Microsoft has jumped aboard the 'you can't sue me' bandwagon. The company's assistant general counsel has issued the following announcement: "We rely on user agreements that ask consumers to read and accept before using our products and services. We revise and update these agreements over time. This post discusses a change we have begun making as we update user agreements across our consumer products and services.
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 (Sony
, Electronic Arts
We think this is the right approach for both Microsoft and our US customers. 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.
For instance, we permit arbitration wherever the customer lives, promptly reimburse filing fees, and, if we offer less to resolve a dispute informally than an arbitrator ultimately awards, we will pay the greater of the award or $1,000 for most products and services - plus double the customer's reasonable attorney's fees. Most important, this approach means customer complaints will be resolved promptly, and in those cases where the arbitrator agrees with the customer's position, the customer will receive generous compensation, and receive it quickly.
It's also worth noting that we have a 45-day refund policy for certain Microsoft software or hardware purchased from a retailer which provides for a full refund and reimbursement of shipping costs of up to $7.
Microsoft is proud of the products and services we offer consumers. When we do have a dispute, we commit to resolving it quickly and fairly. We believe this policy reflects that commitment."