An online retailer has become the first in the world to add a tax specifically to orders placed using a certain type of web browser.
Australian-based company Kogan has added the tax to its web store, making it the first ever to tax customers just for their choice of web browser. The changes were made to its site on Wednesday, when it wrote a blog post to explain the new tax, which it has dubbed ‘IE7 Tax’.
A 6.8% tax will be added to all orders placed using Microsoft’s browser, which Kogan refers to as ‘ancient’. It explains to customers in a blog post that the way to get around the tax is a simple upgrade from IE7 to either IE8 or 9, or simply switching their browser to Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, or one of the other browsers out there.
Kogan explained the decision in its blog post:
“The way we’ve been able to keep our prices so low is by using technology to make our business efficient and streamlined. One of the things stopping that is our web team having to spend a lot of time making our new website look normal on IE7. This is an extremely old browser, so from today, anyone buying from the site who uses IE7 will be lumped with a 6.8% surcharge – that’s 0.1% for each month IE7 has been on the market”
The effort of having to redesign and tweak its website to suit the old browser is costing Kogan more than it would like, it admitted. It says that the practice of using outdated browsers doesn’t only affect them, but other retailers too, and can end up costing the Internet economy on the whole millions.
Internet Explorer 7 has been superseded by two more recent versions, so we can imagine that the percentage of people using it must be fairly low.
What do you think of this odd tax? Is it unfair, amusing or just plain unnecessary?