Microsoft is one of the largest and most successful tech companies in the world. But it is also known as one of the most frustrating companies, and that has a history of alleged bullying of competition and private individuals. The company has been involved in several lawsuits that included issues against the United States, the European Union, competitors, and consumers.
If you have an issue with Microsoft and they won't resolve it, you're not powerless. You don't have to accept that unwanted Microsoft 10 upgrade. You can hire an attorney and explore your legal options. You can also try the small claims route where lawyers aren't necessary, and the legal fees (court and filing fees) are much more reasonable. This guide will explain how to go about suing Microsoft in small claims court.
Introduction to suing Microsoft in Small Claims Court
Microsoft can be sued for $10,000 in their home state of Washington in small claims court. In other states, it can be as much as $20,000.
People often sue the company for:
- Warranty not honored
- The device arrived in poor condition
- Wrongful account termination and loss of access to purchase content
The first step of suing Microsoft in Small Claims Court
The first and most important thing to do when suing Microsoft is to make sure that you sue the right legal entity. Big companies often own lots of smaller companies that are very interconnected, so be sure to review the contracts you’ve signed with Microsoft for any legal entities they mention in your contract with them. By suing the wrong company, even if owned by the same parent company, you can have your case dismissed and you’ll have to file another small claims lawsuit.
Finding Microsoft's Registered Agent
The registered agent of Microsoft can be found online in your secretary of state's database. We found the following information to help if you are suing Microsoft in their home state of Washington:
C/O Microsoft Corporation
925 Fourth Avenue, Suite 2900,
Seattle, Washington 98104
How to write a Demand Letter to Microsoft
- On the top, in the address block, put in the company name and address:
- Next, put the subject line as 'Re: Demand for Payment
- In one sentence, tell them how much Microsoft owes you which you will claim in your small claims lawsuit.
- Then, in two to three sentences describe your issue. (ex: why you are owed for Failure to deliver a package)
- Finally, state in plain language that you will go to small claims court if necessary. Don't say that you will do anything else, such as speaking poorly about them.
- On the bottom, include your name and address
Dispute can also generate a demand letter for you on your user dashboard.
How to send a demand letter to Microsoft
After you write the demand letter to Microsoft, you’ll want to send it to their registered agent so that it’s guaranteed to go to the legal department. Make sure that you get a tracking number for the mail you send them. It can become important evidence in your case.
If you don't want to make the trip to the post office or drop box with an envelope and stamp, Dispute will do it for you. Save yourself time and hassle, and our team can take care of it for you.
File your small claims forms against Microsoft
If you end up in 30-40% of cases where the demand letter doesn't work, you can prepare and file the court paperwork for small claims court next. You’ll need to find and prepare your small claims form based on where you decide to sue. Usually, people sue where the defendant lives or does business. You just need to know the name of the party you're suing, the amount you're suing for, and answer some basic yes/no questions.
Then, wherever you decide to sue, look up the county small claims system. They’ll provide details on their website about what small claims forms are necessary. You can read more about the small claims process here.
Serve your small claims paperwork to Microsoft
After the court accepts your paperwork, you have to serve your court paperwork to the defendant to notify them they're being sued officially. This is also another point where people will often realize they should settle before going to court. This is the one step you aren't allowed to do yourself.
To avoid bias, the court requires you to get someone else to serve your case and file a proof of service in court (a simple statement that they swear they served the defendant). The free way to do this is to get a friend or family member who isn't part of the case to help you. The hassle-free professional way to serve court papers is to hire a process server and let them take care of it.
Go to your small claims trial against Microsoft
On the date of your small claims trial, be sure to arrive early and well-prepared. Bring at least three copies of all evidence you intend to present, and if your hearing is remote be sure to have provided copies in advance to the other party and to the court. Failure to follow the strict local guidelines can result in your case being dismissed, but if you’ve followed the rules then you can often win by default when the other party doesn’t show up.
How Much it Costs
So how much will you spend by suing Microsoft in small claims court?
- Court Filing Fees: The amount you will pay to file a small claims lawsuit depends on how much you are suing for and where you are suing. You can expect to pay between $30 to $400 to file the lawsuit. If you cannot afford to pay court fees, you can ask the court to waive the fees.
- Serving Costs: Once the lawsuit is filed, you must notify Comcast Xfinity that you have sued them. This is called "serving." Serving Costs can range from $20-100 depending upon the local area.
Remember, if you win, you can request that Microsoft pay for your court fees and serving costs.
The Benefits of Small Claims Court
- Court filing fees are cheaper in small claims than in other courts.
- The process is faster in small claims than in other courts, as your hearing will usually be scheduled 30-70 days after you file the lawsuit.
- Lawyers are generally not allowed in small claims, which helps keep the costs of suing low.
Taking the First Step in Your Lawsuit
If all of this work seems complicated or daunting, rest assured that it's easier than it initially seems. 2.7 million small claims court cases are filed annually in the US, which is only growing as more people realize how easy it is to enforce their legal rights in court.