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January 30, 2015

Intuit/TurboTax Caves to Consumer Pressure

Filed under: Computers,Electronics,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:11 am

  After three and half weeks of stringing criticism from customers and the media, Intuit, the maker of TurboTax Deluxe, threw in the towel on January 29. The popular tax preparation software had been stripped of key functionality in a ballsy and blatant money-grab to extract an extra $30 to $40 in upgrade fees from regular users. The company is now going to offer free automatic upgrades to TurboTax Premier and Home & Business from within TurboTax Deluxe — the very thing we first called for back on January 6.

The company also vowed to restore all the missing pieces to TurboTax Deluxe next year.

Intuit president Brad Smith posted this apology on his Linked-in page:



Customers who already paid the $30 to $40 upgrade fee or who bought a higher edition of TurboTax will still be able to get a $25 rebate, but in many cases, it may not cover all their extra costs.

Intuit was taught a valuable lesson (again), but its history of practices designed to gouge its customers suggests it probably hasn’t really learned anything.

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16 Comments

  1. “Its history of practices designed to gouge its customers suggests it probably hasn’t really learned anything.”

    Boy, isn’t that the truth.

    Comment by cmadler — January 30, 2015 @ 8:47 am
  2. You did good, Mr Consumer. I didn’t expect the Turbo Tax story to build up to this much. Consumer advocates like Mouseprint and Amazon.com reviews definitely helped turn this around and gave consumers a chance to show that companies can’t always walk over consumers.

    Comment by Wayne R — January 30, 2015 @ 9:14 am
  3. Intuit (Turbo Tax) did this before and their customers will defect to another vendor than to put up with this crap. I will no longer purchase TT from here on. TT will not walk all over us.

    But they haven’t learned their lesson from last time.

    Comment by midci — January 30, 2015 @ 7:06 pm
  4. Thanks for looking out for all Consumers. Keep up the good work!

    Comment by Gayle — February 1, 2015 @ 8:42 am
  5. There’s no denying that the folks at Intuit/TT have had a screw-the-customer mentality for several years already, given the enforced sundowning of still-useful Quicken versions. The recent TT trickery was not at all unintentional.

    The smart thing would’ve been for Intuit to give entirely new names to the different levels of the Turbo Tax software, i.e. ditching “Deluxe”, etc. This would’ve prompted most customers to read the chart on the box. Of course, after some did the math and realized that they were going to pay more to get the same functionality, it might’ve hastened the defection to H & R Block et al.

    I suppose that the Intuit version of “Dog” in 2016 will be something with three legs that doesn’t bark. You’ll need to upgrade to “Canine” to fix that.

    Comment by SilentCal — February 1, 2015 @ 2:55 pm
  6. I watched the Turbotax apology video. A snake has more respect for its prey than does Turbotax for its customers.

    Comment by Tom — February 1, 2015 @ 9:22 pm
  7. Thanks for your vigilence and excellent reporting of this issue. Being a loyal TT user over the past several years, I started reading the negative reviews on Amazon back in December. Between their fantastic service of publishing reviews and your continual follow up, I went with H & R Block software for the first time.

    I doubt TT learned their lesson, but this is one customer THEY LOST!

    Comment by Jay Slater — February 2, 2015 @ 12:40 pm
  8. TurboTax is too late! Having read of the scam, I tried using the 2014 TT I purchased direct from them—as I have been doing for some years—and found I could no longer use the Deluxe version to do my return this year. I sent it back to them requesting a refund due to “lack of satisfaction.” They actually refunded the money, but I will never, ever buy TurboTax again. I bought the H&R Block Deluxe for this year’s return and it is just as good as the old TT Deluxe and works fine. I am pleased with H&R Block’s software and the best part is that it is something like $30 cheaper than TurboTax—I paid $30+tax at my local Meijer store on sale. Bottom line: forget TurboTax and buy H&R Block’s tax prep software. Don’t be a sap!

    Comment by John Nicholson — February 2, 2015 @ 1:02 pm
  9. It’s still a rip! The upgrade via the Internet (with tax) which I was forced to purchase comes to $32.40 but Intuit is only refunding $25.00. Why should I be out $7.40 when everyone else will be the upgrade for free?

    Comment by Gary — February 2, 2015 @ 3:24 pm
  10. “…probably hasn’t really learned anything.” WHAT’S THAT, oh cynical consumer protector? You mean this may just be an “apology” of convenience? Perish the thought. Yup, this tiger hasn’t changed its stripes. It will crouch in the shadows, wait for another year,’til the herd of prey settles down and the attention is directed elsewhere. Again.

    Comment by Marty — February 2, 2015 @ 4:13 pm
  11. All I can say is battered women and men always get apologies from their aggressors. But past history always shows that the abusers have a long history of violence against the victims and rarely, if every change their behaviors.

    While the Intuit CEO’s apology is welcome, I cannot forget Intuit’s past track record of constantly abusing customers in the past by deleting features, raising prices, and limiting functionality…all in the name of “improving” their products for it’s customers.

    I don’t know. Somehow, while I would like to give the guy and his company a chance, it really seems that history keeps repeating itself with it comes to Intuit/TurboTax relations. The abuse the customer, the say their sorry and it won’t happen again–only to cook up a new scheme to abuse them more the next time around.

    OK, I’ll take the flowers and gift as an apology, but don’t think that I’ll every trust you again, Intuit. Sooner or later, the abused and battered finally realize that the relationship is over and that it’s time to move on. In this case for me, it’s going to be HR Block Deluxe.

    Comment by Frank Forrest — February 2, 2015 @ 10:20 pm
  12. Bumper sticker: Intuit or Intuition?

    Comment by Marty — February 3, 2015 @ 8:43 am
  13. Was just about to buy H&R Block’s tax program when I heard that TT is going to
    ‘upgrade’ their Delux edition. While the CEO ate a bit of crow I believe that he really hasn’t learned his lesson. I think that they will continue to try similar things but be more subtle about it. Right now I am still thinking about H&R Block but I can’t seem to locate anyone who carries their program. Do they have it on disc or you can get it only by down loading? Anybody know?

    Comment by MEL G. — February 3, 2015 @ 11:59 am
  14. Software users can easily “switch to Block”
    To claim the free H&R Block Deluxe + State software, taxpayers should email SwitchToBlock@hrblock.com and include their name, address, phone number, the type of operating system they use (Windows/Mac), and proof of purchase (a photo or scan of their store receipt or the email showing their download code). The taxpayer will then receive an email for one free download of H&R Block Deluxe + State. Taxpayers can easily import last year’s tax return directly from TurboTax for free.

    Comment by Tom — February 3, 2015 @ 1:11 pm
  15. The only thing intuit will learn from this is how to rip off their customers more discreetly. Slowly but surely they will omit key things and charge lots more if you want or need those things. Thats how they have screwed millions with quickbooks, give you less charge you more.

    Intuit is the worst, most dishonest company, in my opinion, that i have ever done business with. Someday someone will come up with a better program that will do more and that company won’t rip off it’s customers and will put intuit out of business. I for one would love never to do business with them again.

    Comment by Tom a — February 16, 2015 @ 4:26 pm
  16. GOT AN E-MAIL FROM THEIR GEN. MGR SAYING THAT THEY FIXED THE PROBLEM ABOUT PART D. I BOUGHT THE DELUX PACKAGE (DISC) 2 DAYS AGO BUT DIDN’T TRUST THEM. PHONED THEM TO FIND OUT IF IT NOW HAD FORM D IN IT AND IF NOT HOW DO I GET THAT FORM. SEEMS LIKE NOTHING REALLY CHANGED. AFTER AN HOUR OR MORE WAITING FOR SOMEONE TO ANSWER I GOT THEM ON THE PHONE. WHO EVER ANSWERED REALLY DIDN’T KNOW WHAT WAS GOING ON WITH THEM. SHE SAID THAT I HAD TO RETURN MY DELUX DISC AND BUY THE PREMIER DISC TO GET PART D ETC AND THAT VERSION COST $54+. I TOLD THEM NO AND THAT SINCE I NEVER OPENED THE BOX I INTEND TO RETURN IT AND GET THE H&R BLOCK PROGRAM. NOTHIONG HAS CHANGED WITH THEM OR THEY HAVE INCOMPIDENT PEOPLE ANSWERING THEIR PHONE LINES.

    Comment by MEL G. — February 16, 2015 @ 6:15 pm

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