back to article Microsoft paid me $650 to scrub Windows 10 from my grandpa's PC, says man

Microsoft has paid the relative of an Alzheimer’s patient for having to scrub his PC clean of Windows 10. Jesse Worley said he'd received a cheque for $650 from Microsoft – seen by The Register – which he told us he'd received after threatening the giant with court action over an unwanted Windows 10 upgrade. Tech consultant …

  1. TRT Silver badge

    Error, error. Does not compute...

    "We will continue to listen to customer feedback and make improvements based on what we are hearing from our customers.”

    There is an error in your statement at "continue to listen".

    There is an error in your statement at "make improvements".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Error, error. Does not compute...

      How can you continue to listen if you never bloody started in the first place?

      1. VinceH

        Re: Error, error. Does not compute...

        Are they referring to the telemetry?

        1. Benchops

          Re: Error, error. Does not compute...

          "Hi! Is that Microsoft Support?"

          "Yes, good day to you. How might I be of assistance?"

          "Yeah, I think I've got a fault in my AE-35 unit. What could go wrong?"

    2. Mark Simon

      Re: Error, error. Does not compute...

      No error. They did listen, and decided how to use customer feedback to con them further. Lot’s of customers clicking on the close box? Fine, we’ll interpret that as OK.

      The did make improvements. The con worked better than before, when it was not wholly successful. Now it will install when you thought you said No.

      The only error was in Microsoft’s thinking that all of this would go unnoticed and unchallenged.

  2. Grunchy

    I dunno, Windows 10 works ok for me. They've improved Minesweeper and Solitaire, but now they demand $5 per month or else you have to sit through their insipid commercials (about other Microsoft games, or even the very game you are playing). It's like, hey I like to play Solitaire and crack today's daily puzzle, except I have to sit through a Microsoft Solitaire commercial before I can do that.

    In what Universe does it make sense to interrupt somebody using a product in order to force them to watch a commercial about other people using that very same product?

    Microsoft seems to be more stupid lately than they ever were before.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      $5 a month? What? I'm truly interested in what you're going on about. I haven't used WinTin or even version 8, but something seems really off if MS is throwing up nagware like this.

      It's one thing to throw up a screen saying "Hey your shit is bootleg, pay for it!", but a whole different thing to ask in a 3rd world childrens donation sort of way. This real? Or you fucking with us and I'm just too slow to know the joke? Jeesh, this sounds really bad.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I want to hear more about this too! You got 28 upvotes and no downvotes so I guess it must be true, but how can so many people apparently know about something like this without El Reg ever writing an article about it?

      I thought Windows 10 was awful before, but if they do this then I can promise my parent's PCs will stay on Windows 7 forever.

      1. Danny 14

        Fuck! Hes right AND you need an xbox account.

        https://www.theguardian.com/technology/askjack/2016/apr/07/how-can-i-play-my-old-windows-7-games-in-windows-10

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          WHAT..... This IS real! Just got home and followed Danny's link...

          From link: "In the UK, the Solitaire Collection costs £1.19 per month or £7.95 per year. The bundle includes five games so perhaps a one-off £7.95 would be acceptable, but I don’t think people who have been playing Solitaire free for 25 years really want to pay that much every year in perpetuity."

          This is INSANE!!!!! To quote the video game SmashTV... "Good Luck! YOU'LLLLLL NEED IT!" (Which btw is FREE http://smashtv.co.uk/play-online/ ).

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "how can so many people apparently know about something like this without El Reg ever writing an article about it?"

        They don't know about it without El Reg ever writing an article about it. They know it because they read several El Reg articles that mentioned it.

    3. TVU

      "Microsoft seems to be more stupid lately than they ever were before."

      ...and that Windows 10 stupidity (as shown by Netmarketshare and Statcounter statistics) is now producing a noticeable shift to macOS, Linux and Chrome OS.

    4. Shufflemoomin

      Lucky you. Since I installed the anniversary update, the Solitaire Collection doesn't work at all. Between that and .NET 3.5 being unable to be installed, I'm starting to wonder if Microsoft bothered doing *any* testing at all.

    5. TonyJ Silver badge

      Don't know if anyone else mentioned this further down but you can download the 7 versions of the games for Windows 10 here: http://winaero.com/blog/get-windows-7-games-for-windows-10/

      And no nags.

  3. sabroni Silver badge

    $650 is nothing to MS

    Hopefully this story will gain traction on the mainstream media, then it will cost them a lot more....

    1. Frank Bitterlich

      Re: $650 is nothing to MS

      I'm with the chap who received the check – it's not about the money. It's about MS to admit that they've tricked people and pay for the damage they've caused.

      Maybe a public apology in the form of a full-page newspaper ad would be nice, too.

      1. paulf
        Paris Hilton

        Re: $650 is nothing to MS

        @ Frank Bitterlich "Maybe a public apology in the form of a full-page newspaper ad would be nice, too."

        Nah, hit them where it really hurts and demand the cheque as this guy did (don't settle for gift cards that cost them next to bugger all to issue). Sending out lots of cheques for $650 will eventually start to hit home what they've done. Even if only 1% of those 400 million Win 10 devices yields a claim that's $2.6bn - material even on MS's accounts even if it is a one off. Perhaps it will become big enough to spawn a sleazy claims handling industry? Those PPI claims management shysters must be looking for a new gig, "Were you tricked into getting PPI installing Windows 10? Call us now!"

        As for a newspaper advert - if you're really keen I suggest it is featured somewhere before page 5 and explains in clear terms (using large unmissable text) that they used Virus/Malware techniques to get Win 10 onto machines with the massive heading "WE AT MICROSOFT ARE DEVIOUS AND DECEITFUL".

    2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: $650 is nothing to MS

      It's not the amount of any one settlement but death by a thousand pricks. A few grand scattered around will add up over time plus the internal cost of having someone handle the issue. Also, a steady drip of stories like this does not help Slurp's reputation any and might inspire more suits.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: $650 is nothing to MS

        Can I charge them for having to learn about GWX Control Panel and download and install it on my parent's PCs?

        I'll even be nice and give Microsoft a break, charging the same $65 hourly rate this guy got (even though I charge clients double that) and figure only an hour of work even though it was probably more.

        1. Danny 14

          Re: $650 is nothing to MS

          It might gain traction in the US where a class action starts a lawyer feeding frenzy.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: $650 is nothing to MS

            "It might gain traction in the US where a class action starts a lawyer feeding frenzy."

            Bad move. The lawyers make money, the monkeysusers get peanuts and MS just has to deal with one case. Individual small claims will cut out the middle man so the plaintiffs get the $650 or whatever and MS has the operating costs of running a compensation scheme.

            1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

              Re: $650 is nothing to MS

              While the users would get peanuts, a class-action lawsuit would generate massive negative publicity and if successful a very large dent to Slurp's bank account. That might be worth the effort just to watch Slurp squirm.

      2. cd / && rm -rf *
        Trollface

        Re: $650 is nothing to MS

        "a thousand pricks"

        I think you just described Microsoft's managers.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: $650 is nothing to MS

      Perhaps it's nothing to MS, but it does buy a lot of backup software that could've had the machine back to its old self in minutes.

  4. Bladeforce

    How bloody frustrating..

    ..a reply is that from Microsoft...usual BS...we are committed to....politician speak for oh well we got found out..utter BS

  5. herman Silver badge

    It looks like I have to point out the obvious. The guy may have caused himself less grief in the long run, if he installed any Linux distribution with XFCE as desktop and an old Windows XP wallpaper.

    1. Martin Summers

      Oh come on really? I'm all for advocating Linux at the appropriate times but this really isn't one of them.

      1. oldcoder

        Actually, it is the perfect time.

        Linux has several GUI interfaces that work like XP does. And it has the same games.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "Actually, it is the perfect time."

          For once, no it isn't. Go back and read the story. Note the bit about Alzheimer's. He would need it back to exactly how it was.

    2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      @herman - With someone who has dementia the only real option is to stay as close to XP as possible and that means Winbloat in this case.

  6. zero2dash

    He shouldn't have been caused ANY grief; his system (and everybody else's systems) shouldn't have been touched.

    He said he didn't want the upgrade. IE "leave my machine the hell alone"

    This is on Microsoft. Why should he be overburdened with installing a new OS on his hardware that he paid for, with an OS that he paid for, that is set up like he wants it - just to avoid MS having to acknowledge and respect the decision he made - with what he had at the time which was working perfectly for him?

    1. Mark 65
      Coat

      IE "leave my machine the hell alone"

      IE is only part of the problem

      1. Pliny the Whiner

        Zero2Dash: "IE 'leave my machine the hell alone'"

        Mark 65: "IE is only part of the problem"

        I saw what you did there, Mark.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "He said he didn't want the upgrade. IE "leave my machine the hell alone""

      Microsoft's counter: You get pwned, we get blamed, so we're left with the responsibility to fix broken OS's, and if the only real fix is to move up to 10...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think he let them off lightly; he didnt charge for the week long wait for the M$ update system to install all the patches, after having to reinstall the OS.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      I hope the guy made a full HDD image copy of the restored system, just in case he has to go through it all again in the next couple of years...

  8. Winkypop Silver badge
    Flame

    Is my cheque in the mail too?

    I had to re-install the wife's laptop from the ground up after a borked and unwanted Win10 "update"

    I won't be holding my breath.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is my cheque in the mail too?

      Have you started a small claim action against them? Or are you just sitting waiting for cheques to arrive.

      If the latter, then of course you won't get one...

  9. PNGuinn
    Linux

    There are times ...

    I really, really hope this catches on. Not a class action yet, but an ever growing well publicised trickle. A lot of people have been badly burned with this one. Slurp needs to get the legal rubber hose treatment this time. We can but dream.

    There are times that, for a fleeting instant, I'm almost tempted to almost regret that I'm not still not doing life in the Slurp prison camp.

    But the madness soon passes.

    It's MY ****** machine. I run what I ****** well want on it. I set it up the way I ****** well want and I ****** well want it to stay that way until and I decide to the contrary. I'll upgrade it when I ****** well want to.

    I just need to get stuff done. Somehow I don't think I'm being unreasonable. Am I?

  10. psychonaut

    Compensation department

    I met a lady on holiday who works at the ms compensation dept in Thames valley park, Reading. I only got talking to her at the airport on the way home so didn't get much info. I didn't even know the dept existed. She said she had been busy recently...

    1. Ed_UK

      Re: Compensation department

      I'm just waiting for the first call...

      <Indian accent> "Hello, I'm calling from the Windows 10 Compensation Department. Please give me your bank details so I can send you the compensation."

      Oh no - what have I said? Do scammers read El Reg?

  11. Shufflemoomin

    "We will continue to listen to customer feedback and make improvements based on what we are hearing from our customers."

    No you bloody won't. If you did, the Windows 10 upgrade crap would never have happened at all or escalated in its crappiness and Windows 10 might actually be something people *want*.

    I really wish a high profile case would happen and hit Microsoft's wallet, because it's all they understand. The red ring disaster of the 360 make them take notice, hence the stupidly large heatsink on the Xbox One. Maybe if people start suing left, right and centre, someone might go to the Windows 10 dev team and ask what the hell is going on.

  12. inquisitive2014

    Why not just download a simple skin?

    My family where completely lost with the "new" interface but I wanted the stability and performance that is built into Windows 10. The answer was to install Start10 which provides the familiar interface that my family are familiar with while benefiting from faster loading and greater stability in Windows10 - problem solved. NB This is not an advertisement for Start10 - I know there are alternatives out there that all have their fans.

    1. King Jack
      Facepalm

      Re: Why not just download a simple skin?

      What performance? You mean the keylogger spyware and the stealth phoning home? Don't your family care about being spied upon? I'm glad you aren't part of my clan.

  13. adam payne Silver badge

    "We will continue to listen to customer feedback and make improvements based on what we are hearing from our customers.”

    Microsoft will continue to listen to customer feedback?!? You would have to listen to your customers first to be able to continue to listen to them.

    1. Esme

      hey, they didn't say whom the improvements were for. Could just be improvements in evading legal action against themseles that they meant...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I love the old version of Process Explorer for this...

    Before M$ bought this tool called Process Explorer, you could trap any window in your system with its target icon and find the executable or DLL running it.

    The next step of course is to kill said executable straight from the task manager, without ever interacting with poisoned X buttons.

    Damn, that is Hao123 and Baidu level of nagging.

  15. gnarlymarley

    Windows 95

    There is a reason I am still running Windows 95. Also it is fun to plan with the scammers as they do not know how to use Windows 95. So far the only problem I see is all the SSL sites that are turning off the older protocols. Still works great with http, but obvious does not support that HTML5 stuff.

  16. RMycroft

    Two mornings in a last week where Windows tried to install the "anniversary update", failed, and rolled it back without a single explanation. Two and half hours down the drain each time. When I checked in settings to see why, it only said that it failed. I clicked on "more info" but got a page that was a sales pitch for the update that failed to load. In the feedback, I said that their page had negative value. (I think some "UX expert" failed to game this one out.)

    This machine is the last Windows hold-out in the house. I think I'll be "exploring my options".

    Suing them? Hmm, I wish.

  17. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    having been forced onto win 10 at work , i dont see the big deal.

    yes , they've moved all the shit around again , and changed colours.

    But all i do is press the windows button and then type the name of the thing i want to happen and it does it. yay.

    (or i press win-R , and type the exact name of the tool i want)

    and also the file copy dialogue box is pretty groovy now.

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
      Flame

      re me

      damn search box not working this morning! couldnt do fuck all! felt helpless. opened task manager to restart explorer.exe , its all weird and bollocks - couldnt do it . ended up usin an admin cmd prompt to kill explorer.exe - and had to use a non admin one to start it again.

      I withdraw my previous post re win 10.

  18. MrTuK
    WTF?

    WTF - Win 10 forced me !

    Yup, it did !

    It force me to quit the MS ECO system after more years than I care to recall, like I've been using it since Win 3.1 !

    I've used most of their OS's except the crap one's like Millennium, Vista, 8.0,8.1 although I did give 10 a 3 month trial but with all the shenanigans that it was playing I finally gave up on it !

    I finally though WTF, it's my PC and if the OS won't comply then I will fu*king change it and I did !

    I went back to Win 7.0 WTF !!!

    Spent so long doing damn updates, well waiting for the buggers to download and install !

    Finally I gave up again !

    So I downloaded one of those free OS's onto an old 2GB usb stick.

    It installed in a few minutes WTF !

    I thought it was borked !

    But no, it worked ??

    Nah, this was too quick, too simple WTF !

    It really worked, I can't believe it ?

    I haven't looked back since and it hasn't got any of that spyware or any other sh*t that Win 10 had :)

    What else can I say except WTF - Win 10 forced me to install Linux !

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why anyone

    Still uses software put out by these bastards is beyond me.

    Id rather sever my own bellend with a rusty cheese wire.

    The problem isn't choice anymore.

    If more people swapped to an alternative...whatever that may be...the alternatives would improve, developers might take note and Microsoft might get the fright they deserve.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Why anyone

      So why isn't there so much support for those alternatives? For example, SteamOS, in spite of Valve's serious investing into it to escape Microsoft's lock-in?

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