I’ve been a long time Quicken user, 95% of that on the PC side. I tried the Mac version once years ago, found it to be a horrid experience and quickly went back to using it only on Windows. I use the software very simply, mostly as an electronic register linked to my online bank account. Checking, savings, a couple of credit accounts, etc. Bill pay and scheduled transactions. Am I running out of money or month first? I use categories so at the end of the year I can give Eric what he needs to do our taxes, and that’s about it.
Last year, I liked the new features in Quicken 2007, but decided it was silly to spend the $60 for the Deluxe version and went for the $30 Basic version instead. Works great, and does everything I need it to do and nothing more. Now Quicken 2008 is out and the Basic version I enjoyed this past year is no longer. I looked at the Starter edition which seems like the comparable product to the Basic version I currently use. No reason whatsoever to upgrade this round, as the only difference I can tell is a slightly rearranged layout. But then something caught my eye in the FAQ:
Can I import existing Quicken data into Quicken Starter Edition?
Quicken Starter Edition will not import data from any Quicken product. Existing Quicken users should not purchase Starter Edition 2008. Existing Quicken users should purchase Quicken Deluxe, Premier or Home & Business.
Excuse me? I was able to move from Deluxe 2005 to Basic 2007 last year and my data carried across perfectly. Now you’re telling me that I get one shot at the $30 version as a brand new customer, and after that I have no choice but to pay the $60 for functionality I don’t want nor need in order to keep current? I’m not giving Intuit a hard time for not offering something. I’m giving them a hard time for offering something as a carrot and then yanking it away. It was bad enough that Intuit did away with upgrade pricing and expected customers to pay full price each year, and now this? No one is forcing anyone to upgrade, but when you stagnate with Quicken versions there’s a catch…if you sync with your bank, eventually it will stop working with older versions. They getcha at every turn.
Added to to-do list over the next year: Find financial management software from a company that doesn’t hold its users’ data hostage (that runs on a Mac, preferably, since Quicken is one of the last reasons I still launch Parallels) and will import the 4 years of Quicken data I have and work seamlessly with my online accounts. If such an animal exists, I am so there. Suggestions?
Nice move, Intuit. Instead of keeping a happy customer that was willing to pay you a small amount steadily each year, you now have a customer who will go out of her way to never give you another dime.