Don’t wee wee down the back of my neck and tell me it’s raining!

This blog has nothing to do with anything religious.  It is just a garden variety rant which happens to involve a product I have been using for over 15 years – TurboTax.  I started using just for myself and then did all my kids taxes until they moved out and took it over for themselves.  I still have a couple of stragglers at home who I can’t seem to shake and one of them this morning asked if I had bought the software yet to do his taxes because he wants his refund.

As I went to Office Depot to buy it, I was cautioned that you can no longer buy the deluxe version but instead must now buy the new premier version ($20 more expensive).  The reason – after all these years of being consistent in their offerings, they removed the schedule C (business form) as well as the investment and rental income forms from the deluxe version and now only offer them in the Premier version and higher.  I also happened to check my email today and there was a nice email from TurboTax apologizing for the “confusion”.

Obviously they had received enough angry complaints from those long term customers who bought the deluxe version only to find they now had to upgrade or buy the more expensive version as well.  Here are the main lines in the letter from TurboTax addressing their reasoning for the change.

“Here’s why we made the change. Over the years, we have worked hard to make it easy for you to choose the TurboTax product that is right for you and your unique tax situation. We want that choice to be clear and confidence inspiring.  However, as new online and mobile technologies emerged, our products, and the tax scope and features they included, began to differ, (what does that even mean) leading to customer confusion (I suggest it is TurboTax who is confused about how to keep customers). These differences also impeded our ability to introduce new innovations across our entire product line (What?). So this year, we made the product experience consistent across all TurboTax offerings (but inconsistent with your history). This change enables us to innovate faster and make improvements that benefit all customers at the same time, regardless of whether they use our online or desktop software.” (Not to mention enabling them to make several more millions of $$$)

So while telling me they did this for my benefit, they clearly did it only for their benefit and thus the title of my blog/rant today.  You will have to excuse me now as I must go change my shirt as the collar and back are all wet and it stinks.

Update as of a few hours after I posted this blog and also put a link to it on TurboTax’s facebook page.

“Dear James M.,

We recently tried to explain the changes made to our TurboTax desktop software and apologized for the impact it had on you. Many responded and let us know our apology and rationale were not acceptable.  You want the TurboTax desktop product (CD or download) you’ve used in the past to do what it has always done—handle your tax situation. We heard you. It’s time we make it right…………”

They went on to offer additional monetary and free upgrade incentives to their customers.  Was this in response to my blog?  I’m pretty sure not, but one can dream:)


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