June 18, 2012, 4:39 PM

An Australian e-retailer says get a new browser or pay up

Consumer electronics retailer Kogan.com charges more to shoppers who use IE7.

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Australian consumer electronics e-retailer Kogan says that consumers using Internet Explorer 7 web browser are going to have to pay for the time its web team has to devote to ensuring the site works on the 6-year-old browser.

“The way we've been able to keep our prices so low is by using technology to make our business efficient and streamlined,” the company writes in a blog post. “One of the things stopping that is our web team having to spend a lot of time making our new web site look normal on IE7. This is an extremely old browser … It’s not only costing us a huge amount, it’s affecting any business with an online presence, and costing the Internet economy millions.”

The e-retailer last week rolled out a 6.8% surcharge, which it is calling a “tax,” to consumers using the browser. The retailer says the surcharge represents 0.1% for each month the browser has been on the market. Microsoft, which created Internet Explorer, has launched two further versions of the web browser since then, but web analytics firm Net Applications in May reported that 3.43% of Internet users still use IE 7 to browse the web.

The retailer did not say if any consumers had paid the charge.

The e-retailer says consumers can avoid having to pay the fee if they upgrade to another browser, such as Google Inc.’s Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or a more recent version of Internet Explorer. If a consumer doesn’t upgrade before buying, he will see the fee listed under an “additional taxes” heading at checkout.

Microsoft, No. 74 in the Internet Retailer Top 500, provided no immediate comment.

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