Australian Web Retailer Fines Customers for Using IE7

Kogan, one of the leading gadget retailers down under, has recently decided to take an active role in forcing their customers to upgrade their web browser. They’re now going to charge a “tax” on any customer using Internet Explorer 7.

While this appears to be an attention getting gimmick, Kogan has a good reason for this decision. IE7 came out 6 years ago, and a lot of web standards have changed since them. What’s more, supporting older web browser is growing increasingly expensive, so much so that Kogan decided to charge the users directly.

“The way we’ve been able to keep our prices so low is by using technology to make our business efficient and streamlined,” Kogan wrote on its company blog yesterday. “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.”

On the other hand, some organizations in Australia (like the The Department of Defence and the Commonwealth Bank) have only upgraded to IE7 in the past couple years, so this move will frustrate some customers.