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Re: Win95 EULA (Was: Why hasn't anyone brought this up yet?)

  On Sun, 9 Nov 1997 13:43:00 -0500 (EST), Chip Richards wrote:
  >On Sat, Nov 08, 1997 at 05:10:42PM -0500, Dana Newman wrote:
  >   Go to any Best-buy and tell'em you want to buy a Compaq Deskpro. Tell the
  >   store manager you won't buy it unless the disk is "clean" and you want a
  >   discount because it doesn't have any software on it.
  >   You get two answers:
  >   1. They won't do it
  >It isn't their responsibility.  It's Compaq's.   
  >   2. They will tell you you can delete the software after you buy the
  >   machine.
  >You could do that.  But better you should return it for a refund.  Yes,
  >that's right, return it for a refund.  See below.
  >   Call the Compaq corporation at any 1-800 number you can find,
  >   and request the same thing you did from it's retailer(s)  (ie; 
  >   just a machine, NOT the software).
  >   Just like their distributors:
  >   1. They won't do it.
  >I'm not surprised.  Their current manufacturing operation doubtless doesn't
  >have a "no-OS" assembly line.  It'd be like asking for a Compaq to be
  >delivered without a CPU.  They might do it if you ordered ten thousand of
  >them, but not just for one.  They ain't Burger King.
  >   2. They will tell you that "software is a value added feature,
  >   not included as a cost of the machine".
  >This is just plain wrong.  Did you actually call Compaq and they told you
  >this?  They need to re-read the Microsoft EULA, then.  See my story below.
  >   As a consumer I do still have a choice.  That choice is
  >   to not purchase the Compaq machine I wanted, but to 
  >   purchase a machine I don't prefer from another vendor.
  >Actually, you have another choice.
  >I'm about to relate an apparently little-known fact.  At least, nobody I've
  >talked to has been aware of it before I told them.
  >The Windows95 End User License Agreement (EULA) has a refund clause!
  >Here's how it worked with the new machine I bought a few months ago:
  >1. I powered on the machine for the very first time.  It booted into a Win95
  >setup (or installation, I forget which) screen.
  >2. On one of the first two or three screens, I was asked to choose between a
  >pair of buttons asking whether I agreed or didn't agree to abide by the
  >Win95 EULA.
  >3. Since I was going to run Linux on this machine, I selected the "don't
  >agree" option.
  >4. After the program had recovered from its astonishment, it led me to a
  >copy of the actual text of the Win95 EULA, insisted that I read it, and then
  >asked me again whether I agreed or not.
  >5. After I said that I declined for the second time, it took me to a shabby
  >little screen that told me that it wasn't going to set up Win95 for me
  >(yippee!) and that I should return the OS to the *manufacturer* (not the
  >reseller or Microsoft) FOR A REFUND!!!
  >6. At that point, of course, my only option was to power the machine off.
  >(As it turns out, I used FIPS to scrunch Win95 into its own (300mb!)
  >partition and installed Linux on the remainder so I could use the machine.)
  >7. I immediately contacted the manufacturer of the machine, in this case
  >Canon America.  It took six weeks of back-and-forth communication for them
  >to sic their legal beagles on the EULA and discover that they had, indeed,
  >signed up to deliver refunds for returned Win95 packages.  Apparently nobody
  >had ever taken advantage of this clause before, so they had to formulate a
  >new corporate policy.
  >8. After walking up the pecking order at Canon from phone-answering drone to
  >Director of Customer Relations (or some such high-handed title), I
  >eventually got a call telling me that if I (A) boxed up my Win95 manuals and
  >CD-ROM and (B) shipped it to them (at my own expense, apparently), they
  >would (C) send me $99 in return.
  >9. I did, and they did.  I scrubbed the trash off that 300mb partition, and
  >now am a happy camper.
  >Not as happy, obviously, as I would have been if I could have purchased my
  >selected hardware with my selected software pre-installed, but we must start
  >somewhere, and we already do have some wiggle room.
  >So buy your Compaq, decline the EULA, and get your money back.  And tell
  >your friends!
  Touche', Chip...absolutely profound.  I didn't know that one!
  Erick Andrews