Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Emachines give $26 refund for Windows Return 73

jplove writes "Chris Schoedel wrote that she has received a $26 refund for returning a Windows license to Emachines" The strongly worded letter at the bottom might be a good model to crib.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Emachines give $26 refund for Windows Return

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ....already. Good times ahead ;-)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    As a former PC retailer, who still orders OEM stuff occasionally, I can say that $26 is wayyyy too low. Unless maybe Emachines gets a huge volume discount???

    We always paid $89.00 per copy of Windoze. (I know, what a waste of money)

  • by Anonymous Coward
    $26.00 may in fact be what e-machines paid for the ir copy. The more important issue is the time and hassle the EULA refusee' has to "pay" in order to get their refund. It is only through the threat of legal action that the company was willing to honor their contract. That seems rather unethical to me.

    I have personally received several hundred dollars from a major bank after asserting their mistake cost me time to resolve a problem they caused and that they should honor my time, just as they would their own. I asked a bank branch manager to spend two days idle sitting at their desk with me in order for their multibillion dollar corporation to realize the true cost of their mistake to my small business. They paid me $300 cash for my time. Out of what they call a customer satisfaction account.

    It would be far cheaper for these companies to pay what the software is really worth, probably closer to $50-75, perhaps less if they are also peddling MSIE. After all the efforts of Chris to obtain her refund, which is clearly authorized by EULA, she should consider that $26 is an insult. She will set a bad precedent if she accepts that amount.

    Better to continue to threaten legal action and push for $75.00. I would threaten them with small claims action and that I would ask the judge to determine what the company truly paid for the software, as well as put a value on her time for the companies attempts to avoid honoring the covenenant.

    The simple issue is that it would cost them far more to represent themselves in small claims court rather than pay the $75.00. While this may be true for a small company who may not have that many claimants, the opposite is true with a large company, such as Compaq, Dell, or Gateway. It would be better for those companies, from an economic perspective, to force everyone into a small claims action. Then, only the lawyers will win. But, I am certain that a really good lawyer for the claimants could prove a valid argument for interstate fraud or something heavy like that which would greatly increase the damage award.

  • Sheesh, what's it gonna cost to mail the stuff ?

    Not to mention the hassle ..

  • by Zoloft ( 218 )
    That's all?????!!!!!!
    For Windows AND MS Works???

    Something tells me the OEMs will try to let this blow over by throwing a few bones.
  • Posted by Ripper4.20:

    Being a small VAR, I can tell you that purchasing OEM 98 through legit channels (i.e. Ingram Micro, Tech Data etc.) costs a lot more than Microsoft is saying. Here's a good breakdown of our costs:

    OEM 98 $88.00 / copy
    OEM 98 w/ Plus $102 / copy
    MS Works 4.5 $22.00 / copy

    Since we're small, we're not ordering 10,000 copies at a time, but, we do our fair share. I've never seen volume discounts below that - maybe if you're compaq and you purchase 500,000 units directly it gets down that low, but, for small VARs, it's much higher than what they are saying.
  • Posted by MosEisley:

    Working as a technician for a major elextronics superstore, that may or may not be Best Buy, I have an oppurtunity to browse a couple dozen EULAs from different PC manufacturers a day. I have noticed more often than not that the agreement is directing the consumer to return the software to the store where they bought it.
    Now I don't see that the retailer really should be held accountable by Microsoft and the PC maker that bundled that software. A huge chain like Best Buy probably wouldn't mind eating some refunds, but I do feel bad for smaller resellers who get caught in the middle.
  • Posted by MosEisley:

    It takes less than 5 minutes to remove windows. Its called fdisk.
  • Running fdisk isn't *that* hard...
  • I have to think that if Microsoft had wanted to
    make this some sort of air-tight, you-bought-it-you're-stuck-with-it license, they would have done so. I can't help but wonder if there is some legal reason that they had to leave users an "out."

  • Great oaks grow from tiny acorns.
    Rockslides start with a single pebble.
    Avalanches begin as tiny snowflakes.
    It feels good to see this happening. Another facet of that /. effect. I, personally like to build my own machines, meaning no preinstalled junk. Debian bootdisk and a NIC and in a reasonable time I have a real OS with most needed apps at virtually no cost. No silly service packs released well after the whole world knows about a weakness.

    `Nuff sed

  • The EULA (at least as Chris has on her site) does not specify a full refund, just a refund, and she got exactly that. The arguement could be made in court that a full refund is implied, but it would be difficult to back up. So she is lucky she didn't get $0.01.
  • A previous /. story report a guy in Australia got AUD 100 as a refund from Toshiba.

    This translates to USD 62.90 according to Yahoos' financial section.

    Are eMachines getting a better volume discount than Toshiba?
  • As far as I read on the EULA, the OEM must only provide *instructions* for the return of the software for refund. They could instruct you to send it to Microsoft. Of course they had better be valid instructions which will yeild in a refund. I'm guessing that the EULA says to go through the OEM becuase each of them gets a different price...

    I find all too likely that M$ offers a %100 discount, ie you install %100 of your machines with Windows and you get a discount.
  • Merchant markups are a part of doing business and always have been. This is much akin to taking back some other good and then being refunded the wholesale vs. the retail price for the item.
  • by mattdm ( 1931 )
    If you read the article, you'll notice that this was a refund for Win98. They're probably paying two or three times what they "refunded" her.


  • "During the reinstall, Win95 wiped out a couple of the Linux partitions, overwriting not only the boot sector, but over two months of work on his research paper for school"

    What moron installs an operating system without having a backup of real work? Two months of work without a backup?!?!?!!?!?!?!

    Timur "too sexy for my code" Tabi,,
  • I think this is a step in the right direction in that people are starting to realize that refunds will have to be given, but I think that somewhere on the order of $50 is a more reasonable refund amount. At minimum, they should be refunding whatever they paid MS for the software, and possibly more when you take in to account the profit (if any) that was made by selling the software. A fair formula would be the price plus the proportional profit margin of the machine. So if the profit margin was 10% and the company paid $50 for OEM windows, the refund amount should be $55.
  • The FULL cost of windows should be returned. Its like taking something that is defective back to the store, and the store telling you that you'll get half your money back.

    Ever hear of "15% restocking fee"? Some stores (like Circuit City) try to pull that on you when you return stuff, even within 30 days, and even if it's obviously defective (like Packard Bell computers). Not that I'd be foolish enough to buy a Packard Bell computer from Circuit City, but my sister's roommate did, and they pulled that on her when she asked for a refund, even though it had some serious hardware problems.


  • Could someone let us know what the OEM pricing is in Canada?

  • I run 2.0.36 quite happilly on a Cyrix PR166+

    'bout 20-30% faster than a P100


  • Dang right! We pay $89 for win98, $95 for win95 osr2.5 and $75 for WFW3.11. You don't want to get caught buying stuff that cheap by the M$ pirate police.. They sue.
  • Dang right! We pay $89 for win98, (oops) $85 for win95 osr2.5 and $75 for WFW3.11. You don't want to get caught buying stuff that cheap by the M$ pirate police.. They sue.
  • could a major anti-microsoft group go and buy one notebook from each and every major oem and demand the refund under the EULA?

    instant figuring out of MSFT's differential Win95 pricing scheme... hehe ... for a small cost (what's a few thousand to a multibillion dollar company ... can you say "Oracle" (or Sun or whatever)?)
  • There must be plenty of computer store owners who sell PCs bundled with Windows and who also read Slashdot. It would be helpful if they could post (anonymously, even) what *they* pay to provide a copy of Windows with their systems; this way we could all know what sort of refund to expect so we don't sell ourselves short.

  • Thats about what its worth. Fix the bugs mickysoft. (Oh there not bugs, its a new feature...)
  • Maybe this will open up the secret-pricing policies of Microsoft.... for example if they sell win95 cheaper to Dell than they do to gateway, hopefully that will piss them off.
  • Erm, why couldn't the system they then sale be a new system?

    However, you may be correct, because Windows is licensed only for that computer, I think. Although, if so, the OEM should be able to get their money back from M$...yeah, right.

  • Consumers bring on some of this all by themselves. My sister relayed a story where an acquaintance of hers "purchased" a large-screen television for the sole purpose of entertaining some friends during a major televised sporting event, and then returned it. They had no plans whatsoever to keep it beyond that. If I were the merchant, and I knew this, I'd be pretty TICKED.
  • If a retailer sales the OEM version of the software for $100 per copy does that mean they would legally have to give back $100 if you refused the copy they included on the machine?
  • Remember, this is Microsoft *Works*, an even crappier suite than Office, and nowhere near as expensive


  • Would explain the $399, PC.

    Hey, that's with works, too.
    Wonder how much the PC's with word on them are?
  • Been down this road before. Once the software is returned, it is no longer available for sale. During my stint at the un-named computer company, we received hundreds of copies of Windows 95, NT and 98 back with systems that were returned for whatever reason. The software could not be resold. Generally, it ended up being used internally for corporate systems, training, or, ahem, personal reasons. But it was NEVER resold.
  • That might not be true -- software is often more expensive in Australia. Still $26 is a bit low.
  • I liked the wording of Chris's letter. Particularly important was the last paragraph, where she says, "I am prepared to seek legal action in Santa Clara county courts..."

    Hear, hear! This is *exactly* the right way to word such things in letters of complaint. Saying you *will* sue if X is not done is considered a threat, and can in fact be actionable under the right circumstances. But saying that you are prepared to seek legal redress is completely fine, and probably the strongest way to express your intensions legally.
  • It only took 15 or 20 minutes to reformat and install Linux. However, I _did_ spend a total of several hours both on the phone with emachines, and writing the emails.

  • No, they would save the OEM cost of the product, which is higher than $26. What Chris is getting back is not what emachines paid for windows, she's getting back what she paid to emachines for windows. Emachines is effectivly eating the rest. You can bet emachines isn't getting any money back from Microsoft, and they're not going to take a loss on the machine. Chris is getting emachines markup back.
  • Well, M$ can't write bug-free's not too surprising they can't write a bug-free EULA.



"There is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress." -- Mark Twain