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Windows 7 Family Pack Confusion

By November 14, 2009

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Windows 7 Family PackI received an email last night from a reader who's been getting bad information. She said she has more than one PC and wanted to upgrade to the Windows 7 Family Pack, which has three licensed copies of Windows 7 for $149.99.

She's gone to a number of different stores and was told that no such product exists; she would have to buy three individual products, she learned. That's just bogus information. I gave her this link to the product on Amazon.com. It's also available at PriceGrabber.com, Best Buy and numerous other retailers.

I don't know if the salespeople are just uninformed or intentionally trying to rip her off. But if this happens to you, don't believe what they're telling you.

Comments
November 16, 2009 at 10:24 am
(1) John says:

The Windows 7 Family Pack Upgrade I believe was released at $149.99 on a limited basis. However, I didn’t buy it at Amazon. Rather I bought it in person at Office Depot, which had an ample supply at the time.

I’ve read that a number of people have had issues with the version they bought on Amazon. Several people complained about receiving faulty disks. And now they list the price as $289.99!

November 16, 2009 at 12:27 pm
(2) windows says:

It’s on Microsoft’s website right now (12:25 p.m. ET on Nov. 16) for the $149.99 price. You’re right, though; it’s listed for $289.99 on Amazon.

November 16, 2009 at 11:35 am
(3) John says:

Staples advertises it for $149.99 but for the past several weeks they have posted that the product is currently out of stock.

I think this offer was on a limited basis. When the supply ran out then Amazon raised the price inexplicably to almost double the price.

I’ve checked on the Microsoft web site and they are offering the Family 3-Pack for $149.99. Frankly, that’s where I’d order it :)

http://store.microsoft.com/microsoft/Windows-7-Home-Premium-Upgrade-Family-Pack/product/87DFFF11

November 16, 2009 at 12:23 pm
(4) windows says:

I saw it in Office Depot here in Maryland less than an hour ago, so it’s definitely available in many places.

November 16, 2009 at 2:04 pm
(5) John says:

I tried to post this information on Amazon for the review of this software product but my comments were removed!

It’s nice to know that censorship is alive and well.

November 16, 2009 at 2:08 pm
(6) John says:

Someone needs to investigate this because it appears no one else is charging $289.99 for this software. As far as I am concerned, this amounts to false advertising.

November 26, 2009 at 11:26 am
(7) Jen says:

As of 11-26-09, the Microsoft Store does not offer the family pack. Their website doesn’t have it and I also called and spoke with a rep who confirmed this. I made the mistake of buying Home Premium thinking it did what we needed and come to find out, I need the Family Pack. Is there a “bridge” between the two so I don’t have to pay $270 for this fiasco?

November 28, 2009 at 11:44 am
(8) windows says:

Hi Jen,

I’m asking Microsoft about this on Monday. I’ll post an answer ASAP.

November 28, 2009 at 9:27 pm
(9) Jakar says:

Because you saw it is meaningless!! It is NOT available! Frustrating, the MS website takes you to locations to buy it, yet nobody has one. The staples I was at looked like it had three copies, going to the counter with the box to get the real copy is when they told me they dont have any in stock. Kinda stupid, one of the biggest shopping weekends of the season and you can’t buy a product that is being advertised.

November 30, 2009 at 1:49 pm
(10) Jakar says:

So today, reading a news story on Sprint, on the side of the page where you typically see advertisements I see on for Windows 7 Family Pack for $149. Funny, takes you to the same location where everyone is out of stock. Except for Amazon who seems to be selling them for $289. In fact, MS main Windows sites still promotes it: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/default.aspx

So where can you actually buy Windows 7 Family Pack for $149?

November 30, 2009 at 9:20 pm
(11) johnsr1985 says:

I found a place. vpccomputers.com. I ordered one yesterday “11/29″ and they just shipped it today. they actually have it on sale for $134.99.

December 1, 2009 at 10:46 am
(12) Brad says:

Placed the order at VPCcomputers.com. Let’s hope I actually receive it.

December 1, 2009 at 11:06 am
(13) windows says:

Hi Brad,

That’s the best price I’ve seen on that. Was it in stock?

December 1, 2009 at 11:29 am
(14) Mark A says:

I ran into same issue, went to http://www.microsoft.com/Windows/default.aspx and as of right now its on the front page, still showing save $200. Yesterday it linked me stores around my area that were suppose to sale it. However several trips to local outlets was futile. I then called the Microsoft Store and they claimed they had been out of stock for past 2 weeks and can’t sale it. Apparently Microsoft Store and Online website do not speak the same language, the sales rep said the Family pack was online only. Yet you can not buy it online, in fact if you click the link on the homepage it tells you the offer has ended. Why do they still show save family $200?

December 1, 2009 at 11:35 am
(15) windows says:

Hi Mark (and everyone else),

I got a response from Microsoft, but it didn’t clear up any of this pricing confusion. I’m staying on top of this, and hope to have some more answers soon.

December 1, 2009 at 11:54 am
(16) Jakar says:

Well… looks like it is not going to be offered anymore or someone at MS is making mistakes.. now look at the Family Pack page… http://www.microsoft.com/windows/offers/windows-7-family-pack.aspx

December 1, 2009 at 3:58 pm
(17) drob321 says:

If they are pulling this crap at Microsoft and not offering it anymore, I won’t buy it. I will survive on Vista and XP. This is the old “bait and switch” and it is a very deceptive business practice.

December 1, 2009 at 5:28 pm
(18) Jakar says:

Same here… I have three machines running XP Home, XP Media Center, and Vista. Based on my Vista experience, probably better to stay with XP for now anyway. Given that I and other users have had the same problem for over a week trying to purchase the product.. I’d think MS has got some explanin’ to do. Especially when you still see the Windows 7 Family Pack adds popping up everywhere.

December 2, 2009 at 7:34 am
(19) long beach bob says:

Well, 1 day later, and you can’t find it anywhere unless you want to pay Amazon’s outrageous markup… seems Microsoft and Amazon were in bed together on this one. I’ve heard of “limited time offers” before, but they usually specify the timeframe… something Microsoft did not do. I tend to agree…bait & switch tactics. Very unfortunate. Perhaps a class action lawsuit is in order. They basically gave folks (in a very down economy) less than 1 month to decide on upgrading their home computers. Dosn’t make any sense.

December 2, 2009 at 4:34 pm
(20) Jakar says:

Agreed… I’ve not found any information anywhere that it was a limited time offer other than what was published on the MS page yesterday. VERY poor business practices, in a down economy, and not sure what MS is thinking, but OS X, Linux, and Chrome OS are getting a lot more attention these days. Wonder if I can get OS X on my PC, I believe they do have a family pack (multi license).

December 2, 2009 at 7:04 pm
(21) TonyB says:

It does seem like it was pulled off shelves almost overnight, so maybe the deal was due to expire at the end of November. The Microsoft blogs, when announcing the deal, said it would be on while “supplies last”. Kind of an odd comment when they can make more, but whatever. http://windowsteamblog.com/blogs/windows7/archive/2009/07/31/windows-anytime-upgrade-and-family-pack-pricing.aspx

I don’t think Amazon can be blamed for the high price as it is third-party sellers selling through Amazon, not Amazon themselves.

I missed out myself, and am frustrated as I had planned on picking up the family pack in December. As others have pointed out, there was no waring that the deal was about to expire.

December 3, 2009 at 7:42 am
(22) Brad says:

The order from VPC was cancelled last night by them. No explanation, but an 800 number to call. What gets me is I’ve been looking to buy this for about 3 weeks — it has been very hard to find online. I thought MS was trying to fix their crappy image – guess not! And they wonder why people pirate their software…..

December 3, 2009 at 1:27 pm
(23) Jakar says:

My order from VPC was also cancelled. They say that they had 8 left and Monday they were flooded with orders, so they fulfilled in first come first serve. I’ve not found a good way to complain to Microsoft, if someone knows of one I’d like to do so..

December 3, 2009 at 2:19 pm
(24) IhateGREED says:

Dear Microsoft,

DO NOT FALSE ADVERTISE YOUR PRODUCTS! WINDOWS 7 FAMILY PACK WAS FALSELY ADVERTISED IN TWO WAYS: 1) NO INFORMATION STATED IT WAS A LIMITED TIME OFFER (at least that I could find), WHEN VIEWING THE FAMILY PACK PAGE LAST WEEK (Nov 24 to Nov 30) THE PAGE HAD NO MENTION OF A LIMITED TIME OFFER. ADVERTISING ON MANY ADDS BEING DELIVERED ON THE INTERNET PROMOTED THE PRODUCT DURING THIS TIME FRAME, NO MENTION OF A LIMITED TIME OFFER. IN FACT ONE STAPLES STORE WAS WILLING TO ORDER THE PRODUCT FOR ME, STATING ON BACK ORDER?? APPARENTLY THEY DID NOT KNOW IT WAS LIMITED TIME OFFER EITHER. 2) THE PRODUCT WAS NOT AVAILABLE. FOR MOST, THIS PRODUCT COULD NOT BE PURCHASED BETWEEN NOVEMBER 24 AND NOVEMBER 30. THE MICROSOFT PAGE PROMOTING THE PRODUCT WOULD TAKE YOU TO LOCATIONS TO PURCHASE THE PRODUCT, BUT NOBODY HAD ANY, IN FACT SOME OF THE VENDORS (Costco and others) DID NOT RETURN A WEB PAGE TO SHOW THE PRODUCT MUCH LESS BE ABLE TO PURCHASE IT. ADDS WERE STILL POPPING UP ON WEBSITES ADVERTISING THE PRODUCT UNTIL AT LEAST DECEMBER 2nd. BY THEN IT WAS APPARENT THAT IT WAS LIMITED TIME OFFER WHEN MICROSOFT FINALLY CHANGED THE FAMILY PACK PAGE TO REFLECT THAT THE OFFER IS OVER. THE RESULT CAUSING EVERYONE INCLUDING AMAZON.COM TO CHARGE OVER $100 MORE THAN THE RETAIL PRICE FOR THE REMAINING FEW COPIES.

YOU NOT ONLY LOST A SUPPORTER, BUT A FAMILY OF SUPPORTERS.

December 6, 2009 at 11:31 am
(25) windows says:

Jakar, for what it’s worth, I passed along a number of these comments to Microsoft, to let them know about the anger out there.

December 9, 2009 at 10:39 am
(26) Brad says:

Thinkin’ about just signing up for a Technet subscription…there are coupons to get it down to around $250, and it lets you download and legally activate almost all MS products….could be a much sweeter deal than the Family Pack was.

December 9, 2009 at 11:02 am
(27) windows says:

That’s an interesting idea, Brad. If you’re technically-inclined, you get a lot of other TechNet goodies as a bonus.

January 30, 2010 at 11:59 pm
(28) Tammy says:

I never heard or read anywhere that for a limited time windows family pack would be a special price. If I knew this, I would have bought it at Costco in Anchorage, Ak. for $129.99 when I first saw it about 2 months ago. Alaska is in one of the top high cost of living brackets too. Didn’t realize how crucial it was to buy it then. It was also at AAFES.com for 149.99. I had several experiences from retailers stating there is no such product or we don’t have that. Office Depot is one of them. Now you can’t find this at all or on the internet for the high price of $259. I’ll just keep what I have, so Microsoft can keep their stinkin product. Not that $259 is an unreasonable price, it’s just the principal. Proves to me that it’s an unreasonably high mark up. While supplies last? So, did they stop making this product? Furthermore; I think it’s ridiculous that a family who has mutiple computers should have to buy mutiple over priced separate licensed copies of this product.

July 1, 2010 at 7:11 am
(29) cb says:

The promotion was to drive early Win7 sales so that Microsoft could market high transitional conversions..it was never intended to be a permanent product. Think about it, with each sale, Microsoft was able to record it as (3) Win7 installations..thereby surpassing Vista installs (even if just on paper)
Amazon pricing is derived from all the retail partners that they work with, so if some guy in his mom’s basement wants to re-sell his $149 Win7 for $299, he can…
The promotion was offered thru th Black Friday-Holiday purchase period to help bolster general Win7 adoption-

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