Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 27th Mar 2009 21:27 UTC
Legal "Two Middle Americans have sued Acer over its low-cost Aspire notebooks, claiming that the Taiwanese PC giant pre-installed Windows Vista on machines ill-equipped to run Microsoft's latest OS. With a lawsuit filed Wednesday in San Francisco, California, two residents of Fostoria, Ohio seek damages and relief from the world's third-largest computer maker after purchasing a sub-$600 Aspire notebook that included Windows Vista Premium and a gigabyte of shared system and graphics memory."
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Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Fri 27th Mar 2009 21:32 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

I’ve seen systems running Vista Home Premium on 768 MB of RAM (1GB with 256 MB wasted on an as-good-as-useless integrated VGA). Needless to say, it was slow beyond belief.

It just goes in circles, when XP came out, some cheap laptops were being sold with 96 MB of RAM, again—integrated graphics dipping the level below the minimum recommended amount.

I hope they get somewhere with this lawsuit. It’s disgusting, the level of performance OEMs shovel onto users sometimes.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Kroc
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 27th Mar 2009 21:40 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

The funny thing is, my parents actually have an Acer with Vista and 1GB, but bought after SP1 came out. It runs everything they need without any problems, even when both user accounts are active with running applications.

But that's how it is now. Back when Vista was first released, 1GB was simply far too little.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Kroc
by CPUGuy on Fri 27th Mar 2009 22:00 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
CPUGuy Member since:
2005-07-06

It all comes down to the consumer actually doing research before they buy a product.
I'm not going to sue Ford when they sell me a car full of features but also full of cheap plastic parts that tend to break.

Why is it any different with computers? Because it is too technical?
The consumer needs to educate themselves before purchasing products. First and foremost learn the phrase "You get what you pay for."

Now Microsoft should come down hard on Acer for selling their OS on crap PCs, but in the end there is very little Microsoft can do except to stop selling Acer their software.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by sbenitezb on Sat 28th Mar 2009 01:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
sbenitezb Member since:
2005-07-22

I'm not going to sue Ford when they sell me a car full of features but also full of cheap plastic parts that tend to break.


Bad for you. At least you should get Ford to replace those parts that break. After all, you don't actually pay for shit, even if they sell you shit, you have rights as a consumer.

Why is it any different with computers? Because it is too technical?
The consumer needs to educate themselves before purchasing products. First and foremost learn the phrase "You get what you pay for."


The problem is not that people doesn't have right to sue. It's nobody does it because nobody actually cares or really wants to go trough all the pain and money wasting on demands. But I bet you those hardware companies would go down the drain if more people started sueing for the crap they sell to the world.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Kroc
by CPUGuy on Sat 28th Mar 2009 01:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Kroc"
CPUGuy Member since:
2005-07-06

This guy (or gal, whatever it was) has no right to sue Acer unless he was mislead as to what components were actually in the laptop, even then it would probably be more the store that sold it since they print the labels rather than Acer.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by Kroc
by Soulbender on Sat 28th Mar 2009 15:14 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I think it's disgusting the length people go in order to not be responsible for their actions.
As someone who has actually ran Vista on a laptop with 1Gb it runs fine. Might have to turn off Aero but it's by no means unusable.

Damages and releif? Seriously? For what? The mental anguish of running Vista on a 1Gb laptop? How about I sue the Wolph's for damages to my brain caused by reading about their stupid law suit?
At best they should have gotten their money back. Did they even try this?

From article:

Eventually, the Wolphs shelled out an extra $157.40 for more memory "so that their notebook would run as marketed


It would have been cheaper to turn off Aero. Guess those "unnamed professionals" (which I guess mean "our 12-year old nephew who knows a lot about computers because he play games") aren't that professional after all.

But The Reg can confirm than even with an additional 128MB of memory, Windows Vista is nothing more than a dog.


Oh The Reg. When will you be anything other than a useless tabloid rag?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by WorknMan on Sat 28th Mar 2009 16:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

As someone who has actually ran Vista on a laptop with 1Gb it runs fine. Might have to turn off Aero but it's by no means unusable.


According to the article, this wasn't 1GB of system ram, but rather 1GB of RAM shared between the system and the graphics. I have to wonder if this machine came loaded with crapware. If it did, it might've ran faster had they performed a clean install. But then again, should people really have to do that in order to get a usable laptop out of the box?

I think it's disgusting the length people go in order to not be responsible for their actions.


For the most part, I agree with you. But sometimes I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where you didn't have to do a ton of research to buy anything over $50 for fear of getting screwed; you could just purchase something and know that you were getting a fair deal.

Of course, that takes integrity, which is something we really don't have in our society anymore.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Kroc
by Soulbender on Sun 29th Mar 2009 08:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Kroc"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

But then again, should people really have to do that in order to get a usable laptop out of the box?


So get the money back. All these law suits and getting damages and relief is bullshit.

Edited 2009-03-29 08:05 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Kroc
by Panajev on Sun 29th Mar 2009 09:51 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
Panajev Member since:
2008-01-09

Funny story... had Vista running (even in pre-RC) on an Acer laptop with 1 GB of main RAM, a GeForce Go 7300M with 64 MB of dedicated RAM (rest shared) and Vista ran well... better than XP IMHO.

Reply Score: 2

Uhh...
by wigginz on Fri 27th Mar 2009 23:03 UTC
wigginz
Member since:
2006-03-03

I hope Acer gets what they deserve?

Reply Score: 1

Why not 2007?
by Angel Blue01 on Sat 28th Mar 2009 00:01 UTC
Angel Blue01
Member since:
2006-11-01

Why didn't anyone sue in 2007 when the first Vista machine shipped, most often with 1GB RAM sometimes with 512MB?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Why not 2007?
by darknexus on Sat 28th Mar 2009 00:06 UTC in reply to "Why not 2007?"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Why didn't anyone sue in 2007 when the first Vista machine shipped, most often with 1GB RAM sometimes with 512MB?

Uh, they did, remember the Vista-capable class action law suit that just recently came to absolutely nothing? The trouble with that legal case was that they directed it at Microsoft, rather than at the OEMs themselves. This looks like a different take on the same concept, only this time these two are going after Acer.
I happen to agree about the consumer doing research. Sadly, it seems most people are content to be complete idiots when they buy an electronic device, and expect to be able to sue for their own foolishness. I hope the judge laughs them out of the court room.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Why not 2007?
by Jon Dough on Sat 28th Mar 2009 13:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Why not 2007?"
Jon Dough Member since:
2005-11-30

[...]and expect to be able to sue for their own foolishness.


This is the reality for all sorts of things. Taking responsibility for one's action seems to be a non-starter these days.

Reply Score: 4

This is an "only in America" one
by rklrkl on Sat 28th Mar 2009 08:07 UTC
rklrkl
Member since:
2005-07-06

I guess this highlights one of the major weak points of the Acer Aspire One, namely that the RAM is ridiculously hard for the average person in the street to upgrade. On my Dell Mini 9, it was just: undo two screws on case bottom, lift panel, unclip/remove old RAM, clip-in new RAM, close panel, put 2 screws back - a 2-minute job at most. For the AA1, read this and weep:

http://www.crunchgear.com/2008/08/28/how-to-add-ram-to-the-acer-asp...

A 2GB RAM stick can be had for under $30 in the US, so if they can find someone willing to go through the above procedure, that would have been their best recourse (or return the machine as "not fit for purpose" if they can't and get a refund).

Applying service pack 1 and further updates if they haven't already may help too. Removing any Acer adware/trial software is another step. Disabling ReadyBoost/indexing/SuperFetch services is yet another (and so on - there are probably whole guides out there on Vista and how to improve performance on Netbooks).

Suing because the machine struggles on the default RAM shipped is frankly ridiculous - either improve the performance with tweaks (more RAM, config, software removal) or return it for a refund. Only in America!

Reply Score: 4

evangs Member since:
2005-07-07

This wasn't an Acer Aspire One they purchased, but a full fledged Acer Aspire 4520. If anything, this couple should be taken to court for their stupidity. They paid $157.40 to upgrade their laptop's memory.

$157.40!! What did they buy?! A 4GB kit for their laptop is available from Crucial for $47. They could even ask their technically savvy friends to install it for them to save on installation fees. If you're not going to shop around for the best deal and do some rudimentary research, are you really surprised that you are ripped off?

Reply Score: 3

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

It really might make you wonder: did they explicitly buy a machine they knew wasn't fit for purpose just so they could sue? It's hard to believe anyone could be as idiotic as these people were. Then again, never say someone couldn't be that stupid, as you'll always be wrong if you do and someone will be that stupid.

Reply Score: 4

Jon Dough Member since:
2005-11-30

It really might make you wonder: did they explicitly buy a machine they knew wasn't fit for purpose just so they could sue? It's hard to believe anyone could be as idiotic as these people were. Then again, never say someone couldn't be that stupid, as you'll always be wrong if you do and someone will be that stupid.


The average computer user isn't as technically savvy as the average OSNews reader. To the average user, it's a tool they use to perform a specific task -- surf the internet, read email, write a letter, download music from iTunes, etc. The average user expects it to work just fine out of the box. And I believe that is a reasonable expectation.

Reply Score: 3

Ridiculous lawsuit
by cmost on Sat 28th Mar 2009 19:05 UTC
cmost
Member since:
2006-07-16

I for one am tired of people treating the legal system like their own personal lottery windfall. I understand why a layperson could be confused by myriad of computers and operating system configurations. This is confounded by Microsoft's insistence on producing half a dozen SKUs for Vista. On the other hand, can't people read? Don't they do their research before making a major purchase like say...a computer? Perusing any garden variety PC magazine available in bookstores and grocery stores far and wide would have explained in plain English why any machine equipped with 1 GB or less of RAM is ill-equipped to run Microsoft Vista (practically any version except maybe 'Starter Edition.') Furthermore, maybe they should have directed their gripes to Microsoft, who might have given them a copy of Windows XP to make this mess go away quietly. The OEM's hands are tied. They enter into these mega deals with Microsoft to receive copies of Windows and Office for pennies on the dollar and are forbidden from recommending anything else. The bottom line is I don't feel sorry for these people and I don't blame Acer.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Ridiculous lawsuit
by h3rman on Sat 28th Mar 2009 20:53 UTC in reply to "Ridiculous lawsuit"
h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

OK perhaps there are lots of whiners out there, and perhaps Acer really is "tied" to whatever it's tied to.
On the other hand, I think people who complain about the whiners that sued the company don't see the upside of this.

If companies are sued for delivering bad quality products, even if the people that sue are whiners or morons or - worse - descendants of the Great Spaghetti Monster, this is good. They may end up making better stuff.

Sure, Acer is known for preferring to make crap. I feel little sympathy for those who buy Acers even after I've repeatedly told them not to. :-p
You may object, that's just the hardware side of things, but the amount of RAM they think a certain OS needs is just an indication of their We Don't Care-ness.

/* Off-T
Of course in the US these days (as elsewhere) there are more interesting candidates to be sued.
The banks, the Fed, the government anyone?
For the greatest fraud ("bailouts") with tax dollars ever? */

Reply Score: 2

RE: Ridiculous lawsuit
by kaiwai on Sun 29th Mar 2009 12:27 UTC in reply to "Ridiculous lawsuit"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

How is it a ridiculous lawsuit. The end users looked sticker and assumed that it was a future proof investment; if I buy something that says, "this is vista capable", I assume that I can go out and run the equivalent of Windows XP Home but in Windows Vista (which IIRC is Home). I certainly don't blame end users who purchased something under the proviso that the next version would work as expected.

With that being said, it was the vendor who chose to load it with 1gb instead of 2gb. If anything, it was the Acer promising unrealistic results from a product. Going by NZ law - the product do as advertised. There was a promise made it could run the Windows XP Home equivalent of Windows Vista, and it failed to do so to the same level of reliability.

Acer knew that 1GB was insufficient; even casual testing could have told them that - but they refused to do so. Yes, even for the metaphorical 'joe and jane user', 1GB isn't enough. My sister being the prime example of a computer ladled with 1GB and it was horrible when compounded with the acer crapware.

Oh, and btw, this all could have been avoided with a pamphlet outlining that the new version might require them to upgrade the memory to have the same performance as they did with Windows XP; but hey, that would be a bit of a Vista sales killer now wouldn't it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Ridiculous lawsuit
by darknexus on Mon 30th Mar 2009 11:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Ridiculous lawsuit"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

It's ridiculous, in that the product did not perform as advertised, and so they should simply return it and get their money back and, most likely, never buy from Acer again-- it would serve them right, with the low-quality crap Acer generally puts out. If, on the other hand, they attempted to return it and the retailer would not allow it, they would have every right to sue the retailer. I'm sick of people getting undeserved money out of our legal system. Take the product back, get your money returned, and buy another, better machine. Instead, they're trying to collect damages. What damages, for crying out loud, the extra $157 they paid for a ram upgrade (which is absolutely ridiculous, that's even worse than Apple whose ram prices are pretty awful)? I'm sick of people being rewarded for whining but, then again, it is the US legal system, so I suppose I'm not surprised. Hopefully this gets shot down like the Vista-capable case did.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Ridiculous lawsuit
by sbergman27 on Mon 30th Mar 2009 12:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Ridiculous lawsuit"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

I'm sick of people getting undeserved money out of our legal system.

I doubt it is all about the money. Law suits are a hassle no matter which side you are on. Of course the plaintiffs knew they could have taken the unit back for a refund. But I suspect that it is more a matter of principle. They likely feel (rightly or wrongly) that big, corporate Acer tried to deceive them and cheat them, figuring that the worst that would happen was that some people would return the units for a refund. Likely these people have decided to at least raise the cost of Acer's strategy from the totally insignificant up to at least a level comparable to stubbing one's toe. I suspect that in addition to being miffed about what they feel happened to them, there might also be a feeling that they are benefiting other potential victims.

Edited 2009-03-30 12:10 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Ridiculous lawsuit
by kaiwai on Mon 30th Mar 2009 23:02 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Ridiculous lawsuit"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I doubt it is all about the money. Law suits are a hassle no matter which side you are on. Of course the plaintiffs knew they could have taken the unit back for a refund. But I suspect that it is more a matter of principle. They likely feel (rightly or wrongly) that big, corporate Acer tried to deceive them and cheat them, figuring that the worst that would happen was that some people would return the units for a refund. Likely these people have decided to at least raise the cost of Acer's strategy from the totally insignificant up to at least a level comparable to stubbing one's toe. I suspect that in addition to being miffed about what they feel happened to them, there might also be a feeling that they are benefiting other potential victims.


Excuse me, tell me of a place where I can take back a device after owning it for a month - and expect a 'no questions asked' refund. If it were just a matter of purchasing a device, waiting a few months, installing Windows Vista, then returning the device because it is crap - they would have done it and avoided the hassle of a law suit. The reality is that you can't trot in after several weeks/months demanding a refund.

Acer screwed up - why should the reseller be punished given if he does provide a refund, he is now out of pocket and have to sell the returned one as a used good and make a loss off it. It was Acer who decided that '1GB is all anyone should need'; they well and truly bloody knew that Windows Vista performs like a dog on 1GB but decided to deliberately lie as to what their device could do - they claimed that their device could run Windows Vista at an acceptable level of performance based on an capable being defined as the ability to run it at the same level of performance as the user expects (which is based on their experience running Windows XP).

What they could do - if they wanted, offer free upgrades to Windows 7 to all those end users not happy with Windows Vista; it would be a heck of a lot easier and cheaper.

Edited 2009-03-30 23:07 UTC

Reply Score: 2

What about the reseller?
by ssa2204 on Sun 29th Mar 2009 18:59 UTC
ssa2204
Member since:
2006-04-22

Speaking as a person involved as a resller, I have to say that in most of these cases the responsibility should also lie somewhat on the part of the sales staff. I do not sell to consumers, but our business clients rely upon me 110% to make informed decisions for them, or at least make them 110% fully informed of what they are purchasing. If the question is asked to me, I would have said right off the top that this laptop, at it's price, is a "get what you pay for".

In using the car sales comparison, usually a car salesmen is somewhat knowledgeable about the product he is selling, so thus he can inform the buyer properly of their choices. Most likely this Acer was purchased at a large retail chain store that employed young, cheap labor that knew nothing more about the product than the buyers. But the consumers want it this way, in order to save a few dollars off the top they have chosen the large retail stores putting an end to the independent smaller businesses that usually did hire career or professional sales.

Never the less, I still believe that the reseller should have informed them properly should they have asked. So the question is where did they purchase, and did they ask questions..and what were the answers. Truly all Acer has done is make a low end/cheap product and put it out onto the market. They can not be faulted, because consumers have demanded this product.

Reply Score: 3

RE: What about the reseller?
by h3rman on Mon 30th Mar 2009 09:21 UTC in reply to "What about the reseller?"
h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

They can not be faulted, because consumers have demanded this product.


That's the great myth, but consumers do not "demand" anything. They have to be told to desire something, so that they believe they want or (even) "need" it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: What about the reseller?
by wanderingk88 on Tue 31st Mar 2009 20:22 UTC in reply to "RE: What about the reseller?"
wanderingk88 Member since:
2008-06-26

A thousand times hell yes.

Please, please, pro-unregulated market nutjobs, realize this once and for all. Please.

Reply Score: 1

Waste of money.
by djmsync on Wed 1st Apr 2009 08:58 UTC
djmsync
Member since:
2009-04-01

First of all, Acer is a waste of money deal. Their cheap products are nothing but rubbish, I have used both Aspire and Travelmate and both are a disaster. And of course you should stop wasting money on Windows the most unsecurred and flawfull OS. Use a MAC, you will see the difference, I was too a little reserved concerning apple but after using a macbook, I wont go back to a PC never ever, or to Windows OS, maybe in a decade when, maybe it will be a little 10% more safe to run and error free.

Edited 2009-04-01 09:01 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Waste of money.
by h3rman on Wed 1st Apr 2009 09:23 UTC in reply to "Waste of money."
h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

It's OK djmsync, Apple can pay for their own marketing funding.

Reply Score: 2