John C. Kirk (johnckirk) wrote,
John C. Kirk
johnckirk

Windows 7 - possible scam

I've been using Windows 7 at work for the last six months, and I think it's about time I upgrade to it at home as well. (Following karne_k's advice, I'm going to buy a new motherboard and salvage parts from the thrice-cursed Scaleo, so that's a good time to re-install the OS.) Since we use Microsoft volume licencing at work, I can use the Employee Purchase Program to buy a discounted copy of Windows for home use. In particular, I looked at this on 5th January, and I could upgrade from XP/Vista to Windows 7 Ultimate Edition for £94.60 (RRP £199.99), which seemed like a good deal. Unfortunately, that price has gone up, so Microsoft are now charging £180 for "Windows 7 Ultimate Upgrade English EU and EFTA". Amazon are currently charging £152.73 for it, so I'd be better off going to them.

I assume that there was an initial discount period that has now expired, so I did a Google search to investigate. I didn't find anything relevant, but I did come across a sponsored link from SoftRetailer.com:

Google sponsored link

Clicking through to their website, they're offering the Ultimate version for £129:

SoftRetailer.com website

They say that this is a special promotion until February 28th: that would fit my theory about the initial discount period, and it's plausible that Microsoft have just raised the prices a few days earlier on their EPP site. Anyway, that's cheaper than Amazon, even though it's not an upgrade version, so I put in an order with them. I got as far as the PayPal page, and then I got a bit suspicious:

PayPal goodpay@live.com

The email address looks like a freebie (throwaway) account rather than being registered to their own domain. However, I'm mainly just concerned that this is too good to be true. So, I did a search for the company name, and found this discussion:
Issues with softatlantic / softwarediscountzone
Apparently this company is based in China, and they are sending out conterfeit disks. So, I've cancelled that order, and I'll go with Amazon instead.

I don't have proof that this company is dodgy; I'm just relying on anonymous people on the internet. So, it's possible that this really is a good deal, that some of you may want to take advantage of. However, you may also prefer to err on the side of caution. The main thing that surprises me about all this is that Google are happy to keep running the sponsored link after people have complained. If SoftRetailer are in fact dodgy, that does rather tarnish Google's "We're not evil" image.
Tags: computers, scam
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