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'Free' Windows 7 Upgrades Still Cost Money

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 45 comments

Sometimes free just isn't free.

Did you buy a new PC this past summer with the promise of a free upgrade to Windows 7 when it launches on October 22? Well, it turns out that the upgrade might not be completely free.

While the license for Windows 7 upgrade itself will be free, getting to delivered might come with a small charge, depending on your situation and from which computer maker you bought your machine.

Mouseprint.org looked into the matter and found that no manufacturers listed upfront any of the costs related to redeeming for the upgrade. Of course, shipping and handling charges may vary by region and product, but the jump from "free" to "pay" happens only after a customer fills in his or her information during the request for the upgrade.

Most computer buyers will indeed be able to get their upgrades for free, but those who have to pay will have to fork over anywhere from $11.25 to $17.03.

Compaq, HP, Sony and Toshiba will have both cases of charge-free upgrades as well as some that will require a handling fee. It'll depend on a number of factors, many of which are still unknown.

All U.S. Dell customers, both online and retail, will qualify for a free upgrade. Acer, along with its eMachines and Gateway line will all offer upgrades completely free of charge.

Lenovo, on the other hand, will be charging $17.03 for all buyers. Boo on that.

If you've purchased a PC recently that qualified for a free upgrade, it's time to check to see if your upgrade is really for free.

Display 45 Comments.
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Top Comments
  • 14 Hide
    the hedgehog , October 5, 2009 9:21 PM
    I would gladly pay 20$ shipping fee instead of pay 200$.
  • 10 Hide
    jimmysmitty , October 5, 2009 9:28 PM
    $20 bucks or $200 bucks.... hmmm........

    BTW, shipping is not free. Go ask UPS to deliver your product for free and watch them laugh at you.
Other Comments
  • 14 Hide
    the hedgehog , October 5, 2009 9:21 PM
    I would gladly pay 20$ shipping fee instead of pay 200$.
  • 10 Hide
    jimmysmitty , October 5, 2009 9:28 PM
    $20 bucks or $200 bucks.... hmmm........

    BTW, shipping is not free. Go ask UPS to deliver your product for free and watch them laugh at you.
  • 0 Hide
    doomtomb , October 5, 2009 9:28 PM
    the hedgehogI would gladly pay 20$ shipping fee instead of pay 200$.

    It sucks that the "free" upgrade isn't free for some but it's Windows 7, I'd pay the $11 or whatever to get away from Vista.
  • 1 Hide
    Major7up , October 5, 2009 9:30 PM
    I don't like the idea of being charged a handling fee but two things:
    - it sure beats paying full price for the upgrade.
    - given the economy and slow PC sales, I can understand taht the makers are trying to look for ways to cut costs.
  • 9 Hide
    tayb , October 5, 2009 9:30 PM
    the hedgehogI would gladly pay 20$ shipping fee instead of pay 200$.


    I'm sure you would be equally as happy to pay $20 when you were promised a FREE upgrade when you purchased the machine. Right?

    Free != $20.
  • 7 Hide
    ubertiger , October 5, 2009 9:31 PM
    the hedgehogI would gladly pay 20$ shipping fee instead of pay 200$.

    Your missing the point, it's advertised as a 'Free Upgrade' when your purchase the PC, the manufacturer shouldn't then be able to charge you an extra $20 to get your 'Free' upgrade. It's false advertising and it's wrong.
    If the manufacturer wanted to use the 'Free Upgrade' as a selling point on it's product it should eat the cost and make it a free upgrade instead of lying.
  • 3 Hide
    Honis , October 5, 2009 9:49 PM
    ubertiger...it's advertised as a 'Free Upgrade' when your purchase the PC...
    The company listed only needs to put a small subscript next the the phrase. The subscript reading "not including shipping and handling." I'd bet you 10 thumbs up votes such language is used by the people who will charge shipping and handling.
  • -8 Hide
    spongebob , October 5, 2009 9:55 PM
    $20 for just for shipping a DVD (which probably costs
  • 3 Hide
    spongebob , October 5, 2009 9:55 PM
    $20 for just for shipping a DVD (which probably costs less than $1 to make) sounds a bit steep.
  • 1 Hide
    Boxa786 , October 5, 2009 10:00 PM
    The FREE upgrade is still applicable, dont understand why this is being titled as it is. For eg, you go to a shop, buy a crisp packet and told you will get a bigger pack for free, would you expect them to deliver it to your door for free? No, I didnt think so,

    Tbh, MS has done alotta crap in the past and still do with most or their products and services, hey they will in the future too, but compared to any other major players, who is there? Apple? The worst of the bunch has to be Apple, so tbh Toms, you should be giving credit where/when due.

    Anyhow, the "upgrade is still free", if you want it delivered, you are actually just paying the P&P charges, in 90% of the cases I bet its MS are not even charging packaging, its just the postage cost, dictated by whomever will they have as their supplier, UPS? who cares
  • 1 Hide
    San Pedro , October 5, 2009 10:01 PM
    Download the CD from some kind of web source, and use license, and there you go.
  • 1 Hide
    Boxa786 , October 5, 2009 10:02 PM
    Just to clarify what I meant by saying the "upgrade is still free", the upgrade from Vista to Win 7 is aimed to be over the network/internet. MS did not specify that you will get a free CD/DVD as part of the upgrade, so why should you get extra Freebe's?
  • 0 Hide
    Dekasav , October 5, 2009 10:19 PM
    Meh, I got it from my college for $8, license and all.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , October 5, 2009 10:22 PM
    Shipping does not add towards Windows 7. Shipping is entirely different product from Windows 7, even by accounting standards. So the upgrade is still free. It is not false advertising.
  • 2 Hide
    trinix , October 5, 2009 10:46 PM
    But it was a tool to get you to buy the product before it is ready. It was sold so you could buy now and get 7 free when it's available. Not to help you, but to convince you to buy it now.

    Otherwise people would have waited for 7 to release and buy it for "free" in the shop. The prices won't go up now that you buy a pc with 7 already on it, actually, if you bought it earlier it's 20 dollar more expansive.

    Sure, 20 dollar is nothing compared to having to buy it and some people really couldn't wait to buy a new computer, for them the 20 dollar wouldn't be a problem. But I agree with that it was advertised a bit misleading.
  • 2 Hide
    cadder , October 5, 2009 10:55 PM
    You can mail a DVD for less than a dollar. This is not costing the manufacturers- they advertised free upgrades so they could sell computers and make money, the cost of mailing out the DVD's is part of the cost of them doing business in order to increase their sales.

    If the manufacturers want to save money then they could offer the download for free and the consumer can burn their own DVD.
  • 0 Hide
    edilee , October 5, 2009 11:05 PM
    Paying anywhere from $11-17 is not really that big of a deal for shipping and handling. This really wasn't really worthy of an article. You are basically paying up to $17 for Win7 which is still agreat deal given I got it for the pre-order price of $99 which was a great deal also but $17 is much better.
  • 1 Hide
    Maxor127 , October 5, 2009 11:15 PM
    That's pretty shady, but still better than paying full price. Especially given how grossly overpriced Windows 7 is.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , October 5, 2009 11:16 PM
    LOL, for all of you who don't mind paying the hidden fee, the machine you bought will undoutedly be sold with Win 7 without the fee after the 22nd.
  • 5 Hide
    yang , October 5, 2009 11:32 PM
    what people don't understand is that it's not the matter of price but the matter of principle. If I promise someone something for free, I wouldn't go and ask for 10 dollars when the time comes. How the world has changed...
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