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TurboTax Wins Me Over

After I posted a complaint yesterday, TurboTax responded to me with superstar customer service. Bob Meighan, the VP of TurboTax, posted a response to my blog entry, and Becca from customer support wrote me a long detailed response, in which she offered to refund my fee for the online service. She explained that with a situation like that, real-time tech support would probably have been able to help me, and pointed out that perhaps my anti-virus software was the culprit. On my PC, I run an out-of-date version of Symantec Anti-Everything, which I haven't tweaked at all (assuming that I'm just hosed no matter what) so Becca might well be right about my anti-virus software interfering.

So, I'm getting my $109 back, and next year I'll use TurboTax Online again.

My original point, with all of this, was that sometimes RIA's can be better than desktop applications, even for single-user applications where security matters. By sending all the information over the relatively straightforward, universal https protocol, application developers can shield users from network vicissitudes, while still providing as much security as direct connections from desktop to server.

Granted, in an RIA model for TurboTax, I'm sending my financial information to Intuit, who then has the chance to do Evil Things with it -- but really, when I hit send on TurboTax Desktop, I have no more reason to believe that Intuit isn't caching and analyzing my data than I do with TurboTax Online. Once my financial information leaves my LAN, it's basically "out there," and I have no illusions about "privacy."

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