Online Retailer Imposes First Ever Web Browser Tax

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chadachada123:
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.

Give that man a cookie! Thats the right answer.

Kogan is an Aussie budget online electronics seller. The founder has a nose for generating free publicity, and hes really hit it big with this latest one. I dont think the intention was ever for this to be a serious plan on its own, it was done to attract news and free links and name drops.

Have a look at the "Kogan Technologies" wikipedia page. The "controversies" section takes up half the article, and most of them are intentional advertising stunts.

Oh God. People who use IE7 should be physically restrained. The security issues alone where enough to make you want to weep openly. They might as well just e-mail their bank details out and get it over with. I think windows should actively disable Ie7; its got to be fueling cybercime in some way or another.

Up until recently a friend of mine worked in computer repair and you would not believe the amount of people who brought in machines with an ancient version of "Norton", barely updated Windows and IE7 on it. There needs to be a serious public awareness campaign about lax computer security, i can only imagine the number of potential bot-net computers out there just laying open to be used as a method of attack.

Best. Idea. Ever.

Scrumpmonkey:
Oh God. People who use IE7 should be physically restrained. The security issues alone where enough to make you want to weep openly. They might as well just e-mail their bank details out and get it over with. I think windows should actively disable Ie7; its got to be fueling cybercime in some way or another.

Up until recently a friend of mine worked in computer repair and you would not believe the amount of people who brought in machines with an ancient version of "Norton", barely updated Windows and IE7 on it. There needs to be a serious public awareness campaign about lax computer security, i can only imagine the number of potential bot-net computers out there just laying open to be used as a method of attack.

Think of what Kogan is doing as a long-overdue Internet 'tard tax.

Why stop there? How many people should see this pop up over their web browser:

Hello! We've determined that you haven't updated your OS in two years, have no antimalware software and are hosting at least six viruses, trojans and/or other malicious applications. Because you are an Official Internet Dumbass (TM) and are putting the rest of us at risk, you have to pay an extra 12% surcharge on any and all Internet purchases you make until you get a frickin' clue.

I think this should catch on it could be called the technologically ignorant/ illiterate tax.

ZeZZZZevy:
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".

Some departments in our organisation have to use IE7 because other companies have not updated their software to work with IE8 (I kid you not).

If Kogan's website warns users that there's a surcharge for using an old browser and offers a link for updating, that's fine. If it just sneaks in the charge and then retroactively justifies it to the customer, that's terrible.

At the end of the day, if it costs too much to maintain their site for IE7 they could...NOT do that and accept the loss of business. Of course if this catches on we can expect to see Firefox only websites that charge if you use anything else, to support development costs honest!!

Is no one worried about the line of logic this kind of thinking will lead to? Imagine being told you have to pay tax on a website because they don't want to support that specific browser. All of a sudden, you have to go install a different one to use the website. This company could have simply said 'we will no longer support IE7 on our website, go find a better browser', but instead they decided that they wanted to make money off of it.

This could lead to some very wily shenanigans, and not in the good way.

Scrumpmonkey:
Oh God. People who use IE7 should be physically restrained. The security issues alone where enough to make you want to weep openly. They might as well just e-mail their bank details out and get it over with. I think windows should actively disable Ie7; its got to be fueling cybercime in some way or another.

Up until recently a friend of mine worked in computer repair and you would not believe the amount of people who brought in machines with an ancient version of "Norton", barely updated Windows and IE7 on it. There needs to be a serious public awareness campaign about lax computer security, i can only imagine the number of potential bot-net computers out there just laying open to be used as a method of attack.

I lost track of the number of complaints I've sent to the DON, DOAF, and DOD about how terrible their network and website security are(SSL 2.0), their policy on upgrading web browsers(IE7) and how much less of a headache everyone will have if they get everything upgraded.

Whoever is directing IT policies for the military needs to be fired for gross incompetence.

I never thought I'd see people actually embrace the idea of a company telling you what software you should/should not use. The hypocrisy, it is delicious.

Samarith:

ZeZZZZevy:
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".

Some departments in our organisation have to use IE7 because other companies have not updated their software to work with IE8 (I kid you not).

If Kogan's website warns users that there's a surcharge for using an old browser and offers a link for updating, that's fine. If it just sneaks in the charge and then retroactively justifies it to the customer, that's terrible.

At the end of the day, if it costs too much to maintain their site for IE7 they could...NOT do that and accept the loss of business. Of course if this catches on we can expect to see Firefox only websites that charge if you use anything else, to support development costs honest!!

Well the picture on the article suggests that they do warn you before adding in the surcharge, so it's not like they're trying to be sneaky about it. (If they were trying to be sneaky I'd be against this, since that's just bad service)

I don't really agree with the slippery slope argument though, since people aren't forced to buy from any one site the vast majority of the time. If one decided to charge everyone not using firefox, for example, non-firefox people would just stop going to that site, and the site wouldn't make any money since I imagine the cost-to-gain ratio wouldn't be very good.

Sucks about your organization sticking with a terrible browser though.

I can't imagine using IE7 but, when they start telling you what other programs you can or can not use I don't want to hear the whining. Maybe they'll find a problem with your browser / version next...

at work we are still using IE 6......

I still have to use IE regularly when Chrome and Firefox decide they don't want to load Facebook.

While I see the appeal in the potential extra cash (what? some people are really stubburn) I feel it would be far more appropriate if it said:

"You are using Internet Explorer...we don't care which version, they all make it more difficult for the designer, go fuck yourself."

and then it redirects to a huge middlefinger.

Thing is, the only reason that a lot of home computers running XP aren't still on IE 6 is that Windows Update automatically upgrades IE if recommended updates are turned on. Most people don't know or care what browser or OS they are using.

The fact that computer literate people keep their browser up to date and don't use IE at all besides, this is a bad idea, and a bad precedent.

Fun fact: A quick check on Wikipedia reveals that every OS that IE7 was released for is capable of running at least IE8. So the people using this 6 year old browser are clearly holding onto it for some reason, or don't run the updater as often as they should.

If they charge people more for using IE 7, the same people who clearly can't or won't upgrade to the current edition of Internet Explorer or a different browser all together will start looking for someplace else to do business.

I applaud these people. They have found a legitimate way to make actual money off of lazy dicks who won't update their browsers! I really wish I had come up with it first!

Loving how people are rushing to the conclusion of "durr hurr, this r good idear becuz IE lolol".

Question: How many of you still run an outdated copy of Firefox? Or Chrome? Or, hell, an outdated Windows/Mac OS? Perhaps a slightly out of date antiviral program? Would you still think this is a great idea if they were penalizing you for running those?

It's a terrible idea. It'd be far easier for them to just stop supporting IE7. They did this for the publicity, and to try to make some free coin off of people who are likely unaware of how to upgrade their network software or have the inclination to do so. I know plenty of places that use older systems for a variety of reasons, and while it's true that such systems are less secure, they're also more familiar to older users. Not everyone is young and tech-savvy and able to keep up with the rapid curve of software upgrades compared to normal products they purchase.

Bottom line: this is a dick move and I hope it ends up hurting their wallets in the long run. And it's a damn shame that people are so quick to proclaim any sort of additional tax that gets between a consumer and a product as a "good idea", as if people don't get screwed by companies enough.

image

Somebody has been out of the loop "lately".

They still make Internet Explorer? Well, there you go.

I'd have to imagine that the people using IE7 are, not so much tech-illiterate, but rather less clued in to advances in browers. People who have a PC but don't feel they NEED to be on the cutting edge but rather "it works for what I use it for, therefore it's fine" mentality.
With that being the case, they likely use IE7 because it came pre-installed when they bought their PC.

blurredplacebo:
at work we are still using IE 6......

I think that's a good way to keep people off the internet.
Do 90% of sites even work with IE6?

weirdsoup:
I'd have to imagine that the people using IE7 are, not so much tech-illiterate, but rather less clued in to advances in browers. People who have a PC but don't feel they NEED to be on the cutting edge but rather "it works for what I use it for, therefore it's fine" mentality.
With that being the case, they likely use IE7 because it came pre-installed when they bought their PC.

Thats not been a point for a couple years windows actively asks you to check the others when using IE for the first time

No excuses left ^^

It surprises me that the people behind IE7 are making it even MORE unappealing than it already is. Marketing win!

Well, I really like the idea. However, this is one of those things that would be easily exploited if it caught on; if a store on the internet charged you more because it didn't like the software you were running, I'd piss you off, right? I think that this is a great way to make people get rid of outdated software that can be upgraded for free and costs people money because they have to develop for said outdated software, but just think of what it could be in the wrong hands.

mad825:
Bad move in my opinion, instead block them and redirect them to the latest version.

Option 1: Keep the customers, but charge them for the convenience of keeping the website compatible with their old browser. Possibly lose some, but still keep some.

Option 2: Simply don't let the customers shop on your website. Lose any revenue they may have brought in.

You should probably stay out of the business world.

supersupersuperguy:
Well, I really like the idea. However, this is one of those things that would be easily exploited if it caught on; if a store on the internet charged you more because it didn't like the software you were running, I'd piss you off, right? I think that this is a great way to make people get rid of outdated software that can be upgraded for free and costs people money because they have to develop for said outdated software, but just think of what it could be in the wrong hands.

You can take off your tinfoil hat. A company knows that if they start applying a "just for the hell of it" tax because you use (for example) Firefox, then they're going to lose a LOT of customers. There are a lot of things that a business could do to screw over their customers if they wanted to, and the vast majority of those things are things that no sane businessman would approve because it do nothing more than drive customers away.

I don't know. I honestly can't think of any systems that can't download something like Firefox.

I think this guy has the right idea. Give him a medal, all things considered.

octafish:
EDIT: I just realized the work computers use IE7, but we can also use Chrome. We only need IE7 for our intranet so it isn't too painful.

Be glad it was IE7.

One of the places I worked for a couple of years ago, a UK Government department, used IE6 for accessing a national database full of private information.

But wait! It gets worse!

They also allowed employees to browse the web during lunch - but the only browser available? You guessed it - the same IE6 you used to access the database.

Thankfully while I was there somebody had the bright idea to push a firefox install out for the employees to use for web browsing. But I don't think they had any plans to drop IE6 for the national database any time soon.

[edit]

ThunderCavalier:
I don't know. I honestly can't think of any systems that can't download something like Firefox.

There was a point at which I could not use Firefox on my Sony Netbook (It was second hand so I got it for considerably less than half price - a year after it came out.) The thing has an Intel GMA500 graphics chip you see*, and Firefox had switched to a different way of rendering the page by default. The result was a crash to desktop on launch every time.

It's resolved now, can't remember if it was just an update to FF that fixed it, or if I had to make changes to the settings manually.

*Basically it's a version of Intel's cheap graphics chip designed for use in tablets and other low-power devices. It's a lot more limited than even their normal chips are, can play videos and render a desktop, but anything remotely advanced makes it throw a hissy fit.

I think we are all being fooled >.>

Look at the name...Kogan...put an R in there and you have Krogan...What if Bioware set this store up for EA so they can get even more money >.>

Joking aside, its a good idea to a certain degree, i just hope it doesn't catch on so we ahve to use a particular piece of software to go on a certain site/programme.

iblis666:
hope this catches on, maybe if all websites become like this it will force my college to upgrade their fucking browsers once in a while i think they are still using the same version that came with the damn os and while they are at it they could install flash

There's only one thing for it - break in and update their antiquated software.

CriticKitten:
Loving how people are rushing to the conclusion of "durr hurr, this r good idear becuz IE lolol".

Question: How many of you still run an outdated copy of Firefox? Or Chrome? Or, hell, an outdated Windows/Mac OS? Perhaps a slightly out of date antiviral program? Would you still think this is a great idea if they were penalizing you for running those?

Chrome updates automatically for me, i think it does for everyone.

I think it's because IE7 is ancient and is hard to make websites for now, older versions of Firefox aren't a problem i think. They can't be unless they would have used the Tax thing for them as well.

CriticKitten:
Loving how people are rushing to the conclusion of "durr hurr, this r good idear becuz IE lolol".

Question: How many of you still run an outdated copy of Firefox? Or Chrome? Or, hell, an outdated Windows/Mac OS? Perhaps a slightly out of date antiviral program? Would you still think this is a great idea if they were penalizing you for running those?

It's a terrible idea. It'd be far easier for them to just stop supporting IE7. They did this for the publicity, and to try to make some free coin off of people who are likely unaware of how to upgrade their network software or have the inclination to do so. I know plenty of places that use older systems for a variety of reasons, and while it's true that such systems are less secure, they're also more familiar to older users. Not everyone is young and tech-savvy and able to keep up with the rapid curve of software upgrades compared to normal products they purchase.

Bottom line: this is a dick move and I hope it ends up hurting their wallets in the long run. And it's a damn shame that people are so quick to proclaim any sort of additional tax that gets between a consumer and a product as a "good idea", as if people don't get screwed by companies enough.

Do you know what type of retailer kogan is? It is a technology retailer. So I'd like to think that the majority of people browsing a technology website are savvy enough to install a new fucking browser.

And as technology progresses older technology will be left behind - it's hard to make websites work for IE7 so it has had its day. I don't see this as 'punishing the customer', more speeding up the long overdue death of IE7.

Aeonknight:
I never thought I'd see people actually embrace the idea of a company telling you what software you should/should not use. The hypocrisy, it is delicious.

Agreed to the highest possible extent.
The only reason people are supporting this is because of the stupid browser elitist war.
For fuck's sake it's pointless.

But people should put it into perspective, The number probably isn't high for users of IE 7 on that website, but say you went to a website and were taxed for using your primary browser. That's what I'm getting out of this.
Great way to usher in a Monopoly.

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