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Online retailer imposes tax on customers using Internet Explorer 7

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June 17, 2012

Internet retailer, Kogan, has implemented a new 'Internet Explorer 7 Tax' on customers who...

Internet retailer, Kogan, has implemented a new 'Internet Explorer 7 Tax' on customers who use the outdated browser to purchase items

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Getting some members of the public to keep up with new technology can be almost as difficult as getting your brand to cut through in the ultra competitive Internet marketplace. Australian online electronics retailer Kogan is attempting to kill those two birds with one stone by implementing an "Internet Explorer 7 Tax" on customers who use the outdated browser when they make purchases.

Kogan argues that continuing to support the six-year-old browser only hinders its ability to offer low prices and conduct business efficiently. By adopting this new policy, the company hopes to set an example and draw attention not only to itself, but also to the fact that it needs to waste time ensuring its site appears correctly in IE7.

The tax will equal 6.8 percent of the total cost, or 0.1 percent for each month since IE7 ...

The tax will equal 6.8 percent of the total cost, or 0.1 percent for each month since IE7 was released. Any customer attempting to make a purchase on IE7 will see a tongue-in-cheek pop-up with an explanation of the tax and several links to download more recent browsers so they can avoid the extra expense. Shoppers can also simply upgrade to a current version of Internet Explorer.

Kogan has a history of innovative marketing ploys that have generated a lot of interest for minimal outlay. This latest move may just be the company’s best yet, having garnered attention from websites worldwide. Whether that translates to sales is another matter but if the company folds as an online electronics retailer, we’d suggest a move into online marketing.

Source: Kogan

About the Author
Jonathan Fincher Jonathan grew up in Norway, China, and Trinidad before graduating film school and becoming an online writer covering green technology, history and design, as well as contributing to video game news sites like Filefront and 1Up. He currently resides in Texas, where his passions include video games, comics, and boring people who don't want to talk about either of those things.   All articles by Jonathan Fincher
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10 Comments

not everyone can afford to stay current with the latest and the greatest software. Such practices penalizes the less than rich and is a form of discrimination. They certainly would not get my business.

arild
18th June, 2012 @ 12:49 pm PDT

Agreed, arild. It matters little with regard to software (after all, isn't it just easier to use Chrome or Firefox?) but it is indicative of a technocratic approach to the integration of new ideas. For the end user who is not constantly riding the crest of the technology wave, it is vitally important that new generations of ANYTHING be retro-compatible. A prime example is the DVD/BlueRay situation. For Kogan, this 'tax' makes them just another site with irritating popups and malicious hidden charges added to the cost when you finally get to the checkout and as such, I'll be avoiding them.

Chris D Hooley
18th June, 2012 @ 06:19 pm PDT

umm, arild, Firefox is FREE as is Chrome

Bill Bennett
18th June, 2012 @ 06:44 pm PDT

Idiots. Good PR trick, if not.

solutions4circuits
18th June, 2012 @ 06:51 pm PDT

arid, not only are Firefox and Chrome free so is a simple update to IE8, and as someone who has spen many EXTRA hours working on web sites so they appear correctly in IE 7 I can say that a 6.8% tax is hardly scratching the surface of what it really cost to keep support for this non compliant browser running. Some sites just outright refuse to display for older browsers and will instead re-direct to update pages or to alternatives.

Chris D Hooley

maybe you can point out what is "hidden" about this extra charge, after all it is right up there before you have a chance to commit to the charges.

GarryO
19th June, 2012 @ 02:42 am PDT

As someone who has to develop for sites that will still be used by IE6 for at least a few more months, I don't see what all the fuss is about. I call that "job security".

As an end user this just comes across as tech snobbery. It reminds me of the LAN guy skits on SNL. My machine is up to date but I see no value in installing every update that comes out. That's usually just asking for more problems. If you can't be bothered to make your site accessible to me then I can't be bothered to waste time trying to navigate it or spending my money there. And when I've seen these "helpful" hints in the past my first thought is "well it works everywhere else" and I usually just move on.

xyxjunkmale
19th June, 2012 @ 06:06 am PDT

IE sux BIG TIME. I really wish they would get out of the browser business. They are non-conformists and cause web developers giant headaches. DOWN WITH INTERNET EXPLORER, FOREVER!

b@man
20th June, 2012 @ 12:28 pm PDT

Just another group trying to force people to live according to their rules, like M$ and crApple and Gargle.

backwards compatibility is standard practice in programming.

this is just a poor excuse for extorting money from shoppers.

i'll be steering clear of these creeps even though i've been using firefox for 8 years.

beautify the web, boycott Kogan the barbarian.

:)

.

Joe M. Wesson
26th June, 2012 @ 05:29 am PDT

So you people that think backwards compatibility is standard, I have to ask why don't we still have MS-DOS running? Or any of the operating systems of the past? Do you still use Netscape and Internet explorer 5? Backwards compatibility costs development time, and processing time. Boycott stupidity!

David Tanner
28th June, 2012 @ 02:51 pm PDT

Try postulating a valid argument rather than spouting innuendo and character assassination. When M$ tried to destroy backwards compatibility by doing away with the DOS compatibility layer and then later by forcing driver signing which disabled older software installs, the customer base rebelled and the new OS was a bomb.

Whether you or i like it or not, there are still installations of the non-MS-encumbered DOS out there. Just because it takes a small amount of time to make sure my program works correctly in ever browser available doesn't mean that i shouldn't be kind and try to please the renegade user out there.

Programmers like us, assuming you are one too, should be servants, not dictators. If Kogan wants to dictate, they can do so without me. If Kogan wants to serve the customer, i will support that. The choice is up to them.

For now, i won't be a party to a technology dictatorship like Kogan, M$, crApple, or Gargle wish to create.

Join me in resisting the oppressor. :)

Joe M. Wesson
9th July, 2012 @ 05:16 am PDT
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