Online Retailer Imposes First Ever Web Browser Tax

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Online Retailer Imposes First Ever Web Browser Tax

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If you're one of the 4% of internet users still on IE 7, it's time for an update.

If you've ever needed a reason to make sure you're running the most recent version of your web browsing software, here's one: In what appears to be a world first, online retailer Kogan has enacted a tax upon customers who use Internet Explorer 7.

Claiming that it was tired of wasting time and resources ensuring its new website worked in the archaic browser, the consumer electronics company stated that individuals who try to purchase any goods can expect to be charged an additional 6.8% for their orders if they happen to do so using the six-year-old version of Microsoft's infamous web browser. IE7 was originally launched in 2006, and has undergone two full version upgrades since.

"The way we've been able to keep our prices so low is by using technology to make our business efficient and streamlined," reads a post on the site's blog. "One of the things stopping that is our web team having to spend a lot of time making our new website look normal on IE7. This is an extremely old browser, so from today, anyone buying from the site who uses IE7 will be lumped with a 6.8% surcharge - that's 0.1% for each month IE7 has been on the market.

"It's not only costing us a huge amount," the post continues. "It's affecting any business with an online presence, and costing the internet economy millions."

Customers can easily avoid the tax by simply installing another brower (like Firefox, Opera, or the ever popular Google Chrome) or just by updating to a more recent version of Internet Explorer.

Source: Kogan.com

Permalink

WMDogma:
undergone two full version upgrades since.

More like 3. IE10 still in beta but it's released to the public nevertheless.

Bad move in my opinion, instead block them and redirect them to the latest version.

This makes me actually giddy. I hope this catches on - 'tis a wonderful idea (especially with the poetic justice of 0.1% per month).

I'm actually curious as to how many people can still use such a crap browser. Considering there are a lot of infinitely better options at the low low cost of "free".

Let's hear Fox News spin this!

Wow... this is kinda funny, I was thinking that it was a tad unfair, but looking at what these strange people of the past cost businesses and such, justified.
Google Chrome for the win! :D

I am actually of the opinion that this may not be such a good idea. Many poeple, and I am not naming names, I know have older machines that will not upgrade past IE8. If they decide to push their usage tax to this version as well it could actually end up hurting the retailer in the long run. True,consumers can avoid this by switching browsers, but a good portion of them may choose an even simpler route of not shopping with Kogan. Thus they would loose not only the fee but a sale as well.

What's the old saying.. "Cut off the nose to spite the face"? Looks like a 6.8% nose chopper to me.

A slight issue with this is that a lot of people who still use IE7 don't actually know what a browser is.

DaRigger420:
Many poeple, and I am not naming names, I know have older machines that will not upgrade past IE8.

Install chrome?

DaRigger420:
I am actually of the opinion that this may not be such a good idea. Many poeple, and I am not naming names, I know have older machines that will not upgrade past IE8. If they decide to push their usage tax to this version as well it could actually end up hurting the retailer in the long run. True,consumers can avoid this by switching browsers, but a good portion of them may choose an even simpler route of not shopping with Kogan. Thus they would loose not only the fee but a sale as well.

What's the old saying.. "Cut off the nose to spite the face"? Looks like a 6.8% nose chopper to me.

They probably have some sort of results on their charts that indicate that the nose is hogging more than it's worth. After all, if they're the efficiency nuts that they say they are, they wouldn't do this if they were still getting enough to compensate for it.

I have no idea if this is legal, or if it will ultimately be a good or bad move for Kogan, but this doesn't change the fact that I think this is both hilarious and ingenious. More power to them, as long as their underlying good intentions remain so - that is, charging on the basis that it's an unnecessary strain on their servers. Unfortunately, I can easily see other retailers trying to charge users for using specific browsers at their own discretion, or at least until that's ruled unlawful.

Tharwen:
A slight issue with this is that a lot of people who still use IE7 don't actually know what a browser is.

DaRigger420:
Many poeple, and I am not naming names, I know have older machines that will not upgrade past IE8.

Install chrome?

Or Firefox. Hell Im running Firefox on a 6-7 year old Dell laptop right now. smooth as anything.

I,m actually surprised people still use IE especially a older version.

Tharwen:
A slight issue with this is that a lot of people who still use IE7 don't actually know what a browser is.

considering the products that they sell I think allot of visitors will be tech savvy

Seeing as browsers are free, I find this idea hilarious. Use a better browser! Or two! Or three! Use them at your will! Or, at the very least, stay updated with the current, better version of your terrible browser! It's not that hard, people.

DaRigger420:
I am actually of the opinion that this may not be such a good idea. Many poeple, and I am not naming names, I know have older machines that will not upgrade past IE8. If they decide to push their usage tax to this version as well it could actually end up hurting the retailer in the long run. True,consumers can avoid this by switching browsers, but a good portion of them may choose an even simpler route of not shopping with Kogan. Thus they would loose not only the fee but a sale as well.

What's the old saying.. "Cut off the nose to spite the face"? Looks like a 6.8% nose chopper to me.

Or, you know, they'd lose having to deal with IE7 altogether. Which I suspect is exactly their goal.

This is a novel idea I suppose. If nothing else, it will force people to upgrade from the security-hole-ridden travesty that is IE7.

Well, thats quite a brilliant idea. People say that they should make their voices heard by the companies by hitting them in thier wallets, apparently it can be utilised both ways.

DaRigger420:
Many poeple, and I am not naming names, I know have older machines that will not upgrade past IE8.

Then... get them to upgrade to Firefox 12 or Chrome... (dont know its version)? I speak from Firefox 11 at the moment (too lazy to upgrade, ill do it later...) and Firefox has (with me) outperfromed everything IE has done for me since i first switched and has only improved ever since.

DVS BSTrD:
Let's hear Fox News spin this!

Dont you mean Firefox News?

DVS BSTrD:
Let's hear Fox News spin this!

The question is, which way do they go? "it's good, because it's capitalism" or "Which retailer is taking away your freedom to choose your own browser? SOCIALISM!"

It's a crap shoot.

henritje:

Tharwen:
A slight issue with this is that a lot of people who still use IE7 don't actually know what a browser is.

considering the products that they sell I think allot of visitors will be tech savvy

Oh right, I didn't check that. Still... they're using IE7 which has got to count against them in some measure.

DaRigger420:
I am actually of the opinion that this may not be such a good idea. Many poeple, and I am not naming names, I know have older machines that will not upgrade past IE8. If they decide to push their usage tax to this version as well it could actually end up hurting the retailer in the long run. True,consumers can avoid this by switching browsers, but a good portion of them may choose an even simpler route of not shopping with Kogan. Thus they would loose not only the fee but a sale as well.

What's the old saying.. "Cut off the nose to spite the face"? Looks like a 6.8% nose chopper to me.

From BBC:

Mr Kogan said it was unlikely that anyone would actually pay the charges. His goal is to encourage users to download a more up-to-date version of Internet Explorer or a different browser.

He is not expecting people to pay it, he wants to make them aware that their browser is old. And he wants to stop support for IE7 which in the long run is beneficial for his company. If half of your customers were using IE7 this would be suicide, but they are in the minority. I don't think this is bad for his business, especially since (so far) he has not received bad press over it. He might lose a few grumpy customers, but that's a price he is willing to pay.

And surely it's more or less the same effort to update your browser and find a new place to buy your gadgets :)

This made my day. I hope this catches on. Maybe they will finally get a good version of IE... that's my hope at least...

jFr[e]ak93:
Maybe they will finally get a good version of IE... that's my hope at least...

Is there really such a thing?

It's always a good idea to piss your customers off rather than just dropping support for IE7. Instead of a "we're gonna charge you extra" page, how about a blank page with an explanation and links to new browsers? I guess that wouldn't be edgy and cool though would it?

Oh well, I don't really care.

DaRigger420:
What's the old saying.. "Cut off the nose to spite the face"? Looks like a 6.8% nose chopper to me.

Depends on how much money they're losing due to having to code for what should be considered an obsolete browser. Extra man-hours do really add up, you know.

DVS BSTrD:
Let's hear Fox News spin this!

"Retailer taxes innocent consumers for using their internet browser!"

Hehe, I hope this doesn't catch on in other less hilarious ways but I did get a kick out of this one. Telling people to learn how to upgrade your browser or face a consequence isn't necessarily a bad thing. I have so many exasperating experiences with technophobes who refuse to learn something just because 'they can have me come in and do it for them'. There's no fallout to having to learn what things on your computer do.

Y'know except when people start hacking and exploiting your life through your computer and you haven't the foggiest idea why.
IE7 is obsolete. That means it has been picked to death. That means it has holes. Holes that someone with the right website with the right malicious intent can go full force on you.

So yeah, I'm okay with this. Just DO NOT bring current browsers into this trend (Oh we see you're using IE/Firefox/Chrome/Opera/ETC fuck you!) that's grade A douchebaggery. This... is just kinda snarky 'come on dude get with it' Grade C- douchebaggery.

Crono1973:
Instead of a "we're gonna charge you extra" page, how about a blank page with an explanation and links to new browsers? I guess that wouldn't be edgy and cool though would it?

It almost certainly wouldn't elicit news posts on this website or others either.

This is the first tax I've ever liked. I hope it catches on :D

This is a terrible idea. Now companies are going to see this, see that people are actually willing to pay the tax, and say "Well, if they'll pay it then, we can carry out our own on-line tax! And we can tax ALL the browsers!"

Death of internet shopping, here we come.

mad825:

WMDogma:
undergone two full version upgrades since.

More like 3. IE10 still in beta but it's released to the public nevertheless.

Bad move in my opinion, instead block them and redirect them to the latest version.

Oh no, this solution is perfect. They don't force anyone to switch who does not want to for one reason or another but if someone chooses to use the browser they will pay for the increased costs for the etailer.

Perfect free market solution for this type of problem. I love it:)

HAhahahaha! Oh that made my day. It gives me hope that one day, we'll have a tax for stupidity.

Bertinan:
This is a terrible idea. Now companies are going to see this, see that people are actually willing to pay the tax, and say "Well, if they'll pay it then, we can carry out our own on-line tax! And we can tax ALL the browsers!"

Death of internet shopping, here we come.

This won't happen for one reason, competition. If one etailer taxes ALL browsers than one of their competitors will come out and say "No browser tax!!" and steal a lot of the business. Then the first one to implement the tax, which is not a tax but a fee, will backpedal and drop their fee, saying "Now no browser fee!!!"

At the end of the day these guys are all competing primarily on price, fees, taxes, and shipping included. They know this. So don't worry that all of a sudden you'll have to pay more online. Unless you use an old, crappy browser that costs them more to support.

Is IE 10 any good? It looks a hell of a lot more streamlined than other browsers.

I wrote code that redirected you to the mozilla firefox page if you were on IE. Good times

I sincerely hope this doesn't catch on. "Use the software we tell you to use, or we'll charge you for it!"? Terrible idea. Next games will have no previous-gen OS support. Once a new version of Windows comes out, all games will require a payment to continue playing the game on the now "outdated" OS. We all know that is what companies will be thinking as they read this. Upgrading, or even paying, to appease this company is a landslide that can only end in disaster for the consumer.

Telling companies that this behavior is "OK" can really only end in disaster, way I see it.

DaRigger420:
I am actually of the opinion that this may not be such a good idea. Many poeple, and I am not naming names, I know have older machines that will not upgrade past IE8. If they decide to push their usage tax to this version as well it could actually end up hurting the retailer in the long run. True,consumers can avoid this by switching browsers, but a good portion of them may choose an even simpler route of not shopping with Kogan. Thus they would loose not only the fee but a sale as well.

What's the old saying.. "Cut off the nose to spite the face"? Looks like a 6.8% nose chopper to me.

To compensate, though, this retailer just made a TON of publicity and may just get one of my purchases. I sure as hell have never heard of them before today, but they have my support.

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