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QuickBooks Pro costs $40 more if you’re using IE


I’ve never really been a browser partisan, but today I found a very good reason to go with Firefox / Chrome over Internet Explorer.  When I tried to buy an upgrade to QuickBooks in IE, it cost $40 more than the exact same upgrade when purchased in Firefox.

I am a reluctant user of QuickBooks for my small-business accounts payable and receivable.  I’ve been using the 2006 edition because I didn’t need any of the features from the later versions.  However, the Online Banking support for QuickBooks 2006 expired yesterday.  I went to the Intuit website using Firefox to purchase my upgrade.  The price was $119.

However, the Intuit website doesn’t work very well in Firefox.  I was having trouble entering my current license code to upgrade.  I switched over to IE, thinking that would work better.   The website does work better, but the price for the upgrade is $159, $40 higher!

Screenshot showing that QuickBooks Pro 2009 costs $40 more in IE than Firefox

Screenshot showing that QuickBooks Pro 2009 costs $40 more in IE than Firefox

I know that companies engage in price discrimation, but I didn’t think that using one browser over another would entail a 33% price hike.  The price difference is also present for initial purchases, not just upgrades (actually, it looks like there’s no price advantage for upgrading). The price difference for multi-user licenses is even higher.  You’ll pay $110 more for a 3-user license in IE than in Firefox.

Price is $119 in Chrome.  I don’t have Safari on this computer, so I can’t check that.  Want to bet it’s higher than IE?

Here’s the product page in question:

http://quickbooks.intuit.com/product/accounting-software/small-business-financial-software.jsp#Upgrade

And here’s my chat with “Ronald”, the customer-service robot:

Ronald: Hi!  Thank you for chatting with us.  May I have your name please?
you: My name is Tim.
Ronald: Hello Tim! Pleased to meet you online.
Ronald: How may I help you today?
you: When I visit your website in Firefox, QuickBooks Pro 2009 Upgrade costs $119.00
you: When I visit your website in IE, it costs $159.00. Why?
you: Any response?
Ronald: Currently we do have several offers on the website.
Ronald: Any of the offer that you select is good.
you: Yes, but why would I want to select the offer that is $40 more? Aren’t you ripping off people that use IE?
you: Your website doesn’t work very well in Firefox, the browser I usually use, and when I switched to IE to complete my order, I found that the price was $40 higher.
Ronald: No, as mentioned there are several offers available on the website.
Ronald: You can choose the $119 option.
Ronald: There wouldn’t be a problem with that.
you: Do you have an offer that will let me choose the $119 option in IE?
you: Perhaps a coupon code?
Ronald: I’m sorry. We don’t have access to coupon codes.
you: So, there’s no way someone using IE, which works better with your website, can get the Firefox price?
Ronald: I highly recommend that you contact the Customer Service Department for that need. We don’t have any control on the pricing offered on the website. I’m sorry for the inconvenience.

Written by timwestover

May 1st, 2009 at 9:12 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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