Windows Refund Day II: a Call for Action

by Adam Kosmin

Why is there a call for action: Computer manufacturers must be held accountable for their refusal to provide consumers with a refund for unused copies of the Windows operating system shipped with today's computers.

Where do I need to take action: Courthouses around the globe.

When do I need to take action: Thursday, January 23, 2003. This date has been selected to take advantage of the fact that courthouses in all boroughs of New York offer extended hours of service (as late as 9PM in some areas). People living elsewhere should check with their local courthouses about available hours of service.

Who can take action: People who are entitled to a refund as defined by the End User License Agreement (EULA) included with their bundled Microsoft operating system(s). Typically, this would include two groups of people:

  1. People who have not accepted the terms of Microsoft's EULA and who have decided to install an alternative OS on their system(s). Those who feel they are entitled to receive a refund should be prepared to offer supporting evidence; this may include proof of purchase and copies of any correspondence with the manufacturer, as well as the unopened software/documentation that may have been included with the computer system(s).

  2. Windows users who were not permitted to transfer an existing license to a replacement computer but, instead, were forced to purchase the bundled copy of a Microsoft OS.

How do I take action: WindowsRefund.net and the New York GNU/Linux Scene (NYLXS) are asking eligible refund seekers to file a complaint with their local courthouse on the abovementioned date. Participants should know in what state or province (international claimants) the computer manufacturer is headquartered, and they should contact their local courthouse to determine whether the complaint should be filed in Small Claims Court or Civil Court.

This global event will take place during the same week as the LinuxWorld New York Conference & Expo. Additional advocacy efforts will take place at the NYLXS booth at LinuxWorld. I, the creator of WindowsRefund.net, will leave the show on Thursday and file my complaint in Queens County Court against Toshiba America, Inc.

Official WRDII bumper stickers will be given to all persons who file their complaints on the day of this event. Write to [email protected] for additional information.

Through open discussions with the LinuxWorld community, signature gathering efforts (to be used in future litigation if required) and case filings, the scope of Windows Refund Day will shift from the picket lines into the courtrooms. Future details and updates will be posted on WindowsRefund.net.

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