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February 26, 2020

Finland: Microsoft must pay user for upgrade without permission

The Consumer Disputes Board in Finland decided on Friday that Microsoft should compensate an unnamed user €1,100 ($1,260, £990) for upgrading his laptop from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 without obtaining his permission. The User had demanded €3,000. In Finland, the Board’s recommendations are not legally binding but over 80% of businesses comply with its decisions and recommendations, according to the Board’s website. I am quite sure Microsoft will accept the recommendation and pay the user.

The user in question had used his laptop to control CCTV at another location. Without no permissions nor prior warnings, a Windows 10 upgrade was launched in March 2016. After the upgrade, the two year old laptop gave boot errors and a notification that it should be repaired. The user contacted Microsoft support. Despite talking in total with 15 different support agents, those issues were never resolved. The CCTV software could not be used.

The user demanded €3,000 for time lost, and to pay for a new CCTV system in case Microsoft can’t make the software work on the upgraded laptop. But because that user could show nothing to support his demands for new CCTV costs and lost working hours because of multiple contacts with Microsoft, the Board said that the €1,100 compensation is fair.

According to the Board, it is clear that Microsoft had no contractual right to install the new operating system without asking for permission. In the opinion of the Board, the service was not carried out professionally and carefully and in the best interests of the user. Mistakes were made, and the Board concluded that Microsoft was liable for the damage caused.

In their response to the Board, Microsoft did not deny that the new operating system could have been downloaded and installed without permission. The Board notes that Microsoft did not dispute the link between the error and the damage it caused.

Source: Finnish public broadcaster YLE (in Finnish).


Author: Kari Finn

A former Windows Insider MVP, Kari started in computing in the mid 80’s writing code for VAX / VMS systems. Since then, he’s worked in a variety of IT positions. He specializes in Windows image capture, customization, repair and deployment as well as Hyper-V virtualization. Kari is a proud Team Member at number #1 Windows site TenForums.com.

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