ED Magedson – Founder
Jackson Hewitt Tax Service110 E. Fairfield Rd. Internet United States of America
It was NOT a good experience.
First, some explanation is in order. Like so many people right now, the phrase a rock & a hard place barely begins to describe the dire straits my family & I find ourselves in. An eviction notice was served on us resulting in being locked out of our home. I won't bore you with the rest of the details. Since Jackson-Hewitt's heavily advertised next-day refund seemed to be our best way out of this predicament (a solution that I was highly reluctant to use for obvious reasons that we all know), we first went to the nearest location to our (used-to-be home) here in High Point NC.
The young gentleman there (apparently a recent immigrant from somewhere, with an accent so heavy it was hard to understand) could hardly function without calling a supervisor first, wasting time over a question he should have already known the answer. Having no time to waste (locked out of our house, desperate...remember?) we went to the next nearest Jackson-Hewitt location.
The office supervisor at the next location did a warm & competent job in preparing our taxes. We explained our emergency situation to her, & how important a next-day refund was to us due to our situation, as well as admitting that otherwise, I would've done the taxes myself. This is an important fact to bear in mind, & is at the core of my complaint with Jackson-Hewitt's services. She was kind, patient, & knowledgeable in helping us navigate through what we needed to do. This makes what happened at the end of our transaction with Jackson-Hewitt's services even more suspect.
Remember, we had explained up front when we first sat down at the supervisor's desk how important & crucial a next-day refund was to my entire now-homeless family. Moreover, this was explained to a woman with 30 years experience in tax preparation (by her own words) and undoubtedly several years experience within the Jackson-Hewitt organization to have risen to the position of Office Supervisor. After the two hours of work to slog through our brief foray into retail business, then we find out that self-employment dis-qualifies us for the one reason we were there in the first place. We were left feeling obligated since she had spent all this time with us. Meanwhile, she did or said nothing that would indicate our right to walk away since our chief goal (which we disclosed as soon as we sat down at her desk) was not met.
This was inexcusable, & strikes me as a deceptive sales practice since our preparer knew what our situation was & through her vast tax-preparing experience with Jackson-Hewitt, no doubt knew the next-day refund policy concerning self-employment income, but did not disclose it up front. This deception cost us $385.95 for a refund that we would've not gotten any sooner than if I had e-filed (via Turbo-Tax). That included charging us 49.95 to issue the check.
In addition, I am forced to conclude that this is apparently company policy not to disclose such important information first, since she was otherwise so extremely pleasant & helpful. In addition, blaming it on the bank that Jackson-Hewitt runs these transactions through is not a valid excuse either, which was explained via previous paragraphs concerning the preparer's experience.
Due to these factors, I can only conclude that we were victims of deceptive sales policies set at Jackson-Hewitt's corporate (or franchisee level) level, that have much more in common with a shady used-car dealership than a nationwide tax-preparation firm.
So, much like our experiences with Jackson-Hewitt, here at last is what my policy will be concerning this matter:
First & foremost, Jackson-Hewitt has seen the first and last dime they will ever get from me or any member of my family. We were willing to put up with the exorbitant fees & interest of a next-day refund at rates that would make a loan shark salivate, as the price we had to pay to have a roof over our heads. We are not willing to do so under these fraudulent circumstances.
Next, I will avail myself of every local media outlet with a consumer affairs division & send them a copy of this letter. I don't think I have to tell anyone that the fact that Jackson-Hewitt advertises with these same media outlets will not shield them. Car dealerships tried that concerning disparaging articles about their sales practices that have appeared in newspapers & TV stations across the country only to have that kind of finagling & advertiser boycotting struck down in several court cases concerning the rights of a free press.
Next, we have the internet. I will be visiting as many consumer-protection sites as I possibly can to spread the word about how this all went down. Geometric progression will take care of the rest.
I have written the company so they know that I'm dead serious about taking these steps, & they will not simply evaporate due to the struggles we're having.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/29/2010 01:05 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/jackson-hewitt-tax-service/internet/jackson-hewitt-tax-service-deceptive-refund-anticipation-loan-practices-internet-561927. 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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