A full-fledged war is never a good thing, except when two corporations are battling it out. H&R Block attempts to poach users of TurboTax and the latter’s attempt to retain its clientele has led to a pleasant surprise— lots of freebies for customers including you.
The battle began when the TurboTax Deluxe 2014 edition received around 500 one-star reviews on Amazon from irate customers who felt cheated upon discovering that the 2014 Deluxe edition did not allow users to file Schedule C and D forms used to report investment and small business income. Customers were annoyed that they were indirectly being forced to upgrade to a costlier version of TurboTax.
Tax prep giant H&R Block decided to fish in troubled waters by promising to give their Deluxe tax prep software for free to all those individuals who have bought the Basic or Deluxe edition of TurboTax 2014. Curiously, H&R Block has avoided making this promise on its website and has preferred to spread the word through the media.
All H&R Block asks for is proof that the individual had indeed purchased the Basic or Deluxe version of TurboTax. A quick email to [email protected] along with name, address, contact number, OS specs—Mac or Windows, and a scan or email indicating purchase of TurboTax is enough for you to enjoy the unabridged version of H&R Block’s Deluxe edition.
Stung by the virulent criticism and H&R Block’s attempt to poach its customers, the VP of TurboTax, Bob Meighan reiterated that the company plans to do all it takes to retain its customers. The company is indicating that it is open to providing a free upgrade to Deluxe customers who feel cheated after having purchased the software.
TurboTax has sought to quickly counter H&R Block’s strategy because tax software customers rarely consider switching after getting used to a particular brand. Even if the functions are similar, customers often develop a psychological block about using a new program after getting used to a particular brand.
Yet, this is probably the best opportunity for TurboTax users to take a peek at what H&R Block is all about. Even those who spent $20 on TurboTax Basic will end up receiving free access to H&R Block’s Deluxe version, which costs around $55. Cost benefits apart, the customer will also enjoy access to a new user experience.
With average value of a tax refund hovering around $3000 and the cost of tax software deductible for those who itemize their deductions, this battle between two tax prep software companies is turning out to be a win-win situation for the customer.