There’s no end to the TurboTax product feature changes saga. After standing firm on the product feature changes (see Intuit Apologizes, Offers Refund, Stands Firm On TurboTax Feature Changes), Intuit is now reversing the changes and putting the removed Schedules C, D, E, and F back into TurboTax Deluxe desktop product (download or CD) for this year, next year, and presumably the foreseeable future.
Intuit’s CEO posted a video message on LinkedIn: Sorry Wasn’t Enough. Here’s What We’re Doing Now. Janet Novack wrote on Forbes.com Intuit Cries Uncle, Will Reverse TurboTax Deluxe Changes.
Now the big question: Will those schedules also go back into TurboTax Deluxe Online? Remember the original rationale for the changes was to align the desktop features with online features.
I’m guessing no. Online will stay as-is because there are no Amazon reviews for it. Intuit can say if you want those schedules, you can buy the desktop product instead of doing it online. Maybe people who cared about those schedules already moved from online to desktop last year. That’s why this year’s change to the desktop product met with strong resistance.
What about feature alignment between online and desktop? I guess it’s not as big a deal as they made anyway.
Intuit wanted clear product segmentation. With those schedules in Deluxe, the value proposition for Premier and Home & Business is not very strong. “Better guidance” is a harder sell than “can’t do without.” People see the extra $30 on vague “better guidance” as an unnecessary upsell.
From a product lineup point of view, one could argue Deluxe shouldn’t have had those schedules to begin with. After all, no one has a right to use Deluxe to file those schedules. Then again the more expensive editions could be there just to make Deluxe look like a good deal. It’s well documented that people tend to pick the model in the middle.
Anyway, those are for Intuit’s product and marketing teams to figure out. As a consumer, I pick the product with the right combination of price and features. To me, this year, it’s H&R Block Deluxe. Next year, maybe it’ll be TurboTax Deluxe. It’s great to have competition. Consumers won this round because of competition. However, it looks like they still lost it online.