Online retailer Kogan has implemented the world’s first Internet Explorer 7 “tax” today, charging customers who use the browser more for their online technology purchases.
The new 6.8% charge comes into effect today on all products purchased from Kogan for any Australian shoppers still using IE7.
For every month since IE7 was released, Kogan is going to apply a 0.1% charge – right now, it is at 6.8%.
Smart Company asked founder and chief executive Ruslan Kogan if he was being serious about the tax and he assures us he is.
“It is activated on the site and it is working”, says Kogan.
“Based on what Kogan stands for with efficiency it just didn’t seem right, we should not be punishing our savvy customers who are using a proper browser.”
The IE7 tax has drummed up some more publicity for Kogan, an area the man and the company excels in, with previous campaigns including a long-running dispute with JB Hi-Fi and challenging Harvey Norman to a debate on live television.
“It is early days yet, but we have had a lot of tweets and emails from people in the IT and web community praising us for what we have done,” says Kogan.
“Anyone who is involved with the internet and web technology would know the amount of time that is wasted to support all these antiquated browsers. You have to make all these work-arounds all the time to make sure the site works properly on it.”
Kogan says he does not know the extent of the extra costs incurred by his company in working around IE7, but he believes they are significant.
“We have not done the exact maths, but it is a significant amount. The front end of every screen has to get redeveloped every time in order to render properly in IE7.
“It’s not only costing us a huge amount, it’s affecting any business with an online presence, and costing the internet economy millions of dollars.”
But Kogan says customers who enter the site using IE7 can avoid the impost by downloading an up-to-date browser such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Opera or even a more recent version of Internet Explorer.
Kogan has included a pop-up on the site which encourages customers to avoid the charge by upgrading their browser.
“As internet citizens, we all have a responsibility to make the internet a better place. By taking these measures, we are doing our bit,” says Kogan.