I figure you all have read enough about the stock market yo yo these days. It’s time for something else.
I wrote a mini-series on tax preparation software last year:
- Tax Software: Online or Desktop?
- Tax Software: TurboTax, TaxCut, or TaxAct?
- Tax Software: E-File or Mail?
While my opinion on online vs. desktop or e-file vs. mail didn’t change, I decided to switch from TaxCut to TurboTax this year.
I was going to continue using TaxCut like I did in the last few years. I ordered the software from Staples and I even thought I got a decent deal. Together with Microsoft Money, Norton and McAfee anti-virus software, my total cost after all rebates was going to be less than $15. Because H&R Block increased their price, the deal wasn’t as good as last year when I was paid $40 after all rebates, but I thought $15 was good enough. However, after I installed TaxCut, I saw a big change this year. It requires the user to log on as a Windows administrator to run the application. This is nonsense. A user needs administrative right to install the software but the user shouldn’t need administrative right just to run the software. H&R Block developers clearly took a shortcut. Writing software that runs under a limited user requires more testing. So they decided to save some money and let their customers deal with the security risk. That’s not acceptable.
I decided to take them up on their 60-day money back guarantee. While I may be able to get around the problem by using “Run As …” I think a company must feel the consequence of screwing its customers. I wrote a short letter letting H&R Block know why I’m returning the software. If enough customers protest, I hope they will think twice before they do crazy stuff like this again. A few years ago, Intuit bundled the nasty C-Dilla DRM software with TurboTax. There was an outcry from the users. Many customers defected. That was the year I switched over to TaxCut. Intuit lost me as a customer. Now H&R Block sent me back to them.
[Update on Feb. 21, 2008]: There is a follow up to this post, TurboTax and TaxCut 2007 Compared Side By Side.