I talked with a case manager at HP this morning. Since I didn't have a copy of the license agreement in front of me, it was kinda hard to refute her claim, but what she said was that the computer is a bundle, and that HP's policy does not require them to refund or credit any cost associated with Vista.
Now, I feel I'm at a crossroads. I would like to call it at this point and enjoy the rest of my vacation. But, part of me wants to escalate to Small Claims Court. Actually, and this will sounds like I'm getting on my soapbox, but I'd love to see this go further. We all know I'm not a lawyer, but what gets me is that I did not agree to Microsoft's or HP's license agreement, yet I'm being bound by it. Is that confusing to anyone else?
What I'd like to see in the future is the ability to order any computer I want from Dell, Sony, HP, whoever, and get my money back for Vista. The sticking point is that at a retail level, Vista represents a significant portion of the cost of a new computer. The ones we purchased were $379. At $50/Vista license that's ~14%. If you look at Vista's retail price at $199, that's 52.5% of the cost of the computer. Now you can see how I'd like to get the refund.
We'll see how much further this goes.