Counterfeit software being sold on eBay - What to look for and how to avoid being ripped off.
I recently purchased a new pc and decided to upgrade from Windows XP (on my old one) to WIndows 7. I found the price way to high from the supplier so opted for buying off eBay to save some cash.. what a nightmare that turned out to be!
I noticed Windows being offered as a buy it now and on other listings as an action for around £60.00. What a bargain I thought so I purchased one.. Having paid straight away I expected the item to arrive within a few days. A week went by and nothing so I contacted the seller. His response was a friend was posting it and forgot to send it, he would make sure it went the next day tho.. a few days later it arrived. Everything looked ok so I opened it and got ready to fire up my spangly new super fast pc by installing it. I had purchased the 32 and 64 bit version so I could install a dual boot system that would enable me to run old and new programs without having the hastle of upgrading everything at the same time.
On opening the box I found the enclosed booklet hard to read as the print was dull and not as sharp as you would expect from Microsoft.. also the discs looked a bit cheap with scratches on the software side and the labels looked to be off centre. As I never expected them to be counterfeit I carried on loading the 32 bit into the pc.. Fired up the system expecting to find Windows loading but nothing happened. I rebooted and still nothing.. I then swapped the disc for the 64 bit version and fired up the system again.. this time it did load.
On close inspection of the 32 bit disc I noticed the text was poor quality and the Windows hologram was off centre and looked kind of cheap so decided to check the WIndows website for any info on counterfeit software. Sure enough it it said the hologram should be inbedded in the disc on not as a label on the surface.. checking the 64 bit disc I found the same. My heart sank as I had now installed it on the pc which is required for work.
I contacted the seller who didn't reply so waited to open an eBay case against him to try and get my money. This took forever as you need to wait for his response, then you reply.. etc. Some weeks later I finally got to talk to someone at eBay who asked me to send the item back to the seller and they would issue a refund. Sadly, out of frustration I had filed a counterfeit report with Microsoft and sent the disc off to them via recorded delivery. If you go to the Microsoft website it shows you how to do this.. By doing so they offer to send you the genuine software for free!
Having explained what I had done to eBay they insisted I prove to them I had sent the discs off to Microsoft.. Nightmare cos Microsoft is completely automated so you can't get any info other than a file report from their website. I eventually phoned Microsoft and asked for their help, only to be told they do not get involved with eBay transactions. I went back to eBay who still insisted I needed proof from Microsoft so in the end I scanned in my receipt from the post office and sent that to them. Eventually it was sorted by both eBay and MS, I received a full refund plus a genuine Win7 from MS (full credit to them).
By far the easiest thing to do in this situation is inform eBay its a fake, notify MS via their website and return the item to the seller recorded delivery and get a refund. Will be waiting weeks if you go the MS route but good luck if you choose to do it.