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Software The Almighty Buck

Intuit Apologizes to Turbo Tax Customers 376

tstoneman writes "Intuit has issued an apology for aggravating $50-90 million in customers over their product activation code. Let's hope that they have learned their lesson, and that other companies will heed this warning. Nonetheless, I am still seething over their malware that they installed without letting me know, and despite the apology, I will be moving to Taxcut permanently from now on."
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Intuit Apologizes to Turbo Tax Customers

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  • Alternative Link (Score:3, Informative)

    by Sir Haxalot ( 693401 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @12:16PM (#7173317)
    here [bayarea.com] and here [signonsandiego.com]
  • I say support them (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CyberSnyder ( 8122 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @12:18PM (#7173347)
    They're showing that companies can actually listen to their customers. Support them and maybe other companies will take notice.
    • by reaper20 ( 23396 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @12:24PM (#7173438) Homepage
      If they were _really_ listening to customers they wouldn't have done this in the first place.
      • Exactly. They will never get another dime of my money. TaxCut has a new regular customer now.

        Let the companies know they have to check with some of their customers before they try any type of major restriction like this, and they can't just shove it down our throats and expect us to just take it. I'm sure a focus group would have quickly told them that people did NOT want this sort of restriction. They weren't concerned about that. They are the 'top dog' in tax software so they figured we'd be stuck

    • by squarooticus ( 5092 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @12:25PM (#7173444) Homepage
      Or kill them, and no company will ever think of crossing its customers like that.

      As as result of the Divx debacle from over 5 years ago, I still won't shop at Circuit Shitty. And I suspect I'm not the only one. I have to imagine that this has had some impact on the rise of Best Buy in the northeast.
      • Best Buy? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 09, 2003 @12:30PM (#7173514)
        You mean the store chain that has people arrested if they bring a pad and paper and copy down prices to compare? (Washington DC a few years ago).

        Or perhaps the Best Buy that advertised that NVidia (I think) video card, then took it back and said the offer was no good, and then called the cops when the one customer came in with the coupon and wanted his video card (That one was on Slashdot).

        That must be the "customer friendly" Best Buy you are talking about.
        • Re:Best Buy? (Score:3, Informative)

          by squarooticus ( 5092 )
          "Consumer friendly"? When did I say that? When did I even imply that?

          Besides, what you describe are isolated incidents, probably due to individual overzealous store managers. Who cares. The Divx situation was a lot worse: the Circuit City main office attempting to shove premeditated, primitive, and inconvenient DRM down all our throats through a deceptive advertising campaign and at the expense of whatever good will there was in the DVD consortium.

          Yeah, all companies do some bad things along with some
        • Re:Best Buy? (Score:3, Informative)

          by radd0 ( 558899 )
          You can't just go around making claims like that!

          Atleast, not without backing [gamershardware.com] it [gamershardware.com] up [geek.com]!

          -r
        • Yes, that one. (Score:3, Informative)

          by oneiros27 ( 46144 )
          The same one that has a 30 day return policy, and so,
          when I attempted to return a christmas gift that someone had given me, they wouldn't take it back, as I had the receipt, which showed it was bought in November, so I would've had 2 days from Christmas to have returned it within the 30 days.

          It was still in the wrapper, still had the 'Best Buy' price tag on it, I had the receipt, and I was just trying to get store credit. I think what pissed me off more was that I had to drive about 25 miles to the neares
      • Hey stupid posters, you don't have to have bought a DivX player to be angry at Circuit City for having tried to push the format. I also have not shopped there, and never will again - sometimes a company deserves no forgivness, only bankruptcy. If you give them money, what's to say they wil not try the same trick later on?

        Similarily for Turbo Tax I am not going to buy Intuit software for quite a while, although my own stance is a little softer there. If Intuit folds, it could mean bad things for the indu
    • by BWJones ( 18351 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @12:31PM (#7173526) Homepage Journal
      They're showing that companies can actually listen to their customers. Support them and maybe other companies will take notice.

      This is great and I would be more than happy to support them after this, but this biggest sticking issue with me and Intuit is the apparent incompatibility with their data formats between the Mac OS and Windows of Quickbooks. What is the deal with that? They say that databases can be transferred "once", but going back and forth is impossible.

    • by Curunir_wolf ( 588405 ) * on Thursday October 09, 2003 @12:40PM (#7173665) Homepage Journal
      I say don't.

      I used turbotax every year for several years (yes, I bought my own copy), but I heard about the DRM in the last version and went with H&R Block's software instead (cheaper anyway, and imported my old turbotax files just fine).

      It's nice that they seem to realize they made a mistake, but an apology won't get me back as a customer. They tried this once, and have proven simply that they cannot be trusted. That trust (especially for financial software) is important, and it will take a lot more than some lame apology to rebuid that trust.

    • by lavalyn ( 649886 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @12:44PM (#7173716) Homepage Journal
      Sounds like a Dilbert type decision to me.

      Punish the customers less. Then every lesser punishment will feel like a reward.

      Of course, that would just mean they still get to ream you up the ass the first time around... I say we should set an example of Intuit instead, and completely shut them down, so other companies take note of the blazing carcass left.
    • Or don't support them and show other companies that customers don't forgive easily. I fall into this category.
    • If you don't like something they did, destroy them on a biblical scale that no manager in any company will even think about suggesting something like this again.

      You want people to say "That tax software company did something like that, people hated it, stopped buying their product and they went from first in the industry to bankrupcy. Lets just trust our customers."
    • by sacrilicious ( 316896 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @01:55PM (#7174531) Homepage
      They're showing that companies can actually listen to their customers. Support them and maybe other companies will take notice.

      They do not listen to customers, they listen to revenue. They put in DRM believing it would increase their revenue; as the article says, "[Intuit] predicted that revenue would increase, since customers who had previously purchased only one TurboTax program would have to buy a separate copy for each computer in the house". No part of that plan serves the customer. Similarly, the only reason they changed it is because they lost a ton of money.

      It just so happened in this case that customers were able to weild enough power to hurt their revenues. Thinking that they "listened to customers" is to miss the fact that they would have continued to screw customers as long as they could have squeezed more revenue out of them by doing so. That they changed course here is not to their credit in any sense other than that they're not pathologically oblivious to the failure of their plan to screw customers.

  • Use the web version (Score:5, Informative)

    by HTMLSpinnr ( 531389 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @12:19PM (#7173363) Homepage
    Use the web version. One cost, no malware, and usable from anywhere with a browser!
    • by HBI ( 604924 )
      Your data files disappear after 9 months.

      I had that happen when I used the web version in 2002. Fuckers.

      Buy the binary version.
    • Place all personal financial data on a system running IIS just waiting for the next 'leet skript kiddie to take advantage of the next glaring vulnerability so they can own your bank accoount. I dont think so.
    • Woops, not one cost - however, it is low cost (lower than the software package) and there's little to activate. Plus, it retains previous year's returns to import into this years return.
  • That's a big range, especially if you're talking about customers. 50-90 million customers would be, what, $100 million to $180 million in revenue?
  • Bye-bye Intuit (Score:2, Interesting)

    by spazoid12 ( 525450 )
    "I will be moving to Taxcut permanently from now on."

    I'm not sure if TaxCut will be my choice permanently, but I am sure that I'll forever look for something other than Intuit.

    Call me a jerk about it, or whatever. I just don't see why I ever need to give a business a second chance after they've been a ball-muncher. I just say "good bye" and never look back.
  • Disingenuous scum. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by grub ( 11606 ) <slashdot@grub.net> on Thursday October 09, 2003 @12:21PM (#7173381) Homepage Journal

    Intuit issues an apology? It's easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission How about Intuit starts showing their conscience by sending cheques to registered owners of the crippled software. Only then would I be convinced they mean it.
  • Boot record (Score:3, Informative)

    by cscx ( 541332 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @12:21PM (#7173382) Homepage
    Isn't this the shite that flipped a bit in the HDD boot record (in an unused area, of course) to show that it was "activated"?
    • Re:Boot record (Score:3, Informative)

      Yep. It also meant that you had to call their office EACH time you installed it on a new PC or reformatted PC to get a new verification code. Hiliraty (and lawsuits) ensue.
      • Isn't that also how Windows XP's activation scheme works?
        • > Isn't that also how Windows XP's activation scheme works?

          No, windows installs its data in its registry. Not the boot records.
        • Re:Windows XP? (Score:3, Informative)

          by cscx ( 541332 )
          I think the difference with XP is that it generates the same hardware hash each time you install it if you haven't changed too much stuff, so it let's you re-activate w/o problems. Also, XP stores its data in %SystemRoot%\System32\wpa.dbl, NOT in the HDD's boot record (!)... the neat thing about this is you can just save this file if you are reinstalling/reformatting and just recover it next time and skip activation altogether.

          Although I'll admit the activation isn't foolproof... it threw an "I don't think
          • Re:Windows XP? (Score:3, Insightful)

            by ZorinLynx ( 31751 )
            Yes, but even this is unacceptable. I shouldn't have to ask "permission" to reinstall my operating system.

            It really, REALLY bothers me that people put up with this bullshit. If no one did, MS wouldn't be able to pull it off.

            Why aren't people as upset about XP's activation as they were about Intuit's?

            • People should be upset, but it's not as bad as TurboTax, which actually put data in your boot sector, an area that it has no business touching. Even if Windows did that with XP, at least Windows is an OS, which is at least more authorized to be playing around with the boot sector than a lowly piece of tax software.
  • by blackmonday ( 607916 ) * on Thursday October 09, 2003 @12:22PM (#7173400) Homepage
    To appease former customers, Intuit will be including a free Speaker Bracelet in-box with a purchase of next year's Turbo Tax. According to President Lardass of Intuit: We've got candle trucks of these things ready to go!

  • by Gerad ( 86818 )
    "Mountain View-based Intuit plans to publish the letter as an advertisement in Thursday's editions of USA Today and The Wall Street Journal. The letter also will be posted on several Web sites."

    I wonder if slashdot is one of those websites they were planning on posting the letter on as an advertisement? ;)
  • Blast from the past (Score:4, Informative)

    by mao che minh ( 611166 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @12:22PM (#7173412) Journal
    Remember this?

    Intuit drops DRM feature from Turbo Tax [slashdot.org]

  • by civilengineer ( 669209 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @12:23PM (#7173416) Homepage Journal
    If Intuit was a monoploy, they would have stuck with their plan. But, since there good alternatives, they have to change their ways or give way. I wonder if such a backlash will work against WinXp activation. My guess is it won't due to the monopoly.
    • As someone who is currently wrestling with Redhat 9.0 in an effort to wean himself off of Windows... I'd say MS will have an effective monopoly for some time to come.
      • As someone who is currently wrestling with Redhat 9.0 in an effort to wean himself off of Windows... I'd say MS will have an effective monopoly for some time to come.

        I'm going to burn a bit of my karma on an OT post just to help out a RH9 brutha. Do yourself a favor and download the atrpm's kickstart [fu-berlin.de] of Apt. Then get Synaptic [fu-berlin.de] to go with it. It'll change your whole outlook on RH9 and Linux in general. Seriously, unless you're a real techie who wants to get his hands dirty, there's no need to really e
  • You mean they're not suing them?
  • by -tji ( 139690 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @12:26PM (#7173459) Journal

    This was a hot issue in Feb-Apr of this year.. What took them so long?

    I used TurboTax for my '01 taxes, but because of this incident I changed to Tax Cut last year. I will be sticking with Tax Cut.

    I was pissed at Intuit before this incident anyway. They also play those shady rebate games. The TurboTax'01 box stated 'Free State Tax' forms. Once I opened it, I found it was not included, but needed to be downloaded - no problem. Go to download it, and they insist on charging me $20 for the download with the opportunity to mail in rebate forms for a refund. Screw them.
  • I was prefectly happy when I switched to TaxCut. It imported my previous year's returns from TurboTax and was generally very easy to use. Plus it was less expensive. And there was no DRM to fight with and no crap being secretly written to my boot block. I think Intuit really shot themselves in the foot over this. I have no intention of going back to TurboTax, apology or not. There's no reason to now.

    A bit off topic, but I wonder how Valve's draconian DRM system called Steam is going to fair in the long r
  • Double Standards? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dre80 ( 613210 ) * on Thursday October 09, 2003 @12:27PM (#7173472)
    Ok, here's what I want to know: Why is it that Intuit got such a backlash from this that they removed the protection scheme and even issued a public apology, but Microsoft gets away with the same thing and even worse yet with their Windows XP product activation? It baffles me how this kind of thing is just ignored when Microsoft does it...
  • Hopefully, there's a stupid dope with an MBA diploma in his pocket who's on the popular soup line right now.
  • by Not_Wiggins ( 686627 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @12:29PM (#7173505) Journal
    Personally, I was ticked off at the activation mechanism; it was downright stupid for them to require installation *and* running of a resident program to ensure people don't steal their software when that software is (usually) used only once. I really want CDILLA running in background all year when I took 3 hours ONE TIME to do my taxes. Or, of course, it has to all be uninstalled (bear in mind, you were required to uninstall TurboTax *before* you could remove CDILLA... otherwise you wouldn't be able to uninstall TurboTax!).

    I read a bunch of suggestions that would have made more sense for their security. For example, generate a key that uses the address used to file the taxes... sure, you still have the annoyance of having to contact them for a registration key, but you remove the necessity of having separate keys for different machines, and reinstall is a snap.

    Of course, you could also key it off of a SSN, but that's a little too "big brother" for my taste.

    Although it requires more trust on the consumer's part (ok, admittedly, I don't have this level of trust for Intuit), they could expand their online version of the tax software... not only control who has access, but you eliminate the annoyance of keeping old copies of the software around (for tax revision, whatever), updates, and even storage of old returns. And they save tons of cash on not distributing media.
    It could be spun as a "win-win" for the consumer.

    Nope... they chose to put a resident program on my computer. Using my resources to "protect" their property. Unacceptable.

    Despite the affiliation with Microsoft, I too will be switching to TaxCut.
  • Negative things (Score:5, Insightful)

    by onyxruby ( 118189 ) <{ten.tsacmoc} {ta} {yburxyno}> on Thursday October 09, 2003 @12:31PM (#7173522)
    Too often companies hear only negative things and don't hear from customers when they do the right thing. They boned up, apologized, and have said they won't do it next year. So why not let them know they did the right thing? At the bottom of their page [turbotaxsupport.com] with the activation numbers is a rating and comment box for how effective the solution was.
  • When are they going to apologize for requiring Internet Exploder 5.5 for Quicken 2004 to work? In Q2000 I could force it to use Netscape with 128 bit encryption, but no such luck with the new one. Of course by the time I figured this out the box was open, and there's no chance CompUSA is going to take a return....
  • Taxcut (Score:2, Interesting)

    I used to work for the big H&R Block Taxcut tech support center in Kansas City, MO. I essentially worked tech support for their tech support... made sure their computers kept operating properly and such.
    Anyway, my real purpose for posting is this: only switch to Taxcut if you absolutely have to. Even the people who wrote Taxcut openly admitted that TurboTax was by far the better software. Taxcut went into production largely untested at that point anyway (2001 tax year). Just my two cents I guess.
  • We bought "Impots Rapide" from Intuit last year to do our taxes for the year (you know, the ones where you give almost half the money you earned this year? I don't know the proper word in english, sorry). It came with an activation code. When you started the software, it gave you another number. You had to call Intuit and give them the number in the manual and the number on your screen. They gave you a third one to unlock the software on the computer. "Great, I though, wait till we buy a new computer..."

    We
  • Quicken has apologized to its customers and I can respect that. As an ex-quicken customer (buyer of over 5 years of its financial planner and tax program), I remain unmoved. There are several companies which have earned my "wrath" through betrayal of trust (Wachovia Bank, America West, Air Tran and Jet Blue Airlines being fairly prominent members on the List). It is inconceivable that I will do business with any of these organizations in the future....and so it goes for Quicken Corp. I have no personal ven
  • Oh the irony... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by retro128 ( 318602 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @12:35PM (#7173592)
    The delicious irony of it all is that Intuit thought they could get more sales by treating their customers like criminals. Now the apology letters are flying and they are trying to get their market share back. I hope the RIAA is watching.
  • TaxACT is cheaper (Score:2, Informative)

    by yokimbo ( 525881 )
    TaxACT is free for federal. State is only $13 and $8 per return. I tried it last year; it's just as easy to use as the others.

    http://www.2ndstorysoftware.com/products/index_p er sonal.asp
  • Oh... I didn't think so.
  • by JayBlalock ( 635935 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @12:44PM (#7173709)
    (the horror, the horror) might I respectfully suggest that, if your tax return is more complex than a 1040 and maybe a few stock trades, just hire a CPA.

    Just sayin', ya know...

  • Sorry (Score:2, Interesting)

    by BigChigger ( 551094 )
    Intuit's methods last year caused me to seek alternatives to their products. I had used TurboTax for 4 or 5 years, and use Quicken 99 still. I tried TaxCut and have no reason to go back to TT. If I ever get the opportunity, I'll switch my finances away from Quicken also (I need the online banking features. And no, I'm not going to use anything where my account info etc. is all stored anywhere but my local computer.)

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

    We need this action (Intuit
  • eh? (Score:2, Funny)

    by devphaeton ( 695736 )
    Intuit has issued an apology for aggravating $50-90 million in customers

    First there are business models based on litigation, now customers are bought instead of won?

    I will never understand business.. /me shakes head and goes back to coding.
  • by Kombat ( 93720 ) <kombat@kombat.org> on Thursday October 09, 2003 @12:56PM (#7173884) Homepage
    My personal tax solution has served me well for 5 years now. It was extremely affordable, did not require activation, runs on several platforms, works for an unlimited number of unique users, does not require updating between tax years, and will never expire.

    Well, I suppose eventually, it'll get too short from repeated sharpenings, and I'll need to buy a new pencil... but you get my point.

    Geez, people, do all of you guys file as your own business? Personal taxes are not that hard. At least, not up here in Canada. Why are people so afraid of 'em? You get some slips in the mail, you copy the numbers over onto the forms, do a little math, and presto, you get some money back. They'll even double-check your numbers for you, and if you missed a deduction, they'll adjust for you, and you'll get more money back.

    What's the big attraction about spending $30/year or whatever on the latest-and-greatest tax software, or paying some suit at H&R Block to do simple arithmetic for you?

    Aren't we supposed to be among the smartest of society? Or at least among the most mathematically adept? Why the big fear? The satisfaction of filing your own taxes and doing it all on paper is pretty rewarding, I must say.
    • Geez, people, do all of you guys file as your own business? Personal taxes are not that hard. At least, not up here in Canada.

      Don't know how they do it in Canada but here in the US doing taxes by hand sucks. At least if you have an estate of any real complexity. (i.e. more than a salary and maybe a few stocks) The tax rules are byzantine and the forms make no sense to people with college educations. I have both engineering and business degrees. My wife is a physician. So it's not that we lack the brai
    • What's the big attraction about spending $30/year or whatever on the latest-and-greatest tax software, or paying some suit at H&R Block to do simple arithmetic for you?

      Perhaps, in the USA, it is the satisfaction of even having paid professionals and computer software getting stumped as to how to classify the sale of a used car that was purchased for a dollar from a family member who intended it as a gift. The US tax code is a terrible terrible mess.
    • by ejaw5 ( 570071 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @01:28PM (#7174246)
      Why are people so afraid of 'em? You get some slips in the mail, you copy the numbers over onto the forms, do a little math, and presto, you get some money back.

      You're forgetting that this is America. More than half of the shops around here would shutdown if their calculators/computers stopped working (let's ignore the inventory control here). True story told by a (calculus II) professor of mine: he and his wife went to a movie theater and was about to pay for tickets when told by the clerk it's free today. Later, he goes and buys popcorn and drinks..they were given free also. He asks why the tickets and food were free today, the clerk says "our machines are down, so we can't charge any money."
    • Personal taxes are not that hard. At least, not up here in Canada.

      Canada Tax Form 2003

      1. How much money did you make in 2003? ___________________

      2. Send it in.

  • by Performer Guy ( 69820 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @01:07PM (#7174006)
    I used Turbo Tax last year, now I have C-Dilla on my HD. Everytime I scan for malware the only thing I leave is C-Dilla because I need it to run Turbo Tax to check last year's filing. My question is can I use my frikin legally purchased copy of Turbo Tax now without C-Dilla. I don't give a crap about an apology. They treated me like a pirate for buying their software. I want that shit off my HD and I want to use my licensed software to check that digital copy of turbo tax for the next several years.

    Can I? Anyone?

    P.S. If after a bit of research I find I can do my taxes with another piece of software I shall. You can support these assholes if you like, I'm going to find someone I can trust more with my important financial data (that trust is about access to my own data as well as privacy, privacy is NOT the only concern), that right now means anyone who makes decent tax software and isn't called Intuit.
  • Learned their lesson

    What lesson would that be?

    Don't put DRM that could screw over the systems of unsuspecting customers, your biggest market? (since every American has to pay taxes) Ok, fair enough. Some DRM goes too far.

    But if the lesson is "don't use copy protection - embrace rampant piracy" then I have to disagree. We have a double edged sword here - digital mediums are easy to use and easy to abuse. I see copy protection as a reminder that you have to pay for each copy of something you use, unless

    • Re:Lesson? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by L-Train8 ( 70991 ) <.Matthew_Hawk. .at. .hotmail.com.> on Thursday October 09, 2003 @01:45PM (#7174422) Homepage Journal
      There were like 15 million TurboTax returns in 2001 - and 5.5 million copies of TurboTax sold.

      This does not mean that there were 10 million pirated copies of TurboTax. This means that people did their own taxes and their mom's taxes and maybe their neighbor's taxes with the software they bought. I don't care what the EULA says, that is not piracy. You don't have to buy a new copy of Microsoft Office each time you write a letter.

      It gets into another big argument, but the idea that companies can tell you how you are allowed to use their product after you legally purchase it is pretty flawed. The reason so many average people commit the crime of piracy so often is because the restrictions companies are trying to place on ridiculous. Why would someone think it would be illegal to do their mom's taxes with the software they bought? You don't have to buy another car if you let your friend drive it.

      One of the advantages that using software has over using a CPA is that it can be used over again for the same price. Part of Intuit's problem was that what consumers saw as a big advantage in using their product, Intuit saw as a crime. In order to stop this percieved crime, Intuit took away one of the big selling points of their software.

      I'm glad they eventually learned their lesson, but I'm with a lot of folks here on /. After being ripped off by Intuit once, why should I go back?
      • Re:Lesson? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Zathrus ( 232140 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @02:31PM (#7174873) Homepage
        I'm glad they eventually learned their lesson, but I'm with a lot of folks here on /. After being ripped off by Intuit once, why should I go back?

        If Intuit had the only decent tax software out there then I (and probably many others) would go back. But Intuit did this at a time when they face rather stiff competition from TaxCut and other software. I found TaxCut just as easy to use as TurboTax, not to mention slightly cheaper. It also did my taxes right the first time -- my wife cross checked things by doing them online w/ TurboTax and we spent a couple days figuring out why they came up with different numbers.

        Oh, and as it turns out, TurboTax did it wrong. And fixing it required you to start over from scratch.

        Yeah, I think I'll be sticking with TaxCut for the forseeable future.
  • by __aagmrb7289 ( 652113 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @01:14PM (#7174098) Journal
    Shouldn't we reward that? I mean, has "TaxCut" promised not to do idiotic things like this? Is it impossible to forgive an organization that makes mistakes? Why do we seem to have double-standards on these things? Is it cynicism, or stupidity?
  • OK, so they have said they are going to publish an official apology letter. I didn't see it on their website, or on the Wall Street Journal's or USA Today's websites.

    Until I hear what they have to say about it, saying you are going to apologize doesn't count. I am guessing that the only reason they are sorry is because people got pissed and went to a different product. i.e. they aren't sorry for what they did, and don't recognize why it was wrong. Of course they'll issue an apology to try and get busine

    • Search on http://www.intuit.com for "apology letter" turns up nothing [intuit.com] about Turbo Tax.

      Search on http://turbotaxsupport.com for "apology" turns up nothing [intuit.com] about Turbo Tax (uses same search engine, so not a big surprise.

      You can find a link to a FAQ entry [turbotaxsupport.com] that is a mere two clicks away from universal keys, although no patch to remove the copy inhibitions. It does not sound paticularly penitent to me:

      In response to customer feedback, we have removed the technology from TurboTax 2003 products. In addition, I

  • by dpbsmith ( 263124 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @01:24PM (#7174206) Homepage
    I used TurboTax, and its predecessors, all the way back to 1985. That was three or four companies ago. It was always very satisfactory, and there seemed to be no reason to change, so I didn't change.

    All they had to do to keep me as a customer forever was to not screw up.

    Well, last year they screwed up. So I switched.

    And you know what? As you'd expect in a highly competitive environment... the differences between TurboTax and TaxCut hardly amount to a hill of beans. In fact the general design of the programs is pretty similar and I barely had to consult the online help. On balance, EXCEPT for the product activation nonsense, the two products are roughly on a par.

    If there had been any doubt in my mind, a few bad experiences with Intuit's so-called customer support resolved them. (I don't know how H&R Block's compares... because I didn't need to use it).

    I _did_ need to re-enter a lot of my basic information from last year.

    Switch back? Why should I go to the effort? I am now a TaxCut customer. And there's no reason at all H&R Block shouldn't be able to keep me for life.

    All they need to do is not screw up.
  • A GOOD CPA, knows the tax system better than any program can and have insights and experience with the various writeoffs and such to maximize your returns. You'll DEFINITELY pay more (~10x more), but quite often they pay for themselves in the size of the return you get. Don't go with your vanilla HR Block - seek out recommendations and go with independents who know the game and how to play it without breaking the rules.

    As a long term Intuit/Quicken customer, I was a bit turned off by that move. Now tha
  • Software installation is SO twentieth century. I use Turbo Tax Online- no more installation issues, no more worries about keeping everything installed and updated whenever I have to rebuild a machine from scratch, and somebody else handles my backups with a system that's probably a lot more reliable than my habit of burning important stuff to a CD and stuffing it in a drawer. On top of that, I don't have OS issues, because the web interface worked just fine across Linux, Mac OS, and Windows. Good luck getti
  • Lloyd Christmas: "TurboLax. One teaspoon for fast effective relief. (Pours the entire bottle into Harry's punch)."
  • Apparently, the new Macromedia MX 2004 suite uses SafeCast/C-Dilla.
  • by rongage ( 237813 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @02:21PM (#7174775)

    You know, if you want a fair and decent way to do product activation, maybe the idea of tying the product to a single computer is taking the wrong approach...

    How about using some sort of portable id storage device (like a USB keydrive or a Dallas Semiconductor Crypto I-Button) to store the activation. No more concerns about installing the software on hundreds of computers. Just tie the id storage device to the software somehow, and take the id device where-ever you need to run the software from.

    How hard is that?

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