Kogan Imposing Tax On Shoppers Who Use IE7

Online electronics retailer Kogan is no stranger to novel pricing approaches, but this one takes the cake: from now on, anyone who visits the Kogan site using IE7 will be charged an additional 6.8% "IE7 tax" -- 0.1% for each month since the browser was released -- on any purchases.

Visitors to the site who use IE7 will see a pop-up message suggesting that they install a "better browser", with links to Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Opera (though not to IE9). In a blog post announcing the change, founder Ruslan Kogan says that the cost of making the site render properly on IE7 isn't worth the hassle.

Microsoft itself has worked hard to persuade users to upgrade as part of general system patches, and as we've noted recently, the current Internet Explorer 9 release performs much better than you might think. We're not sure how many actual customers this will impact, but driving bargain shoppers towards using a more modern browser is no bad thing. I can't imagine anyone choosing to pay extra and sticking with IE7, but if it does happen, I'm sure we'll hear about it.


Republished from Lifehacker



    ROFL apple should use this strategy.

      what? their customers dont pay enough of a premium already?
      there should be a tax for using safari or quicktime, cause chances are anyone whos using it is dumb enough and rich enough anyway


    I think this is against the law... he can't create taxes..

    Is this a joke?

    I know it is funny.. and I know people should really have switched by now.. but I really hope it is a joke...

      I think the word 'surcharge' is more appropriate. & they can certainly do that.

      It's no different to some stores having a surcharge for using a credit card. I can't see why it would be illegal.

        Yeah but stores are now being cracked down on unfair and overpriced CC surcharges. I'd like to know where they got the 6.8% from, I won't be surprised if someone challenges this. (or if they really try to charge it to you) could just be scare mongering.

          6.8% is 0.1% for every month since the browser was released

        Yes it is, store pass on the fee from the bank, as kogan is no longer coding for ie7 they are charging you for nothing

      Refering to it as a 'tax' might be illegal.
      Charging more for IE7 browsers could be legal, might need to refer to it as a 'charge', like credit card 2% charges. Great idea though.

      stop getting your panties wound up

      he can easily add in the T&C to clarify it is a surcharge. and it is a valid one

    +1 great way to get people upgrade their browsers.

    It's a bit rough on the people who shop from work.

    IE is still the most popular browser amongst businesses.
    Still I suppose that's the penalty for shopping instead of working.

      You'll find everything you need here: Portableapps.com

        "Your system administrator has blocked you from running this program"

      A company using still using IE7 is infinitely worse than a normal user who is still using it.

        Yeah. People have to make sure not to skim over the 7 here. It's Internet Explorer 7 not Internet Explorer in general. Even Microsoft don't want you using IE7 or lower anymore so it's not purely brand bashing and browser snobbery.


    How come every time I visit his website, Chrome and Firefox tell me there are security cert issues?

    This is a a clever strategy, and a fantastic way of raising awareness. There are so many people who have no idea of the trouble they're asking for by sticking with their old browser, both in poor user experience and compatibility problems, let alone issues with viruses and malware.

    Rather than retailers wearing the cost of keeping the site compatible with old obsolete browsers, users of old browsers pay their own way....or they can upgrade their browser for free, get a cheaper price on their online shopping and make both their own lives, and those of the website admins, a bit easier in the process.

    I have to say, I would have thought that the people who frequent online-only places like Kogan would be a little more technology-literate. But then again, they pay for Google Adwords, so they probably get all sorts in their store. I look forward to seeing how successful this is.

    By the way - it's not really a "tax" that would be considered unlawful - it's more of a surcharge, just like that imposed by many stores for certain credit cards etc. They're using the word "tax" because it's supposed to invoke an emotional response, and pressure the user into taking action.

    I hope they provide links to download another browser, rather than just telling users to figure it out themselves. I know a lot of people would have no idea how to do this themselves.

      "They’re using the word “tax” because it’s supposed to invoke an emotional response, and pressure the user into taking action."

      Such as "bullying tactics" perhaps?...

      Look I love the idea of trying to get people off those old browsers.. they are not just costly for online retailers and annoying for developers but they are full of holes as well.. the end-user experience is very bad...

      This is just a knee-jerk reactive way to go about it... a little more thought and a little less bullying would have been much better.

        How is this bullying? Seriously? If you don't want to be "bullied" then don't shop there... bullying... ROFL what a stupid comment.

        Well since nothing else seems to work, I think a knee-jerk reaction is exactly what's needed. This will be on the news tonight, and will be in the media for a day or two - an awesome strategy for raising awareness.

        I don't really like Kogan, but I do love this!

        How is this knee-jerk? No one has asked them to do this, they took on themselves. You might argue they should mind there own business, but it seems like brilliant marketing to me.

    Hrmm... We have IE6 at work (I personally installed Chrome portable right away) so I'm curious as to whether a similar situation applies...

    Nope, just looked. They've clearly given up on even trying to work the website with IE6 :P

    Gave it a go with IETester... quantifying the effect would make for an awesome follow-up article.

      You can change IE's user-agent to render pages as IE8 or IE7 with IE9 Developer Tools. Just hit F12. IE Tester I find far too buggy.

    Main browser at my workplace is still IE6, i don't get a cool popup, nothing is displaying properly though anyway

      Do you work at Fairfax?

      My workplace is IE8, but it reports as IE6 to web pages for legacy internal programs. The only pages that don't work properly are the ones webmasters have ruined purposely out of spite.

    Wonder what the charge is for IE6.

    That's gold!

    Kogan sure knows how to get publicity.

    This is a way better idea than the carbon tax. Ruslan Kogan should run for PM

      Yeah, because upgrading your internet browser is a bigger deal than pollution, rising water levels, rising world temperature and the potential extinction of many species ... not being a git here, but get some perspective mango..

        No... you are being a git. He's being intentionally hyperbolic for the sake of amusement, and you're being over reactionary.

          Yes.. I realised this after I posted.. my bad.. I often hear people bag the carbon tax for the sake of it in my line of work and the reaction becomes automatic..

    Somehow I don't think using IE7 would make much of a difference on such a lack lustre website. They also offer a 7 day money back gaurantee, geez amazing service guys. Probably a good way to generate interest in an otherwise failing business.

      Lol, its working if you think about it.. we're all talking about the website, it will probably be reported in other media.. whatever you think of Ruslan Kogan, he's very good at getting his brand out there..

    Oh good, another arsehate web browser.

    I know of a few large corporations using IE8, but have the report info set to IE6 for legacy apps that wont run if they don't see it.

    They'll show everything great and fine as IE8 should, except when some arsehat webmaster purposely ruins it.

    that's Third Line Forcing...say hello to the ACCC

    Mr Kogan, The ACCC would like a word with you.

    To put it simply this is an unfair and unjustified tax, you cant put a tax on someone just because they use an old internet browser.

    "In a blog post announcing the change, founder Ruslan Kogan says that the cost of making the site render properly on IE7 isn’t worth the hassle"

    So the general gist of whats Kogan said is that we dont want to spend the money to make our website render properly on IE 7 but we are still going to charge you if you do use IE 7 even though we aren't going to do anything about it.

      Get over yourself.

      a) It does take extra resources to make sure content on websites works for all browsers. Source: myself Web Dev.
      b) How hard is it to upgrade your internet browser? Not hard, do it. You're destroying the internet.
      c) He does have the right to put a tax on his goods.
      d) Live with it, doesn't bother me, I encourage it. Hoorah to him!

        Wow, you also have a pompous attitude.

          Tim Berners-Lee would like a word with you... developing on the www for specific platforms breaks the web in a fundamental way. That's a paraphrased comment Tim Berners-Lee made himself.

          Do I support IE, no. Do I think IE7 is a good browser, no. However consumers have the right to utilise whatever browser they prefer. It's called freedom of choice and it doesn't have to make sense to others or even be what others consider a smart decision.

          Furthermore, if you choose to create a business based on web technologies then it shouldn't be a suprise that there is a need to develop for many platforms. It's a bit rich to make a decision that one of those platforms is not to your liking, this is the business you willing got involved in.

          While a lot of you will be happy to download a new browser or think it stupid people haven't already. They run the risk of allenating some of their audience. They will still need to developf or IE7 so long as it's still reasonably used, they are just going to price gouge those who do.

          For those of you saying this is a cost recovery model, well surely the price in the other browsers can now fall because the added cost of IE7 development is included in the tax... wait that's not happening, it's just a poor excuse to price gouge.

        Really? It bothers me, regardless of ie. Why not just have a pop up that says this site will not work properly with your browser, we recommend you upgrade it or something but to charge extra for it when you are no longer spending the money to make it compatible is stupid.

        Let me answer those questions.

        A) I'm sure it does take time, resources and money to make the website run on all browsers but that comes down to the customer expecting the tech team to handle that stuff, i the consumer don't want to be charged just because i am using a older browser.

        B) I'm destroying the internet, how? did you mystical powers of clairvoyance tell you that i am using IE 7? Not everyone who uses a computer knows how to do anything but surf the internet, if the browser works for them why upgrade?

        C) does he? im fairly sure the ACCC stops this sort of stuff from happening, if companies were allowed to tax people for anything and everything then wouldnt most companies be already doing it, i dont get slugged $1"tax" for bringing a K-Mart trolley into Big W now do i?

        D) i can live with it, i haven't bought anything from Kogan before and i dont plan to in the future.

      I agree with you, they can simply suggest that you use a different browser but to tax you for it is a joke, regardless what I think of ie this is stupid. Yes kogan will get much needed publicity, but they should really concentrate on their products, their tvs are rubbish rebaged vivio which you can get from aldi cheaper if you want that sort of thing

    Currently project managing a new website and we could have launched already if it weren't for IE7. We aren't trying to make it look pretty either, just work at all!

    Kogan is still a tool.

      (Although to be honest, "Marketing - you're doing it right")

        i wouldn't go as far as saying he doing "marketing" right, normally "any publicity is good publicity" is correct, like for a movie, TV show, book etc... but this is retail, bad publicity isn't good for business.

        Couple the word "tax" to something and people freak out, no one likes to be taxed for anything.

    Interesting. Those ones who like shopping will update/change their browsers.

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