When Dell issued a refund for the copy of Microsoft Windows bundled on a customer's laptop, it was neither a mistake nor a new policy, according to Dell spokesperson Anne Camden.
Mitchell's letter (with personal information removed)
Toshiba/Microsoft Saga: Geoffrey D. Bennett received a Windows refund of AU$110 in 1998.
Getting a Windows Refund in California Small Claims Court: a California judge awarded Steve Oualline a judgment of $199 in 2003.
"It appears this was a unique response for a customer based on the individual circumstances of the customer's experience and request," she wrote.
"Dell does not have an official program that accommodates the return of the operating system. In general a customer would return the PC if unhappy with any pre-installed software end-user license agreement (EULA), including the operating system."
Linux user Dave Mitchell, who never booted Windows on his Dell Inspiron 640m laptop, and never accepted the end user license agreement (EULA), received a credit note for his refund, which was listed as "goodwill - approved by other", he says.
Mitchell requested his refund by postal mail on Nov. 1 and received it yesterday. A copy of his letter is on the LinuxWorld Community site.
Previous seekers of Windows refunds have run into company policies that absolutely forbade a credit for the bundled operating system by itself. Refunds for just the operating system, although apparently allowed by the EULA, have been rare.
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