Consumer rights group Which? has called on Microsoft to compensate PC users who were forced to have their computers professionally repaired after downloading Windows 10. The watchdog said it had received hundreds of complaints from users who had encountered problems after downloading Microsoft's latest operating system, many of whom said the software had installed without their permission.
Microsoft's rollout of Windows 10 has been met with widespread criticism, with the company being accused of using pushy or otherwise deceitful tactics to get the software onto users' PCs. Customers have complained of being bombarded with upgrade reminders on their computers, and Microsoft has been castigated after changing the behaviour of prompts to "trick" customers into downloading the update.
The company has also been slammed by digital rights groups for gathering excessive amounts of user data without providing transparency on why and how it is going to be used.
Which? said that since downloading Windows 10, customers have complained of problems affecting their PC and connected devices, including printers, Wi-Fi cards and speakers no longer working, instances of lost files and email accounts no longer syncing.
In some instances the problems were so severe that customers had to pay to have their computers fixed professionally, the watchdog claimed.
Which? surveyed 5,500 Windows 10 customers in June this year, of which 2,500 had upgraded to the software from an older version.
Of these, more than one in ten claimed they had been forced to roll back to a previous version of Windows, with half having to do so as a result of the adverse effects the upgrade had on their PC.
"Microsoft should be doing more"
Which? said that Microsoft should be held financially accountable for the problems faced by customers who have experienced problems after installing Windows 10 and "pay compensation where it's due". It also criticised the company for its poor handling of complaints when contacted by customers about the issues they were having.
Alex Neill, Which?'s Director of Campaigns and Policy, said: "We rely heavily on our computers to carry out daily activities so, when they stop working, it is frustrating and stressful. Many people are having issues with Windows 10 and we believe Microsoft should be doing more to fix the problem."
Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, customers are entitled to a repair or replacement for faulty digital goods, or can otherwise request a refund of up to 100% of the cost of the product.
If the purchased product damages other devices or programmes, you can also have these repaired or request compensation.