So I have to take a minute to rant here a bit about H & R block. The past few years I’ve done my own taxes. They are not terribly complicated and I get can around a computer pretty well, so it hasn’t been too bad. But this year, with Anthem’s breech and the Turbo-tax hack, I decided I better go to a professional (especially since I have Anthem). It just made me nervous. Plus someone at worked had their identity stolen and found out when they filed.
I had to H & R block many years ago and for the price one paid, it was well worth it. And friends told me I could expect about $80-120 now. So off I went with my papers in hand. I don’t have much: I never felt it was particularly complicated. I mean, I did it after all and I’m no accountant!
The woman on the phone had told me for no extra charge they would check my past filings to see if they were wrong too! Splendid. They even moved up my appointment since I got there early. And everyone was very accommodating and very friendly.
We got started and it all seemed pretty simple: just plugging numbers into an easy computer program with indexes on the side of the screen. I mentioned to the woman helping me about mine being easy, when she said: Oh gee…not really, you have a lot of ‘forms’. Hmmm, I thought. I guess I didn’t really get that given all I see is a computer screen flashing by and her just inputting numbers.
When I mentioned about how much I thought it might cost (see above), she looked at me stunned and said: why NO, it’s probably going to cost you more like $500! Maybe more! Well, I nearly fell out of my chair. Really? She told me one pays by the ‘form’ and I had a lot of ‘forms’.
You have got to be kidding me?! She did inform me that I could leave at any time, but of course, she had pointed out that I had made a couple of errors on my previous filing and wondered why they didn’t come after me. I was really in a state at that point.
We kept going and by the end it was like $600! I was numb. I really wasn’t sure what to do. Luckily I was getting a return back, but not much more than I had gotten back when I did it myself! But I felt so defeated that I simply decided to let them do it because I wasn’t sure if I would know how to do it correctly at that point.
When I got home, I tried to find an email address to complain (which I couldn’t find on their website) and noticed you can use a free service of theirs to file! Seriously?! So why then does it cost so much to go to one of their sites? It took her about an hour and that was with us chatting! If she had just done it, maybe 30 minutes or less. What could possibly cost $600? The paper? The rent? The salaries? The 2 pens they gave me? It’s simply highway robbery. And that extra service of them looking over the other returns…they will do it, but it would cost more to fix them!
Morale of the story: buyer beware–don’t ever go to H&R block. They are a complete rip off. I will never, ever use them again. The people were nice, but they just take people’s money for no reason. Computers do all the work now and the humans are there to input data. Certainly they need to know where to do it. But being unreasonable in their prices is completely ridiculous. It’s bad enough the government kills us on taxes…then a corporation has to stick it to us too!
Capitalism at it’s best!