Be forewarned, this is a rant.
Like Ed Sim over at BeyondVC, I really do not care for bad software.
I have been using Quicken since 1993. That’s thirteen years. And with thirteen years of financial data, Quiken could be the most deeply valuable piece of software on my machine. I know that the file that contains my financial data is the most important.
Possible exception is that picture I took of Kate when she was two.
For some reason that escapes me at the moment Intuit semi-forced me into upgrading my software program to 2005 awhile back. I did not care for the program too much from the start. They made it much more difficult to enter info in investment accounts by removing the ability to do so via a register. It literally made the interface not usable for that purpose. So I switched to downloading all the transactions from my brokerage accounts. Something that is not an easy process, but further ensnares me in the software. I am sure some 0_o product manager over at Intuit has ensnaring users as a metric.
On top of this the net worth tracking module in the main view of Quicken 2005 is a mess. For some reason, it does match up with the acutal numbers in the financial overview. This has been going on for me for some time. And with the Kokomo Kid on her summer tour, I decided now is the time to fix the problem.
And over the past two days, or more correctly nights, I have spent at least 12 hours trying to get this fixed.
Quicken’s online support forums offered no help. None. So I took it upon myself to call customer support. Three things stand out from that experience. One is that the first thing they tell you is that it is going to cost $25 to talk with someone. Two is that no one named Kate or Jack is going to answer the phone. Three is that the people that have been hired in GMT +5.5 do not use the software or have any clue on how to help people.
The first woman that I talked to was more interested in getting my credit card number than solving the problem. She ran me through an export/import process that left my checking account wiht about $350k more than it has. She insisted she had fixed the problem and that if a gave another rep my charge number (a telling sign about the internal thought process), that they would fix my problem if she had not.
After spending a few hours trying to bring the accounts up to date I noticed that the same problem had appeared.
I called again. Dude’s English was so bad I just hung up.
Called again. Nice person. Could not solve the problem. Escalated me to an “Investment Specialist”. That’s progress.
The Specialist spends 10 minutes reversing the charge on my card. Walks me through a rather convuluted process to get the figures to match. Seems to be a known bug. There is no published solution. Makes very certain I give him high marks in the survey to follow. Now I can’t replicate the process.
Lots of people in the tech world today seem to think that customer service does not matter. It does. Right behind a good product. Somebody at Intuit needs to go buy the MacBook Pro that I want, fling it against the wall, or something slightly less destructive, and experience Apple’s support. Good, no not good, a great experience every time.
I am not alone in my feelings on the direction of Intuit.
It will be interesting to see if Intuit has some clue, is monitoring the blogosphere, and sends in the Cavalry.
I bet not. I hope that I am wrong.