on October 19, 2011
I should have paid attention to the number of bad reviews for this software. I attributed them to users who had problems unique to their situations and that the software itself couldn't be that bad. Boy was I wrong.
I finally decided to move to Quicken after using MS Money for over a decade. I have been very satisfied with MS Money and have continued to use the sunset edition for the last couple years. Yes, it's a hassle to manually import .OFX files from each bank, but after trying Quicken, the hassle is well worth it.
Complaint 1: I had to purchase the latest edition. Every other major software company on the planet (ok exaggerating) offers downloadable trial software. Intuit does not. So to even try this software, I had to pay for it.
Complaint 2: It does not work as advertised. Intuit advertises cash flow forecasts (account balance forecast) and even shows screenshots of them, but in reality, they do nothing for the user. The forecasts show ONLY scheduled bills and do not take any planned budget spending into account. This makes them totally worthless. My spending account balance will not be $3000 at the end of the month. The $2900+ worth of budgeted transactions will reduce that, but does the balance forecast show that? No. The forecasts may be useful for savings accounts, or other non-liquid accounts, but are worthless for day-to-day, liquid accounts. Yes, you can set up budgets, and yes, you can set up scheduled bills, but nowhere in the software can you see the two together. To borrow from another online review I read...It's like having lumber in one hand, and a hammer and nails in the other hand and having no way to put the two together to actually build anything. In other words, both sections are nearly worthless since you can't use them together.
Complaint 3: The refund process. Amazon won't refund downloadable software....this I understand, EXCEPT for this garbage software. Normally, you don't want people to buy software, use it once, then return it for a full refund. That is theft, since the customer is using the software, and not paying for it in the end. I totally support Amazon's policy in most cases. However, this is one product that it SHOULD NOT apply to. Since Intuit offers no trial (see complaint 1), the only way to try it is to buy it. I tried it, didn't like it, and want my money back. Amazon said "too bad, so sad, contact Intuit".
Complaint 4 The refund process continued. I followed Amazon's instructions and sent the order information to Intuit. No response. I contacted intuit and got hold of a rep who apparently doesn't care about his job, or their customers. To summarize the call... Me: "I would like a refund" Him: "follow the instructions in this link I'm sending you (since I'm too busy to actually listen to you say that you already did)." Me: "I already did, I just want to know that my refund is in process" Him: no response. Me: "Hello, are you still there?" Him: "You'll need to follow the refund instructions I sent." Me: "I did. Can you tell me if you received my info" Him: "Let me check" ten minutes of silence Him: "What is your email address and when did you send the info" Me: provided info. ten more minutes elapse Him: "We don't have record of it. Refunds take 5-6 weeks. Don't call back until then"
I had heard that Intuit had very poor customer service, but again, I really didn't believe it could be as bad as people say. Well....it can, and then some.
Finally, I had to get my bank's fraud department involved who convinced Amazon to refund the money and agree to fight it out with Intuit themselves.
So, for now I will continue using MS Money sunset since it still has better budgeting and balance forecasting than Quicken has even if I have to manually download OFX files from each bank. It's really a shame that MS Money was discontinued. It seems that all the online stuff I found while trying to figure out if I was doing something wrong in Quicken, was correct. Intuit hasn't bothered to actually improve the software at all since MS Money no longer competes with them. Since they have no major competitors, they just don't care. It's a shame really.
Now, all that said, if you want softare that is "reactive" and shows you where your money went with simple, one click account updates, then Quicken seemed perfectly fine and why I'm giving two stars instead of only one. But by that same logic, using their mint.com stuff does the same thing, is free, and also provides mobile access. If you want software that is "proactive" and can actually help you plan for the future and see what your bank accounts will look like if you do x or y or z, and you don't mind updating each bank individually by downloading OFX files, then use the free MS Money Sunset.
Of course, if you want good proactive planning AND mobile access, well then, too bad. It doesn't exist. At least not in any easy to find, widely supported software/vendor.