Detroit tax shop owner says rival trying to steal customers

Xat Income Tax ower says H&R Block parks van outside business

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DETROIT - The owner of a tax preparation company in Detroit says one of his rivals is bringing their sales pitch too close to his front door.

Paul Stern of Xat Income Tax said this time of year is his biggest money maker.

"W2s just came out this week. So, people are just pouring in," he said.

Stern has run the east side company on Gratiot Avenue with wife for more than two decades. He said his customers are loyal.

"We have been here so long and a lot of customers we have had for over 20 years. They come to us because they don't want to go to the big chains," Stern said.

But he's learning the competition is fierce.

Twice last week, Stern said H&R Block tried to steal his customers by setting up a van on the same corner as his business.

"They had a truck parked out there and we understand that they were taking our clients as they were walking in our building giving them literature to have them to go a half a block down the street to go to H&R Block," he said.

Stern said he knows it's not illegal, but is just bad business etiquette.

"It's just not the right thing to do. That would be like me walking in front of a H&R Block office and try to get you to come next door to me. It's just not professional whatsoever," he said. "I want to find out whoever is driving the truck and whose orders they were under to do it."

An H&R Block worker told Local 4 the company does have a van for its Detroit district, but that the van drives around and parks hear their locations - not in front of competitors.

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