Some Microsoft EULAs to remove class action lawsuit rights

If you are planning to purchase any new or upcoming products from Microsoft, you might want to be aware of some changes that could be made to their end user license agreements.

In a recent post on the official Microsoft on the Issues blog, the company's assistant general counsel Tim Fielden admitted that Microsoft has or will be editing some of its EULAs to state that customers cannot file a class action lawsuit against Microsoft if they have a dispute about certain products or services.

Microsoft made this switch a number of months ago in a revised EULA for Xbox Live. Other unnamed products will receive similar EULA changes "....in the coming months as we roll out major licensing, hardware or software releases and updates."

Customers can still solve any dispute with Microsoft on products under the new EULAs with arbitration as well as taking their issue to small claims court. Fielden said, "Our policy gives Microsoft powerful incentives to resolve any dispute to the customer’s satisfaction before it gets to arbitration, and our arbitration provisions will be among the most generous in the country."

Fielden did not state which Microsoft products or services would be the subject of these new EULA changes.

Source: Microsoft on the Issues blog via News.com
 

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"When a customer in the United States has a dispute about a Microsoft product or service, many of our new user agreements will require that, if we can't informally resolve the dispute, the customer bring the claim in small claims court or arbitration, but not as part of a class action lawsuit. Many companies have adopted this approach, which the U.S. Supreme Court permitted in a case it decided in 2011."... I suggest someone takes the time and read the blog.

Ugh. I have a feeling that if someone ever challenges this in court Microsoft could be forced to use it. So far EULA's have been relatively untested in our current legal systems, and I would be interested to see how something that effectively takes away a customer's right to sue for a crappy product would fare in court.

I don't know if Microsoft and Apple have had their legal departments in cahoots of late, but I'm starting to see Microsoft become more and more like Apple every day and it's a bit of a worrying trend.

Dot Matrix said,
Oh gosh, if you have a dispute with a service, don't use said service. Simple.
You unknowingly hit the nail on the head as to why this simply cannot be. To say that people cannot sue in a class action, or en-masse, is implying that people know everything that may go wrong before using said product or service. Knowing that people cannot know everything about Microsofts products even if they helped create them makes this an impossibility. So, go ahead and put it in there Microsoft, it is not enforceable.

Nice try Microsoft.
EU's got me covered.

Feel free to write that BS in there anyways, one more paragraph that people will blindly (and in this case rightfully so) skip and hit "Accept". lol

GS:mac

These are the notes that I made from my last Zune EULA update agreement. What I do not understand clearly is what the letter to Microsoft should contain exactly. any help there would be greatly appreciated.

aaa arbitration

http://www.adr.org

1 800 778-7879

less than $75,000 the suplamentry procedures fok consumer related disputes of the AAA will also apply.

a dispute is $10,000 or less, any hearing will be telephonic unless the arbitrator finds good cause to hold an in-person hearing instead.

18.1.11 YOUR RIGHT TO REJECT CHANGES TO ARBITRATION AGREEMENT by us mail to the address in section 18.1.3

Russell Green said,
I thought this was proven to be illegal?

Its subject to where you live as some or parts of it may be void due local country laws or state laws.

Manarift said,

Its subject to where you live as some or parts of it may be void due local country laws or state laws.

I don't know about the US, but in the EU at least, no amount of contractual terms and conditions and remove legal rights. Even IF they manage to put such a clause in an EULA, it's null and void.

MiukuMac said,
Great, I can print more Microsoft EULA's to wipe my ass with.

And how many Microsoft products do you use?

From memory, you are a Mac user. Good luck reading that 40+ page Eula just to use iTunes.

nohone said,

And how many Microsoft products do you use? From memory, you are
a Mac user. Good luck reading that 40+ page Eula just to use iTunes.


Newsflash:
Microsoft make products for Mac too. Office 2011, Remote Desktop, Messenger . . .

IIRC ... It's what they used to call "Mactopia" ... http://microsoft.com/mac/products/

nohone said,

And how many Microsoft products do you use?

From memory, you are a Mac user. Good luck reading that 40+ page Eula just to use iTunes.

Hey, don't use iTunes to make nuclear bombs. I mean you don't want those scary iPolice knocking at your door, right?

DJGM said,

Newsflash:
Microsoft make products for Mac too. Office 2011, Remote Desktop, Messenger . . .

IIRC ... It's what they used to call "Mactopia" ... http://microsoft.com/mac/products/

Doesn't answer the question. I am asking to see if he is upset because he uses MS products and is complaining because it will cause problems in his use of those products, or is just complaining because he is a, to use Apple fanboy terminology, "hater."

Oh, and for wiping his ass, since Eulas are not printed, I am assuming the latter.

dvb2000 said,
Surely such a clause would be illegal and non-enforcable.

see ya in court Microsoft!


"Microsoft made this switch a number of months ago in a revised EULA for Xbox Live."

Don't know of any lawsuits over that... One would think someone would have already sued over that, so it may be possible MS might be OK doing it to other products. (I don't like the idea at all)