Administrivia, General Chaos

H&R Blockheads

Here's a tale of how not to do customer service, or write commercial software, or to do business generally.

Back in December, I downloaded a copy of H&R Block's Tax Cut Deluxe for Mac OS X. I figured this was a win–I've used Tax Cut for my returns for the past 5 years, and now I could do it on the Mac, instead of rebuilding all of my return data in a new package. Well, a few things happened along the way–a drive crash, a Powerbook getting pulled off a desk by a cat, the usual–and I didn't get to import my last year's return data until last week.

Which was when I found out I couldn't. The interface was there to do it, and it pulled up a file list, but I couldn't select the file to import. It was like they just hadn't gotten around to writing that module or something.

In fact, that was exactly what it was. I called tech support, and the poor sap on the other end said, “That's the first thing Mac users complain about.”

“So is it getting fixed?” I asked. ” Is there a workaround?”

“Nope,” was his reply.

So I called customer service. And they told me that I was S-O-L; they didn't do exchanges and had a strict 30-day return policy. That was all.

I got them to let me talk to a manager, and mentioned that this particular absence of feature wasn't documented anywhere , and that there was no mention of this particular bug on the tech support site. I mentioned the word, “fraud.”

So they gave me a refund.

Now I'm stuck–I guess I have to run out and buy the damn PC version of TaxCut again. But next year, TaxCut gets the axe.