Stupid Business Tricks – H&R Block

All my tax documents are in and I’m ready to get filing. Gotta get the software, right? So, after the craptastic DRM that TurboTax decided to put in their software a while back, I’ve been a customer of H&R Block. Decent reputation, solid software. I head over to the site, find the federal and state option I need, add it to my cart and prepare to check out.

But, what’s this in my shopping cart?

Click for full size

Product: Extended Download Protection. Right. What exactly is Extended Download Protection?

Extended Download Protection ensures you have a back-up copy of your TaxCut software purchase in the case of a system failure

That sounds like a nice feature. How do they do that, send you the discs?

With Extended Download Protection, you may re-download your TaxCut software up to two years after the date of purchase.

Whaaaaa? So, I’m paying $4.99 for storing a sub-100 MB file in (I’m assuming) the same place it is now, on the off chance I’ll need it two years from now? And, after two years I’m guessing I’m out of luck. Why not burn the file to a CD? What’s that cost, a nickel? Even with worst case scenarios, the CD will last more than 2 years. And are that many people re-downloading tax software that H&R Block needs five bucks to pay for bandwidth? Couldn’t they tack on another quarter to the purchase price and make this “service” standard?

Shame on H&R Block for lifting $5 from the pockets of those who don’t know better. If people are smart enough to download software, at least have the decency to provide them the opportunity to re-download it again for free. It’s not like their going to grab it multiple times a day just because they can.

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