Friday, February 1, 2019

How to Drive Away Long-Time Customers: TurboTax

I have been using TurboTax for at least 20 years, but they almost managed to drive me away today.

For many years, they charged my credit card in December and gave me a link to download the software in January (sometimes February, if the tax gremlins of Congress had been especially creative).  This year, no charge, no notification.  Perhaps having to change my Discover card number played a part, in which case they should have emailed me for a new credit card number.

I went to their website where they told me to start for free by uploading a PDF of last year's tax return.  Now, because this PDF was produced with their program, this should be simple. They did not recognize it.

So I called their customer service phone number, where after several "Your time is very important to us--please wait" messages it said "Good-bye" and hung up.  And when I called again, same action.  When I went through "How can we help?" page, I was finally able to pay for and start my download.

I fear that the proliferation of free tax filing services online and the millennial tendency towards dot.communism (everything on the Internet should be free, or at least paid for by someone else) has resulted in a really crappy change in how they present themselves, focusing on for free as a lure.


  1. I would have just signed in with my TurboTax account...?

  2. Somehow, my 'free' turbotax return cost me $79....

    Next year I'll just buy the software from Amazon for $29 or whatever.

  3. Sigivald: first thing I tried.

    Fidel: I needed the version that handles small business and investments. Of course a few hours later, Mint sent me a $20 off coupon.

  4. I just buy the program from Amazon. No hassle.

  5. I use paper. Works every time. Free. Except now they won't send the paper forms.