Friday, 17 October 2008

Misleading advertising regarding software

I am increasingly frustrated with computer stores and general department stores whose desktop PC and notebook advertising tells customers what wonderful value they are getting because software is bundled with the machine. However on further investigation one notices that the software is open-source and available for free on the internet! The most common seems to be bundling Open Office as an extra-value add-on.

The consumer, who may not know any better, is thrilled to receive an office suite with their purchase and the assumption is made that they have been offered a wonderful bargain!

I believe that this kind of advertising exploits the average Joe's lack of knowledge and is exploitative. At the very least it is misleading. Surely this is unethical?

What do you think about this? Leave a comment and let me know...


ChrisH said...

You do have the cost of South African bandwidth to download the opensource software though, so it's not 100% free.

Arthur said...

@chrish - Thanks for your comment. You are correct in mentioning the download cost. However, I still object to the advertisement leading consumers to believe they are getting valuable software for free when that same software is essentially a free product.
Why not just give the purchaser a flash drive with the installation files on it already. The cost of the drive can be included in the purchase price of the hardware.
Advert could read : So-and-so PC comes with a 2GB flashdrive pre-loaded with open-source software.

This just seems so much more honest!