Una infografía con las Ventajas e inconvenientes del scroll infinito.
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Archivado en: Diseño, Infografía, Sociedad de la información Tagged: Diseño, Infografía, internet, tic
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It’s the opening weekend of tax season! If you work an hourly or salaried job, the W-2 form summarizing how much you earned and how much tax you’ve paid is already in your mailbox or will be soon, since the deadline to mail them out is February 2nd. If you plan use the Windows or Mac version of TurboTax, though, there’s something that you should know before you get started.
As soon as the 2014 version of TurboTax hit real-life and virtual shelves, customers noticed that something was different. There are different versions of the software for different audiences: Basic, Deluxe, Premier, and Home and Business. There are also versions for incorporated businesses and for tax preparers, but those the four consumer desktop software versions are the source of this conflict.
What Intuit did for tax year 2014 is change which services come with each tier, shifting some of the forms to the more expensive versions. They made the same changes to the pricing tiers on their Web-based service for 2013, so the change is not entirely unexpected.
The first rumblings came as soon as the software was released last year, and some true early birds got a head start on their returns. They noticed that something was missing: some pretty common forms that had always been part of TurboTax Deluxe. These included:
- Schedule C (self-employment expenses and income)
- Schedule D (capital gains and losses––stock sales)
- Schedule E (supplemental income like royalties or rental income)
- Schedule F (farm income)
Those are forms that most people don’t file. For people who do file them, though, those forms are an essential part of their tax return. When TurboTax customers discovered that forms they expected to have as part of the TurboTax “interview” interface weren’t there, the 1099-MISC hit the fan.
While some can be filled out in “forms mode,” that defeats the point of using a program like TurboTax. If people wanted to fill out forms, they would download PDFs from the IRS web site.
Here’s a screen grab of the in-program upsell from Mouse Print’s Edwin Dworsky:
We contacted Intuit about this situation, and in their explanations to the media of this change, they emphasize two points. First, they say, most customers don’t use the desktop version of the software anymore. That might have been the case in 1991, but most of their customers now fill out their taxes on the Web or use a mobile app. According to the company, only 20% of their customers now purchase and use the desktop versions.
An Intuit representative told Consumerist that the basic versions of the software (the ones that mostly compete with the IRS’s free e-filing program) are cheaper than in previous years, and that customers who pay for the upgrade will find it super easy to file. “We recognize change isn’t always welcome,” she explained. But we think believe our customers will find that if they do need to use a different product this year, they’ll be truly delighted with the extra guidance, additional insights into deductions and credits for which they may qualify and the increased confidence from knowing they left nothing on the table.”
It’s true that the upgraded versions offer access to TurboTax support staff, which you may or may not need, but encountering an upsell in the middle Angry customers are fighting back in the way people do in 2015: well, they’re also burning up the TurboTax brand Facebook page, but there’s a campaign of negative Amazon reviews meant to attract the attention of potential buyers before they spend $40 on the Deluxe version.
Intuit is taking this campaign very seriously. TurboTax representatives, including the brand’s vice-president, have stepped in on Amazon to comment on some of the poor reviews.
One reviewer who says that he has used TurboTax since 1995 explains why he thinks it’s time to move on:
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.
Another customer explained the options for people who need to file a full Schedule C or who put anything on Schedule D.
I hate what Intuit has done with Turbotax. I especially hate the disingenuous comment added by the Turbotax VP. Sure, you can manually file the Schedule D, but what the heck did I pay for? The Deluxe version clearly says you can file your Fed return electronically–except the actual software says you can’t.
So, the real answer is if you need to file Schedule D you’ll have to pay $30 more as stated in other comments. Alternatively, you can do what I did–which was uninstalled the software, submitted a request for a refund (6-8 weeks!), and started using other software….after using Turbotax for over 20 years. Good job Intuit–you just lost another loyal customer–for life.
Intuit has offered $25 rebates to returning TurboTax customers who bought the wrong product. Competitor H&R Block has also joined the party. They sell tax preparation software in addition to preparation services, and are offering free copies of their program to disgruntled TurboTax customers.
It’s important to step back and look at the big picture, too. Intuit has spent millions of dollars lobbying the federal government to make sure that American taxpayers still have to file tax returns, even though for most people the IRS could simply pre-populate the form with the information they have and cut us a refund check or send us a bill. The state of California already does this for state income tax returns, and other countries do it. People would be welcome to do their own math and file a return, but they wouldn’t have to.
In its ads and sales materials, TurboTax brands itself as an “interview,” like dealing with a tax preparer but without the human interaction. Intuit doesn’t want the federal government to make filing our tax returns easier, because they want us to buy TurboTax to make filing taxes easier for us.
by Laura Northrup via Consumerist
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Archivado en: Infografía, Redes Sociales, Sociedad de la información Tagged: Infografía, internet, redes sociales, tic, Turismo, Twitter, Web 2.0.
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Having received our fair share of complaint letters over the years, we know how tempting it can be to fire back at critics with negativity — but because that doesn’t solve anything, we’ve learned it’s always better to catch those flies with honey when possible. And in that vein, egg company Locally Laid took a shopper’s complaint about its high prices and sexual innuendos and turned the whole thing into a positive lesson about sustainable agriculture, while offering up an apology for causing offense.
We’ve written about the cheeky egg company in the past for its feat of pulling off sassy puns with style, so it’s no surprise that it’s now taking advantage of a disgruntled customer’s handwritten letter to explain not only its innuendos, but why its eggs cost more than others in the grocery aisle.
“I find your name on your egg carton extremely offensive and your sexual innuendos in advertising them vulgar,” he writes. “Not only were they the highest price in the store but also worst in advertising.”
He adds that he’s going to share his concerns with the grocery store and his friends, writing that there’s “enough crudeness in the world without egg advertising adding to it.”
Locally Laid replied in an open letter this week that should serve as an example to every other company faced with a displeased customer, taking the time to explain first of all, why those eggs are so pricey.
After acknowledging the customer’s right to complain and thanking him for taking the time to handwrite his letter, Locally Laid’s “marketing chick” Lucie Amundsen goes on to outline the company’s reasons for its name and prices.
She starts with the most basic reason it’s called Locally Laid — the pasture-raised eggs are indeed, “laid locally” — and goes on to explain why that matters in the grand scheme of things.
“The average food product in this country travels some 1,500 -2,000 miles from farmer to processor to distributor to your plate,” Amundsen writes. “That’s a lot of diesel burned and C02 pumped in the air. Our cartons travel a fraction of those miles. We’ve turned down lucrative contracts that would have taken our eggs out of the area because of our environmental stance.”
As for the price, which Locally Laid claims isn’t the highest priced brand out there, the eggs cost more because the company “practices sustainable agriculture, a sector that does not enjoy large government subsidizes like commodity products do,” the open letter explains.
“We move fences all spring, summer and fall, and fill waterers and feeders; it’s incredibly demanding work to get birds out of doors. And it all costs more,” Amundsen explains.
She then goes into great detail about the company’s efforts in “Middle Agriculture” and the state of farming in the U.S. today. Which, agree with all the information provided (and there’s a lot of it, in a long yet worthwhile read) or not, but explaining it all after a customer complaint is an admirable effort.
And yes, there’s some cheekiness involved in Locally Laid’s punning, Amundsen admits.
“And I truly am sorry, we offended you. (I’d offer you one of our American-made “Local Chicks are Better “ t-shirts, but I don’t think you’d wear it.),” she adds.
But it’s worth it, Amundsen explains, if it gives the company a chance to explain itself to consumers who notice its products because of that same cheekiness.
“With that second look from a consumer, we educate about animal welfare, eating local, Real Food and the economics of our broken food system,” Amundsen writes.
Again, whether you buy your eggs from the farm next door or the factory farm miles away, that’s not the point. We just like when a company could ignore or pass off a consumer complaint and chalk it up to a loss, it instead takes the time to lay it all out there. Pun intended.
*Thanks to Consumerist reader Amy for the tip!
Open Letter to the Man offended by Locally Laid [Locally Laid]
by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist