ORose tipped me off yesterday that I Google had indexed my blog post about H&R Block’s Tango e-file tax web app (or rather, lack of e-file web app I should say 🙂 ). Check out the Google search for “Tango HRBlock.com”, I’m currently the thrid organic search result.

Google search for "Tango HRBlock.com"

Now I’m definitely not an A-list blogger, but it seems that the bloggers over at H&R Block should have seen my post fly by on their blog search feeds. I even linked to their Tango Tax Blog on my previous post, but it looks like they dont’ have trackbacks turned on 😦

Oh well. If anyone from H&R Block is reading this post, I’m still waiting for my refund…


UPDATE 4/11/2007: Rita and Sarah of the Tango team responded to this post down in the comments. Looks like they’re working on the problems and hopefully will have everything good to go by next year. Thanks for following up 🙂 I’ve posted a follow up as well.

Now this is unbelievable. H&R Block, one of the largest retail tax filers in the country I’m sure, released a product called Tango this year. It’s supposed to be an online e-file web application except for one thing: there’s a known issue where the program can’t actually e-file. The workaround? Print out the tax return and mail it in.


While using the app, I could definitely tell it had quite a few bugs, but I figured it’s a new product, whatever, I’m not here to evaluate the UI, I’m here to file my taxes. Except it can’t actually file my taxes either. That’s a pretty major bug in my opinion – when the only feature that matters is broken.

For anyone else who’s tried Tango or is thinking about trying it, let me fill you in on what you’re going to run into:

HRBlock.com's Tango sucks

Above is a screenshot of what will happen after you spend about an hour wrestling with the insanely slow and bad UI they built in Flex. That’s right, the IRS will reject your tax return because you need to fill in some info about dependents – which I don’t have.

While we’re on the topic of bugs, the second biggest one is performance. I know what you’re thinking: it’s just a tax program. However, when it takes minutes to fill in text input boxes and save the data (equivalent to a simple HTML form), something is seriously broken. If you’re using Tango, you better get used to seeing this screen:

HRBlock.com's Tango sucks

Since you’ll probably be staring at it more than 50% of the time you’re using the program. What is the program saving exactly? I’m just clicking the navigation!

Hey HRBlock.com QA team, here are a few more for you to file:

  1. If you specify ‘S’ or ‘L’ for short term or long term cap gains in the “Stocks, Bonds, and Mutual Funds” section in the Income tab, Tango will flag it as an error – even though that’s what you need to do.
  2. A bunch of the “Learn More” buttons actually just show a yellow box that says to click on the general purpose “Help” icon on the right – both of which give no info.
  3. Quite a few of the “Help” content sections are actually blank. You’ve even got the accordion style control, but when you expand it, there’s nothing there.

Wow. Quite poor if you ask me.

They even have a blog; except that they seem to have a duplicate entry in there called “Ba dum, Ching: Rhythm and Meter in Language” (duplicate here). Maybe I’ll get some blog love? Help Rita! My Tango experience is terrible! 😦 

Last thing: I call up the customer support where the guy tells me all these are known issues. And I say, “ok, can I have a refund at least?” and he says, “Yeah, I’ll put your refund request into a queue. We’ll get back to you.”


They all got on my bad side at some point, and I blogged about it (buy.com, 24 hour fitness, msn messenger, q-cup). No big deal I thought, but then I noticed something interesting: I was getting a lot of comments on those posts, and I kept getting them, even entries that were almost 2 years old.

So I looked at my referrer logs in StatCounter (a basic, but free web metrics service) and saw that a lot of people were getting to my blog from Google searches. Actually, 90% of my web traffic was coming from Google searches, so I did some investigation and here’ s what I found:

buy.com sucks

Whoa. Top placement on a Google search. That would explain why I’ve got 85 responses to my buy.com sucks entry. Check it out.

Turns out, I must have a bit of Google juice becuase I’ve got top placement for “24 hour fitness membership deals” and “MSN messenger memory leak” as well…


And my tirade against Q-cup a few weeks ago is on the first Google result page for “q-cup cupertino” as well. Not top placement, but not bad 🙂


Something tells me these companies aren’t using blog search tools…

Normally I don’t like to rant too much… (oh wait, I do). Anyways, we had just finished dinner at Korea Tofu House and we decided to get a little bit of desert. So we walked around Cupertino Village and decided to hit up Q-Cup. If you just clicked through to the yelp link, you’ll notice that it got 1 out of 5 stars, and this review isn’t going to help them out any either…

We head inside and I order a pineapple bubble milk tea (yeah, I know it already sounds kind of nasty, but I like pineapple so I wasn’t thinking about that too much). When the order comes out, I taste it and it’s pretty bad. Rose has some and she doesn’t like it either. I tried some more and then I barfed a little bit in my mouth (just kidding). Long and short of it is, it’s the worst bubble tea we’ve ever had – maybe the worst bubble tea in the world says Rose.

No big deal we think, we’ll just ask for a replacement regular bubble milk tea. I walk up to the counter and politely ask if I can exchange the bubble tea for another flavor. The girl at the counter seems puzzled and asks some old guy about it and he says no. This was pretty puzzling since 1. the bubble tea costs them almost nothing and 2. customer satisfaction is usually pretty important to a business like this when there’s a perfectly good alternative just around the corner.

I ask again nicely, but no dice. When I tell Rose what happened, she gets pretty mad and proceeds to ask again for me. This time, the old guy runs to the back and mixes a little sample of the same flavor for her to taste to see if it’s still bad. Of course, it tastes exactly the same (we suspect it was the artificial pineapple flavor).

Then, he gives her a bunch of junk about how the bubble tea cup and plastic seal costs a lot of money so they’d be taking a huge financial hit if they gave us a replacement bubble tea. That’s completely ridiculous! Then he offers this case study:

“If you go to any restaurant, order some food, pay for it, and then tell them you don’t like the food, will they give you a refund or make you another dish? No! They’ll lose money! That’s how business works!”

Umm… yeah. That’s for the business tips, where’d you get your MBA again? He forgot the part where customers don’t come back and he doesn’t make money period.

The worst part is, eventually they actually gave us a replacement milk tea (they forgot the bubbles) and it tasted horrible too. Moral of the story: don’t go to Q-Cup.

Epilogue: we came home after this whole ordeal and looked online. According to wikipedia, Q-Cup is an illegal franchise?