TurboTax Changes The Rules, Then Offers Rebates, Then Upgrades -

If you watched the Super Bowl, you saw TurboTax’s 60-second ad, depicting the Boston Tea Party, only in this version, the colonists call off the protest when they learn they can file their taxes for free. It’s all part of TurboTax’s big marketing push depicting its tax filing software as a better deal than its competitors. However… there’s a big “but” in this case. TurboTax changed its main “Deluxe” product so that it no longer includes processing of schedules C, D and E. So longtime customers who were accustomed to that being part of the package were miffed. “Without clear advance disclosure that its flagship product had changed and could no longer help users easily report all income from investments, self-employment, and rental property…the company had sought $30 to $40 in upgrade fees…in order to restore its original functionality,” said Edgar Dworsky, founder of ConsumerWorld.org. Dworsky said in his article that TurboTax did not disclose the changes until customers were part-way through the program. Faced with consumer complaints, TurboTax initially offered a $25 rebate for returning customers to upgrade their software. “The reality is we messed up. We made a mistake,” Sasan Goodarzi, general manager of Intuit’s TurboTax division, told Forbes. “We caused a lot of anger and frustration for our customers.” But even if you plan use TurboTax and the $25 rebate, you will have to wait for your state refund. This week, TurboTax said it has temporarily stopped processing state tax returns following growing reports of suspicious activity Another problem is, in some cases, the $25 was not enough to cover the cost of upgrading and customers were required to enter sensitive personal info before they could tap into the offer. Apparently that didn’t cut it with consumers, so now Intuit, parent company of TurboTax, has re-re-reversed itself and agreed to offer customers free upgrades this year and to reverse the changes so that next year’s version will include the missing schedules. Here’s the CEO’s apology video. During TurboTax’s pricing snafu, H&R Block offered its “Deluxe + State” desktop software free to taxpayers who already bought TurboTax’s basic or deluxe products. Filers had to email [email protected] and include their name, address, phone number, whether they use Windows or Mac, and proof of purchase. Bottom line: customers who already paid to upgrade TurboTax can still tap into the $25 rebate offer. And those who have not yet filed their taxes will get the upgrade within the program, when they use it.

Read More >