Left Behinds

The anti-andrewsullivan.com. Or, the Robin Hood (Maid Marian?) of bright pink Blogger blogs.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Department of consumer affairs

I was doing my taxes using TurboTax, and when it came time to file discovered that the TurboTax people wanted to charge me $15 to file electronically. First of all, fuck that, the IRS lets you do it for free. Second, I've used this program in the past and it never tried to charge me to e-file, at least not that I can remember. And the way the program is written they're acting like it's all normal, like of course you have to pay a fee to e-file--they'll even helpfully take it out of your refund for you--which means, I'm sure, that a whole lot of people will just assume they have to pay it. Sneaky little weasels.

I just thought I'd use the megaphone that is Left Behinds to let the world know.


This is the message I sent them.

I did not discover until the end of preparing my return that you now charge a fee for e-filing. Since e-filing is a free service of the IRS--and you did not charge for it in the past--I consider this a pretty rotten hidden fee. I will not use your product again. I hope you get this feedback from others.

Here's the response I got from TurboTax customer service. It arrived at 9:45 pm PST, which probably means it was either autogenerated or sent from India.

Dear Mr. Hamilton,

Thank you for contacting Intuit Tax Products Customer Service & Support.

We perfectly understood your issue, we arer very sorry to say that, For most states, you must electronically file your state return at the same time you file your federal return. This is because most states require assistance from the federal government to process electronically filed returns.
TurboTax charges an electronic filing transmission fee. The cost for filing your federal and state returns is $29.90 for both or $14.95 each. While we do not anticipate a change, it's only fair to note, price is determined at time of print or e-file and is subject to change without notice. There is no additional fee if you choose to pay with your credit or debit card - Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover.

We hope that we have resolved the issue for the day, to the best of our ability. If you have any further queries please do contact us, we are glad to assist you.

“This e-mail should have answered all your questions. If you still have any clarification, you can always get in touch with us live through chat or phone at 1-800-446-8848”

We appreciate your business with TurboTax.


What on earth is that supposed to mean?

(Yes, I know this is the kind of thing really annoying bloggers obsess about. I promise that after this I'll cut it out.)


  • At 12:12 AM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    Who the fuck does their taxes on March 6th? Kissass.

  • At 12:14 AM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    If LL were still around, she'd be all "that's why I believe in minarchy and Robert Nozick!"

  • At 1:18 AM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    I was trying to get them done early because I have to pack up my computer when I move.

    And yeah, good times. I could use a lecture on how my taxes are going to support some undeserving poor person in Alabama 'bout now.

  • At 11:29 AM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    Yeah, I have never had a good experience with Indian customer service. Yesterday I had to deal with something very important and time-sensitive (and only mildly complex) concerning McKinsey's payroll dept, and it was so incredibly frustrating dealing with people who could not really speak English. I'm still not certain they did what they needed to do, because two different people gave me two mutually contradictory (but very chirpy) answers.

    I'm so glad the money McKinsey saves by outsourcing (and downgrading) customer service is going right into the pockets of its super-wealthy top executives. It really feels worth it.

  • At 5:09 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    I meant "mutually exclusive."

    Also, bold move writing your real name. I thought we were playing a delicious game of Mata Hari cat and mouse with our legions of devoted readers, to culminate in our long-awaited unmasking and million dollar book deal. That's how blogging works, right?

  • At 6:11 PM, Blogger Antid Oto said…



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