Why is it that no matter the complexity of my question it invariably takes Online Chat an hour or more to get me squared away, assuming there is resolution at all? Often halfway through the session the CSR seems to forget what I am there for and my question has to be restated. A couple days ago I used chat because I was filing a state return for 2017 and the NOL carry-overs would not flow to the form. Chat began at 3:51 and ended, unresolved, at 4:49. I sent a copy of the return at 3:54, and at 4:13 I was told the required schedule was not supported. After some pushback and a request to escalate the case, the agent blamed high call volume, but did within 9 minutes return to tell me that the line I need (5) would be zero so there would be no Schedule included in the return. He said the schedule does not generate when the year's taxable income is zero, there is no way to override this. That is exactly when an NOL carry-forward schedule should generate. I ended up filing on paper. It was faster and more accurate.
That's the reason why they "outsource" support to this Community. They save on hiring the staff they need and have peers help one another without compensation of any kind instead. It makes them look good to senior management and shareholders alike who are constantly looking for higher E&P, valuation, etc. and increased "customer engagement".
I figured a long time ago these folks picking up calls and online chats are not all there because they are multi-tasking and not really focused on any one customer. While they are dealing with you, they're most likely online with other clients at the same time (as I was told on multiple occasions), leaving people on hold (for a very, very, verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry long time and without advance notice for what to expect) - it's almost like playing the game of musical chairs, except you don't hear music, only crickets. And worse, they are often not familiar with the products they support and are simply indifferent.
Next time, if you need help, you would be better off asking your question here unless it requires intervention from Intuit, which the volunteers here can't do.
Still an AllStar
Sounds suspiciously true. I am thankful that they at least have stopped dancing around my browser being the issue. Reminds me of my CSR days in cell phone service (years ago); if a customer said "My phone's not working" we were trained to ask "Is it turned on?" I could not bring myself to insult the customer that way. Intuit does seem to steer support questions to the communities. The help button returns a melange of posed and answered questions too often not appropriate to my posted question. I hope ITO continues to improve and mature.
@Rox If you take a look at their ER, you'd understand how professional tax products are such a tiny fraction of their business (despite it having the highest and growing margin) and that their emphasis is on DIY products, which account for most of their revenue as well as profits.
That's the difference between Intuit and their competitors. That's not to say Intuit's professional tax products are not as good. In fact, I like PTO and it's big brother, Lacerte, in many respects. It's just a reflection of how they allocate their resources and the level of support we've all experienced.
Still an AllStar
If that is my only other choice for obtaining assistance, then I am using the wrong software. The two aspects of tax prep software most criticized are price and the level of customer service. I have never been as frustrated with customer service in any other SaaS arrangement.