OEM Software - Who Replaces Faulty Disk?

  phoenix198 20:50 15 May 2003

I recently bought an OEM version of Windows XP Home Edition - totally legit, I also bought qualifying hardware from the same online retailer.

The Windows disk has proven to be faulty - scratched surface or corrupted files, hard to tell which - and Windows will not install properly.

Contacted supplier (let them be nameless at this juncture) who tried to refer me to Microsoft for a replacement disk - had already done so to be told that MS don't provide replacment disks for or support OEM software, it is entirely the responsibility of the OEM retailer (as reflected in the wholesale and retail price).

The online retailer is currently refusing to either replace the disk (even though he has stock) or reimburse me, and won't even give me an RMA number. His latest prevarication is that I bought a license (product key) and that 'he cannot provide a replacement disk'. Huh! A lot of use a sticky label with an alpha-numeric key on it is if you cannot install the software! (yes, I do have another copy of XP, but why should I use that just to complete the installation properly - it might just be legal but that's not the point)

I've quoted Sale of Goods Act 1979 at him until I'm blue in the face but its like talking to a tape recording.

Would welcome opinions on how tough I can (should) get.

  BarryKeith 22:21 15 May 2003

They have sold you a product that is faulty, therefore they are obligated to replace it or refund your money. If they refuse, I would suggest a word with your local trading standards office.

  phoenix198 23:52 15 May 2003

Thanks BarryKeith, I was pretty sure where I stood on this in general consumer law but wondered if there were any 'foibles' in the law because its software

  Stuartli 09:39 16 May 2003

BarryKeith is quite correct - it is the retailer's responsibilty to replace the item.

The product key arguement is invalid as you will get a new one with the replacement.

It might be worth stating you will go to the Small Claims Court if the software is not replaced; it costs £27 to take out a summons and you would be able to claim this back, plus the cost of the software and any expenses you have incurred at the hearing.

Usually a mention of smalls claims court action is sufficient to bring a satisfactory conclusion, but put it in writing and give a reasonable amount of time (14 days is sufficient) for the retailer to take the correct action. If it is not forthcoming, then go ahead with the proceedings.

  davidg_richmond 11:27 16 May 2003

The retailer should know that as a faulty disc was supplied to him (and subsequently from him to you) he can return the faulty disc to Microsoft, he has equal rights with them in this situation so he will not end up out of pocket as he is trying to suggest.

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