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Seeing bogus categories on downloaded transactions

I have had problems for the last couple of major releases with downloaded transactions showing up with bogus categories. For instance, today I downloaded a charge to a hair salon, and it suggests "Personal Care:ZZZZZ". There doesn't seem to be a pattern to the occurrences; sometimes the category is properly assigned, sometimes not.

Does anyone have a clue why? Does anyone at Quicken care?


  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    Check your Renaming Rules.  Because the categories DON'T DOWNLOAD.
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription,  Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • Bob Blizard
    Bob Blizard Member ✭✭
    I know that. I have reviewed memorized payees, renaming rules, and run validations. Have never seen this string anywhere. It turns up on different top level categories whenever it feels like.

    This the kind of stuff that makes me think there is only part time Qa on this product, done by middle-schoolers.
  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    "This the kind of stuff that makes me think there is only part time Qa on this product, done by middle-schoolers. "
    Most of the SuperUsers here are also Beta Testers for Q.
    Why would you expect help from us when you insult us?
    I'm outta here.
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription,  Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • Bob Blizard
    Bob Blizard Member ✭✭
    Sorry if I came across as snarky (I did). I just get frustrated when bugs like this hang around across multiple versions. I’m an old IT guy and Customer Services mgr, and this stuff used to drive me nuts, both on the giving and receiving end.

    Anyway, there must be a line of test code buried in the source that spits out these loony categories when Quicken can’t decide what category to use. If it comes out, it has to be in there somewhere.
  • Greg_the_Geek
    Greg_the_Geek SuperUser, Windows Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    Are you depending on Quicken to categorize transactions? 
    Quicken Subscription HBRP - Windows 10
  • Bob Blizard
    Bob Blizard Member ✭✭
    No, but Q should either make an attempt to assign a plausible and real category, or make no comment and leave it up to me. This is a bug.

    I can think of several enhancements/features to add, but they’re outside the scope of this thread.
  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    You said: and it suggests "Personal Care:ZZZZZ"
    Is that verbatim, a subcategory named "ZZZZZ" under "Personal Care"?
    Or are you using ZZZZZ as a generic placeholder instead of a real subcategory name?
    Did you create this subcategory?
    Can you show us examples of transactions using such category? And can you show us your Category List, sorted by Category, showing Personal Care and subcategories?
    Do you have entries in your Memorized Payee List using such category?
    Are you perhaps looking at a Budget view and you are seeing:
    - Personal Care
    - Personal Care: Other
    - Personal Care: Hairsalon
    - Personal Care: Fitness Center
    - etc.
    The "Other" in the list above is a pseudo (non-existent virtual) category needed by Budget views to (a) show transactions categorized to main category Personal Care instead of one of the subcategories and (b) make for correct roll-up totals from all subcategories up to the main category.

    Can you please capture one or more images of the parts of your Quicken window showing the issue, sensitive information blacked out as necessary to protect your privacy but annotated to describe the situation, and attach the image(s) here?
    The Windows Snipping Tool (available with Windows 7 and up) can be used to capture a partial screen image and save it to a file.  Microsoft Paint can be used to annotate the image.
    To take a screenshot in Mac please see https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201361
    Please create image files of type PNG, JPG or GIF only.
    To attach the image here, start composing your reply in the "Type your comment" box at the bottom of this webpage. Drag and drop the image or, at the top of the text entry window you'll see a row of icons beginning with B I S
    Click the "Attach image" icon (the one that looks like a tiny landscape with mountain and sun). It will allow you to select and upload the captured image file(s) from your computer. The captured image(s) will be inserted at wherever the cursor is located in the text.

  • Bob Blizard
    Bob Blizard Member ✭✭
    That is precisely what comes up as the suggested category. I know I have also seen it against “Auto & Transport”, and possibly others. The two I have named absolutely have shown up.

    As I mentioned in an earlier message in this thread, I have scoured Quicken for any occurrences of these categories. I have never created these codes, nor have I voluntarily assigned one to a transaction, though I might have missed one appearing as part of the downloads (suggested by Quicken, not part of the download). I doubt the latter, as I just looked in Quicken transactions and could find no such categories. I used both Reports and inspecting my account transaction registers, sorting by category.

    So, it still seems to be a bug, or at best an unwanted feature.
  • GeoffG
    GeoffG SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2019
    The "ZZZZ" you are seeing is not a bug, it's typically used as an end of file marker and should never display to the user. I believe it may be a sign of data corruption. Have you run a file validation?
    As a test you could try a backup file and see if you receive the same behavior.
    user since '92 | Quicken Windows Premier - Subscription | Windows 10 Pro version 20H2
  • Bob Blizard
    Bob Blizard Member ✭✭
    Yes. Validations report only a few missing stock splits, but no corruption.

    Seeing as this error is intermittent, I would need to pick a not to-recent file, maybe 6 months old, restore it, and then try to download and apply thousands of transactions. And then, if I see this EOF mark, do I 86 the file and get another one 6 months older, and start again? I think not.

    I seem to remember that early versions of Quicken allowed you to export the data and import elsewhere, but I believe this has gone by the wayside. Correct?

    Other ideas?
  • Bob Blizard
    Bob Blizard Member ✭✭
    It's a year later and I am still seeing this annoying behavior. It is intermittant, it strikes different transactions (Hair, Gas, etc.), and it does not show up in a file validation. I do auto categorize. I have seen a suggestion to turn this feature off; that is a cop-out. If there is a bug in the code that prevents the product from performing correctly, turning off the feature to avoid having to deal with the problem is _not a solution_.

    Does anyone have a constructive suggestion? Has this been put on the list to correct? It obviously has not been addressed yet. My version of Quicken is up to date. See attached screen clip.
  • Quicken_Tyka
    Quicken_Tyka Moderator mod
    Hello @Bob Blizard

    Thank you for the additional details although I apologize that you have not received a response and are still facing this issue.

    There is currently no bug ticket open for this issue. As this issue is intermittent it can be hard to recreate and report.

    To be able to report this issue, I would need a copy of the active data file. If this is something you are willing to provide, please let me know and I will reach out to you directly.

    If not, I would recommend navigating to Help > Report a Problem to report this issue.

    This report will not receive a response but will be sent to the development team to be used for investigative purposes.

    Please let me know!

    -Quicken Tyka

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