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Refund Day?

Started: 2004-07-06 11:15:29

Submitted: 2004-07-06 11:23:45

Visibility: World-readable

Kiesa received her new Toshiba notebook via UPS this morning. It comes with Windows XP and the manufacturer refuses to send a real install cd. (Even with a new copy of Windows, though, the system is still cheaper than the other notebooks Kiesa looked at with comparable specs; this one cost US$1k, at which point IBM notebooks are barely getting started.) A sticker on the shrinkwrap says:

" . . . Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any third party License Agreement or product documentation supplied with your PC, TAIS does not accept the return of component parts, or bundled software, that have been removed from the PC system. Pro-rata refunds on individual PC components or bundled software, including the operating system, will not be granted. If you wish to return a complete PC system, contact the TAIS dealer where you purchased the product, and comply with the dealer's standard return policies and procedures."

This, obviously, is an attempt to void the standard clause in Windows' EULA allowing the purchaser to reject the EULA and return it to the vendor for a refund. This brings several questions to mind:

  1. Is it legal for Toshiba to selectively void clauses of Microsoft's EULA?
  2. Was that EULA clause added as defense against allegations of Microsoft being a monopoly?

Kiesa is tempted to return the computer based on that clause but asserts that she's being childish.

Having rejected DOS, we're paranoid about anything that isn't
"user-friendly," that requires some adjustment on our part and a
commitment to meet the technology halfway. It's as if Henry Ford rigged
a bridle and set of leather reins to his Model T instead of a steering
wheel and clutch, and to this day we were still driving our cars the way
a 19th century groomsman would handle a horse and buggy.
- Jonathon Keats, "'You Send Me' by Patricia T. O'Conner & Stewart
Kellerman", Salon.com