Less than you might think. Both businesses call their customers “users”. Both of them typically offer you a free trial of their product before you buy. And when it comes to guarantees of quality of the product, it’s definitely a case of buyer beware.
But at least drug dealers don't try to make their users sign a contract that looks like the standard software license agreement. Here's what it would look like:
“The drug is provided on an "AS IS" basis, without warranty of any kind, including, without limitation, the warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non- infringement. The entire risk as to the quality and performance of the drug is borne by You. Should the drug prove defective, You, not Vendor or its licensors, assume the entire cost of any service and repair…”
But here's the best part:
“UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES AND UNDER NO LEGAL THEORY, TORT, CONTRACT, OR OTHERWISE, SHALL VENDOR OR ITS LICENSORS BE LIABLE TO YOU OR ANY OTHER PERSON FOR ANY INDIRECT, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OF ANY CHARACTER INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, DAMAGES FOR WORK STOPPAGE, OVERDOSE OR LOSS OF REVENUES, PROFITS, GOODWILL, USE, DATA OR OTHER INTANGIBLE OR ECONOMIC LOSSES…”
According to the real license agreement that every software buyer signs off on, the software vendor assumes no liability if their product is a piece of junk. Even if the product turns out to be so disruptive that it actually threatens to drive you out of business, don’t call them. It was your fault for buying their product.
No other industries get away with this. You would never buy a television or a car if the manufacturers and sellers told you up-front that if it doesn’t work, there’s no recourse.
Maybe software vendors think we’re all smoking something funny? They tell us that software is complicated. So is a car or an airplane. Isn't it time for users (aka customers) to expect better - at least from the software vendors? Would the technology industry be forced to listen, or would all of the users just be blowing smoke?Comments (0)
Vaclav Vincalek June 20th, 2008 03:35:37 PM