Windows Tax scam GarfNet - penguin powered and full of unixy goodness http://www.garfnet.org.uk/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=74&Itemid=331 Sun, 22 Oct 2017 00:36:38 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Trying to buy a PC without Windows part 5 - Acer, the most shameful response so far http://www.garfnet.org.uk/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=195:acer-the-most-shameful-response-so-far&catid=74:microsoft-windows-tax-scam&Itemid=331 http://www.garfnet.org.uk/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=195:acer-the-most-shameful-response-so-far&catid=74:microsoft-windows-tax-scam&Itemid=331 On 2009-11-26, I wrote to Acer UK to establish what its policy was regarding the Microsoft Tax. This was its response:-

Hello, Thank you for contacting Acer.

Regarding your enquiry,

The value would be £33.95 for vista home premium.

This can only be refunded within 30 days of purchase and to get it
refunded you would need to send the laptop into the acer repair centre
to have the HDD formatted.  This would not be covered under warranty so
would cost £51.99.

Regards
Jonathan
Acer Technical Support Team

This is one of the most shameful responses so far and justifies raising the matter with the OFT all on its own. In a nutshell, it means you would end up paying Acer £18.04 in order not to pay the Microsoft Windows Tax. Interestingly, having studied the MS EULA(s) carefully I can find no reference to any of this.


Acer's Penguin Rating

Marks out of five for Acer's customer care.
(By rights, this ought to be a negative number, consdering Acer actually tries to charge you in order to exercise your consumer rights.)
Penguin nil-points graphic Penguin nil-points graphic Penguin nil-points graphic Penguin nil-points graphic Penguin nil-points graphic
Marks out of 5 for Acer's penguin-friendliness Penguin nil-points graphic Penguin nil-points graphic Penguin nil-points graphic Penguin nil-points graphic Penguin nil-points graphic
Overall rating 0/10 = avoid!



I have written back to Acer UK, requesting that it points me to the part(s) in the Microsoft EULA that say you need to return the machine and that the hard drive would need to be formatted in order to claim your consumer rights, and that you would be charged for doing so. I eagerly await its response.


]]>
editor@garfnet.org.uk (Garfield Lucas) Microsoft Windows Tax Scam Thu, 26 Nov 2009 12:09:26 +0000
Why we object to the Microsoft Windows Tax http://www.garfnet.org.uk/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=188:getting-a-microsoft-tax-refund&catid=74:microsoft-windows-tax-scam&Itemid=331 http://www.garfnet.org.uk/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=188:getting-a-microsoft-tax-refund&catid=74:microsoft-windows-tax-scam&Itemid=331 Rationale

At the moment, everyone who buys a PC from a UK supplier has to buy a Microsoft Windows license whether they want it or not. One has no choice, it is included in the price one pays. So, even if you are using one of the many free alternative operating systems such as Ubuntu, Debian or FreeBSD, you are still forced to pay money to a giant foreign corporation, Microsoft, regardless of whether you wish to use its products or not.

The Microsoft End User License Agreement states:-

"By using the software, you accept these terms. If you do not accept them, do not use the software. Instead, return it to the retailer for a refund or credit."

Yet retailers are not honouring this. This means that Linux users such as ourselves are effectively forced to pay a what amounts to a tax, to a large foreign corporation even though we use none of its products.

What we plan to do about it

We are conducting a series of case studies illustrating the difficulty one has purchasing a PC in the UK without being forced to pay a "Microsoft Windows Tax". We use Linux on all our PC's and have done so for several years. Therefore we object most strongly being forced to pay for any Microsoft software licenses.

These studies are being documented and gathered in order to submit a formal complaint to the UK Office of Fair Trading and perhaps even to the EU Commission in the hope these regulatory bodies will finally put an end to Microsoft's monoploy and this iniquitous abuse of the market.

Meantime suppliers will be awarded "penguin points", (named after Tux, the Linux penguin) up to five points for customer care and up to another five for the degree to which they honour the EULA and don't force non-Windows users to pay for unwanted Windows licenses.

Marks out of five for customer care. That is, is the supplier friendly and helpful? Does it answer emails and enquires promptly? Penguin points graphic Penguin points graphic Penguin points graphic Penguin points graphic Penguin points graphic
Marks out of 5 for penguin-friendliness. That is, does the supplier either supply its machines OS free or will it refund unused Windows licenses without hassle & argument? Penguin points graphic Penguin points graphic Penguin points graphic

Penguin points graphic

Penguin points graphic

Overall rating 10/10 = the perfect Linux-friendly supplier. Unfortunately it seems that such a supplier does not actually exist here in the UK!

Microsoft Vista EULA

UK Sale of Goods Act

Other users who object to the Microsoft Windows Tax

]]>
editor@garfnet.org.uk (Garfield Lucas) Microsoft Windows Tax Scam Tue, 14 Jul 2009 14:31:02 +0000
Trying to buy a PC without Windows part 1 - Dell UK http://www.garfnet.org.uk/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=182:trying-to-buy-pcs-without-ms-windows-dell-uk&catid=74:microsoft-windows-tax-scam&Itemid=331 http://www.garfnet.org.uk/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=182:trying-to-buy-pcs-without-ms-windows-dell-uk&catid=74:microsoft-windows-tax-scam&Itemid=331 This is a new series of case studies illustrating the difficulty one has purchasing a PC in the UK without being forced to pay a "Microsoft Tax". We use Linux on all our PC's and have done so for several years. Therefore we do not need, nor should we be forced to pay for any Microsoft software licenses.


Tux with broken Dell t-shirt


We did some research and approached Dell UK to buy some of its rather smart-looking Vostro laptops, OS-free. Now Dell has a reputation for being fairly "penguin-friendly" and that it will build systems to the customer's specification. Moreover, its new Vostro laptops really are nice machines, with a good specification and a business-like apperance. We really wanted to buy some. I even transfered the money into our purchasing account ready to do the deal. Sadly, Dell's UK competely disinterested "sales team" managed to blow away any chances of that. Here's what happened...

Dell's Penguin rating

Marks out of five for Dell's customer care.
(This would have been zero but
Dell did actually manage to call us back once)
Penguin points graphic Penguin nil-points graphic Penguin nil-points graphic Penguin nil-points graphic Penguin nil-points graphic
Marks out of 5 for Dell's penguin-friendliness Penguin nil-points graphic Penguin nil-points graphic Penguin nil-points graphic Penguin nil-points graphic Penguin nil-points graphic
Overall rating 1/10 = hopeless!

]]> editor@garfnet.org.uk (Garfield Lucas) Microsoft Windows Tax Scam Fri, 10 Jul 2009 16:28:17 +0000 Trying to buy a PC without Windows part 2 - Laptops Direct http://www.garfnet.org.uk/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=184:trying-to-buy-pcs-without-ms-windows-laptops-direct&catid=74:microsoft-windows-tax-scam&Itemid=331 http://www.garfnet.org.uk/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=184:trying-to-buy-pcs-without-ms-windows-laptops-direct&catid=74:microsoft-windows-tax-scam&Itemid=331 This is the second article in a new series of case studies illustrating the difficulty one has purchasing a PC in the UK without being forced to pay a "Microsoft Tax". We use Linux on all our PC's and have done so for several years. Therefore we do not need, nor should we be forced to pay for any Microsoft software licenses. This week we focus on Laptops Direct.


Tux with broken logo


Laptops Direct is part of a British-based chain, run by Buy It Direct Ltd. whose sites are mostly registered to an address in Huddersfield:-

  • Unit A, Trident Business Park, Leeds Road. Huddersfield, HD2 1VA, United Kingdom

Or registered to individuals with a few kilometres of there. Basically Laptops Direct is an on-line bucket-shop that sells new and refurbished laptops at very reasonable prices. Despite its pile 'em high, sell 'em cheap ethos, Laptops Direct also has considerable expertise in the business and good technical knowledge with regard to the inner workings of Laptop PC's. So we felt that Laptops Direct it would be a good bet for meeting our computing needs. Its site offers potential customers the ability to ask questions to the pre-sales team via an on-line form. So we did, three times between 2009-07-09 & 2009-07-10. Initially it would not respond. When I finally wrote a very stiff email asking why it did not want our business, it finally did respond - although this response was quite astonishing!.

Laptop Direct's Penguin rating

Marks out of five for Laptop Direct's customer care.

Penguin nil-points graphic Penguin nil-points graphic Penguin nil-points graphic Penguin nil-points graphic Penguin nil-points graphic
Marks out of 5 for Laptop Direct's penguin-friendliness Penguin nil-points graphic Penguin nil-points graphic Penguin nil-points graphic Penguin nil-points graphic Penguin nil-points graphic
Overall rating 0/10 = even worse than Dell!

]]> editor@garfnet.org.uk (Garfield Lucas) Microsoft Windows Tax Scam Sat, 11 Jul 2009 16:51:44 +0000 Update - Dell http://www.garfnet.org.uk/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=185:dell-an-update&catid=74:microsoft-windows-tax-scam&Itemid=331 http://www.garfnet.org.uk/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=185:dell-an-update&catid=74:microsoft-windows-tax-scam&Itemid=331
  • This is an update to the Dell OS-free laptop fiasco:-
    http://www.garfnet.org.uk/joomla/index.php?
    option=com_content&view=article&id=182&Itemid=331
  • Seems that whilst Dell cannot be bothered to respond to our enquires with regard to buying laptops OS-free, or whether it is prepared to refund customers for unused Microsoft licenses as per Microsoft's EULA, it is however perfectly happy to spam its customers - even those who make it clear they do not wish to be spammed. This is the gem we received from Dell this morning. And yes, it WAS addressed to "Mr ".


    can't see this email? View it in a browser Add us to your address book
    DELL - YOURS IS HERE
    United Kingdom
    11 07 2009
    Latest Offers
    WELCOME TO THE FAMILY
    Dear Mr,

    Thanks for choosing to receive the Dell newsletter, and welcome. Now you'll be the first to hear the latest offers on Dell products and services as soon as they're announced.

    With simple online shopping and weekly promotions on a huge range of items - from the latest Inspiron ™ laptops, to digital cameras and Hi-def TVs - we bring the deals to you.


    Don't miss a newsletter!
    Add DellHome_UK@euro.dell.com to your address book.

    TELL US ABOUT YOU


    Please tell us a little about yourself so we can provide you with relevant
    information about Dell offers, products and services.

    LET US KNOW
    HELPFUL DELL LINKS
    Shop
    Laptops
    Shop
    Desktops
    Shop
    Monitors
    Shop Electronics &
    Accessories
    Shop Printers &
    Ink

    To unsubscribe to Dell marketing e-mails or to submit questions or comments, please use the following links instead of replying to this e-mail:
    Unsubscribe | Questions or Comments | Dell Privacy Policy

    You are receiving this message because you have subscribed to Dell Direct or have requested more information via e-mail from Dell. Dell Direct for customers is a special publication to inform subscribers of the latest in technology news and offers from Dell Home and Home Office.

    You are subscribed as: [removed]@garfnet.org.uk
    -----------------------------------------------------------

    Online privacy practices. ©2008 Dell Products. Dell, the Dell logo, & Inspiron are registered trademarks or trademarks of Dell Inc. Dell disclaims proprietary interest in the trademarks or trade names of other entities used to refer to them or their products. Microsoft, MS, Windows & Vista are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Celeron, Celeron Inside, Centrino, Centrino Logo, Core Inside, Intel, Intel Logo, Intel Core, Intel Inside, Intel Inside Logo, Pentium, Pentium Inside, are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries.

    Dell Products, c/o P.O. Box 69 Milbanke House, Western Road, Bracknell, Berkshire. RG12 1RD. Dell Corporation Limited, Registered in England (company number 2081369). Registered office Milbanke House, Western Road, Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 1RW.


    What a bunch of morons! No wonder Dell is struggling. It deserves to go bust! Clearly this is definitely one IT supplier that is best avoided, even if you are happy to pay for all those unwanted Microsoft licenses.

    Tux with broken Dell t-shirt

     

    ]]>
    editor@garfnet.org.uk (Garfield Lucas) Microsoft Windows Tax Scam Sat, 11 Jul 2009 20:18:31 +0000
    Update - Laptops Direct http://www.garfnet.org.uk/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=189:update-laptops-direct&catid=74:microsoft-windows-tax-scam&Itemid=331 http://www.garfnet.org.uk/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=189:update-laptops-direct&catid=74:microsoft-windows-tax-scam&Itemid=331 We eventually did hear back from Laptops direct. Amazingly, its sales team openly admits that it ignores the Microsoft EULA! So nil penguin points! But if there were a category for honesty then it would get plenty of penguins! The emails are in reverse order and since I guess the sales person is just "following orders", his/her name and email has been withheld for privacy reasons:-


    Subject: RE: [Fwd: RE: - Sales Enquiry]
    Date: Tue, 14 Jul 2009 16:19:18 +0100
    From: [Laptops Direct salesperson]
    To: '[removed]'
    References:

    That is correct,

    [Laptops Direct salesperson]


    From: [removed] [mailto:[removed]@garfnet.org.uk]
    Sent: 14 July 2009 16:16
    To: [Laptops Direct salesperson]
    Subject: Re: [Fwd: RE: - Sales Enquiry]

    Dear [Laptops Direct salesperson],

    Thank you for your reply.

    So, just to confirm: Laptops Direct does not honour the Microsoft Vista
    EULA with regard to providing a refund for unused Microsoft Windows
    licenses on the equipment that it sells?

    Yours sincerely,

    Garfield Lucas



    [Laptops Direct salesperson] wrote:

    Hi,

    As we are a reseller, all the machines do come pre loaded with Vista,
     we don't unfortunately refund unused licenses,
    it is however easy to just flatten the hard drive and remove the OS.

    Hope this helps,

    [Laptops Direct salesperson]


    -----Original Message-----
    From: [removed] [mailto:[removed]@garfnet.org.uk]
    Sent: 14 July 2009 15:47
    To: [Laptops Direct salesperson]
    Subject: [Fwd: RE: - Sales Enquiry]

    Dear [Laptops Direct salesperson], thank you for your email.

    In brief we need some laptops. We were particularly interested in the
    Lenovo C300N500 series. They represent very good value for money and
    seem to be very robust and business-like. We also know from experience
    that the Lenovo range is Linux-friendly and performs well on that
    platform. The model we are interested in is:-

    http://www.laptopsdirect.co.uk/Lenovo_N500_Laptop_NS75SUK/version.asp?PID=1246

    However we run a Microsoft-free business. This is partly to save money,
    partly because we are sick of all the security issues and other
    inconveniences and failures involving Microsoft's products and partly
    due to ethical reasons: i.e. we can no longer condone the way Microsoft
    conducts its business.

    So we need to know whether you supply your products _without_ Microsoft
    products pre-installed, i.e. OS free? Or failing that, does your company
    honour the Microsoft Vista EULA, that states:

    "By using the software, you accept these terms. If you do not accept
    them, do not use the software. Instead, return it to the retailer for a
    refund or credit."

    That is, can we return the unwanted licences for a credit as per the
    Microsoft End User License Agreement please?

    Yours sincerely,

    Garfield Lucas.

    References:-

    Microsoft Vista EULA:-
    http://download.microsoft.com/documents/useterms/Windows%20Vista_Home%20Prem
    ium_English_d16c019b-fa71-4fc9-a51d-a0621bddb153.pdf

    Precedents for this:-

    Dell Customer gets Windows refund:-
    http://www.networkworld.com/news/2006/110706-dell-windows.html

    Linux programmer paid to uninstall Windows:-
    http://news.softpedia.com/news/Linux-Programmer-Paid-to-Uninstall-Windows-40133.shtml

    How to return your unused Windows license and get your money back:-
    http://www.cyberciti.biz/tips/how-to-get-a-windows-tax-refund.html



    -------- Original Message --------
    Subject:        RE: - Sales Enquiry
    Date:   Mon, 13 Jul 2009 14:30:07 +0100
    From:   [Laptops Direct salesperson]
    To:     [removed]@garfnet.org.uk
    References:    

    Hi,

    Thanks you for your enquiry, we are responding to emails, it is a very
    busy time of year for us at the moment which is why we haven't been able
    to respond straight away, if you would like to let me know your query
    regarding these machines I will be happy to help.

    Sorry for the delay,

    [Laptops Direct salesperson]


    *[Laptops Direct salesperson]*
    *Sales*
    Telephone:  0844 4124 566
    Email: [Laptops Direct salesperson]@buyitdirect.co.uk
    Fax: 0870 167 0801
    **
    *buyitdirect.co.uk *
    **
    *Our Brands:***

    laptopsdirect.co.uk
    appliancesdirect.co.uk
    iViewCameras.co.uk
    serversdirect.co.uk
    projectorsdirect.co.uk
    directTVs.co.uk
    acerdirect.co.uk
    flattelly.co.uk
    AirConDirect.co.uk

    ***Opening Times and Contact details
    *
    __
    **


    *From:* [removed]@garfnet.org.uk [mailto:[removed]@garfnet.org.uk]
    *Sent:* 11 July 2009 17:44
    *To:* Sales
    *Subject:* - Sales Enquiry
    Mail From : Laptops Direct
    Subject : - Sales Enquiry
    Customer Name : Garfield Lucas
    Cutomer Email ID : [removed]@garfnet.org.uk
    Cutomer Tel. No. : 023 80780133
    Cutomer Order No. :
    Nature of Enquiry : Sales Enquiry

    Description : Dear Sir|Madam, I have written to your pre-sales team
    THREE times between 2009-07-09 & 2009-07-10, via:-

    http://www.laptopsdirect.co.uk/Lenovo_N500__NS774UK/version.asp?refsource=ldawin

    and

    http://www.laptopsdirect.co.uk/
    GRADE_A1_-_Toshiba_Portege_M700-13A_Laptop_A1-PPM70E-0QG02DEN/version.asp

    Yet you have not responded. Please can you explain why you do not want
    our business? Thank you. Yours faithfully, Garfield Lucas.

    So there you have it. Laptops Direct ignores the Microsoft EULA, and admits it. I have retained copies of the original emails with all the names, headers etc in tact, if anyone needs further proof!

    ]]>
    editor@garfnet.org.uk (Garfield Lucas) Microsoft Windows Tax Scam Tue, 14 Jul 2009 15:52:48 +0000