Saturday, March 26, 2011

Taxes Filed

So I used TurboTax and taxes are filed.  No pain there.  TaxACT is history for me at this point.  (Too bad, they were really easy to use the last three years.)

Morons at TaxACT

Here’s what I sent them:

“I clicked the "Forgot 2009 Username" button, and it sent me an e-mail with my username. But the password didn't work, so I clicked "Forgot my password". It then tells me my username, that your system just e-mailed to me, isn't in the system. So I tried going through the registration page, but it says my e-mail address is already in your system. It's a loop that just keeps repeating. How can your system e-mail me a username that's not in your system? Yet it says it has done exactly that.”

Here’s the autoresponder piece of junk that they sent me as a “reply” to this:

“To successfully reset your password, you must complete all the steps in the process. After clicking the "Forgot your Password?" link:
1. You will be asked to enter your username and click "Continue".
2. On the next screen you are asked to answer your secret question and click "Continue".
3. You must enter your new password, confirm it, and click the "Send Password Reset" email.
4. You must then validate the new password using the link in the auto-generated email you received.
If you have not completed each of these steps above, your password is not reset and you may not receive the validation email.
NOTE: The validation link expires in 36 hours. You will need to re-initiate the reset process if you have not validated the change in that time.
For a video presentation of this help topic please click this link:

Thank you for using TaxACT. Please let us know if you have any further questions.”

Any reasonably literate person would have read my request, realized that there’s a problem with their password reset functionality, and actually responded to what I actually wrote.  Instead, they had a bot send me something that ends up being actually insulting because it’s just a repeat of directions that I followed, which didn’t work.

Definitely switching to a different service.  Not sure which yet.  These guys need to realized that “customer service” has nothing to do with the animal husbandry definition of “service”.  (My response to them would make this blog Adult Only because of language, so I won’t post it.)

Plague of Stupidity

I just tried to do my taxes through TaxACT Online.  I checked my records from last year, and had my username, but not my password.  So I clicked the “Forgot My Password” link, and it asked for the username.  I tried the one I have on record, and it told me that it’s not in their system.  So I hit the “Forgot My Username” link, and waited for their e-mail to arrive.

A few minutes later, an e-mail arrived, with EXACTLY the same username I had just tried to use.  In case of typo, I copy-and-pasted it into their form.  And got an error that my username isn’t in their system.  The exact same username the exact same system had just e-mailed me not two minutes earlier!

I just have to wonder what kind of morons they have building their code for them.  That kind of error should be impossible with any sort of decent coding skill or any faintest clue about database querying.

And, yes, when I try to register for the site, it says my e-mail address already exists in their system, and asks for my username, which, when provided, it promptly informs me isn’t in their system again.

So I contacted support.  If that’s as clueless as I expect, I guess I’ll be trying a new service in a few days.

All I can really say so far is, it’s a DAMN good thing I’m not doing this on April 15th, with support saying it will take a couple of business days to get back to me on their self-generated idiocy.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Movie Review: Sucker Punch

Sucker Punch on IMDB

Just saw this, after loving the special effects in the previews.  Definitely an interesting movie, especially from a Scientologist’s perspective.  In Scientology 8-8008, Ron covers the processes about creation of one’s own universe, where one makes one’s own rules and is king of all of that creation.  The scenes in the asylum also could almost have been written by someone at CCHR, which is also interesting (in that the message is obviously getting out).

I gave the movie 8 out of 10 on IMDB, because I think it was really quite good.  Can’t give it 10, because it was a little too cliché in some regards, and that held it back from top votes.

All in all, if you want some incredible special effects, or are interested in a truly interesting take on the connection between creativity and sanity, see it.  If what you’re looking for is more erotic (as the previews hinted at), this isn’t the movie you want.  If what you want is great storytelling, there are better options (like Lost in Translation, one of my all-time favorites in that regard).  This one is a little disturbed, a little shocking, very visually and audially impressive, and definitely interesting.