Category Archives: Integrity

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.

 

The growing “support yourself” attitude from developers

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How many times has this happened to you? You upgrade your software to the newest version and a critical function stops working? Or you are using software and you realise that some important functions were developed by folks that didn’t understand our didn’t care what the function was supposed to do?

So you hit help and it takes you to a poorly designed help function that hasn’t been updated since three major versions ago. So, now you Google the support page with hopes that Google will get you closer to support for your version, and voila… You are taken to a support page for your version of the software that tells you what a smart consumer you were for buying their software. It gives you a link to support for the software … and that support consists of a poorly designed FAQ page whose answers all take you back to the same “congrats for buying our software” page.

You then look for other service options … which you find are limited to a pay option (for software you purchased) or the ubiquitous “ask the community” option.

You opt for the latter option and find yourself reading about hundreds of other users with the same question with a few “try this and hope” answers from the community … but nary a comment or response from the development team.

So now you find yourself wondering why no one from the development team is moderating the discussion pages and providing definitive answers to common questions (or at the very least, taking note of the problems and either fixing them out documenting the workaround for the issue).

This happens to me all the time and I’m getting tired of it. I always try to solve problems on my own, reading the manuals; reading online help blogs; reading community fora; and then I search in vain for a way to contact the vendor.

I know you can’t talk to every user individually, but if you are putting out software, you have to let people know how you expected them to use it and you have to seek feedback for those occasions where it doesn’t work the way you expected. If you set up a community support area, you have to monitor it, looking for common problems and answering them definitively.

You also need to see where users may be confused about what you expected them to do and find ways to correct their expectations.

Finally, if some function in your software isn’t working and you can’t fix it, you need to acknowledge the deficiency and update all of the community blogs and help documents to tell folks it doesn’t work and not too bother looking for solutions. You then need to come up with a timeline for really fixing the problem and let your users know when it will be fixed.

So what do you think? Is there anything we can do to fix this problem? Is it a problem at all?