National / International News

In pictures: Churchill celebrated

BBC - Fri, 2015-01-30 13:38
Anniversary of Sir Winston Churchill's state funeral

TurboTax tries to recover from price-hike stumble

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-01-30 13:34

As if paying your taxes isn't penance enough.

TurboTax seems to have made a stumble – a big one. The tax preparation and filing software company raised its prices, but users didn’t realize it until they tried to file their taxes. TurboTax deluxe users weren’t able to file forms like schedules C,D and E unless they paid more for an upgrade. They're making their displeasure known, and the company is scrambling to redeem itself.

“We feel like they’re almost taking us for a ride, by saying 'We have your information. We’re not going to give it to you unless you pay us more money,'" says Jonah Berger, a marketing professor at the Wharton School and author of "Contagious: Why Things Catch On.

For some TurboTax customers, it's as if the Sopranos were preparing their 1040-EZs. 

But Berger notes the problem isn't just about the money.

"This is an issue of expectations. Consumers expected one thing. They thought they were getting a full product, with paying a certain price ,and they were actually only getting a piece of it,” he says.

Luckily for TurboTax, the company has a strong reputation, says Brannon Cashion, global president of Addison Whitney, a brand strategy consulting firm.

"A lot of times people reference online tax preparation or electronic tax preparation as TurboTax," he says. "They’ve got a really strong brand." 

Scott Galloway, a marketing professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business, says what TurboTax does now is more important than the mistake it just made.

“The biggest PR crises in history haven’t been a function of what happened but how the company reacted,” he says.

When a company messes up, three things need to happen, Galloway says.

"The first is to acknowledge the issue, to basically admit that you made a mistake," he says. "The second is to have the top guy or gal make that admission – so to get the CEO front and center. And the third is to overcorrect. To offer consumers a better deal than they originally had. Those are the only three things you need to remember, and they are consistently ignored."

TurboTax didn’t respond to a request for a comment. But Galloway says the company is on track to a full recovery. Its CEO has posted an apology on his LinkedIn page and on YouTube, and the company is offering a $25 refund to consumers who paid to upgrade.

VIDEO: What not to say in an obituary

BBC - Fri, 2015-01-30 13:33
'Warts n all' eulogy sparks tongue-in-cheek reaction

Shake Shack Sizzles With IPO As McDonald's Fizzles

NPR News - Fri, 2015-01-30 13:30

Shares of the burger chain shot up Friday, its first trading day. Shake Shack and other fast-casual joints are taking a bite out of McDonald's, which can't recast itself to fit the current trend.

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Treasure those Roman numerals while you can

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-01-30 13:22

Sunday is Super Bowl XLIX. 

That's 49 ... in the numerology the NFL has followed since 1971 and Super Bowl V.

But next year, the rules go out the window.

As we told you when the announcement was made in summer, Super Bowl 50 will officially be Super Bowl 50 ... not Super Bowl L.

"L" all by itself just wasn't pleasing to the eye, the league says.


The Real Super Sunday Battle Is In The Snack Bowl

NPR News - Fri, 2015-01-30 13:17

The competition over what Americans consume during the Super Bowl has gotten vicious. The nation's top merchants of virtuous and not-so-virtuous munching both want control of the line of scrimmage.

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VIDEO: Awaiting return to war-torn Kobane

BBC - Fri, 2015-01-30 13:11
Days after Kurdish forces drove Islamic State militants from Kobane in northern Syria, people who fled the town are now waiting to return.

Islamic State eyes al-Qaeda lands

BBC - Fri, 2015-01-30 13:09
The Islamic State group is forging links with militants across North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, challenging its al-Qaeda rivals.

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder Turns To Voters To Approve Tax Increase

NPR News - Fri, 2015-01-30 13:09

Some states are experiencing major budget deficits and several Republican governors are opting to increase taxes to make up for the shortfall. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder talks to Robert Siegel

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Close Friend Of Putin Awarded Contract For Crimea Bridge

NPR News - Fri, 2015-01-30 13:04

The span to be built across a narrow strait that separates Russia from the newly annexed peninsula, is pegged at $3 billion and scheduled for completion by the end of 2018.

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VIDEO: Suge Knight hands himself in

BBC - Fri, 2015-01-30 13:02
Suge Knight, the man behind the Death Row Records label, has been arrested on suspicion of hitting and killing a man with his truck.