• Report: #472744

Complaint Review: Liberty Tax Service

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  • Submitted: Thu, July 23, 2009
  • Updated: Fri, July 24, 2009

  • Reported By:Harrison Ohio
Liberty Tax Service
215 Harrison Ave Harrison, Ohio U.S.A.

Liberty Tax, Liberty Tax Service Lousy Service, Improper Filing of Returns, Sloppy Business Harrison Ohio

*Consumer Comment: Rare Occurrence

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Clarification

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Clarification

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Clarification

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Clarification

*Consumer Comment: A Concerned Liberty Franchisee

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My wife and I utilized this company to prepare our 2008 tax returns. We chose them because we had used them before and were pleased with the results.

There were a number of issues we encountered this year. Among them:

1) Liberty lost our W-2s and other tax documents for a period of two to three weeks before eventually locating them. We discovered this when attempting to file our municipal tax returns on our own, only to discover the required documents were not returned with the materials Liberty gave us when we signed our returns.

2) Liberty inaccurately prepared our local school district tax forms. Instead of a refund of $26, we received a bill for $32.

3) Liberty understated our Indiana state refund by over $400. It was only brought to our attention when the state of Indiana did the honest, decent thing, and sent us our corrected return showing our refund was over $900.

4) When we brought the matter of our state return to the local franchise's attention. we were informed that they had suffered a computer virus that had wiped out their computer systems. It took them nearly a week to become functional again.

5) We were only contacted by the local franchise AFTER complaining to the Corporate customer relations department. Even then, the promised 24-48 hour response came FOUR DAYS LATER.

6)Liberty's staff was flippant when they were not being non-responsive. The franchise attempted to satisfy my complaints by offering me gift certificates in lieu of a refund for the faulty services.

This afternoon, I stopped by and received a refund for my state tax return at their office. A lady in the office handed me $20 and told me to sign a slip of paper. She evidently had no interest in trying to regain my business. That's fine, I have no interest in giving her the opportunity.

Kenneth
Harrison, Ohio
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/23/2009 04:38 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Liberty-Tax-Service/Harrison-Ohio-45030/Liberty-Tax-Liberty-Tax-Service-Lousy-Service-Improper-Filing-of-Returns-Sloppy-Busines-472744. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 2Consumer 4Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Rare Occurrence

AUTHOR: Anonymous - (U.S.A.)

Dear Ken, my name is David and I'm a franchisee in Illinois. I'm sorry to learn about your situation and wanted to take a quick minute to let you know that we all try very hard to uphold the standards and integrity of the Liberty system. Every situation is unique and there are always two sides to every story. I can appreciate you taking the time to file this report, however, your situation is isolated and not representative of our entire organization.

Our comprehensive written guarantee is our promise to every client to deliver total satisfaction. We offer a number of additional services at no charge as part of our written guarantee, such as audit and correspondence assistance, free consultations, free copies and year round support. Based on the information you outlined, it appears as though the error was corrected by the office and they also refunded your fees. In addition, most states and the federal government typically allow up to 30 days to respond to their notices so a temporary computer issue that caused a week lag in preparing the document should not have any impact on the outcome of your filing.

Lastly, I'm sorry for your disappointment this year and as the owner in this situation has clearly stated, it can be a learning experience for all of us. Our mission is short and sweet: set the standard, improve each day and have some fun! Thank you for the opportunity to help us improve.

Best regards,
David
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#2 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Clarification

AUTHOR: Linda Goepper - (U.S.A.)

To claify the report concerns:

1) Our tax returns are double checked and processed in a central location. When the client came to the office to pick up his refund check, the completed client envelopes had not been delivered from the processing office. The customer was notified when his information was in Harrison and ready to be picked up. The w2's were never lost or mis-placed.

2) The customer came to the office to ask for his money back on the School Tax return because it had been prepared incorrectly. I explained to the customer that we do the school returns as a service to customers and that there had not been a charge for this service. I offered to look at it and have him return to get a corrected copy, but he indicated that the difference seemed be a rounding error of $.26 and that he did not think it would be worth a return trip. I told him that if there had been a charge for the form, I would have been happy to return his fees.

3) The customer brought in a copy of a letter that he had received from the State of Indiana that showed that he was getting additional refund money. I advised the customer that our computers had just gone down, and I was unable to investigate this at that time. I told him I was hopeful that the computer would be up Monday or Tuesday and I would have an answer. (unfortunately, it took untili the end of the week for the computer to be fixed) He wondered how I was going to compensate him and I told him that I would be happy to give him a gift certificate for his tax preparation fees for next year (to be used in either one of my offices). I offered this because it was the best value for the customer. His return was a $422 return that was discounted this year because of a school/teacher promotion. A refund for his State fee was only $40 (minus his 50% discount). I emphasized that I would be fair and would compensate him in any way he thought was fair. I also advised that he should not spend the additional refund money, as it seemed to me that the letter from IN showed an error on their end when they re-calculated. He agreed.

4) Yes, it take us nearly a week for the computers to be functional. They had to be completely cleaned, and all date needed to be restored. This process took several days as we had to restore data from 2005,2006,2007 & 2008. In the meantime, my office manager investigated the error on his return (I was out of town at a series of meetings). There were two--one made by the State of Indiana, and the other was a result of a technology/software issue that occured at the time his IN return was created.

I contacted the customer as soon I determined that this was going to take more research. Once again, he wondered how he would be compensated, and once again I told him I would do what ever he wanted--either a refund or a gift certificate. He told me at that time that he and his wife were discussing buying Turbo Tax and doing the 2009 returns themselves so he thought it was better for us to refund his state fees. I told him I would be happy to do that and confirmed in the office next time I was there that we had the cash to do that. He wondered if he could stop by and get the cash and I suggested that he wait until the amended return was completed so he could get it all at once and he wouldn't have to make an extra trip. He did not want to do that so I contacted my office manager and she expediated the process and had the amended return complete before he arrived.

When the customer arrived, my office manager was working on a return for another client. She greeted the customer and went to the back of the office, got the packet of information for the customer--she had made two copies, one to be mailed and one for the customers file. She also provided him with an envelope. She gave the customer the refund for his State Return and he asked if there was something he should sign. She said "if you don't mind" and had him sign the standard form that everyone signs if they receive cash from the office (this goes for refunds, Send-A-Friends, and the Cash in a Flash program). It is the same procedure for everyone.

I've spoken and met with this customer several times--always indicating that I would do whatever it took to make him happy. I am sorry that I was not able to do that. We follow-up with all of our customers this year and did a customer satisfacton survey with everyone. We weren't perfect, but we had an outstanding year. We will work even harder to make sure customer all have a great experience.

Linda Goepper
Owner
Liberty Tax Service
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#3 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Clarification

AUTHOR: Linda Goepper - (U.S.A.)

To claify the report concerns:

1) Our tax returns are double checked and processed in a central location. When the client came to the office to pick up his refund check, the completed client envelopes had not been delivered from the processing office. The customer was notified when his information was in Harrison and ready to be picked up. The w2's were never lost or mis-placed.

2) The customer came to the office to ask for his money back on the School Tax return because it had been prepared incorrectly. I explained to the customer that we do the school returns as a service to customers and that there had not been a charge for this service. I offered to look at it and have him return to get a corrected copy, but he indicated that the difference seemed be a rounding error of $.26 and that he did not think it would be worth a return trip. I told him that if there had been a charge for the form, I would have been happy to return his fees.

3) The customer brought in a copy of a letter that he had received from the State of Indiana that showed that he was getting additional refund money. I advised the customer that our computers had just gone down, and I was unable to investigate this at that time. I told him I was hopeful that the computer would be up Monday or Tuesday and I would have an answer. (unfortunately, it took untili the end of the week for the computer to be fixed) He wondered how I was going to compensate him and I told him that I would be happy to give him a gift certificate for his tax preparation fees for next year (to be used in either one of my offices). I offered this because it was the best value for the customer. His return was a $422 return that was discounted this year because of a school/teacher promotion. A refund for his State fee was only $40 (minus his 50% discount). I emphasized that I would be fair and would compensate him in any way he thought was fair. I also advised that he should not spend the additional refund money, as it seemed to me that the letter from IN showed an error on their end when they re-calculated. He agreed.

4) Yes, it take us nearly a week for the computers to be functional. They had to be completely cleaned, and all date needed to be restored. This process took several days as we had to restore data from 2005,2006,2007 & 2008. In the meantime, my office manager investigated the error on his return (I was out of town at a series of meetings). There were two--one made by the State of Indiana, and the other was a result of a technology/software issue that occured at the time his IN return was created.

I contacted the customer as soon I determined that this was going to take more research. Once again, he wondered how he would be compensated, and once again I told him I would do what ever he wanted--either a refund or a gift certificate. He told me at that time that he and his wife were discussing buying Turbo Tax and doing the 2009 returns themselves so he thought it was better for us to refund his state fees. I told him I would be happy to do that and confirmed in the office next time I was there that we had the cash to do that. He wondered if he could stop by and get the cash and I suggested that he wait until the amended return was completed so he could get it all at once and he wouldn't have to make an extra trip. He did not want to do that so I contacted my office manager and she expediated the process and had the amended return complete before he arrived.

When the customer arrived, my office manager was working on a return for another client. She greeted the customer and went to the back of the office, got the packet of information for the customer--she had made two copies, one to be mailed and one for the customers file. She also provided him with an envelope. She gave the customer the refund for his State Return and he asked if there was something he should sign. She said "if you don't mind" and had him sign the standard form that everyone signs if they receive cash from the office (this goes for refunds, Send-A-Friends, and the Cash in a Flash program). It is the same procedure for everyone.

I've spoken and met with this customer several times--always indicating that I would do whatever it took to make him happy. I am sorry that I was not able to do that. We follow-up with all of our customers this year and did a customer satisfacton survey with everyone. We weren't perfect, but we had an outstanding year. We will work even harder to make sure customer all have a great experience.

Linda Goepper
Owner
Liberty Tax Service
Respond to this report!
What's this?

#4 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Clarification

AUTHOR: Linda Goepper - (U.S.A.)

To claify the report concerns:

1) Our tax returns are double checked and processed in a central location. When the client came to the office to pick up his refund check, the completed client envelopes had not been delivered from the processing office. The customer was notified when his information was in Harrison and ready to be picked up. The w2's were never lost or mis-placed.

2) The customer came to the office to ask for his money back on the School Tax return because it had been prepared incorrectly. I explained to the customer that we do the school returns as a service to customers and that there had not been a charge for this service. I offered to look at it and have him return to get a corrected copy, but he indicated that the difference seemed be a rounding error of $.26 and that he did not think it would be worth a return trip. I told him that if there had been a charge for the form, I would have been happy to return his fees.

3) The customer brought in a copy of a letter that he had received from the State of Indiana that showed that he was getting additional refund money. I advised the customer that our computers had just gone down, and I was unable to investigate this at that time. I told him I was hopeful that the computer would be up Monday or Tuesday and I would have an answer. (unfortunately, it took untili the end of the week for the computer to be fixed) He wondered how I was going to compensate him and I told him that I would be happy to give him a gift certificate for his tax preparation fees for next year (to be used in either one of my offices). I offered this because it was the best value for the customer. His return was a $422 return that was discounted this year because of a school/teacher promotion. A refund for his State fee was only $40 (minus his 50% discount). I emphasized that I would be fair and would compensate him in any way he thought was fair. I also advised that he should not spend the additional refund money, as it seemed to me that the letter from IN showed an error on their end when they re-calculated. He agreed.

4) Yes, it take us nearly a week for the computers to be functional. They had to be completely cleaned, and all date needed to be restored. This process took several days as we had to restore data from 2005,2006,2007 & 2008. In the meantime, my office manager investigated the error on his return (I was out of town at a series of meetings). There were two--one made by the State of Indiana, and the other was a result of a technology/software issue that occured at the time his IN return was created.

I contacted the customer as soon I determined that this was going to take more research. Once again, he wondered how he would be compensated, and once again I told him I would do what ever he wanted--either a refund or a gift certificate. He told me at that time that he and his wife were discussing buying Turbo Tax and doing the 2009 returns themselves so he thought it was better for us to refund his state fees. I told him I would be happy to do that and confirmed in the office next time I was there that we had the cash to do that. He wondered if he could stop by and get the cash and I suggested that he wait until the amended return was completed so he could get it all at once and he wouldn't have to make an extra trip. He did not want to do that so I contacted my office manager and she expediated the process and had the amended return complete before he arrived.

When the customer arrived, my office manager was working on a return for another client. She greeted the customer and went to the back of the office, got the packet of information for the customer--she had made two copies, one to be mailed and one for the customers file. She also provided him with an envelope. She gave the customer the refund for his State Return and he asked if there was something he should sign. She said "if you don't mind" and had him sign the standard form that everyone signs if they receive cash from the office (this goes for refunds, Send-A-Friends, and the Cash in a Flash program). It is the same procedure for everyone.

I've spoken and met with this customer several times--always indicating that I would do whatever it took to make him happy. I am sorry that I was not able to do that. We follow-up with all of our customers this year and did a customer satisfacton survey with everyone. We weren't perfect, but we had an outstanding year. We will work even harder to make sure customer all have a great experience.

Linda Goepper
Owner
Liberty Tax Service
Respond to this report!
What's this?

#5 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Clarification

AUTHOR: Linda Goepper - (U.S.A.)

To claify the report concerns:

1) Our tax returns are double checked and processed in a central location. When the client came to the office to pick up his refund check, the completed client envelopes had not been delivered from the processing office. The customer was notified when his information was in Harrison and ready to be picked up. The w2's were never lost or mis-placed.

2) The customer came to the office to ask for his money back on the School Tax return because it had been prepared incorrectly. I explained to the customer that we do the school returns as a service to customers and that there had not been a charge for this service. I offered to look at it and have him return to get a corrected copy, but he indicated that the difference seemed be a rounding error of $.26 and that he did not think it would be worth a return trip. I told him that if there had been a charge for the form, I would have been happy to return his fees.

3) The customer brought in a copy of a letter that he had received from the State of Indiana that showed that he was getting additional refund money. I advised the customer that our computers had just gone down, and I was unable to investigate this at that time. I told him I was hopeful that the computer would be up Monday or Tuesday and I would have an answer. (unfortunately, it took untili the end of the week for the computer to be fixed) He wondered how I was going to compensate him and I told him that I would be happy to give him a gift certificate for his tax preparation fees for next year (to be used in either one of my offices). I offered this because it was the best value for the customer. His return was a $422 return that was discounted this year because of a school/teacher promotion. A refund for his State fee was only $40 (minus his 50% discount). I emphasized that I would be fair and would compensate him in any way he thought was fair. I also advised that he should not spend the additional refund money, as it seemed to me that the letter from IN showed an error on their end when they re-calculated. He agreed.

4) Yes, it take us nearly a week for the computers to be functional. They had to be completely cleaned, and all date needed to be restored. This process took several days as we had to restore data from 2005,2006,2007 & 2008. In the meantime, my office manager investigated the error on his return (I was out of town at a series of meetings). There were two--one made by the State of Indiana, and the other was a result of a technology/software issue that occured at the time his IN return was created.

I contacted the customer as soon I determined that this was going to take more research. Once again, he wondered how he would be compensated, and once again I told him I would do what ever he wanted--either a refund or a gift certificate. He told me at that time that he and his wife were discussing buying Turbo Tax and doing the 2009 returns themselves so he thought it was better for us to refund his state fees. I told him I would be happy to do that and confirmed in the office next time I was there that we had the cash to do that. He wondered if he could stop by and get the cash and I suggested that he wait until the amended return was completed so he could get it all at once and he wouldn't have to make an extra trip. He did not want to do that so I contacted my office manager and she expediated the process and had the amended return complete before he arrived.

When the customer arrived, my office manager was working on a return for another client. She greeted the customer and went to the back of the office, got the packet of information for the customer--she had made two copies, one to be mailed and one for the customers file. She also provided him with an envelope. She gave the customer the refund for his State Return and he asked if there was something he should sign. She said "if you don't mind" and had him sign the standard form that everyone signs if they receive cash from the office (this goes for refunds, Send-A-Friends, and the Cash in a Flash program). It is the same procedure for everyone.

I've spoken and met with this customer several times--always indicating that I would do whatever it took to make him happy. I am sorry that I was not able to do that. We follow-up with all of our customers this year and did a customer satisfacton survey with everyone. We weren't perfect, but we had an outstanding year. We will work even harder to make sure customer all have a great experience.

Linda Goepper
Owner
Liberty Tax Service
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#6 Consumer Comment

A Concerned Liberty Franchisee

AUTHOR: Tiffany - (U.S.A.)

Dear Sir,

My name is Tiffany and I am a Liberty Tax franchisee in NC and have been with Liberty for 6 years. I apologize that you have had a bad experience with your local Liberty office. As you noted, you had good experiences the prior two years, and this sort of incident is rare amongst our offices. To prevent this type of issue, our tax preparers must pass a third-party tax test prior to working for us. Furthermore, we provide continual training throughout the tax season to keep our preparers growing in skill. As well, the customer service experience described is not how we are trained as franchisees, nor how we train our employees. So, after 6 years as a franchisee and after thousands of returns, I felt compelled to apologize to you for your disappointment, and assure you that this is a rare occurrence for our offices.



Regards,

Tiffany
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