To prevent counterfeiting Microsoft now only issues recovery disks
I ordered two refurbished Dell Latitude netbooks on 19 October from a company called IJT Direct. The computers were advertised as being supplied with genuine copies of Windows XP Professional.
No discs were supplied but then I found that the operating system had already been installed on the computers. When I used the product key, though, which was the same for each computer, it said the copies were illegal.
I liked the computers so didn’t want to send them back but now I can’t even get the company to answer my phone calls or emails.
This is a nasty case but not one that is unusual. Microsoft stopped supplying original discs of Windows XP when it first introduced the operating system in 2001 to combat counterfeiting.
Recovery discs supplied by manufacturers contained files that merely activated a backup of the OS stored on the PC’s hard disk. But alarm bells should have rung for Mr Bessant when he discovered only one product key.
Microsoft has been battling against retailers who have been selling counterfeit copies of its software for years. And it is not afraid to take legal action against retailers peddling fake copies of its software.
Microsoft tends to be very helpful towards people who have been ripped off, often offering free or cost-price genuine copies of software in return for information it can use to track down the rogue traders.
We were initially unable to get through to IJT Direct, but the company found out about the issue and contacted us directly to set matters straight. So we are very happy for the company to put forward its side of the story, which clears things up.
IJT Direct explained that it only supplied legitimate licensed software but admitted things had gone somewhat awry with Mr Bessant’s order.
Anthony Moxon, the company secretary, told us that the netbooks had been bought from a respectable broker that IJT uses to source many computers. He said neither it nor this broker had ever had any issues with licensing in more than 10 years of trading.
He went on to say that Mr Bessant became annoyed because he felt he was being fobbed off by one employee.
“This was just a breakdown in communication and crossed wires but it didn’t help Mr Bessant,” added Mr Moxon.
Regarding the licence codes, he said that, although he was not sure what had occurred, it is possible that one of the stickers that displays the Windows licence code could have been knocked off the netbook and to compound the problem an incorrect code seems to have been supplied.
But this had nothing to do with selling improper software and Mr Bessant agreed that the company had immediately offered him a refund.
“We are an established company with a healthy turnover and we don’t play those sorts of games with counterfeit software,” Mr Moxon said.
“I have had a long talk with Mr Bessant, an old customer. We are sending him two replacement netbooks and will make sure that everything is as it should be.
“He is very happy with this and we always try to make sure our customers are happy,” Mr Moxon continued.
We contacted Microsoft on behalf of Mr Bessant to see if it would be prepared to help him out in some way. The company told us it would look at Mr Bessant’s situation and get back to us with a reply.
Updating your subscription status