Online retailer Kogan slaps 6.8% tax on IE7 users

We'll file this one under great marketing ploys, but to be honest it also gave us a bit of a laugh. Australian online-only electronics retailer Kogan announced on Wednesday that they are the first website to implement an "Internet Explorer 7 Tax", whereby everyone attempting to make a purchase using the six-year-old browser will have a 6.8% surcharge placed on their order; 0.1% for every month IE7 has been on the market.

Kogan notes that having to code their website to specifically work with Internet Explorer 7 is "not only costing us a huge amount" but it's "costing the Internet economy millions". This new tax is attempting to rid the world of people using horribly outdated web browsers, which in turn will save websites money who normally would have to code workarounds to get everything functioning correctly on outdated browsers. Oh, and did we mention it's great for marketing their website?

Users who do browse to the Kogan website via IE7, which according to StatCounter should be around 1.3% of Australians, will see the above warning informing them that they will be taxed 6.8% unless they choose one of the better browsing options that are listed. In the checkout they will also notice a hefty surcharge as seen below, in fact if they buy a top-of-the-line LED TV they'll be charged an additional $110 just for using an old browser.

As Kogan puts it: "we all have a responsibility to make the Internet a better place. By taking these measures, we are doing our bit." And good on them.

Via: The Verge
Source: Kogan BlogImages via Kogan

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61 Comments

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Sounds quite discriminatory and illegal. Why not impose various tax rates for each browser then? Safari users should have +25%, because they are mostly pompous rich folkie types. LOL

They could have linked IE9 on their better browser list LOL. I don't like IE at all, just saying :-)
I don't think it's the retailers job to enforce browser upgrades, if the site doesn't work with old browsers, people will either use another browser or shop somewhere else. They want those customers, and as a result the expense to maintain compatibility is justified.

Adding a tax is actually stupid. They should simply drop the support and tell people to upgrade.

I'm working as a web dev and the web site i'm working on has around 200 000 unique sessions a month.

We do not support ie 6 anymore. We will drop ie 7 support next year when we will redesign our web site.

LOL, Kogan? who buys crap from this guy anyways. its just cheap cookie cutter chinese electronics with their sticker or silkscreen slapped on. Go to alibaba and make an order for LED tvs, or GPS units, or Blueray players, and these chinese manufacturers will put on whatever name you want on it,with box and manuals.

Maybe they have to make back that %7 tax because the chinese manufacturers charge them a %7 incompetent idiot tax.

http://validator.w3.org/check?...;doctype=Inline&group=0

99 Errors, 24 warning(s)

Line 449, Column 88: Bad value /au/shop/televisions/?n-facet-51=[,4]
Line 494, Column 85: Bad value /au/shop/televisions/?price=[,100]
Line 1757, Column 89: Bad value /au/shop/phones/?facet-68-os=MeeGo 1.2
Line 2384, Column 59: Bad value June 13, 2012, 11:06 p.m.
Line 2512, Column 31: Duplicate ID reviews-image.
Line 3050, Column 42: Bad value for attribute datetime on element time

Hmm. Since when the flow goes from "webpage input to browser, browser output to user" to "browser input to webpage, webpage output to user"?

Just out up a Microsoft sucks banner and be done with it. Or stop support for internet explorer entirely, no need to punish your customers.

6.8% tax, on top of the already over-inflated Australian prices? Just to cover the cost of developing an alternate front end for their website?
Do they have like 3000 customers in total or something? It can't cost THAT much. I very much doubt this is anything except a fanatic's money grab.

Oh wait... "Department of Internet Justice" Yep, they're definitely crazy. They need to stop policing the internet at the inconvenience of their users. I hate IE7 like everyone else, but if an online retailer did this to me, I would find another browser, and then find another retailer that's less discriminatory.

As an Australian, I'm telling you all right now, this is 100% legal.
In the same way as businesses here can charge extra when customers choose to pay with credit card, Kogan are allowed to charge extra for customers who use a specific browser.

If it were to be taken to court, as they have a proven cost to develop their site to be IE7 compatible, they have justification in charging the fee.

And good on them for doing it.

BlakeMcClelland said,
As an Australian, I'm telling you all right now, this is 100% legal.
In the same way as businesses here can charge extra when customers choose to pay with credit card, Kogan are allowed to charge extra for customers who use a specific browser.

If it were to be taken to court, as they have a proven cost to develop their site to be IE7 compatible, they have justification in charging the fee.

And good on them for doing it.

Interesting. In the US credit card issuers and many laws require that you can't charge a customer extra for using a credit card. Some avoid this though by giving a "cash discount" when paying with cash/check.

BlakeMcClelland said,
As an Australian, I'm telling you all right now, this is 100% legal.
In the same way as businesses here can charge extra when customers choose to pay with credit card, Kogan are allowed to charge extra for customers who use a specific browser.

If it were to be taken to court, as they have a proven cost to develop their site to be IE7 compatible, they have justification in charging the fee.

And good on them for doing it.

There was no cost to make their site IE7 compatible, it already was at one point. They removed IE7 compatibility during a redesign, and now are charging customer's to keep the IE7 support there.

It costs them more to make their website compatible with newer browsers than it does to keep it compatible with IE7.

Legality etc is pretty irrelevant, I suspect this will get removed/taken down in the near future but it will have achieved its goal of sparking debate but more importantly...publicity, was all over the news today now tech sites etc.

sounds like the IT guys lost their minds. no doubt they will be looking for a job soon enough. and what's with not suggesting IE9 on their page? surely only idiots would neglect the most widely used family of browsers and slap them with taxes.

neonspark said,
sounds like the IT guys lost their minds. no doubt they will be looking for a job soon enough. and what's with not suggesting IE9 on their page? surely only idiots would neglect the most widely used family of browsers and slap them with taxes.

It's just a joke, right now we are talking about an Australian Website, really, work done.

IE6-IE7 has been the most annoying piece of crap for web developers for half a dozen years, and there are a ton of developers that hates IE for the daily nightmare of mantaining IE6/IE7 browsers in their site.

I think most of us will do the same, only for fun.

Relax mate.

neonspark said,
sounds like the IT guys lost their minds. no doubt they will be looking for a job soon enough. and what's with not suggesting IE9 on their page? surely only idiots would neglect the most widely used family of browsers and slap them with taxes.

its probably just some linux fanboy who thinks he can get "the man" by posting some image he made using his pirated copy of windows and photoshop because M$ is the devil !!!!!!

Hm... Well that's really quite... odd... I'm all for any push to get people to use current versions of their browsers, but I don't think it's a 3rd party e-commerce site's place to do so... And not knowing Austrian laws at all, I would question if they would be able to do this to be honest...

Well how i see this is in a business sense their losing money to the outdated browser because people still use it and people complain the site is broken when they use said browser.

Manarift said,
Well how i see this is in a business sense their losing money to the outdated browser because people still use it and people complain the site is broken when they use said browser.

Yeah, and they could always say that the site requires IE 8 and up, but I don't know that they can really charge someone a tax for this...

M_Lyons10 said,

Yeah, and they could always say that the site requires IE 8 and up, but I don't know that they can really charge someone a tax for this...

A tax probably not. But a fee maybe.

Manarift said,
Well how i see this is in a business sense their losing money to the outdated browser because people still use it and people complain the site is broken when they use said browser.

No one forces them to update their website. Just because the newer browsers support newer technology doesn't mean they have to upgrade. Part of upgrading is understanding that you risk having problems with the older technology. I'm sure their website from 5 years ago will still render with more modern browsers - it's their fault, really.

And how much money does it cost to be cross-browser supported with older browser support? This "tax" is an absurd solution. Better solution? Don't let people using old browsers access your site, redirect them to another page that walks them through an upgrade.

Also, the first browser issue on IE7 on their website deserves a lawsuit against the company. If they charge inflated prices for supporting IE7 they really need to follow through with supporting IE7. I can see this becoming a huge loss for them in the future.

Edited by bkellner, Jun 15 2012, 2:54pm :

So anyone can impose a tax now apparently... that's it I tax anyone that talks to me or looks at me 10% of the money I would of made during the time they wasted of mine

neufuse said,
So anyone can impose a tax now apparently... that's it I tax anyone that talks to me or looks at me 10% of the money I would of made during the time they wasted of mine

Completely different...

neufuse said,
So anyone can impose a tax now apparently... that's it I tax anyone that talks to me or looks at me 10% of the money I would of made during the time they wasted of mine

They aren't forcing anyone to pay anything, they are saying if you want to buy from us and insist on using an old browser that we have to spend a lot of money on to code our website so it works for you, then you have to pay a little more. Calling it a tax was wrong I think, its just an additional charge.

So anyone wanting to buy has options:

1: pay additional fee
2: update web browser (obvious benefits here)
3: go somewhere else

You saying you'd charge for people looking at you isn't really a good analogy.

duddit2 said,

They aren't forcing anyone to pay anything, they are saying if you want to buy from us and insist on using an old browser that we have to spend a lot of money on to code our website so it works for you, then you have to pay a little more. Calling it a tax was wrong I think, its just an additional charge.

So anyone wanting to buy has options:

1: pay additional fee
2: update web browser (obvious benefits here)
3: go somewhere else

You saying you'd charge for people looking at you isn't really a good analogy.

it was a joke, they say they are wasting their devs time, I said people are wasting my time

Morden said,
if ie9 would be in the list i would say harsh but kinda okay

this way is just another paid campaign against Microsoft

Its not even a campaign against Microsoft, its against end users who have not updated there web browser. Microsoft have released 2 versions of IE after version 7, heck soon to be 3. Even if you are still on XP you can get IE 8 so i see no reason to be on 7, i would imagine anyone who's not upgraded because of legacy applications is on IE6 anyway...

InsaneNutter said,

Its not even a campaign against Microsoft, its against end users who have not updated there web browser. Microsoft have released 2 versions of IE after version 7, heck soon to be 3. Even if you are still on XP you can get IE 8 so i see no reason to be on 7, i would imagine anyone who's not upgraded because of legacy applications is on IE6 anyway...

People using IE 6 and 7 for legacy applications should not count.

You dont't shop online or surf the web using a machine built for legacy applications. IE 6 and 7 are far less secure than IE 9 and 10. If you gonna shop online and surf the web do it on an updated PC with at least ie 8 (xp) or ie 9 (vista, 7).

I also doubt the legality of this measure. However, it should be, because using insecure, unsupported software is not only an additional chore but also a security risk for the retailer.
Though I bet it will also scare some people off.

Phouchg said,
I also doubt the legality of this measure. However, it should be, because using insecure, unsupported software is not only an additional chore but also a security risk for the retailer.
Though I bet it will also scare some people off.

Since when was there a legal issue with a company charging a price for a product set by themselves in a free market? The ONLY issue I could see coming from this is calling it a 'tax', rather than an additional fee.

tiddlie said,

Since when was there a legal issue with a company charging a price for a product set by themselves in a free market? The ONLY issue I could see coming from this is calling it a 'tax', rather than an additional fee.

so if i use let's say Opera 9 then it's A-OKAY? i think the aussie MS office should let the lawyers loose

Morden said,

so if i use let's say Opera 9 then it's A-OKAY? i think the aussie MS office should let the lawyers loose

It's the same as you're not allowed to drive an old, broken car, without valid inspection, on public roads. Or emissions tax.
They just aren't doing complete checks because nobody (relatively) uses Opera anyway.

limok said,
Is that even legal?

If you go to a tourist place, and are a tourist you have to pay a tourist tax.. but if you live there.. then you don't.

For example: iHOP in Niagara Falls, there was like 10% Tourist tax on my bill, had to prove I lived in the region to get out of it.

Can tax/place taxes on whatever you want.

firey said,

If you go to a tourist place, and are a tourist you have to pay a tourist tax.. but if you live there.. then you don't.

For example: iHOP in Niagara Falls, there was like 10% Tourist tax on my bill, had to prove I lived in the region to get out of it.

Can tax/place taxes on whatever you want.

I just read an article on CBC News' web site about a tax like this, here's a link:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/...tination-marketing-fee.html

Turns out, you can opt out of it, regardless of where you're from, of course this is for Niagara Falls in Canada, the much nicer side of the Falls!

limok said,
Is that even legal?

I don't think it's legal, and it just would take a complaint to the proper government office or whatever, and I don't think it'd last all that long.

limok said,
Is that even legal?

cant see why not, no one is forcing you to buy from them. They are calling it a tax but its nothing official, its just them saying 'your costing us money, so you pay more' - cant see the problem tbh, either upgrade (2 minute job) or use a different retailer.

duddit2 said,

cant see why not, no one is forcing you to buy from them. They are calling it a tax but its nothing official, its just them saying 'your costing us money, so you pay more' - cant see the problem tbh, either upgrade (2 minute job) or use a different retailer.

I would say that they should use a different word: something like "processing fees" would be more correct. Taxes are related to money collected to be used by an official entity to satisfy the needs of a State, Nation, County etc.
Merchants charge clients for profit.

duddit2 said,
brilliant, but why no IE9 love on the links section?

I thought that, too, but if you're running IE7, then you're most likely on XP. IE8 is still an outdated browser, so it's just easier to recommend a different browser.

Meph said,

I thought that, too, but if you're running IE7, then you're most likely on XP.

What if you're using Vista & never installed a different browser?

MASTER260 said,

What if you're using Vista & never installed a different browser?

With Vista, I'm counting on the fact that you've most likely upgraded to IE9 via Windows Update, since it's built into the OS on Vista.

BeLGaRaTh said,
Awesome!! I suppose it will force people to upgrade I suppose, or use a better browser

Or shop elsewhere.

BeLGaRaTh said,
Awesome!! I suppose it will force people to upgrade I suppose, or use a better browser

Nope it will cost them customers, if I would get such a ridiculous message about my browser, it would be the last time I visisted the site and purchased products. I don't care one inch about how they develop their website, it is just a sales channel no matter how you look at it.