I hate Intuit, the makers of Quickbooks and Quicken software. The reason is simple: Instead of relying on value to sell their products, they use trickery, deceit, and strongarm tactics.
Any accounting professional who uses Quickbooks in their work knows what I’m going to say without even saying it. Each year, Quickbooks comes out with a new product. This year’s edition is cleverly named “Quickbooks 2009.”
But it’s not really one product each year. It’s three. Yes, there are three different versions of the yearly software, Simple ($99), Pro ($119), and Premier ($399).
And in order for two users (such as a client and an accountant) to be able to share their bookkeeping file, they must be using the exact same version. If your client has Simple, and you open their file using Pro, the client won’t be able to access that file with Simple anymore. Unless of course one is using Premier… then the file will still work if the other user has Pro or Simple.
But you get the picture. You must use the same “year” of software, and also the same version unless you get the really expensive version. And of course, the fees I quoted above are only for a “one user” license. If multiple people in your office need to access the file, you’ll have to buy more licenses.
My hate for Intuit and Quickbooks goes deeper, though. This “version” scam is bad enough. But it’s gotten worse. Each year the software becomes more and more filled with advertising. You can hardly enter a set of transactions without at least one advertisement disrupting things.
“Need to email invoices? Buy this!”
“Need more check printing supplies? We have the answer!”
“Ever thoughttt of doing XYZ? Pay us to help!”
I’m sure the nice Intuit people would tell you they’re just trying to help with useful suggestions. We all know they’re trying to make a buck and disrupting work in the software which has been paid for. (Hint: Annoying constant advertising is most often reserved for “free” software.)
But it gets better. I recently purchased Quickbooks 2009, and in order to get the lowest price for it, I was required to accept a “free month” of their technical support service. Take that “free” service out of the cart, and the price of the sofware jumped.
About a week after my purchase, I got a welcome kit in the mail. Thanks so much for trying our technical support, blather blather.
I immediately went about canceling the service, as the teeny tiny lettering indicated that my credit card would automatically be billed monthly for the service unless I canceled. Finding out how to cancel wasn’t easy. It involved sending a note to customer service asking to cancel, using a particular form on the website.
I did this twice. Yes, I sent two notes to cancel, so that I could be sure that my unwanted subscription was truly canceled.
And guess what? My credit card was just charged for the service. Oopsie! We never received your request to cancel!
I always find it interesting that the purchases of software and services never seem to get lost. But the cancellations… those always magically get lost in cyberspace.
So now I will spend time this morning calling customer service in India. Going through several automated and aggravating menus. Verifying all sorts of numbers. Being transferred several times. Quickbooks will not make this easy for me. I should have paid the higher price for the software and refused to deal with this.
Lesson learned. Intuit sucks. Quickbooks sucks. How about relying on the quality and desirability of the product to sell it, instead of trickery and deceit? I realize there aren’t many options for accounting software anymore. Believe me, if I didn’t have to use Quickbooks, I wouldn’t. I hate you, Intuit and Quickbooks.