A payout could be just around the corner! Earlier this year, a class-action lawsuit against Microsoft became open to the public in Canada.
The document accuses Microsoft and Microsoft Canada of conspiring to illegally increase product prices.
While the company has denied any wrongdoing and has not admitted liability, it has agreed to a hefty settlement.
There’s now $400 million (after legal fees) up for grabs and qualifying Canadians can claim up to $250 back for their Microsoft products.
If you think you might be eligible for some money, here's what you need to know about filing a claim:
Why is there a lawsuit?
The class-action lawsuit filed against Microsoft and Microsoft Canada has become one of the largest settlements of its kind in the country’s history.
According to CBC News, it accuses the company of being involved in a conspiracy that aimed to illegally increase the prices of its products.
It has been described as "anti-competitive conduct."
It’s not a new situation, either. The suit has reportedly been around in Canada for over a decade, with the first documents officially filed in B.C. back in 2005.
Similar action was also started in Ontario and Quebec, but the western province was first to approve the settlement in the Supreme Court in 2018. The other regions soon followed.
Now, Canadians from any province or territory can file a claim as part of the suit.
Who can claim money?
It’s open to people across the country and according to one Vancouver lawyer, more than 100,000 people have already filed claims.
The agreement allows any Canadian customers to claim money back for their Microsoft PC software, provided it was purchased between December 23, 1998, and March 11, 2010.
This includes Windows, Office, Word, Excel or MS-DOS.
Consumers can also get cash for Dell desktop computers bought during the same period, as long as they have a Microsoft operating system and an Office suite.
When the settlement was approved in 2018, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elliott Myers said "virtually any non-Apple personal computer user since 1998" could get money back.
Customers have until September 23, 2021 to file a claim.
How much is up for grabs?
Canadian customers will be able to claim up to $250 for their Microsoft products and receipts aren’t even necessary for the majority of purchases.
Law offices involved admitted that “not very many people are going to have proof of purchase going back to products they purchased in 1998,” and therefore it's only necessary for those claiming over $250 back.
The pre-approved refunds on offer are $13 for anyone with MS-DOS and Windows operating systems, $8 for customers with the Microsoft Office productivity suite and $6.50 for Excel, Word and applications other than Office.
While each amount is relatively small, Canadians can claim for multiple programs on every desktop or laptop they owned during the allocated time period.
If you do choose to make a claim, it’s worth noting that you’ll have to submit a formal sworn declaration that it’s accurate.