Yes! I’ve got my 46.03 € of #Windows #Refund and so can you, at least with #Samsung

If you’ve been following me on this blog or other social networks you know I bought a Samsung NP900X3C. It’s a very nice laptop but I’m forced for some obscure cof OEM cof reason to buy a Microsoft WIndows 7 Home Premium OEM license.

Receipt and refund in cash

When I bought it at Media Markt I immediately mentioned I wanted to get a refund on the Windows that was installed. Media Markt said I’d have to go to Samsung or Microsoft, that they wouldn’t do that. Please remember this part…

Since It was the exhibition model they had there, I had no chance to explicitly reject the Windows license, so I went ahead and installed my favorite GNU/Linux distribution for personal use, Fedora, at release 20.

While it installed, I opened a case with Samsung by “email” and they replied to me soon enough by real email.

Samsung said that

  1. I wasn’t to turn the laptop on or accept the license [check, Media Markt did, I didn’t]
  2. that I should take it to the store [Media Markt, which had preemptively rejected any process]
  3. the store would use the official Samsung Service Center [which in Lisboa is just a few doors up in my street] to erase the disk and then
  4. return it to the store in order to fulfill the refund

Well, if steps one and two were broken already and since the store is a few doors upwards, why not just go there directly?

That’s what I did, but I was left hanging without any further details for up to three weeks and I was getting very pissed off. At least give me a piece of paper saying you won’t do it, damn it! 🙂

So I went there today and said I wasn’t going to leave the store without one of three things:

  1. my satisfaction, aka, the Windows Refund, or…
  2. a note explaining why they can’t do it yet, or…
  3. a note explaining why they won’t do it.

Boy, where the poor nice guys at the service center pissed, so there’s this crazy guy trying to get money back from a Windows refund, what a nutty guy, never heard of that before and now I’m stuck here well past closing ours, right? 🙂

Well, after a short talk on the phone with the owner, who was a bit defensive then, and waiting a bit more, I had a second talk with him and he was much, much friendlier now and willing to capture my satisfaction. Nice! I don’t know exactly what happened, but they decided to fast forward the process.

Apparently, Samsung Portugal sent the request to Samsung Korea and never had any reply, so they were going to refund my 46.03 € in advance.



I still had to explain the guys they had to take out the license from the charger because Samsung would need it to pay them back the money, but finally I could officially get rid of Windows and get back what I had paid for it.

Before: charger WITH Windows licenseAfter: charger WITHOUT Windows license

#Fedora 20 boot on #Samsung NP900X3C: 6.716 s

Woah… from systemd-analyze plot > boot.svg

Startup finished in 1ms (firmware) + 7ms (loader) + 1.189s (kernel) + 2.203s (initrd) + 3.314s (userspace) = 6.716s

Fedora 20 (Heisenbug) roque (3.11.10-301.fc20.x86_64 #1 SMP Thu Dec 5 14:01:17 UTC 2013) x86_64

#MicrosoftTax Refund?? What? We’re not Microsoft!

So I went to the Samsung Service Center downstairs… it’s such a rare event that of course they were very surprised.

Since their boss wasn’t there, they took not of my Samsung contact and case number, photographed the evidences I showed them that the laptop is Windows-free:

  • sudo fdisk -l
  • mount
  • ls each of the filesystems
  • and they also filmed the boot process

Now I’m still waiting for the next steps… sigh


Samsung: We’ll refund your #MicrosoftTax

So I asked Samsung what the procedure would be in order to get a Microsoft Tax refund and they replied:

  1. once bought, don’t turn the laptop on
  2. don’t accept the license terms (which is kind of hard to do if you don’t turn it on, but I guess that’s just for the in case you turned it on… situation)
  3. go the nearest Samsung service center (that’s practically just downstairs, for me, yay!)

Since my laptop was the model on show it was a) already turned on and b) I never booted into Windows after bought and c) I completely erased Windows from my SSD.

I guess I’ll get my Microsoft Tax back. Yay! 🙂

Exmo. Sr. Rui Seabra,

Em resposta à sua consulta em que solicita informação sobre o portátil Samsung, agradecemos o email que nos endereçou, que será objecto da nossa melhor atenção. Informamos que é possível obter um reembolso da licença do Windows, desde que assim que adquirir o equipamento não ligue o portátil nem aceite os termos de licença. Por outras palavras, assim que adquire o equipamento deverá ser reencaminhado pela loja para o centro oficial da Samsung ou contactar a mesma para apagar todo o conteúdo do seu equipamento e que lhe seja devolvido o montante da chave OEM, caso contrário, não será possível. A assistência técnica autorizada pela Samsung é:

Assistencia 35, Lda Lisboa
Rua Jorge Barradas, Nº30 C
1500-371 Lisboa
telf: 214107369

Don’t want no Microsoft tax!

So you might know I bough a Samsung NP900X3C. Yes, it came with Windows. No I don’t use it. Yes I want my money back on that item.

I’ve just asked Samsung Portugal what the procedure is.

Boa noite,

Adquiri um portátil NP900X3C e não utilizo Windows. Desejo devolver a licença de Windows que fui forçado a adquirir na compra do portátil em causa, bem como de todos os softwares incluídos no sistema operativo a devolver.

Desde que o arranquei pela primeira vez que corre GNU/Linux, neste momento Fedora e encontro-me muito satisfeito com o suporte, mas não concordo com a licença do Windows nem posso ser, legalmente, forçado a aceitá-la para comprar um portátil.

Como devo proceder?

Obrigado em avanço,
Rui Seabra

Screenshot from 2013-12-15 01:45:13

Samsung NP900X3C is pretty sweet!

On black friday (we don’t really have that tradition in Portugal but stores are copying it from other countries) I saw this very sweet Samsung NP900X3C (A01PTbut it cost a hairline under 1000€. The ones I was really looking after were the 11.5” ones with Intel Core i7 but they cost around 1600€ over here. Much sweeter, but they’d really set me back a bit too much.

So… I happen to go back to the store a couple of weeks afterwards and it’s now at 777€. Woot! (well, it was the laptop on display, as it was the last one).

Since I wanted it to have 8 GB of RAM rather than the 4 GB it comes with, I asked whether they’d upgrade the RAM. «No problem!» they replied. Oopsie, problem… the RAM is non expandable after all, wielded to the board (the hidden costs of being ultra light and thin) was also a surprise for them, so as I was going to go give up on it they got me a further discount: 699€. Done deal!

So of course I never even booted Windows (the story of the license refund: part I, part II, part III, and part IV should start really soon now) and quickly got Fedora 20 in it. Virtually everything works, with the exception of a couple of minor issues: the keyboard brightness, silent mode and wireless toggle don’t work, but the rest… on man…

  • Boots to graphical login prompt in 6 seconds, not counting the UEFI bios, but it’s also just a couple of seconds more.
  • Intel Core i5 is fast enough, I don’t have the slightest feeling of slowness, it seems faaaaast! Even with the scaling governor in place
  • It’s so light it almost doesn’t feel it’s there
  • The full resolution is there, not Full HD like the ones I was really looking after but 1600×900 is very good. Intel HD4000 is also quite fast, but I already knew that since I upgraded my home media center in the summer of 2012, which came with it.
  • The keys are evenly spaced, it’s quite balanced for my hands and I’m quickly adapting to the layout without any issues other than the arrow keys which are a tad small, but also rarely used.
  • The touchpad is wonderful, before configuration I was hating it (oh… no tap click) but it was just a config away. Two fingers to scroll, three finger tap for middle button paste, and it turns off while typing. Yes! I wonder if there are more gestures…
  • Audio sounds fine, but I use a bluetooth headset anyways (oh yeah, bluetooth works fine as well, already bound the mouse too)
  • Wifi is working fine, and it’s only a bore that ethernet is done via a dongle. It looks like micro-USB, but it’s probably not as the interface is already there before anything is plugged
  • The SD card reader also works fine

Jos Poortvliet’s blog about this laptop is also a good source of what should be happening, and it seems that the buttons that aren’t working should work after some help, but samsung-laptop module isn’t being loadable, so I expect that’s a Fedora beta issue, maybe on the next kernel upgrade it works better 🙂

The only design issue I found, so far, is that the left USB is too close to the power cord, so when it’s plugged it’s hard to put anything in without a short extension cable, but hardly a serious issue when it’s so cool.

I’m only sorry I was in the eminence of having my WeTab just stop working at a bad timing, because even though I got a very good deal, some other important expenses have had to be delayed to 2014…