Microsoft is following in the footsteps of several other large corporations by adding a clause to their end-user license agreements that will prevent individuals from filing class-action lawsuits against them. The decision was announced in a post on the Microsoft on the Issues blog by assistant general counsel Tim Fielden.
In the post, Fielden outlines that if a user has a dispute about a Microsoft product that the company cannot formally resolve, the customer may resort to small claims court or arbitration but isn’t allowed to file a class-action suit. He says that a Supreme Court ruling in 2011 permitted companies to add the clause to their EULA and that several have already done so.
Sony released a mandatory update for the PlayStation 3 in September that included a similar clause while EA’s Origin did the same thing a few weeks later. Microsoft even made changes to their Xbox Live EULA in December to prevent class-action suits. GeekWire highlights that the four largest US wireless carriers have all adopted the practice while pointing out that they weren’t able to find the clause in the terms of service agreements for Apple or Google.
Fielden didn’t detail exactly which products would get the updated EULA moving forward nor did he give a projected timeframe for the rollout. When reached for comment, Microsoft declined to release a list of affected products to GeekWire.
Those unhappy with certain Microsoft software or hardware for whatever reason have 45 days to return said product for a full refund. Microsoft will refund up to $7 in shipping costs if applicable.