Gain industry support

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See also: Activism Guide

It is important to contact companies who sell computers or produce hardware to keep the pressure on to support free software. Just find their contact info and contact them by email, fax, mail, and phone. Talking to companies, we must make sure to show them how our interests will benefit them.

Retail Stores

Call and write letters to companies asking them to sell machines from suppliers who provide free software pre-installed, possibly from ThinkPenguin,System76, Dell, or ZaReason..

Contact

Best Buy P.O. Box 949 Minneapolis, MN 55440 United States

500 Staples Dr. Framingham, MA 01702 508 253-5000

1000 Nicollet Mall Minneapolis, MN 55403 United States

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. 702 S.W. 8th Street Bentonville, Arkansas 72716-8611 United States

Personal Visit

Everyone should be able to get in touch with companies and just say what you want. For example, you could go to a computer retail store and ask them about supporting free software, and maybe even show off your own computer running it. You'll probably need to try to talk to a manager or someone higher up to have you message have a chance of getting anywhere.

Hardware Suppliers

Contact local suppliers of computer hardware to:

  • Make them aware of the free software
  • Encourage them to consider supplying hardware with free software pre-installed
  • Failing that, encourage them to provide customers with the option to have no operating system pre-installed

Contact

One Dell Way Round Rock, TX 78682 United States

  • IBM Lenovo
  • HP
  • Toshiba
  • Gateway

Methods

There are also suggestion boxes that should be taken advantage of at every opportunity. For example: Dell's IdeaStorm

Calls

Just as with personal visits, you'll need to try to get to someone higher up so be firm about it but don't be rude.

Complaint Letters

Letters can be emailed, printed and mailed or delivered personally, or faxed.

Tips:

  • State your purpose
  • State your reasons
  • State the importance
  • State your request
  • Ask for a reply

Complaint letters can be used to ask companies to listen to our requests aside from complaining about things like service and broken products.

View an example from the consumerist.

Template

This needs work!

Subject: Customer choice


Greetings,

I have bought and owned your machines for as long as I can remember but myself and many others would like to be able to purchase computers with free software pre-installed and avoid the Windows tax. I am one of the rapidly increasing number of users of GNU+Linux, and I simply believe that as one of your customers, I deserve a choice and shouldn't be tied down to a Microsoft operating system.

Regards


Executive Customer Service

Executive customer service staff have the power to pull strings and most large companies have them. Here's how to get through to them

  • For public companies, pull up the profile page in Google Finance and the corporate office should be listed under "Company Facts".
  • Call the corporate office.
  • Ask for a transfer to the office of the CEO.
  • You will likely get an exec. assistant but that's good. Voice mail is ok, too.
  • Give succinct summary and make your point.
  • Remain polite.

You should get the phone call from someone on the executive service team within a day or so.

The Hardball Route

This is probably unnecessary, and isn't recommended for most things.