Perennial tax-preparation runner-up Jackson Hewitt has decided to capitalize on H&R Block's inability to provide its clients with Refund Anticipation Loans (RALs) by changing its name to "RALs 'R US."
"Want a Refund Anticipation Loan, we got 'em!" screams Jackson Hewitt's newest television ads. "Want a Refund Anticipation Loan from H&R Block? Tough sh-t, loser!"
Founded in 1982, Jackson Hewitt was started by former H&R Block janitor John Hewitt, who was fired by Block because he suggested that tax preparation process could be improved by using computers.
"I remember suggesting it to Henry (Bloch, the old guy in those commercials from the 70s), and he laughed at me," said Hewitt, who left Jackson Hewitt to further erode Block's market-share by founding Liberty Tax.
"He said, 'John, the only things you need to do taxes are abacuses and old people'. And that is pretty much the only thing you'll find in a Block office; Abacuses and old people."
H&R Block was sitting in the proverbial catbird seat just last year, when HSBC f--ked over Jackson Hewitt, cutting their RAL funding by 80%.
Interestingly, H&R Block failed to exploit that opportunity, failing to increase market share despite JH's RAL issues.
"Last year, Jackson Hewitt had almost no funding for their early season RAL clients, and those clients left JH in droves," said H&R Block CEO Alan Bennett. "And just where did those clients who left Jackson Hewitt end up going?"
"No, seriously," Bennett said. "I'm asking you: Where did they go? They didn't come to Block, that's for damned sure."
This year, HSBC, the exclusive funder of HRB RALs, was ordered to terminate its contract with Block by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, whatever the hell that is.
"I ignored the letter at first," said Bennett, recognizing that a RAL-free tax season is his Waterloo. "I mean, 'Comptroller of the Currency'? I thought it was that f--khead writer at Thespoof.com, trying to screw with me."
"He's damned funny, though. Handsome, too!"
RALs 'R Us will use TV and radio ads as the focus of their early-season marketing, using a number of new sluglines to get their message across:
We'll sell you a RAL, and maybe even do your tax return correctly.