A trip to Plymouth with Acer
Acer did not return our call seeking to clarify its policy on naked PCs and whether it would offer a refund on Windows software.
However, we called its customer call centre, and recorded the following conversation:
ZDNet: I'm wondering whether you supply notebooks without Windows software.
Acer: I'm afraid not, no.
No? Nothing at all?
Although we can do the refund for the operating system as per the OEM licensing.
So if I get a machine with Windows on, you'll give me the refund?
There is a refund process, yes. I don't know the exact terms of it. You'd need to speak to tech support, unfortunately, but it is entirely possible. I don't know if it's financially viable or not, but it is possible.
Tech support wanted to send us an email to explain its policy. In the email Acer said: "These items [the notebook] will need to be returned to your local Acer Repair Centre in order to allow us to remove the Windows Operating System and refund you for it. Acer will refund you in accordance with the value of the operating system shipped: XP Home = €30 and XP Professional = €60. Shipment of the product to our repair centre and back to you after the removal of Windows will be at your own expense. As this is not a manufacture defect and not covered by the warranty, you would have to organise your own courier when the machine is ready to be sent back to you. Following the refund, any remaining software support on your Acer warranty will be void."
Acer's sole repair centre in the UK is in Plymouth.