A few weeks ago, I posted my opinion on Intuit and QuickBooks on this blog. Essentially the company created a program to get people to sign up for a monthly technical support plan costing $39, and then when that plan was canceled, still billed for the service.
I signed up for this plan knowing I’d never use it and I would cancel the service immediately. I only signed up because it offered me a lower price on the QuickBooks 2009 software I needed to buy. But after going through the cancellation process twice (I wanted to make sure it “took”), I was still billed a monthly fee.
I hate traps like this. Think about it: If Intuit can do this to 1 million people, and have them not complain about one fraudulent monthly charge, they’re $39 million ahead. And many people won’t demand their money back. Some might not even realize for several months that they’re being charged.
This kind of program is one of the several tactics I identified in that original post that Intuit/QuickBooks uses to generate additional revenue from customers. And I’m certainly not the only person who hates QuickBooks.
The day that I published that article, I was immediately contacted by QuickBooks personnel who wanted to resolve the situation for me. I worked with two people behind the scenes to get the erroneous charge to my credit card reversed and cancel the subscription. Of course, I was told that it looked like I “tried” to cancel the subscription but I didn’t complete the process. Uh huh. I completed it. Twice.
The kind people at QuickBooks even gave me a free copy of the $399 QuickBooks 2009 Accountants Edition. That’s pretty nice of them, right? Sure it is. Especially since this expensive version of the software begins to address one of my big complaints about QuickBooks – - the inability to open files with different annual versions of the software. (i.e. In order for me to open a client’s QB 2007 file, I must be running QB 2007.) This version of QuickBooks begins to have some backwards compatibility, so this is a step in the right direction.
I was happy to get such a good response from the QuickBooks people. They were nice to me and treated me well. Unfortunately, I’m well aware that the only reason they did that is because I have a fairly popular blog with a decent-sized audience. Look for this post to rank high in Google for the phrase “QuickBooks sucks” in a day or two. This kind of public relations material is not what QuickBooks wants people to see.
If I was any old customer, I’d probably still be getting the runaround. I would have had to spend a bunch of time going through automated menus in the phone system, entering my phone number and license number multiple times, probably starting over a few times after getting disconnected, but ultimately ending up in the same place: “customer service” in India. And at that point, I’d have about a 50/50 shot of getting my money back.
So what’s the bottom line? Thank you QuickBooks for solving my problem and giving me free software. I only wish you’d do that for each and every person that you’ve improperly taken $39 (or more) from.
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