When it comes to software, the rights you’d normally expect as a consumer simply don’t apply. Dissatisfaction is not enough to get your money back or even an apology from the software manufacturer.
Compare that with the guarantee that Tesco or other similar supermarket chains offer for a 20p pack of noodles: “We are happy to replace or refund any product which falls below the high standard you expect”.
You can’t just go back to your vendor and tell him to refund the cost of the product because software is licensed to you so you never actually own it. You are only provided with the right to use it under certain conditions.
Also, software is quite different from hardware in that it is intangible to start with, and is a continuous development process thanks to the mistakes that people make.
These same mistakes might be unacceptable in the brick-and-mortar world where laptop cords or failing tyres are often recalled at enormous costs. In the software world, you have to download and install patches in the hope that it solves your problems.
If you have already installed a software package, but are dissatisfied and are on the way to get your money back, the chances are that the simple act of installing it means you have already voided your right to return it. Hence the importance of demos and trial software
Most End User License Agreements (EULAs) are so long and boring that most computer users choose to ignore them at their own cost. EULAs have the same power in the virtual world of computers as your own signature
Beware, as the “I just didn’t know” excuse does not apply. In the eyes of the law, ignorance is never an acceptable excuse.
To illustrate the point, you might want to have a look at a EULA written by Sony, which came into light during the recent Rootkit scandal. Some of the clauses here will certainly cause you to raise an eyebrow.
You can read about the ten other myths of commercial and proprietary software here.