Angry Users Trash TurboTax's Amazon Rating After Price Hike

UPDATE: TurboTax Price Hike Reversed After Online Outcry

Intuit raised the price on TurboTax from $44.95 to $59.95, and now, for the first time ever, they’re going to charge users $9.95 for each additional return you prepare on it. Previously, you could do up to 5 returns per copy of TurboTax. In revolt, TurboTax users have been leaving one-star reviews on Amazon in droves. Currently, 122 of the 134 reviews for TurboTax Deluxe are one-star, bringing the software’s overall Amazon rating down to 1.5 stars.

Compounding the problem is that disclosure of the pricing change is a bit hard to find. Reader Oliver says that, “the only notice of this change to the license is in extremely small print on the back of the software box. Turbotax now promotes the so-called free e-file in bold, large type, but the statement that additional returns are extra is hidden so most people won’t notice it until they get home. Furthermore, they do not clearly point out that additional printed returns are now extra, unlike in the past.”

TurboTax VP Bob Meighan responded to the customer concerns in by leaving this comment on a Cnet post:

Let me start by saying that we are absolutely aware that some TurboTax desktop customers have concerns and objections about the changes we?ve made to TurboTax desktop product pricing and we?re responding daily to those comments on Amazon and other online sites, blogs, etc.

For all to know, here is what?s different for 2008.

1. Federal e-filing is now INCLUDED in all TurboTax desktop products. This just makes sense since the majority of TurboTax customers now e-file. With this change, the majority of TurboTax customers will actually save a few dollars this year vs. last year. For example, TurboTax Deluxe costs $15 more this year. However, last year we charged a separate $17.95 federal e-file fee. So for the majority of our customers who e-file, they will save $2.95.

2. Customers who prepare multiple returns with TurboTax will be charged $9.95 for each additional return, which includes federal and state preparation/printing and/or federal e-filing at no additional charge. That means customers who e-filed one or more returns last year will actually pay less this year. For example, a customer who used TurboTax Deluxe software last year to prepare and e-file their own federal return and then prepared and e-filed a second return would have paid $80.85 ($44.95 for the boxed software and then $17.95 x 2 for each e-filed fed return). This year, that same customer will pay $69.90 ($59.95 for the boxed software and only $9.95 for the second federal return). Customers who didn?t e-file last year and want to print multiple returns will end up paying more. Customers can start and work on as many returns as they like and still use all the tax planning features without having to pay extra. They also can continue to print unlimited draft returns for review. But for those who never e-filed, we believe once they try it, they will never go back to paper. It’s not just about a fast refund, it’s also about eliminating the paper hassles and enabling you to file early and pay your balance due whenever you choose (for example, e-file in February but automatically schedule your payment for April 15).

We believe that TurboTax remains a great value, and as always, it is satisfaction GUARANTEED. If for ANY reason our customers aren’t satisfied with having to pay the additional fee, we will refund the fee(s). And we’re in the process of creating an automated, online process to make this quick and easy for any customer.

Let me assure you that Intuit is absolutely committed to listening and responding to customers. We never take customer feedback lightly — and as the author points out, we?re no stranger to having customers voice their opinions about TurboTax. But I have to say, I think that?s one of the reasons that TurboTax is the leading tax prep software year after year ? we have millions of loyal, passionate customers who genuinely care about what we do and who take the time to tell us. We deeply value and appreciate the power of that collective energy and feedback.

I hope this information helps

Bob Meighan
VP, TurboTax

For cash-strapped families already feeling the pinch this year, the price increase no doubt feels like a punch in the gut.

Customer Reviews TurboTax Deluxe Federal + State + eFile 2008 [Amazon]
Amazon reviewers slam TurboTax fee changes [Cnet] (Thanks to Maurice!)

(Photo: Getty)