The Intuit Turbotax fiasco for 2014 tax preparation software

Posted By on February 14, 2015

There was no love lost from customers of Intuit’s Turbo Tax software, and like many, I quickly looked to their competitors when I saw Intuit’s “money grab” in January 2015. Although the company responded with an apology and offered a $25 rebate to those who eventually figured out they needed to upgrade their Deluxe edition to the more expensive Premier or or even more expensive Home & Business … most were not happy with that particular apology or the $25 peace offering, only available after they e-filed their tax returns.

Now, to give credit where credit is due, Intuit CEO Brad Smith stepped up to the “mistake” with what could be the model of how CEOs should address customers after offending them (YouTube video above). Perhaps Intuit won’t able to correct the 2014 marketing decision, but they have recognized the massive backlash from customers … who at one time were most likely customers for life. I’m not sure what more could have said after the fact, but the January 29th apology and steps that announced to address customers anger and frustration is a good template for CEOs who find themselves in similar hot water. I’ve yet to see the reinstated forms in the Deluxe version, or where pricing will be set next year, but Mr. Smith’s response was good.


I still dislike the decision Intuit made in 2014 to gouge their customers … and am still puzzled why their website does not reflect what I think CEO Brad Smith said  …  but I’ll give credit to Brad Smith and his mea culpa so long as they follow through with the “reinstating all the previous forms” in the Deluxe version of TurboTax.

January 29, 2015 / TurboTaxBlogTeam LINK

We recently communicated with customers about the changes we made to TurboTax desktop software products and apologized for mishandling this important decision.

Many of you told us that our apology and explanation were just not good enough. You said that our offer of money back was too complicated. And you wanted to know what would happen next year. All valid points. You also clearly told us what would make this right.

You want your TurboTax desktop product to do what it always has done – handle the same tax situations as it did in years past. We’ve heard you, and we’re going to fix it.

Next year, we’re changing back to the TurboTax desktop software you know and love, restoring the forms that you’ve counted on for years.

Beginning February 7th, returning Deluxe desktop customers who need to upgrade will be able to do so within the product for free, making it simple and seamless.

For returning customers who have already upgraded to Premier at the higher price, we are continuing to offer $25 cash back through April 20. Just go to to get your money.

We will be communicating to our desktop customers in the coming days. In addition, Brad Smith, Intuit president and CEO, posted this video on LinkedIn.

I realize this hasn’t been easy on you, and I’m sorry for that. I also recognize that it took us too long to make this right. We are committed to regaining your trust.

You matter to us. You always have.

Sasan Goodarzi, General Manager
Intuit TurboTax


Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.