You probably know the Windows 7 Free Upgrade program went live on Friday 26th June. If you dont know, its a program run by computer suppliers offering an upgrade to the new Windows operating system when it is released. You might have to pay a small fee to cover postage (thats why this is in Deals, not Freebies) but apart from that, its free.
However, not all computers are created equal. Take care who you buy from.
Dell and the Dixons group (Dixons, Currys and PC World) all updated their websites on 26th June to show which computers qualified for the free upgrade.
I emailed the following retailers asking the same thing, are you taking part in the program and if so, are all computers included or just certain ones. Theyve had over a week, here are their responses:
Argos - "We aim to reply to all queries within 48 hours" - Still waiting. No updates on the website either, although you could take them up on one of their special offers like a half price mouse when you buy a desktop which already includes a mouse. You could stick it on your Argos credit card at 27.9% APR.
Amazon - Supplied a link where I could pre-order a full retail version of the OS - I mailed back reminding them it was the upgrade I was asking. They said they knew that but just wanted to let me know how I could pre-order a retail version. They also said they would inform their "concerned department" and the website would be updated as soon as the program went live. I mailed them again to let them know it went live on Friday 26th. The website hasnt been updated yet. Still, it's good to know there is a department of Amazon that is concerned about it.
C-Discount - "We can adviser [sic] that the warranty only covers for software only not for upgrades, we would suggest that you check this with the manufacturer who can confirm this for you" - No, I don't know what the hell they're on about either (and that's the 1st time I've used the "sic" thing). I sent another email letting them know what the upgrade program is all about. They came back and said C-Discount would NOT be taking part in the program. I guess they dont fancy selling any computers till November.
Comet - Supplied a link to a page on their website explaining they were taking part in the program. There was no mention of this on any obvious pages on their site, you had to dig into their FAQs. And, no, they had no idea which computers they're running the program on. I noticed today the website is now showing free upgrade options on computers, even ones running Vista Basic, which DONT qualify for an upgrade. Miss-selling, anyone?
Tesco - Got an automated response saying they'll get back to as soon as possible. On the 29th I got an email asking for the catalogue number of the computer I was querying. I replied saying it was just a general query. They replied on 2nd July saying theyd look into it and get back to me. Well, they havent and their website still doesnt mention Windows 7.
Asda - Another automated response. 5 days later I got an email saying I would have to phone the electrical helpline. The website still mentions nothing of Windows 7. Basically, they havent got a scooby.
Play (we have a winner) - Play dont list an email address on their site. They make you fill in one of those web-forms meaning you cant keep a copy. I filled one in and didnt get a reply so I checked my old emails and sent an email to all the Play addresses I had. Some came back as undeliverable but one got through. Unfortunately. "We are very sorry to hear that you have been sent the incorrect item. We will arrange for the item to be refunded as soon as we have received it at our warehouse" - This relates to DVD-Rs I ordered from them months ago, not the question I had asked about Windows 7. They'd sent a cheaper version. I needed to use them so I told Play I'd just keep them and they could keep the £1 difference. I replied to their email telling them it was Windows 7 I was asking about. They sent me another email about the DVD-Rs. I emailed again. They replied with their usual Due to the nature of the problem we feel that this issue would be better resolved over the phone. I didnt see the point. Still no update on their site either. Too much inbreeding in Jersey me thinks.
So, I guess the moral of this story is buy from Dell or DSG. Or wait until one of the others realizes their not shifting any units and starts flogging them off cheap.
Hope this is of some help to those looking to get a new computer.