Getting a Windows Refund in California Small Claims Court

Thanks to good records and a Small Claims judge, Steve Oualline got a $199 refund for his unused copy of Microsoft Windows XP. One Linux user's story shows how to establish a good refund case.
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Re: You windows Haters are unblievable and insane.

Anonymous's picture

I would like to write and distribute software for windows that is free for the users and have the source code available for the users to then adapt this software for their own use.
But I do not want to let those users take my IP and then create a product to sell because it's my IP and not theirs.
So I want to use the GPL to license this software to the users community.
Under the current windows license I can't do that because my making free software is against the license I would have to agree to when installing windows.
So because of this license from Microsoft no Windows user will ever be able to use my software and benefit from any other free (as in freedom) software unless it is created illegally. (All you guys that are creating software that is licensed under the gpl and compiled or even the source code edited with Windows as your OS are just going to have to turn yourselves into the thought police.)

Re: You windows Haters are unblievable and insane.

Anonymous's picture

And exactly why are we supposed to pay to have windoze installed on our new computer? Why can't we get a "blank" one and install our own OS on it?

Re: You windows Haters are unblievable and insane.

Anonymous's picture

Because... umm.. you suck and Bill G. is god?

Re: You windows Haters are unblievable and insane.

Anonymous's picture

Bill gates is my *****.. I shove copys of OpenBSD up his ass all the time.

Re: You windows Haters are unblievable and insane.

Anonymous's picture

ooooooooh, I just luuuuuuuuv OpenBSD

Re: You windows Haters are unblievable and insane.

Anonymous's picture

Thats the best argument I ever read!
I like food becaus its far away... duhh..

Re: You windows Haters are unblievable and insane.

Anonymous's picture

best argument ever...

Re: You windows Haters are unblievable and insane.

Anonymous's picture

you poor thing... Come to the light

Re: Getting a Windows Refund in California Small Claims Court

Anonymous's picture

I have to agree.. I would like to see a copy of this check posted. With personal info black out of course..

Wedge

how to extract money (was Re: Getting a Windows Refund in Califo

Anonymous's picture

in new york city (maybe state, i'm not sure), if the loser doesn't pay up within some period (90 days?) you take the ruling to the marshal's office. the marshal then goes to the bank in question and demands that the amount be withdrawn from the loser's bank account. it helps -- a lot -- to have basic info about the loser's banking info; this process can take several months. but it really does work. one way to obtain the info is to pay by check. last time i did this, which was several years ago, the processing fee was ~$3. :)

Another reason that $10 cheque comes in handy!

Anonymous's picture

That's another reason for getting that $10 cheque :)

What is actually better, GLP

Anonymous's picture

What is actually better, GLP or BSD?

Re: Another reason that $10 cheque comes in handy!

Anonymous's picture

Be more specific.

That $10 check has information which identifies a bank account.

Another way to find a bank account is to buy something directly from the company, then look at your cashed check to see what bank it was deposited in. But that is irrelevant for this check, as if you deposit it then it just goes away from you.

Say, you got $10. Shouldn't that be the first part of the judgement payment?

Re: Dell ads look very nice now

Anonymous's picture

Dell was advertising a $499 desktop and a $799 laptop (or maybe it was gateway) on TV. If you could front the money and the legal costs, maybe you could drop it to $300 and $600 respectively

Re: Getting a Windows Refund in California Small Claims Court

Anonymous's picture

And if it doesn't arrive then that will only piss off the judge. Then the company will be in a lot of hot water. The fines will keep adding up until they loose a lot of money by eventually paying up or the judge decides to throw someone in jail for failing to comply with a judges order.

Re: Getting a Windows Refund in California Small Claims Court

Anonymous's picture

Agreed. You might be able to get costs again. Maybe even some sort of enforcement order, like getting a sheriff to seize assets or garnish a bank account? Ultimately, it could come down to a contempt order, in which case someone gets jail time.

Re: Getting a Windows Refund in California Small Claims Court

Anonymous's picture

You hope.

Contempt of court (via willfull disobedience of a court's order) will cost them a helluva lot more than $334.

It could even cost them their ability to do business in that state.

It's easier to write him a check.

Re: Getting a Windows Refund in California Small Claims Court

Anonymous's picture

Wrong. Failing to pay a judgement is not contempt of court. However the plaintiff would have many avenues open to him, including seizing the defendant's property.

Wrongfully awarded

Ward Heller's picture

I might not be a lawyer but I know a thing or two about these sort of cases. The EULA specifies that you CAN get a refund if you don't agree with the EULA, but that refund should be for the entire package you bought, not just the software. If this case would have actually been fought by the manufacturer they most certainly would have pointed this out. And your only option would be to give back the entire system and get your $300 refunded. You bought a system including Windows, if you don't want to waste money on Windows, you shouldn't have bought the system.

"YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY

Anonymous's picture

"YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THE
TERMS OF THIS EULA BY INSTALLING, COPYING, OR OTHERWISE USING THE
SOFTWARE. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE, DO NOT INSTALL, COPY, OR USE THE
SOFTWARE; YOU MAY RETURN IT TO YOUR PLACE OF PURCHASE FOR A FULL
REFUND, IF APPLICABLE."
thats a quote from the first paragraph of the:
"END-USER LICENSE AGREEMENT FOR MICROSOFT SOFTWARE
MICROSOFT WINDOWS XP PROFESSIONAL EDITION SERVICE PACK 2"
which can be found here:
http://download.microsoft.com/documents/useterms/Windows%20XP%20SP2_Prof...
this and other licences can be found here:
http://www.microsoft.com/about/legal/useterms/default.aspx

First off, I believe the

Anonymous's picture

First off, I believe the EULA on pre-installed copies of Windows is different. Someone posted it above. It says you should "contact the manufacturer to return it in accordance with the manufacturer's policies" if you don't agree.

Second off, even the EULA you posted from Microsoft's website does NOT say that they have to give you the full RETAIL price, nor does it say they have to refund just Windows rather than the whole product.

Thus the circle continues...

Anonymous's picture

You bought a system including Windows, if you don't want to waste money on Windows, you shouldn't have bought the system.
-----
Yet that laptop (for example) is the only one with a nifty blue L.E.D status bar that looks extra cool.

Windows is not THE ENTIRE system. Windows is JUST the Operating System. The choice of which Operating System to run on my Hardware System is up to me. I bought the hardware AND the software. And I don't want the software. The question is, who is microsoft to tell me that I must return the hardware if I don't want their software? MS didn't sell me the hardware, they don't have the right to make me take it back. :o)

I'm surprised this is the interpretation of their EULA.

-- B. R.

and continues

Ward Heller's picture

The OS may not be the system but it's part of the package you bought, this is like going to the butchershop, buying a turkey, and then demanding a refund on the bones because you don't want those. It's both legally and ethically wrong.

"going to the butchershop,

Anonymous's picture

"going to the butchershop, buying a turkey, " ? you so cute a guy>.nice metaphor!
vob converter

But to eat a turkey you need

Anonymous's picture

But to eat a turkey you need a knife
I hope for next christmas all butchershop will sell their turkey with a super 199$ swiss knife bundled with the turkey
(WARNING THE KNIFE CAN ONLY BE USED WITH THIS TURKEY
If you don't agree with that just return the knife for a 10$ refund)

the situation is

Anonymous's picture

the situation is different--not all computer retailers require you to buy an OS.

I recently bought a luggage strap. The only luggage strap available from my retailer of choice was bundled with a luggage lock. I did not want the lock. I decided the bundle was enough of a value and that I wanted the luggage strap enough to buy the bundle and throw the luggage lock in a drawer.

I don't think I have any moral, ethical, or legal right to get a refund of the unused lock. Sure, I wish the retailer would sell a luggage strap without a lock. It would make my life easier and sell me some money. But they don't. I chose to accept the bundle--even though I could have gone to other retailers and purchased just the luggage strap. And although a luggage lock would have cost maybe $5 to purchase individually, it did not add $5 to the cost of my bundle.

It's ridiculous that people think there should be some moral right against having to buy bundles. I don't use the Bluetooth adapter in my laptop. I don't use Musicmatch Jukebox or Corel WordPerfect that were preinstalled. Heck, the laptop lock and telephone cable that came bundled with my laptop just sit in some dark pocket of my laptop case. Bundles are a part of life--especially in the computer world. We can press for change--but to tell ourselves that they are illegal is just delusional.

Re: The Situation Is

Anonymous's picture

Actually, if I bought a combo luggage strap / lock, AND the lock came with an End User License Agreement (EULA) that said the manufacturer could limit where I took my luggage, AND the EULA said that if I didn't like that I could return the lock to the store and get my money back on just the lock...

Then, yes, I would return the lock for a refund with no ethical qualms whatsoever.

Your point?

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