The Finnish Consumer Disputes Board has ruled that Microsoft has to pay €1,100 ($1250) in damages to a Finish Windows 10 user after he found that his laptop suddenly started to download and install Windows 10. The user argued that both the download and installation of the operating system on his laptop were without permission.
It happened at the beginning of 2016, when Microsoft was frequently in the news for its aggressive techniques to try to convince Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users to upgrade to Windows 10. Back then, the upgrade was free for those users and Microsoft added popups and other notifications to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, informing users about the possibility to upgrade for free.
According to a Finnish user, Microsoft downloaded and installed Windows 10 on his laptop without his consent. He filed a complaint with the Finnish Consumer Disputes Board because the computer had issues after Windows 10 was installed. The laptop was, amongst other things, used to receive video from surveillance camera, but that no longer worked once Windows 10 was installed.
Besides that, the two-year-old laptop also showed an error message stating the device needed to be repaired. The user claims he talked to fifteen different Microsoft support employees, but they were unable to solve his issue. He then spent a lot of time recovering files and buying new parts to make his video surveillance system work with Windows 10 again.
In the end, he demanded €3,000 ($3400) in damages to be paid by Microsoft, which the company refused to pay. The Redmond software giant argued that it provided the user with a sufficient amount of free support and that it wasn’t responsible for the third-party surveillance software that no longer worked.
The user then took it to the Finnish Consumer Disputes Board, which ruled Microsoft was at least partially responsible for the problems and therefore had to partly pay expenses of the user. Also, because Microsoft did not deny that the new operating system could have been downloaded without permission.
In the end, the Finnish Consumer Rights Board ruled Microsoft had to pay €1,100 in expenses, €1,000 for hardware costs and €100 for travel costs. The ruling it not actually legally binding, it’s a recommendation of the board and companies usually follow its decisions.