Emily Tan
Jun 15, 2012

Australian electronics retailer Kogan 'taxes' IE7 users

AUSTRALIA - Frustrated with customers still using outdated browser Internet Explorer 7, Kogan.com has implemented a 6.8 per cent 'tax' on any transaction made on their site using the browser in what they claim is not a marketing stunt.

Users shopping with IE7 will be confronted by a 'tax' notice
Users shopping with IE7 will be confronted by a 'tax' notice

According to the announcement made on the retailer's official blog, keeping the website looking 'normal' on IE7 is costing their web team too much time and money. "This is an extremely old browser, so from today, anyone buying from the site who uses IE7 will be lumped with a 6.8 per cent surcharge—that's 0.1 per cent for each month IE7 has been on the market," read the post. 

To get around it, consumers just have to switch browsers or upgrade away from IE7. The most current edition of Internet Explorer is IE9 with IE10 scheduled for launch in autumn.  

Despite accusations that this is a marketing stunt that won't be carried through to final transaction, a spokesperson for Kogan says the surcharge is very real. "The screenshots are incorrect—if you load up IE7 and make a purchase you will be charged," said the representative from ClickPR, the agency managing Kogan's publicity. 

The spokesperson added that the idea and execution was created entirely in-house. 

Overall, IE7 currently represents about three per cent of total Kogan internet traffic which equates to tens of thousands of unique visitors a week. Nevertheless, feedback from customers, particularly developers, has been largely positive. 

One comment from 'Bill' on the announcement read: 
"Please give whomever thought of this policy a pat on the back for me. I wish all companies shunned the political correctness of catering to the lazy and stupid 'customers' (in quotes, because they really cost you more than you profit from them)."

The initiative has also gained international coverage for Kogan including on BBC.com, LA Times and The Independent

A digital marketer who wishes to remain anonymous applauded the move. "It does have all the trappings of a brilliant attention grabber for both the business as well as the need to keep up with the times," the source said.


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