Your New Computer's Free Windows 7 Upgrade? Not So Free, Actually

Not many people really want a computer with Windows Vista. The sensible thing for customers who need a computer—but not right away—to do is wait until the launch of Windows 7 and then buy a computer with the much-awaited OS pre-installed. Vendors realize this, and are trying to get Vista-laden machines off their shelves with the promise of a free upgrade to Windows 7 when it comes out. A free upgrade that is not, in fact, free.

The upgrade discs cost as much as $17 (reported by both Consumerist readers and Mouse Print) The cost includes shipping and other, more mysterious fees. Reader Seth ended up paying $17.03:

I recently got a Lenovo laptop with Vista Business and the promise of a free upgrade to Windows 7 Professional. Upon using the website Lenovo set up, I was surprised to see that the “free” upgrade actually cost $17.03 for shipping & handling. I am willing to pay reasonable shipping and handling costs, but I don’t understand why the charges here should be so high. However, the laptop I purchased came with free shipping, so it would seem fairest to have the shipping for the Windows upgrade component be free as well.

I should note that the Lenovo Windows upgrade site said Lenovo Outlet purchases are not eligible, but according to the Lenovo Outlet FAQ they are: http://outlet.lenovo.com/faq

The question is, what is a reasonable shipping charge for an OS upgrade? $5? $10? Should customers who are helping vendors move computers with a musty, unloved OS out of their warehouses be paying a fee to receive their new Windows discs at all?

Hidden Fees Discovered for “Free” Windows 7 Upgrades [Mouse Print] (Thanks, Dirk!)