by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
amazon reviews, protest, turbo tax

amazon, intuit

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?

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. icon
    Dave (profile), Dec 9th, 2008 @ 3:25pm

    The only problem...

    The problem I have is some people never bought or even used said products. Same goes for positive reviews too.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2008 @ 4:09pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    tm, Dec 9th, 2008 @ 4:12pm

    Simple solution

    If this keeps up, Amazon will only allow comments from people who bought the product from them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Dan, Dec 9th, 2008 @ 4:28pm


    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Red, Dec 9th, 2008 @ 4:31pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. icon
    Steve R. (profile), Dec 9th, 2008 @ 4:44pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Daniel B., Dec 9th, 2008 @ 4:58pm

    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.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    bjc (profile), Dec 9th, 2008 @ 5:24pm

    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!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2008 @ 6:37pm


    Are these the same morons who years ago wrote crap in the master boot record ?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Vinod Tonangi, Dec 9th, 2008 @ 6:41pm

    Re: I hate intuit

    bjc - the same thing happened to me. I field electronically via Intuit, and the IRS added some penalties - since I had moved I didn't know where the physical copies where. I had to pay them an additional charge to get copies of my electronic returns. Ridiculous. I no longer use Intuit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2008 @ 7:03pm


    For what they charge for their product, it may make more sense to seek a professional to do your taxes.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Doris, Dec 9th, 2008 @ 8:53pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Twinrova, Dec 10th, 2008 @ 4:12am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    cKarlGo, Dec 10th, 2008 @ 4:29am

    As I've pointed out before, it's those lies by Amazon, er, uh... glitches by Amazon... that made me cancel my Amazon account and find other sources for books and movies. I'm just glad they started pulling this sort of thing before I bought a Kindle for myself and my mother.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. icon
    Steve R. (profile), Dec 10th, 2008 @ 5:07am

    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!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2008 @ 5:26am

    Re: The only problem...

    Why should I have to buy a product I know is bad in order to tell you that it's bad? That's just dumb.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Zuke, Dec 10th, 2008 @ 9:13am


    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), Dec 10th, 2008 @ 12:25pm

    Re: Amazon, hell! Everywhere!!

    Does it bother you that they somehow knew you were making angry posts all over the web and were able to respond with information from another site?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    Tony, Dec 10th, 2008 @ 12:30pm

    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...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. icon
    Steve R. (profile), Dec 10th, 2008 @ 2:26pm

    Re: Re: These companies are deceptive

    Lazy, too many other things to do, twelve years of data, need to find an alternative program. Frying pan still not too hot.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. identicon
    Christine Morrison, Dec 11th, 2008 @ 4:44pm

    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

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. identicon
    Coogan, Dec 17th, 2008 @ 1:20pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. identicon
    Rod, Jan 4th, 2010 @ 8:51pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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