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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

H&R BLOCK: Sucks

Well, H&R Block can kiss my big white butt.

I've used them for several years now, and they actually have the audacity to expect me to PAY them to do my taxes online.

The last... 4 years? have been free. Clicky clicky, waaaait, all done.

They currently have a link on the IRS website, under the FreeFile section, the informational text for which reads:

"Free File allows taxpayers with an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of $52,000 or less in 2006 to e-file their federal tax returns for free. That means 70 percent of all taxpayers – 95 million taxpayers – can take advantage of the Free File program."

Which means that since they have had themselves listed on the IRS FreeFile page, I should be able to file my taxes without paying anything on the H&R Block website.

Well guess what?

The informational text on the page you're taken to from the IRS website reads:

"Get simple, FREE* federal online tax preparation with TaxCut Free File from H&R Block. You qualify if you have an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of $52,000 or less and are 50 years of age or under. Plus, with TaxCut there are no forms to select, and e-file is included! Learn More"

And then, clicking the "learn more" link, you can find out:

"TaxCut Free File Online
Free File Tax Program Get easy, low-cost tax preparation.

TaxCut Free File Online guides you through your simple, federal return to help ensure your taxes are done right. Plus, there are no forms to select.

* Federal program
* FREE federal e-file
* State program* - additional $24.95

Features:

* Step-by-Step Interview - Our interview asks simple questions to quickly walk you through the tax preparation process.

* Seamless Imports - Quickly and easily import last year's tax and financial data from TaxCut Online, TaxCut Software, TurboTax Software and H&R Block offices.

* Error Check - Our program automatically double-checks your return for errors and omissions.

* Advice for Changing Tax Situations - Receive tax guidance in changes in your life, such as getting married, having a baby, buying a home and more.

* Get Your Refund Fast - E-file your return, and get your refund in as little to 7-10 days.

* Convenient Payment Options - Pay for your preparation fees with your refund.

* Worry-free Audit Support When You E-file - You can rest easy knowing H&R Block is there to help in the rare event of an audit. Included when you e-file your federal return with us.

* Maximum Refund Guarantee - Get the maximum refund you're entitled to, or your return is free.**

* Accurate Calculations Guaranteed - If TaxCut makes a calculation mistake, we'll pay resulting IRS penalties plus interest. See the license agreement for details.

* The following states do not support part-year/non-resident forms: WI, OR, KY, AL, LA, UT, OK, ME, AR, ID, VT, DC, MT, DE, ND, HI, TN, NH

** If you find another online tax preparation method that results in a larger refund (or smaller liability) than that calculated by the TaxCut online tax program, we will refund the fees you paid us to use our online tax program to prepare that return. To qualify, the larger refund or smaller tax liability must not be due to differences in data supplied by you, or positions taken on your return that are contrary to law.

To make a claim, mail a copy of the Federal tax return created by the TaxCut online tax program as well as the Federal return prepared by the alternative online tax preparation method (and any other relevant information reasonably requested by H&R Bock Digital Tax Solutions) to Attn: TaxCut Refund Claims, H&R Block Digital Tax Solutions, 4400 Blue Parkway, Kansas City, Missouri 64130 within the same calendar year in which your tax return was prepared and filed. Returns prepared by TaxCut desktop software, H&R Block Signature, H&R Block Online Office or an H&R Block retail office solution are not qualifying alternative tax preparation methods."

Now, I have used their service in the past, and never had to pay. This time, though, as soon as I logged on, there was a "choose your package" page, and no sign of a free option. So, I clicked the FreeFile link on the IRS site, I clicked the big red "file for free!" link on H&R Block's page, I logged on, and I was offered no free option. I assumed the cheapest one (followed by an asterisk) must be the right one, so, having no other option, I tried it.

...and guess what does not appear until you have COMPLETELY finished your federal return:

"TaxCut Premium Fed $19.95

Note: E-filing is free when you pay for tax preparation. We can't guarantee that your return will be eligible for e-filing or that the IRS or state taxing authorities will accept your e-filed return."

Liars.

There is also apparently no way to go back and find the free option.

From my e-mail comment to them:

"Very, very nice. From the IRS website: "Free File allows taxpayers... to e-file their federal tax returns for free." You are listed on that page, but you charge $19.95. I have used your services in the past, but for wasting my time like that, you're getting a nice blog write-up."

In addition, I will not use their services again.

BYE BYE, bait and switch jerks. I will not reward your deception with my money.

I decided, instead, to use a little-guy company, [edit! 2/2012] I was previously promoting Liberty Tax here, but they redid their site in 2010 and it was so bad, I moved on to www.freetaxusa.com, and for the last three years they've done a great job.

18 Comments:

At February 01, 2007 8:56 PM, Blogger DSwords said...

I'm in Product Management at TaxCut. Apologies for the difficulty you've had using our Free File Alliance product.

I can assure you that we are not intentionally deceiving customers about the price. Thousands of users have already used our irs.gov offering for free.

Based on your narrative it looks like you may have run into a bug when jumping from the log-in on hrblock.com to irs.gov. If you're still interested in using TaxCut I can make sure that the erroneous Federal charges are refunded.

I'd like to get more information from you so that we can fix the issue you experienced so other users don't run into the same problem.

Please email me if I can help.

 
At February 02, 2007 5:49 PM, Blogger Will Von Wizzlepig said...

Hey, this sounds like a "too bad" scenario. I am neither computer illiterate nor overly impatient.

I looked through your site and there was no obvious or semi-obvious spot for me to change over from '$19.95' back to 'free'.

A company which makes you look for help to do something which they know should already work is a company that doesn't really care. You can call it a bug, but if I am the first person to have this happen and you had no idea about this prior, I'll eat my hat.

If the shift from the IRS website through to your site and then in through my login does not have the 'retain free' feature by default, and people have to come asking for help to get it, my reaction is going to be the reaction of many other people. Whether it was an unintentional oversight, or a plausibly-deniable intentional oversight- it's odd that less than 24 hours after I posted this, H&R Block has someone here doing damage control.

My experience has been that the management driving development often needs a serious kick in the ass before they care about the end user's experience, and if I am that kick and there's a whole department of developers and testers sitting around nodding and grinning, and some project manager wearing his tighty-whites for a hat, hell, job done.

I suspect that the people who just shrug and pay up is more profitable than just easily making it all free- enough to make the bad PR OK - and also covers the salary or a blog-comment-posting PR person or two.

So, too bad. I've taken my business elsewhere. Nice of you to swing by and do some PR work for your company, but that shit aint flyin' here.

 
At February 09, 2008 9:00 AM, Blogger MateoKS said...

HR BLOCK SUCKS!!!!

I just used them and paid 45 bucks for the efile plus state premium package i id my taxes and now for some reason im still pending after 5 days. I tried asking for help by submiting a question to a tax advisor which your first time is free, howevere, an hour later i got an email that said:

This appears to be a technical question therefore it is VOIDed any charges will still be applied.

I'm like WTF? Well I tried resubmitting saying no its not a technical issue but of course you cant reply to the emails they send and if i try to redo the tax advisor question it wants to charge me 20 bucks. On top of all this there is no phone number to call and there customer submit email form doesnt work eigther.

I even went as far as tring to contact my local H&R Block office well they wee rude and never returned my call. This is rediculous.


DO NOT USE H&R BLOCK!!!! You will get f*cked.

 
At February 27, 2008 11:28 AM, Blogger James Frey is a Fraud said...

http://activerain.com/blogsview/398038/H-R-Block-Where

 
At February 27, 2008 12:04 PM, Blogger Will Von Wizzlepig said...

That's a bummer, Michael. Good luck in fixing that.

 
At April 04, 2008 3:58 PM, Blogger Whiteink said...

OMG.. I did the same thing!!! I should of read this BLOG!!!!!!!!!
I HATE H&R BLOCK!

 
At May 15, 2008 12:15 AM, Blogger blue said...

In the time that you wrote this pointless blog hrblock aired 150 TV commercials that reached 100 times the amount of people that read your blog... therefore the number of people you persuaded to not use hrblock is nothing compared to the number of people hrblock got to use their services.
On top of that the fact that most people can figure out how to use the free services offered by hrblock, leaves your poorly constructed words utterly useless..

Basically what im getting at here is that nobody gives a rats ass what you think.. and your wrong.. so.... why do you exist again?

 
At May 15, 2008 8:50 AM, Blogger Will Von Wizzlepig said...

Hey, stupid:

FAIL.

Regroup and try again. Your trolling tactics are sophomoric at best, and your logic flawed- if nobody gives a rat's ass about my blog, why did you post a comment?

Oh, and no profile of your own? Coward.

Maybe you should stick to trolling your gaming and fan fiction forums. The zero effort snarkiness really works there.

Oh, and you might want to look into a better haircut. Survey says getting laid more often is an excellent remedy for having as much time to waste as you clearly do.

 
At February 08, 2009 11:20 AM, Blogger Will Von Wizzlepig said...

As an update to my mention of Liberty Tax, which has re-named itself to www.esmarttax.com, I must withdraw my recommendation of this company.

They have given it the old college try, and failed.

Please see my new post concerning them, http://willvonwizzlepig.blogspot.com/2009/02/liberty-tax-e-smart-tax-bad.html

 
At February 24, 2009 12:14 AM, Blogger Marcus Nagelberg said...

Yeah, did you know they have an F from the Better Business Bureau?



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H&R_BlockBetter Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau has given H&R Block a rating of F, the lowest rating on the organization's scale. The reasons given for this rating are "Failure to honor commitment to arbitrate or mediate disputes," "Number of complaints filed against business," "Failure to respond to complaints filed against business," "Number of complaints filed against business that were not resolved," and "Overall complaint history with BBB." [20]

 
At February 24, 2009 8:39 AM, Blogger Will Von Wizzlepig said...

nice info, Marcus, thanks!

 
At May 11, 2009 11:43 PM, Blogger smcd said...

So I just happend upon this blog.. I'm from Canada and just wanted to say that H&R Block is probably the worst company ever, and it is unbelievable that people still pay to use them. I had taken our taxes there to get "the second look" they go on about, how they will get you the most money.. and that the second look is free. (at least in Canada they claim this.)

That is a huge load. The second look got me $100 less... and there so called "free second look" cost me $80 more, for a whopping 5 minutes for them to look over the taxes. Man I am in the wrong business... I didn't know it was legal to steel money from people like that.

 
At March 07, 2010 5:01 AM, Blogger Alan S David said...

The new software for 2009 taxes is awful. It is hard to navigate, leaves a lot of questions unanswered and is generally crappy. I have used the TaxCut many times in the past, but will never again...now that the new version has been experienced.
Garbage.

 
At March 07, 2010 9:14 AM, Blogger Will Von Wizzlepig said...

I just thought I'd update this thread- this year I filed with www.freetaxusa.com , and their site was well put together, and it worked flawlessly. I got my return without a hitch.

 
At February 25, 2011 10:45 AM, Blogger Amy said...

I am so, so sad that I did not see this sooner. Had I only known that I needed to google "h&r block sucks" BEFORE I used them this year. I ended up paying for services I never received the benefit of, waiting longer for my return, and found the website difficult and non-intuitive. I will happily never use them again and encourage my friends to do the same. Bad company. Bad product. Bad (no) response to consumer complaints.

 
At January 31, 2012 8:07 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Like a few other comments, i wish i read this blog before i used h&r block to do my taxes,i linked off IRS.gov to H&R blocks site.while doing my tax return got to the credits part, i noticed first time home buyers credit clicked on it the software asked me 2 questions purchase date and price,clicked next and it said i qualify for 8k credit and it filled out the form automatically,well turns out credit is for military only and i already sent everything in to the IRS-what the stupid software should have asked,to verify qualification of the credit is purchase date of home, price of home and are you military,if it did i wouldn't be going through this crap.But that's what i get for putting my trust in h&r crap.

 
At February 01, 2012 4:07 PM, Blogger H&R Block Hater said...

I used H&R Block for 20 years and paid extra for the "peace of mind"extra which is supposed to provide support if you get audited.Well Obama audited me and H&R Block did not help at all. Also they over charge by around 400%...yeah 400%. Got my taxes done at a local place for much much cheaper and better service. If you have lots of disposable income, H&R Block is for you. DO NOT use them. They are just a big name. I will never use them again.
Too bad I had to learn the hard way,at a cost of around 20,000.00 dollars (ouch).

 
At February 09, 2012 3:12 PM, Blogger Will Von Wizzlepig said...

I am here to again promote www.freetaxusa.com, a site which has been doing right by me for three years running.

They do not suck at all.

Thanks FreetaxUSA!

 

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