Wednesday, February 20, 2013
The Day I Met the CEO of TurboTax
I hit a bit of a snag when using an online tax service. Needing some assistance, I trudged through the endless links to finally get that coveted number they are so reluctant to give. I will admit I did have hope. In my heart of hearts I knew I would get a very nice and very helpful person on the line and they would ease my worries and fix this high-blood-pressure-inducing situation. Well, that was not the case. I got "Debra" if that really is her name. What transpired was something I never expected and highly doubt will ever happen again.
I explained my issue to her and for a little while things were going smoothly. She did not seem to completely understand what my issue was but she was making an honest effort to help me. After about 20 minutes of misunderstandings she asked me to let her view my screen. Great idea. She can now see what I see. We're going to get this all figured out. So I thought... and I thought wrong.
I knew something was up when, according to her, I was going WAY too fast when navigating the website. Had she never seen the site before? She literally had to read everything it said. This amazed me. Wasn't it her job to know this site and help people like me with using the site? But this was not the thing that caught me off guard. Instead of politely requesting I slow my pace she had reprimanded me as if I were a disobedient, insignificant child. She huffed and puffed. Sighed and whined. Nothing I was doing was right. She would not hear reason, no matter how many times I explained to her that the form I was having an issue with was a 1099-MISC and could not be filed under "other income that is not on a W2 or 1099 form." After another hour of her arrogance I realized this conversation was going absolutely nowhere and she had no idea what she was doing. I decided it was time to end this and ask for a supervisor. Hopefully I could get someone else and prevent this type of thing from happening to another person. Taxes are stressful enough. I don't need this on top of it. Well it was not going to be that simple.
Apparently I was talking to the CEO of this company. According to her there was no one above her. They did not have supervisors. Customers just have to fill out a review. Why? If there are no supervisors then why are there reviews? Who reads these reviews? I made it clear to her that I was not born yesterday. Every company has management and I would like to speak to hers. That was not enough for her. She had to educate me. I can hear her now, "Ma'am, let me explain how we do things here." I humored her and listen to her try to convince me that unlike every other company this one did not manage it's employees.
After some more discussion she finally tried to contact someone (so she said). Eventually she explained she would have to transfer me to another department. I went along with this. Maybe if I could get someone else on the phone I could actually get something done. I waited, and waited, and waited... for nearly an hour. No one ever answered the phone. I did not even hear the classic on-hold music. I then realized my call was going nowhere. She had placed me in digital limbo. What do I do? Well I was not going to give up so easily. I picked up my cell phone and dialed the number again.
It did not take long for me to get through to someone else (we will call her K). I explained the situation and that, as we were speaking, I was still waiting for Debra to transfer my call. K was a nice change. She was helpful and seemed genuinely concerned with my situation. She even helped me cool off a little. She also confirmed my suspicions. They do have supervisors and she assured me that in 10 minutes I would receive a call from one of them. Lo and behold, 10 minutes after we ended our conversation I received a call from the "customer escalations" department. So much for not having a manager. She thanked me for actually calling back and not just giving up. I believe they were actually surprised that one of their employees went to such lengths to hide their lapse in judgement.
I probably would have left this alone or not have made so big of a deal of it if she would have actually transferred me to her supervisor. I didn't really get angry until she lied to me as if I were completely ignorant. Hopefully no one else will have to go through that. Then again I wonder how many people she "transferred" who eventually just gave up and ended the call.
Don't get the wrong idea here. I actually like Turbo Tax. The site is easy to use, the prices are fair, and I have never had a problem until now. Every company has that person that just can't get it together and really shouldn't be working in customer service. The point is they did not let this person ruin my experience with them. They wanted to fix this unfortunate situation and because of that I will still file my taxes through them.
At least I did walk away with one thing: a good story to share at the next hang out.. and of course here with you :)