ITACS has attacked Microsoft over its refusal to deal with a problem that it claims is preventing dealers from repairing computers.
The trade body has said that its Certificate of Authenticity stickers – which carry the licence number used to prove the version of Windows installed is genuine – are prone to being damaged through peeling or rubbing, rendering them unreadable.
Without being able to read the licence number printed on the stickers, dealers cannot tell if the version of Windows installed is genuine, resulting in them having to turn away customers.
"Microsoft has simply not acted upon repeated request to solve the problem," ITACS chairman Matthew Woolley told PCR when questioned about the dispute. "Many of our members are having to turn away legitimate customers because they can’t provide a genuine certificate of authenticity – often through no fault of their own.
"The situation with laptops is worse than with desktops, because the labels on the underside are rubbed constantly by the legs of the owner or by handling as it is placed into and removed from its carry case."
ITACS also attacked Microsoft’s current policy of referring customers to vendors, claiming that customers simply are not willing to send of their PCs for repair only to be told they need to purchase a new licence at nearly £100.
It warned that it was only serving to push honest customers towards pirates and unscrupulous dealers, who would have no hesitation installing illegal software.
"Customers who are told they must pay close to a hundred pounds for something they already own won’t think twice about getting a friend to help them for less," Woolley added.
"In their disillusionment, upset customers will accept anything and everything their friend offers for free – wiping out hundreds of pounds of future software sales in an instant."