Saturday, February 6, 2010

Intuit Nonsense

Tax season is upon us. Once again I have debased myself by buying Intuit's Turbo Tax. As I open-up Trubo Tax I am once again relieved that the welcome/registration screen is still loaded with comforting Orwellian newspeak.

1. "Tell us about your Turbo Tax Product so we can keep you up to date."
A nonsensical statement, the product updates itself automatically.

2. "If you want to tell us how you you would like Intuit to contact you or do not wish to received marketing materials, please specify your contact preferences."
Another inane statement. Why should I have to click on "contact preferences", go to another webpage, and re-enter the very same information that I entered to register the product? This is a computer program that is supposedly designed to make life easier for the user by eliminating things such as entering the same information twice! Intuit could simply have provided a contact preference check box on the registration screen itself.

Furthermore, this "request" is an annual tradition. Again this is a computer program, the program calls home, so Intuit could simply ask the question about keeping your prior preferences.

3. "The contact information you update here will only affect future marketing promotions."
The sentence above comes from Intuit's "contact preference" webpage. Good to see this clarification, but its in the wrong place. This clarification could have been provided on the registration page itself.

My concern is that when you read bullet point #2, the implication is that you may not receive product updates if you had requested Intuit not to contact you. To my knowledge, the updates have never been disabled, but the point is that FUD is being used to encourage you to receive marketing information.


An important consideration is that Intuit is only one of many software sellers that use Orwellian Newspeak to obfuscate what is going on. I will say that Microsoft and Intuit are successfully competing as to who uses the English language in the most disingenuous manner.

As I progress in completing my taxes, I hope to get around to disclosing other irritating "features" on CasualObservations. One of the principle ones being periodic marketing calls for "upgrading". I don't mind an occasional advertisement, but there is a line where the marketing hype becomes intrusive and irritating.

PS (Update): That didn't take long. One of the first opening screens was a recommendation to upgrade to Turbo Tax Premier. Also in reviewing the differences between the Deluxe and Premier version I don't get a clear picture of why the Premier would be better beyond a vague reference to improved "guidance". I won't be exploring the concern of whether the difference between the Deluxe and Premier versions is real or artificial.

If you have any favorite stories to share concerning Intuit, I hope to hear from you!

No comments: