Intuit Service Can't Handle The Hordes Of Tax Procrastinators

from the bad-timing dept

Talk about a bad time for your network to fail. Last night, just as millions of Americans were scrambling to get their taxes filed before the deadline, Intuit’s online tax filing system buckled under the strain of so much activity. Technically, the system just got really, really slow, but it may result in penalties for people whose filings came in after midnight. For a company that’s positioned itself as the leader in electronic filing, this is a pretty bad glitch, and if customers do end up owing penalties, you can be sure that the company’s reputation will take a pretty big hit. What’s not clear is if Intuit simply misjudged how much volume it would get, and thus failed to plan accordingly, or if there was some other mistake. Of course, the company is in a difficult position because most of the year, this service will get virtually no activity, but then is swamped in a day or two. As Nick Carr is fond of pointing out, incidents such as this one (or the annual tradition of online retailers failing around Christmas) point to the growing need for readily available on-demand computing power, such as that which Amazon is trying to sell. Then again, Amazon suffered an outage of its own last year during a spike in business, so it’s not clear that its infrastructure is fully reliable either.


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Comments on “Intuit Service Can't Handle The Hordes Of Tax Procrastinators”

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15 Comments
Mr. Yellow says:

Do it right.

They have this kind of traffic once a year, and why aren’t they ready for it? I’m hoping this is not because of any availability issue and it purely about capacity, because that would be very lame. If this is about capacity, then this clearly shows that their capacity planning/ Q.O.S needs work, and I hope they have the right people to get it right.

Tracey says:

Lacking basic forms

Well, part of the problem may have been that the software available for purchase required the downloading of “updates” from their site – all I needed was a simple 1040A form, and the software WAS NOT SHIPPED WITH A VALID 1040A FORM!!!! If I had to make a completely unnecessary e-trip to their web site at the last minute, so did A LOT of other people. So maybe they should actually make the CD-ROM product better to decrease traffic on their site.

CoJeff says:

HAHA

I stopped using anything to deal with Intuit back when they had installation codes that had to be called in to Customer Service to complete the installation during business hours. Intuit has no idea what their doing and this doesn’t surprise me in the least. I use H&R Blocks software and filed my taxes in February. Why do people wait so long when its so easy to punch in the numbers?

Bradley says:

Lack of Sales

I work at a Wal-mart in the electronics section, and for some reason this year there was virtually no tax software sales. We were supposed to have a big fixture of it in our main aisle, and it got taken down. We even had an H&R Block booth set up, and they actually took the book down around the beginning of March because the reps sat there for about a week with something like 6-7 customers to show for it.

And i’ve worked at this store for six years now, this is the first year tax software has basically sat there unused. Not sure if this is any kind of pattern though, so take it for what it’s worth.

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