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Antoine's exceptional refund story, 2007

Software: choose before you pay, sign petition!

Get your unused software money back: Antoine did!

In September 2007, a ruling was made public, which says that Antoine won 311.85 euros, plus 650 euros for various expenses. But initially, he had paid only 599 euros for the computer. So on the whole, he made money when buying his computer! (Well, actually, he also spent a lot of time (more than one year) to get this money back).

The entire ruling is here: PDF (Proximity Court in Puteaux, France). Read the full story in French.

Why did Antoine win?

Because he had been forced to acquire Microsoft™ and other software licenses while he only wanted to purchase the computer itself, and then use other software than what was preinstalled. Forcing people to buy something else with what they really want to buy is called bundling. And it is prohibited in France (and in many other countries too, perhaps in yours).

Why was he reimbursed the Windows™ license?

He was reimbursed 135.20 euros for the Windows™ license because the possibility of being reimbursed was mentioned in the EULA (End User License Agreement).

What is the EULA?

The EULA is that lengthy text that you see on your screen on the first time you launch your computer or your software. You know: the one that you usually just skip and swiftly press "Next". Well, this text is in fact a contract between you and the software editor: some of these contracts are very nice to you and some are not, you should rather read them once in a while.

Why was he reimbursed the licenses for other software than Windows™?

He did not intend to use them either (actually, they run only with Windows™ installed), so he requested reimbursement for them too.

Why was Antoine reimbursed so much for the other software?

He was reimbursed so much (176.65 euros) because the nature of the software was ambiguous: some pieces were in fact only test versions, but they were not presented as such explicitly. So the judge interpreted this issue in the way that was most favourable to the consumer.