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Windows tax refund for Acer notebook (Acer Aspire 1410/1810T)

Discussion in 'Acer' started by prikolchik, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. prikolchik

    prikolchik Notebook Evangelist

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    Overview:
    If you have never heard about Windows tax, Windows refund or anyone ever getting refund for Windows OS then perhaps it is time to look it up.

    I don't think many people are aware of the fact that it is possible (and you have the right to) to get a refund for Windows OS if you are not planning to use it.

    Getting Windows OS refund is like returning unused/unneeded product to get your money back. For example, if you are using Linux on your computer, why should you pay for Windows OS? Or, if your study institution provides FREE premium Windows OS (which is the case for Computer Science students), why should you pay for the crippled version that comes pre-installed on your computer?


    Please note: The key in getting Windows OS refund is in DECLINING the EULA agreement the first time computer boots up (or not turning computer on at all). If you accepted the EULA you may be out of luck! Even if the EULA was accepted (such is the case with Open-box or pre-setup computers), you can still get a refund as long as you do a system restore to return the computer to the factory state.

    It is best to get the refund in first few weeks after you bought your computer. You can use Linux live CDs to test your system to make sure it works properly, or you can boot from your own HDD (with Linux or Windows) and check to make sure everything works. Once you make up your decision for keeping the computer, give manufacturer a call and ask for a Windows refund.

    Here is how I got Windows OS refund from Acer Canada:
    I purchased my Acer Aspire 1410 from Canadian Staples Business Depot. For 5 days I tested it by booting Ubuntu Linux from SDHC card to make sure the computer was working correctly. After making the final decision of keeping this notebook, I picked up the phone and called Acer Technical Support (1-866-706-2237).

    After getting a hold of an agent, I explained that I would like to get a refund for Windows Vista Home Premium that came pre-installed on my laptop, and quoted the terms of the EULA agreement:
    He kept telling me that Acer does not have any Windows OS refund policies of any kind, and in fact, there is no way to remove Windows OS from the computer :eek: . I asked to speak to his supervisor ("Level 2 agent"). He said that I need to register my laptop before I can get Level 2 support.

    Upon completion of registration, he forwarded my call to a Level 2 agent. After repeating (for 11th time?) that I would like to get a refund for an unused Windows OS, she said that there INDEED IS SUCH A POLICY! She said that I will need to send my laptop to Acer Repair Depot so that they can (1) delete all traces of Windows OS, (2) remove OEM sticker on the bottom and (3) delete Windows OS activation settings from BIOS (I guess she had SLIC in mind? Doesn't simple BIOS flash restore it back? :rolleyes: ). I asked how much money I will receive as refund and she responded that for Windows Vista Basic they give $65CAD, but was unsure about Home Premium. I asked her to sign me up for a refund.

    Apparently, since my laptop was within 30days from purchase date, I was eligible for FREE shipping to Repair Depot (Acer's policy). After confirming some shipping details, she forwarded a Purolator prepaid shipping label and service request number along with instructions to my email. I thanked her and ended the call.

    I securely packed my laptop (just the laptop, without battery or any other accessories) and as per Acer's email instructions wrote my name, phone, Service request and S/N numbers on the box. Printed off and attached the shipping label. The box was picked up by Purolator the next day.

    On the 8th day after sending my laptop to Acer, I received email notification that I should be getting my laptop back shortly and included FedEx tracking number.

    The box from Acer was delivered to my doorstep by FedEx the next day. I was very surprised to find that the laptop (wiped HDD, OEM sticker removed) was the only thing in the box. Where the hell was my Windows OS refund check? :mad:

    A quick call to Acer revealed that I should be getting my check within 6 weeks in regular mail. Hooray!! :D

    UPDATE:
    6 weeks after my first phone call I still haven't received my refund check. I called Acer support and inquired about my refund check. They said that the order for the check has not been placed with their financial department and after I complained they filled out an order for a refund.
    8 weeks after my first phone call to Acer, I have received the Windows tax refund check for $60.48USD, which was equivalent to $65CAD at the time. Here is a scanned copy:
    [​IMG]

    Summary:
    It took me 45mins of telephone calls, 9 days without laptop and 7 weeks wait to get Windows Vista Home Premium refund of $65CAD. Was it worth it? You bet :D

    Acer Aspire TimelineX 3820TG Windows tax refund
    Update (24/12/2010): Just bought an Acer Aspire 3820TG-3022 with Windows 7 Home Premium from Staples. Apparently, it was pre-setup ("plug and play PC") by in-store technicians for "best customer experience". They have kindly accepted the EULA license agreement for me and installed more crapware. Now that agreement has been accepted, I wonder if I can wipe out the drive and return the OS...

    Update (14/01/2011): Wiped HDD and restored from recovery DVDs burned by Staples. Called Acer and within 5minutes (I am not kidding, it was that fast) I had all the instructions in my email box. They refused to pay for shipping, because Windows is not a "manufacturing defect" (I could argue with that :cool: ) therefore I am not eligible for their 30day free repair depot shipping.

    Update (16/01/2011): Sent my laptop to Acer via FedEx. Should be there on 19/01/2011. FedEx wanted me to pay $80 for air shipping, but I refused and paid ground $12 + insurance $12. Apparently, it will arrive there just as fast as if I sent it by air. Probably by the same delivery truck too.

    Update (24/01/2011): I received my laptop a week after sending it. Windows was gone. Wow, I am impressed by Acer support! Will be calling Acer in a month to remind about the refund check.
    I am really impressed at how fast the process went this time. Only 5 minutes on the phone and 1 week turnaround. Awesome.

    Update (31/03/2011): I knew I shouldn't have trusted Acer with sending me a refund check. I called them today, and I was told that they are unaware of any refund checks that were supposed to be sent to me. I asked them to open a case number and file it with their financial department. That is what the agent did. In addition, I have asked how they usually know when to send someone an OS refund check. Apparently, they don't. You have to call them and tell them your OS was removed and you need a refund check. If you don't do that, then you will never get your refund.


    Tips and Tricks
    0. Please NOTE: The Acer policies differ from country to country. For example, in the UK it may not be worthwhile to ask for Windows refund.
    1. If you are planning to get Windows OS refund DO NOT accept EULA.
    2. Caller Acer USA/Canada support about 3PM EST (8PM GMT) on a business day to minimize wait time and to be sure you can get to the Level 2 agent without hassle.
    3. General agents are unaware of all the Acer's policies (especially about Windows OS refund policy) so do not waste your time convincing them such policy exists. They may spend a great deal of energy on convincing you to give up, but DO NOT LISTEN -- IT IS ALL LIES :D ! Simply explain what you want, and ask to be forwarded to Level 2 support.
    4. The general agent CANNOT authorise Windows OS refund. YOU MUST talk to Level 2 support for it. So you can avoid wasting time -- just register and ask to be forwarded to Level 2 agent.
    5. If they keep refusing to admit there is a Windows OS refund policy then simply hang up and call back or ask to be forwarded to a different agent.
    6. If you are within 30days from purchase date then ask for "free shipping to repair deport if within 30days" policy. You should be able to get your prepaid label.
    7. Search on the Internet for Windows OS refund cases to gather up some info.
    8. If all else fails you can still sue Acer :D It has been done before
     
  2. ohiomoto

    ohiomoto Notebook Evangelist

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    That's great!

    I didn't know you could do that. I wish I had done this with my AS1410. I hardly ever use Windows and when I do, it's usually a virtual machine. Even $65 would have had me under $300. That would have been awesome.
     
  3. TANWare

    TANWare Just This Side of Senile

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    I do not think the EULA had ths before the M$ Anti-Trust suit or it was added because of it. I am not sure however when it was added..........
     
  4. prikolchik

    prikolchik Notebook Evangelist

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    Well, it appears that this paragraph is included in Windows 98SE EULA
    So it seems like it has been around for some time, lol.

    And btw, I was reading a study somewhere, can't remember all the details, but it was something like this: one company included information in their license agreement about how to get free $1000 and out of 85,000 copies of software sold only 1 person called back. I mean that says something doesn't it? :D
     
  5. calculusrunner

    calculusrunner Newbie

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    I just bought an Acer Aspire 751 last week. I called this morning to see about a refund on the Windows Vista Home Basic that came on it. I had started it up and taken pictures of the license agreement and then shut it down without agreeing, to keep record of it.

    I preregistered the laptop on their website. I called 1-866-695-2237, the number for the US Acer support. When I called, I went through some automated systems that had me input my serial number. Later on, they referenced my registration so it's a good idea to do it first.

    The first person I talked to was a foreign tech support, and first denied that they give refunds. I persisted that I knew of others that had received them, and asked to speak to a supervisor. He put me on hold to check the availability of a supervisor, and soon I was on the line with another foreign tech support person, presumably the supervisor.

    He told me that there was no refund policy since it was pre-activated OEM operating system. I asked him what was meant by pre-activated, and he started saying something about it not coming with install discs. Changing his mind, he asked me if I had turned on my computer. I told him that after I had gotten to the licensing agreement, that I did not accept it and turned the computer immediately off. He told me he would do research into the refund, and put me on hold.

    Next a man named Kevin came on the line who I guess is probably actually in the US by his lack of accent. He told me that they will do the refund, but that I would have to pay the shipping to get it there. He said they would wipe the hard drive, remove the sticker, and mail it back to me, and to only send the laptop without any other parts. I didn't press about free shipping, happy to be getting the refund pretty easily. He said the refund for Vista Home Basic is 58.53. He put me on hold several times while prepping my case, and eventually sent me an email with mailing instructions. He said it took a while because this isn't a regular situation. The whole process took 29 minutes, not too bad at all.

    I mailed the package today by UPS ground for around $16. That means my refund will be around $40, assuming everything goes smoothly from here. Not too bad when I only paid $255 for the laptop. I'll be putting XP on it first of all, and may put Windows 7 or Ubuntu on it later. I get Windows from my university, and actually need XP for a current project, so it's nice to not have to pay for an OS I wouldn't have ever used.
     
  6. Delmeister

    Delmeister Notebook Enthusiast

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    Well you got to be one in a thousand to pick up on this. Good work man! Good on you too calculusrunner.
     
  7. zrbarnes

    zrbarnes Notebook Enthusiast

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    So for those of us that never accepted the EULA, but also applied for the Windows 7 upgrade... advice?
     
  8. prikolchik

    prikolchik Notebook Evangelist

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    I'd suggest giving Acer a call. They probably haven't shipped the upgrade DVDs yet so they shouldn't have a problem canceling your upgrade order.
    But if they did, you can always ship the DVDs together with your laptop.
     
  9. Corbu'

    Corbu' Notebook Geek

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    Does anybody know how much is the refund for Windows 7 Home Premium?
     
  10. prikolchik

    prikolchik Notebook Evangelist

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    Just wanted to update that I got the refund check in the beginning of December. It was for $61USD (converts to $65 CAD) refund for Vista Home Premium. I actually had to call them a few times because they "forgot" :rolleyes: to place an order for the refund with their financial department. I have a scan of the check which I will upload sometime in the near future.
     
  11. Gemnoc

    Gemnoc Notebook Enthusiast

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    @ prikolchik

    Dude, you are my hero. :D

    I bought my Gateway EC1803h (Aspire1410 clone) at Future Shop back in October. Didn't even think of attempting this.

    I run Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.10 in dual-boot with Vista, but I can't even remember the last time I booted into Vista.

    Oh well, next laptop I buy, I'll sure know what to do! :yes:
     
  12. calculusrunner

    calculusrunner Newbie

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    Update on my own situation. Not as happy an ending.

    I had sent my computer to Acer at their request so they could remove the OS and verify its removal. After receiving my computer back, I loaded XP on my laptop. I noticed that Vista was still on the machine and the COA sticker was still attached, but I assumed they had taken care of things and loaded XP on because I was anxious to start using it. This turned out to be a big mistake later.

    I waited about 2 months and didn't receive my check. I called back and worked through tech support until I was assured my check was on the way again. Another two months later, I hadn't received my check and called back, went through the same deal.

    Finally, I called back a week ago and escalated my call to the highest Acer support level over the course of a week and several phone calls. Long story short, I found out that they had reloaded the OS instead of removing it when I originally sent it in, and that by their own policy, they had to have verification the OS was removed to issue a refund. They required that I send the computer in so they could verify Vista was no longer installed. They would overnight it both ways, but it would take 7-10 business days. I use the computer my primary machine every day, and told them I couldn't afford to do this (and quite honestly, I don't trust them with the data on my PC). Despite it being their fault, they will not issue me the refund because they never verified the removal of the OS.

    I'm pretty pissed about this, especially being out additional money to ship the computer, and no longer even having the OS. I've already wasted over a dozen hours trying to track down the refund and I don't think spending any more time will be worth the $58.53 I will probably still not get.

    Just a word of warning for everyone. I hope you have good luck if you seek this out, but remember that most CS departments for budget electronics follow policy before taking care of the customer.
     
  13. decworld

    decworld Notebook Evangelist

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    In all seriousness is it really worth it for $55.

    Your computer is out you control. Some uncaring person is messing with it.

    When you sell it you will get less due to lack of OS.

    I get the whole anti MS and choice thing but cant see how its worth the bother.
     
  14. droidhacker

    droidhacker Newbie

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    I have a few things to say about this;
    How much does your work pay you per hour? So to spend half an hour on the phone isn't worth your time? $110 /hour?

    You mean like at the factory it came from in Vietnam that is much like the foxconn factory where the workforce is so depressed by their jobs/lives that they had to put up NETS to catch people jumping to their deaths? I think that I would prefer an overpaid canadian or american wiping the disk and peeling the stickers over the people in the manufacturing plant.

    Sell it? Are you actually planning on buying retail products just to sell them? You may not be on the right track to making your fortune here -- you would have to find a buyer who is a TOTAL RETARD. If you're planning on selling it AFTER USING it, then you may be in for a little shock -- its WORTHLESS and will cost you more to ship it to a buyer than he'll pay for it!

    1) $110/hr is good earnings.
    2) You don't want MS, why should you pay for it?
    3) If you want MS to die, you can't be supporting them! Giving money to MS is CONTRARY to everything that makes any sense.

    To be honest, I would be happy to actually PAY MORE for hardware that does NOT come with MS. Just the knowledge that some of my money is going into that organization is enough to make me SICK. Their inferior products are USELESS to me, WHY should I be forced to support them? KEEP THE MS VIRUS AWAY!
     
  15. ohiomoto

    ohiomoto Notebook Evangelist

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    Wow, your first post! Awesome. Ha, ha..
     
  16. SamDabbers

    SamDabbers Newbie

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    I just purchased an 1830T and thanks to this fantastic OP I was able to breeze through the tech support experience in under 30 minutes to get my refund set up! Everything was just as prikolchik said: register online first, ask for level 2 immediately, free shipping within 30 days, and ~$60USD refund for Windows 7 Home Premium. Now I'm off to FedEx to drop off the laptop and in 7-10 business days I should have it back sans Windows! I'll update this post when I get the check.
     
  17. Bronsky

    Bronsky Wait and Hope.

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    At my billing rate, my company would be loosing $140 per hour.:eek:
     
  18. aasoror

    aasoror Newbie

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    I have signed up just to thank you for an excellent thread, using the info posted I was able to return the Win 7 Home Premium 64 bits for $60 USD.

    Tuesday June 29 : called Acer about not accepting the EULA terms, they authorized RMA (but refused to pay for 2 way shipping .. made sense as technically the notebook had nothing wrong with it, they said they would pay for the return though), paid $12 for Express shipping the aspire to them.
    Wednesday June 30 : notebook received at Acer repair facility.
    Thursday July 1st : --
    Friday July 2nd : email from Acer acknowledging the receipt of the notebook.
    Saturday July 3rd : --
    Sunday July 4th : --
    Monday July 5th : email from Acer with fedex tracking number and acknowledging the review and submission of my $60 USD refund (6 weeks processing they mentioned).
    Tuesday July 6th : received the notebook without COA sticker and with cleaned HDD. :)
    Friday July 9th : Acer America issues me a refund cheque of $61.16
    Tuesday July 13th : Acer mails me the cheque from their headquarters in CA, USA
    Tueday July 20st : Received the refund cheque in Ontario, CANADA

    If you have just received the notebook, don't proceed with the automated windows installation, use SuperOS live usb to make sure everything is running as its supposed to be then ship it back to Acer.

    If you have already went through with the installation, you can create the recovery DVDs (3 of them) and use those to wipe your disk clean and restart windows setup once more (don't continue just shutdown the notebook), didn't test this method personally though.

    So 30 minutes phone call + 3 business days is all it took .

    Thanks again and Best of luck for anyone trying this.
     
  19. zerverize

    zerverize Guest

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    Thank you for the useful info :)
    I 'll be sure to keep this in mind when I buy my next Acer
     
  20. GTMoraes

    GTMoraes Newbie

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    Hm.. Mine came with Windows 7 Starter, I didn't even looked at his face, I booted my USB Stick, loaded with Windows 7 Home Premium and installed it. Is there any way I get some cash from Acer over that Starter?
     

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