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Friday, January 4, 2008

Dell Windows Refund

Well, I just tried to get my "dell windows tax" refunded on my copy of Microsoft Windows XP that came with my Vostro 1000 Laptop.

Unfortunately, the people were less than helpful. Not only did they insist that Windows was given for free, but that they could only refund me for zero dollars, if I'd like to return the disk.

Somehow, that flies in the face of reports like: this, where a UK linux user got back the full value of microsoft windows.

So, the best I could do down this avenue was to get stopped by a woman named Tracy, who gave me the address of the legal department at Dell Canada. For those of you who are interested, it's available only by snail mail.

Dell Canada Head Office
155 Gordon Baker Road
Suite 501
North York Ontario
M2J 3N5

If they're giving away Microsoft windows XP for free, then I can't imagine Microsoft would have any problems with me passing on the licence key for it - after all, Microsoft's flagship product now has a value approaching zero.

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Sunday, December 2, 2007

New Laptop... with a refund?

Well, I took the plunge today. After struggling to get through grad school without a laptop for the past year, I've decided I can't take it anymore. The computer I use at work is an ancient IBM, which does an admirable job of running Ubuntu, but really just isn't up to the tasks I set it. So, with pending conferences, presentations, committee meetings and some serious programming likely in the next few months, I figured I've got shell out the money for a laptop. In fact, I've purchased a Vostro 1000 for $649 CDN... not too shabby, I think.

My plan A was to buy an Ubuntu laptop from Dell Canada, but after waiting for 8 months for that program to come north of the border, I've realized it's probably not going to happen in a time frame I'm comfortable with. It's only for a few select markets. So, I had to kick into plan B: I've bought the laptop, and I'm going to try to get an O/S refund from Dell.

It's not malicious or trying to get revenge - I just don't want to pay for software that I will be deleting straight away, once I turn on the laptop. I think it's wrong to bundle in an operating system, and force you to pay for it - so I'm going to try to get my money back.

This isn't a wild crusade - I have heard of people getting back money from Dell before, anywhere from $10 - $110, with no real regularity to what's received. Such as these links:

here, here, and here.

The internet is full of personal accounts of this working - so I think it's my turn to try. Besides, as a grad student, getting back $100 is worth about 10 hours of my time - I'm willing to give it a shot. Watch out Dell Service Reps... here I come.

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