Microsoft Revamping Terms of Service Agreements to Block Class Action Lawsuits

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News Posted: Sat, May 26 2012 11:57 AM
If this whole software and hardware business doesn't pan out for Microsoft, the Redmond outfit might have a future in used car sales. Need proof? Just wait until you see Microsoft's pitch on why altering its various Terms of Service agreements to forbid class action lawsuits is a good thing...for you!

"When a customer in the United States has a dispute about a Microsoft product or service, many of our new user agreements will require that, if we can’t informally resolve the dispute, the customer bring the claim in small claims court or arbitration, but not as part of a class action lawsuit," Microsoft explains. "Many companies have adopted this approach, which the U.S. Supreme Court permitted in a case it decided in 2011. We made this change to our terms of use for Xbox Live several months ago, and we will implement similar changes in user agreements for other products and services in the coming months as we roll out major licensing, hardware or software releases and updates.

"We think this is the right approach for both Microsoft and our U.S. customers. Our policy gives Microsoft powerful incentives to resolve any dispute to the customer’s satisfaction before it gets to arbitration, and our arbitration provisions will be among the most generous in the country."

Gee, thanks? Microsoft goes on to give an example of how its updated TOS agreements could benefit you better than a class action lawsuit could.


Image Source: Flickr (m.gifford)

"For instance, we permit arbitration wherever the customer lives, promptly reimburse filing fees, and, if we offer less to resolve a dispute informally than an arbitrator ultimately awards, we will pay the greater of the award or $1,000 for most products and services—plus double the customer’s reasonable attorney’s fees," Microsoft says.

Still not convinced? According to Microsoft, by agreeing to never sue the company as part of a class action complaint, it will be in better position to resolve your disputes more quickly, and with "generous compensation" if an arbitrator ultimately agrees with your position.

Finally, Microsoft points out that it has a 45-day refund policy for select software and hardware purchased from retailers, including reimbursement of up to $7 in shipping fees.
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mhenriday replied on Sun, May 27 2012 7:04 AM

Wow - what amazing generosity on the part of Microsoft (with the kind aid of yet another dodgy US Supreme Court decision - http://www.citizen.org/documents/concepcion-anniversary-justice-denied-report.pdf) ! Why am I not surprised ? The only recourse for users would seem to be education and a subsequent refusal to have anything to do with companies like Microsoft. Thank whatever Powers may be for Linux, FOSS, and open source !...

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Flier replied on Wed, May 30 2012 7:46 AM

Sacrificing your social rights and freedoms is good for everybody (Komrade). It's why socialism is such a powerful commercial force these days....?

Ha!

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mhenriday replied on Wed, May 30 2012 9:47 AM

Comrade Flier, I fear you are not up to snuff on your Marx and Engels. Socialism has nothing to do with sacrificing one's social rights and freedoms - that is, unless you are here referring to the 1 %'s «rights and freedoms» to trample on the remaining 99 %. The US Supreme Court is not populated by socialists....

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Flier replied on Wed, May 30 2012 7:44 PM

Humbly begging your pardon :) I never really studied the subject to any meaningful level.

But I sort of understand that a large number of USA's IOUs are held by red China, but how much (if any) political influence that gives them i have no idea.

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