on December 1, 2014
I have been a loyal TurboTax customer since sometime in the 90's (I threw away the floppy disks a long time ago, and I don't recall the earliest date, but it's been a long time.) I am angry about the deliberate disabling of critical features in TurboTax Deluxe. No Schedules C, D, or E. In the past, the product was functional, even though the "Premier" version provided more help and guidance. That was extra functionality and if you needed it you could buy it. But in Deluxe you got the forms, the basic help info, the IRS docs, the final review checking, printing, and e-filing. So if you knew what a schedule C or D was (it's not that hard) you could file your taxes.
Now in the name of "consistency" this has been taken away, and if I want to file my taxes using TurboTax I need to buy something almost twice as expensive. I have read the words about how Intuit labored over the vital need to be "consistent" and yes indeed after their stressful labors they did indeed cripple the product and they will try to force people to buy the much more expensive version. Please be honest -- just step up and say you decided to charge a lot more money. Instead the official Intuit response sounds like we're supposed to feel sorry for how difficult it was for them to decide to raise the price.
Raising the price is something I would object to but it's just a price increase. It's the disingenuous explanation that shows such contempt for the intelligence of customers which prompts me to give a one star rating, only because it's not possible to give zero stars.
Intuit used to be known for making products that pleased customers and surprised them -- in a positive way. It's sad to see the company's current attitude.
**UPDATE -- IT'S EVEN WORSE** OK, I'm angry but I need to do a draft of my taxes for planning purposes prior to year end. So I bit my lip and looked at ordering the Premier version. Even in the high-priced Premier version, Schedule C is crippled -- limited to $100 of deductions in a couple of expense categories. I.e. only good for a tiny hobby business, and maybe not even that. So now having forced me to Premier, even that high priced product is useless to me. Intuit, what is wrong with you people?
Everyone who reads this: Maybe you will have to buy the product in order to avoid the trouble of converting to another product. But even if you decide to buy it, please take the time to register a negative review here or at other product review sties. You don't have to write as long a review as I did -- just a couple of sentences and click on 1-star. Even if you have a rational reason for giving in to Intuit's extortion, maybe the negative reviews will cause other customers to choose other products. Maybe someday Intuit will be forced to care about customers.
on December 7, 2014
Although a long time user of turbotax (satisfaction and habit), I have decided it is time to consider alternatives. Unlike many 5-star raters on this blog that seem to think that turbotax is the only alternative to CPAs and retail preparers (like H&R Block offices), there are tax software alternatives available also. Because of habit, satisfaction, and resistance to change I had not evaluated them previously.
I contacted Bob, the VP of turbotax, and he advised me that the changes were necessary because "it was causing problems for 10 million customers at the expense of a very small fraction of the others." I'm guessing most of us on this blog are apparently a part of this small fraction of others. Considering that people who do not need schedules C, D, E, F, and K-1 probably do not care either way, I think this suggest Intuit hopes to get an additional $300 million revenue (10 million users who apparently care times $30 per upgrade); don't let anyone say it is not about the money/revenue!! But, that is Intuit's business; customers just have to go where they think the value is. So, getting out of past habit, I purchased the 2014 H&R Block Basic software for $19.95 retail. I need Schedules C, D, E, and F; they were all there and the software easily imported my carryover records from the 2013 turbotax file, including depreciation records and carryover values (capital gains and passive losses). I have now completed my pro-forma return and year-end tax review without issue.
Bob suggested that they were providing free upgrades to everyone who contacted them; of course, this is for this year only and is probably an attempt to quite the current hoopla. My question is why someone should have to call to get this benefit. Are some customers preferred over others? Further, since you are not likely to get this benefit next year, maybe it is time to bite the bullet and look at other tax software alternatives (not CPAs and tax preparers).
I found the H&R Block Basic tax software quite easy to use and it costs a fraction of both turbotax deluxe and premier versions. If you need more handholding you can buy up to premium H&R tax-software versions and at a cost significantly less than turbotax premier. If you do not need handholding, all of the forms are there and do not require manual intervention in order to file your taxes. I conclude that I have probably been oversubscribing to my needs for many years by using turbotax deluxe.
I think having to purchase turbotax premier version to get Schedules C, D, E, F moves turbotax out of the acceptable value category; cost is not commensurate with value received and with the available alternatives (actually, I think to get Schedule F, one may have to move to the Home & Business version at even higher cost). But rather than getting mad at Intuit, it's probably just time to move on. If Intuit has 10 million customers that will pay the price of premier (or home & business) turbotax to get basic forms, then there is nothing that a group numbering less than millions is going to achieve by complaining. My guess is that perhaps they may have mis-categorized their customer base and may not have the millions who will pay that premium. But even if they take corrective actions now on this current strategy, I still suggest it is time to move on, as this is the Intuit's second attempt to take away capability under the table; how long before the third time will crop up?
In the meantime, if you or friends are going to use turbotax, by all means call and get the free upgrade for this year. Just don't forget to look for your long term solution, as the free upgrade is probably a one-time transitional offer.
on December 16, 2014
My use of TurboTax would have reached drinking age this year, but I will be ending my relationship with Intuit instead. It has been on the rocks for some time, with the decimation of Quicken for Mac finally forcing me into other software. But I continued to use Turbotax because it was easy, and I had a backlog of files in that program. Changing is always difficult. Throughout my relationship with Intuit, I have been frequently amazed with the arrogant disdain they display for their customers. Over in the reviews for the PC version, Intuit VP Bob Meighan has responded to a number of the 1-star reviews (why can't we give zero stars?) with the drivel that you can still do the commonly needed forms that have been removed from the Deluxe version using the forms method and mailing them in. Mr. Meighan knows perfectly well that people don't buy Turbotax to use forms. He knows that people are buying e-file as part of the cost of the program, and that the method he espouses won't work with e-file. Blarney it is, and blarney it will remain, because Intuit doesn't care about the anger of it's customers. They've been through it before, they've stuck to policies their customers hated, and they still made money. So why bother with a bunch of malcontent customers?
UPDATE: I've been pleasantly surprised. I bought the Mac version of the H&R Block Tax Preparation software Deluxe edition download version. A couple of clicks and it was downloaded, a couple more and it was installed, and a final couple to import my 2013 TurboTax info without error. Installation with Turbotax has not always been that easy. One year they had to replace the disk, another year I had to go to a special download location, because the regular one delivered an installer that didn't work. And Hey, Friends, how about this for a bonus? H&R Block's Tax Prep software is significantly cheaper than TurboTax. Of course, you may have a different experience with the install and import, but if you're bothered by Turbotax's 2014 changes, I'd say give H&R Block a try.
on December 28, 2014
I almost bought and downloaded, because as a Prime member, Deluxe only costs $40 this year. I have used TurboTax for 15+ years, and the "Deluxe" version for the past few years. Then I wondered why all of the negative reviews. The elimination of Schedule D (and I assume Form 8949) from eFile is a major issue for anyone who has and investments. That only 2-4% of Deluxe users fall into this boat simply means that Intuit has been very successful in up-selling past users to the Premier tier. So those 2-4% of remaining low hanging fruit need to be pruned from this version. Funny how last year Deluxe actually imported Cost Basis from my Vanguard and TD accounts. Oh yeah, that is because of IRS rule changes.
Bottom-line. InTuit just lost another long term customer. It looks like HR Block imports TurboTax data, so it should be easy enough.
Thanks to other Amazon customer for bringing this gouging to light.
on December 28, 2014
I remember loading TurboTax for the first time onto my old Packard Bell system's 40 megabyte hard drive from about 13 or 14 floppy disks back in 1995. For the first time in my life, I was actually able to complete my tax return at home on my desktop computer without the assistance of a "tax professional"! I loved it so much I did it for the next 20 years, up through 2014, without giving any thought at all to switching brands. I recall thinking when competitors such as TaxCut appeared that there was NO WAY I would ever consider leaving my first love. Alas, as in other areas of life, nothing is guaranteed to last forever. I have no interest at all in experimenting with the various "flavors" of TurboTax to make sure I'm buying the right one. I have a couple of shares of stock purchased from "OneShare.com" that were given to me as gag gifts that occasionally report dividend income. Will "Deluxe" handle this? I'm selling a home for which I may or may not need to report capital gains income. Will this require a $30 upgrade? I have no idea, and I'm not interested in taking a chance and finding out I was wrong the hard way. I'm off to a competitor, most likely H&R Block, because it's cheaper, and quite clear what it will allow me to do. Farewell, old friend TurboTax. It was great while it lasted, but it's time to move on.
on January 8, 2015
22 Years down the drain in one easy step. WOW!
First, I thank my fellow reviewers for bringing this to my attention. My wife picked this up as she does every year for me and I am very glad I saw your comments before I opened the package. A quick review of the back of the box and a couple of clicks on the Internet validated all of your comments and reviews and I am grateful. It will be easier to return this since it's unopened and I am done with this product now for good. Last straw.
For two decades I have stayed loyal...through the DRM debacle, the doubling of the fee for State e-filing, etc. No more. I refuse to pay NEARLY DOUBLE the price of the Deluxe Software for the functionality of a single simple form (Schedule D in my case) and I refuse to pay one more dime to a company that apparently treats its loyal customers as inept and ignorant chattel to be ground down with the profit boot at their whim and leisure. I think it's safe to assume that Intuit learned nothing from what happened to Netflix, for example.
As a former military officer in leadership positions I was often the Income Tax adviser to the soldiers of my unit. I couldn't begin to count the times I recommended this product to soldiers after I assisted them. And it was with a great deal of satisfaction that they would return the following year thanking me for Turbo Tax and no worries about me having to help them from now on. Rather sad and ironic to have to witness the 180 degree shift in this product and my thinking.
One more observation I would like to make my fellow reviewers aware of. I read somewhere that Intuit "made considerable efforts to inform their customer base" that these changes would be taking place. Really? For the past 12 of these 22 years I would receive an e-mail reminder in mid-December from Intuit that tax time was coming. I could practically set my watch to the date/time group. It usually included a discount for pre-ordering and a summary of the tax law changes and improvements and changes to Turbo Tax. I didn't get one this year...coincidence? Just saying. (And I double checked just now) Anyone else not get theirs too?
And Bob, may I call you Bob? Don't bother pasting the form letter response signed by yourself, or one of your overworked flunkies on your behalf, asking me to call. You may call me instead... if you have the guts to admit to me that you "screwed the pooch" as we, in the military, affectionately called a self-imposed disaster. And I will be happy to thank you for your honesty, the 21 good years I did have with this product (and they were for the most part), and politely tell you that I will never own or purchase an Intuit product again....ever. Trust is a priceless commodity.
Oh, and Bob? I believe the current algorithm for potential sales loss per dissatisfied customer is 1:50 min <> 1:200 max. You have NO idea how networked a crusty, nasty, frustrated, angry, retired Army Chief Warrant Officer is. You may want to revise the max end of that figure.
As a last act of loyalty, commensurate with the high regard and sensitivity Intuit has given its customers this year, and with its subsequent and extravagantly thin explanations for doing so, I will take it upon myself tomorrow to educate my 40 co-workers of the changes. I will be happy to enlighten them on Intuit's efforts "to provide consistent product functionality across our desktop, Online and mobile TurboTax solutions"...and also the associated costs therein...just in case they may have missed the boat. After all, a good taxpayer is a well informed taxpayer. Right?
Then I will be informing the other 99.13% of my personal network as well. Half of them are well networked, crusty, nasty, retired Army Chief Warrant Officers too...do the math Intuit, you're very good at that.
Sincerely and Regretfully,
Brian G. Ames
CW3, USA (Ret)
PS - I built my first computer in 1976, I have a Degree in Computer Science, I am conversant in 7 programming languages (and 6 others that are dead), I have built over 300 systems and repaired I don't know how many. 35+ years of hardware/software experience. Really Bob, if you are going to answer a customer complaint with IT garbage about cross-platform compatibility and functionality, it should at least be plausibly specific IT garbage about cross-platform compatibility and functionality. You may want to get a little more in depth with your IT people. Regards
PS - 9 Jan 2015 Close of Business Day: My wife was able to successfully return the "Deluxe" edition. My coworkers were very happy to hear about the changes and those who were TT users were grateful I was able to enlighten them as to COST and EFFECT of the current changes. To a man I believe they are looking elsewhere for their tax software needs. Can't imagine why. Time to start my emails to the rest of my network.
PS - 23 Jan 2015: I just read where Intuit will provide a $25 rebate to those filers, as a result of Intuit's "improvements", who are forced to upgrade in order to file their taxes as they would have last year with the Deluxe version. A: At least in my area, the rebate doesn't cover the entire cost of the minimum upgrade. So why should I bother when I can have full functionality in another tax software that's $10-15 cheaper than the current Deluxe anyway? And if for some ungodly reason you had to jump one more edition up past that, this would not cover even half that difference. I didn't see anywhere in the article where that was addressed. B: According to a spokesperson at Intuit who announced the rebate, "We really messed up..." YA THINK!? On the plus side for Intuit, I believe they will not have to worry about customer awareness of price changes for next tax year. Plenty of publicity now. C: Such a pitiful response to the loyal customers you shafted, it's not even worthy of my contempt.
Have H&R now and it imported last year's TT data seamlessly. So far I have found very little difference other than TT has a bit more polish in some areas. I never had a problem with TT itself, wonderful software. My grief is the underhanded way Intuit went about jacking up the prices and the very weak and transparent excuses when they got called out.
Update to Intuit Execs: I'm counting coup. As of today I am just short of educating 750 people on the wonderful and thoughtful changes you've made to your Turbo Tax Deluxe product. They are pleased, but you may not be.
PS - 2 Feb 2015: My comments regarding Bob Meighan's Manufacturer's Post to this review are below. It is also found in the comments thread for this post as well. Before I paste it I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone for their kind words and also to those who found the review helpful even though they didn't comment. I will not be able to continue to answer specific questions posted here or acknowledge further comments although I sincerely wish to do so. I currently work as a contractor in support of the United States Navy (go figure...lol!) and a support situation has arisen that will require my full time attention for the foreseeable future, even after hours. I may be a Grunt, but by God ALL SERVICE uniforms are important to me, now and always! I stopped counting coup at 1500+ individuals at $49.99 each. I think that I have made my point, especially in light of Intuit's recent actions. God bless you all and God bless the United States and the Armed Forces which protect her. My post as also published in the comments (with some last minute edits):
Mr. Bob Meighan,
I think I made it plainly clear, but let me reiterate...TRUST IS A PRICELESS COMMODITY!
To answer your points, which are obviously a shotgun blast response directed by your CEO (I did watch his insincere, sorry @ss apology video):
You have, as of this date (2 Feb), NEVER communicated to me directly as a decades long TT customer about the changes you made to the desktop software product. I KNOW my email is in your database.
The message sent back to you was ONLY CLEAR once you saw the belligerent and justified response to your transparent and weak responses affect your public image (and stock standing) and were trumpeted by Forbes, Business Weekly, WSJ, etc. and jumped on by your competitors.
1.) Feb 7...almost 2 months plus after your BS changes were brought to light. Need I say any more?
2.) See my post script dated 23 Jan to my Amazon post. This DOES NOT COVER the TOTAL additional cost of the upgrades. Particularly to the Home and Business version. Do you honestly think we are that blind and can't do simple math? And as far as streamlining the process, I can't comment because I AM NOT USING YOUR PRODUCT NOW AND IN THE FUTURE. But I believe there were some concerns by some users about having to submit their SSN etc. You didn't address this at all and I know it was a common concern among those seeking the 'Rebate'. Another fortuitous and convenient oversight on your part?
3.) Too little and too damn late. If you had been genuinely concerned about your decades long customers, of which I am one, you would have never changed the desktop software in the first place. What makes you think that I'm going to grovel to you on hands and knees next year after what you have done to the product I SHOULD HAVE HAD this year?
I highly doubt that you will be communicating this to customers, at least directly, as I have yet to see a direct communication from Intuit although you have communicated with me 12 of the last 22 years regarding TT with the exception of this year. I am not holding my breath at all.
NO, it was really very easy...very easy to consider a competitor's offerings after seeing what you did and the bogus reasoning and lackluster responses you gave.
YES, you are sorry...sorry for the crap you tried to pull, sorry for the BS responses you tried to pawn off on your long time loyal customers and sorry that you were so blinded by greed that you couldn't see the consequences.
YES, you should be committed...committed to an insane asylum, because you're crazy if you think you will EVER earn my, or many others, trust again.
With my sincere and utter contempt,
Brian G. Ames
CW3, USA (Ret)
PPS - 2 Feb 2015: My bad, I forgot to mention the 5 who did not find my review helpful. Thank you very much for your consideration although it did not meet your expectations. My best wishes to you all.
Brian G. Ames
CW3, USA (Ret)
on November 30, 2014
INTUIT has downgraded the DELUXE version by removing several schedules: C, D, E, F, and K-1. You now have to pay an extra fee and upgrade to the PREMIER edition. LOUSEY BUSINESS PRACTICE!
H&R Block has the better product for the old price. GOOD-BYE INTUIT! I had been a loyal customer since the Chipsoft days......
on November 30, 2014
Dear Bob Meighan - Yes, I understand you can use "forms mode" to manually fill out and mail your Schedule D to the IRS. I can also use the free IRS forms to fill out and mail Schedule D to the IRS. After 15 years as a TurboTax customer, I will be taking my business elsewhere. I recommend everyone else do the same. If you're the VP of "customer advocacy," I'd hate to see the opinion of those at Intuit who are not advocating for the customer.
on December 16, 2014
I am thankful for these 1 star reviews in advance of purchasing. I too have been a 20 year TurboTax customer and will explore H & R Block. As a small home office consultant I cannot even claim office expense under $100! even in the Premier edition. I just warned 600 Facebook friends. Get the word out and warn your friends. We can fight such corporate greed if we get the word out over the Internet.
on November 28, 2014
Horrible decision by Intuit to eliminate support for Schedule D in the Deluxe version this year.
Note to Bob Meighan, VP TurboTax: Suggesting that TurboTax Deluxe does support Schedule D by choosing 'forms mode' and then printing/mailing the hard copy to the IRS is not an acceptable response. Two of the main benefits of using TurboTax are the 'interview mode' and 'filing electronically.' As I'm certain you are aware, sending forms in the mail carries the risk of a lost return and typically delays refunds by up to several weeks. Please reconsider this very poor decision. Thank-you.
**Update: The negative reviews have started to hit the newswires. I'm guessing that Intuit might rethink their strategy.
nbcnews.com: Consumers Slam Changes in Intuit's Turbotax Deluxe
cbsnews.com: Hidden TurboTax charges have users screaming