Detailed on the official Kogan blog earlier today, the Australian electronics retailer is now adding on a 6.8 percent tax into the shopping cart of any customers that try to checkout using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7. According to the post, the retailer came up with the 6.8 percent figure by adding up 0.1 percent for each month that Internet Explorer 7 have been available. Since the Web development team has to spend extra time and money on creating a friendly version of the site for Internet Explorer 7 users, the retailer believes that the company is justified passing that cost to customers that still haven’t upgraded to a newer version of Internet Explorer.
Within the example shown on the blog, the price of a 46-inch high definition LED TV is raised from $639 to $682.45 after the IE7 tax was added into the purchase price. In order to get the $639 price, the customer only has to update their version of Internet Explorer or simply use an alternate Web browser like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera or Apple’s Safari.
The customer is alerted to the fact that they are using Internet Explorer 7 with a pop-up window that includes links to download the other browsers. As indicated in the pop-up window, the customer may be at the mercy of their company’s system administrator if they are attempting to make a purchase on a computer in the workplace. This tax was implemented after Kogan completely redesigned the site during late May 2012 in order to speed up load times, launch more effective methods of customer communication with live chat and improve search filters.
Support for Internet Explorer 7 has waned considerably over the past year. During August 2011, Google stopped supporting Internet Explorer 7 in regards to Google Apps support. That includes applications such as Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar and Google Talk. At the end of December 2011, Facebook stopped supporting Internet Explorer 7 when the social network launched Facebook Timeline to a larger number of users. While these two cases are a nuisance for anyone that refuses to upgrade Internet Explorer, the Kogan tax is the first case of a company actually punishing users for operating a browser that’s over five years old.