UK Consumer Advocates: Microsoft Should Pay for Windows 10

Now that Microsoft's done offering Windows 10 to those sticking with Windows 7 and 8.1, a customer advocacy group wants compensation for the rocky, nag-based rollout. In a blog post yesterday (Sept. 22), the UK-based Which? Council notes it received over 1,000 complaints about Windows 10, including the fact that the update was "forcefully installed without consent."

via Tom's Hardware

During the last weeks of the Windows 10 upgrade period, many users had the OS upgrade installed despite thinking that they declined the offer. Other common update issues include loss of support for peripherals and internal add-ons, loss of data due to deletion and significant system performance dips that required repair.

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Which? argues that Microsoft owes users compensation for experiencing these issues, because of the UK Consumer Rights Act of 2015. The bill says that "digital content must be as described, fit for purpose and of satisfactory quality," and notes "If you can show the fault has damaged your device and we haven't used reasonable care and skill, you may be entitled to a repair or compensation."

It's unclear as to how much money users could get if they pressed Microsoft on this, as the Act also notes "you can get some, or all of your money back," and Windows 10 (at least for those pressured to update early) was free. At the very least, the Consumer Rights Act does suggest users could get a compensatory repair from Microsoft as it states, "If your digital content is faulty, you're entitled to a repair or a replacement."

Which? admits that Microsoft offers free phone and online technical support to those affected negatively by installing Windows 10, but also states that some struggled to find how to contact the company or blamed their PC for the issues and not the operating system update. To that matter, Which? states that Microsoft needs to raise the profile of its technical support hotline and website, and help educate "older and more vulnerable users" who are preyed upon by Windows Technical Support Scams.

Admittedly, the thousand complaints registered pale in comparison when compared to the count of more than 350 million PCs that took the update, but it's not hard to argue that Microsoft could have done better.

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