TurboTax Online caused me grief this year

The semi-comprehensive e-mail I wrote to Intuit explains why TurboTax caused me some difficulty this year. Rather than detail it out, I figured I might as well just share the e-mail I wrote:

Intuit,

I need your help correcting my recent experience as a 6 year customer of TurboTax. I recently filed my 2008  State and Federal Tax Returns using TurboTax Deluxe Online. My taxes aren’t the most complicated, but I find that TurboTax has always been helpful in organizing my financial thoughts, and making sure I’m taking advantage of the latest deductions.

This year, my E-Filing was successful without any difficulty. I received a notification that my Federal return had been accepted by the IRS the same day I completed my filing (02/17/2009). A day later, I received an e-mail from TurboTax indicating that my 2008 State return was accepted, but that an “Extra Form” was required.

The e-mail indicated that I needed to send in an “extra Form” via mail to my state. The E-mail made no indication of which form to file, nor where to send it. The E-mail simply said I could find the form amongst the papers that TurboTax printed for me.

No such form, or instructions exist in the printed documents, or the PDF. I re-downloaded my return from TurboTax.com to be sure.

Once I was sure that no additional forms or instructions could be found, I used the TurboTax support site to get an Incident number (xxxxxxxx) and a phone number to call. I spoke with a representative who spent exactly 25 minutes speaking with her supervisor about navigating help on the TurboTax Website. At the end of the call, she indicated that perhaps there was a bug in the TurboTax software, but she isn’t sure. She told me that I should call the State Tax commission myself, and review my documents with them to make sure the Form TurboTax has told me I need to fill out, isn’t missing.

I currently have no confidence that the Turbo Tax STATE product has properly filled out my tax information. TurboTax has told me that I am missing forms which NEED to be submitted to my state, but TurboTax is unable to tell me what forms I must fill out, or where to send them. I have spent the last 2 1/2 hours working with the State tax commission’s forms and website, as well as other state tax payers to determine what forms I may or may not be missing.

I am requesting a full refund for the TurboTax State Product, which according to my order is $26.97 after tax. I am not requesting a refund for the TurboTax Federal product, as it has so far proven to be accurate and satisfactory.

I look forward to your response.

XXXXXXXXX

What’s really funny about this is that the phone call, which I didn’t feel I need to berate in the above email, was absolutely awful. It’s actually a lot worse than the e-mail let’s on. She points me to several forms that could be the culprit, all of which the state forms clearly say “Don’t fill this out unless you’re a millionaire disabled leper on welfare”. Needless to say, that’s not me.

Naturally, knowing the phone call was going to be golden, I recorded it. if there is any interest I’ll see about “beeping” out the personal information and posting it on the website.

Update (2:03 PM MST, 02/20/2009):

TurboTax responded to my e-mail today, nearly 48 hours after I originally sent it. The e-mail contained this:

Dear XXXXXXX,

Thank you for contacting TurboTax Customer Service & Support.

I understand that you will like a refund for the state product. I will need you to call so, Turbo Tax can confirm information over the phone. I do apologize for the inconvenience.

You may receive a survey from us through e-mail in approximately 24 hours asking you about my performance on today’s contact, as well as comments you may have in regards to the TurboTax product. So we can continue with our promise to provide our customers with the best support available, please take a few minutes to complete the survey.

Respectfully,

XX_XXXXX

 

So, apparently after waiting two days for my personalized e-mail response, I need to call in and get my issue taken care of. What number do I call?

Turns out, in order to get a support number you have to go to turbotax.com and fill out a brief support ticket to get the phone number. Shame I didn’t write it down the last time I called.

I called and after 15 minutes of holding, a nice lady (surely based in India, unlike the last one) spent another 15 minutes conferring with her supervisor (about what, I don’t know… there was no discussion of why I was requesting a refund) and finally issued me a confirmation number.

Sweet victory. After only over an hours worth of phone-call holding, and 2 1/2 hours of State tax form research, I have $26.20 on my way back. I’m not sure what happened to the other $0.77 in my refund… but I wasn’t going to argue.