Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Customer (dis)satisfaction

I know all I've been talking about lately is making jewelry, but apart from going to work, that's pretty much all I've been doing. Well, and taxes and some freelance web design stuff. I guess what I mean is that all my leisure time, what there is of it, has been taken up with making stuff. Which I love.

Last night I made cell phone charms with gargoyles!

Over the weekend I made mostly earrings, with a few cell phone charms. I really loved the silver bee/dragonfly one at upper left -- it sold almost immediately, and I had to track down a new silver charm on eBay so I could make one for myself.

As for what I've been doing the rest of the time the last few days, I'm really annoyed at TaxCut. That's the tax program I've been using for years. Last year, they stopped producing the Mac version, and I had to use the online service. This year, responding to customer request, they started making a Mac version again. It had a couple of glitches, but nothing major, and I finished up on Sunday and tried to e-file.

Like most of the tax programs, when you buy it, the e-file fee is included in the purchase price, either as a rebate (which is what they've done in the past, as I recall), or a coupon code that you enter when you file (which is what they did this year).

I went through the question-and-answer "interview," but when I pressed the "file" button, it acted like it was going to send, then just did . . . nothing. It flipped me back to the first question. At first I thought maybe I'd done something wrong, or pressed the wrong button, so I tried it again, with the same result. I still thought I must be doing something wrong, but when I did it very carefully for the third time, and nothing happened, I went to the support section of their website.

I fairly quickly found a "FAQ" about the Mac version describing exactly what had happened to me. It said that this occurred in the Mac version when trying to file using the coupon code. The "solution" was to double-check the coupon code and be sure you were entering it correctly, which I had, of course, done, but I did it again. It was exactly the code that had been sent to to me in the email.

So I called the support desk on Monday morning and got someone who told me I needed to have a browser window open. This made no sense to me, since the program isn't running in a browser, so I called back again, getting a different person, and the same answer. I ran it by one of the programmers here, who said it didn't really make sense that it would need to be done that way, but it was theoretically possible that by opening a browser window you were allowing the program to use the browser to make the server connection.

So when I got home that night, I tried it, to no avail. I tried opening Safari, Firefox and IE, and nothing worked. So, seeing that one of the circumstances causing the problem was the coupon code, I removed the code and put in my credit number, and then it worked. It cost me $30.00 for the federal and state returns, but it worked.

But I shortly got an email message that my return had been rejected. When you e-file, in order to prove you are who you say you are, you have to plug in your AGI from the previous year, which I had gotten from my TaxCut records (the line in last year's report that said "AGI" -- I thought that was safe) was wrong. I dug out the actual copy of the tax return, and the AGI was different. So I fixed it, e-filed again, and, apparently, had to PAY again.

I haven't even bothered trying to call them yet. I figure maybe I will in a couple of days. And I'll watch for my American Express bill, and if they did charge me twice, I'll dispute it.

The only good thing out of the experience (besides getting a refund) was that after I called tech support, they sent me a customer satisfaction survey. I gave them zeros all the way down. It felt good.

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