Kogan adds IE7 tax: 6.8% surcharge if you use an old web browser

We’ve heard of e-tailers putting on big sales to put brick and mortar to shame, but Kogan’s addition of a surcharge for customers using older technology may be a little too controlling for us.

Announced this week, Australian e-tailer Kogan is adding a surcharge based on the release date of a now obsolete browser.

“Internet Explorer 7 has long since passed its use-by date,” said Kogan’s CEO, Ruslan Kogan. “It’s a constant source of frustration for our web guys and we’re sick of burning cash on a browser that hit the market nearly six years ago. It goes against everything Kogan stands for.”

According to the company, the tax it’s charging is a 0.1% surcharge per month since Internet Explorer 7 was released, bringing the current tax up to 6.8%, with the tax set to hit 6.9% in July and 7% in August.

“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,” said Kogan.

“As Internet citizens, we all have a responsibility to make the Internet a better place. By taking these measures, we are doing our bit.”

An example of the surcharge applied when purchasing goods from Kogan using Internet Explorer 7.

To its credit, the Kogan online store does have a pop-up on Internet Explorer 7 informing you of what browser you’re using, what surcharge the company will be charging, and offering several links to download more updated web browsers that won’t incur the tax, including Opera, Firefox, and Google’s Chrome.

But sometimes it’s not as easy as just a quick download, install, and update.

Companies with older computers, technology policies, forced installations, or an administration department may not have the ability to quickly update.

People at home with older generations of PCs may also suffer from using an older web browser, but may not be able to work out why they should update, let alone if they can or not. And if these same people have pop-up blockers, Kogan’s warning of why the surcharge is being applied may go completely under the radar.

While we understand why Kogan is frustrated with those using IE7 or below, sometimes updates aren’t as simple as click and install, and expecting a surcharge based on browsing habits doesn’t seem the most logical situation to us, especially when engineering a specific tax on a browser version seems like a form of discrimination, even if technically isn’t.

If you are considering buying from Kogan and your computer at work or home runs an older version of the Internet Explorer web browser, consider ordering from a friend’s computer or your mobile phone.