Feeds

HP strikes back on charges for 'free' Windows 7 upgrade

'Don't look at us,' says Microsoft

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Hewlett-Packard has refuted complaints that it isn't fulfilling a promise of a "free" Windows 7 upgrade on PCs and laptops saying it had never made any such offer in the first place.

"The UK communication regarding the Windows 7 upgrade from HP has never stated that this was available for free," a company spokeswoman told The Register.

We contacted HP after a number of readers got in touch to complain they had been "stung" by shipping and handling costs for each PC or laptop entered into the firm's Windows 7 upgrade program, which launched at the start of this month.

"Having purchased a shiny new HP EliteBook Laptop for over a grand, I was looking forward to my free Windows 7 upgrade to Vista Business, as widely advertised splashed across banners on the various e-tailers stores," said Reg reader Neil.

However, when he proceeded with his order, Neil was surprised to be asked for his credit card details to cover a £27 charge for "shipping and handling costs" for the upgrade.

Neil was perplexed that he was expected to cough up cash to pay for the media and accompanying licence to be posted out to him.

"Although given previous coverage of HP packaging fails, perhaps it will actually turn up on a palette inside a dozen boxes - hence justifying the obscene price tag," he noted.

HP's spokeswoman pointed us in the direction of its press release that doesn't mention the word "free" anywhere.

She told us that it clearly states the following regarding costs for the upgrade kit bought via the firm's Windows 7 Upgrade Option program:

"There is no cost for the Windows 7 Upgrade Kit from HP, however, there may be a charge to cover shipping, handling, and other fees."

But a number of customers aren't happy about the added charge.

"I’ve just bought 10 PCs from HP," Reg reader Mark told us.

"They were happy to tell us that they have a FREE upgrade to Windows 7 when it’s released. Great I thought. Today I got to order my FREE Windows 7 upgrade kit. Here’s where it all goes wrong... Shipping and handling costs £22 per unit!" he said.

"So my FREE upgrade for 10 PCs is actually costing £220. You can see why I’m annoyed."

We asked Microsoft if it could tell El Reg why its customers were being saddled with such charges when they expect to simply receive a free upgrade of Windows 7 from one of the software giant's hardware partners.

The company responded with a shrug.

"As it is the manufacturers like HP and Dell which decide whether there is a shipping and handling cost involved, Microsoft is unable to comment on this," said an MS spokesman. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
'People have forgotten just how late the first iPhone arrived ...'
Plus: 'Google's IDEALISM is an injudicious justification for inappropriate biz practices'
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.