Intuit Caves To Pressure: Offers Free TurboTax Upgrades, Will Undo Changes To Software For Next Year

Intuit CEO Brad Smith is sorry.

Intuit CEO Brad Smith is sorry.

Ask, and ye shall receive. Or rather, create a fuss big enough to let a company know people aren’t okay with changes made to a popular product, and force that company to back down and do the right thing. After TurboTax customers heartily voiced their disapproval over Intuit tweaking its software and charging more for features that used to be included in certain versions of the software, Intuit has reversed course, saying it’ll undo the hell it wrought.

Intuit changed which services come with each tier of desktop software — Basic, Deluxe, Premier, and Home and Business — shifting some forms to more expensive versions. One big bone of contention was that the new version of TurboTax Deluxe no longer included four forms that are an essential part of some customers’ tax returns, forcing them to upgrade to the Premier software to gain access to those forms.

At first, Intuit tried to make good by offering a $25 rebate to those forced to upgrade, but first they had to finish and e-file their taxes and then apply for the rebate, and it only worked if they filed by April 15.

That wasn’t good enough, and now Intuit is saying it’s sorry and wants customers to come back into the fold. The company announced yesterday that it will roll back the changes it made to TurboTax software this year, and will cancel those changes for next year as well.

“These past couple of weeks have not been our finest hour,” Intuit CEO Brad Smith says in a new video posted by the company. In a blog post on LinkedIn accompanying the video, he adds that the company’s initial response and apology were off.

“Our apology and the way we handled the situation significantly missed the mark. Comments on my post as well as emails, calls and online reviews clearly stated we needed to do more to rectify the situation,” he writes.

Those customers forced to upgrade to complete their taxes can now upgrade from within the program for free, instead of waiting to complete their taxes and getting that $25 rebate. If you’ve already upgraded, you still have until April 20 to apply for the $25 rebate.

It will take until early February for necessary program changes to take effect, Smith notes, so if you don’t see the free upgrade right away, be patient.

Sorry Wasn’t Enough. Here’s What We’re Doing Now. [LinkedIn]

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