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back to article Dell bars Win 7 refunds from Linux lovers

Dell has told a Linux-loving Reg reader that he can't receive a refund on the copy of Windows 7 that shipped with his new Dell netbook because it was bundled with the machine for "free". In October, another Reg reader succeeded in gaining a $115 (£70.34) refund from the computer maker after he rejected the licence for Microsoft' …

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Silver badge
FAIL

Choice...

...let the consumer make it. Anyway, the burn in tests will be done from the "support" partition they image on to the drives. Only a complete moron would remove that as tech. support will want you to have gone through some tests to get error codes etc for hardware issues.

Still no need for the machine to be infected with a full Windows deployment.

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Pint

You guys crease me up!

Dell? Test? You think they test them? Ha ha! Funny!

They flash the HDs with a standard WinXp/Vista/7 image, shove the HD into a pre-made case of kit, box it up and send it to the customer! No one tests the kit other than simply powering on the system to ensure it won't be DOA!

Testing! Funny stuff!

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Grenade

Here goes

At the risk of being torn apart for sticking up for the eebil Dell, if you buy a windows based PC you can hardly complain when you recieve a PC with windows on it.

Its like buying a new car, then a week later asking them to take the seats back because you've decided you don't like the colour, and have found the ones you want at another dealer.

Don't want windows? Don't buy a PC with windows installed. Seems pretty straight forward to me

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FAIL

FFS!

"Its like buying a new car, then a week later asking them to take the seats back because you've decided you don't like the colour, and have found the ones you want at another dealer."

Another bad analogy. The problem in the consumer PC market is that all the seats are blue, for every major manufacturer. THERE IS NO REAL CHOICE! Dell offer NO REAL CHOICE (one shitty netbook does not count). Nor to HP, Toshiba, Sony etc.

I'll type this slowly so people can keep up.

There.

Is.

No.

Real.

Choice.

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Troll

Maybe i'm slow.........

But i've just googled "linux laptop" in shopping and immeadiately found lenovo, acer, asus and HP laptops with linux pre-installed. Maybe if you look for a linux laptop, you will actually find a linux laptop. So there is real choice.

I'll type this slowly so you can keep up.

There.

Is.

Real.

Choice.

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Alert

Show me the links

C'mon, so me the links. I ahve asked time and again on here for links to the ACTUAL PRODUCT and NO ONE can provide them

I know the HP is a lie, because I have tried. Yeah, you'll get Google results but they go no where, or they vanish into the quagmire of USA business account handling. Urgh. UK site, consumer device; prove it.

I would LOVE to be wrong.

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Silver badge

Oh, and those links?

Show them to "proper" systems, not to the single, crippled version of some netbook that they may sell as a pathetic PR stunt.

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This^^

There are plenty of companies who give you the option of buying a PC without an OS installed. But as someone previously said, you also have the option of building your own.

Just because the major players cater to what most of the PC public wants doesn't mean there aren't companies feeding the niche market.

By the same token, personally I can't see why Dell don't offer the choice, as they offer the opportunity to tailor build your own PC, so surely an OS option should be do-able.

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Caught you out Steve.

I just did as you suggested - no results (beyond a few components).

http://tinyurl.com/ycblsmc

C'mon Steve 44, put your money where your mouth is and show me the hard links (UK site, consumer device, any Linux distro, direct from HP, Sony, Tosh, ANY major OEM).

Or I can only conclude you are in serious error with reality.

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FAIL

You use a velvet glove, i'll use chainmail gauntlet

http://www.google.co.uk/products/catalog?hl=en&q=laptops+with+linux&cid=15770955273163762942&sa=title#p

http://www.google.co.uk/products/catalog?hl=en&q=laptops+with+linux&show=dd&cid=12324337527515291832&sa=title#p

Next idiotic comment? Pretty sure neither of these are netbooks, nor crippled. And hp offers several probooks with linux on them. It's not my fault if you are too stupid to use google, but maybe you shouldn't post comments on here before you learn?

And just in case you think these are home made versions, here's a page from hp's own site

http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/uk/en/sm/WF04a/321957-321957-64295-3955552-3955552.html

So, i'll take an apology as soon as you can get your head out of your a$$

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Troll

Not so smart, are ya?

I did post something with three links in, guess moderators didn't like it.

Try this one

http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/uk/en/sm/WF04a/321957-321957-64295-3955552-3955552.html

Look in the opearting system options. Pretty sure "SUSE LINUX" is a linux operating system. Can't be sure though.

Try harder.

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FAIL

Mods hate me

Tried posting several links, but the mods aren't letting them through.

Try going to the hp website, even the uk one, and looking at the probooks. Do you know what you will find as an operating system option? Suse Linux. Shock horror.

Will be here, waiting for my apology.

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Bronze badge
FAIL

Hmm

So what happens if you buy a car, and decide to install a nice set of luxury leather bucket seats?

Are you obliged to keep or destroy the original seats?

Or.. Can you whack em up on Ebay and get a few quid back.

Or.. Can you leave them on the kerb, free to a good home.

Or.. Can you put them on Freecycle, Loot or any other means of getting someone to take the things away and put them to some use?

Because this is the big difference between a car part and Windows. You can at least give the car part away. You can't do anything with Windows. Including giving it away.. These days, you don't even get a copy of the install disk.

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Silver badge
FAIL

@Not so smart, are ya?

Thanks for proving me right. Those links go no where. Yes, the first page shows SUSE for some notebooks. Now, click on the clink for one of them (say the 4710s), SUSE no longer an option. So then you select "All models". Still no SUSE.

I can't find the page where I can actually BUY this laptop.

AND this is appears to be a business device.

This is exactly what I was going on about - thank you again for helping me prove it.

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Silver badge

@Mods hate me

No apology forthcoming, there is still no link to a page where a consumer can buy a PC from a major OEM either naked or with a non-MS OS. I know there are landing pages for business customers, but they lead no where if you want to buy on-line.

Dell's singular offering does not count as a real choice in my book.

That leaves Joe Schmoe with no viable choice other than Windows (tech savvy users can always get what they want (either going to a niche retailer or DIY), but I am not thinking about them).

Don't misunderstand; I want to be proven wrong, I want people to have a choice, I want to issue that apology/thanks for getting a link.

It's not happened yet.

And yes, I have been looking too. I can find Linux systems from other sources, but again that is not what I am talking about. I am pretending to be the average consumer going to the "household names". When you do that it Windows or nothing.

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C-N
Grenade

You are slow

If you'd actually attempted to purchase a laptop with Linux on it; you'd have noticed that the models available are a small crappy subset of the ones available with Windows.

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C-N
Thumb Down

re: waiting for my apology.

Don't hold your breath.

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Linux

Don't want

If you don't want windows, you buy windows and ask the retailer for a refund. That has always been the way. It doesn't become an idiot strategy just because someone changed the rules without telling anyone. Only now that we know the new rules does it become an idiot strategy. New strategy: shop elsewhere.

Penguin because I'm running Linux on a (never windowized) Dell.

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FAIL

Dell

Every laptop I have used that has failed in some way has always had the word Dell written on it - don't buy shite

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FAIL

Cods Wallop

If its free, can I have a copy of W7 Pro?

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Buy and return?

Some people have suggested ordering a machine from Dell and returning it under the EULA conditions just to piss them off. They would be much more pissed off (and it is more likely to take place) If everyone called Dell and offered to buy a laptop then decline when they will not supply one without a Windows licence.

It would appear on the sales figures as 'lost sales' and be a much larger figure than refunds would be likely to reach.

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Anonymous Coward

They may not have a leg to stand on...

... Unfortunantly, when you go looking for win7 eula from Microsoft, available at :

http://www.microsoft.com/About/Legal/EN/US/IntellectualProperty/UseTerms/Default.aspx

Then, when you make the choice of:

From manufacturer

win7

home basic (or any based on multiple random checks)

eglish

then wait for the pdf to load, it seems that the eula shows:

"By using the software, you accept these terms. If you do not accept them, do not use the software. Instead, contact the manufacturer or installer to determine its return policy. You must comply with that policy, which might limit your rights or require you to return the entire system on which the software is installed."

So unless it has changed since this started, its up to the manufacturer/installer to decide if they will give a refund or not.

It does not say "If you do not accept them, do not use the software. Instead, return it to the retailer for a refund or credit."

This appears to only apply if you purchase as "packaged" software (buy the software separately in its own box it may appear) or from Microsoft directly.

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Anonymous Coward

Another car analogy - Yay!

Imagine a car company, that only makes and sells diesel cars. You like the look, and build of these cars, but want a petrol version.

You ask them to supply you one without an engine, because you want to fit it with a diesel engine yourself. How likely is this to happen? It will impact their production, they couldn;t service it, provide a warranty etc.

Once you've bought the diesel version, you can replace the engine if you choose, but don;t expect the company to take it back and refund you. But you wouldn't expect the company to be forced to offer you one without, or offer a petrol version.

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Anonymous Coward

Imagine

Just because you've seen some terrible car analogies is no excuse to make your own. Stop it.

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FAIL

Another car analogy ... why?

That's a great analogy for buying x86 and complaining that it's not RISC. Substitute seat covers for engine and your analogy might work.

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Thumb Down

Another car analogy - Yay!

Except that you are free to sell that diesel engine on to someone else, but you can't do anything with the copy of Win whatever that you don't want not even give it away for free.

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So return the whole system as defection and unusable

I makes sense to return the entire system, as it defective and unusable if you don't accept the EULA -- ask Dell for a system without this defect.

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Go

What to do?

Ask Dell via their on-line chat why they don't provide Linux or FreeDOS on PCs in the UK. They seem to offer many in the US, but not the UK.

The more that ask, the greater the apparent demand...

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Gates Halo

Now that news

of the EULA discrepancy has broke the public will immediately reject Microsoft and embrace Linux.

Sorry boys, but it's just not going to happen.

Everyone's heard of linux, some of us have given it a try and it's OK, but no thanks. There isn't going to be a great awakening of the masses, most people are going to stick with Windows even if it does cost them money, and will never move to Linux.

Time to move on. Spend a bit more time on your social skills or personal hygiene, you'll find it a lot more productive in the long run.

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Flame

Get Over It!

I'm not reading all the posts that have gone before: I've heard it all before.

Don't expect pile 'em high, sell 'em cheap suppliers (though with Dell, really not SO cheap, but that's besides the point) to make exceptions for geeks. He may be in good company in these forums - and those of other nerdy publications - but he's in one tiny, tiny minority since PCs became so commoditised.

He should view the cost of Windows embedded in his laptop purchase as a geek tax instead of trying to stick it to the man by quoting their EULA back at them. And if the paying for it irks him so bad then find out in advance what the policy is before buying (though we all really know that he knew he would have a fight on his hands before he even started, and was relishing the thought!)

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Dell and Linux - they were once the good guys...

There was a brief window last year when Dell sold proper laptops in the UK (Inspiron 1525) with Ubuntu pre-installed. I was in the market for a laptop, so snapped one up. And I am quite happy with it.

But then within about three months they stopped selling them. Perhaps too many people were ordering them, and Microsoft put a stop to it? Their Linux offering shrank to one under-spec'ed netbook.

One ray of hope that I see is the Google operating system. Chrome OS doesn't sound like it would suit me, but I would be more than happy to buy a machine what that on it, and wipe it for my own OS install of choice. Yes, I know that Google will one day be regarded as we now regard Microsoft, but buying their operating system right now would not leave as bad a taste in my mouth.

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forgot i need a title...sorry, its mr

I don't see the hoo-haa here. If you don't want Windows, put something else on the machine. you can sell the license to an unsuspecting friend for more than the "zero" dollars, pounds or euros you paid Dell to put it on 'your' machine.

Just remember..... 'your laptop/pc will be more expensive if it came without the 'subsidised microshite software pre-installed.

And cheer up dammit! It's weekend!!!

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Grenade

The hoo-haa, here it is.

The hoo-haa is that every time one of us basement dwellers wants a new laptop, we, in effect, pay a portion of its cost to Microsoft. It's called "The Microsoft Tax" Imagine if the situation were reversed.

No, I am not at all certain that I may legally sell my surplus Windows license in that case. Nor would I want to. Pretend for a moment that I object to Microsoft products on ethical grounds.

"Just remember..... 'your laptop/pc will be more expensive if it came without the 'subsidised microshite software pre-installed."

Wat? I've been trolled, haven't I? You aren't really that thick; are you?

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FAIL

Way to go, Dell!

Thank you for providing yet ANOTHER reason to not buy Dell!

So, let me make sure I have this straight: By "free", does this mean Dell does not have to pay Microsoft for each license they install and sell? Or does this mean Dell is very graciously not passing the cost on to their customers?

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Linux

Have and Eat?

To my mind Mr Drake wants to have his cake and eat it - it's not enough to have (dons fireproof suit) a better operating system installed on his system, he wants to cash as well.

Okay he has a point when he says that Dell are (almost certainly) incorrect when they say the OS was free - however, we don't know exactly how much they pay Microsoft. If Dell were to turn around and say "Here is your 1p refund sir, please don't spend it all at once", how could he prove that he was entitled to more for (dons suit again) that worthless pile of steaming shite. After all you don't buy dog food and tell them that you want a refund for the consequent turds.

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Alert

Cases of Windows tax refund by Dell

Any claims by Dell reps that previous refunds of Windows tax were a mistake are an outright lie.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_refund for details about other cases and the overview of the Windows tax problem in general.

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Thumb Down

Hopefully Dell will get the message...

That there are users out there that DON'T WANT WINDOWS. It's being shoved down our throats. How simple is it to sell a computer with NO OPERATING SYSTEM? Clearly Microsoft has their hands on this one, they have worked out a deal with Dell so that Dell is essentially forced to sell PCs with Windows. And the whole story about Windows costing zero is fake. Windows is and has never been FREE. Somebody is paying for it, and you can bet it's not Dell. The cost of the Windows operating system is being passed along to the customer, you can count on that.

The other posters that are questioning the Windows Tax refund need to know that yes Dell DOES offer Ubuntu on selected systems. But... when you compare the machine specs to the same system with Windows, the system with Windows is cheaper. Windows costs money, Ubuntu Linux is free. Do the math, something is wrong here.

http://www.zdnet.co.uk/blogs/the-open-source-revolution-10014902/the-windows-tax-refund-at-dell-continued-10015387/

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Pirate

Oooh Windows 7 is free

If there's no exchange of consideration then there's no contract. If there's no contract there's no license agreement.

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Grenade

Why Bother?

Dell don't want to offer refunds because they would have to admit how much Windows actually costs. It probably isn't a lot. $10? $20?

When you get a bundled copy of Windows on some hardware it might as well be free because when the hard drive fails you should consider it gone.

Better off just formatting the laptop on arrival and choosing a proper operating system. Either a proper retail copy of Windows or Linux.

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