View Poll Results: For owners of Dells with Windows pre-installed, what did you do with Windows?

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  • Nothing -- kept it (single/dual/etc boot)

    11 68.75%
  • Got a refund from Dell

    1 6.25%
  • Tried to get a refund, but was unable

    4 25.00%
  • Sold it

    0 0%
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Thread: Dell Windows Tax: Advice needed

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Dell Windows Tax: Advice needed

    Just ordered a Dell Inspiron 1440 for one of my parents. Opened it up, did not agree to the EULA, formatted the hard drive, and installed Ubuntu 9.10. Works Wonderfully!

    Now, it came preinstalled with Windows Vista. Contacted Dell through both e-mail and phone. Tried to get a refund through Dell US for the unused license and unopened software. They kept saying that their return policy was that

    1. They do not charge for the Windows -- it is "subsidized"
    2. It is preinstalled and they do not offer any refund on preinstalled software
    3. It is part of a bundled package -- I must return the entire computer if I am to return anything
    4. I need to check with Microsoft instead. However, Microsoft's policies clearly state that I need to contact the OEM!

    Any advice? Should I just sell the unused software on E-bay?

    I know that the legality of what Dell/Microsoft are doing is questionable, and definitely not very fair. And certainly very frustrating. But we just want to get rid of our unused software and some of the Microsoft Tax that came with it. $450 is a lot to us folks, so even $25 is helpful.
    Last edited by ethanay; November 17th, 2009 at 05:29 AM. Reason: typo!

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Re: Dell Windows Tax: Advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by ethanay View Post
    Just ordered a Dell Inspiron 1440 for one of my parents. Opened it up, did not agree to the EULA, formatted the hard drive, and installed Ubuntu 9.10. Works Wonderfully!

    Now, it came preinstalled with Windows Vista. Contacted Dell through both e-mail and phone. Tried to get a refund through Dell US for the unused license and unopened software. They kept saying that their return policy was that

    1. They do not charge for the Windows -- it is "subsidized"
    2. It is preinstalled and they do not offer any refund on preinstalled software
    3. It is part of a bundled package -- I must return the entire computer if I am to return anything
    4. I need to check with Microsoft instead. However, Microsoft's policies clearly state that I need to contact the OEM!

    Any advice? Should I just sell the unused software on E-bay?

    I know that the legality of what Dell/Microsoft are doing is questionable, and definitely not very fair. And certainly very frustrating. But we just want to get rid of our unused software and some of the Microsoft Tax that came with it. $450 is a lot to us folks, so even $25 is helpful.
    Just keep the Windows software, just in case. Besides, the Windows OS was already installed, so the reg key has already been used, not very useful if you sell the discs and stuff...

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Re: Dell Windows Tax: Advice needed

    just point out to them the dell cases here, where they have already refunded people
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows...e_refund_cases

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6144782.stm

    failing that, threaten to take them to court for breach of contract / applicable law in your area.

    i would be very surprised if they don't give in by then.

    the trick is just to let them know youre serious

    EDIT: do this by letter, they tend to be taken more seriously.
    Check out my little app. Tnote

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Re: Dell Windows Tax: Advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by TrekCaptainUSA View Post
    Just keep the Windows software, just in case. Besides, the Windows OS was already installed, so the reg key has already been used, not very useful if you sell the discs and stuff...
    Just in case what? Flies gather on the porch and you need to scare them away?
    You can get a refund, but be prepared for a bit of fighting.
    Read how others did it.
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.p...00#post7671300

    And here is something really Dell specific:
    http://www.linux.com/archive/articles/59381
    Last edited by mikewhatever; November 18th, 2009 at 12:29 AM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Dell Windows Tax: Advice needed

    hey all,

    thanks for the resources and suggestions -- will follow through and post the progress (or lack thereof...)

    FYI, i posted a link to this thread on the Windows EULA thread:


  6. #6
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    Re: Dell Windows Tax: Advice needed

    We are currently going around in circles w/Dell Support...their latest response:
    I do undertand your concern, however, we will not be able to process refund for an unused pre-installed software. You may contact manufacturer of the software for any further details and assistance on this matter.
    Sounds familiar...here is another recent refund:
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/10..._linux_refund/

    This is nearly identical to our case (Vista, but no Win7 upgrade)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Re: Dell Windows Tax: Advice needed

    try a different address, failing that send a letter direct to head office, citing the emails you have already sent

    if all else fails threaten to request your money back for the entire pc, due to breach of contract, or take them to court.

    another interesting article here.
    http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/7040
    Check out my little app. Tnote

  8. #8
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    Re: Dell Windows Tax: Advice needed

    Dell sells computers with Ubuntu preinstalled (as do many other vendors, like System76).

    Yet, you chose to buy a different computer, knowing full well it came with Windows.

    I would not give you a refund if I were Dell.

  9. #9
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    Re: Dell Windows Tax: Advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by snowpine View Post
    Dell sells computers with Ubuntu preinstalled (as do many other vendors, like System76).

    Yet, you chose to buy a different computer, knowing full well it came with Windows.

    I would not give you a refund if I were Dell.
    I find it odd that this very argument comes up in every Windows refund thread. I think it's perfectly understandable and acceptable that a user should be able to shop around, find a good deal, and make it even better by getting a refund for the unneeded Windows OS. Why don't some understand such very simple basics?

  10. #10
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    Re: Dell Windows Tax: Advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by mikewhatever View Post
    I find it odd that this very argument comes up in every Windows refund thread. I think it's perfectly understandable and acceptable that a user should be able to shop around, find a good deal, and make it even better by getting a refund for the unneeded Windows OS. Why don't some understand such very simple basics?
    I don't like bacon; can I get my money back on this BLT I ordered?
    I only drive during the daytime; why should I have to pay the "headlight tax"?
    I bought Hannah Montana shoelaces for my Chucks; I demand Converse send me $1 for the factory-installed shoelaces I don't need!

    Don't buy something you don't want and then complain about it. Buy what you want in the first place and be happy. Life is short.

    (edit) Obviously it is a different story if you feel Dell scammed you or somehow misrepresented the fact that Windows came pre-installed. (For example, I would send a dish back to the kitchen if it had secret bacon that was not listed on the menu.) In my experience with Dell, their advertising is very clear that most of their computers have Windows pre-installed.
    Last edited by snowpine; November 24th, 2009 at 07:21 PM.

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