Psystar requires Acknowledgement of Sale letter to receive restore media (updated 3x)

Psystar requires Acknowledgement of Sale letter to receive restore media (updated 3x)

Summary: Psystar sent an email late yesterday to all customers of their Mac-compatible Open Computer with a subject of "Open Computing Restore Delivery" or "Open Computing Restore Media."The email says, in part:Thank you for purchasing one of our Open Computing products.

SHARE:

Psystar Open Computer LogoPsystar sent an email late yesterday to all customers of their Mac-compatible Open Computer with a subject of "Open Computing Restore Delivery" or "Open Computing Restore Media."

The email says, in part:

Thank you for purchasing one of our Open Computing products. We at Psystar are dedicated to offering our customers the best computing experience possible and with that in mind have developed a set of helpful utilities for our users, that we are offering at no extra cost. All we ask is that you fill out the attached form and return it to us so that we may process the shipment of your utility media. If you wish to return the form via fax you can send it to us at ... (deletia)

For customers who purchased an Open Computing product with Apple's OS X Leopard we have developed a revolutionary utility that will allow you to reinstall your operating system directly from your original Leopard installation DVD. This utility will also allow you to boot into the Leopard Installation DVD's service console to perform advanced functions.

(Emphasis mine)

More details are posted on the Psystar Web site:

Customers who purchased Open Computing products with Apple's OS X Leopard will receive a disc that will allow them to reinstall their OS should something go drastically wrong or if they feel like getting a new start on their Open Computing. This utility will allow your Open Computer to boot from the native Leopard installation DVD.You can also boot into the service console with the restore disc as the service console lives in the installer from the OS X DVD. It's a very straightforward procedure that will bring more functionality to our Open Computing products.

Sounds simple enough, right?

The funny part is that in addition to requiring credit card information, the machine's serial number and Psystar tracking number the Psystar letter is called an Acknowledgment of Sale and includes the following statements "I am satisfied with my product, my 7-day return period is over" and  "I do not intend to dispute the purchase of my Open Computer product."

Psystar requires Acknowledgement of Sale letter to receive restore media

The full letter is posted here (PDF).

The letter looks suspiciously like a legal document that Psystar may be using in their defense against Apple's lawsuit filed on 3 July.

"See Apple, we have n customers that have acknowledged the sale of their machines and have agreed not to dispute its purchase."

What are your thoughts on the letter? Should I send it in? Any legal begals care to chime in?

Read more about my experience with the Psystar Open Computer here.

Update: Although the letter requires credit card information, there is no charge for the restore media. Psystar replied to my query about the credit card information this way:

There is no charge for the restore media or for the shipping thereof. The purpose of the form is to verify that you are the original purchaser and owner of the Open Computing product you have ordered. All of the information required on the form is the information that is relevant to the original purchase of your Open Computing product and will not be used in any way to charge your credit card. We require that all fields be filled in including the field which requires the tracking number of your Open Computer so that it can be verified that you are the purchaser and that you did, in fact, receive your product. Our customers automatically receive tracking information to the e-mail they've used to order so the tracking number should be in any e-mail kept from the period of time when your product shipped.

Topics: Software, Apple, Operating Systems

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

27 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Asking customers ...

    ... to fill in a form and enter their credit card details to get a FREE UPDATE when that could be put on the website ...

    ... yeah, smells awfully dodgy to me.
    Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
    • Have you bothered to ask Psystar?

      Asking all of us "experts" won't get you anything close to a real answer. Why not ask them directly?
      Timpraetor
    • Yes but Adrian

      You've been down on Psystar from the beginning. First you said the company might be a scam and never deliver any systems, then you carped that they moved, then you (wrongly) opined on the (lack) of quality, and now you're complaining about a scam from this mailing.

      At least you're consistent. :)

      My feeling is this is indeed Psystar girding their loins to resist Apple's extortion (er, lawsuit). If Apple should lose to Psystar for whatever reason, then the the barbarians (cloners) will over run Rome (Apple).

      I'm just hoping the EULA about running OS X on Apple hardware only gets an airing. Should it fall (and I'm betting it will) it will send shockwaves through the whole industry.

      Which is a *good* thing. Might even force EULAs to contain only enforceable terms. :)
      wolf_z
      • He is in denial

        He can't be wrong, he purchased a Mac Mini that (it seems) he seldom uses. I guess he wants to feel better he got "the real deal" which according to Jason has less performance and costs more that Psystar PCs. So, he has to hate Psystar, claiming a lot of bogus stuff.
        markbn
  • In reply to Psystar's ...

    ... "See Apple, we have n customers that have acknowledged the sale of their machines and have agreed not to dispute its purchase.?

    ... as Apple lawyer I might be tempted to reply ...

    ... "Thank you for the list of n people complicit in your company's feeble attempt at <long list of violations here>. Save us some more money and tell them they are 2,3, ..., n+1 on our list for damages, would you?".

    IANAL
    jacksonjohn
  • RE: Psystar requires Acknowledgement of Sale letter to receive restore media

    [i]Although the letter requires credit card information, there is no charge for the restore media. Psystar replied to my query about the credit card information this way:

    There is no charge for the restore media or for the shipping thereof. The purpose of the form is to verify that you are the original purchaser and owner of the Open Computing product you have ordered.[/i]

    Did the form ask for the CC number that you purchased the Open Computer with, or just any CC number?

    Obviously, if they don't care which CC number you use... It would look even more fishy. If I were you, I wouldn't sign it.
    Badgered
    • cc number

      I believe that they're asking for the cc# that you purchased with... i guess it's to verify that you're the actual customer?

      I posted a link to the entire PDF letter in the story.

      Here's a thought: Psystar lost/corrupted some/all of their client data and needs to rebuild it, so they're doing it under the guises of sending out restore media. nah, too conspiratorial, even for me :)

      - Jason
      Jason D. O'Grady
      • yep

        It looks like they're only asking for the last 6 digits for confirmation. So not as odd as I thought. Still, I wonder if signing this would release them in some way from damages coming from a class action suit of some sort.

        As I said before if it were me, I wouldn't sign it... unless of course you [i][b]really[/b][/i] need that restore disk.
        Badgered
      • Checking ID?

        Like...maybe an attempt to make sure that the update is only sent to people who bought the computer instead of someone who...say....I dunno....is currently suing the hell out of them them??
        laura.b
        • I'd think...

          [i]Checking ID? Like...maybe an attempt to make sure that the update is only sent to people who bought the computer instead of someone who...say....I dunno....is currently suing the hell out of them them??[/i]

          I'd think that if Apple wanted to get their hands on the update, one way or another they'd be able to do it. Order a Psystar Open Computer for themselves, court order... etc.
          Badgered
          • I didn't say

            It would work. :)
            laura.b
      • Geeze.. How soon they forget....

        [b]Here's a thought: Psystar lost/corrupted some/all of their client data and needs to rebuild it, so they're doing it under the guises of sending out restore media. [/b]

        Wasn't Apple demanding that Psystar RETRIEVE each and every box they sold?

        My first impression - they're building a list of names and address' so should the feces hit the fan and they actually have to play fetch, they'll know where to send the goon squad to pick up their product.

        This letter is merely for verifying that you were the one buying the box and that you still live at the shipping address.
        Wolfie2K3
  • Smells fishy and underhanded

    They are coercing you into saying something that you may never have intended to say.

    More like bait-and-switch. Here's your media, oh and by the way, in case you didn't see it before you faxed it to us, you just agreed that you do not dispute anything that happened previously with your purchase.

    Awfully sneaky.
    Kid Icarus-21097050858087920245213802267493
  • And Apple is demanding the recall of all units?

    The letter is a good way to ensure they
    have a full list of owners in case the court
    requires a recall. The credit card number
    also ensures credit to the correct credit
    card.

    Wonder how long it will be before Apple's
    lawyers demand a copy of all forms
    returned.
    Ken_z
    • If Apple gets this into a court

      They'll get the full list of Psystar's customers in disclosure. So there's no credence to this line of thought.
      Timpraetor
      • No... But...

        ...People move.. Heck.. How many times have the Psystar folks relocated their shop since they started all of this? They're merely verifying the address is still valid...
        Wolfie2K3
  • RE: Psystar requires Acknowledgement of Sale letter to receive restore media

    Seems to me that Psystar is trying to cover their bases in case this lawsuit with Apple doesn't go their way. When they make you agree not dispute the purchase in order to get the restore media, something has to be up.

    Should be interesting to see what happens next...
    cmueller1
  • Attorney here ...

    I'm an attorney and I did collections for years and have also represented insurers.

    Apple has nothing to do with the letter. Psystar is worried about either individual lawsuits or a class action lawsuit from its customers under one or more states' Deceptive Trade Practices Act. They are also worried about suits from one or more states' Attorneys General for fraud, deceptive trade practices, unfair trade practices, and similar claims.

    Regardless of whether a plaintiff could actually WIN at TRIAL, reality is that most lawsuits never get to trial, they settle. Defending a single-plaintiff case through jury trial could easily cost $30k, especially in cases that would require hiring technical experts and lawyers familiar with technology issues. A startup like Psystar won't have liability insurance for this. Also, given that Psystar knows it is violating Apples's EULA, pretty much any insurer would refuse to provide a defense on the grounds that intentional violation of the law is not covered by the policy.

    Any defense lawyer would tell Psystar, "Look, you charged this plaintiff (whatever) $800 and they are suing for triple damages plus costs and attorney's fees. So you're looking at maybe $4k out-of-pocket maximum. It would be crazy to defend this through a jury trial. Settle with no admission of liability or wrongdoing." (It's referred to as a "Buy Peace" agreement.)


    Psystar is hoping for several things by slipping in that language:

    1) Most DTPA statutes require pre-suit demand. If Psystar receives such a demand it could send the lawyer a copy of the "I'm happy" statement. A lot of lawyers would drop the case at that point. Those who don't would tell the client, "Look, because of that statement your claim has some SERIOUS problems. Let's just get them to refund what you paid and a couple of hundred dollars for my time."

    2) If a claim does get to trial Psystar would at least have something to show the jury. An "I'm happy" statement could convince enough jurors to sway the decision or at least avoid penalty damages.
    Rick_R
  • RE: Psystar requires Acknowledgement of Sale letter to receive restore media

    This is like software vendors getting you to let them put third party crap in your computer by you agreeing to the install statement without reading it, ie,Microsoft,Google,Yahoo and all people who make a lot of money on advertising.
    Homealone
  • RE: Psystar requires Acknowledgement of Sale letter to receive restore media

    As with all of the ZD bloggers, you seem to expect the readers to have answers. We turn to you for answers...

    Instead of spreading and reinforcing as yet unfounded FUD, why don't you put on your reporter's cap and actually ask Psystar? Then, you can tell US what's going on.

    Geesh - these blogs are getting worse that the corporate water cooler.
    Timpraetor