Using Amazon To Protest Products You Don't Like

from the virtual-protests dept

The main thing that kicked off all the negative attention over EA’s use of SecuROM DRM in Spore was the avalanche of negative reviews on Amazon. It seems consumers are beginning to recognize that such a rush of negative reviews is an effective way to protest and garner attention. The latest product getting the same treatment appears to be TurboTax from Intuit, where people are protesting a big price increase from last year. Any bets on whether or not a “glitch” will cause Amazon to delete the reviews, as has happened with previous waves of negative comments?

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Companies: amazon, intuit

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Comments on “Using Amazon To Protest Products You Don't Like”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Why is that a problem? You don’t have to buy a product to know that a silly price increase exists. You don’t have to buy a product to know that it is crippled with broken DRM. I’m sure there are plenty of other legitimate reasons for rating a product badly without purchasing it.

I can’t think of any good reasons for positively rating a product without purchasing it, strangely.

Dan says:

Re: Re:

According to the reviews it is crippled:

“Last year’s and previous years’ software licenses allowed you to do up to five tax returns with the software. Now you can only do one, even if you’re just printing returns! You have to pay $10 more for every additional return you print! I do three household returns every year. So for me the price goes up to $80 retail.”

You think that change was printed on the box?

Any tax software that charges by the copy is worth one star, in my opinion.

Zuke says:

Re: Re:

Yeah, but on the other hand you get fools who give 5 stars and say stupid crap like “Looks like a great xxxxx. Can’t wait to buy this!” or “Fantastic idea!”. That taints the whole rating averaging.

I’ve seen that mostly from fanboys on certain Apple, Xbox, PS3, and Wii products who just wanna push the ratings up… and it makes me wanna punch them in the face.

Red says:

Re: Simple solution

Another possible solution to that would be what has done. If you purchased said product from, and write a review it shows that you have purchased that product from Newegg with “This user purchased this item from Newegg”

As with the other reviews aka. people who have not bought from newegg, will not have that title on the review.

Steve R. (profile) says:

These companies are deceptive

CNBC reports: “Shares of EA dropped more than 6 percent in after-hours trading after the company’s announcement.”

The Washington Post did report “The company said many older titles have been selling below expectations”. Would Spore be an older title now? Maybe the outrage paid off.

Intuit, is a despicable company. Unfortunately, I am “locked” into Quicken and TurboTax. Every experience that I have with the company has left me with a bad taste. Nevertheless, I hope that those who are not locked into the company will buy something else.

Tony (user link) says:

Re: These companies are deceptive

Why are you “locked” into Quicken and TurboTax?

The latest version of Quicken has so many problems that I finally gave up on it and bought Microsoft Money. I’m not thrilled with it, but it’s better than Quicken – and I was easily able to import my Quicken files.

If someone comes out with an independent program that’s comparable, I’d be quite interested…

Daniel B. (profile) says:

It's not lmited to Amazon

I recently purchased an MP3 player from Sony’s website ( and had a series of stupid experiences with their customer service dept. I wrote a negative review on the product page to warn others to buy from alternate channels. But the review was never posted and a few days later I received an email from Sony customer service apologizing for the difficulty and giving me the tracking number of the package that had already been delivered 3 days earlier.

I suppose the only reviews that will get posted are ones with nothing negative in them. Another company that just doesn’t get it. (Note: Sony announced several thousand layoffs today, and the general consensus is that it’s nowhere near enough. Perhaps the marketplace will have the last word after all.)

bjc (profile) says:

Intuit’s tax products have traditionally come with draconian DRM that required telephone activation if you dared to upgrade your computer within the 12 years your previous tax files might be needed.

One slight problem, Intuit only maintains a customer database for the last 2 or 3 years.

Need some tax info from your legitimately-purchased and registered copy of TurboTax 2004? Get out your credit card! Intuit employees as high as the President’s office have told me they don’t give two shits whether you might have already paid for TurboTax 2004. This is 2008 and they want your money.

They deserve the worst possible ratings wherever possible!

Doris says:

Turbo Tax

I am also not happy with big product increases when a product has a large following and they throw in large increases every year.
This year is a year of excess for turbo tax, I’am not sure if it is worth it for me to purchase this product any longer.

They may be the next compamy to fold and I will have to buy a different product anyway. People only use this product once, next year you need another one. Another increase likly.

Twinrova says:

Amazon, hell! Everywhere!!

(and now, even Techdirt!)

Recently, I purchased the Eidos title “Tomb Raider: Underworld” for the Wii (hush up!). After a few hours of playing, the game froze and locked up the entire console.

I “reset” the game, played again, and sure enough, the problem persisted.

So, I wrote Eidos demanding a refund (which I knew wasn’t their responsibility, but it added flair to the subject line). Eidos said “No”, and was “sorry” I was experiencing issues.

That, in turn, lead me to write 1 “star” reviews at Walmart, Target, Amazon, and many gaming sites. I was cautious to let readers know the issue was on the Wii version only.

Coincidence to follow? I received another email from Eidos who told me that while they could not refund my purchase price, they were willing to send me an unopened copy in exchange for mine so I may take it back for a refund.

So, if you experience issues, tell many sites, not just Amazon.

Steve R. (profile) says:

Re: If it Doesn't Work You Deserve a Refund

Twinrova’s experience points to a major problem when you are sold a product that does not work. The companies essentially refuse to refund your money. Given that situation, posting your displeasure all over the net whenever and wherever you can seems to be a reasonable course of action.

If a company is not willing to treat its customers well, why should the customers respect the company?

PS: Sprint Bad!!!

Christine Morrison says:

Update from TurboTax

Hi, I’m Christine and I work at TurboTax. Thanks to everyone who shared their candid feedback here– we really do take it seriously.

We’ve made a change today I think you’re going to like: TurboTax will now allow you to prepare, print, and e-file multiple returns for free. (The IRS limits the number of e-filed returns to five)

We do hear you, and your voices do count.

All the best,
Christine Morrison

Coogan says:

Fighting the TurboTax "monopoly"

I have used TurboTax for many years. This year I bought TaxCut and plan to continue with it until the IRS officially adopts TurboTax as the only permitted electronic standard. Maybe I should go back to pencil and paper and screw them all.

Intuit has gotten out of hand. Their software is no longer of the quality we had come to expect, and their arrogance is quite annoying. Where else but places like can users express their dissatisfaction? I have voted with my feet, but I am only one poor sucker. At least on the big A a significant few can have a perceptible impact.

Rod says:

Watch what you input

I have used Turbo Tax for a couple of years. I put my bank routeing # in thinking that this was a “secured” website. Six weeks after getting my refund faster, someone three states away was writing checks on my bank account. Nine months later, we are still fighting to get this mess straightened out. So watch what you enter, even if they claim their sight is secure.

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