Update on Quickbooks Sucks

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.


  1. I also hate Quickbooks. Pro 2007 is supposedly Vista compatable, but my Vista is 64 bit. Finally got it to work, then messed up and installed an update today and now I cant reconcile my accounts, the first thing I tried to do since the update. Who knows what else wont work. Anyway, does anyone have any suggestions for Accounting software that actually works? I really hate the fact that I’ve spent a decent amount of money on a product that has been a pain from day one.

  2. I have three 2006 vers of QB pro. I have been using the software without a problem and now all of a sudden no warning the emailing of invoices stopped working. I get a warning that this function is not being supported any longer. I will have to upgrade to a new version for this function to work again. I called and I logged onto QB web site and chatted with someone telling me that how great the upgrade would be and there are many new functions I would love but I must upgrade. I feel like I am being black mailed. I don’t want or need the new functions or I would have already upgraded. they have put a bomb in the software and it is also in the new versions. In two to three years several functions that you paid for will stop working. “Because they are no longer supported.” Baloney, this is just another way to force you into upgrading. Then the rep told me they were not the only company that is doing this. What a defense, “Your honor I am not the only crook yes I sold the software and didn’t tell my customer certain functions would stop working because we wanted to get more money out of them but like I said I am not the only blackmailing software company.” Well you heard from me and I am not a new QB customer. And I bet you are right that I never hear from them. Placing a bomb inside software that stops it’s functions so they have to upgrade is blackmail. I hope a smart lawyer out there gets them on a class action suite. I didn’t purchase this software with the understanding that it was only good for 3 years. This is not aggressive marketing it its blackmail marketing. And I hope this new term sticks to intuit.

  3. David

    I am a longtime Quickbooks user (>15 years). Just upgraded to QB Pro 2009 in May by purchasing it directly from (a human being at) Intuit. Not a word was mentioned during the sales transaction about monthly support plans or the like. I wouldn’t have agreed anyway, I am quite comfortable using the program.

    Suddenly, yesterday, I see a $39 charge from Intuit on my credit card. I phoned today to find out that it is a monthly fee for support. The customer service was quick, polite and they say they’ll be refunding my $39 and not billing any more. That’s fine…..BUT…

    I did not ask for the support plan, I wasn’t told about it and I NEVER agreed to any $39/month being subtracted from my credit card account!!
    My opinion is that this is a deliberate practice, designed to trap customers into paying more. I agree with the comments above… $39 multiplied a million times ends up being a lot of money. They are willing to gamble that customers won’t notice, won’t care, won’t act and won’t take their business elsewhere.

    Not only do I feel like they’re taking advantage of me, I’m self-employed and it took me about 1/2 hour to research, phone, interract with the Intuit customer service folks to get it reversed.


  4. Kirk

    I bought quickbooks pro with payroll for 243 at sams club. I had to remove my virus software just to get it to install (nightmare). Now as im installing payroll online I realize the version I have is only for three employees. If I need more than that I need to pay 100 more. What a fing scam. I’m going with peachtree i think I don’t want to be stuck with this crap. Monthly fees, designed to fail, no free support, and I went through the noncompatability with previous versions (years) nightmare with turbotax. Anyone want to buy it? 🙂

  5. Marilyn

    Double Rip Off
    So Bought 2008 (full price) in late 2008, paying the monthly payroll subscription which is fair…now mid 2009 and QB is forcing me to purchase a new full price software package in order to get my july payroll update.
    Now that is Bait and Switch under the Canadian Competition Beaureau guidelines….
    And even more interesting is that the tax table update is no different than what is already installed.
    So what is with that?
    Their update and monthly services are simply hooks for them to get into our systems, block current ability to service and force us to pay more for continued use.
    No where in my purchase agreement did QB advise me my program would only be good for 8 months!!!
    Buyer beware I guess.

  6. Matt

    I own a business that handles clients’ money in a trust fund. I also have a general operating account. I initially purchased quickbooks simple start. It was inadequate. I purchased quickbooks pro to manage my accounts. I’ve found that quickbooks is worthless. It is very user unfriendly. Intuits lousy program should come with a tutor.

  7. Tracy Coenen

    Hehe – Intuit wants you to buy some “support” from them. What you need can easily be done in QB. There are people who do QB training and you can probably find someone local to you. Or you could have your CPA or tax person help you set it up and show you the basics.

  8. I bought 2009 pro, not an upgrade. I wanted to give my 2007 pro to a friend who is out of work. I suggested they learn it because a lot of small businesse like me could use someone that we would not have to pay full time to take care of all or financial junk…
    We cannot transfer a license to someone else as we are “buying a non-transeferrable right to use their software”. Their licensing group said it is federal law (I hate liars). Sheesh, even ADOBE lets you deactivate and install on a different computer. I hate them, I hate Intuit, I disdain their business practices. ripped off by intuit dot com is all for this.

  9. Jack

    As a QB user since 2000 I have watched Intuit degenerate from customer focused to what feels like complete disdain. In the late 1990’s, business school cases were taught about Intuit’s single minded attention to all the details that make up great customer product experiences. In the early 2000’s, I remember long helpful discussions with real live American based customer service EXPERTS able to solve any QB issue. Now, the abomination of QB 2009 forced on anyone who uses QB for payroll or other services that require updates, is compounded by the “customer service” circle jerk that they call “community”. What a mess.

  10. Victim

    Yup, QuickBooks strikes again. Last Feb they called and insisted that I needed to upgrade to the Multicurrency edition. To my surprise I was send the 2008 Multicurrency, instead of 2009, the current QB. When I complained, they told me that 2009 didn’t have multicurrency so I had no choice. Now, a few months later, they come out with 2010 with multicurrency. I feel like they’ve played a dirty trick on us, but what can we do? Furthermore, the new 2010 edition costs less than what we paid for the 2008 edition. QuickBooks sucks.

  11. Heather

    I recently was unable to open my Quickbooks and was told that I could not get a good confirmation code because it would cuorrupt my computer files. They forced me to purchase QB 2010. I am so very angry at them and have told 3 new businesses that I would not recommend QB for their accounting needs. At the time of upgrading I told the representative that I DID NOT want the free 30 day Monthly Support at all. It surprised me that the CSR would not actually speak the words “I will remove this from your invoice”. She just kept saying “I hear you”. I just received information in the mail saying that it was added on seperately! I am at a loss. I am looking for the proper number to call to cancel this service and pray that I get this resolved!

  12. jscottu

    Depending on how many employees you have, it is often cheaper and more accurate to outsource your payroll to a local payroll service, rather than pay to have it integrated into Quickbooks or Peachtree (although Peachtree includes a free payroll module if you can figure out how to use it). I think small businesses would also be better off to separate the inventory part of their accounting, too. Just make journal entries concerning payroll and inventory, rather than integrate the whole thing into one program. You’ll save many headaches. I used Quickbooks for the 8 years I had a business. My books were messed up bigtime. That was the ’99 version. I think the program is much worse, now.

  13. Tom

    I have a very old (Version 5D) copy of QuickBooks that has worked for me for a long time. I felt immune to Intuits immoral behavior of trying to force people to pay more money. But guess what. After close to 15 years, the software suddenly won’t start instead presenting me with the text “In order to continue, you must register now”. I called the provided 800 number, was routed to India where “Kevin”, with a strong Indian accent tells me that he is sorry but I need to purchase a new copy of QuickBooks. Huh? There was nothing on the box when I bought saying it would “expire”.

    I’m done with Intuit. I hope there is a class action law suit against this terrible company.

    And as another bonus, my version of Quicken no longer will download records from my bank. The feature just stopped working until I “upgrade” (IE give Intuit money). Terrible business model. I’m certainly not going to give Intuit another dime.

    Intuit Sucks. Terrible business model. Terrible way to treat your customer.

  14. Mike

    I, like millions os Quickbooks users was surprised to see that my account has been “retired” as the cusotmer service rep told me. I have to pay another $700 to access the features of Quickbooks. This is a SCAM. QUICKBOOKS IS A SCAM! Could you imagine charging your clients to keep their existing (paid for) software. Stating that you retired their software. QUICKBOOKS 2010 IS A SCAM!

  15. fuming

    Forced to get QB pro to have my payroll work, don’t really need the payroll except they tell me that QB won’t figure my tax forms without it, get annoyed every year when I have to buy the update, so stupid that you can’t just look at the forms and input your own rates.

    Now forced into spending more for 2010 as my 2007 is “sunsetted,” took well over an hour to install and update the stupid upgrade. Now looking at popup ads all over my program.

    I HATE THEM! I guess they feel we are trapped and I suppose I am buying into it by not finding another accounting program instead of continuing to give them my money year after year. INTUIT, are you listening? YOU SUCK!

  16. Barbara

    I see lots of negative comments (that I agree with!) but can someone point me in another direction? I have 10 employees and I would like an alternative program to keep track of my business and do my payroll. Suggestions?

  17. France

    Use Paychex for your payroll. They are reasonable priced and can provide a lot of other services to small businesses. Peachtree is no better than Quickbooks so it wouldn’t be worth the effort to convert in my opinion. I have actually gotten Peachtree tax table updates and found them to be wrong. When you take the payroll out of Quickbooks it is not that terrible of a system.

  18. Tracy Coenen

    I would agree with using a payroll service, but not Paychex. Not ADP. Not Ceridian. A local, full-fledged payroll service is your best bet. Do NOT use a CPA who is doing Payroll on a limited basis either. A real payroll service who does only that… and a local one so that they’re more accountable to you.

  19. Judy

    In regards to Tom’s post above: I had the same thing happen today, still using Quickbooks 5.0 (don’t need anything fancy, just use it for invoicing) then today it wants my registration number or I can’t open anything. Called 800 number, he said he couldn’t do anything.

    I searched and found how to retrieve this info: go into Quickbooks (ignore that box asking you to register) and hit Control and 1 An info box will come up with your registration number. It worked, but I had to go downstairs to my old computer since I never put the registration number into this newer computer when I transferred all my programs 2 years ago.

    Hope this helps anyone who encounters this issue

  20. The following is in my opinion. Good luck quicken attorneys !

    I have used QB pro 99 for years. I have it with 3 licenses. It operates on 3 computers. When I got it, I found it very irritating that to do many functions, you had to leave multi user mode and enter single user mode. So many times a day one of the three people have to say ” Hey everyone, you all must stop working, close your program, drop what ever it is your doing, so I can do something simple like import something” From what I understand this product DEFECT / feature has never been addressed.
    I was going through some old copys / backups of my quickbooks files, and one file would not open because another user already had it open in single user mode, and I was not allowed to open it in multi user mode. 1) The computer I was was not connected to a network. 2) the file was never opened in multi-user mode -EVER 3) I was in single user mode on all the prior files I opened.

    Intuit does not enhance their product, they ENTRAP their customers.
    . I have been amazed with the lame reasons given to upgrade over the years. ” the new version has some new report forms” . You can email invoices ( I use curtpdf – print to pdf and email that. ) I hate company’s who force the upgrade process. The reason for purchasing a new version is that is actually has IMPROVED, not because they are putting your company at risk, by blocking/ limiting access to your accounting data.
    Here is a tip on getting Quickbooks pro 99 working on windows 7 —
    The program will install fine on on the computer, BUT the update / patch (you probably did this years ago,) and it is required to open your files . WILL NOT INSTALL ON WINDOWS 7 – THE PATCH INSTALLER IS INCOMPATIBLE with windows, NOT the patch.

    Install Quickbooks Pro 99 on computer.
    on the old computer- locate the folder quickbooks installed to. copy it to usb flash drive.
    on the new computer, find the folder the quickbooks pro PROGRAM is located in. over write what is there with the old install, that had the update.

    Boom – program works perfectly!!!!

    And on the original blog – is it BS, that you are FORCED to UPDATE any quickbook file opened on a newer version. Even Micro$oft would never be that bold to force updates on to a document, Why does someone have to buy a ACCOUNTS VERSION just to open an older document, and not mess it up. Oh I forgot – Intuit is just INTOIT to get your money , by bogus / limited software, by billing fraud, deactivating program functions, forces upgrades, and by whatever they can do to lesson your bank account. It would be interesting if a class-action lawsuit were actually filed, and how many customers would mail in Statements that they never agreed to the monthly support program. Yet they were falsely billed. Personally, I would call the cc card company and dispute , and never call Intuit. This is the reason I use CC.

    Intuit has progressed to a crook in software makers clothing. Were they partnered with Madoff?

    I would never use Quicken software again. And from what i understand the annual costs associated with payroll use ( subscriptions/ updates / relearning) are greater than the costs of some of the payroll services.
    Remember – This is all In my opinion

    1. QB99_Lives


      That was one great tip on QB99. I tried it and it works now – just like you said. Many thanks. I hope others find out how to use their older versions in W7. Going to Intuit Community Forums, they just say that it won’t work.


  21. Frank, that’s a very good comment….
    I’m stuck with yearly upgrades if any of my clients uses different versions, and that’s very frustrating for many reasons, besides the money spent…
    Great job on your post!

  22. Irina

    I was informed by my bank today that in order to download my account information into QB 2008 PRO I need to upgrade it to a new version. The bank doesn’t support online banking with 2008 version any more by order of Intuit. Intuit started to order banks what to do!!!! We need to start class action law suit against Intuit for violation our consumer rights or at least report to FTC about this company (if it will be many complints it will be effective). Intuit sold us software without information that it can be used for limited period of time only. New versions are so bad that even my professional CPA doesn’t want to use it. I can’t prepare my QB files for CPA using newer version that she does. Such a nightmare! I have to enter all payment details by hands. I HATE INTUIT AND MONOPOLY OF QB in the accounting. Program is so bad that slow down even modern PC. Similar programs in Russian language are so much better and fast on PC. Intuit is sucks!!!

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  24. Brian

    I had a hard drive crash but fortunately was able to back up my QuickBook 2010 files before it gave up the ghost. I thought I dodged a bullet but trying to reload the files onto a new install was death by a thousand cuts ! It will not restore my files and the customer service was useless. They wanted to charge me $100 for the pleasure of talking to them even though nothing was resolved. I can’t imagine how they stay in business. I will need to pay soemone to recover then I am converting to anything else. Just terrible service from a company who’s software is the heart of many businesses. It dies….you die !!!…and they couldn’t care less.

  25. GRumpy

    Quickbooks Sucks!! I’m migrating from Windows to Mac, so I just purchased/downloaded Quickbooks for Mac 2012. Boy was I pissed when I discovered that you cannot do your own payroll. You HAVE to subscribe to their payroll service (or some other pay service). Quickbooks Sucks!! $25/month for 1 employee for their payroll service. That’s absurd. Homey don’t play that! Even if I was going to sign up, after converting my existing company file into the Mac version, my previous payroll records are all corrupt! Quickbooks Sucks!! After sitting on hold for 30 minutes, Quickbooks has agreed to give me a refund. Or at least I think so, the customer service rep barely spoke english. I guess I’ll due a dual-boot thingy on the new Mac and keep running the old QB 2010 on Windows. I would ditch the whole thing but QB is what my CPA does.

  26. 20 July 2011 Irina said, “…informed by my bank today that in order to download my account information into QB 2008 PRO I need to upgrade it to a new version.” Still doing this scam, Intuit will force me to spend $200 to continue the banking statement download feature, my QB 2009 works just fine for this sole proprietor who needs to spend his cash wisely!!

  27. QB Prisoner

    I decided to participate in the proadvisor program which would allow me to access & use the different softwares needed to meet my clients’ needs. I paid, logged in, and it worked for 30 days. Due to a migration they were doing in their sales software, my account was deactivated. The “only way” to resume was to purchase an entirely new membership and wait for my original purchase to be refunded in 7-10 days.
    After 30 days and many, many phone calls, trying to find out where my money was, someone finally could help. They accidentally CANCELLED my second membership! So now I am fighting for 2 refunds and have no access to anything. They assured me I could regain access…if I purchase a new membership & wait for the other 2 refunds.
    Seriously? I have loaned Intuit roughly $1500 to correct THEIR mistake. Are they struggling financially? I am a small business owner & would love if they could offer me something that works, in addition to returning my working capital.
    If anyone else had issues similar to this, please share, as well as any suggestions on how to help Intuit correct their Service Failure.

  28. DE

    I agree. . I have QB2010 and just got a popup that my online banking function will terminate in May 2013 if I don’t upgrade to the 2013 version. Dirty Scumbags. This is nothing less than blackmail. I refuse to bow to their blackmail. I can download from my bank and will have to find a work around. I never had this problem with any of my other versions.

  29. gord

    entertaining reading. I have been a hater of quick books for about ten years now. we always update and it is always a royal pain in the arse. they rate zero for customer service. there are always issues with new versions and problems with installs and then they want to charge you for trying to fix bugs that they created! could be a great product and company had a leader and CEO that had proper vision and focus. However large corporations that can only focus on creating massive profits for shareholders tend to do this to themselves. it is easier to scam and manipulate your existing customer base to provide these revenues than it is to actually provide good customer service and support as well as a product that gets better. you see it with many tech companies. apple. microsoft etc. forcing consumers to upgrade and update to crappy versions with less features and a bunch of useless bolt on features that just get in the way of what we bought the product for in the first place. I just cannot figure out why there is no class action taken against these companies as much of the business they are practicing is illegal.

  30. Mark

    My wife had been using qb2003 for a long,long time. Well he XP machine died, so had to buy a windows 7 box. I bought a brand new copy of QB 2012..and could not get it to validate the codes and get it to work. It took me many hours with the QB people just to get the QB 2012 work – all the while trying to get me to buy QB 2013, which just came out. So all would appear to be OK.. but all of a sudden, when logging on to QB the password wouldn’t work. We keep this PC off line for security purposes. Apparently according to their “tech” support the password times out – without any warning. So now we have no access to our data. They say the only way the password can be reset is if we put the pc on line…which I am reluctant to do due to the fact there had been no security updates, anti-virus, etc on the pc – if you don’t have security on your pc, and it is on line, it can be compromised and hacked in less than 10 minutes – so great Intuit – you’re keeping me from my finical data but if I go on line you make me vulnerable to identity there – what a great company – NOT!

  31. Very Frank

    I’ve been a Quickbooks user for almost 20 years! NO MORE…the greed, horrendous customer service and now poor quality software are the main reasons I’ve found another product. Every year I bought a new version of the Quickbooks software, and every year i spent hours and days on the phone with the poorly trained Intuit Support people in some other country, while they attempted to understand the reason the software upgrades failed and caused numerous issues. BUYER BEWARE!!! Do not waste your money with any INTUIT PRODUCTS!!

  32. jscottu

    Go to ebay. Buy a new or used version of Peachtree (Sage 50) between 2002 and 2012 (in 2013 they took away the excellent manual payroll module and in 2015 they stopped selling the program and started “renting” it like Quickbooks does). Never do the “service pack updates” online so you won’t have the problem of compatability between two computers running the same Peachtree version. Avoid using your computer online if possible to avoid viruses. What you will then have is the best, most stable, low-cost small business accounting program ever written. Sage 50 is still a solid program…I just choose NOT to rent my accounting software. I want to buy it once and be done with it.

  33. R London

    Well, FOUR AND A HALF years after your post Quickbooks still SUCKS! In truth, I enjoy using QB for my bookkeeping. It’s INTUIT that SUCKS SUCKS SUCKS! I just had to upgrade from 2012 to 2015 because QB only supports 3 years of their software. I’ve now talked to FIVE different people, three in Customer Screw-vice and two in Tech Support that by the way they can never transfer you from one department to another. I bought this software three days ago and now for some reason I can’t email my invoices like I’ve been doing for the last three years. Tech support says they can do a one-time help for a fee ($89.00!) or I can upgrade to QB Pro Plus for $299.00! That’s more than I paid for 2015! Most software and computer companies offer free tech support for anywhere from 30 days to 1 year (think Apple) after you buy their product. Intuit is just looking for the next surefire way they can screw the consumers who use their products. NO CUSTOMER LOYALTY WHAT-SO-EVER.

  34. Michael

    Thanks for a place to rant. I’ve dealt with Intuit for a couple of decades now and have to agree with your sentiment.

    After all these years the software is still ridden with bugs in it. As an I.T. professional I’m always the person called to “fix” something that’s systemically-wrong with Intuit’s software.

    From the standpoint of a multi-user database system it’s horrible. Why on Earth would Intuit’s programmers think that “simply” going to single-user mode is something that’s easy to accomplish in a business? We’re on the Enterprise level of their product and it’s still crippled with idiocy like this. The AP clerk opens the check register and suddenly there’s a GLOBAL_LOCK on the entire database..!? Really? This is the kind of programming I’d expect from a first-year college student.

    Half the system was written by UNIX geeks and half was written by Microsoft geeks. And it’s like neither group ever talked to the other there at Intuit. The result? Lots of multi-user issues and the inability to manage state of activities going on in the server.

  35. Christopher

    I see that it has been a while since a post was placed here. I typically don’t have time for such thing, but the level of incompetence at Intuit borders on fraud. It just does not seem that a company can be that inept. After a week of trying to get the product to work I gave up. This was a couple weeks ago. Not only have they failed to refund my money as they agreed, they have charged me a 400 dollar reoccurring fee this morning. I can’t believe I am the only one. I’ll looking for people with similar experiences that might be interested in some kind of joint action….Takers?

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