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!
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:
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.