An Australian customer is suing the Redmond-based technology titan Microsoft because its Windows 8 boxed upgrades trick people into believing they’re actually buying the full product.
The complaint has been sent to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and is backed by consumer group Choice, The Sydney Morning Herald writes.
Basically, John Hollow claims that Microsoft doesn’t clearly mark the Windows 8 upgrade box as an upgrade-only product to inform users that a prior version of Windows is required to deploy the new operating system.
All boxed copies available in Australia are exclusively upgrades, as the full product is only sold by third-party computer stores.
Although it’s pretty clear that Australian consumers could only purchase the upgrade box, only a few know that Microsoft’s Windows 8 box actually comes without the full operating system, Hollow told the source.
While it’s not year clear if Hollow and the ACCC are seeking financial compensation, they are requesting Microsoft to place a label on its Windows 8 boxes to let people know they’re actually buying the upgrade box.
“Certainly [there is] potential for consumers to be confused and possibly even misled, thinking that this is a full product rather than an upgrade,” Choice spokeswoman Ingrid Just explained.
“It's almost like a reverse 'up-sell' – giving you the fries and then asking if you would like a burger with your purchase. At the very least, Microsoft should have a sticker on their box clearly marking it as an upgrade only.”
Microsoft has already been informed of the lawsuit and although the company is yet to release a public statement on the matter, a spokesperson told the SMH that Microsoft is going to “work with the ACCC on any concerns.”
In the meantime, the Windows 8 upgrade boxes are still up for grabs in Australia at the well-known price of $69.99 (€55).