Home > Personal Life, Process Improvement, Technology > H&R Block Confuses Customers

H&R Block Confuses Customers

H&R Block is really frustrating me; do they want me as a customer, or not?

I started doing my tax return with H&R Block online last week.  Upon visiting the site, I clicked on the “Start Now” under the FREE edition.  As returning user, I entered my username and password and clicked log-in.  Suddenly, I was thrown into the Premium service, without warning.   Thirty minutes went by as I tried to search the FAQ, support, and rest of the internet for a way to switch back to the free edition.

Giving up, I called their support phone number.  The gentlemen I spoke to asked for my e-mail address and birth date to verify my account. He verified that I was in a  premium account, but was unable to tell me how I got to the premium section without paying or how to get back to a free account, making sure I did not have to pay later.  It sounded like he was a complete novice.  I must have spent 20 minutes on the phone with H&R Block cycling between representative confusion and hold music.

Frustrated, I asked for the gentleman’s supervisor.  He requested my Social Security Number in order to verify my account.  Why would I be asked for my Social Security Number when requesting a supervisor?  And why now, not before.   That made absolutely no sense to me.  I refused to divulge the information as it served no purpose, and I had already been verified.

I was about to be late to a Fit-Core class at my gym, so I thanked the gentlemen and hung up.

Now, a week later, I am trying once again to start working on my tax return.  I login, and see this message:

H&R Block Online 2010 Screen Capture

H&R Block Online 2010 Screen Capture

What am I supposed to do? Was this proof-read at all?

  • The explanation makes no sense to me
  • There appears to be internal-use-only jargon and/or industry acronyms within the explanation
  • What is this newsletter they are describing?
  • What are the implications, other than price, for switching?
  • Will my tax data be deleted either way?
  • There is a space before a period within the explanation

I think it’s time to file with TurboTax Free edition.

**UPDATE**

Upon publishing this post, an automated Tweet went out on twitter, and I quickly got a response from H&R Block. I responded with my phone number a and the best time to call which they acknowledged.  Promptly, at the time I specified, I got a call back from H&R Block!  Within ten minutes H&R Block had apologized and solved my problem!

I would have liked to thank H&R Block for their quick response, but it is hard to do that when I had to go through all of this just to solve a problem that shouldn’t have happened in the first place.  Furthermore:  their initial line of support should have been able to solve this just as quick!

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  1. Peter Mitchell
    February 21, 2013 at 10:02 PM

    This same thing has happened to me. It automatically went to premium somehow, when I never (at least knowingly) explicitly requested that. If this happened because I simply filled out a “Premium” box, then I definitely am switching. That’s not really fair to users to not give at least a warning if that was to occur.

  2. Rebeca
    February 9, 2015 at 5:18 PM

    how did they solve the problem, im trying to switch from basic to free. Ive been on hold for a while, and can’t find any support online. Thanks.

    • February 10, 2015 at 6:14 PM

      Id recommend tweeting about it! It appears that you get better customer service if you do.

  3. sp
    March 22, 2015 at 1:25 PM

    same here.. its cheating

  4. February 14, 2016 at 10:01 PM

    It keeps telling me that I have the basic edition now because that is what I used last year (not true, I’ve been using the Free edition for 6 years now, I have never paid!) and same as everyone else, I cannot get it switched back. I wish I had twitter to get their attention! 😦

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