Monday, July 13, 2009

More QuickBooks Suckage

Here's a bit more QB suckage:

"Beginning on August 31, 2009, the price of your direct deposit feature will increase from $0.99 per paycheck to $1.05 per paycheck."

Worst economy in decades and QB is jacking up service fees? Why? Just to annoy us?

Let's face it, six cents isn't going to break anyone and it's not going to cause folks to stop using Direct Deposit, but does anyone at Intuit put any logic to work on the subject of customer satisfaction and morale? Yes, morale.

Businesses talk about customer satisfaction a lot, but maybe they should start thinking about customer morale, the same way companies have to think about employee morale and the military has to think about the troops' morale. Because customers are depressed. Their incomes are lower, business in general is slower (or just sucks), and people can't afford to buy the things they want to buy or even need to buy. But Intuit keeps chugging away, spending millions or billions changing software that works just fine into software that doesn't work (see my post and the many, many responses about how badly QuickBooks 2009 sucks below) and that is alienating users and leaving them desperate for an alternative.

Well, if you aren't one of those folks who thinks Bill Gates is the Anti-Christ and that Microsoft is secretly a front for the Knights Templar, you might want to check out Accounting 2009. Sexy name, there, eh? Must be the marketing geniuses at Microsoft at work again. Anyhow, I think we are all confident Mister Softy isn't going anywhere anytime soon, so making a switch to their accounting package should be a safe bet. It's just going to be a bitch of a learning cure.

But let's get back to Intuit. I'd like to send them some books on history. You know, ones that talk about the serfs rising up and killing the unfeeling leadership. Because, Intuit, that's what could be about to happen to you. I mean, if MS or Peachtree would just wake up and smell the small-business owners' dissatisfaction with everything Intuit, they could get folks to switch in droves. Make converting cheap and add inexpensive or free services like Direct Deposit or a year of free Merchant Services and folks would leap with glee to make the switch.

And if you want to stop the growing dissatisfaction, Intuit, you might want to rethink this annoying increase on Direct Deposit and cut the number of ads in your program, not to mention the cost of some of those things you advertise (Costco checks are half of what yours cost). And, for QB 2010, really, really ask your users what they want, instead of just changing things around so you can claim "improvements" that will get users to pay for an upgrade. And, while you're at it, every owner of 2009 gets a free upgrade to 2010.

For example, I want the invoices and sales receipts to have calculating fields, so that I can create an item that is X% of another item, but the program won't do that. I have asked for years and years to have Customer:Job show print on check stubs and to have the Job Description show up as a column any place you have Customer:Job. You can add it into the Customer Center, but not into the Memorized Transaction list. Seriously. I'm not kidding. Apparently Intuit understands that the Job Name field is too short to accurately describe all jobs, so they add a Description field, but they don't let you use the field anyplace you want. Only where they think you should. This is not how your customers want you to think, Intuit. If I can use the Job field, I should be able to use the Job Description field as well or instead of the Job field. Adding this would be a useful addition. Screwing around with what works already is not.

So, Intuit, you are welcome to my six extra cents for Direct Deposit, but I expect you to put it to good use, making the improvements to the program I outline above, and not just to line your pockets.

Z

4 comments:

Brandie said...

I've worked at a few software development companies (small time ones) before and unfortunately I understand exactly what they are doing. Programming is a lot of work and it's harder than most people realize to "move a few fields around" on a report or add new functionality that doesn't break the old functionality. That's not to say I agree with their approach to customer service or their blatant disregard for requests. I'm just noting that what usually seems like a simple fix on the front end client is rarely as simple on the back side.

You can sometimes get customized features for your software, if you promise to pay X dollars per hour plus Y flat fee for the customization. Bigger software firms don't usually do customization, but the smaller ones do. Not sure if Intuit is one of these firms or not. But even if they are, what business can afford custom software it in these times? And why should they listen to one or two lone voices about problems when they're still making money hand-over-fist from other customers? They seem to have forgotten that one unhappy customer usually tells a minimum of 10 others while a happy customers rarely recommends to more than one person.

Eventually, Intuit will get bought out by someone bigger who wants their market share. Or they'll go broke because they didn't listen to their unhappy customers. Either way, "eventually" is a long way off. I suggest you demo these other programs you mentioned and look into the costs of a program change. Remember, you're going to have to port all your old data over to the new program and that costs more than you think. In man-hours if nothing else. Then again, maybe MS or Peachtree have an automatic import function that can pull Intuit data in and scrub it correctly. If so, that feature alone might be worth the license fees.

Andrew Zack said...

If you search my blog for "QuickBooks Sucks," you'll find I'm far from being a lone voice....

Z

Jinny Lee said...

Right on! I just finished reading your 2008 harangue on Intuit. Have you noticed it's just getting worse? I see their Quicken/Quickbooks Business unit purged close to 300 people. I don't think that unit has been a profit center for years. The only things that keeps the company afloat are their acquisitions and their tax unit.

Ron from VA said...

Good thing I Googled Quickbooks direct deposit feature before signing up tonight ... because now I won't. I've already got a burr under my saddle because of their outrageous annual payroll subscription fee. I could have handled their psychologically priced $.99 per check direct deposit fee, but after reading your blog entry, I see that fee is going nowhere but up.

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