Posts Tagged ‘Intuit’

Intuit Still Hates Mac Users (And Puppies*)

July 30, 2011

* I still do not have any evidence that they hate puppies.  It just makes for a fun and salacious headline.

The next version of the Mac OS X operating system, Lion, is here!

As a part of the “pre-flight” checklist for any operating system upgrade, users should take an inventory of their applications and determine if there are any incompatibilities that need to be fixed prior to the migration.

Snow Leopard weeded out most of the incompatible apps when they pulled the Power (legacy) code from the core operating system, but since they did have the emulator (Rosetta) I didn’t quite know for sure if Lion would be a slam dunk or a face plant.

Face Plant

My blog reader will recall the issue I had with Intuit Quicken 2007 (as documented here, here and here) and I suppose it was no surprise when I read on the The Unofficial Apple Website (TUAW) that, “Quicken won’t run on Lion: 10 Mac finance apps that will.”

Intuit Quicken 2007 For Mac.  The bane of my existence.

If only we lived in the Star Trek: The Next Generation world (see “The Neutral Zone“).  Y’know, where people moved beyond the concept of money and I didn’t have to track my finances…

But alas, we don’t.  And I use Quicken 2007 For Mac.

Or at least, I did.

That Code Is So Last Decade

Yes.  This is some old code.  It’s older than some of my friends’ kids.

Nobody, myself included, expects for a company to support old code forever.  I work for a technology company and I’ll be the last to throw stones at a company that makes a decision about the economic feasibility of “legacy” applications.

But it’s not a roadmap when it goes into a brick wall.

The Brick Wall

Ideally, the migration path from a legacy application should be to another product in the portfolio.

According to the TUAW article, customers were sent an e-mail (which, if I got it, must have gone to my spam folder) with two options:

  1. Quicken Essentials: this product (even with their discount) is an over-priced downgrade from the Quicken 2007 product.  The reviews for this product when it released were horrible.  Windows ME got better reviews.  Seriously.  The reason being that Intuit did not include much of the core functionality from Quicken 2007 in this product.
  2. Mint.Com: this product is a completely different methodology for managing finances, and one that I’m not ready to adopt.  Sorry.  And, being forced would just make it worse.  In addition to the retraining/learning curve to adapt to using Mint.Com I should mention that all of my valuable historic data from Quicken 2007 For Mac can not be imported into Mint.Com.  Significant learning curve, lack of functionality and lose of my data means Intuit is 0 for 2.

Goodbye Intuit

The worst mistake I made when I moved to the Mac platform was going entirely native and giving up Quicken for Windows.

In my defense, I wasn’t going to purchase a Windows license + virtual machine software just to run one piece of software.

In retrospect it would have been far less aggravating and frustrating if I’d just bit the bullet and spent the extra cash to do exactly that.

As a software application, Quicken 2007 For Mac has always been a dud.  It’s the ugly cousin of the fabulous Windows versions.  And I’m being generous.  I’d even go so far as to say that I’d put Quicken 2007 against Quicken versions from the 90’s.

You may say that I’m just using hyperbole.

I am not.  I have been was a loyal Intuit customer since the mid-1990’s.  I have used versions of this software that ran on Windows 95.

I have Quicken data that goes back to when I was in college.  I could tell you how much I paid for the first mattress I bought out of college.  Or give you the exact amount of money I spent on comic books in 2003.

I had been one of the biggest Inuit fans.  That is, until I moved to the Mac and they decided not to follow.

It’s probably why I made the mistake of staying with Intuit as long as I have.  My product loyalty runs ran deep.

But Lion as the forcing issue to jump off Quicken feels like it’s the right thing to do.

Hello, iBank

Goodbye Intuit, you could have kept me as a loyal customer but you couldn’t follow the market trends of so many of your users (myself included) moving to the Mac platform.

Which is ironic considering Intuit Board Member Bill Campbell has a long history with Apple.

If Intuit had the same great product they had on Windows on the Mac, we wouldn’t be here.

I mean.  Seriously.  Even Microsoft has a good version of Office that runs on the Mac.

So.  It’s with regret that I am pushing Quicken 2007 For Mac to the curb and moving to IGG Software’s iBank.

I have tested it over the past week and it seems to do everything I want it to do, which is kind of funny since my needs are quite simple:

  • I download credit card data and categorize my spending.
  • I download bank data and categorize my spending and savings.
  • I reconcile bank data.
  • I generate custom reports to understand my spending.

So, as you can see, not too complex.

Some UI choices are different. I don’t know if I’d say they are “better” or “worse” then what Intuit does.  Just different.  And after all, I’ve been using Intuit UI for quite some time.

Oh, and it’s in the Mac App Store.

Quicken Essentials is not.

What does that tell you?

Exactly.  So, hello IGG Software.  Here’s hoping you do right by me and all the other Quicken 2007 For Mac users that follow me.

Note: the trial version of iBank is available from their website, but an e-mail to their support said that if you want to install the Mac App Store version – take the evaluation app and throw it in the trash.  Purchase the version from the app store, when it runs find your iBank document file and you’re back in business.  

Also, I do not work for IGGSoftware nor have I been paid (or asked) to write this blog article.  My only contact with them was the support e-mail above.  

Day 2A: Stick A Fork In It, We’re Done

September 9, 2009

As I was editing and publishing the previous post, Chad (one of the Senior SCM Engineers for the Mac products over at Quicken) sent me a workaround for the updater problem.

@QuickenChels was true to her word.  Someone from the company responded to me (same day, I might add).

The workaround they provided me was 8 steps (took me about two minutes to do) and fixed the problem.

And we’re done.

I don’t want to harp, but as you’ll note in the previous e-mail.  This all could have been avoided.

Intuit has some very sharp and very motivated people.  I’m hoping that this incident helps them to avoid these type of issues in the future.

Day 2: Me, Myself And (Finally) Intuit

September 9, 2009

When last I left my blog, I had posted my frustration with Intuit (“Intuit Hates Quicken Mac Users (And Puppies)*) and then sent Twitters to @Intuit and @Quicken.

That was yesterday.

This morning, Jeremiah Owayng’s wrote an excellent blog, “How Customer Support Organizations Must Evolve” where he used Intuit as a positive example.

A bit cranky from my “brain dump” on the blog yesterday, I responded to Jeremiah via Twitter and then on his blog about this incident.

That seemed to get some traction with regard to getting people from Intuit on the case.

Within the hour (quicker than that, actually) I got replies from @QuickenJim, @prgully and specifically from @QuickenChels who seems to have taken the charge with putting me in touch with someone who can help me.

When last I left it with her, someone from Intuit was going to respond directly to me.

In the meantime, she put something on their live community (see “QuickenFor Mac 2007 and Snow Leopard“) and she responded in the comments section of my first blog post.

Things are going smoothly, and I await hearing from someone at Intuit to resolve this problem and I will of course do a third blog to discuss how/when this was resolved and provide some of the details as to how Intuit snapped into action.

Here’s the thing though, and I mention this in my response to @QuickenChels’ comment.

It’s frustrating that it had to come to all of this.  The blog.  The Twitter.  The comments.  All of this.  Just to get the original support that I was looking for on Friday.

The individuals who have responded to me today have been relentless and have given me options (like the Live Community) that weren’t discussed by the original technician on Friday.  Had I seen that level of commitment and knowledge on Friday from the original technician, we’d be having a different conversation and I’d have had a more positive experience.

I would like to be clear about something as well.

I was not, nor am I currently, looking for anything more than the level of support that any customer would get when contacting Intuit with the same problem.

I’m not looking for special treatment.  I’m just looking for a solution to my problem and to know that Intuit is concerned with resolving my issue.

They have shown me this now, but that was not there on Friday.

I say that, to say this.  What makes great customer service?

This whole incident reminds me of the Four Season and their use of the “Golden Rule.”

Put simply, the “Golden Rule” and that’s about treating customers and employees the same.  Treating them the way that you would like to be treated.

The best example of this (and it is discussed in the book “Four Seasons: The Story of a Business Philosophy” by Isadore Sharp) is when a customer showed up for a charity event with former President and First Ronald and Lady Nancy Reagan, not knowing the event was a a black tie affair.

The customer was noticeably uncomfortable and a Four Seasons employee overheard him talking with his wife about it.  He asked the customer to come with him and told another employee about this customer not having a tuxedo.

The other employee changed out of the tuxedo he was wearing, got into his street clothes, pressed the tuxedo and gave it to the customer so he could go back in and blend in with the other guests.

The Four Seasons gave this customer the shirt off their back and at the time they didn’t know who this customer was from a whole in the ground.  All they knew is that he needed a tuxedo.  He had a problem and they could solve it for him.

The customer turned out to be the head of A.T. Kearney, and that positive experience made him shift the bulk of his company’s business to the Four Seasons.

When you empower employees at all levels and when they strive to do right by their customers – you get stories like this and you reduce the number of stories that start out like mine.

Stay tuned to “Part 3” when I do hear from Intuit and we go to the next step… See my “Day 2A” post where the issue has no been resolved…

BTW, it is worth your time to read Jeremiah’s blog post on this topic (and not just because I commented on it) as well as follow him on Twitter.

Intuit Hates Quicken Mac Users (And Puppies)*

September 8, 2009
* I have no proof that they hate puppies, per say, but it made for a more dramatic headline.

I should clarify the statement that Intuit “hates” Mac users.

To say that Intuit “hates” Mac users is to say that they’re even thinking about them.

Based on my experiences with Intuit, they are clearly not.

My most recent experience with Intuit has left me with the impression that they have little to no regard for their Mac customers at all.

Quicken 2007 For Mac has been one of the most miserable software experiences I’ve ever had, PC or Mac, and last Friday it was made even more frustrating by Intuit’s failure to assist me with the most basic of software problems.

The Problem: one of my credit cards was not downloading into Quicken.

Background: I’ve had the above issue with one of my credit cards not downloading into Quicken for a few weeks, but haven’t had time to sit down and fix it.  Friday, I set aside time to do exactly that.  My first call was to the credit card company and after talking to an extremely polite (and rather sincere) customer support technician, he determined that the “OL-249” error message I was getting was the result of a Quicken problem that has to do with an out-of-date security certificate.  He then provided me with the URL that contained the updater file and instructions and I figured that would be the end of it.

Fair enough.  I thanked him, hung up, read the instructions but was unsuccessful in getting the updater to work.

I then contacted Intuit using the “chat” feature on their website.  I explained how I was getting an error message on their updater and the Intuit customer support technician asked me, “Are you using Snow Leopard?”

“Yes,” I replied (almost knowing what was going to come next).

The technician then proceeded to tell me that this updater did not work on Snow Leopard.

The end.

Seriously.  The end as in that’s all he could tell me.

No work-around.  No ETA on when it would work in Snow Leopard.

See the transcript below.  The conversation just kinda…ended.

Which is fine for him.  But I’m left holding the bag on this thing.  So what next?

Step 1) Blame The Customer?

I admit, this might partially be my fault.  Given Intuit’s miserable track record for supporting the Mac, made evident by the lack of regular updates and the fact that the application is riddled with the most basic of user interface quirks, I should have taken the time to resolve this problem before my Snow Leopard upgrade.

That said, developers smaller than Intuit have had copies of Snow Leopard for quite some time now and most companies have been posting regular updates to their software in anticipation of the mass upgrade of users.  I should note that history has proven that Mac users update to new OS versions en mass and often in record numbers (this version was no different, in fact a few sources were anticipating it to be bigger than Leopard. Ars Technica has those numbers if  you want to dig them up).

That said, Intuit’s “official” response to Snow Leopard is that the Quicken For Mac web page claims support for v10.6 (Snow Leopard) and the next version of Quicken for Mac (which is a rewrite from what I’ve read) is scheduled for February, 2010 (see Intuit Blog).

One would then assume that “support” today for Quicken 2007 on Snow Leopard means “full support” as in, even the updaters work.  One would assume…

Further, since it’s a solid six months before the next version (and not everyone will be updating day of release), I can hardly be the first (or last) person that is going to need to use this updater.

So, nope.  I’m not going to take blame for this problem.

But, so far the only thing Intuit has expressed to me is that they have no desire or interest to help me.  So what’s my next move?

Step 2) Speak Louder

The technician “assisting” me in the chat was powerless to help me and had little to no information on how to help me.  Kinda weak.  He had neither a work-around or an ETA on when this would be resolved.

So, I’ve written up this blog.

I will Twitter @Quicken (and @Intuit) and am prepared to continue to Twitter them until I get a resolution.

Step 3) What Do I Want?

I would like either a work-around to resolve this problem (now), or an acceptable ETA as to when the updater will be fixed to work with Snow Leopard.

By “acceptable,” I’m thinking within the next 30 days or less.

That’s it.  Very simple.  And the type of thing I should have gotten when I contacted their customer support.

Step 4) What I’m Willing To Do In Return?

I will update this blog with any replies I get from Intuit.  I’ll leave the comments open (unless comments become unreasonable) and will try to document this problem through to what I hope is an eventual resolution.

I would like to think that in addition to solving my problem, someone/somewhere at Intuit marketing might want to use the topics discussed in this post to mend the broken relationship between Quicken For Mac and Mac users such as myself.

We shall see what happens next…

Chat Transcript

I have posted the chat transcript below (I have removed the technician’s name because it’s not relevant)

Quicken: Welcome to Quicken chat support. My name is Sehkhomang. Please give me a moment while I review the info you
provided.
Noah: OK.
Quicken:: Hello Noah.
Quicken: I understand your concern and I assure you that I will assist you in the best possible manner.
Noah: Yes.
Quicken: When was the last time you were able to download transactions into the Quicken program without any issue?
Noah: I can still do it for one of my credit cards. The other one that I’m having issue. It was about May 28th or so.
Quicken: Which version of Quicken are you using? Is it the Quicken for Mac or Quicken for windows?
Noah: Quicken For Mac 2007 version.
Quicken: Are you using the new Snow leopard?
Noah: Yes.
Quicken: Noah, I understand your concern and I would like to inform you that we are aware of this issue with the new snow
leopard.
Noah: And?
Noah: Is there a way to fix this with Snow Leopard?
Quicken: As of now we have no solution to fix the issue. My apologies; I am trying my best to help you.
Quicken: Is there anything else that I can help you with today?
Noah: Give me an ETA on when this will be fixed, please.
Quicken: To be honest with you, I am not sure when this will be fixed. Please contact us back after 1 week to check if the
issue were fixed.
Noah: This is ridiculous. It’s bad enough that full support for Snow Leopard isn’t coming until Feb of next year, but how do you not have a fix for this issue when developer editions of Snow Leopard have been available to companies like Intuit for months?
Noah: Please tell your managers that this is unacceptable and I will be writing about how Intuit failed miserably with their
support for their customers.
Quicken: I really appreciate your feedback and I can imagine your frustration.  Had I been in place of you I would have feel the same.
Noah: Fail.