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Kintsugi vs Avalara

Our Kintsugi White-Glove Promise ensures expert-guided, fully automated sales tax solutions, contrasting with Avalara's often frustrating service and filing inaccuracies.

Feature Comparison

At Kintsugi, we’re known for speedy responses and the human touch of our in-house sales tax experts. Here’s a detailed breakdown of what makes Kintsugi your ideal sales tax automation partner.

Feature
Kintsugi
Avalara

Free Real-Time Nexus and Liability Tracking

No Credit Card Required to Get Started!

Complete Sales Tax Automation (FILING INCLUDED)

Automated Sales Tax Filings in the US

Schedule Sales Tax Remittances

White-Glove Promise

Pay-As-You-Go: No Long-Term Contracts

One Price For Everything

No Overage or Activation Fees

Specialist Support by Industry

E-Commerce Sales Tax Specialists

SaaS Sales Tax Specialists

Services Sales Tax Specialists

Consultation and Expertise

Personal Dedicated Sales Tax Expert

Unlimited Free Sales Tax Consulting

Taxability Mapping Recommendations

Notice and Communication Management

Notice Management

Physical Mail Monitoring

Call States On Your Behalf

Guarantee and Assurance

Accuracy and Filing Guarantee

FREE Economic Nexus Tracker

Premium Support via Managed Solution

Advanced Reporting and Management

Advanced Sales Tax Reporting

Store-Setting Management

Multi-Channel Support

Product-Level Taxability

    Today, we'll be taking a look at one of the earliest entrants to the sales tax automation space, Avalara, across these six dimensions. We'll also discuss the top six reasons why Avalara clients are looking for an alternative solution - and why they’re finding it so hard to switch to a different provider.

    In short, Avalara's users frequently report poor customer service, including long wait times, unresponsive support, and difficulties in canceling services, alongside issues with billing, such as unexpected charges and complex pricing structures. Additionally, there are notable problems with product integration, functionality, and a lack of guidance in using Avalara's offerings effectively.

  1. Poor Customer Service: Users report significant challenges in getting timely and effective support from Avalara. Examples include long wait times on phone calls without responses, issues with receiving confirmations for service cancellations, and Avalara's refusal to respond to emails and complaints filed with regulatory bodies like the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
  2. One business reported continued billing for a service they had not used for years and struggled to cancel, despite multiple attempts to contact Avalara and stop the service.

    Source: Better Business Bureau, November 2023

    Kintsugi's customer support is immediate and 24/7 through our TaxGPT platform, which is available to all customers and is trained on over 300,000 unique sales tax rules.

    Avalara's customer support takes 3-5 days to respond after filing tickets on Zendesk.

  3. Integration and Functionality Issues: There are reports of Avalara's add-on apps not working properly, leading to operational disruptions. Users have experienced difficulties in getting these apps to function as intended, and in some cases, they were unable to use them at all despite continued billing.
  4. Unlike Avalara, Kintsugi operates in an open ecosystem with support for hybrid and remote work through integrations with Gusto, Rippling, CRMs, and other billing providers.

    Kintsugi's APIs also allow for changes in Annual Contract Value (ACV) and plan upgrades. Avalara's APIs don't have these capabilities, increasing manual entry and operational oversight.

    Businesses need the flexibility to make these changes after the fact to keep their customers happy and to keep their sales tax calculations - at the very least - accurate.

  5. Billing and Pricing Concerns: Users have encountered issues with unexpected and unexplained charges, significant price hikes without adequate justification, and challenges in understanding and managing the cost structure of Avalara's services. Some users reported being billed for services they had attempted to cancel or not used, and facing difficulties in resolving these billing issues.
  6. One company experienced a doubling of the service fee (from $14,000 to $30,000) without a valid explanation from Avalara, leading to dissatisfaction and confusion over pricing policies.

    Source: Better Business Bureau, September 2023

  7. Lack of Product Support and Guidance: Users have expressed frustration over inadequate support in using Avalara's products. Complaints include not receiving needed information or help for setting up and using the services, such as licensing assistance or completion of tax filings, leading to a lack of understanding of how to effectively utilize Avalara's offerings​​.
  8. A customer who paid for licensing assistance received no information or help for over a year, with Avalara failing to return calls or offer any support despite payment.

    Source: Better Business Bureau, August 2023

    Kintsugi's APIs support item returns, which is an inevitable reality for most e-commerce businesses. Given how much time and effort returns take logistically, it is surprising that Avalara's APIs still do not support this functionality.

  9. Complicated Cancellation Process: There are reports of a complex and cumbersome process to cancel Avalara's services. Users have described going through extensive procedures to cancel their accounts, only to continue being charged and receiving poor assistance in resolving these issues.
  10. Ineffective Communication and Follow-Up: Users have had experiences where Avalara's communication was lacking, particularly regarding the status of service requests or issues. Examples include unresponded tickets, closed tickets without resolution, and lack of follow-up on customer inquiries and complaints.
People are loving Kintsugi

“Each state has their laws and regulations. the dealing with the sales tax is a whole other thing.“

MyStartupCFO

MyStartupCFO

“The sales tax issue in the Shopify space is insane. With your integration, we don’t need to work with the CPAs and just focus on the business.“

CabiFoods

CabiFoods

“Hassle-free sales tax platform. Fully white glove service and startup budget friendly“

Gwella

Gwella

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2261 Market Street STE 5931

San Francisco, CA 94114

+1 (415) 840-8847growth@trykintsugi.com

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