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Dell Refunds Vista/Works With Two Emails 277

Posted by kdawson
from the try-this-at-home dept.
look@thealternative.ch writes "Although many people have asked for pre-installed Linux, and Dell seems to have listened, some still think that buying a naked PC won't be easy. But what about stripping it naked after you buy it? I managed to get Windows Vista (and a bit more) refunded from Dell Germany last week. The process was surprisingly simple: 1) After delivery, ask Dell Support for refund by email. 2) ??? 3) Refund!!! Read the full email conversation in the original German or my English translation. For the impatient reader: The refund is €77.54 for Windows Vista Home Basic plus Works 8.0 (that is 15% of the total amount I paid). The whole process took 2 emails, 2 more to say thank you, and less than 48 hours. The money is already in my account. Kudos to Dell Customer Care (esp. 'Veronika') for being efficient and customer-oriented!"
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Dell Refunds Vista/Works With Two Emails

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  • Re:Great ! (Score:3, Informative)

    by whathappenedtomonday (581634) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @04:21PM (#18481367) Journal
    > 77 for Vista OEM


    not quite, EUR 42.29 for Vista Home Basic, EUR 35.24 for Works 8.0. Google says, 77,53 Euros = 103,262207 U.S. dollars.

  • Re:Automation (Score:3, Informative)

    by MindStalker (22827) <mindstalker@gmDALIail.com minus painter> on Sunday March 25, 2007 @04:36PM (#18481455) Journal
    No need to wipe the Vista install anyways. Vista is now perfectly legal to install on ANY machine without a license. It sets up an automatic trial installation and you can then purchase the license before the trial is over. So installing Vista on new hardware for burn in testing even if the customer isn't going to buy Vista is not a problem.
  • Re:Great ! (Score:1, Informative)

    by tomhudson (43916) <barbara.hudson@NOSpAM.barbara-hudson.com> on Sunday March 25, 2007 @04:41PM (#18481485) Journal

    "103,262207 US dollars? Wow, everything *is* more expensive in Europe!"

    Not all locales use the period as the decimal indicator. Europe uses the comma ...

  • Re:Automation (Score:3, Informative)

    by BruceCage (882117) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @04:49PM (#18481537)

    Microsoft might be concerned that they don't get their money for this, but then again it would be against the law for them to do anything like force Dell not to do it, or insist that users do not get a refund anyway (the EU would have a field day and think up some higher billion dollar amounts for fines).
    Actually the reason you're able to refund your copy of Microsoft Windows is because of Microsoft itself.

    The background story. Back in 1999 some members from the SVLUG and also a Slashdot editor (Chris DiBona) organized Windows Refund Day, I found out about this while watching the documentary Revolution OS (there's footage of the event in there) so I thought I'd share it with you. From the Windows Refund day [merlins.org] page:

    The windows EULA (End User License Agreement) clearly states that the agreement can be refused by the end user, and that windows can be returned to the manufacturer. In real life, however, manufacturers typically say that they can't refund the windows license and tell the user to contact microsoft directly.
    Turns out it's a whole lot easier nowadays to return your copy of Windows than it was back then and you can thank these guys for it.
  • Re:Automation (Score:3, Informative)

    by shaitand (626655) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @04:55PM (#18481581) Journal
    If you are running a burn in suite that runs on top of windows it is useless anyway. For instance, how could you test RAM with something like Vista loaded and preventing access to a couple gigs?

    Good burn in suites are run from trimmed linux boots or DOS/DR-DOS/custom os/etc. As a rule they are loaded from a boot disk and never installed onto the hard drive.

    The biggest assumption in your post is that Dell runs a burn-in diagnostic. This is probably not likely.

    I'm not sure how Dell does things on their assembly line. But I imagine they image drives in bulk and then just plug in a preimaged drive into the system. Providing an option for drives without operating systems is as easy as giving the assembly line grunt two stacks of drives. They already have facilities for providing customization so they must be tracking options for given pcs.

  • Re:Germany BY LAW (Score:4, Informative)

    by Alphager (957739) <florian...haas@@@gmail...com> on Sunday March 25, 2007 @05:03PM (#18481635) Homepage Journal

    You are allowed by law to buy a PC without an OS on it, and Dell are obligated to offer to sell you the PC without the OS on it.

    Don't expect it to be so easy anywhere else, Dell gets a lot of subsidy from Microsoft for the 'Linux' games it plays.
    Bullshit. There is no such law here in Germany.
    Everybody on the world has this right; just read the damn MS-EULA the next time you reinstall; it's in there.
  • Re:I hated dell... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 25, 2007 @06:12PM (#18482107)
    Don't be fooled if you're from an English speaking country.

    The OP mentions Dell Germany, I'm guessing they don't use the incompetent outsourced call centres we get lumped with in English speaking countries as I doubt many German speaking Indians would be working in call centres!

    English is a much more widely taught language worldwide, and hence a lot cheaper to hire staff who speak it because it is so widely taught, this means that call centres can pick up any old riff-raff off the streets when it comes to speaking English.

    Dell's Indian call centres are indeed as utterly incompetent as ever such that Dell should be avoided like the plague. Unfortunately I had to post this anonymously because if you're honest about how appallingly incompetent Dell's Indian call centre staff are you seem to get modded down here! Perhaps those incompetent riff-raff manning the Dell call centres spend all their time reading Slashdot and spending their moderator points, would certainly explain why they don't get anything done in the call centre and the incompetence of the moderation here sometimes :p

    To cut a long story short, I had a faulty laptop 2 months before warranty was out and it took 9 months to resolve, needless to say after they failed to fix it correctly 3 times in the first 2 months, I had to spend the next 7 months fighting the fact that it was in warranty when it failed and when they failed to fix it multiple times. When they finally replaced the laptop, accepting that they were too incompetent to replace the faulty video card despite them being given 5 attempts at it they then told me they'd pick the old laptop up when they drop off the new one, of course the courier refused to take the old one when delivering the new as he'd had no request to. The call centre said they'd arranged for the courier to collect it 4 times after this yet the courier never arrived, despite me taking days off work to wait for it. I then got a letter threatening to charge me the cost of the new laptop with them claiming I hadn't given the courier the old laptop these times they said they'd sent the courier out, after phoning again they sent the courier a fifth and final time where the courier did actually show. They blamed the courier but it's funny how I've never once had a courier not turn up here in years and years of using them (DHL) yet when Dell sends them they magically didn't turn up 4 times.

    Frankly, it's not a pleasant experience and I was so long without my laptop I just got used to not working with it in the end to the point I wish I'd just been able to get a refund off them for it.

    Dell's call centres don't just have a language barrier problem, they're the cheapest of cheap, most incompetent staff the call centre could ever have possibly found. I don't mind outsourcing in theory, I can handle the language barrier difference, but it's the sheer incompetence that pisses me off! I thought most call centres back home in the UK used to be incompetent but you don't realise how good you have it until it's too late and those jobs have been shipped abroad.

    Essentially, what it comes down to is the old phrase "you get what you pay for", when it comes to their English speaking call centres Dell pays shit, Dell gets shit.
  • by FirstTimeCaller (521493) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @06:23PM (#18482163)

    So how do they know you really formatted it, and aren't using Vista Home.
    When it phones home to Microsoft...
  • by Ignatius (6850) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @06:44PM (#18482277)
    ... but here in Austria you can order Dell Workstations with Linux (RedHat) preinstalled. Also, about a year ago, I ordered a Dell Precision 380 workstation without a preinstalled OS (It came with a FreeDos partition containing drivers and docs IIRC). YMMV
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 25, 2007 @07:37PM (#18482603)
  • by Darko8472 (966542) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @09:01PM (#18483191)
    Kind of. Ireland is further divided into Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. NI is part of the UK, the RoI isn't. It's in with all the Euro and all that funky stuff.
  • by dunkelfalke (91624) on Monday March 26, 2007 @02:15AM (#18485115)
    nope, that is already reserved for netherlands.
  • by johnw (3725) on Monday March 26, 2007 @03:53AM (#18485551)

    I thought the UK consisted of Britain, Ireland, Wales, and Scotland.
    It sort of used to (assuming that when you said "Britain" there you meant "England").

    Great Britain is the island which contains three countries - England, Scotland and Wales. The full title of the UK is "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland". Go back 100 years or so and you could chop out the word "Northern".

    Incidentally, the "Great" in "Great Britain" has nothing to do with greatness - it merely serves to distinguish between Grande Bretagne and Petite Bretagne, which is on the other side of the English Channel.
  • Re:Germany BY LAW (Score:3, Informative)

    by sbryant (93075) on Monday March 26, 2007 @04:37AM (#18485737)

    You are allowed by law to buy a PC without an OS on it, and Dell are obligated to offer to sell you the PC without the OS on it.

    Don't expect it to be so easy anywhere else, Dell gets a lot of subsidy from Microsoft for the 'Linux' games it plays.

    That's not quite what the law says. Dell are allowed by law to only sell PCs with Windows if they so choose. What the law says is that the "OEM" version of the software may be sold without any accompanying hardware, and that Microsoft is explicitly forbidden from making versions of Windows which are tied to (only run on) specific machines. You can see this article [tecchannel.de] (in German) for an overview; the judgement itself, from 6th July 2000, is typed up here [jurpc.de] (also German). This law is also the reason that people in Germany can legally sell their used OEM Windows software on ebay, even if the EULA says that the software may not be sold separately from the machine it came with.

    It has also been hinted at that extra conditions of use (eg: in the EULA) on boxed software that were not visible on the outside of the box prior to purchase may be counted as null and void, but this has not yet been confirmed by a court of law - in Germany, or AFAIK anywhere else in the EU.

    The situation in the States is, of course, an entirely different kettle of fish. As far as being a consumer goes, it's the land of the not-so-free.

    -- Steve

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