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Dell Refunds Vista/Works With Two Emails

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the try-this-at-home dept.

Windows 277

look@thealternative.ch writes "Although many people have asked for pre-installed Linux, and Dell seems to have listened, some still think that buying a naked PC won't be easy. But what about stripping it naked after you buy it? I managed to get Windows Vista (and a bit more) refunded from Dell Germany last week. The process was surprisingly simple: 1) After delivery, ask Dell Support for refund by email. 2) ??? 3) Refund!!! Read the full email conversation in the original German or my English translation. For the impatient reader: The refund is €77.54 for Windows Vista Home Basic plus Works 8.0 (that is 15% of the total amount I paid). The whole process took 2 emails, 2 more to say thank you, and less than 48 hours. The money is already in my account. Kudos to Dell Customer Care (esp. 'Veronika') for being efficient and customer-oriented!"

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Ah, the hot/nice telephone operator (5, Funny)

Saint Stephen (19450) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481223)

Isn't it wonderful when the hot/nice telephone operator helps you out with your "problem" in an efficient manner. It's like this little relationship you're having you where she's completely at your service there making your life so so so wonderful.

But then she goes and does it with the next guy too. Dirty girl.

You must be mistaken... (5, Funny)

bluemonq (812827) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481249)

We're talking about a 1-800 number, not a 1-900.

Re:You must be mistaken... (0, Redundant)

DJCacophony (832334) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481417)

77.54 is ~$103.28
I figured I'd clear that up, since this is slashdot.org and not slashdot.co.uk.

Re:You must be mistaken... (4, Funny)

Ooble (917932) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481465)

Ah, I see... I was wondering why everyone started talking German in England a couple weeks ago. Thanks for clarifying.

Re:You must be mistaken... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18481513)

77.54 is ~$103.28 I figured I'd clear that up, since this is slashdot.org and not slashdot.co.uk.
...Except that we don't use Euros in the UK but still the good'ol' Pound Sterling.
It would have been £52.56 if it were slashdot.co.uk.

Re:You must be mistaken... (1)

KUHurdler (584689) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481599)

I'm curious if this works out in the USA as well

Re:You must be mistaken... (1)

Ansoni-San (955052) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481919)

We don't use the euro in the UK.

Re:You must be mistaken... (4, Insightful)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 7 years ago | (#18482067)

You mean slashdot.org.uk? Or slashdot.de? Funnily enough, it's not slashdot.us either...

Aw, the poor little baby can't handle Vista (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18481495)

Aw, the poor little baby can't handle Vista!! When you get bigger you will TRY again and maybe then, with some maturity, you can handle it.

Re:Aw, the poor little baby can't handle Vista (-1, Troll)

Saint Stephen (19450) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481655)

Aw, the poor little baby can't handle Vista!! When you get bigger you will TRY again and maybe then, with some maturity, you can handle it.
---

Sorry, ma'am, too many people have handled it already. It has a funny smell.

Re:Aw, the poor little baby can't handle Vista (1)

alisson (1040324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481715)

I love non sequiturs so much!

Now, can you get a refund on the unused... dell?

Re:Aw, the poor little baby can't handle Vista (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18481953)

cockless wonder

Re:You must be mistaken... (2, Funny)

ady1 (873490) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481577)

He must've got confused by the naked word. Remember it's a PC we're talking about.

Re:Ah, the hot/nice telephone operator (1)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481273)

hot/nice telephone operator
How can you tell she's* hot over the phone? And if you do have an automagical way of seeing down phone lines, can you tell us about it ;P

*or indeed he if you're female, or otherwise that way inclined.

Re:Ah, the hot/nice telephone operator (1)

Poppler (822173) | more than 7 years ago | (#18482065)

How can you tell she's* hot over the phone?
It's called "imagination", and in this case, it's clearly more important than knowledge :)

Re:Ah, the hot/nice telephone operator (1)

biocute (936687) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481309)

She can't be hot, I didn't see any heated conversion in the emails.

Re:Ah, the hot/nice telephone operator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18481689)

True but
Bill has already made his phone call to Dell, and now she will have to work at the local strip club because she was just fired!

Great ! (4, Insightful)

BESTouff (531293) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481239)

77 for Vista OEM is acceptable. Now, make that not an accident but a regular refund, and explain hos to do it elsewhere than in Germany, and I'm sold.

Re:Great ! (1)

packeteer (566398) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481269)

Ask dell to do it here too. Politely tell them that you like their policy in Germany and you want them to do it here.

Re:Great ! (1)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481287)

Yeah, because everyone in Germany will buy the computer without an OS. YOU have some technical knowledge and can take the initiative. 99% of the users couldn't care less about what OS is installed, Vista, some Linuzz crap or bread and butter, so keep it simple...

Re:Great ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18481303)

Well, that's probably 77 douchemarks (sp?), not dollars. After all the article talks about Doucheland (sp?). I'm not sure what that'd be in dollars.

Re:Great ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18481329)

They use euros in Doucheland now. 77 euros is about 100 US dollars.

Re:Great ! (4, Funny)

Octorian (14086) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481331)

Somehow, I don't think the people of Deutchland will be too happy after you called their country Douche-land ;-)

Re:Great ! (1)

fritsd (924429) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481591)

Somehow I think most of them couldn't care less what an anonymous coward brain-farts out on slashdot :-)
Douche means shower in a lot of countries http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douche [wikipedia.org] . What does it mean in yours? One of the connotations at the bottom, I presume, if it's meant as an expletive.

Re:Great ! (1)

modecx (130548) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481905)

Douche means shower in a lot of countries http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douche [wikipedia.org] . What does it mean in yours? One of the connotations at the bottom, I presume, if it's meant as an expletive.

Well, douche to us Americans is a sort of shower; an inverted, localized shower of the feminine hygiene variety, to be more specific...

Re:Great ! (1)

plj (673710) | more than 7 years ago | (#18482061)

Somehow, I don't think the people of Deutschland [wikipedia.org] will be too happy after you called their country Deutchland ;-)

Re:Great ! (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481339)

Well, that's probably 77 douchemarks (sp?), not dollars. After all the article talks about Doucheland (sp?).

That's Deutschland, you Douchebag! And it would be 77 Euros, but almost half of that was for MS Works.

Re:Great ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18481343)

Euros.

Re:Great ! (1)

Blikkie (569039) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481371)

Germany, just as most other European countries has switched to Euros, a very convenient coinage, that is shared by most European countries. According to google 77.54 Euros = 103.275526 U.S. dollars, so it is a pretty nice sum.

By the way: "Deutschland" had "Deutsche Marken" back in the day.

After Germany was reunited. (2, Funny)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481481)

There was a debate over what to name the new Germany everywhere in Europe except Germany.

In Germany the debate was over what to call France.

Re:After Germany was reunited. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18481637)

Käseland

Re:Great ! (2, Informative)

whathappenedtomonday (581634) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481367)

> 77 for Vista OEM


not quite, EUR 42.29 for Vista Home Basic, EUR 35.24 for Works 8.0. Google says, 77,53 Euros = 103,262207 U.S. dollars.

Re:Great ! (4, Funny)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481421)

103,262,207 US dollars? Wow, everything *is* more expensive in Europe!

Chris Mattern

Re:Great ! (1, Informative)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481485)

"103,262207 US dollars? Wow, everything *is* more expensive in Europe!"

Not all locales use the period as the decimal indicator. Europe uses the comma ...

Re:Great ! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18481521)

'Not all locales use the period as the decimal indicator. Europe uses the comma ...'

This is a US site and we use periods here. We would also appreciate it if you used American English in your posts. Have a nice day!

Re:Great ! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18481603)

'Not all locales use the period as the decimal indicator. Europe uses the comma ...'

This is a US site and we use periods here. We would also appreciate it if you used American English in your posts. Have a nice day!

Fuck off with your "US site" bullshit. This is an international site that happens to be in English. That person made a punctuation mistake, but that's no reason to come over all imperialist on us you Yankee piece of crap.

Re:Great ! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18481819)

Fuck off with your "US site" bullshit. This is an international site that happens to be in English. That person made a punctuation mistake, but that's no reason to come over all imperialist on us you Yankee piece of crap.

Someone has insecurity issues. The dude was joking.

Re:Great ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18481829)

*woosh*

Re:Great ! (1)

whathappenedtomonday (581634) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481493)

tehe, yeah either that or the inflation in the US really *is* getting out of hand!

TFA forgets step zero (2, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481541)

Step zero is to buy from Dell in Europe, not in USA. European consumer protection is far better than in USA.

Re:Great ! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18481737)

how the fuck is this informative in any way? who the fuck are the retards on here getting mod points anymore?

Re:Great ! (1)

bradavon (1066358) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481867)

It's standard Dell practise not just in Germany. It's just few ever bother to ask.

Spammer's Delight! (5, Funny)

biocute (936687) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481263)

Dear Vista Hater,

As you do not want the Windows Vista operating system, we will refund you the purchase price you paid for it (ca. 42.29 Euro gross). I would like to ask you to send me your bank details that I can mark the payment in our system. I need:
your name:
bank name:
city (of bank):
bank code:
account no:
The money should be paid back within one week.

Yours Sinfully,
Ajabaili Sakilikulu

Re:Spammer's Delight! (0)

fmobus (831767) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481765)

Gotta love that in Germany (whole Europe? not sure). It is possible to purchase stuff on the Internet (air tickets, amazon), with my bank account's money, WITHOUT any sort of password. I just type in the my bank number and bank account number.

How secure is that for you?

Naked PCs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18481265)

I wonder how many sales reps Dell will lose in lynching incidents before they give up trying to sell those in the US Bible belt?

I hated dell... (3, Interesting)

catbutt (469582) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481267)

back in the day, after buying two computers from them and having generally bad support experiences.

This makes me want to give them another chance.

Re:I hated dell... (1)

Drongo14 (77786) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481355)

As long as you don't expect a high technical knowledge level, Dell is just fine. I bought a 20" monitor from them and found that I got flaky picture through the DVI cable - although 1600x1200 over the standard VGA cable worked just fine. After plugging the monitor into a different PC, swapping cable I determined it was the monitor's fault, called Dell, and next day I had a new one - with working DVI.

A friend of mine ordered a new PC and found the hard disk damaged upon arrival. Same thing again: one phone call, one day later he had a new box.

Now, I don't now what happens if you run into less obvious problems, but so far my experience with their return policy is absolutely great.

Re:I hated dell... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18482107)

Don't be fooled if you're from an English speaking country.

The OP mentions Dell Germany, I'm guessing they don't use the incompetent outsourced call centres we get lumped with in English speaking countries as I doubt many German speaking Indians would be working in call centres!

English is a much more widely taught language worldwide, and hence a lot cheaper to hire staff who speak it because it is so widely taught, this means that call centres can pick up any old riff-raff off the streets when it comes to speaking English.

Dell's Indian call centres are indeed as utterly incompetent as ever such that Dell should be avoided like the plague. Unfortunately I had to post this anonymously because if you're honest about how appallingly incompetent Dell's Indian call centre staff are you seem to get modded down here! Perhaps those incompetent riff-raff manning the Dell call centres spend all their time reading Slashdot and spending their moderator points, would certainly explain why they don't get anything done in the call centre and the incompetence of the moderation here sometimes :p

To cut a long story short, I had a faulty laptop 2 months before warranty was out and it took 9 months to resolve, needless to say after they failed to fix it correctly 3 times in the first 2 months, I had to spend the next 7 months fighting the fact that it was in warranty when it failed and when they failed to fix it multiple times. When they finally replaced the laptop, accepting that they were too incompetent to replace the faulty video card despite them being given 5 attempts at it they then told me they'd pick the old laptop up when they drop off the new one, of course the courier refused to take the old one when delivering the new as he'd had no request to. The call centre said they'd arranged for the courier to collect it 4 times after this yet the courier never arrived, despite me taking days off work to wait for it. I then got a letter threatening to charge me the cost of the new laptop with them claiming I hadn't given the courier the old laptop these times they said they'd sent the courier out, after phoning again they sent the courier a fifth and final time where the courier did actually show. They blamed the courier but it's funny how I've never once had a courier not turn up here in years and years of using them (DHL) yet when Dell sends them they magically didn't turn up 4 times.

Frankly, it's not a pleasant experience and I was so long without my laptop I just got used to not working with it in the end to the point I wish I'd just been able to get a refund off them for it.

Dell's call centres don't just have a language barrier problem, they're the cheapest of cheap, most incompetent staff the call centre could ever have possibly found. I don't mind outsourcing in theory, I can handle the language barrier difference, but it's the sheer incompetence that pisses me off! I thought most call centres back home in the UK used to be incompetent but you don't realise how good you have it until it's too late and those jobs have been shipped abroad.

Essentially, what it comes down to is the old phrase "you get what you pay for", when it comes to their English speaking call centres Dell pays shit, Dell gets shit.

Automation (5, Interesting)

NekoXP (67564) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481275)

I wonder if they could automate the process the same way you track the shipment of your PC.

Enter your order ID. Enter your Vista key.. and then a refund is processed. The Vista key could be submitted to Microsoft such that it no longer authenticates copies of Vista on Dell PC's (XP/Vista activation and WGA knows the difference somehow, somewhere) and Dell can have the money sent to the user without tying up their customer support line.

Microsoft might be concerned that they don't get their money for this, but then again it would be against the law for them to do anything like force Dell not to do it, or insist that users do not get a refund anyway (the EU would have a field day and think up some higher billion dollar amounts for fines).

I bet it costs more to process it through 'Veronika' than clicking a website button would.

The uptake on this? I dunno. Maybe a lot of people would use it.. but a far higher number would not give a crap and carry on running Vista. I think shipping a naked/bare PC is extremely user-unfriendly and it also gives Dell a burn-in-test nightmare (how do you burn in a laptop which is supposed to have never had an OS installed on it? Do you then perform a military-grade disk wipe after you put the burn-in software on there? I dunno..). Putting the most popular, most needed for most people OS on the system (Vista I guess) is an okay thing to do. But I do think if you don't actually want Vista, you should be able to go through and click the Refund button..

Re:Automation (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481313)

The burn-in softwarere gets deleted. So why not delete the rest as well?

Re:Automation (2, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481319)

I recently bought a Dell SR2030, mostly because the price it was selling at was more than 25% cheaper than I could buy the hardware. To me, that is a deal. It also came with Windows XP on it. I swapped that hard drive out with a 300GB SATA drive and installed Linux before the sales ticket cooled off.

I kept the Windows HD as sold because I can't get any money for it, and it might, read *might*, come in handy some day. Not that I'm counting on it, but hey, whatever. If I could go to the website and get the refund, that HD would be mounted as a Linux drive before breakfast!

I'm all for making the refund easy!

Re:Automation (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481935)

Yes, replying to yourself is bad form... shrug

I just put this together. In my case, perhaps many others, MS has indeed, if not on purpose, recieved payment for what amounts to me getting Windows XP for free! There is something that is simply not right about that, not right on any level. At first glance, it appears that MS is paying Dell to give me XP. That can't be right. According to this story, if I voice my desire nicely I might get back %15 of the value of the Windows that I didn't actually pay for? OR, on the other hand, if I get that back, it makes the hardware that much cheaper so as to insinuate that MS is paying for Dell to give me MS Windows XP? No, I didn't pay for Windows as the system hardware was 25% cheaper than I could have purchased it on my own, piece by piece. In market terms, I didn't even pay full price for the hardware. Yes, I do understand that in volume things become cheaper, but the math on this seems to indicate that someone is getting fscked pretty good. It wasn't me this time.

Can anyone explain this math problem to me?

Re:Automation (1)

pizpot (622748) | more than 7 years ago | (#18482079)

For anyone with no windows experience, you can reinstall it to a blank hardrive (that it came on originally) and use the windows key code on the sticker on the back of the Dell to reinstall it and update it with windows update. You need an OEM cd though and that did not come with the computer. What did come with it, is the ability to back the hardrive up to several dvd's. Consider that, and document what hardrive it was because that is needed. Annoyingly, restoring from those dvd's will hose any dual boots you had going.

Re:Automation (2, Informative)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481455)

No need to wipe the Vista install anyways. Vista is now perfectly legal to install on ANY machine without a license. It sets up an automatic trial installation and you can then purchase the license before the trial is over. So installing Vista on new hardware for burn in testing even if the customer isn't going to buy Vista is not a problem.

Re:Automation (2, Interesting)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481489)

Or, if you don't want Windows, buy an N-series desktop or laptop [dell.com] . People keep complaining that you can't buy a naked PC from Dell, but there it is.

Now, whether it's much cheaper (or even cheaper at all) to buy a naked PC than the same PC with Windows is a different issue. I've heard plenty of speculation that, with the discounts Microsoft gives Dell and the money crapware vendors pay Dell to install their stuff, installing Windows on a machine costs Dell pretty close to nothing. I don't really know. I bought an N-series desktop a while back and only saved about $40, but I would have done it on principle even if it didn't save me a single dollar. I wouldn't use Windows on that machine even if it were free, and I'd like Dell to know that some of us simply don't want Windows.

Re:Automation (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481619)

'Or, if you don't want Windows, buy an N-series desktop or laptop. People keep complaining that you can't buy a naked PC from Dell, but there it is.'

Yes, but people don't want to have to buy an N-series. They want to be able to pick ANY computer from the Dell site and buy it with that $40 taken off. Most of the refunds I have heard about are $40ish so I assume that is what Dell pays for the license. Whatever time they save preparing a windows image and imaging the drive that goes into the system is probably offset by adding another configuration option into the assembly line.

Right now Dell forces you to buy a premium system, usually with some extra markup and the title 'workstation' or 'server' to get Linux or No OS. We want to be able to buy Grandma the same $299 special, minus $40 because we don't want Vista and load Ubuntu on it.

Re:Automation (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481709)

Right now Dell forces you to buy a premium system, usually with some extra markup and the title 'workstation' or 'server' to get Linux or No OS. We want to be able to buy Grandma the same $299 special, minus $40 because we don't want Vista and load Ubuntu on it.

What I bought was the same Dimension C521 without Windows, saving $40. Not $299, but the cheapest I could find on the Dell website.

Re:Automation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18481991)

Yes, but people don't want to have to buy an N-series. They want to be able to pick ANY computer from the Dell site and buy it with that $40 taken off.

Too damn bad then. They offer some of their product line without Windows. If that's not to your liking take your business elsewhere. Yes, it really is that simple!

Re:Automation (1)

mallie_mcg (161403) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481749)

Dell don't sell the n-series in all markets.

Re:Automation (3, Informative)

BruceCage (882117) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481537)

Microsoft might be concerned that they don't get their money for this, but then again it would be against the law for them to do anything like force Dell not to do it, or insist that users do not get a refund anyway (the EU would have a field day and think up some higher billion dollar amounts for fines).
Actually the reason you're able to refund your copy of Microsoft Windows is because of Microsoft itself.

The background story. Back in 1999 some members from the SVLUG and also a Slashdot editor (Chris DiBona) organized Windows Refund Day, I found out about this while watching the documentary Revolution OS (there's footage of the event in there) so I thought I'd share it with you. From the Windows Refund day [merlins.org] page:

The windows EULA (End User License Agreement) clearly states that the agreement can be refused by the end user, and that windows can be returned to the manufacturer. In real life, however, manufacturers typically say that they can't refund the windows license and tell the user to contact microsoft directly.
Turns out it's a whole lot easier nowadays to return your copy of Windows than it was back then and you can thank these guys for it.

Re:Automation (2, Informative)

shaitand (626655) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481581)

If you are running a burn in suite that runs on top of windows it is useless anyway. For instance, how could you test RAM with something like Vista loaded and preventing access to a couple gigs?

Good burn in suites are run from trimmed linux boots or DOS/DR-DOS/custom os/etc. As a rule they are loaded from a boot disk and never installed onto the hard drive.

The biggest assumption in your post is that Dell runs a burn-in diagnostic. This is probably not likely.

I'm not sure how Dell does things on their assembly line. But I imagine they image drives in bulk and then just plug in a preimaged drive into the system. Providing an option for drives without operating systems is as easy as giving the assembly line grunt two stacks of drives. They already have facilities for providing customization so they must be tracking options for given pcs.

Re:Automation (1)

kristjansson (624846) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481613)

I think shipping a naked/bare PC is extremely user-unfriendly and it also gives Dell a burn-in-test nightmare (how do you burn in a laptop which is supposed to have never had an OS installed on it? Do you then perform a military-grade disk wipe after you put the burn-in software on there? I dunno..).

Why couldn't they just use a bootable cd for the test software? Why even bother writing anything to the disk at all?

Re:Automation (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481775)

I bet it costs more to process it through 'Veronika' than clicking a website button would.

You're thinking long-term though. Setting up the automated process costs a damn sight more to do now than even a large number of refunds processed through customer services costs; you'll never make management with that kind of thinking!

On a more serious note, though, if the cost to set up the automated process is great enough, you won't save any money anyway, as only a tiny minority of customers are going to be claiming a refund. It may well be cheaper in the long run to do it manually for those (relatively) few that do claim.

Re:Automation (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 7 years ago | (#18482023)

Run the burn-in tests on bootable media (USB, CDs, DVDs) like many manufacturers do - or from the Dell Diagnostics test menu for that purpose which can be left on the partition either way.

Sounds good (3, Insightful)

cdrdude (904978) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481277)

That sounds nice an all, but it's in Germany. How about other places? Is German Dell an anomaly here?

Congrats (Pirate) (1)

Random Q. Hacker (137687) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481281)

We all know you are just returning Vista so you can install a pirate copy of XP instead!

Re:Congrats (Pirate) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18481955)

eat my dick midget!

Finally Uh? (4, Interesting)

TheNetAvenger (624455) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481311)

For almost 10 years, the lock on OSes to hardware with companies like Dell has not been mandated by MS, and finally we see one of these companies stepping up to the plate and doing the right things.

The Windows and or OSes tied to hardware are for pure support cost reasons at this point with companies like Dell/HP/etc.

Even prior to the dissolving of MS only contracts, any hardware company had the choice to not buy into an exclusive package from MS and pay the $5/10 bucks more per copy. And even though MS took the flack for this, it was not an uncommon model in the software/OEM industry and it was also something that the greed of OEMs were eager to take advantage of to the loss of their customers.

I was part of a fairly large OEM company during this timeframe, and we chose not to save the $5 a copy on OEM Windows, and still maintained a great relationship with MS even still we sold naked and *nix preloaded on many systems.

Sure we could have signed a bundling deal, just like we were offered by Corel and even IBM in the early years for OS/2, however saving a couple of $$ per Windows system was less important than providing our customers what they wanted.

So Kudos to Dell for finally stepping up and taking responsibility for the product they are selling...

The best part (4, Interesting)

wes33 (698200) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481321)

So far as I can see, the guy could take the money and still be using vista. At least, I don't see anywhere any verification of the non-use was requested. so how does this work? what's to stop someone lying to Dell and getting 77 bucks

An amazing concept called... (2, Insightful)

bluemonq (812827) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481427)

...trust. For now, anyways.

Re:The best part (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481477)

Dell has a record of the License code they gave to you. Hopefully they deactivated the license. I wouldn't be surprised if Dell machines connected to Dell itself for the license server, though I don't know if this is true.

On Vista for corperate installs, you now have to install a Microsoft provided license server on one machine (your domain controller most likely) your individual machines then connect to that server for verification.

Re:The best part (1)

imemyself (757318) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481753)

You don't have to install the Key Management Server. That's one of the two options for VLK licenses with Vista, but you can also have it activate with MS's servers.

Re:The best part (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18481913)

They image all the drives for each series system with the same copy of Vista using the same key. Comes to you pre-activated.

Re:The best part (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18482089)

They don't record the cd key. The builders only scan to make sure it is the right OS (Pro, Home, or Media Center) but they don't waste time manually typing in the cd key for each computer. Builders have very tight time constraints so they can build a predefined amount each day and offset being fired. The proper procedure is to either give the CS rep the cd key to invalidate it or scrape it off the chassis, mail it in and they will invalidate it.

Re:The best part (5, Funny)

StormReaver (59959) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481669)

"what's to stop someone lying to Dell and getting 77 bucks"

Dell: Hi, this is Dell technical support. How may I help you?"
Customer: Uh, I want a refund for Vista since I'm not using it.
Dell: Okay, I just need you to answer one randomly selected question. What does "ls -l" do?
Customer: It displays a long directory listing.
Dell: Your refund check is on the way.

Re:The best part (1)

amazon10x (737466) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481735)

What if they use ReactOS?

Re:The best part (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18481777)

Actually, it's over 100 bucks. Thanks in part to Dubya and his little wars, the American dollar is very weak.

Why would you do this? (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481805)

Based on the comments on Vista here?

Re:The best part (2, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481809)

If you haven't activated Vista yet, I assume that it will no longer be possible to do so (and so the most you could use it for is about 120 days with registry hacking). If you have activated it, I imagine that WGA (or similar) will kill it soon enough.

(Oh, and it was €77, so more like $100 or so)

The Genuine Advantage (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481831)

So far as I can see, the guy could take the money and still be using vista.

Dude, don't you know that you don't get the Wow if Vista is not Genuine? [theregister.co.uk] Where have you been?

Another way to look at it is as Saint Heinlein did [wikiquote.org] , "Stupidity cannot be cured with money, or through education, or by legislation. Stupidity is not a sin, the victim can't help being stupid. But stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death, there is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity." The punishment is in the use.

Style. (3, Funny)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481323)

some still think that buying a naked PC won't be easy. But what about stripping it naked after you buy it?

Doing things that way always gets me waaay more in the mood. Gotta do it slowly though.

Differences in your geography? (3, Interesting)

hugorxufl (1071598) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481347)

Since IANAL, do any of you know of differences in consumer laws/regulations that may have made it easier for the German or European customer? Previous slashdot stories suggested that a Windows refund have been a mess for US customers in the past.

What can Microsoft do? (2, Funny)

biocute (936687) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481359)

Maybe charge PC vendors a "Gates" fee that is equivalent to 99% of the revenue of the OS, then charge $1 per Vista copy. So Dell can only refund $1 to the customer, but still pays about the same amount of what it would have sold in a year (assuming all PCs pre-installed with Windows).

Re:What can Microsoft do? (3, Interesting)

jt2377 (933506) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481519)

At least you can get refund for Vista. Let's see if Apple will do that with Mac. hey, i don't want Mac OSX, Can i get refund on it?

Re:What can Microsoft do? (1)

AusIV (950840) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481587)

From some other cases of people trying to get refunds on XP I've read, vendors will often try to refund the customer something on the order of $10, claiming that's all it's worth. I don't know what the basis for that claim is, but I've heard it's a common way out of refunding customers for their Windows purchase.

This page [linux.com] details some experiences of returning XP to dell.

Personally, I've built my desktops much cheaper than I could buy them with Windows, and I bought my last laptop from System76.com [system76.com] , which sells laptops with Ubuntu (my distro of choice) pre-installed. It might have been cheaper to buy a Dell and get a refund, but this way I know the hardware is well supported under Linux.

Re:What can Microsoft do? (1)

zoward (188110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481879)

From some other cases of people trying to get refunds on XP I've read, vendors will often try to refund the customer something on the order of $10, claiming that's all it's worth.

Then I would request that they send me ten licenses for XP and I'll pay $100 for them.

All of this is very nice, but I did spot one thing (3, Interesting)

jimicus (737525) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481505)

Note the following line:

Vista did not manage to recover from the aborted install process the previous day and got lost in an infinite loop of reboots. (I wonder what people do with a power outage during install as there was no such thing as a Vista-CD delivered...)

And I've noticed that some OEMs aren't setting up a "recovery" partition (basically, a second partition which can be booted directly from the BIOS which reinstalls the OS) any more. Not good at all. Heck, I took delivery of a PC only last week where there was no hardware fault from the factory, but there was something wrong with the OEM Windows install and it was stuck in a reboot loop. Didn't bother me as we've got a Windows site license so I could rebuild from our own media anyway, but that's not really the point.

Just to break that 77.54 down for you... (3, Funny)

jpellino (202698) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481511)

That was EU77.00 for Vista and 00.54 for Works.

Sounds about right.

But how will DELL stop fraud? (3, Interesting)

mark99 (459508) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481547)

So how do they know you really formatted it, and aren't using Vista Home.

Germany BY LAW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18481569)

You are allowed by law to buy a PC without an OS on it, and Dell are obligated to offer to sell you the PC without the OS on it.

Don't expect it to be so easy anywhere else, Dell gets a lot of subsidy from Microsoft for the 'Linux' games it plays.

Re:Germany BY LAW (3, Informative)

Alphager (957739) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481635)

You are allowed by law to buy a PC without an OS on it, and Dell are obligated to offer to sell you the PC without the OS on it.

Don't expect it to be so easy anywhere else, Dell gets a lot of subsidy from Microsoft for the 'Linux' games it plays.
Bullshit. There is no such law here in Germany.
Everybody on the world has this right; just read the damn MS-EULA the next time you reinstall; it's in there.

OS bundling was law requirement once (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18481987)

I'm not so sure about that. Previously we had a law that actually required a new computer to ship with a pre-installed operating system. And it was long suspected that this law was probably provided to us by the very fine Microsoft government bribery machine. That was in the nineties though. I however don't know what happened to this law meanwhile. Local computer stores are obviously selling PCs without anything. (Or sometimes just with Windows 2000 "DEMO INSTALLATIONS" eventually.)

Congradulations (0, Flamebait)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481579)

You took a perfectly good Windows computer and made it useless.

Why didn't you just buy a Linux box from a real vendor who actually uses hardware that Linux is known to support well?

Re:Congradulations (4, Funny)

keeboo (724305) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481667)

You took a perfectly good Windows computer(...)

Is there such a thing?

Re:Congradulations (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18481673)

You misspelled "congratulations".

Re:Congradulations (1)

ed (79221) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481693)

I have a Dell laptop I got in a raffle from Dell and MS

as delivered by them it didn;t connect to my wireless router

Ubuntu worked straight away, no hassle

Got Vista to work after I downloader the wireless driver

Re:Congradulations (1)

Delkster (820935) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481849)

I'm not him, but I don't know of any computer vendors that would sell laptops or desktops with Linux preinstalled where I'm located.

It's quite possible that it wasn't a feasible option for the original poster either.

I'm impressed to hear you got the crud Works refun (2, Interesting)

bradavon (1066358) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481839)

I'm impressed to hear you got the crud Works refunded too. I didn't realise that was possible. I bet if more knew/could be bothered Dell and the like would be issuing loads of refunds. I bet less than 10% of users ever use Works.

Fantastic Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18481951)

Today I take delivery of my new dell laptop (with "opt in because there is no other choice" copy of Vista) and I'll be giving them a call/email a little later.

Thanks for submitting!

Old news (1)

FonkiE (28352) | more than 7 years ago | (#18482053)

I asked dell customer support 4 years ago if I could get it cheaper b/c I don't use windows. They said yes. It was like EUR 80 for xp home. So to be sure ask before you buy. I ended up not buying the notebook. But a friend did it.

Dell has always handled that in a pro customer way. If they just would make windows an option in their webinterface, I don't mind if it's selected, but it should be de-selectable.
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