Dell (Australia) Refuses Vista Refunds

It would seem that after contacting Dell for about 5 days straight, I have been thusfar unable to obtain a refund for my UNUSED copy of Windows® Vista™ Home Premium (32bit) that came with my XPS M1730.

Here are some of the lame "reasons" they gave me:

  • We are unable to refund due to Microsoft Licensing.
  • You accepted the agreement when you purchased the computer online as part of our policy.
  • You will be breaching the Microsoft License if you send the product back.
  • Because this is OEM version, we are unable to provide a refund because it is bundled with your computer.

These "reasons" didn't seem to make any sense, so I did some digging around on the Dell website for these policies and this is what I came up with:

The Dell's "Total Satisfaction" Policy states the following:
"You may return software for refund or credit only if the sealed package containing the diskette(s) or CD(s) is unopened"

I also checked their Terms and Conditions of Sale ("Terms and Conditions") and that states the following:

"All software provided is subject to the terms and conditions of the license agreement relating to that software. Customer acknowledges its obligations to abide by such license agreements. Customer acknowledges that Dell does not warrant any software under these Terms and Conditions. In addition to any rights the customer may have under statute, all software is warranted in accordance with the license agreement that governs its use."

So, if I do NOT to agree to the the Windows® Vista™ EULA and adhere to the conditions within it (don't use it and uninstall said software), am I not entitled to a refund???

One thing is for sure: The call centre minions at Dell don't know ANYTHING about software licensing and are not trained to deal with this situation, which means I am now stuck with a rather expensive coaster :P

UPDATE: 08/12/2007 @1620
I have lodged a complaint with OFT as I believe that Dell is not acting in accordance with their own policies and is therefore acting illegally by refusing a refund (IANAL).

UPDATE: 03/01/2008 @1605
I got a call from an Australian Dell representative (Sydney) and they left a message for me to contact them, just have to wait until 10/01/2008 before I can call him. Hopefully he can give me some good news...

UPDATE: 06/06/2008 @1036
This is a very late update. There will be no refund from Dell as I have not only lost the telephone number for the person I needed to speak to, but I have failed to get this done within 90 days of the purchase, due mainly to work and the fact that I don't want to have to do this process in a hurry again. Since the release of Windows® Vista™ I will no longer use windows for personal use (and soon to be for work use to), so even though I will have to go this process yet again, my next Dell Notebook *WILL* be Windows-free!


Anonymous said...

Furthermore, EULAs are probably non-binding anyway.

So, the next step is Small Claims Court (Petty Sessions). You'll probably eat up the value of any refund with filing fees, but it's the principle, right?

Draino said...


Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the reason why Dell don't want to refund it is because it was original originally purchased by them for "resale" (hence OEM) to be bundled with a computer.

Returning/refunding this product may not only leave them with a potentially non-refundable product but they are probably concerned that this one return is going to impact on their Microsoft affiliate sales figures or worse yet set a precedence for this sort of thing (which would then hurt Microsoft)...

Craig said...

I think your problem is that you didn't escalate to a higher level CS representative. Forgive me if I'm mistakenly assuming this, however. Normally you need to go to a second or third level CS rep., before you get anywhere with any organization. If you call back and after explaining your issue, receive the same result, ask to speak to a higher level representative, or a supervisor.

Draino said...

Sorry for the late reply to your comment, but I did try to escalate this but I got to abut the 2nd level management before I was given a number to a Dell representative in Sydney who was also unhelpful... until I lodged an OFT complaint (see update 03/01/2008).

Craig Askings said...

Did you have any further response after Dell's Sydney rep tried to contact you?