Quicken not updating prices
If you're a Quicken user, you probably know that unless you upgrade at least once every three years, you'll be cut off from all online services -- such as bill paying, and downloading banking or credit card transactions -- by April 30 of the third year. Then there were the changes Intuit had made to the program's user interface over the years that forced me to change my habits every 12 months. Last year, after checking out the new features and the user reviews for Quicken 2014 on Amazon (users gave it roughly three stars out of five), I decided to hold out for a third and final year. Angry users have called it plenty of you upgrade Quicken every year? But a few years ago, I began to question whether each new version's bells and whistles, many of which I didn't need, were worth the price.
(The product's biggest competitor, Microsoft Money, had been discontinued in 2009).When Quicken 2015 was introduced last fall, there were the usual improvements to the Windows version, while the user reviews on Amazon seemed, on the whole, similar to the previous year's.Had it not been for the Discontinuation Policy, I would have passed on this version and waited for Quicken 2016.Challenging Intuit to a game of Quicken Chicken may not work for you. Once this report is published and the word is out, Intuit may change its strategy.But I still think that the longer you hold out -- even until early April if you can -- the better your chances of being offered a free upgrade.If you'd like to avoid losing your online services without having to pony up for a Quicken upgrade after three years, you should try playing it, too.
As with the classic game of chicken, in Quicken Chicken both contestants must be at risk. The trick is to put Intuit at enough risk that it will fold before you do.
If Intuit wants to spare its Bill Pay customers this triennial headache, it ought to eliminate the annual upgrade fee altogether for them.
Quicken's Discontinuation Policy is just one more example of the tech industry's disrespect for consumers that I cover regularly on my blog.
Intuit sent this postcard to my house in early 2015, offering a $10 discount. As in earlier years, I had found lower prices for Quicken at retailers -- even allowing for the $10 discount -- than if I bought directly from Intuit.
For example, as I write this, Amazon is offering Quicken 2015 Deluxe for $42.41 and Staples for $44.99, while the Quicken site lists its discounted price at $64.99.
It's never a good idea to upgrade a piece of software just before using it for an important job. On February 26 -- two months before the cutoff -- I received this email in which Intuit offered a free upgrade to Quicken Premier 2015, a "$104.99 value." The reason for Intuit's cave is right there in the first paragraph: "Because you are a dedicated Quicken Bill Pay customer." Of course I was a dedicated Quicken Bill Pay customer!