Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Successfull refund of "Windows-Tax"

  1. #1

    Default Successfull refund of "Windows-Tax"

    Earlier this month I bought a Lenovo X60 Tablet. This machine comes preinstalled with Windows XP Tablet Edition. Before buying it, I asked my dealer if it was possible to buy it without Windows preinstalled and he told me that there is no way to do so. Nevertheless, I bought it.

    After the x60t arrived, when starting the system first, the Windows license terms *explicitly* said that I should contact the manufacturer (in this case Lenovo Germany) if I don't agree with the license terms to get a refund for the software while it was mentioned in the Lenovo specific EULA that I am allowed to use the hardware without the need to agree to the software EULA. So rule 1:
    If you don't want Windows read the license terms before accepting anything!

    Since the terms explicitly said so, I called the support hotline asking what to do for getting the refund. Of course the guy I talked to at the hotline was incompetent in regards of Windows refund and said "this is impossible at all since we do also sell systems without OS preinstalled". Since the license term said something else, I called my dealer, who happens to be an "official Lenovo partner", so he should know if there are any systems without preinstalled Windows. "Of course", he told, but only if you are a company that orders several hundred systems. So in short: the answer from the hotline dude was completely wrong for normal ed users.
    But what to do about the "tax refund"? I asked the dealer if he had any experience with it and he said a clear 'no', but he offered to ask via his official channels since this might be a little more promising. He just wanted a short mail from me so that he a) does not forget it and b) has a good way to contact me. Okay, I wrote that mail and some days later I got an answer with a formula that I have to fill out which included the info what to do to get the refund. So rule 2:
    Look for a competent dealer and ask him to help you with the refund, this might be faster than fighting the windmills yourself.

    After sending in the sheet together with the license key and my banking account data, I had the refund for Windows XP Tablet Edition on my bank account exactly 2 weeks after sending the letter. The refund was only 30, but this is still better than paying for an OS that I don't want and having my Laptop appear in the stats of "sold windows copies". This was with Lenovo Germany. So here a short list of the things that were needed to fulfill the requirements for a refund:

    1) The Windows license musn't be accepted, registered or activated.
    2) Remove the license sticker from the hardware, make sure not to completely destroy it while doing so. Send it together with all CDs you got from them back to lenovo.
    3) Add a copy of the bill for the system that includes type, model and serial number of the device.
    4) Write down your ow data including bank account data so that they can wire the money.

    I had to sign that I had fulfilled the requirements from point 1). It should also be possible to get the form directly from Lenovo, but my dealer was a great help with this. Keep in mind that this report is a) about Windows XP and b) from Germany. In other countries other laws might apply and with other versions of Windows the license terms might vary.

    Another post (in german) I found about the Windows refund: Successfull report of Windows refund (german)

    I hope this thread to be a) a nice list of other successfull refounds and b) an incentive for other users to try to get a refund.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    15

    Default

    Personally, I always build my own systems and I'm not a laptop fan, but it's nice to see that people can do it. While 30 euros isn't a massive amount, it's still worth doing. Well done!

  3. #3

    Default

    Looks like Lenovo has a strange point when dealing with refunds connected to Windows Vista. That is have a look at this site to get some info about it. Basically Lenovo requires this specific user to sign an NDA about the refund. Sounds to me like they want to make sure that not too many people hear about the option of such a refund.

    What do you think? Great conspiracy (Microsoft wanting this from Lenovo), just general company bulls*** (many refunds = much work and high costs for us), or something completely different?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Greece
    Posts
    3,776

    Default

    Refunds mean work for a company, so they're trying to avoid it like the plague. Add the M$ OEM licenses to this and you'll get a working system that boosts monopolization and corruption.

    "Where do you want to be forced to go today?"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    325

    Default

    Well, it's better than what I have heard about the Dell refund...

    Basically Dell just give you the money and skip the paperwork is what I heard, so you don't remove yourself from the "Windows" sales box.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,607

    Default

    If you have got deeper Win knowledge than 2 things are pretty much useless:

    1) The Windows license musn't be accepted, registered or activated.
    2) Remove the license sticker from the hardware, make sure not to completely destroy it while doing so. Send it together with all CDs you got from them back to lenovo.
    Because you can always reset the system to prior state, the licence sticker is not needed at all because you get an oem pre activated system - the thing V checks is inside the bios, so basically you would have to replace it. But who would do that? You only need the oem bios + oem serial + oem cert (last could be extracted or downloaded). I would not refund it, because it is still possible to use - and a Linux only system would require a BIOS without oem acpi vender string - with it the system could be activited like an original without any special hacks.

    It is basically impossible to prevent somebody from using a free "genuine" copy with only returning the serial - even if they would blacklist it somehow as this would be only needed to activate a second copy, like for example inside a VM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    2

    Default

    I wish we could do this in the USA, but it seems that it is almost impossible. Companies will tell you that "The computer and the OS are sold as a single unit. You may return the whole thing for a refund". They won't let you return *just* the OS. Trying just produces, "XXX's policy is not to provide a refund for the Windows operating system." You just hit a brick wall.

    I know somewhere that one or two people have managed to do it, but it is certainly not a common thing.

    The EU should start enforcing that anyone can freely return Windows if they decline the EULA and do not use the product.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    319

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by l00l View Post
    I wish we could do this in the USA, but it seems that it is almost impossible.
    This might be sometimes tedious, but it is not impossible. Lenovo willingly misleads customers pretending that Windows tax refund is unavailable. However it is illegal, and pressure on them will force them to give the refund, however they try their best to bounce any attempts to get money back.

    There is a page on Wikipedia which collects known refund cases:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows...e_refund_cases
    It can be used and referenced to persuade OEMs to give back the refund as required by the law. Please expand that page if you know of any successful refund cases which were publicized on the Net. The more factual material it will amass, the easier it will be to enforce what rightfully belongs to customers who aren't willing to use bundled Windows.
    Last edited by shmerl; 12-28-2009 at 08:35 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Toronto/North Bay Canada
    Posts
    877

    Default

    very well done! Your guide has been noted to my little brain, for future use.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    772

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ivanovic View Post
    Looks like Lenovo has a strange point when dealing with refunds connected to Windows Vista. That is have a look at this site to get some info about it. Basically Lenovo requires this specific user to sign an NDA about the refund. Sounds to me like they want to make sure that not too many people hear about the option of such a refund.

    What do you think? Great conspiracy (Microsoft wanting this from Lenovo), just general company bulls*** (many refunds = much work and high costs for us), or something completely different?
    My most plausible guess is that it was a ham-handed attempt to keep Lenovo's OEM pricing secret (which might be a requirement of their contract with MS). Given the various hassles and stonewalling people have had in getting these refunds, there may not be a well-defined procedure at all, let alone one disciplined enough to sustain a "grand conspiracy".

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •