Dell, HP customers rage at Windows 7 upgrade delays

Déjà vu all over again as users rant about free upgrades to Microsoft's new OS

Dell and Hewlett-Packard customers are angry that they have not yet received the Windows 7 upgrades promised them when they purchased new PCs earlier this year, according to messages on the companies' support forums.

The grumbling is reminiscent of criticism in 2007, when Vista upgrades were delayed by weeks.

Last summer, Microsoft announced "Windows 7 Upgrade Option Program," which would deliver free or discounted Windows 7 upgrades to people who bought new Vista PCs between June 26, 2009, and Jan. 31, 2010. The program is administered by computer manufacturers, which set the price and delivery dates.

"I honestly think that this whole windows 7 "FREE!!!" upgrade is total BS," said a user identified as "mdr322" in a message Monday posted to a thread dedicated to upgrade complaints. "It took me 1 month to register my service tag and now my delivery date has been delayed by 2 Weeks!!!!!"

"Dell is behaving very unprofessionally!" said someone labeled "Vlad G" on the same thread. "I am sure this will cost them customers."

On the HP support site, users were also frustrated by the delay.

"Inept does not do justice to this royal screw-up," ranted "littlewhizkid" in a message last week on an HP thread. "Total incompetence is closer, but without using language that would lead my message to being deleted I do not think I could adequately describe how poorly managed this process has been. HP has certainly lost any shred of loyalty I may have had."

A Dell representative explained the delay. "These are estimated ship dates," said "Jesse L," who was tagged as a Dell employee in the forum, referring to complaints from some users that the delivery date for their upgrade kept being pushed back. "The reason they keep changing is because [of] issues with the shippers' inventory. They got behind and are working to catch up."

Other users urged patience. "Did everyone forget that the copy is free, not including possible charges to shipping and taxes?" asked "ravenneangelle" last Wednesday. "And how high in demand this product is? I'm sure Dell is doing their best in getting it all out to us in time."

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