Saturday, March 23, 2024

The weird mixed message in this TurboTax Commercial


Marcus is not a "connoisseur of anything free."  He's a hoarder of other people's garbage.  If you throw it away, Marcus will snatch it up.  He doesn't care about quality, he doesn't care about taste, and he doesn't care if what he's picking up off the street is practical or useful.  If it's free, he's going to lug it home and find a place for it amongst the rest of the rubble he's retrieved from every street corner, dumpster or Facebook Marketplace Please Take This Awful Thing Away I Am Moving And Don't Want To Pay To Have It Removed post he can find.  If Marcus can lug it off on foot or jam it into the back of his car, it's gone.  No questions asked.

But Marcus takes this obsession with free junk to his approach to tax preparation services.  I use TurboTax every year, and have since around 2010.  I think it's an easy-to-use program and because I don't own anything and don't have any kids or one of those spouse things I can do my very simple taxes in about an hour using their basic package.  But the "free" edition is free of pretty much everything you want in something as important as a tax filing- you can't e-file, Turbotax will not check or back up the accuracy of your numbers, and no electronic copy will be saved outside of your own computer.  It's basically just a word processing program that allows you to do all the work yourself, including printing copies and mailing them by hand- and hoping your refund doesn't get sent to the wrong address or stolen from your box. 

In other words, the "free" edition is every bit as much trash as that ugly ceramic ice cream cone or fire-hazard ancient lamps or mold-infested recliner Marcus dragged home because he's an ill person.  Is this the message you wanted to send, TurboTax?  "As long as you like free trash, here's some more?"

In short, it's a really bad way to save money.  I put it right up there with using a third-party company to book important plane tickets instead of going through the carrier or regularly flying Stand By- it's a really penny-wise, pound-foolish gamble that I'm not going to take, ever.  It costs me about a hundred bucks every year to do my taxes with TT but I know some program has looked them over, I haven't missed anything, and my past returns are saved forever if the IRS ever decides that because I'm not very wealthy or very poor they better check to make sure I'm paying my fair share.  You get what you pay for, and accurate tax prep, e-filing and direct deposit are worth paying for.  Stop being an idiot, Marcus. 

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