Cheap Quicken now a one-time deal. Thanks for nothin' Intuit.

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.

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8 thoughts on “Cheap Quicken now a one-time deal. Thanks for nothin' Intuit.

  1. Joe says:

    Intuit is trying to drive customers to use its products, not trying to drive products to its customers. It will lose. You are unhappy – rightfully so. They do not have a customer centric focus and that is why you see many people leaving Intuit and heading for others services. If you only have bank accounts feeding into Quicken you have many choices.

    I suggest that consider waiting until Intuit pulls the rug from you (about three years) and will not let you download data – then move to one of the other services. Quicken will be in a death spiral.

  2. David Powelstock says:

    I am so with you Judi. I’ve been using Quicken for years. The program gets better only very gradually. There are still some really annoying glitches in the interface. But their marketers’ ingenuity in coming up with ever newer tactics for pushing you forward into ever newer, higher and more expensive versions is boundless. This new “Starter Edition” business really riles me, even though I’ve been using and will continue to use the Deluxe version. I’m still running 2005 and I’m not sure I’m going to upgrade until I’m absolutely forced to, and I know that I eventually will be forced to!

  3. I feel for you. We went through the same thing a couple of years ago. After spending almost $200 on one version of Quicken, I got an email stating that my bank sync was “expiring”. It took me a while to figure out that what they were saying was that I needed to spend another $150 to keep my bank info. I called/emailed only to learn that the only way I can step down, was to uninstall (and lose) my old version and get the basic version. However, none of my old stuff could be imported. For that, I needed to get the Deluxe version, which doesn’t have all the features I needed. Ugh.

    I wound up paying the $150 for the upgraded version so I can sync with my bank. Guess what. It doesn’t work. Quicken then told me that the sync was only a 3 month trial and that I had to upgrade to the next one up to sync.

    I’ll not be buying any more Quicken products.

  4. Jerad Hollerbach says:

    I agree with you, this is complete garbage! They are pulling the carpet out from under many long time users with this hair brained idea. I will probably stay with Quicken 2007 BASIC until I’m forced to upgrade, at which time I will find a competitor product. If this is how Intuit does business I no longer want to give them any of my money.

  5. Hank says:

    There is another solution that lets you run your accounting from any web browser (so Mac and Windows), it is called efinancials they are a full accounting application probably more like quickbooks. They are looking for Beta testers and are giving a year free if you signup now

  6. Kenneth says:

    I totally agree. When I went to buy the 2008 update, I looked at the Deluxe version. It did not have have any advanced features that interested me so I bought the Starter version thinking it was a new name for the basic version. When I got home my wife was looking at the box and noticed the no import feature. It was lucky that I had not yet opened the box so I will be taking it back.

    Being force to buy a higher priced version with features I will not use seems to me to be a form of price increase. Therefore, I do not plan to this year and will begin be looking for alternatives to Quicken.

  7. Paul Creamer says:

    Well for me… Im at 2007, and I did try to use at least two of the alternatives…
    MS MOney & some website choice..

    so far, Im sticking w/2007, but like the above, I aint going 2008, and hopefully wont go 2009.

    It seems Intuit doesnt want customers.

    My own bank is considering to dump quicken related.
    Btw, they are one of the largest banks in USA.

    They are also working on their own version that will be similar.

    I figure quciken will go under in 2-5 years or sooner unless they relize finally that much of their methods is cutting their own throat.

  8. j winters says:

    More people need to be aware of inuit's policies. They don't tell you up front and then pull the rug from under you once you've been using the product. What they are doing is like the old "bait and switch" routine. I thought there were laws about that? You don't sell a product and then remove features from it to make customers buy a newer version.
    I hope others read this site so they can make an informed decision. If they do, I agree with others above, Intuit is NOT an orgainization I would invest in or purchase products from.

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