Category Archives: Privacy

Ever tried to get support from Intuit (maker of Quicken and Turbotax)?

I have used Quicken (by Intuit) since the mid ’90s.  I have purchased a new version each year as a new one became available (usually when I bought my tax software from them) so that I would always be up-to-date.

Generally, I have been pleased with the software but over the years the service has varied from OK to abysmal.  At the moment, it seems on the Abysmal end.

My current problem is that when I try to download my bank transactions, Quicken pops up and says that I have to log into my online account before it will let me open the downloaded transactions.  Why is this an issue you ask? It is an issue to me because I cannot be sure that Intuit isn’t getting me to log into their site so that they can play man-in-the-middle with my financial transactions. It is unlikely, but it is not outside the realm of possibility.

This issue is, in all likelihood, just a bug in a new patch for the 2016 software as it only started happening recently, but there is no way to tell and the information on their support site is dreadful.  I do know that one version of the software (which I assume to be the American version  because the documentation on the support site refers to $US) has had a similar bug because there is a patch for that bug on the support site…one that won’t install on my Canadian version of the package.

When self-help didn’t work, I was left with no choice but to ask Intuit for help. When you go to the Intuit support site you are given the option of phoning or chatting with them. The estimated wait time for calling is always about twice as long as the chat time…which means that most users would opt for the chat support. In my case the estimated wait time for chat support was 25 minutes – which is not acceptable, but what can you do? So I waited.

Here is a screen capture of my end of a one-way communication with Quicken (you can tell that I was a bit peeved when I started the chat session and things got worse from there):

Intuit service woes. My end of a one-way communication
Intuit service woes. My end of a one-way communication

So this is where we have arrived in 2016. Companies sell software that they don’t completely support or pretend to support by putting in chat sessions or phone support with unacceptable wait times (while this is bad, it isn’t as bad as companies that hide their telephone support behind circular voice messaging options that always end up leading you to recorded messages, but that is for another rant on another day).

What do you think? Should companies be able to take us for granted? In your mind, is this an acceptable level of service? Bear in mind that the software is generally pretty good save for this new bug.

So, I am now up to 1 hour and 28 minutes “Waiting for an agent…” and I would like to know:

Would you buy a product from Intuit?

Stay tuned for my next poor service story for software support or inadequate software design. As for me, I am going to end the chat session and have a beer.

 

News Release: Annual Report: Privacy Commissioner emphasizes importance of online transparency – August 21, 2014

https://www.priv.gc.ca/media/nr-c/2014/nr-c_140821_e.asp

In an update to a previous post, as of last summer, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada was still working on the 168 complaints received about Bell Canada for its data collection and use policy.

Old fashioned telephone
Telephone

Stay tuned, it will be interesting to see what they finally come up with.

Bell is at it again…

If there is one thing Bell is good at, it is creating an unfair playing field, always tilted in its own corporate favour.  Whether it is about unilaterally changing user agreements after you sign up for them or collecting your usage information without your consent, Bell behaves as if it was immune from the social norms that govern transactions between people.

In this case, Bell seems to be tilting the playing field so that it’s content is available to its customers far more cheaply than that of its competitors, violating the net-neutrality provisions of the internet.

The CBC.CA article on the issue is really interesting and well worth the read.  The CRTC has to do something about this!!!

Are you annoyed enough at Bell Canada to want to switch?

Contracts

If you are annoyed enough by the planned #BellDataGrab to want to switch, you may find it harder than you imagine.  If, for example, you have a contract with Bell for one or more of their services, it may not be easy to get out of the contract.  Don’t lose hope.

CRTC required the telecommunications industry to create an ombudsman for this type of dispute.  This ombudsman is called the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services.

You should be aware that this is an industry funded office, but their mandate is reasonable.  Their mandate is:

"To provide outstanding dispute resolution service to Canadian consumers
and telecom providers, and always to adhere to our core values and 
performance standards."

They cannot help you get out of your contract as long as the service provider provides the services according to the agreement you signed.  The question is, is this new #BellDataGrab a significant change to the agreement you signed.  This is the question that they can help you resolve.  If so, they may be able to help you get out of your current contract.

You can lodge a complaint by visiting their website and completing the complaint form on-line.

Don’t forget that you can also lodge a complaint with the Office of the Canadian Privacy Commissioner.

How to submit a privacy complaint with the Privacy Commissioner

English: Bell Canada logo (1977-1994)
If you feel that your privacy has been, or is being, violated by someone or some organization, you can file a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner for Canada.  If your complaint is with a federal government department or agency, you can file the complaint under the Privacy Act.  If it with the private sector, you have to file the complaint under PIPEDA (the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act).

If, for example, you are concerned that Bell Canada (and now Virgin Mobile) are going to be collecting massive amounts of information about your surfing habits, your television habits, your calling habits or your texting habits, you may wish to make a complaint to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. Continue reading How to submit a privacy complaint with the Privacy Commissioner

Bell being investigated by Privacy Commissioner

Did you know that Bell Canada (and their daughter company Virgin Mobile Canada) plans to collect massive amounts of information about you and about your surfing habits?  Well they are, and it isn’t clear that they should be able to.  Here is an interesting article by CBC in Montreal that you should definitely read and think about.  Your privacy is yours to protect…you can be pretty certain that Bell won’t protect it as well as you would.

Here is a link to the article.

Get involved, inform yourself, speak out!