Dell bars Win 7 refunds from Linux lovers
Microsoft Windows 7? 'It's free'
Dell has told a Linux-loving Reg reader that he can't receive a refund on the copy of Windows 7 that shipped with his new Dell netbook because it was bundled with the machine for "free".
In October, another Reg reader succeeded in gaining a $115 (£70.34) refund from the computer maker after he rejected the licence for Microsoft's OS and installed Linux instead. Microsoft's EULA, you see, provides for such a refund.
"By using the software, you accept these terms," it reads. "If you do not accept them, do not use the software. Instead, return it to the retailer for a refund or credit."
UK-based school teacher Adam Drake recently tried the same Windows rejection trick. But his effort to secure a refund was in turn rejected by Dell.
According to a company support rep, Drake was not entitled to a refund because his copy of Windows 7 was included with his machine for free. "The one that was charged to you is just for shipping and handling so that means you got the Windows 7 for free," the rep says.
Presumably, the rep is mistaking Drake's copy of Windows 7 - which came preloaded on his system - with the Windows 7 upgrade kit that OEMs provided with Windows XP systems around the time of the new OS's launch last fall. Drake made multiple efforts to convince her that the OS actually costs money and that he was indeed entitled to a refund.
"I hope you understand that this isn't going to go away," he told her. "My plan is to pursue this as long as it takes, and maybe write a book or film script along the way. I'd be played by Harrison Ford or Liam Neeson." But the rep would not back down.
Asked about refunds for rejected copies of Windows 7, Dell tells us that despite the $115 success of Reg reader Graeme Cobbett, the company policy is that it will only accept returns for the entire system. "We consider the OS part of the base config, like and other key components (e.g. processor, memory, etc.)," the company says.
We have pointed out to Dell that Dell handed Cobbett a refund after he rejected Windows 7 in favor of the Ubuntu-based Linux Mint. But the company seems to view this as a mistake. "Would have to look to see if there was any other potential issue in play that contributed to a refund being offered, or else use this as a touchpoint point for training refresh," it tells us.
In any event, Windows 7 is not free. ®
Bog off, pizza face.
This isn't just a matter of geeks and weirdos.
My parents bought a system built by a private individual who had no OEM agreement with Microsoft. He therefore used a retail package. The computer's a bit gubbed, so they want a new one. Now everyone -- Microsoft, PC World, EVERYONE -- keeps telling them that Windows is restricted to the PC it came with, so they need to buy a new copy. No-one ever asks if it was retail, they just immediately try to sell you more of the same software.
It's next to impossible to buy a PC now without paying Microsoft for something that you may already have or may not want to buy. It's like forcing me to buy new dining room chairs when all I need is the table. It's monopolistic and unfair practice.
The point is you _can't_ order the pizza without the ham. Every pizza comes with ham, whether you want it or not. You have to buy the pizza with the ham on it, and then take it off. You've paid for the ham which you didn't want it.
Is that simple enough for you to understand?
So being born ginger is a lifestyle choice, how does that work then ? And just how times have you tried to order a pc without Windows ? Let's just say that your analogy fails, big time.
Surely Dell miss the point
If I buy the system from Dell with the OS pre-installed, and then when reading the Licence Agreement decide that I do not want be bound by the terms and reject the license agreement I am not rejecting the entire machine. Therefore you return the license to the retailer for a refund, not the whole machine.
Buy and return?
Some people have suggested ordering a machine from Dell and returning it under the EULA conditions just to piss them off. They would be much more pissed off (and it is more likely to take place) If everyone called Dell and offered to buy a laptop then decline when they will not supply one without a Windows licence.
It would appear on the sales figures as 'lost sales' and be a much larger figure than refunds would be likely to reach.