Monday, May 12, 2008

How TurboTax kept my business

A comment on Friday's Weird Things post reminded me that I needed to give an update on the TurboTax situation and let you know how they kept me as a customer...probably for life.

I filed a complaint with them online and received a semi-auto-response that said my problem would best be dealt with over the phone. So I called and waited on hold for almost 40 minutes before a very nice representative came on the line to help me figure out my problem. He went through my return line by line with me until we discovered the problem--I moved from Manhattan to Queens in 2007, which is all within New York City. However, the wording of their software asked if I had lived in Astoria (my neighborhood in Queens) during all of 2007. When I answered honestly (that I had not) it automatically kicked me out of the system as a New York City resident, despite the fact that I have in fact been a resident since 2004. And there was no way for me to double-check this information. Their software should have asked whether I'd been a New York City resident for all of 2007, which would have reported New York City resident tax.

Clearly, their software was totally to blame for the problem, and the rep apologized. However, also clearly, their accuracy guarantee policy only covers penalties and interest, neither of which I was assessed with. I sat silently on the phone for about 15 seconds, waiting to see what the rep would offer me before I asked for what I wanted (a full refund of my state filing fees, which I figured was only fair). After that slightly awkward silence, the rep said, "Well, really all I can do is apologize and refund all of your filing fees with us in order to keep you as a customer." I thanked him sincerely and gave him the information he needed to put the refund in motion. I also asked him to make sure to forward the software problem on to whoever can fix it and he said he would.

I've since received email confirmation that Intuit will be refunding all my filing fees--for federal AND state. It amounts to almost exactly what I'm having to pay in state taxes, which is nice. This is the power of complaining in a nice, professional way and then shutting up--to see what they'll give you, which sometimes is more than what you would have asked for yourself.

Intuit also sent me a customer satisfaction survey via email, which I filled out as "very satisfied". They messed up, they admitted it, they apologized, they did something to make it right. They also just made a customer for life, and someone who's willing to spread word of mouth publicity for them.

1 comment:

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