Could You be Liable for an Internet Explorer Tax?
I've long since stopped using Internet Explorer so it was not at all surprising to see news last month that Google Chrome was set to knock IE off of top spot in the most popular browser stakes. To be honest the main surprise was that it had taken so long for Firefox or Chrome to topple them.
What has come as a surprise however is the action taken by Australian online retailer Kogan.com, who have introduced a tax on anyone using Internet Explorer 7 to shop on their site.
Any customers using IE7 on the site will be forced to pay extra on any purchases they make. Ruslan Kogan, CEO of Kogan.com, said that the 'IE tax' was in place because it cost them money to create the site so that it was compatible with what he called an 'antique browser'.
Shoppers using IE7 will be charged 6.8% on top of their purchases, with this rising an extra 0.1% every month from now on.
According to Mr Kogan the idea was born when the company started working on a site relaunch.
Mr Kogan said that even though only 3% of his customers used the old version of the browser, his IT team had become preoccupied with making adaptations to make pages display properly on IE 7.
"I was constantly on the line to my web team. The amount of work and effort involved in making our website look normal on IE7 equaled the combined time of designing for Chrome, Safari and Firefox."
Mr. Kogan made clear that his aim was not to earn extra revenue and hoped that no shoppers would actually pay the tax, with them instead using another browser on their site instead.
Thus far customers of the site have been largely supportive of the move, with them taking to Twitter to provide their support.
"Love your IE7 tax. I hope it becomes effective" was one of the messages posted to Kogan on Twitter.
IE7 was launched way back in 2006, with the latest version (IE10) due out this autumn.
Would you be happy if this tactic was used on your favorite stores?