If you were one of the thousands of shoppers who purchased a new computer since June 26 and are expecting a free upgrade to Windows 7 you may find yourself paying to get that "free" upgrade.

Mouseprint.org dug through the fine print of the free Windows 7 upgrade offers and found out that while the actual Windows 7 license is free you could pay $11-$17 in shipping, handling and other fees.

During their investigation, Mouseprint found that the following manufacturers are charging at least some of their customers for a free Windows 7 upgrade.
  • Compaq - $12.99 for the first kit.
  • HP - $12.99 for the first kit.
  • Lenovo - $17.03
  • Sony - $14.99
  • Toshiba - $11.25/$12.99


With the exception of Lenovo, which will be charging shipping and handling for all Windows 7 upgrades, most of the above companies will be offering free shipping, but Mouseprint found it unclear which customers would be charged for shipping.

If you purchased your computer from a store like Amazon, Best Buy or Costco you won't be charged shipping for your free Windows 7 upgrade but Mouseprint found that the policy varied between computers at Staples, so read the fine print if you haven't purchased yet.

There are two things you can do to avoid these extra fees for a Windows 7 upgrade. First off, don't buy a computer for the next 20 days. Yes. This could be an issue if your laptop just died but if you don't need a computer today you're better off waiting for a computer that ships with Windows 7. This is also a wise decision since many manufacturers are releasing new computers to coincide with the launch of Windows 7.

If you've already purchased your new computer and during the process of requesting your Windows 7 upgrade find yourself presented with shipping and other charges you can always try complaining to the company that sold you the computer. Obviously you don't want to spend a lot of time trying to save $11-$17 but if you send the following message to customer support you may get the charges waived easily.
Dear [Manufacturer or Retailer]

After much research and time I purchased a new computer from you after June 26 that came with a free upgrade to Windows 7. While I have been satisfied with my computer purchase and would gladly purchase a [manufacturer name] computer again and recommend them to friends and family I was upset to learn that you are charging me for a "free" upgrade.

It would go a long way toward keeping me as a future customer if you could waive the shipping and handling fee for my Windows 7 upgrade disk; especially since you didn't disclose the total cost of shipping when I ordered.

Thank you for fixing this problem and refunding the shipping amount to my credit card.

Sincerely,

Your Name Here
If you don't end up getting your shipping fees waived, unfortunately, there's not much you can do other than remember where not to buy your next computer since, it's still the cheapest you're going to get Windows 7 and it is a major improvement over Windows Vista.

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