Have I bought illegal software?

  Beth 09:48 21 Dec 2015

I bought MS Office Pro 2013, PC has OS Windows 8, from a website with a contact address in England. It arrived up to time and the disc installed without a problem. When I tried to enter the product key it was not valid. The message is that it is a product key for an older version that uses a different download site. I didn't use a download site. Attached to the wrapper was a typewritten note saying that the key might not work due to 'particular region factor' and offering an alternative product key, which turns out to be the same one on the key card which was inside the shrink wrapped package. There is a mobile phone number but when I called someone answered at the same time as the 'leave a message' activated. Have I been conned?

  xania 09:59 21 Dec 2015

Sounds very dodgy to me. You don't say which web site but I would get in touch with them asap and then report back to us.

  Forum Editor 13:21 21 Dec 2015

"I didn't use a download site"

That being the case, you have a DVD - does it have the Microsft logo, and a hologram printed on the surface?

  xania 14:07 21 Dec 2015

Some years ago I bought MS Office on the web. Perfect box & DVD with hologram and logo etc. After a year MS discovered is was a fake and asked me to send what I had to them as it was so good. Two weeks later, they sent me a legit copy. It seems that nowadays even the hologram is no proof a legitimacy.

  Beth 14:11 21 Dec 2015

The disc has an Office logo on the front and a hologram where I can make out the word 'Genuine'.

I managed to get through on the phone to the owner of the company and got a call back within minutes. I was given another key which has worked. They have been in business for 15 years with no complaints and I am assured the software is genuine and legal. The region thing is because of where the software was imported from.

I'm still not sure, although it all sounded OK.

  Beth 14:26 21 Dec 2015

Xania. Is there some way I can check with Microsoft?

  xania 15:06 21 Dec 2015

One of the problems is that, as with all things illegal, the 'perps' are getting cleverer and FAST is playing catch-up. Buying from a organisation with a reputation to maintain is a good start, but even they can get caught out. Compare the price with the list price - a bargain is OK, but if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is.

However, sometimes buying second hand works, and sometimes buying older versions works. For example, if you want to buy a decent Disc imaging software, you might go for the 2016 version, but there's probably nothing lost and everything to gain from going for the 2013 version.

  RV510 17:51 21 Dec 2015

I was reading the sellers description of a DVD I was looking to buy from an internet auction site and the description described it as 'prepared by ourselves and sent to the buyer in a card sleeve'. I messaged the seller asking if they had Copyright permission to 'prepare' this DVD and a message came back saying they 'did not know but thanks for pointing it out'. A day later all items from this seller and the seller disappeared. Never buy discs, especially computer software, from anyone who cannot supply it original genuine and sealed, it's not difficult to tell weather it's genuine or no.

  Forum Editor 18:10 21 Dec 2015

"Is there some way I can check with Microsoft?"

Yes, take a look at this.

If you have installed and validated the software using the key you were given you are can be pretty certain that everything is OK.

  Beth 11:33 10 Jan 2016

Apologies for the delay. It's been a busy time with family stuff. Everything seems to be OK with the software and I'm sure that, if there was something amiss, Microsoft would descend! Also, our Forum Editor's 'pretty certain' is reassuring. Thanks to all for your interest and help

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