Skip to comments.Tax Program Develops An Insulting Approach - TurboTax installs Spyware
Posted on 01/30/2003 8:12:59 AM PST by TroutStalkerEdited on 04/22/2004 11:48:02 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]
The top two software packages for tax preparation have been largely static in their core features and user interfaces for years, but you'll notice a new attitude toward customers from one of the publishers this time around.
The programs are nearly identical, and in my annual reviews of H&R Block's TaxCut and TurboTax by Intuit I have mainly noted changes in ancillary features, and in the proliferation of various editions and versions that seem inspired more by marketing than by functionality.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
Perhaps, but I suspect that the contract that they enter into with you when the accept your money to perform the electronic filing, and forward your taxes to the IRS supercedes whatever suspicions of piracy they may have. In addition I would guess whatever agreement they have with the IRS prevents precludes them from "sabotaging" your taxes, as some here have suggested, and doing pretty much anything but forwarding them to the IRS.
I don't really see how the activation code scenario that they have gone to differs from the "registration code" scenario they used in the past. No one who filed their taxes using a duplicate "registration code" was prevented from filing electronically last year. So, presumably, Intuit processed millions of electronic filings where the registration code was identical for ALL of the customers.
Futhermore, the four electronic filings per copy was enforced by the software not the servers. So it was really more like 4 electroni filings per install. We'll see if this changes.
Copyright violations are illegal, but torture under the colour of authority is not. Such sentiments would warm the cockles of the heart of Bill Lockyer, liberty-hater extraordinaire.
The Poohbs is an enthusiastic supporter of such practices. ;-)
From: Wiener, Daniel
Sent: Thursday, January 30, 2003 1:37 PM
To: Steve_Bennett@intuit.com; Scott_Cook@intuit.com; Bill_Campbell@intuit.com
Cc: Dennis_Adsit@intuit.com Sonita_Ahmed@intuit.com; Tom_Allanson@intuit.com; David_Belle-Isle@intuit.com; Mark_Bercow@intuit.com; Steve_Blundell@intuit.com; Craig_Carlson@intuit.com; Elliot_Cooperstone@intuit.com; Caroline_Donahue@intuit.com; Linda_Fellows@intuit.com; Brooks_Fisher@intuit.com; Jim_Grenier@intuit.com; Jennifer_Hall@intuit.com; Brad_Henske@intuit.com; Bill_Hensler@intuit.com; Kozo_Hiramatsu@intuit.com; Russ_Hobbs@intuit.com; Bill_Ihrie@intuit.com; Bruce_Johnson@intuit.com; Larry_King@intuit.com; Lisa_Lang@intuit.com; Jeff_Langston@intuit.com; Bob_Lasser@intuit.com; Bob_Lawson@intuit.com; Ginny_Lee@intuit.com; Dan_Levin@intuit.com; Miles_Lewitt@intuit.com; Dan_Manack@intuit.com; Bernie_McKay@intuit.com; Bob_Meighan@intuit.com; Bill_Mirbach@intuit.com; Ken_Mudge@intuit.com; Lorrie_Norrington@intuit.com; Carol_Novello@intuit.com; Michael_Potts@intuit.com; Enrico_Roderick@intuit.com; Pankaj_Shukla@intuit.com; Melanie_Singer@intuit.com; Fran_Smallson@intuit.com; Tom_Spencer@intuit.com; Raymond_Stern@intuit.com; Jill_Ward@intuit.com; Donna_Wells@intuit.com; Sherry_Whiteley@intuit.com; David_Windley@intuit.com
Subject: Insulting software
I just finished reading Walter Mossberg's column in today's Wall Street Journal. I am appalled.
For many years now I've been a loyal Intuit customer, as a quick check of your computer records will reveal. I've regularly purchased the federal and state Turbo Tax packages for individuals, as well as the Corporate Business packages. They all worked very well at very reasonable prices, and I had no reason to even look at your competitors. I was just about to again purchase your products to prepare our 2002 returns.
Now you've lost me, just as I'm sure you have lost many, many others. I shall instead buy from one of your competitors who demonstrates more respect for its customers.
I shall not use Turbo Tax again.
Yes you can uninstall SafeCast, but then your TurboTax will no longer operate. Suggestion: Don't uninstall it until you've finished your return and any future audits that the IRS may request.
I suspect that there are more readers of the WSJ than all of the "software forums" combined - and then some.
You can bet your bippy that the WSJ article is either the death of Intuit, or a significant change in 2003.
By the way, Intuit's Quicken and QuickBooks has similar problems.
Thank you. I have so far gotten back very polite replies from Bob Meighan (Vice President, Tax Development, Consumer Tax Group), Brooks Fisher (Vice President, Vertical Strategy and Integration), and Steve Bennett (President and CEO). Bob Meighan's response was particularly detailed and extensive.
I'm not going to publically post our email exchanges, since I had not indicated to them ahead of time that I might do so.
If people disagree with Intuit's actions, it is important that they communicate that fact (and their reasons) to Intuit. After all, how can we hope or expect a company to correct a mistake unless it receives adequate feedback? Even if the sales of Turbo Tax suffer this year, it does no good unless Intuit understands why the dropoff occurred.
Intuit has valid reasons for wanting to suppress piracy. We need to motivate Intuit to find a different way. Free market competition can be an extremely powerful motivator.
I'm sitting here with a sealed box of turbotax that I think I'll return to the store. I guess I'll be doing taxes by hand this year. Lets see, enter the amount from box 1a on line.....
I have used quicken for years. After buying a new computer with XP, the old version of Quicken didn't seem to want to work properly (it was OLD) so I opted to buy the 2003 version. Man was I disappointed. First, the layout of the screen is disappointing. Second, the program can't seem to put things in the proper order. When I reconcile, I have to search for entries where they were in chronological order before. This version groups things in an illogical manner and I don't like that.
But by far the worst problem with Quicken 2003 is that it is constantly trying to get me to use the internet. It is 75% bloated adware, and 25% function. I've gotten it to calm down, but it still has plenty of places where I don't dare place my mouse. Why in the world would I want to put my own sensitive financial data, however insignificant it may be, on the internet. At least at home, it is relatively secure behind hardware and software firewalls.
It looks like MS Money is my next move, unless that tries to act like Quicken as well. Too bad that the old 16-bit version wouldn't run on XP.
The article he posts was published today. And I believe Intuit's C-Dilla removal program is very recent.
Federal Privacy law requires they give an opt-out procedure.