Federal Trade Commission sues tax filing service to keep users from quitting dark pattern advertising by advertising it as 'free'

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) of the United States has filed an administrative complaint against ' Intuit ,' which operates ' TurboTax ,' a tax filing assistance software that has long been pointed out as 'it is very difficult to understand how to subscribe to a free plan.' I woke it up. It points out that the design ' dark pattern ' that deliberately tricks users is illegal, and in the complaint, the FTC is calling for Intuit to immediately stop 'false ads' that advertise TurboTax for free.

FTC Sues Intuit for Its Deceptive TurboTax “free” Filing Campaign | Federal Trade Commission

In the United States, people with income below a certain amount can file tax returns for free. Still, it is difficult and cumbersome to file tax returns on your own, so there is a high demand for services that assist in tax filing. 'TurboTax' is also the largest such tax filing assistance software, and it is reported that 40 million users were using TurboTax in 2019.

What is the way of 'Intuit', a tax filing assistance software company that has defended its interests by a legal method? --GIGAZINE

But on the other hand, TurboTax is a non-profit news site that monitors the abuse of power, saying that it contains a kind of ' dark pattern ' that 'it is difficult to use the free plan because there are too many leads to paid plans'. ProPublica pointed out in 2019. Here, while promoting to get caught in the search with the word 'free', it is pointed out that it is a malicious design, such as being guided to a paid plan or not being able to actually access the free page. It has been.

It is pointed out that there is an online service for tax filing support that can not reach the free plan at all --GIGAZINE

by Kelly Sikkema

A consumer organization has filed a class action proceeding against TurboTax, but Intuit denied cheating against customers and stated that it was 'always clear and fair to customers.' In response to this situation, on March 29, 2021, the Federal Trade Commission finally released a document proclaiming that Intuit would be sued.

The Federal Trade Commission claims that TurboTax ads, which are repeatedly used as 'free,' mislead consumers into thinking that 'TurboTax allows you to file taxes for free.' If you need to submit documents for tax filing, you will be guided to a paid plan, or if you are a tax filing person with specific conditions, you can not use the free plan, so in 2020 about two-thirds of tax filing people Was unable to use the TurboTax free plan.

Samuel Levine, head of the Consumer Protection Agency, said, 'TurboTax attracts consumers by stating it as Free and charges for it when it's time to file a tax return. We are asking the court to stop this technique immediately to protect consumers who are forced to pay for the software in a hurry during the season. '

in Web Service, Posted by log1e_dh