I’m fairly irritated right now. After buying a used copy of the SAM 2003 Microsoft Office assesment software from an Amazon.com merchant, I installed it to find that the software key had already been used, and cannot be used more than once. The person who sold it to me is refusing to refund my money on the grounds that I should have known better. Behold:
Re: the product listed here http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1423912535/103-6363314-2751811
order number such and such
After receiving the institutional code today that would allow me to use the software, I installed it and was informed that the key for the software has already been used. Attached is a screenshot to this effect. As such, the software is unusable by anyone but the original purchaser and I am requesting a refund. I will be happy to ship the product back to you in the condition that I received it.
Thank you for your attention to this matter,
Polite, straightforward, reasonable. I received this reply:
You are correct that the key-code cannot be used more than once, but if someone already had a key-code or SAM account than the software being used is not a problem. The product was very clearly being sold as used, and many Microsoft products have codes that can only be used a couple of times. As the buyer, it is your responsibility to research the product you are buying beforehand. Because the software is not only usable to the original owner, I do not think a refund is called for.*
Polite, and straightforward. Reasonable, no.
Apparently when I buy software that clearly states it has a non-transferrable single user license right on the package, and again during the installation process, it’s okay to just go ahead and sell the discs without a license. If the person to whom I sell it is foolish enough to assume that a piece of software includes the ability to use that software, well, sucks for him. He should have known better. Can’t he see the notice on the software package? Well, he will when it arrives at his house, and I’ve already got the money at that point. Hey, I just realized I have tons of software lying around here that I’ve been using for years… I could sell all of it! After all, I’m advertising the software, not the license, so that makes it okay!
It’s my responsibility to ensure that the product I’m purchasing isn’t actually a pair of shiny coasters? I’m afraid we are in disagreement. What exactly did you think I was purchasing the product for, decoration? I know the product was marked as used, but the fact that it was for sale in the first place was indication enough for me that I would be able to register it. Your statement that it is my responsibility to research the product before purchasing is correct; that is exactly the purpose of the product listing. Your comparison to Microsoft products is irrelevant. The software is in fact unregisterable by anyone but the original owner, and it states as much after the institutional code is entered. I’m no more obligated to make sure a seller isn’t selling me a pair of worthless discs than I am to make sure the books I order aren’t printed in invisible ink; if there were any restrictions on the use of this product they should have been stated in the listing. Thus, I believe a refund is in fact called for.*
The thing that bugs me about this is that I’ll never see that money back. If anyone’s going to get me a refund it’s Amazon, and I’m sure they’ll get me on some technicality having to do with the time that it took me to notify the seller or some such nonsense. I just can’t believe this person would have the balls to sell me something knowing it’s useless. I said in the email above that the very fact that it was for sale was sufficient evidence for me that it would be useable. Maybe that’s not true anymore, and I really do need to take the buyer’s paranoia to that extreme when shopping on the Internet. It sure is a bummer to think about.