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Amazon US Refunds Windows License Fee, Too

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the sound-of-a-crumbling-business-model dept.

Windows 284

rrohbeck writes "Today Amazon credited my card with $65.45. After ordering an Eee PC 1005 HA from amazon.com, I asked them for a refund for the cost of Windows XP via the 'Contact us' form. At first they told me to cancel any items on my order that I wanted a refund for, but after I explained that XP was pre-installed on the machine they got it. They asked what the cost of the OS was, and I answered that I had no idea but that Amazon UK refunded £40.00. Within a few hours I got a response saying 'I've requested a refund of $65.45 to your Visa card.' Somehow I doubt that Amazon will charge Asus or even Microsoft, but maybe they will one day if more people do this. Oh, and peeling off the 'Designed for Microsoft Windows XP' sticker is easy, too."

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Screenshot (1, Funny)

Ortega-Starfire (930563) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895203)

Or it didn't happen.

Re:Screenshot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28895413)

youre just like the wikitards. tell ya what, come up with one single reason why you doubt the veracity of the summary. not something juvenile like "kdawson wrote it" but something like "this is why it contradicts itself"

Customer service apparently alive still (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28895217)

The news about the death of customer service are greatly exaggerated.

Re:Customer service apparently alive still (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28895393)

Newegg still has awesome customer service. They have bent over backwards for me due to my being a repeat customer.

Amazon and NewEgg ROCK! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28896367)

These are my main online retailers.

Amazon has corrected issues fairly cheerfully 3 times over the years.They've asked me to verify a few things and taken a few days, but in the end, there was never any hint that they didn't believe my story. Or perhaps, since I was telling the truth, it was easy to verify on their side?

I'm not a huge customer, but have probably spent $5000 over the years on both of these sites.

Most of my family now uses Amazon (newegg is a little too techie for them). My huge family and even larger extended family keep "wish lists" on amazon, so presents are easy to give to each other with the correct sizes/color/brand.

Keep the sticker (5, Insightful)

HalifaxRage (640242) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895223)

They may require you to send it back along with any manuals or repair disks.

Re:Keep the sticker (2, Funny)

emj (15659) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895271)

No! All stickers go off, if they don't they will peel off and leave awfull unstained areas.

Re:Keep the sticker (2)

revdrmr (1525775) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895369)

... and peeling off the 'Designed for Microsoft Windows XP' sticker... priceless.

Re:Keep the sticker (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28895475)

I use a glue solvent (want to say orange glo but that could be wrong). There are a few out there. Any office supply store caries them by the gallon (5 bucks tops). Learned that tip from a dude who worked at a video game store and was removing a competitors stickers from his used product that he was selling.

Re:Keep the sticker (1)

rnaiguy (1304181) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895613)

I just scraped the ink off the "made for windows Vista" sticker on my laptop, and drew in an Ubuntu logo.

Re:Keep the sticker (1)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895737)

I think you can get free Ubuntu stickers from Canonical, actually. I have one on my laptop, although a friend ordered them and it was a while ago so I don't know if they still do it.

Re:Keep the sticker (2, Insightful)

theskipper (461997) | more than 5 years ago | (#28896193)

WD-40 works very well for removing sticker glue.

Re:Keep the sticker (5, Funny)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895355)

It's more fun to stick them on office trash cans!

Re:Keep the sticker (1, Funny)

daid303 (843777) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895417)

I always stick them on linux servers. I got one that says it runs Win3.11 to windows vista, and contains multiple intels inside an AMD and a few Asus motherboards.

Re:Keep the sticker (1)

xer.xes (4181) | more than 5 years ago | (#28896165)

My server only runs on 105 leaded race fuel, according to the sticker on it.

Re:Keep the sticker (1)

muckracer (1204794) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895679)

I have a large "Designed for Microsoft Windows" sticker on my toilet lid. Visitors are always quite amused. :-)

Re:Keep the sticker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28895715)

Don't forget toilet flush boxes. But beware of the risk of peeing on the wall due to uncontrolled laughing.

Re:Keep the sticker (1)

awpoopy (1054584) | more than 5 years ago | (#28896399)

Agreed! I have XP and Vista stickers on most of the trashcans in the building. It's amazing how long it takes some end users to see it and even more amazing how long it takes for them to "get it". I'll start putting them on the toilets next.

Re:Keep the sticker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28895525)

You're talking about a different sticker. The "designed for microsoft windows"-Sticker is the reflective little thing on the palmrest, while the sticker the may ask for is the license sticker that should be on the bottom or even hidden under the battery.

Re:Keep the sticker (1)

HalifaxRage (640242) | more than 5 years ago | (#28896393)

Actually I was talking about the top sticker, thus implying that any sufficiently large number of requested refunds will likely see an increase in the bureaucracy required to navigate. (see also: mail-in instant rebates, and those returns that require every styrofoam peanut) I would hope at a minimum they would require either a return of the serial number sticker or advise him that the number is being voided and must be destroyed; otherwise (as indicated in other comments) it could trivially be resold.

Re:Keep the sticker (1)

RealErmine (621439) | more than 5 years ago | (#28896285)

I just bought a 1005HA for my wife. It has a built in "return to default" feature that restores the original XP image by pressing Fn+F9 a bunch of times. This is because there's no optical drive on the machine. I assume the feature uses a hidden HDD partition to hold the image. Unless you wipe this hidden partition, you're keeping the XP image for no cost. Seems of dubious moral ground to me.

Re:Keep the sticker (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 5 years ago | (#28896421)

My Acer Aspire One (Linux version, since it is easily available in the UK) came with the customised version of Linux on the recovery partition (it lasted about two days before I installed Kuki Linux -- a customisation of Ubuntu -- from a USB stick and wiped the whole drive).

Profit! (1)

Carra (1220410) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895227)

With the cost of netbooks dropping Microsoft will soon have to refund us more money then the netbook costs.

Re:Profit! (1)

Onaga (1369777) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895333)

Unlikely. If the cost of netbooks goes down enough, then Microsoft will have a netbook-only version of the OS at a discounted price. Hell, they would give the OS away for practically nothing (see: China) if it meant capturing more market space. While the OS makes them money, they also make money off of Office as well. Indirectly, the more people with MS installed, the more apps are created for MS platforms. Sales of dev studio, MSDN alliance packages, etc. all increase.

Re:Profit! (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895341)

It is quite likely that Microsoft would make money charging $15 or $20 for Windows, but no way are they going to try it before they have to.

Like everything else (4, Insightful)

madman101 (571954) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895261)

they will just raise the price for everyone else.

Re:Like everything else (5, Insightful)

guyfawkes-11-5 (1583613) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895297)

they will just raise the price for everyone else.

You are correct. It should increase everyone elses price. If its not something he is going to use, why should he subsidize others?

Re:Like everything else (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28895941)

they will just raise the price for everyone else.

You are correct. It should increase everyone elses price. If its not something he is going to use, why should he subsidize others?

because that's what you get when you vote Democrat?


by the way, way to take fucking 15-20 minutes before I don't need to "wait a little longer before using this resource" and then telling me the resource is no longer valid. that's my "penalty" for making one other post that was never moderated downward. GOOD JOB. really makes you want to just delete slashdot cookies, use a proxy, and say screw these posting limits.

Re:Like everything else (4, Insightful)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#28896229)

really makes you want to just delete slashdot cookies, use a proxy, and say screw these posting limits.

Is Slashdot really that important to you that you'd go to all that trouble? Your really ought to get out more.

Re:Like everything else (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28896245)

You're a troll. Apparently slashdot's system is very effective at slowing down your worthless comments. Thank goodness.

Re:Like everything else (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28896253)

they will just raise the price for everyone else.

You are correct. It should increase everyone elses price. If its not something he is going to use, why should he subsidize others?

because that's what you get when you vote Democrat?

by the way, way to take fucking 15-20 minutes before I don't need to "wait a little longer before using this resource" and then telling me the resource is no longer valid. that's my "penalty" for making one other post that was never moderated downward. GOOD JOB. really makes you want to just delete slashdot cookies, use a proxy, and say screw these posting limits.

HAY FAGGOT! WHY DO U THNK G-D INVENTED INSTALLING MULTIPLE BROWSERS ON THE SAME COMPUTER??? HUH U FUCK? GO BACK AND TELL UR GAYASS LOVER HIS MOUTH SHULD SUCK NOT HIS TECH ADVISE!! FAGGOT!!!

Re:Like everything else (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28896319)

Shut up already, you entitlement tard.

Re:Like everything else (1)

odflyg (1593171) | more than 5 years ago | (#28896051)

Wait... are you saying that Windows is the socialist operating system?

Re:Like everything else (4, Insightful)

AlexBirch (1137019) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895313)

This would be a good thing because then the netbooks with Chrome OS or linux on them would be significantly cheaper.

Re:Like everything else (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28895329)

Good!

Re:Like everything else (1)

bigsteve@dstc (140392) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895681)

Maybe, maybe not. Amazon may have enough buying power to extract a refund from ASUS. But that could backfire on them ... or it could work in their favour. A lot depends on how many more people ask Amazon for a refund for an unwanted Windows license!!

Re:Like everything else (1)

muckracer (1204794) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895713)

> they will just raise the price for everyone else.

Which would make such refunds even more worth it! ;-)

I bet you could sell it to someone else for more (5, Informative)

inject_hotmail.com (843637) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895279)

Instead of a ~$65 refund, I bet you could peel the sticker off and sell the COA to someone for $100. MS may not like it, but it'll activate on another computer and won't ever fail WGA. You end up with an extra $35 in your pocket, and your friend will have slightly cheaper oem COA. This is especially handy because one cannot buy XP retail anymore.

Re:I bet you could sell it to someone else for mor (4, Funny)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895419)

Personally it would be funnier to leave the 'Designed for Windows XP' sticker alone and place a 'But running a real OS instead' sticker next to it.

Thinkgeek.com should start selling some of those (in the small metallic glossy format typical of such things).

Re:I bet you could sell it to someone else for mor (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28895421)

As long as you have a license to resell Microsoft software that is.

Re:I bet you could sell it to someone else for mor (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28895485)

but it'll activate on another computer and won't ever fail WGA.

Maybe, maybe not. It could be a manufacturer specific key. [iexbeta.com]

Re:I bet you could sell it to someone else for mor (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28895717)

It will not activate.

For quite some time now, all major OEMs have been printing "dummy keys" to the COAs. The official method of recovery (a recovery CD or a recovery partition) never asks for the key as the OS is pre-activated. This official recovery method obviously won't install to anything other than the hardware it was shipped with. Usually it is tied to a specific custom BIOS. If you try to install a standard OEM disc with the key found on the COA, you'll find that the installer won't reject it outright (it will allow you to complete the installation) but when you try to activate, it will instruct you to contact Microsoft by phone.

I haven't had experiences with laptops but in cases of desktops you can get MS to issue you a new working key by stating that the PC was repaired and this required a motherboard replacement (hence, you had to use a replacement media and this issue came up). For laptops, not sure what would make MS give you a new key - the license is tied to the piece of hardware it was sold with. You are most likely out of luck and have to contact the manufacturer of the hardware. You could try to bluff the droid on the phone by stating the same thing (motherboard was replaced due to fault) and assume that the key doesn't tell if it was bundled with a laptop.

Before MS and OEMs started doing this, people just wrote down keys off publicly accessible computers and used those to activate standard OEM disc installations. I never quite got the original idea why it was smart to print the valuable product key on a sticker where anyone could snap a picture or write it down, but this was MS we're talking about...

Re:I bet you could sell it to someone else for mor (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28896025)

And to make it clear - the above is true for Windows XP.

With Windows Vista MS moved to a new system that includes a dummy key on the COA that is the same on every piece of hardware from that manufacturer that uses that version of Vista, a special file included in the customized OEM install/recovery media and custom BIOS. If all three match, the thing activates. If not, no go. Not sure if you can still get a replacement key and/or manual activation by phone with Vista in case the hardware doesn't match (oops, motherboard fault, bought a replacement yadda yadda...), but I'd assume so.

Re:I bet you could sell it to someone else for mor (2, Informative)

thoi412 (1604933) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895877)

You can still buy XP from Newegg. XP Home [newegg.com] and XP Professional [newegg.com] are there as well as Media Center Edition.

Re:I bet you could sell it to someone else for mor (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#28896415)

As well as XP X64 [newegg.com] , which is quite nice and lets me use the 5Gb of RAM(4 for the CPU, 1 for the GPU) that I have. Despite the horror stories I heard everywhere thanks to WOW64 [wikipedia.org] it has run every program I have thrown at it, even my 90s games.

Re:I bet you could sell it to someone else for mor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28896071)

Get a job hippi

Nope (5, Insightful)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895299)

They sure as hell won't be refunding $65 to everyone, when the OEM probably only paid $15 dollars for it or less.

Re:Nope (0)

timeOday (582209) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895577)

Could it really only be $15? I would like to purchase a copy of XP for running in VMWare, but just going out and buying a copy is over $100. It's too much, considering I can get a whole PC with Windows preinstalled for under $300. (Maybe XP Pro isn't the cheapest version, but don't the cheaper versions lack some basic things like Remote Desktop?)

Re:Nope (2, Insightful)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 5 years ago | (#28896307)

OEMs get volume discounts. I'm sure if you were willing to buy 1000s of copies, you might get a discount too.

25 to 40 USD is the Netbook OEM Price (5, Informative)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895725)

...at least according to this article [sitepoint.com] . The author makes a convincing argument that MS took a bath with that price in order to keep Linux from gaining a toe-hold in the netbook/notebook market, and also credits the threat of Linux Netbook Popularity with the extension of XP to 2010 and modifications of specs on Windows 7. A good read.

get a brain, moron! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28895311)

it's no skin off your ass to keep the OS. wtf? like you're really going to run a datacenter off your eeeepc? WTF? It's grandstanding like this that makes shit more expensive for normal people.

Re:get a brain, moron! (3, Insightful)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895425)

it's no skin off your ass to keep the OS.

It may be no skin, but it is apparently $65.

He did what is right for him. As others have pointed out more generically, why should he subsidize your Windows use?

Did he tell you to refuse the MS license and to reclaim your fee? I didn't see it.

Re:get a brain, moron! (1, Interesting)

silanea (1241518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895463)

I could not quite understand what you are trying to say. If your point is that rrohbeck should have sucked it up and not asked for a refund, then, sorry, it is you who is the moron. Why should someone pay for something they do not want if there is an option to get their money back?

To give you the obligatory car analogy: Imagine $carmanifacturer bundles a TomTom nav with any car sale by default. You do not want the TomTom, either because you already have one or because you can get a different nav somewhere else for a better price. Would you suck it up and pay for the TomTom that you have no use for, or would you try to negotiate with the sales rep?

Re:get a brain, moron! (2, Informative)

jgostling (1480343) | more than 5 years ago | (#28896219)

Except you can remove the TomTom from the car and sell it aftermarket. The last time I checked an OEM EULA wording (admittedly some time ago) the license was tied to the hardware, so you could not transfer it separately from the hardware.

Cheers!

but will they sell you XP for the $65? (2, Interesting)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895331)

But the real question is, can you call 'em up today and order a XP license for the same $65?

Re:but will they sell you XP for the $65? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28895443)

No but they have it for $173.99 (!)

Re:but will they sell you XP for the $65? (0, Troll)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895585)

You could just ask for the no software bundle and install Linux your self and be happy with a real OS, not one that is build on crap and the crapows API.

Re:but they won't sell you XP for the $65? (1)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895669)

Why is that the question? They give OEM's a discount, to prevent them from thinking along the lines of - hey, no bulk discount for an easily copied software so I'll just under-report how many I'm selling.

The answer is No, they won't sell it to an individual for that cost. And as long as people see it as better than the previous offering (which is almost guaranteed, until they make a rock-solid OS to begin with), the next version will always cost more than (previous version + adjustment for inflation).

The real question should be - what if Windows 7 is as good as they claim, and no one ever has a reason to upgrade it?

Re:but will they sell you XP for the $65? (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895867)

But the real question is, can you call 'em up today and order a XP license for the same $65?

Not an MS fan by a long stretch, but still: why would you expect to get a full retail price refund on a bundled item? If that were generally possible, you could make a living by buying composite items and getting refunds for their individual parts, the sum exceeding the original purchase price.

OK (5, Funny)

Parker Lewis (999165) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895357)

Now you can install your pirate Corporate Pro version.

Re:OK (1)

jerep (794296) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895383)

Or linux like I did on my laptop.
Or reuse your existing vista license on a second machine.
Maybe OSx86.

Its not because you refund your OEM windows license that you're a pirate.

Re:OK (1)

Parker Lewis (999165) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895407)

Ok, you don't understand a joke. Please, put my previous comment as Funny.

Re:OK (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28895559)

Or linux like I did on my laptop.
Or reuse your existing vista license on a second machine.
Maybe OSx86.

Its not because you refund your OEM windows license that you're a pirate.

OR MAYBE YOU CAN STOP BEING A GAY ASS LINUX TARD AND USE A NORMAL OS LIKE A REAL RERSON YOU COCKSMOKING FAGGOT! LIKE MAYBE THE ONE THAT COMES WITH UR PC!!

OH AND HEY ASS MUNCH!! OSX86 IS PIRACY IF UR NOT USIN IT ON AN APPLE COMPUTER U FAGGOT!

Did the same with Dell Last Year (5, Informative)

mcnazar (1231382) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895385)

I did the same with Dell last year when I ordered my XPS M1330. It came with Vista + MS Works (at the time they had no pretend Linux alternative - with lower specs and same price as a Vista laptop).

I wrote to Dell for a refund and enclosed a printed out screenshot (via digital camera) of me ticking the "I reject license" on Vista bootup and another screenshot of Kubuntu running on the laptop.

A month later I was refunded £120 + vat for both Vista and Works. Not bad considering the laptop cost £520 - minus M$ Tax = £400.

Not very scalable (5, Insightful)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895465)

First off, if 10 people do this, Amazon is going to find out what it really costs, and it isn't $65 or anything close to that.

Secondly, they are't going to do this without some kind of verification. It sounds like someone asked for money and they gave it to them. Great customer service but hardly something they can operate a business on. So unless there is a verifiable way to determine that XP has been irrevocably uninstalled I don't see this happening too much more.

Re:Not very scalable (1)

imgod2u (812837) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895789)

I assume they have the activation key on hand and will request that Microsoft deactivate it.

Re:Not very scalable (5, Insightful)

xgr3gx (1068984) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895817)

Maybe it'll prompt them to start offering 'blank' EEE versions.

That would be nice, if you don't want a bundled OS, you should be able to buy the hardware that way minus the OS license cost.

Dell's pricing (2, Insightful)

dbet (1607261) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895473)

What's interesting is I recently picked up a Dell mini (10v) with Ubuntu pre-installed, and the price was the exact same as the one that came with XP pre-installed. In retrospect I probably should have just gotten the XP version, in case I ever need XP, since I put a fresh copy of Ubuntu on it anyway, that doesn't have all the Dell bundled nonsense.

Re:Dell's pricing (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28895629)

What's interesting is I recently picked up a Dell mini (10v) with Ubuntu pre-installed, and the price was the exact same as the one that came with XP pre-installed.

I just read somewhere that the average cost of a single customer support call to Dell and likes is higher than what they pay MS for OEM Windows. And when selling Linux to 'the masses', more people call support (why doesn't app/game/gadget work, etc). This is one of the main reasons why many vendors selling Linux netbooks stopped and switched to XP after high return and support rates, not some vast conspiracy, but economics.

Re:Dell's pricing (3, Insightful)

mrjohnson (538567) | more than 5 years ago | (#28896317)

Bah, then they should charge more for the Linux support. Simple. I would never call it, but I sure wouldn't mind if their prices were a bit higher to cover the unavoidable cost of supporting another OS. Or not offer software support at all, whatever.

The reason people smell conspiracy is the sudden drop of all Linux, anywhere, as soon as Microsoft reacted to the growing Linux use. They didn't take the netbook market seriously at first, but then overnight you couldn't buy a Linux netbook at a brick and mortar store if you wanted to. That's the conspiracy.

You can't tell me it's economics. There are plenty of ways they could have made money hands over fist. Instead, they let Microsoft kill the whole category.

Re:Dell's pricing (1)

gt6062b (1548011) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895889)

That's interesting - and you're right, based on the price points, it seems a user should just get the XP version and then install Ubuntu (as long as the user capable of installing Ubuntu).

Now, it should be less, but how much less? Full cost of license ($65 per this discussion) seems to be what you get back.

Is the labor involved in installing Ubuntu more than or less than XP at the enterprise level? I really don't know what's involved from a timing standpoint at the mass-install level for either, so this may be a wash.

Did your Ubuntu laptop come with all of the crapware from vendors that are paying Dell? If not, that's money they're not making on the Ubuntu laptop, so it wouldn't be the full $65 less.

Does it come with the standard support contract where you have X years to call them/send to them/etc? I would assume that they have fewer Linux support staff than Windows support staff, so are you paying a subsidy for that, or did they already attempt to put it in the price?

Or are they just seeing an opportunity to cater to a different group of consumers, while making a higher profit margin on those machines?

That's cheap! (1)

Aggrajag (716041) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895495)

Eee 1005HA for 220 euros? That's a bargain!

Can't wait for the day... (0, Troll)

isa-kuruption (317695) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895579)

When everyone is complaining that they had to spend 48 hours installing software on their laptop because their new, shiny laptop does not come with an operating system because people are demanding the $65 discount for the XP license they didn't want (which they will probably use anyway).

Yeah, that'll be pretty funny.

Re:Can't wait for the day... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28895929)

I know, it's amazing. I can buy a cell phone with or without subscription from the same store, but that same principle is for some fundamental and apparently universal reason incompatible with computers and operating systems.

Do they cancel the WGA key? (1, Interesting)

RandoX (828285) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895583)

Or do you get the refund and the option to continue to use the OS? Surely Amazon isn't tied all the way back through ASUS to Microsoft's licensing servers.

Re:Do they cancel the WGA key? (4, Insightful)

jonnyj (1011131) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895651)

Or do you get the refund and the option to continue to use the OS? Surely Amazon isn't tied all the way back through ASUS to Microsoft's licensing servers.

That's fine if you have no personal integrity. The rest of us might have a problem.

Re:Do they cancel the WGA key? (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895761)

Come on now, this is Slashdot.... where posts about "I haven't paid for Windows ever even tho it's on 12 of my b0xen" normally gets modded up.

If this is true that a simple phone call can get a few fins back in some users wallet and the key still works you know it's going to be taken advantage of. "The rest of us" isn't as big of a number as you might think it is.

Re:Do they cancel the WGA key? (3, Insightful)

mrjohnson (538567) | more than 5 years ago | (#28896361)

What about, "I've paid for OEM Windows, but it's not installed on any of my 12 boxen. And now they want me to buy a full version just so I can run it in virtualbox."

Re:Do they cancel the WGA key? (4, Informative)

RandoX (828285) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895811)

Actually, I was asking about the technical side of it, but thanks for making it an ethical issue.

Re:Do they cancel the WGA key? (4, Informative)

1s44c (552956) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895673)

Or do you get the refund and the option to continue to use the OS? Surely Amazon isn't tied all the way back through ASUS to Microsoft's licensing servers.

The point isn't to rob Microsoft. The point is to not pay for something you are not going to use.

Re:Do they cancel the WGA key? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28896015)

Oh, I wouldn't call it robbing Microsoft. For years, we've been forced to pay for copies of Windows that we don't want or use. Yes, they didn't put a gun to my head, but Microsoft has made it extremely difficult to buy a computer without having to pay for Windows. I look at it as a way of getting a refund for all those copies of Windows I didn't want or use. Legally questionable, yes, but unethical? Maybe not.

There should never be an OS charge (5, Interesting)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895631)

Charging a customer because they have an OS installed on a computer / notebook is completely wrong. Lately I've been trying to pick up a notebook for school and I've been getting a run around. I've called Dell, Asus and shopped at the all the major Ontario computers stores, all of them come back with the same answer, you need to buy an OS with the notebook. It doesn't matter if I don't want Windows because I don't get a choice, personally I think forcing a customer to buy an OS is horrible idea.

As a Linux user I don't understand why I'd pay someone to hit next 4 times and partitioning a drive which a 5 year old could do. Even when I talked to Dell they only offered to install the "Big" Linux names.

If I'm going to buy a notebook then I want to make sure it comes unbundled and with a clean HDD so I can put what I need onto it. The problem is I can't seem to get any one to send me a blank notebook that I can install a proper OS to, if I spend the 100 dollar software package bundle then I'll wipe the notebook when I get it wasting the 100 dollars, but when I tell the computer store / company I'm going to wipe it so don't sell me the bundle they tell me they can't.

Does anyone else have this problem?

vulnerability (1)

cdn-programmer (468978) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895975)

These stores will start to get the message when they find that enough people are willing to waste their time as they try to waste our time. Their vulnerability is they pay their staff usually by the hour and they pay rent.

We need to just keep refusing to pay for what we don't want in their bundles. The more time we waste the more the message gets through. Short answer: We don't want your garbage. Where do I recycle?

Re:There should never be an OS charge (1)

fl!ptop (902193) | more than 5 years ago | (#28896133)

It doesn't matter if I don't want Windows because I don't get a choice, personally I think forcing a customer to buy an OS is horrible idea....Does anyone else have this problem?

i buy and sell laptops w/o an o/s, if that's what the customer wants. i would guess the biggest problem for an oem like dell is, when you sell a laptop w/ no o/s, you still have to take the step of actually installing something to verify all the hardware works properly. then there's more work involved in swapping the hd w/ an empty one. it would probably cost more.

if you're looking for a laptop w/o an o/s, reply to this comment and let me know.

Re:There should never be an OS charge (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 5 years ago | (#28896327)

Really!!! sure, you have an online store, I'm interested and Dell can just make a live CD with hardware testing programs to run the tests

System 73? (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 5 years ago | (#28896457)

Geez, instead of running around, let your fingers do the walking and use Google to find a notebook with Linux pre-install or God forbid, no OS. It really isn't hard to get.

Still not progress (5, Insightful)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 5 years ago | (#28895815)

Amazon is just the retailer, but as long as the OEM is still cashing in from the license sale, it's no real progress. It doesn't make a difference if the retailer is giving you the refund, the money is still going to the OEM and as a result, Microsoft. And as long as this happens, they'll still enter corrupt bargaining deals and shut out Linux from mainstream offerings. We need OEMs to give the refund, not the retailer.

So maybe eventually, Amazon will ask the OEMs for a refund for the license. What will the OEMs say? Probably no. Then what will happen? Amazon will probably start refusing the refund as well too. Back at square one, going back to buy my computers from system76, itwasfunwhileitlasted, etc.

In any case, if I were Microsoft, I'd change the wording of the EULA to something like "By purchasing this computer, you consent to pay for all software preinstalled, whatever" to bar these refunds. I don't think it's unenforceable.

Re:Still not progress (1, Insightful)

King InuYasha (1159129) | more than 5 years ago | (#28896081)

Actually, that might be unenforceable... I think there was a court case a few years ago that decided that "shrinkwrap" licenses like that were technically invalid, since the user never explicitly agreed to it. And to remove the ability to refund if you don't want to agree to it would make people really angry.

Don't buy ASUS (1)

dskoll (99328) | more than 5 years ago | (#28896017)

It's good to get the refund, but IMO FOSS types should boycott ASUS. I own an EEE-701, which was the original category-killer. Linux propelled netbooks to fame, and then ASUS weasled out with their "itsbetterwithwindows" campaign.

There are plenty of companies willing to sell netbooks with Linux pre-loaded (Acer makes a very nice model) and we should patronize them.

Re:Don't buy ASUS (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 5 years ago | (#28896087)

@dskoll: "There are plenty of companies willing to sell netbooks with Linux pre-loaded..."You have a point but I also see value in putting both Amazon and ASUS (and possibly Microsoft as well) on notice that there is a market for Linux, and not simply assume that once their products are imaged with Windows the job is done.

Re:Don't buy ASUS (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 5 years ago | (#28896171)

Just one small point - this doesn't apply just to we Linux FOSS users but also to people like my missus who bought herself a EEE PC 1000HE to replace her aging laptop that went faulty.

She doesn't use Linux, is happy with XP and has a licensed copy of Windows XP Professional (not OEM-ed to a specific PC). I did tell her to try for the refund for the license on the new Asus because she could just use her existing XP Pro one - but she said she couldn't be bothered with reinstallation of everything.

Windows is still the evil one here? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28896161)

Try to do the same with a Mac computer... lol

Re:Windows is still the evil one here? (1)

jsalbre (663115) | more than 5 years ago | (#28896451)

You may think you're being funny by saying that, but really it's just foolish.

Apple doesn't sell OSX. You cannot buy OSX. Apple sells hardware, which comes with permission to run OSX. When you go to an Apple store and buy an OSX disk you're just buying an upgrade to the software whose license came with your hardware. Therefore it has no price that they could refund you.

Nice Affiliate link for amazon ya spamming jackhol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28896263)

thanks jhole

Since when (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28896359)

Since when can you buy an item with manufacture specs and then refund part of the item for cash? Nobody made the mistake you ordered knowing it was one there. What the hell? Can i order the laptop and mail back just the hard drive because i own one already? Amazon is retarded for letting you get away with this, and your an ass for even asking in the first place

Hardware (1)

plut4rch (1553209) | more than 5 years ago | (#28896401)

I don't think software and hardware should be sold in bundles as the norm. If bundling an browser with an OS is considered 'bad' why isn't bundling an OS with a computer, which is, IMO, much worse. Forcing the user into a web browser is not as bad as forcing the user into an operating system. For a start, the browser is often free, whereas in the OS case, the user is paying for something they may not want. Maybe they need to ship systems with no OS, with a leaflet showing the various options available, and possibly a selection of free OS disks, such as various linux distros, bsd, freedos etc... I suppose retailers could do bundle offers if they like, for example, some custom PC builders will sell with no OS, or the OS of your choice from a selection. If your choice isn't there you can order the OS-less machine and purchase/download the OS elsewhere.

The 'Designed for Microsoft Windows Sticker" (2, Insightful)

Denagoth (582705) | more than 5 years ago | (#28896411)

"Oh, and peeling off the 'Designed for Microsoft Windows XP' sticker is easy, too." Not to mention VERY satisfying. ;)

this is good but it isn't consistent (2, Informative)

dominux (731134) | more than 5 years ago | (#28896435)

there are still vendors colluding with Microsoft to disregard European Competition policy (page 26 of http://ec.europa.eu/competition/publications/rules_en.pdf [europa.eu] )
from http://www.theopensourcerer.com/2009/07/30/taxing-times-for-free-choice/ [theopensourcerer.com] :

Dear x,
Thank you for your response.
I have been speaking to the Product Managers for the Software and Laptops and they have both advised that we would not issue a refund on the OS.
You may return the product for a refund if you are within the time period of 28days after purchase but other then that we are not going to be issuing a refund on the OS.
The Product Manager for the laptops has been speaking to the manufacture and they have come back with the below response regarding the matter:
'It's a load of rubbish, I don't know where this rumor has come from J we started getting people asking for it on the EEE PC when we first produced the XP versions.
We get the odd person phoning up saying this to us but no one gives the cost of XP back and I can understand why they think we would.
I'm sorry we cannot help -- I have never heard of any manufacture or reseller giving the money back.'
Kind Regards,
y
Ebuyer Customer Support Team

isn't it remarkable that they started getting these requests when they did the XP eeePC! What an uncanny co-incidence.

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