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Monday, January 7, 2008

Dell refund - part 2

Dell Canada got back to me about a windows refund - I'm slowly escalating this matter. Unfortunately, they forbid me from posting their reply in any public forum. (I don't blame them... it's pretty ugly, and self contradictory.)

However, They can't forbid me from pasting the text I'm filing with the Canadian Competition Bureau:

This went into the box marked "Details of the complaint:"

Dell Canada forces all Canadian consumers to purchase a copy of a Microsoft Windows licence with their computer, and no option is given to purchase a computer without this addition. The Microsoft Windows EULA (end users licence agreement) itself specifies that unused windows licences can be returned to the manufacturer for a refund. (YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THE TERMS OF THIS EULA BY USING THE SOFTWARE. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THE TERMS OF THIS EULA, YOU MAY NOT USE OR COPY THE SOFTWARE, AND YOU SHOULD PROMPTLY CONTACT MANUFACTURER FOR INSTRUCTIONS ON RETURN OF THE UNUSED PRODUCT(S) FOR A REFUND IN ACCORDANCE WITH MANUFACTURER'S RETURN POLICIES.)

Dell Canada refuses to honour this condition of the EULA by enforcing a policy of "no refunds on operating systems, unless the entire package is returned", which makes it impossible to purchase a laptop without the operating system.

As nearly all manufactures of laptops in Canada require the same agreement with respect to purchasing a licence from Microsoft, it is clearly a "conspiracy" (as listed on the competition bureau's web page), from which Microsoft receives a portion of the proceeds from every laptop sold, regardless of whether their software is used, and removing the element of choice from the market place. (i.e. other pc operating systems, such as Ubuntu, Redhat Linux, etc)

My complaint is simply that Dell Canada should respect the licence they force their consumers to purchase, and accept refunds on un-used copies of the Microsoft Windows. They should not be allowed to void elements of the EULA's they force on their consumers simply by bundling the operating system to the hardware.


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