HR Block Breakdown

I’ve used HR Block’s online tax service for the past ten years. It works pretty well for simple tax forms. They just import my information from year to year and I fill in any details that change. I deal with a single touchpoint for a couple hours per year. It’s turnkey.

But this year I decided to go into their office here in San Francisco and have them work up the forms for some of the contracting I did last summer. It’s a new system touchpoint for me and the service should have been better than online. Unfortunately, HR Block’s online and local services are completely separate.

Despite having ten years of tax data for me, including my return from 2005 here in San Francisco, their local office had no access to that information. Not even my name. To make matters worse, their online service doesn’t know that they’ve already done my taxes. I’m still getting breathless e-mails telling me that time is running out.

Personalized service is the only reason to keep using HR Block–there are plenty of other services out there. It seems like they’re missing a huge opportunity by keeping their online and offline systems segregated.

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