Intuit says sorry to TurboTax users as new version nears

SAN DIEGO: Software company Intuit has publicly apologized to customers for including antipiracy technology in last year's version of its TurboTax income-tax-preparation software.

SAN DIEGO: Software company Intuit has publicly apologized to customers for including antipiracy technology in last year's version of its TurboTax income-tax-preparation software.

The antipiracy technology tied each copy of TurboTax to a single PC. But the company began to hear from unhappy customers, who wanted the flexibility to install the software on more than one computer.

"It caused a customer backlash," said Julie Miller, senior manager of corporate communications for TurboTax. "There was a lot of buzz about this in the press and on chat boards."

And while the company has since removed that technology, many customers have not heard that it was removed, despite Intuit's outreach efforts.

"Customers are angry," said Miller. "They said that we didn't trust them."

Intuit has been talking about the removal of the technology since the end of the last tax season, via the media, e-mail, and direct mail. But the company decided to issue a formal and public apology.

Since making the apology October 9, the company has watched media coverage and chat-board feedback. Miller said the media coverage was balanced, but customer reaction has been "mixed."

The company plans to send out direct mail again in November, explaining the situation.

The next version of TurboTax is scheduled to come out in December, when Intuit will find out if its mea culpa saves sales, or whether the apology has fallen on deaf ears.

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