I have just discovered that Laptop Depot (laptopdepot.ca) is willing to defraud their customers by selling them pirated software and operating systems. What would cause a company to think that selling stolen software is OK is beyond me. Especially since Microsoft and others have been targeting such criminal sales people by ensuring better validation and checking.
An unfortunate member of my family unwittingly purchased a laptop from this business expecting to save some money by purchasing a factory refurbished laptop. Usually I advise my family and friends against purchasing used due to how fast computers become obsolete but when saving a buck, used can be the place to look for most people.
A sad story unfolded in which the sales agent feed them a line about this particular laptop having 4 processors and being worth 3x what they were paying. They were also sold a story about the laptop only being 6 months old. Had I or any reputable computer person been present we would have been able to correct this sorely misguided sales agent. Unfortunately the story was accepted as told because who wouldn’t believe a truthful sounding person talking greek about a computer.
Now down to the out and out fraud. This computer came pre-installed with a pirated copy of Windows Vista. I don’t know about you but when I’m purchasing a computer (or anything else for that matter), from a supposedly legitimate store, I expect not to receive stolen or pirated software. I am currently in the process of contacting the company and will keep everyone up to date as this progresses.
*Update: Finally resolved acceptably. The sad tale follows.
Regarding the unlicensed software. Laptop Depot provided the laptop to my family member with a “clean” install of Microsoft Vista. The manager of Laptop Depot stated quite emphatically that their installation disk does not ask for a CD Key and after the installation the technician should have properly inserted the CD Key from the underside of the laptop. Since I have actually built Vista installation disks before I know that this is crap and the only way for the install to skip the CD Key step is for one to already be on install disk. Laptop Depot had an install disk with a pirated key and thus… pirated software. My trust in Laptop Depot is essentially zero at this point.
After solving the CD Key issue and bringing the laptop back to life my family member checked out their receipt and noticed that the specifications I had stated of the laptop and the ones actually printed on the receipt did not match. A very subtle difference was noted, the laptop was an Intel T2300 Core Duo, and the receipt stated that the laptop was suppose to be an Intel Core 2 Duo. This slight difference between Core and Core 2 is so minor that you would think it really doesn’t matter. Sadly its actually the difference between a laptop that runs Windows XP well and a laptop that runs Windows Vista well.
With that knowledge in hand we then tromped down to the location that sold this incorrect laptop and attempted to have it swapped for the correct piece of hardware, or a refund. This should have been an easy process. Show the receipt, the sales guy looks at it, compare it to the laptop and says, oops, and fixes everything. Unfortunately we had a major battle, anyone with a lesser knowledge of computer hardware would likely have been a casualty in this process. After much fighting and the sales guy being finally proven 100% wrong about 6 times they finally caved and handed over the correct computer.
Any other retail shop I have dealt with in the past has been like a sweet dream compared to Laptop Depot. Treachery, lying and outright combat, I am quite disappointed with their business practices and will never purchase from Laptop Depot again.