Microsoft Alters License Agreement to Bar Class Action Lawsuits

Microsoft Alters License Agreement to Bar Class Action Lawsuits
Image: Microsoft

Software giant Microsoft has altered its United States end user license agreement to prohibit its customers from suing the company for any reason, or joining in on any class action lawsuits.

In an attempt to make the change as quietly as possible, Microsoft artfully placed the announcement in a blog that was posted just prior to the start of the long Memorial Day weekend. So of course, very few people would actually see it.

In the blog post, Microsoft assistant general counsel Tim Fielden goes over the changes to the company's end use license agreement (EULA), which mandate arbitration for all Microsoft customer claims and bars class action lawsuits as a precondition that every customer must agree to before using any Microsoft product.

This agreement is binding to all users, with no exceptions.

"This contract change is a blatant attempt to deny consumers their rights," said NCCC President Sandra Bullock. "It is inexcusable that large corporations like Microsoft hold so much power that they can hold consumers hostage to their own terms and conditions with the simple stroke of a pen, and all for a piece of software that most every consumer needs on a daily basis in today's software-driven world.."

Unfortunately, Microsoft is not alone. Since a 2011 United States Supreme Court ruling in AT&T vs. Concepcion, corporations have the right to more or less alter their contracts however they see fit, even if it essentially strips consumers of the ability to exercise their 14th amendment right to due process.

Bottom line, if you want to use Microsoft products, you have to play by their rules. Don't like it? Too bad. Most of us will have to continue using them, anyway.