Getting your Microsoft Tax Refunded: 10/10 for Amazon UK! [Updated]

Yesterday I received a great prize from the people at Miserware for helping with the Beta trial of their power saving software for Linux computers; a new and very shiny Asus 1008HA netbook PC.

The PC itself looks brilliant and I can’t wait to use it. However, it is unfortunate that Asus seem to have been bought-off by Microsoft so they will no longer sell these devices with anything other than Windows software. Software that I for one have absolutely no intention of using.

Turning the machine on for the first time I was amazed at just how long it took for the first-time-run license window to appear. Anyway, it did eventually:

Windows XP EULA Screen

Windows XP EULA Screen

If you can read the text in the EULA on the left, the important bit states:

“If you do not agree to the terms of this EULA, you may not use or copy the SOFTWARE, and you should promptly contact Manufacturer for instructions on return of the unused product(s) for a refund in accordance with Manufacturer’s return policies.”

Do also take a look at the conditions imposed in the second box too (click the images for a big piccy). Basically it says you can’t change your mind once you have said yes and that they don’t actually provide any “warranty” anyway. What complete and utter claptrap. Why on earth do people continue to put up with this rubbish?

And so, when you say you do not want to accept their unfair and ridiculously one-sided licenses, you are told to turn of the machine. Fine. Suits me.

XP says turn off machine.

XP says turn off machine.

First off I thought I’d ask Amazon what the correct procedure is for requesting a refund. So I sent them an email from my Amazon account last night (at about 10:00pm):

Requesting procedure for license refund

Requesting procedure for license refund

This morning I had one of those slightly annoying automated replies telling me that because the order wasn’t actually to do with my account (which is correct):

“For security reasons, we can only take action on an account when the request comes from the e-mail address related to that account. Hence we request you to contact us from relevant account.”

There were a couple of helpful links in the mail – one of which was to use if you found the email response hadn’t been helpful or resolved your issue. Clicking that took me to a page on Amazon’s site where I was invited to get them to call me. Within 20seconds or so I was talking to a real person (probably in Ireland from his accent). I explained that I didn’t want the Windows XP software and was intending to format the drive and install Linux (he seemed to understand exactly what I was talking about). He asked what version of Windows was on the computer, and then basically said ‘OK. We’ll refund the cost of the license to the buyer’. And that was it.

I should point out that the chap at Amazon also suggested that I check with Asus that removing the software might invalidate my warranty on the device. I have searched on Google and on Asus’ website and read the Warranty card that comes with the device. I couldn’t see anything that would indicate my warranty would be void if I change the software. I have mailed Asus to try and confirm it will be OK. [Update: I’ve just had a message back from Asus saying my Warranty will fine. They don’t “support” other operating systems but I can understand that completely] Frankly, it would be a pretty USELESS warranty for a computer if it became void by installing new software. But I am not a lawyer so don’t take my word for this and YMMV.

Within a minute or so of ending my phone call with Amazon a copy of an email to the Miserware account holder at Amazon dropped into my inbox.

Dear Melissa/ cc Alan

I have requested a refund to your payment card for this purchase in the amount of 40.00 GBP for this order, as Alan will not be using the Windows XP Software. Refunds usually go through within 2 to 3 business days and you will see this amount credited on your next statement…

Brilliant. I can’t really praise Amazon enough for that. It was easy, simple and no fuss.

I guess my only concern is that the cost of this refund might not get passed back to Asus. But at least the information is in the public domain on this blog. Also, I should think if Amazon had to do this more than occasionally they’d be asking some hard questions of Asus…

Now I need your help dear readers…
I am not yet sure what to put on this machine: Ubuntu Desktop, Ubuntu Netbook Remix, Cruchbang (which I have heard some good things about but not tried) or something else… Suggestions are more than welcome :-) I have plenty of choice! And I plan to use it!

And finally.

Come on Asus, you have some really nice products crying out for a proper operating system and it’s a real shame you have allowed yourself to be stitched-up by Microsoft. If you would like me to put you in touch with the guy responsible for OEMs at Canonical (Ubuntu) Just let me know. :-) I’m sure he’d be delighted to talk to you.

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111 Comments

  • David Gerard says:

    Yeah, the trading standards laws, particularly distance selling, give the consumer lots of power in the relationship, if they really need to push it. That said, Amazon are mostly not that silly as to need that much pushing IME :-)

  • […] ha scritto di essersi meravigliato quando si è sentito rispondere, dopo pochi secondi di conversazione, che […]

  • swoshhh says:

    Congratulations for your excellent smash.
    About the distribution to use for your netbook I may suggest to try elive gem. A very light distro but it’s really awesome and it’s also a debian derivate ;)

  • Fred says:

    Well done.

    I thoroughly recommend Eeebuntu. I’ve installed it on a few Asus netbooks and it’s been a delight.

  • Geld für den Zwangskauf von Windows beim PC / Laptop zurückfordern…

    Ob ich (oder man und frau) es will oder nicht, beim nächsten PC- oder Laptop-Kauf werde ich wohl wieder ein Windows dabei und mitbezahlt haben. So habe ich z.B. auch zwei Vista-Lizenzen /-Installationen rumfliegen. Naja, für ein bissel virtue…

  • […] the 21st July 2009 I reported how Amazon had made it really easy for me to reclaim the cost of the Windows XP license on a new […]

  • Neil Wilson says:

    Looks like with Amazon it depends whether you happen to get through to somebody who understands. In my case – following the same approach I have drawn a blank.

    We are not in a position to offer a partial refund for this product. You can of course return the laptop to us for a full refund if you wish

    So much for the friendly approach. I’ve posted the details up on my blog and we’ll see where it goes.

    • Alan Lord says:

      Hi Nigel, you’ve probably seen I’ve done a new post about the lack of response. Here’s one interesting titbit I just came across… http://www.amazon.com/review/R1FY56FWYYXMFD so it seems as though other Amazon customers are opting for Linux over XP on the 1008HA.

      Good luck with your efforts to reclaim what it is legally yours. Please keep us updated on your blog site!

  • […] seems, unfortunately, as though my experience with Amazon was not common […]

  • […] * Ubuntu Netbook Remix was the easiest to install for me, because it comes as a .img file which can be put directly on a 1GB or larger USB stick with good old ‘dd’ and then simply plugged into the netbook – no GUI helpers needed. * Pressing Esc key during bootup (have to be quick!) will allow you to enter BIOS setup and make sure the USB device is first in the boot order. Also turning off ‘Quick Boot’ and other optimizations may or may not be necessary (I have some attempts where the PC seemed to stubbornly ignore the presence of the bootable USB drive) * Neither wired or wireless hardware worked out-of-the box, as the drivers have not quite made it through to release in UNR. But, this awesome blog post led to this helpful Amazon review which solved that problem. * UNR is great and suits this hardware very well – have not used anything except Redhat-based distros for a few years but so far I like it. I did find it necessary to reduce the size of the default desktop icons, for aesthetic reasons. * Although I have not yet ridded myself of Windows, it is apparently quite easy to get a refund if you do. […]

  • […] I wrote about getting the Windows license fee refunded on my Asus 1008HA netbook here in the UK, there have […]

  • Frosty says:

    http://www.novatech.co.uk sell laptops built in the UK and without operating systems hence no Microsoft Tax. People need to support suppliers like this rather than battle to get money back. At the end of the day, amazon are massive, are they even claiming the £40 back from Microsoft themselves or are they just refunding out of their own pockets? I guess most people would say it doesn’t matter but MS shouldn’t be getting to keep the money from this unfair computer tax. Thing is, it’s people like Dell, HP and Acer who are at fault for not offering their products without the bundled Windows. People should just refuse to buy the laptops that are bundles with Windows regardless of if the money can later be clamed back. It shouldn’t be such a hassle to get a OS agnostic laptop.

    Just my 2 pence worth. Frosty

    • Alan Lord says:

      @Frosty,

      I guess there are a few things to say.

      1. Thanks for commenting :-)

      2. We have used Novatech in the past and I agree with you. This is one of the reasons why we started

      http://nakedcomputers.org

      It has a growing list of retailers which will supply you a computer free of proprietary software. In fact they will supply one free of any software. You can then choose what to install.

      3. I think many of the big vendors don’t have much of a choice to be honest. They are almost certainly paid-off by Microsoft to be “good boys”. Having said that, Dell and HP will sell you computers with Linux pre-installed, as will a growing number. In fact Dell recently stated that “close to a third of all netbooks Dell ships during certain quarters are preloaded with Linux”. They are increasing the range and updating the version of Ubuntu too (http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9136733/Dell_plans_to_expand_netbook_presence_with_Linux).

      4. Claiming a refund is one way to make a statement. It will, if it increases in quantity, seriously piss-off retailers and they would almost certainly start asking awkward questions of their suppliers.

      I would also recommend reading some of the later posts here on this subject:

      http://www.theopensourcerer.com/2009/07/30/taxing-times-for-free-choice/
      http://www.theopensourcerer.com/2009/08/10/pressure-mounts-on-windows-tax/

      Cheers

      • Frosty says:

        That’s brilliant. Just the link I have been looking for. Thanks for the reply :-)

        I spoke (well online chat) to someone at Dell this morning who said the only machines they did with Linux per installed were their Netbooks. Perhaps I should have actually checked whether that was the case.

        I’ll have a look at the posts you’ve linked to.

        I was recently quite dismayed to see that the Asus eee PC laptops are now predominantly Windows based as opposed to being completely Linux based when I got my 701 a couple of years ago.

        I guess they have been “got at” as well.

        Again, thanks for the links. They’re just the kind of thing I was googling for when I stumbled across this blog.

        All the best.

        Frosty

  • Hyperhead says:

    I have the same Model Netbook arrived yesterday, I wanted it because it has a matte screen. I dont want XP on it, I have already deleted it and installed Linux. I have contacted Amazon and they have told me to contact Asus, I will however be contacting consumer direct in the UK and my local trading standards office on Monday. Any tips for dealing with Amazon?

  • Chris says:

    I emailed the Office of Fair Trading about this issue. Here’s the reply:

    Your ref Direct line (020) 7211 8451
    Our ref EPIC/ENQ/E/ Fax (020) 7211 8877
    Date 28 September 2009 Email shreekant.patel@oft.gsi.gov.uk

    Microsoft
    Thank you for your email of 4 August expressing concern about the bundling of Microsoft’s software with personal computers. I apologise for the delay in replying.
    By way of background, the mission of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is to make markets work well for consumers. We achieve this by promoting and protecting consumer interests throughout the UK, while ensuring that businesses are fair and competitive. Our primary duties include the enforcement of competition law, and the application of consumer protection legislation in respect of matters that adversely affect the collective interests of UK consumers.
    The first part of your complaint concerns the ability of consumers to obtain a refund when refusing to enter onto a contract for software pre-installed on their PC. As to whether or not an offence under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) has been committed will depend very much on the facts of the individual case. Under Part 8 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (the EA02) the OFT, along with other enforcers such as Local Authority Trading Standards Service departments has powers to seek undertakings and court orders to deal with infringements of a range of consumer protection legislation, where such a breach harms the collective interests of consumers. This means that the OFT can only take action in cases where a breach affects consumers generally or a group of consumers. As such the procedure set out under Part 8 is not available for the purposes of providing redress for individual consumers. Further information on Part 8 of the EA02 is on our website at:

    http://www.oft.gov.uk/advice_and_resources/resource_base/legal/enterprise-act/part8/

    The OFT has a wide range of responsibilities and finite resources and we must concentrate on those areas where we judge that our intervention can do the most good. The decision on whether to act will generally be dependent upon whether the issue raised falls within our administrative priorities in accordance with our prioritisation principles. For that reason, not every complaint we consider will lead to action even though the issue is one on which we may have the power to act.

    A copy of the OFT’s prioritisation principles can be downloaded from the OFT website at: http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/about_oft/oft953.pdf
    Your enquiry also refers to potentially anti-competitive behaviour. The OFT has not conducted a formal assessment of whether your concerns would fall within the scope of our competition powers as to do so would require the use of a substantial amount of resources. We have therefore considered, in accordance with our prioritisation principles, whether the likely harm to consumers arising from the conduct identified is serious enough to justify the commitment of those resources.

    It would appear, that there is a lack of consumer demand for laptops and computers with pre-installed software. If consumer demand within the UK was greater, it is likely that laptops and computers without pre-installed software would be more readily available. We also note that a limited number of alternative laptops and computers are currently available without pre-installed software. In view of this it would appear that the potential for consumer harm in this area is relatively small. We will therefore not be taking further action with regards to your complaint at this time.

    We appreciate the time you have taken in bringing this matter to our attention. The OFT is keen to ensure that markets work well for consumers and the complaints we receive are used to help assess and shape the work of the OFT in the future. In this context, we will retain your complaint on our database and incorporate your concerns when considering areas for future investigation or study. Our intention, at this time, not to make further enquiries into this complaint does not preclude the OFT from revisiting the matter should further information come to our attention.
    Thank you for writing to us.
    Yours sincerely

    Mr S Patel

    Preliminary Investigations

  • Frosty says:

    That’s a real shame… As is the case 99% of the time with these things, it’s the old answer “if something is clearly in the wrong but only affecting a few people then those few people should just deal with it”. Basically there’s no consumer demand for ‘clean’ laptops because most people don’t realise they are paying ~£70 quid for their operating system and due to the almost omnipresence of Microsoft in schools, and offices etc they don’t realise there is an alternative that is free and more stable / efficient. of course there is less of a demand for ‘clean’ laptops simply because people in general don’t realise they can get them! What a pathetic case by the OFT. Hah.. just think of all the tax we’ve paid which has been syphoned back out of the economy to go to the Bill Gates empire due to all the government depts, hospitals and schools running and therefore paying for operating systems (and that’s before they have been fleeced by software developers charging £100,000’s for terrible software you could get GNU equivalents of to run on top of the stinking “Operating System”. Vote these clowns out – vote pirate party!

  • Daniel says:

    Hello… after they accept to give you the refund, how can they be sure that you really formatted the PC? and what about the stupid license sticker that is always in the bottom of the pc?

    Thx!

    • Alan Lord says:

      The chap I spoke to at Amazon required no proof from me, he accepted what I was saying as the truth (which it was). But I would have happily returned the CD/DVD (or whatever it is) that came in the box and scraped the Windows sticker off and sent it back had he asked.

      Thanks for dropping by.

      Al

  • dr.klepp says:

    amazon.de does not give any refund:

    Da wir den Artikel “HP Compaq Mini 110c-1110sg 10.1 Zoll Netbook (Intel Atom N270 1.6GHz, 1GB RAM, 160GB HDD, Intel GMA 950, Win XP Home)” nur in Verbindung mit einem Betriebssystem verkaufen, ist die isolierte Rückgabe des Betriebssystems leider nicht möglich.

    Auch haben Sie keinen Anspruch auf Erstattung des Gegenwertes.

    Sie können den Artikel aber selbstverständlich komplett zurückgeben wenn Sie wünschen.

  • […] the license, mostly for ethical reasons, and I hoped that Amazon.co.uk would do the right thing as described here, but a few weeks ago I picked up some random report on Slashdot about Amazon now refusing to […]

  • LeeJ says:

    Congrats on the refund of the Micro$oft tax.

    I realize this is a bit late, but my preference has been Xubuntu with compiz and vlc on netbooks. I have an Asus 701 (with 8.04) and 901 (with 9.04) and they both perform exceptionally well. Why Xubuntu? It’s pretty lightweight and loads quickly. Why compiz? It gives a little bit of lightweight glitz. Why vlc? You gotta have a video player, so just pick one. My primary apps: Firefox and Terminal and occasional vpnc use. You don’t need much to run these and Xubuntu does it extremely well.

  • Mike says:

    This debate revolves around not accepting the EULA for the Microsoft pre-bundled OS, giving the customer a choice of installing Linux or other alternative OS. My question to you guys is: what if I actually wanted Windows 7 on a soon-to-be purchased laptop, but want to reject the pre-installed – no retail copy DVD – OS, and then buy my own retail copy to install myself? I don’t mind the Windows OS, but I do mind the way most computers these days only come with recovery options on the hard drive; if I pay for an OS, I want the full retail-copy disc not a recovery partition on the hard drive.

    Will I have a leg to stand on if I pursued a refund in order to buy a retail copy of Windows 7? Would I be obliged to tell the retailer of my intention to replace the pre-installed W7 OS with my own retail copy W7 OS? And would this void the warranty with the manufacturer, as, unlike you guys, I would actually like to replace the W7 OS with another W7 OS? I’m concerned this would cause problems because it’s different from wanting to replace a Windows OS with a rival OS. And it appears that all the refunds of the past have been solely due to the customer wanting to use a completely different OS.

    Mike

    • Alan Lord says:

      @Mike,

      I’m don’t think it makes a blind bit of difference what you want to do with your new machine once you have paid for it. The fact is that you do not – for whatever reason you chose – wish to accept the EULA that comes with the pre-installed software on the machine and you would therefore like a refund as you will not be using that software. Of course you may be required to return the machine for “cleansing” or send back the license sticker and any associated CDs etc.

      Of course the alternative is to go a business like Novatech and buy one without an OS pre-installed in the first place. We are compiling a list of vendors of “Naked Computers” at http://nakedcomputers.org/.

      • Mike says:

        Alan,

        I was actually on the phone to Novatech yesterday, and was told they’re expecting new mobos for their laptops in a week or so. I was looking at the newly-released Toshiba A500-17X laptop (which has a great for-the-price spec.) I’m also looking at a Sony Vaio. The option of buying a ‘naked’ laptop from Novatech has interested me, but the Sony’s screen is reckoned to be great, and the Toshiba can be bought with a 3-year extended warranty, for 50 quid. Both Sony and Toshiba are big firms with good reputations. My last 2 desktops were from Tiny and Evesham (both liquidated companies.) Novatech, being a smaller firm, worries me. If they went bust it’d be very frustrating.

        I’m gonna wait for the new mobos to reach Novatech and check out how their HD16 laptop matches up to the spec on the Toshiba. Id be nervous buying from Novatech (although I know their reputation is good,) but buying the OS seperately is very appealing. I’m also gonna look into the possibility of buying a Sony/Tosh and how likely/unlikely I am to get a refund on the OS. I don’t wanna have to go to court and have a long wait though, so maybe Novatech is the only option for me.

        Not being as pc-savy as you guys obviously are, Linux scares me too much. I’m pretty sure if Microsoft stopped being the monopolising gits they are and allowed consumers to choose OS, then most people would probably still use Windows simply because it’s familiar and you don’t need to be pc-savy to use it.

        • Daniel says:

          “Not being as pc-savy as you guys obviously are, Linux scares me too much. I’m pretty sure if Microsoft stopped being the monopolising gits they are and allowed consumers to choose OS, then most people would probably still use Windows simply because it’s familiar and you don’t need to be pc-savy to use it.”

          1-Ubuntu Linux 9.10 is as simple and easy to use as Windows… so don’t be afraid my son.
          2- When people are told “Windows $200 , Linux $0″ and “you can use the $200 savings to add extra RAM or a faster CPU” intelligent people will go for Linux.

          • Daniel says:

            ohhh and I forgot “You don’t need to buy MS office for $360 nor McAffee/Norton Antivirus for a $50 1yr license, not Nero, etc…” the savings will probably let you buy the best laptop in the shop and still have money for a wireless router and the beggar outside… and that’s without stating all the benefits of using linux: open source, no viruses, truly stable, faster, less hardware resources, visually superior, etc etc etc Big old Microsoft will go out of business the next day.

          • Mike says:

            “no viruses”
            I didn’t think of that. Does that mean you can ‘safely’ run your pc without an anti-virus? I read somewhere a few weeks ago that even with Macs it’s advisable to use an anti-virus nowadays.

            What about drivers, though? Windows does make it easier for buerks like me who are relative novices to the workings of a pc. I like the way Windows finds a driver automatically if you install/re-install hardware. Does Linux have this same capability? This is why my fear of anything other than Windows exsists – maybe somewhat irrationally! I’m gonna have to look a bit closer at Linux as an alternative.

            Does Linux require the user to burn a bootable repair disc? I’ve never had to reinstall an OS (been lucky so far.) This is why I mentioned in a prior post about wanting to reject the recovery HD option and buy my own retail copy OS with the option of using the disc to repair the OS rather than completely reformatting in times of OS trouble. As I understand it, Linux is downloaded. If Linux did fail, even though it’s supposed to be stable, how do you guys repair your pc?

            If I feel safe to run Linux, and these new Novatech mobos bring their HD16 laptop up to the same spec as the Toshiba A500-17X, then the money saved could be spent on a good external sound card. And Microsoft can go to hell :)

            Glad I found this blog.

  • Daniel says:

    >>”no viruses”
    >>I didn’t think of that. Does that mean you can ‘safely’ run >>your pc without an anti-virus? I read somewhere a few weeks ago >>that even with Macs it’s advisable to use an anti-virus >>nowadays.

    Yes sir, that’s how good Linux is.

    >>What about drivers, though? Windows does make it easier for >>buerks like me who are relative novices to the workings of a >>pc. I like the way Windows finds a driver automatically if you >>install/re-install hardware. Does Linux have this same >>capability?

    As a matter of fact, when you install Ubuntu, you can expect to have all your PC components working…sound, bluetooth, wifi, camera, touchscreen, etc. Same with most other things… you might encounter some difficulties with old printers but with most modern ones there shouldn’t be a problem.

    >>This is why my fear of anything other than Windows exsists – >>maybe somewhat irrationally! I’m gonna have to look a bit >>closer at Linux as an alternative.

    Yeah man, Linux is even easier many times…

    >>Does Linux require the user to burn a bootable repair disc?

    You can install Linux in many ways… CD, DVD, USB drive, network, etc. If you ever needed to access a non-responding Linux, you can do so thru any of the mentioned methods. Linux provides a “live” environment, where you can load Linux without touching your HD (just the CD and RAM) and using this you can check your HD and rescue anything…a Linux, a Windows, a whatever. Live CDs rule.

    >>I’ve never had to reinstall an OS (been lucky so far.) This is >>why I mentioned in a prior post about wanting to reject the >>recovery HD option and buy my own retail copy OS with the >>option of using the disc to repair the OS rather than >>completely reformatting in times of OS trouble. As I >>understand it, Linux is downloaded. If Linux did fail, even >>though it’s supposed to be stable, how do you guys repair your >>pc?

    Live CD. No need of rescue partitions, or rather say: waste-your-HD-space-partitions.

    >>If I feel safe to run Linux, and these new Novatech mobos bring their HD16 laptop up to the same spec >>as the Toshiba A500-17X, then the money saved could be spent on a good external sound card. And >>Microsoft can go to hell :)

    Thats the way to go boy. Download Ubuntu 9.10 , burn it to a cd, boot it, see the Live environment, look for the install on HD button in the desktop, install it, and rock and roll champ.

    >>Glad I found this blog.

    Be Glad Linux exists.

  • […] I read on The Open Sourcerer that it was possible to get a refund for Windows on machines purchased from Amazon UK. The trick […]

  • Daniel says:

    I got a $122.39 refund from Amazon.com USA. I bought 2 netbooks which came with XP, after an 8 minute call I had 122.39 x 2 = $244.78. Each netbook had a price of 300, so $300-122.39… was great.

    Here is the complete info: http://comunixcr.blogspot.com/

    • Alan Lord says:

      @Daniel,

      That’s great! The more people who do this and blog about it the better. You got a big refund there too. I find it strange how there seems to be no consistency in their approach but in general Amazon do seem to “get it” fairly quick.

      Thanks for telling us your story.

  • SamD says:

    Hi Alan, you the man!

    I’m just wondering, I bought my eee PC from an Amazon seller, i.e. not Amazon themselves – do you think I should contact the seller to try and get my refund, or Amazon directly? Do you think that buying from an independent seller through Amazon reduces my chances of success?

    It’s hard to believe that in this enlightened day and age, we have to ask questions like this…

    Sam

    • Alan Lord says:

      @Sam,

      I’m really not sure who would be classed as the retailer in this instance. It is probably the Amazon seller who you need to approach rather than Amazon themselves but I am not really sure.

      • SamD says:

        Thanks, I’ll give them a try and I’ll try to remember to post back to let you know how it goes!

      • SamD says:

        So, the current situation is that I sent a message to the Amazon retailer and they tried to phone me, but they didn’t get through. Apparently as retailers, they have “never come across such a situation before”, but they have given me the customer support numbers of both Windows and Asus. I’m guessing both of those will tell me to contact the retailer and I’ll be trapped in a cycle. Let’s see what happens…

        • David Gerard says:

          Sam – under UK trading standards law, your contract is quite unambiguously with the retailer, not any of their suppliers. Fobbing you off to the suppliers is actually *illegal*.

          http://www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/ contains many marvellous phrasings to use in letters to politely indicate that you are not going to put up with being messed around.

          • SamD says:

            Thanks Gerard, I’ll bear that in mind and try that if I have no luck with either of the other channels. At this stage I’m currently writing an email to Asus (despite their customer service rep’s negative response on the phone and similar claim that he’s never heard of such a situation [surely this can’t be true, unless he’s only been working there about a week?!]), as according to the wording of the EULA (see above) it is the manufacturer who should be contacted, so I will try them first.
            Cheers, Sam

          • SamD says:

            March 15, 2010 at 17:57

            So, the current situation: Asus’ customer rep has said that he has contacted the relevant department and he will get back to me when he hears from them. The retailer has been very helpful, contacting ASUS themselves, telling me that they were advised to contact Microsoft, and therefore advising me to do that. This is dragging on and I’m kinda getting a bit fed up with the whole shenanigans – I’m pretty much only following this through out of interest to see what’ll happen now!
            Reply

            March 19, 2010 at 13:15

            Just sent another message to the Asus customer rep, as I have not heard from him in 10 days since the aforementioned email. I have also contacted MS in the meantime, who have assured me that the retailer is the party I should be contacting about this (which directly contradicts what the retailer was told when they contacted Asus). I still haven’t turned on my PC (am waiting to see what will happen, as if I end up paying for the Windows I might as well dual boot and use it). Right now I’d much rather have a straight “no” than all this fobbing off to the next party and messing around. Get some balls, Asus!

  • SamD says:

    Sorry, David…somehow I missed your Christian name!

  • SamD says:

    So, the current situation: Asus’ customer rep has said that he has contacted the relevant department and he will get back to me when he hears from them. The retailer has been very helpful, contacting ASUS themselves, telling me that they were advised to contact Microsoft, and therefore advising me to do that. This is dragging on and I’m kinda getting a bit fed up with the whole shenanigans – I’m pretty much only following this through out of interest to see what’ll happen now!

  • SamD says:

    Just sent another message to the Asus customer rep, as I have not heard from him in 10 days since the aforementioned email. I have also contacted MS in the meantime, who have assured me that the retailer is the party I should be contacting about this (which directly contradicts what the retailer was told when they contacted Asus). I still haven’t turned on my PC (am waiting to see what will happen, as if I end up paying for the Windows I might as well dual boot and use it). Right now I’d much rather have a straight “no” than all this fobbing off to the next party and messing around. Get some balls, Asus!

  • alx says:

    I’m glad you got your money back, Microsoft must respect their own EULAs.

    I wouldn’t call Ubuntu or any desktop Linux a proper operating system though.

  • Brock Tice says:

    Maybe it’s because I’m not in the UK, (I’m in the US), but Amazon support told me I’d have to take it up with ASUS.

    • Alan Lord says:

      So am I :-).

      But it is important to note that with Windows 7 Microsoft has changed the wording of the EULA so that you have to return the entire machine and the manufacturer is not obliged to refund just the software part. It sucks, but Microsoft are desperately clinging on to their old and tired business model.

      It’s quite sad in a way.

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