11-16-2011 08:10 PM - edited 11-16-2011 08:25 PM
What is the current situation abount windows refund? In particular, is there any chance for refund in US? Is it legal to force customers to buy windows with a laptop?
I understand refund isn't worth the wasted time, but I don't like the idea of having to pay for windows even if I don't use it - this is a very dirty business of Microsoft and Lenovo.
I wouldn't buy a lenovo laptop first of all, since they don't sell laptops without windowses... But I had to on a special occasion.
P.S.: Why would one need windows on a laptop that is not used for gaming??? Why to force to pay for it?????
12-13-2011 05:56 AM - last edited on 12-13-2011 11:13 PM by andyP
Lenovo is getting rid of their Thinkpad T410 for bargain prices right now, probably to clear the old models out of their stock before the end of the year. I just bought one for $570 from Buy.com (coming from Staples).
When I turned on my new T410, I was greeted with the standard EULA screen asking me to accept the license agreement. I had no intention of accepting the license agreement, since I want to install GNU/Linux on the computer and I fully intend to ask for a refund for MS Windows. Still, I was curious about the actual text of the license, so I opened the license and started reading it. I got about halfway through the text, then I decided to take a break and come back to it later. I closed the laptop lid and left the laptop. I assume that the laptop went into suspend mode.
When I came back an hour later and opened the lid of the laptop, I see that the EULA has been accepted and the laptop is asking me to configure my computer for Windows. I NEVER clicked on any button saying that I accept the license. I simply closed the lid and later reopened it and now the machine thinks that I accepted the EULA.
At that point, I rebooted that machine by holding down on the power button, but the EULA license accptance screen never reappears. Instead, I am taken to the first dialog to configure the laptop for windows, where it asks me to select my language and location.
I fully intend to call Lenovo today and demand a refund for Windows, which I don't want and will never use.
Has anyone else seen the same automatic acceptance of the EULA on their Thinkpad? If you have a new Thinkpad can you please try closing the lid and reopening it to see if the EULA automatically gets accepted. Or if anyone is doing a restore to original state on their Thinkpad, can you please try it.
Moderator Note; threads merged, subject edited
12-13-2011 07:46 PM - last edited on 12-13-2011 11:13 PM by andyP
I was wrong. The screen which I originally saw when I turned on the Thinkpad T410 was not the "official" license acceptance screen. It was just a preview! Now my laptop boots up and comes to a screen asking me to enter my language, keyboard type and number and currency configuration. After selecting that information, the Windows setup wizard finally arrives at a screen saying "Please read the license terms" and this it has two tiny scroll boxes below for "MICROSOFT SOFTWARE LICENSE TERMS WINDOWS 7 PROFESSIONAL" and the "Lenove License Agreement and Hardware Warranty" . I would love to completely read both licenses and I am required to check the box under each licenses saying "I accept the license terms", but the first license only allows me to view 6 lines at a time and the latter only allows 7 lines at a time, so reading the terms is obviously quite difficult, despite the fact that the second line of the Windows license clearly tells me to "Please read [these license terms]".
At any rate, I found the relevant section in bold near the beginning of the Windows license:
By using the softare, you accept these terms. If you do not accept them, do no use the software. Instead, contact the manufacturer or installer to determine its return policy. You must comply with that policy, with might limit your rights or require you to return the entire system on which the softare is installed.
I then called the Lenovo support line and read them the relevant part of the license and asked what their "return policy" was for Windows 7, as stated in the licences terms. They told me that it wasn't possible to return just the operating system, since it comes bundled in the product. I was told that IF I had called sales beforehand and asked to buy the computer without Windows 7 installed beforehand, then I could have gotten the computer without Windows 7. However, I was told to call Lenovo Sales, since IBM support just services the products.
As adviced, I then called the Lenovo Sales number and then read the relevant section of the license to the sales representative and asked whether I could get a refund on Windows 7, since I did not plan on using it. When I explained to the sales rep that I had not bought the computer directly from Lenovo, but rather from Circuit City, he asked me to hold while he consulted his manager. After a couple minutes he picked up again, he told me that since I had bought the computer from Circuit City, I should contact them. I then read to him the relevant section of the license and said that Lenovo is the "the manufacturer or installer" as specified in the license, not Circuit City, so I clearly should be talking to them, not the vender. I also pointed out that the practice of forcing a customer to buy one product to get another product is illegal under US antitrust law, however I promised to follow their advice and contact Circuit City and if the seller couldn't give a satisfactory answer I would call them again.
So I called Circuit City and read them the relevant text of the license and asked them what their "return policy" was for Windows 7 which comes bundled with a laptop. The Circuit City sales rep informed me that they only have a single product code listed for the laptop, and there is no separate product code for Windows 7, so they can not refund just the Windows 7 portion. I then asked them if Circuit City was "the manufacturer or installer" referred to in the license, to which I was informed that that entity was clearly Lenovo and given their number to call.
At this point, I was curious whether Lenovo would still honor its warranty on the hardware if I removed the software, so I called the Lenovo support number and asked about the warranty if I removed Windows. I was informed that the warranty would still be valid, if I changed the operating system, so I proceeded with the installation of Linux on the computer.
Then, I called the Lenovo support line again and informed the support rep that Circuit City had identified them as the "manufacturer" so they needed to give me a response. The support rep then tells me that I should get a refund for the entire laptop from Circuit City and order the laptop directly from Lenovo and go to a special section on the web site where you can order the laptop without Windows installed. I asked him to give me the URL for this option, but he was unable to find it. He was an older gentleman from the sound of his voice and he mentioned, "well it used to be there when IBM sold the laptops". Since IBM transferred its PC division to Lenovo in 6 years ago, I figured this support rep was pretty out of touch and told him I would call back tomorrow after I had looked for this section on the web page myself.
I have looked on the web site again and I have failed to find any option on the Lenovo store site which allows you to order the laptop without an operating system installed. But I have also investigated product "tying" a little further and now am prepared to inform Lenovo that it is practices are illegal.
Quoting from Wikipedia's article on "Tying (Commerce)":
In the United States, most states have laws against tying, which are enforced by state governments. In addition, the United States Department of Justice enforces federal laws against tying through its Antitrust Division.
Certain tying arrangements are illegal in the United States under both the Sherman Antitrust Act, and Section 3 of the Clayton Act. A tying arrangement is defined as "an agreement by a party to sell one product but only on the condition that the buyer also purchases a different (or tied) product"
Furthermore, it is clearly not the policy of Lenovo to provide a Windows refund judging from this response from a Lenovo rep. So, I will call tomorrow and let you all know how it goes.
12-13-2011 08:28 PM - last edited on 12-13-2011 11:14 PM by andyP
After a little hunting I found this site to file a complaint with the US Department of Justice about anti-trust violations:
Hopefully Lenovo will be willing to send me a refund without forcing me to file a complaint. Let's see what Lenovo says when I call tomorrow.