don't like the brand of it (no auto makers don't make every part themself.) You can't demand a refund for the nVidia GPU on the Gainward card because you want an ATI chip on it. It's a package deal. You bough a package, knowing what's in it and if you're going to get a refund you'll need to return the whole package, except if it's broken. If you don't like the parts in a package you've baught you replace them yourself. You knew exactly what you were getting.

      The difference is that a graphics card doesn't come with an EULA that says you can return it for a refund if you don't agree to the ludacrisp (heh) terms.

      What many people assume is that you want to install Linux on a laptop. What if I own a copy of Win2k, and don't want XP? I should be able to return XP and install my own copy of Win2k. It isn't all about Linux.

      And part of what ticks people off is that they PAY for an OS that they are being forced to purchase. Microsoft has made sure that OEMs include a MS OS in the price by charging them whether they sell you one or not. Sure, you can say "then don't buy from them" but as long as the EULA exists and it says you can return it, people should do it. Not only that, you don't even get a full copy of the OS to do with as you please. If they gave you a full version, instead of those insane recovery disks, you could at least sell it or give it away.

  • by bwalling ( 195998 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @10:51AM (#4861990) Homepage
    The problem that I see for you is that you accepted the purchase of XP when you purchased the laptop. You knew what you were getting, and you elected to pay for it. If you felt that the configuration did not match your needs, then why did you make the purchase? Would you buy a set of screwdrivers and then try to return the sizes you don't need? Do not burden the vendor with your own decision to purchase something that did not match your needs. They delivered exactly what they said they would.

    There are vendors that will sell a laptop with Linux installed. There are major vendors that will sell you a laptop without an OS. You have to call them and specifically request it - you won't find it on their website.
    • by nuggz ( 69912 )
      I agree, you can choose what you purchase.

      When I bought my car, I didn't care about some "features", in fact I would prefer not to have them, but it is a package deal, that's what I chose.

      I generally buy a preassembled computer because it is cheaper then buying all the components separately. Even though I end up with some things I don't care about.

      You could build your own laptop, it would just be much more expensive then just buying one with "extra" features.
    • by JimDabell ( 42870 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @11:08AM (#4862113) Homepage
      The problem that I see for you is that you accepted the purchase of XP when you purchased the laptop. You knew what you were getting, and you elected to pay for it. If you felt that the configuration did not match your needs, then why did you make the purchase?

      That's just it - he may have accepted the purchase, but he didn't accept the EULA for Windows. After he bought it, he would have got home, opened it up, and been presented with additional terms & conditions, that he never agreed to beforehand, or even saw. That same document states that if he doesn't agree to them, he can get his money back.

      The obvious way of fixing this is to present the EULA before purchase.

  • by Nanite ( 220404 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @10:52AM (#4861998)
    To the slashdotters who are saying 'Just build your own, or go to reseller X instead', the poster is talking about a laptop. Building a laptop yourself is an excersize in futility, and once you have your eye on a certain laptop, say a Sony Viao or IBM Thinkpad, that's what you want. One shouldn't have to go with some lame brick laptop just because it came without an OS. So getting the laptop you want, without the MS tax is something that can't be solved with the 'Build it yourself or shop elsewhere' attitude. Microsoft should be help accountable for what is in their (possibly) binding EULA. MS is treating their EULA like the Bible, sticking to the parts that benefit them and ignoring the rest. That's complete nonsense and they should be held accountable!
    • Sure you can build your own, or you could contract IBM/Sony to build it to your specifications.

      This special order would probaly end up costing you MUCH more then just paying for the extra crap you don't want, but that is your choice.

      Free market, buy what you want. You are not being forced to buy windows, you're just not willing to seek out alternatives.

      If you really want to protest, buy stock (become a part owner of the company), and complain about these practices at the next shareholders meeting.
  • by zerofoo ( 262795 )
    I bought my VW Golf two years ago, and i'm very pleased with it, except for that crappy in-dash radio they MADE me buy. I could not buy the vehicle without buying the radio. Maybe we can organize a Factory Radio Refund Day?

    Likewise, my townhome came with really terrible, contractor grade windows. I hate them. I was not allowed to buy the townhome without these windows. Maybe I can get my money back for them as well?

    Finally all the Macs in my organization run one flavor of Mac OS or another. I could not buy these things without Mac OS. Maybe I can convince Steve Jobs to give me $100 for each copy of Mac OS I don't use?

    Face it, bundling is prevalent every where you look. Just because it's "software" doesn't mean you can "un-bundle" one particular aspect of a product you don't like.

    -ted
    • by Zathrus ( 232140 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @11:10AM (#4862125) Homepage
      I could not buy the vehicle without buying the radio

      Bet you could. You just didn't want to wait for one to be built and shipped from the factory. Or you could've purchased a model with an improved radio.

      Likewise, my townhome came with really terrible, contractor grade windows

      Did you buy the townhome from the builder? If so then you could've opted to pay for a window upgrade. If you bought it from a previous owner, well, duh.

      Oh, you didn't want windows at all? Sorry, that's not up to code and would be illegal.

      Finally all the Macs in my organization run one flavor of Mac OS or another. I could not buy these things without Mac OS. Maybe I can convince Steve Jobs to give me $100 for each copy of Mac OS I don't use?

      You just said you're using them. Make up your mind.

      Face it, bundling is prevalent every where you look

      Yes, but when you get charged for the bundled item even when you don't receive it then it's illegal. Particularly when a judge says "that's not a legal contract".

      Frankly, a better comparison is being charged for lettuce, tomato, and pickles on a hamburger when you ask for them not to be put on. It's a customary practice in the US. The only difference I can think of is that the tomato, et. al. don't compromise 10-20% of the overall cost.
    • The difference...

      The windows in the house were chosen by free choice. The contractors could buy whatever window best fit the need and at the best price, from a number of competing vendors.

      If Corning were to say to the contractor: "We'll give you a discount if you only sell houses with Pfister plumbing", there'd be an outrage!

      If I were having a house built, I could easily ask for "only Corning glass" or "only Dia glass" and the Contractor would simply nod, and order Corning or Dia glass.

      But, many computer vendors CAN'T nod because they've signed agreements to "only sell houses with Pfister plumbing" (Windows).

      They had to - since MS has a monopoly on desktop O/S's, they've been able to force these kinds of deals.

      This whole refund day is about trying to effect or at least highlight the need for positive change.

      It's not about bundling, it about the un-natural lack of diversity in the available bundles, forced by MS on the industry.

      If you can't see that, you are clueless.
    • Modded as interesting?

      I bought my VW Golf two years ago, and i'm very pleased with it, except for that crappy in-dash radio they MADE me buy. I could not buy the vehicle without buying the radio. Maybe we can organize a Factory Radio Refund Day?

      When I bought my car, Ford offered a radio credit option, give them back the radio and they give you $500. I do not know if that is still an option though. Another point, you can take that radio out and sell it seperately from the car. You can put that radio in another car. You can take that radio apart and do what you want with it after you bought it.

      Likewise, my townhome came with really terrible, contractor grade windows. I hate them. I was not allowed to buy the townhome without these windows. Maybe I can get my money back for them as well?

      When building a house, you can choose any window you want, in a townhouse that is not an option. You can negotiate a selling price on that house based on your assessment. Cheap windows = cheaper price and the same things apply here as above, you can sell and modify those windows after you replace them with new ones.

      There are many things in the real world that are sold as itegrated and some not. In my view, computer software is not and intergral part of computer hardware and should be allowed to be seperated, after all, the MS EULA specifically says you can get a refund of unused software, imagine VW claiming you could get a refund on the radio but you not being able to actually get it? That is the issue here. Considering those MS licenses are a larger % of the total cost it makes it worse

      I guess buying a brand new car but requesting that they remove the glove box door and 2 of the four spark plugs because you don't want to pay for them is a little unrealistic, comparing that to completely removing MS software is not the same.
    • I bought my VW Golf two years ago, and i'm very pleased with it, except for that crappy in-dash radio they MADE me buy.

      Did it come with an EULA that stated someone else could break into your car any second, watch what you have in the back, and possibly break your car if needs be? Or maybe delete that non-standard wheel that you added, because "oh, that may be used for racing!"?

      So if you don't agree with that EULA you must take your stereo out of your car inmediately, but wait, that VOIDS the cars warranty and any customer support you could have gotten.

      So in brief, bought a car and afterwards found out it came with a "bonus" that you CAN'T accept, but that will void your warranty if you don't accept. So eventually, the EULA of the car stereo may state that all you agree that all you bank accounts now belong to X BENEFICARY, and if you don't like it, you lose your warranty or whatever: they could even state that since you have already used the car, you can't return it now, because the warranty is void. And if you reinstall the stereo just to be able to get a refund, they could say they don't allow for refunds, only repairs.

      Moreover, even in the case you don't give a damn about the warranty (or whatever is it that you are losing the rights to) and you agree not with the EULA of the stereo, and take it of the car, you still can't:

      1) sell it
      2) give it away for free

      Maybe it could be posible that you can't even though it out of the street safely (that could be seen as promoting some else to use it). And even if you dispose it properly (say you bury it in the ground) and someone finds out, and they can check the serial number of the stereo and conclude you gave it away to somebody else and claim lost sales because of your actions.

      Now replace stereo with Software and car with Computer and see if it's true or not. Ok, it's an extreme example, but goes to show your analogy is really failed.
    • by hal200 ( 181875 ) <slashdot.jdk@ca> on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @12:39PM (#4862905) Journal
      sigh...

      The whole "Windows Refund Day" is not about bundling. Yes, Microsoft, or any other vendor/manufacturer is perfectly free to bundle their software on your spiffy new PC, just like VW is free to bundle crappy stereos with their cars.

      Where the important difference comes in is a quasi-legal contract called the End User License Agreement which you must agree to be bound by if you wish to use the software. 99% of the population don't read them and simply accept them. I suggest you take an afternoon some time and comb through one. The highlights of a typical EULA are this:

      1. You have no rights to use the software in a manner not sanctioned by the manufacturer.
      2. The manufacturer has no liability for defects in the product.
      3. (and this is the important one in terms of the discussion at hand) If you do not agree with the terms of the EULA, you must return the unused product to the place of purchase for a full refund.

      Frankly, I doubt your VW Golf, or your townhome came with such an agreement. (Your Mac is a different story, since EULAs are a standard practice in the software industry...although I am not familiar with Apple's EULAs, I suspect they have a similar clause.

      The whole idea behind the Windows refund day is to illustrate that not even the software manufacturers pay any heed to their own EULAs. It's not about Microsoft-bashing, they just happen to be a very convenient target for too many reasons to list here...

  • by OmniVector ( 569062 ) <see my homepage> on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @10:56AM (#4862026) Homepage
    I purchased a laptop from Fujitsu. Naturally it came with Windows XP, so I requested a refund. After nearly 2 weeks of back and forth emails of me requesting a refund, and pointing them to various websites about the issue, and my claims against the EULA to use windows I got nowhere.

    Their argument was i agreed to THEIR EULA which states i can't get a refund, when i purchased it. Either they were ignorant or refused to give a refund under any circumstance. I would have contacted a lawyer but it just isn't worth my time.
    • by genka ( 148122 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @11:12AM (#4862140) Homepage Journal
      I bought a Fujitsu laptop earlier this year, and it didn't come with XP media at all. Not even a recovery disk! They only provide a recovery partition on a hard drive, effectivly stealing more then 1GB of space. I spent a lot of time on a phone with them, discussing various scenarios involving HD failure and upgrade, but to no avail. I even called Microsoft, and they confirmed that if I paid for the license, I am intiteld to the media. But Fujitsu simply said "No CD for you. It is our policy". Really, what can you do when a corporation just tells you to get lost? Nothing. Same with the refunds. They simply will not do it.
      • by Technician ( 215283 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @12:22PM (#4862756)
        Be prepared to return the laptop for full refund. Be sure you have re-partitioned the hard drive before you return it. Ask them to demonstrate the OS recovery for you. Make selling crippled machines an expensive support cost. Let them negotiate with their software vendor for someting with lower support costs. Also be sure to call the Microsoft Piracy Hotline and carefully explain that you got a new laptop without the Media. Accuse the seller of stealing your recovery CD's.
      • Also, you might want to go to http://www.resellerratings.com/ [resellerratings.com] and complain about the reseller there. I think it should also have been the responsibility of the reseller to inform you that it came with a crippled hard drive without a CD.
  • Let's see... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jaredcoleman ( 616268 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @10:59AM (#4862046)

    [MS] If you sell just our OS you can have them at $20.00 each.

    [Dell] Ok.

    [Techie] Dell, will you give me a refund for this unused OS at full market value?

    [Dell] No.

    [Techie] MS, will you give me a refund for this unused OS at full market value?

    [MS] Uh, no.

    [Techie] I can't figure out why these guys won't budge...
  • Toshiba's Policy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Stryker2 ( 258706 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @11:01AM (#4862061)
    I recently purchased a Toshiba notebook. It was sealed in cellophane, with a label that declared that the complete system is a bundle and that Toshiba would not honor requests for partial refunds of the system price for components that were not used/desired. The customer was directed to return the system to the place of purchase for a comnplete refund, if desired. It was my thought that this policy was directly implemented in respone to customers that might wish a refund of the cost of Windows.

    And most vendors around here charge a 15% restocking fee for notebooks, so you can see how far you would get.

    As has been suggested before, if you do not want a given item (Windows or whatever), then either look for a system that does not include it, build your own, or have someone build one to your specs. This will enable you to get exactly what you want and no more at a price you are willing to pay, and it will also provide an incentive for the manufacturers to provide systems that meet your desire so that they can get your business.

    I consider the refund day concept to be little more than a minor publicity prank and of little practical value. What might make it beneficial would be for a group of users to purchase a product, refuse to accept the EULA, and then demand refunds per the instructions included in the EULA (supposedly this has happened with the people that would be participating in the refund day). Microsoft would probably point the users to the vendor, and the vendors would probably stand on their return policies. An ambitious and capable law firm might be able to make a case out of this, but the outcome would probably be along the lines of prohibiting vendors from charging restocking fees on items where the customer refuses to accept the EULA unless it was presented prior to purchase. The law firm wouyld also rack up fees to be paid by someone, probably the vendors. This would not amount to a significant change.

    If you REALLY want to make a change in the marketplace, don't give your money to companies that you do not agree with or whose policies you dislike. If enough people do this it will force changes in the market. And if not enough people do this to make a difference, then you need to accept that you hold a minority viewpoint and are a niche customer.

    IANAL, and you should pay for legal advice rather than believe anything you read here.

    • Re:Toshiba's Policy (Score:4, Interesting)

      by LostCluster ( 625375 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @12:12PM (#4862666)
      This whole thing exposes a weakness in the EULA. To put a contract in the box without presenting it to you before purchase and not giving you a way to say "No, I refuse" would result in an illegal contract... they can't thrust a license on you without you having a chance to say no.

      If Toshiba wraps their own policy that you must return the whole unit, not the individual (Windows) part for a refund, then they must accept the whole unit without a restocking fee because again, this restriction was not disclosed to you before you made the purchase decision. The way to protest this would be to have people each buy one Toshiba laptop, open up the box to discover the bag with this policy on it, then walk back into the store saying you desire the full refund the cellophane bag promises. After a couple Best Buy stores discover that every Toshiba laptop they have is going to have to be sold as an open box item, Best Buy will tell Toshiba they have to come up with a better solution to this problem.

      If the store has a contradictory restocking fee policy that they refuse to waive, Toshiba's got a problem here. They promised you a "full refund", and the store won't give one to you. If they can't live up to the "quid pro quo" on the cellophane bag, then the contract is invalid, and you get to open up the bag and discover the Microsoft EULA which sends this whole problem back to square one.

      Bottom line: Contractal terms inside of product packaging will eventually fail, and the solution is to put the EULA outside of the retail box. Of course, how's Microsoft gonna handle that PR hit?
  • by ealbers ( 553702 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @11:09AM (#4862116)
    When you buy your laptop, you don't accept the EULA at that time, you must accept it later. If you fail to accept the terms of the EULA, you cannot use the product. MicroS**T must refund the money since if you do NOT accept the EULA, you must be given the option of returning the software, or you'll have to return the WHOLE computer to the store...and computer stores don't go for the software they install forcing customers to return the computer. Therefore, they must give the option of NOT accepting the EULA and returning the software (OS) , if you cannot get a refund, Send a letter to microsoft, saying that you do NOT accept the EULA and that they have 30 days to get you your money back, or you'll take their lack of response as permission to use the software without the conditions of the EULA.
  • wait a minute... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gabec ( 538140 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @11:10AM (#4862126)
    "Knowing how the first refund day turned out..."

    err... how *did* the first refund day turn out?

  • by bockman ( 104837 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @11:13AM (#4862149)
    Oh, I read everything about it, even admired people that did it. And you can say I'm one of the ones that would benefit from it, given that I boot in my Win98 partition no more than once per year.

    As a anti-Microsoft PR show-off, this refund thing is fine, for the little good these things produce. However, I can't agree with people holding that there is a legal basis for it. The OS is just a piece of a system: manifacturers are free to choose which pieces their system is made of. We customers make are pro/cons and cost/benefit analysis and then decide if to buy the system or go elsewhere.

    Requiring a refund for the OS is for me on the par with requiring a refund for the hard-disk.

    • by vidarh ( 309115 ) <vidar@hokstad.com> on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @11:38AM (#4862357) Homepage Journal
      Actually, the manufactorers are NOT free to choose which pieces their system is made up of. Most countries have laws restricting when tying of two separate products is legal and not. In this case a bare computer and Windows are clearly in the general case two separate products, as both are available for sale separately from a wide range of manufacturers.

      In general tying laws restrict when a manufacturer may tie in two products without offering the individual products for sale separately as well.

      However, as long as we look at "a computer" as the product, a manufacturer may get away with tying without providing a bare box as an option in many countries by pointing to the fact that a consumer has many alternate sources of bare hardware.

      On the other hand, though, a manufacturers offering a hardware platform with unique capabilities would have bigger problems doing this, as a consumer could claim that the manufacturer was utilizing it's monopoly in the manufacture of that specific hardware to pressure him/her to buy a product they don't want or need.

      Various countries have wildly different laws here, but assuming that manufactureres are automatically free to decide what their system is made up of is wrong almost everywhere.

      (ObDisclaimer: IANAL)

  • Ahem (Score:5, Funny)

    by TheCabal ( 215908 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @11:24AM (#4862242) Journal
    This isn't going to go very far in court... It's going to go something like this:

    Judge: "So Mr. Linux user, you bought a laptop that you knew comes with WindowsXP even through you didn't want it?"

    Linux guy: "Yes"

    Judge: "Can you buy a laptop that doesn't come with Windows? In fact, can't you buy a laptop that has Linux preinstalled?"

    Linux guy: "Yes"

    Judge: "So despite having a choice, and not being forced to pick the Windows laptop, you bought it anyway and think you're entitled to a refund?"

    Linux guy "YESS!!!"

    Judge: "Bailiff, please escort these Birkenstock-wearing geeks out of my courtroom"
    • *cough* (Score:3, Funny)

      by Kjella ( 173770 )
      Judge: "So Mr. Linux user, you bought a laptop that you knew comes with WindowsXP even through you didn't want it?"

      Linux guy: I did want Windows XP. However, when I opened the computer it tried to restrain my rights after the purchase, which is clearly illegal. The computer did however give me the option that I could decline the EULA and demand a full refund. However the company refused to honor their EULA, so here I am.

      Judge: So you didn't do this just to piss them off?

      Linux guy (trying to keep a straight face): No, your honor. *snicker*

      Judge: I don't believe you for a second. But you're still entitled to that refund.

      Kjella
  • How About Apple? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Filly-O-Fish ( 27215 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @11:31AM (#4862297) Journal
    Anyone tried buying a Powerbook or iMac without MacOS installed on it? I have. Tried to pick up an iMac at my local Apple Store. The sales person was reasonably helpful, going to the trouble of calling the head office to find out if such a thing was possible. This broke down when the best answer he could give me was 'We can't do it because we wouldn't know how much of a discount to give'; 'Surely you just deduct the number on that OSX box over there' I said. 'The retail and bundled versions are slightly different, and the pricing would be also, but we don't know what the bundled version costs' he replied. I shook my head and left the shop.
  • System restore disks (Score:4, Interesting)

    by teamhasnoi ( 554944 ) <teamhasnoi AT yahoo DOT com> on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @11:33AM (#4862321) Homepage Journal
    I have a Compaq that was quite a good deal at the time. It came with restore disk (w98) that erases the HD and throws an image on it.

    The problem was that the default install had a bug in it that would crash the computer on shutdown or sleep. (Pretty annoying) Many other people have this computer where I live (a company 'bonus' of sorts), and as I occationally go out and 'fix' these things, I saw *alot* of them with no patch installed (clueless users with no internet access).

    Since the patch was marginal at best, the eventual solution was to install windows 98 from a regular install disk. Since they have already paid for Windows (that doesn't work), can I give them a 'copy' under fair use rights? Would it be easier to get a refund for a windows 'install' that doesn't work?

    Later, I'll tell you the story of the family that had *140 separate instances* of trojans running at the same time...

  • by sterno ( 16320 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @11:39AM (#4862365) Homepage
    Before you go and ship your copy of XP back to anybody for a refund, be sure the company that it to you will support your system if you have any problems. I have a laptop from one of the largest computer vendors in the world, and it came pre-installed with XP. It turned out that it had a hardware problem, it has some bad memory. I used some dianostic tools and indeed confirmed that it was a hardware problem. When I tried to call them up to get this fixed it did not go well.

    Basically what it boiled down to is that they refused to provide any service under my warranty unless I ran the operating system that came with the laptop. I asked the guy, "is my warranty effectively invalid if I run Linux?". He said that, unfortunately, that was, in essence, the case.

    So, just a word to the wise that if you don't install XP on your system, you may in fact be making your warranty irrelevent even for hardware specific problems.
    • Fortunatly that would hold no water in other countries (I assume all of europe, I know in the UK). If you can show that the product they sold you (the laptop) is defective, they have to repair/replace it. No quibbles, no arguments, no get outs. The only argument they could have is that you caused the damage by improper use (i.e. by installing linux). Send that to The Register and wait for your new laptop to arrive by fedex ;)
    • by Compulawyer ( 318018 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @12:17PM (#4862708)
      Sue the bastards then. Unless it explicitly said on the box in clear and conspicuous language that any written warranty was invalid by not using the pre-installed OS, they simply cannot do that.

      In any case, there are IMPLIED warranties that arise simply out of the sale which cannot be disclaimed if a written warranty is provided and assuming this was a consumer sale. The most common is the implied warranty of merchantability (Uniform Commercial Code Section 2-314). Every state has a version except LA, and maybe even them by now. Also, breach of warranty is in most states an unfair and deceptive business practice that can get you 3 times your actual damages or a sum set by statute, whichever is greater, plus attorneys fees. You should be able to file this in small claims court abd get a very good result.

      Remember - you bought a piece of HARDWARE and it is the hardware that is defective. As a matter of fact, unless that clear and conspicuous language is there, I would put in a separate count claiming that merely telling you that running Linux invalidates a warranty is unfair and deceptive, entitling you to damages. If it is there, I would claim that warranty provision is invalid and itself unfair and deceptive.

  • Never had to... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by C0vardeAn0nim0 ( 232451 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @11:40AM (#4862366) Journal
    I've always had IBM (IBM as in I've Built Mine) machines, so I never had a windows to refund.

    if I ever buy a notebook, I'll try to:

    1- buy with linux pre-installed
    2- buy one with _NO_ OS whatsoever.

    if that's not possible, I'll use brasilian law, that forbides forced bundles such as this, and make them sell the machine without an OS.

    Now, the big question.

    i installed linux in a compaq iPaq. anyone succeeded in geting a refund for winCE ?
  • by mcelrath ( 8027 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @12:13PM (#4862677) Homepage
    Having recently purchased a laptop, I extensively researched the companies that will sell laptops with no-OS or Linux preinstalled. This information is distressingly difficult to find, so I present a list below. I encourage you all to vote with your dollar and do not send a single penny to the monopoly in Redmond.

    You should realize though that most of these companies purchase the hardware from companies like Sager [sagernotebook.com] (Linux forum [sagerforums.com]) and Compal [compal.com], and those companies also supply the big-name guys like Compaq, HP, Dell, and Toshiba. So when you find some no-name laptop, it is usually equivalent to some branded laptop that never touched the hands of HP/Compaq/Toshiba/Dell. (And figuring out exactly *which* brand-name laptop it is equivalent to can be extremely difficult) Some of the below claim to manufacture their own notebooks, but what this means is that they buy them from Saeger/Compal or someone else, and put in a hard drive/CPU/RAM, which is why you will find identical looking cases at several of these vendors.

    If you find a HP/Compaq/Toshiba/Dell/IBM/Sony branded laptop that has linux preinstalled, it means that the vendor paid for windows and removed it. I do not list them below because I think this is a despicable and deceptive practice. These manufacturers do not (yet) sell no-os or linux laptops. (But please, call them and ask!! The squeaky wheel gets the grease!) Also if you order a no-OS laptop, please request linux to be installed anyway, and tell them you'll pay for it! Let them know there is demand!

    1. Linux-preinstalled laptops
    2. ASA Computers [asacomputers.com]
    3. ASLab [aslab.com] (Linux Forum [aslab.com])
    4. American Computer [accpc.com]
    5. Cyclox [cyclox.com]
    6. Kachina Tech [kachinatech.com] (positively ancient laptops -- K6 and PII)
    7. QLI Tech [qlitech.net]
    8. Workstation 2000 [w2000.com]
    1. No-os laptops
    2. ARM Computer [armcomputer.com]
    3. Chem USA [chemusa.com]
    4. Mtech Laptops [mtechlaptops.com] (these guys outright lied to me about what they could deliver, in order to get my order, were not able to deliver the laptop, and I had to cancel my order -- which took 3 months to process and they kept $5 for the priviledge -- do not do business with them)
    5. PC Torque [pctorque.com]
    6. Power Notebooks [powernotebooks.com] (very good customer service according to Reseller Ratings [resellerratings.com]) (Linux forum [powernotebooks.com])
    7. Xtreme Notebooks [xtremenotebooks.com]

    -- Bob

  • by Shaleh ( 1050 ) <shaleh@@@speakeasy...net> on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @01:01PM (#4863054)
    Buying a laptop (or just about anything really) without seeing, touching, holding it first is right out. Do I like the way the keyboard is setup? Does it feel like 10 year olds put it together with plastic screws? Will the display hinge break in 3 weeks? I shop around, feel things out, and then I purchase.

    For me this is why the Windows refund is important. If I happen to like the Sony VAIO series (which I do, 3 lbs laptops are important to the constant traveller) I should not have to spend money on an OS I will not use just for the privilege. But for me it is more than that. I do not want a license for Windows. Why let a corporation declare me as one of their users?

    Somebody earlier made a car analogy. I actually quite like it. The OS is an add-on, like leather seats or the nifty Bose sound system. On most models of car you can opt not to have them. Just like a cigarette lighter. Yes some of the high end systems "force" you to purchase the leather but in general people buying them do not mind. But there are reasonable models available otherwise. In laptops we either buy sight unseen from unknown web vendors or we go to the nice store and buy what we like.

    Personally I would not mind waiting 3 weeks for a laptop if it came configured how I like so it is not the immediate nature of the store or the purchase constraining me. It is the lack of real choice.

    Show me a 3 to 3.5 lb. laptop (with a battery, one of the models mentioned in the comments here did not support an internal battery) that I can buy sans OS or with some version of Linux. Then point out some vendor who carries them in real stores and not just in faceless online retailers.

    For desktops I have always built my own. Even used to work at a place that built customs for people (OS was always an option). It is specifically laptops that are the annoyance because we are forced to treat them like a Lexus.

    (As a side note I understand that many OEMs were charged a mere 25 US cents for Windows 95 when it came out. So yes, this is more than just money here.)

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @01:33PM (#4863371) Homepage
    I just ordered a Shuttle machine from GamePC [gamepc.com], with no OS installed. Their OS options, and prices, are straightforward, and you can see what Microsoft is costing you.
    • Dual Boot : Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional and Windows 98 SE - $290.00
    • Dual Boot : Microsoft Windows XP Professional and Windows 98 SE - $300.00
    • Dual Boot : Red Hat Linux 8.0 and Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional - $260.00
    • Dual Boot : Red Hat Linux 8.0 and Windows 98 SE - $170.00
    • Dual Boot : Red Hat Linux 8.0 with Microsoft Windows XP Professional - $270.00
    • Microsoft Office XP Professional OEM - $375.00
    • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional OEM - $190.00
    • Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition OEM - $100.00
    • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition OEM - $115.00
    • Microsoft Windows XP Professional OEM - $200.00
    • Red Hat Linux 8.0 Personal Retail - $50.00
    • None - $0.00

    (I'm putting QNX [qnx.com] on it, for embedded development. QNX, incidentally, has become more friendly to Linux programmers. They now use the GNU toolchain. If you're not doing real-time work, QNX now works a lot like Linux. If you are doing real-time work, it works a lot better than Linux.)

  • by hirschma ( 187820 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @02:13PM (#4863728)
    I tried to make a stink about this in various enthusiast forums, but no one really cares (except for here, possibly).

    Windows refunds will become a moot point as this trend continues. Although folks are familar with WinModems, I just got a machine from Dell that:

    * Included a sound card that only ran under Windows XP. It just wouldn't run under Linux no matter what I did to the driver.

    * Has a chipset that recent Linux kernels cannot understand - so no DMA for hard drives, and no USB2.0 support.

    I rectified the first issue by complaining long and loud to Dell, and they finally sent me a new sound card, identical chips on board, that worked fine in all operating systems. I'm hoping that a new kernel will eventually fix the chipset issue.

    The machine is a Dimension 4550, which should be about as bog standard as they get. This isn't a laptop, BTW; it is a 'normal' desktop machine, and the first that I've seen that is at least partially Linux incompatible.

    At any rate, this refund issue is going to go away as the larger OEMs introduce models tied to specific versions of Windows. Time to start investigating other options.

    jonathan
  • by cardshark2001 ( 444650 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @04:19PM (#4865050)
    Going to small claims court REALLY isn't that big of a deal, you don't need a lawyer, there's no jury, just you, the company you are suing, and the judge. It costs something to file a claim, no matter where you live, but really not very much, and you can usually get the claim fee back if you win.

    Just take your receipt and your laptop with no windows on it to the court, along with the EULA. You've got a good chance of winning, and merely filing the lawsuit will probably prompt the company to settle out of court. Make sure they pay your filing fee, of course.

    If you have to miss a day of work to go to court, in some places you can sue for that too (assuming it's an issue where you work).

    To reiterate: small claims is really no big deal, and the company probably won't let it get to that point anyway. Too bad you have to sue the vendor, and don't get to drag M$ into small claims court. That would be too cool.
  • last summer... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by zogger ( 617870 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @04:27PM (#4865150) Homepage Journal
    ..last summer had an aquaintance of mine purchase a shrink wrapped XP box off the shelf at his local retailer. He opened the box, but hadn't installed it yet when he started actually reading about XP and decided he didn't want it. So he tries to return it, first try was a no go, they refused, as the shrinkwrap was opened. He asked me, I said go back and complain that you had no way to read the eula until you opened it, that you didn't agree with it, and never installed it, which was the plain simple truth. He goes back, argued that point at the service desk, mentioned he just might want to take it to court, gets the store manager finally, runs the same thing past him, and the upshot was he got his full money back.. I don't know if this is common or not and I know it isn't relevant to a bundled package with a new computer, but still goes to show it's possible at least.
    • Re:last summer... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by aufait ( 45237 )
      last summer had an aquaintance of mine purchase a shrink wrapped XP box off the shelf at his local retailer.

      So far, I am three for three on obtaining refunds on opened software even though their stated policy was "no refund" on opened software. However, none were trivial. The first two each took 1/2 hour arguing with the manager. I must have refined my arguements because the last one only took 10 minutes.

Two percent of zero is almost nothing.

Working...