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TurboTax Customers Strike a Blow Against Intuit
Extremetech.com ^ | January 10th 2003 | Jim Lynch

Posted on 01/11/2003 10:35:39 PM PST by ledzep75

Edited on 04/13/2004 3:04:58 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

When Microsoft released Office XP and Windows XP with product activation embedded in both products, consumers and pundits alike responded with a gigantic hue and cry. Many Windows users were angry and felt betrayed by Microsoft. Others were uneasy and wondered whether product activation in Microsoft's products was a grim harbinger of things to come in the software industry.


(Excerpt) Read more at extremetech.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; Technical
KEYWORDS: intuit; spyware; techindex; turbotax
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1 posted on 01/11/2003 10:35:40 PM PST by ledzep75
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2 posted on 01/11/2003 10:43:07 PM PST by Anti-Bubba182
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To: ledzep75
I just got Turbo Tax in the mail (unsolicited). Apparently they want me to load it into my computer and pay a $30 activation fee. Glad I saw this article first.
3 posted on 01/11/2003 10:45:56 PM PST by SamAdams76
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To: ledzep75
C-Dilla is nothing, you should see the havok that Macrovision SafeWrap can cause to a corporate network.

The person who came up with SafeWrap should be hogtied and dropped into a 2600 meeting or Slashdot convention (if such a thing exists)

4 posted on 01/11/2003 10:47:38 PM PST by ContentiousObjector (Hey Macrovision, Hands of my server @$$hole)
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To: ledzep75
I still do my taxes the old fashion way, with a pencil and a stamp. I might consider doing it electronically if the IRS provides me the tools to file electronically. Why should I have to pay to send them my return?
5 posted on 01/11/2003 10:52:41 PM PST by EVO X
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To: SamAdams76
I just got Turbo Tax in the mail (unsolicited). Apparently they want me to load it into my computer and pay a $30 activation fee. Glad I saw this article first.

Ditto. I used Turbo Tax for the first time last year. Decided I liked it a little better than Tax Cut, which I used for several years before. Guess I'll be going back.

Just one thing before I do, though: Can anyone give actual testimony that Tax Cut does not have these same problems? I'd be really annoyed if I switched back to it for nothing.

6 posted on 01/11/2003 11:23:16 PM PST by irv
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To: SamAdams76
I just got Turbo Tax in the mail (unsolicited). Apparently they want me to load it into my computer and pay a $30 activation fee

I got their CD too and immediately smelled a 4 day old fish because normally there are rebates that bring the cost down to about $20. Another software company that ain't worth trusting. They had such a good thing going but they got greedy and slimey.

Rev up the presses TaxCut
7 posted on 01/11/2003 11:27:01 PM PST by jwh_Denver
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To: jwh_Denver
I wonder if they're messing with Quicken also?

Oh well, no biggie. My old version works fine so there's no need to upgrade.

If Intuit is willing to do this, though, might they attempt to download customer's tax information? Or financial information from Quicken?

On third thought, I think I'll tell my firewall to block all Internet traffic by Quicken for the moment. I can enter my stock prices manually for a while -- it's not like I have that many anyway. *g*

8 posted on 01/11/2003 11:46:00 PM PST by LenS
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To: *tech_index
Ping.
9 posted on 01/11/2003 11:51:25 PM PST by Dominic Harr (Certified Java Bigot)
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To: ledzep75
Spyware, activation codes, the IRS... I say we get rid of all of them!
10 posted on 01/11/2003 11:56:22 PM PST by Maurice Tift
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To: ledzep75
Thanks for the update pal. FR at its best!
11 posted on 01/12/2003 12:41:55 AM PST by jwh_Denver
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To: ledzep75
Time to short Intuit stock!
12 posted on 01/12/2003 12:48:35 AM PST by Timesink (Poodle: The Other White Meat)
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To: ledzep75
Thanks.
Won't be buying TurboTax for taxes this year.
Gotta e-mail link so I can let 'em know?

13 posted on 01/12/2003 12:52:50 AM PST by ppaul
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To: ledzep75
Microsoft will be coming on hard times soon over it's business practices. Former happy customers are not that way anymore.
They did inspire what happened with Turbo Tax I am sure.
14 posted on 01/12/2003 12:56:16 AM PST by A CA Guy
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To: LenS
If Intuit is willing to do this, though, might they attempt to download customer's tax information? Or financial information from Quicken?

I don't know. But once a company goes scumbag I don't trust them forever. It would be interesting to see if your Quicken starts lighting up your firewall but I really doubt they would download tax information as every lawyer in this country would have orgasmic visions of big bucks in a class action lawsuit. But then again I don't know. Watch that firewall fellow FR!
15 posted on 01/12/2003 1:01:19 AM PST by jwh_Denver
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To: ledzep75
Yep. I bought TurboTax (8th or 9th year I've been using it), and was pretty irritated to discover the new "feature". I'm going to finish my taxes on it this year since I already paid for it, but this is the last year I'll be a TurboTax customer. I hope this blows up badly in their faces.

By the way, does anyone know if the CD monitoring feature is removed if I do a complete uninstall of TurboTax come later this year when I'm done with the software? I don't want any more resource load on my computer than necessary.

16 posted on 01/12/2003 4:11:24 AM PST by NYS_Eric
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To: ledzep75
TaxCut is made by MSFT, right? So, both TurboTax and TaxCut are made by software companies guilty of doing this.
17 posted on 01/12/2003 4:20:49 AM PST by gcraig
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To: ledzep75
C-Dilla prevents you from copying the CD by disabling your CD-RW drive.

I'm missing something. Why does one need to copy the Turbo Tax CD? When installed on your system, the CD is not used.

18 posted on 01/12/2003 4:28:51 AM PST by JoeGar
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To: irv
Can anyone give actual testimony that Tax Cut does not have these same problems? I'd be really annoyed if I switched back to it for nothing.

Perhaps not as malware and spyware, but TaxCut collects and sells personal information to 3rd parties.... see their privacy statement.

19 posted on 01/12/2003 4:31:07 AM PST by TechJunkYard
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To: TechJunkYard
Oh great. I was going to pick up Turbo Tax this week. I've been using it for years. Oh well.
20 posted on 01/12/2003 4:49:45 AM PST by Unknown Freeper (Remember: when the chips are down, the buffalo is empty.)
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To: JoeGar
I'm missing something. Why does one need to copy the Turbo Tax CD?

I think the main issues with C-Dilla are:

I can't find much on the first two claims, but it appears that C-Dilla does install a bunch of stuff and keys and does not un-install with the app which installed it to begin with.

21 posted on 01/12/2003 5:00:56 AM PST by TechJunkYard
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To: TechJunkYard
Glad I saw this thread. I was ready to load the CD they sent me. No way now. I have used TT for 10 years straight up to now.
22 posted on 01/12/2003 5:23:05 AM PST by doosee
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To: ContentiousObjector
What is the spyware that they mention? This is the second time I have heard this term in 2 days. The first tme was with regards to Kazaa. I am a bit paranoid of having something called Spyware on my machine, as I do all my banking and investing on the computer.
23 posted on 01/12/2003 5:33:52 AM PST by ThinkingMan
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To: doosee
ping
24 posted on 01/12/2003 5:35:07 AM PST by TomSmedley
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To: TechJunkYard
I've already installed Turbo-Tax. Any tips on how to scour out the junk?
25 posted on 01/12/2003 5:37:21 AM PST by Aeronaut
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To: Aeronaut
See #21
26 posted on 01/12/2003 5:57:03 AM PST by Tunehead54
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To: SamAdams76
I just got Turbo Tax in the mail (unsolicited). Apparently they want me to load it into my computer and pay a $30 activation fee. Glad I saw this article first.

Ditto. Mine came last week. My wife "put it up somewhere," as is her wont. I was going to track it down when my W-2s came in. Now, I won't. It will go wherever all those AOL CDs go.

27 posted on 01/12/2003 6:05:53 AM PST by Skooz
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To: LenS
Yup, XG reqires activation and you can't even put a second copy on your laptop. I have been a user since day one but will never buy an Intuit product again.
28 posted on 01/12/2003 6:06:07 AM PST by BillM
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To: ledzep75
If I try to keep thieves from stealing my product, that makes me bad?
29 posted on 01/12/2003 6:06:47 AM PST by JoeGar
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To: JoeGar
If you do it by subversively installing spyware and additional software that disables your customers hardware components without their knowledge or consent, yes.
30 posted on 01/12/2003 6:11:44 AM PST by Skooz
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To: JoeGar
If I try to keep thieves from stealing my product, that makes me bad?

Yes. If your fruit stand gives a customer a virus if they swipe an apple, that's bad. There are laws to take care of that.

The idea that there is software monitoring a CD drive to be sure you don't copy a particular CD is not much different than theft, in my book. It's taking my CPU cycles, which I paid for, and using them to monitor my computer, which I use only for lawful purposes.

31 posted on 01/12/2003 6:14:08 AM PST by Glenn
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To: JoeGar
Screwing up your loyal, law-abiding customers computers trying to prevent the very few from stealing your software makes you bad......
32 posted on 01/12/2003 6:28:25 AM PST by SW6906
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To: Glenn; JoeGar
"Yes. If your fruit stand gives a customer a virus if they swipe an apple, that's bad."

I think you meant to say something like:

If your fruit stand gives a customer a virus in the apple they legally bought, that's bad.

33 posted on 01/12/2003 6:30:40 AM PST by SW6906
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To: ledzep75
If you want a good spyware eliminator try www.lavasoft.nu.(ad-aware). I use this program frequently to see if spyware has been downloaded on to my computer.
No problems with the program and as a matter of fact I used it before I wrote this reply because you reminded me of it to get rid of several suspicious keys from my computer.
Good Luck!
34 posted on 01/12/2003 6:34:23 AM PST by Ez2BRepub
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To: SW6906
I think you meant to say something like:

Probably.

I'm offended that any software company would place something on my computer that takes my CPU cycles and implies (or I certainly infer) that I am a thief and need to be watched. Let them find a less intrusive way to do the job.

35 posted on 01/12/2003 6:36:14 AM PST by Glenn
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To: Black Birch
>>Why should I have to pay to send them my return? <<

I have used TurboTax (mac version, a/k/a MacInTax) since 1990.

I have saved way more than I've paid. The software (and I'm sure the others, also) forces you to organize properly and identifies strategies for you that you may be unaware of.

That having been said, TurboTax Mac edition 2002 does not require activation, and if and when it does, I will switch.

It will be a major PITA to switch, since I have twelve years of electronic records in the Intuit format.

36 posted on 01/12/2003 6:38:46 AM PST by Jim Noble
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To: Glenn
I see it as a presumption of guilt. They assume I will steal their product, so they install spyware to make sure I don't.

Punish the guilty after they have broken the law, don't monitor me on the presumption that I would break the law if you weren't.

37 posted on 01/12/2003 6:39:59 AM PST by SW6906
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To: Skooz
http://www.taxact.com/

TaxAct appears to be a good company. I have used them for two years now and am very satisfied. These guys used to own Parson Technology.
38 posted on 01/12/2003 6:41:45 AM PST by PeterPrinciple
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To: Glenn
The idea that there is software monitoring a CD drive to be sure you don't copy a particular CD is not much different than theft, in my book. It's taking my CPU cycles, which I paid for, and using them to monitor my computer, which I use only for lawful purposes.

Why don't they just go the extra step and install a closed circuit tv monitor in the user's house to monitor him for "illegal activity" 24-7?

39 posted on 01/12/2003 6:46:58 AM PST by RogueIsland
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To: ledzep75
I've been using Quicken for many years. I tried Turbo Tax one time.It did a terrible job. I was suspicious when it didn't even address tax issues that had previously been on my tax return. I went back to the CPA I have always used and saved quite a bit in taxes over and above his fee. Turbo tax would have cost me a few thousand dollars.
40 posted on 01/12/2003 6:48:18 AM PST by FreePaul
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To: ledzep75
I have been using TurboTax for seven years, but I will not accept this. I am switching to TaxCut, and I am writing to Intuit to let them know.
41 posted on 01/12/2003 6:49:33 AM PST by Petronski (I'm not always cranky.)
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To: gcraig
TaxCut is made by MSFT, right?

TaxCut is produced by H&R Block, in collaboration with Kiplinger.

42 posted on 01/12/2003 6:50:43 AM PST by jackbill
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To: ledzep75
Man, no wonder that program gave me fits.

Yeah, I was one the unlucky SOBs who bought it. I had no idea it had activation until I installed it. I hadn't seen it before so I didn't know what to look for. I uninstalled it but I may reformat my drive and completely reload my system if it continues to cause havok.

Damned program wouldn't work for me anyway. Because I had unemployment and a 1099-MISC it wouldn't file my return electronically. Anyone know if Taxcut has the same hang up?

43 posted on 01/12/2003 6:55:40 AM PST by mrb1960
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To: JoeGar
I'm missing something. Why does one need to copy the Turbo Tax CD?

You actually are allowed, legally, to make a backup copy of any program you buy. You are not allowed to distribute it, obviously, but you are allowed a backup copy. I don't think the DMCA changed that, but I could be wrong.

While it doesn't happen often, CD-ROMs do occasionally become unreadable and it's nice to have a backup for peace of mind, especially since you ususally only find out the CD is bad at the worst time -- like when you are doing a compete reinstall of your system and you need mission-critical software back up and running yesterday.

The problem people have with C-Dilla is not the concept of a vendor trying to prevent theft, it's with the notion that, unknown to the user, invasive, intrusive, and potentially desctructive software is being installed on their machines without their knowledge.

It's a bit like finding out that because you purchased a book at Barnes and Noble, you unknowingly gave the major publishing houses consent to enter your home while you are at work and rummage through your stuff to make sure you aren't Xeroxing their copyrighted materials. Some might say, "Well, if you aren't doing anything wrong, you have nothing to hide." Others will just say, "Get the hell out of my house before you eat the end of a .45."

44 posted on 01/12/2003 6:58:08 AM PST by RogueIsland
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To: ledzep75
Bump
45 posted on 01/12/2003 6:59:09 AM PST by Fiddlstix (Wanted: Used "Tag Lines" in good condition. Top prices paid for Quality. Inquire Within.)
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To: ledzep75
My "suggestion" to Intuit:

Sneaky. Too Sneaky. I couldn't recall ordering TT 2002. I usually just buy it at Comp USA. Then I read about Cdilla - a program I understand you include for free. A glance at my directory structure reveals that I've BOUGHT and used TT since 1997. There will not be a "Tax02" directory. Guaranteed. C (dilla) ya.


My TT mailing was for the "Premier" Home and Business edition. $79.95 plus tax. Hope Intuit folds on opening night April 15, 2003.

Add your "suggestion" to Intuit

46 posted on 01/12/2003 7:01:40 AM PST by Tunehead54
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To: ledzep75
Thanks for the info. Freepers are such a big help with everyday living!
47 posted on 01/12/2003 7:09:42 AM PST by sunshine state
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To: RogueIsland
Well put. VERY well put!
48 posted on 01/12/2003 7:10:13 AM PST by SW6906
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To: Tunehead54
Here's mine...
I have read about the anti-pirating efforts you have made on your CD's. I do not know if they would cause me a problem or not, and I will never know. After using Turbotax for 5 years, I am switching to another company simply because of the fears that have arisen from programs (cdilla) that are installed but never can be uninstalled. Some have reported this causes problems on their machines, I can not, and will not take that chance. Whoever made this corporate decision has killed TurboTax.
Thanks, but no thanks.
49 posted on 01/12/2003 7:15:25 AM PST by error99
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To: Petronski
Petro my friend before you go to Tax Cut have a look at TaxAct! It's what I use, never had a problem, and $9.95 includes e-fileing of one return.
50 posted on 01/12/2003 7:20:48 AM PST by Bigun
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