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Customer Review

277 of 286 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars How does this qualify as an upgrade? Hope you love ads built into your software, November 5, 2010
This review is from: Quicken Premier 2011 - [Old Version] (Software)
It was bad enough when Quicken simply littered your desktop with icons linking to Quicken Loans, Free Credit Reports (which are never free) and a sundry of other financial pay-to-play products. Now they've taken things to a whole new level with ads literally BUILT INTO the GUI (Graphic User Interface: the 'skin' with which you engage with the program). An example: in the new 'refinance calculator' there is a large banner ad for CHASE BANK. The refinance calculator itself is poor and majorly inferior to free ones available online, but more on that later. I don't expect to pay upwards of $50.00 for a piece of software that contains banner ads! That is simply unacceptable. In freeware, I understand it, but not in something I paid full retail for!

Adding insult to injury, INTUIT has actually removed one of the best features of previous Quicken releases, the CASH FLOW monthly chart. They've replaced it with a projected balances chart which is ugly, harder to read, and doesn't convey nearly as much information as the previous version. A line chart is inferior for the purpose, and INTUIT hasn't even managed to make the data points (low and high balance points along the chart) display the actual balance when you mouse over them. This is a miserably bad design--they've managed to take a very useful tool and turn it into garbage.

The supposed new features are junk. The refinance calculator is extremely simplistic compared to far better online versions (check out Equitrend Financial Calculators if you're looking for sophisticated, free calculators). It doesn't allow the user to enter current mortgage interest rate or PMI, and instead makes you enter the total payment and then the "impound / escrow amount." If you have your mortgage set-up to be tracked in Quicken, the tool cannot incorporate that data into your analysis. You must manually enter everything. The tool also does not take into account the tax implications of your refinance. Overall it is a tacked on, basic calculator that is nearly useless.

The obligatory re-skin of the program (which INTUIT trots out each year rather than making substantial or meaningful changes) is adequate, but unnecessary. Every year they tweak fonts, colors, and layout, and design elements. This year is no exception. None of the changes make the program more efficient for the end user. I don't have a problem with utilitarian designs, as long as the underlying software is substantial. INTUIT seems to leverage much of their development budget into GUI tweaks, while doing little to improve the software itself.

Another major issue is that INTUIT cannot manage to keep their data file consistent from year to year. 2011 is no exception and required me to convert my 2010 data file. Admittedly this was much more painless than the massive difficulty many experienced with upgrading from 2008 or 2009 to 2010. I wish that the developers at INTUIT would make a forwards compatible data file type and just stick with it.

SUMMARY:

PROS:

1) Potentially better GUI (depending on your preferences)

CONS:

1) Ads built into the GUI itself

2) Removal of a significant feature (cash flow and balance chart)

3) No substantial improvements to the underlying programs

4) Added 'features' are poor quality, even when compared with free alternatives

5) Requires yet another data-file conversion

6) Expensive! Especially considering the ads built into the program

FINAL THOUGHTS:

What am I getting for my money here? If you love this version of Quicken, can you kindly explain to me why it is worth upgrading? I have yet to find a single compelling reason. Am I missing something or did I just flush my money down the toilet?
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Comments

Tracked by 5 customers

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-10 of 18 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 2, 2010 9:31:18 PM PST
Mike M says:
Just the review I was looking for, one of the reasons I actually liked 2008 was that the Cash Flow worked.... and was helpful. Like you more and more frustrated with Intuit and their software, but will keep using it just not giving up 80.00 a year.

Posted on Jan 1, 2011 11:49:52 PM PST
Michael says:
Thanks for confirming that Quicken is still mostly the same old thing repackaged for the uninformed. I bought the 2009 version when I found out MS-Money had reached it's end of life. I've never liked Quicken's reporting features and that doesn't seem to have improved with 2011, so I think I'll wait another year.

Posted on Jan 9, 2011 6:11:00 PM PST
Holy Spirit says:
Excellent review. Someone needs to stand up against exploitation by these monopolies.

Posted on Jan 25, 2011 5:12:36 PM PST
M. Abt says:
The only reason you have to buy an "upgraded version" is that Intuit removes access to the online feature. The have done this with 2006 and do it again with the 2008 version. Simple moneymaker or rip off. If any body knows a personal finance software with all the features of quicken, please let me know

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 31, 2011 8:25:18 PM PST
Sorin Jianu says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 2, 2011 6:15:11 AM PST
Sorin Jianu:

No, they don't. But neither do they indicate on the product package (or the Amazon listing for that matter) that the product contains ads. If you bought a car that you were expecting to be just a normal car and it came painted up with Home Depot ads, you might feel a bit used, right? I agree with you that buying the right product is the consumer's responsibility, but one cannot do that successfully without all the facts.

Intuit builds in functional obsolescence into their products--that's anti-consumer no matter how you slice it. While you or I can certainly choose not to buy this product, if one has been using the software for 10+ years (before they made the auto update function die after 3 years) and has a set of complex financial information in a data file, it's hugely inconvenient to try and get that data into another program. Intuit changed the rules by which they were playing, and now that they are effectively a monopoly, there is very little anyone can do about it, except warn those considering buying their software for the first time.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 9, 2011 1:51:21 PM PST
They exploit you by forcing you to buy the new version or else you lose the online functions, such as downloading your stock prices, downloading your credit card charges, etc. I have the 2008 version which works fine for me but now I have to buy the new version to continue this functionality. Rip Off.........

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2011 3:28:57 PM PST
A. J. Miller says:
Yup, 2008 is dying on me in April. Think I'm going to give Mint a try, because I can't see shelling out $60 for a downgrade that adds advertisements. I tried it at a friends house, and it actually crashed MORE. Seriously sad.
Not to mention their customer support is ABYSMAL.

Posted on Mar 1, 2011 3:06:59 PM PST
the bear says:
same ole, same ole. i finally was forced to upgrade to quicken 2010 from quicken 2007. i have not seen a whole lot of advantage constantly upgraded from year to year and only do it when support ends. people need to wise up.

Posted on May 3, 2011 1:57:34 AM PDT
michaelbebad says:
gnucash.org. High learning curver however. But its free AND no ads!
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