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Why Do Checks Now Take So Long To Be Delivered?

Previously, with Quicken Bill Pay, I specified the date a check was to arrive. I could very reliably depend on the check arriving within a day of the specified date. Checks to many large established businesses were paid electronically typically within 24 hours.

 Now, with Quicken Bill Manager, the date the check is to be sent (not paid) is specified and it is typically taking a minimum of seven to ten days for the check to arrive, never less but sometimes much more. All checks are mailed and none are sent electronically. These long arrival times have been occurring since September so are not holiday-related although the times were significantly exacerbated in December with seven checks mailed 12/10 well over three weeks "in the mail".

 It is not uncommon for me to receive a "reminder that your bill is due" from both my AT&T accounts even though the checks are ordered sent within 24 hours of receiving the email invoice. There is an option in Quicken for "Quick Payee" but each account requires me to provide Quicken with the account login ID and password (assuming I even have one).

Quicken Bill Pay did not need me to have an online account for the checks that were sent electronically. Additionally, providing Quicken with login IDs and passwords for each bank, utility, etc. seems like a very dumb thing to do because Quicken is not immune from being hacked.

 In any case, starting immediately after the transition from Bill Pay to Bill Manager, the Quicken check sending service has significantly degraded with respect to the timely arrival of checks. I am posting this message as feedback and hope enough feedback will drive improvements to return Quicken to the reliable excellence it once provided.

[Edited-Readibility] 

Answers

  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 27
    I see lots of posts in here along the lines of your post regarding late payments, some of which include complaints about late charges associated with this tardiness.
    In the main you're talking to other users of Quicken here, though there are Quicken employees that monitor this site.
    It takes considerable effort to set up a reliable and responsive "bill pay" system and perhaps Quicken will get there one day, but in the meantime there are other approaches you might take.
    My approach is to not use the Quicken system but instead use the check (or ACH) issuing feature of my own bank.  My bank happens to not be connected to Quicken for the actual "payment" aspect, (I issue my own instructions to the bank), but it does provide very reliable electronic billing notifications.  Some banks even provide for a direct connection between Quicken and the bank such that "writing" the check in Quicken means those instructions flow directly to the bank. 
    Another approach that I see frequently is that users set up automatic payments directly with each of their payees, so that the required payment are "pulled" from their checking account at the appropriate time, in the appropriate amount.  In this day and age most every service provider or biller provides for this.  One advantage of this approach is that all those login ID's and passwords aren't stored centrally, except by you.
  • Barryng
    Barryng Member ✭✭
    Thanks for your thoughts Tom. I realize this forum is for users but I would think Quicken monitors the discussions here. I think it is essential they see customer feedback and hope they take advantage of these discussions for that purpose. There certainly are other methods of sending checks and paying bills. However, I used Quicken for over 20 years for both my personal and a small business account. I really do not want to change to new systems and loose continuity of what is now a single continuous and complete data base of all transactions for the past 20+ years. There are many more transactions than payments sent by Quicken. The check register is central to recording and integrating everything in a single place. Therefore, I am very resistant to move to other systems. Although I understand the demise of Metavante's service drove these changes, I am very frustrated because, from the perspective of a long time satisfied Quicken customer, Quicken is no longer the elegant and useful software it once was.
  • Lysander Spooner
    Lysander Spooner Member ✭✭✭
    Tom Young said:

    My approach is to not use the Quicken system but instead use the check (or ACH) issuing feature of my own bank.  


    BINGO! Cost is free for my account. Also, I pay directly from the vendor's website so payment is credited on the date specified even if the ACH clearance takes place a day or so later. NEVER, EVER get a late fee this way. It does take some effort but works.

  • Barryng
    Barryng Member ✭✭
    So, if I understand what your saying, instead of Quicken being the "One Stop Shop" for all transactions associated with each of my two checking accounts (two banks) as it once was, I now must log into the appropriate bank's site, order the ACH payment, then take the time to reenter everything, with an increased risk of error, into the Quicken check register in order to maintain a single database. Yes, that will work but is only fixing one problem (excessive delay in receipt of payment) and replacing it with another (reentering the transaction into the Quicken check register). To be fair, USPS first class mail service appears to have suddenly significantly degraded about the same time time Quicken degraded the elegance and utility of the system it once had. Therefore, I now think a component (but not all) of the much longer delivery times results from within the USPS. Nevertheless, checks are consistently now taking over a week to be delivered with a consequential number taking two to three weeks (8 checks sent 12/10 did not arrive until after 1/4).
  • Lysander Spooner
    Lysander Spooner Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 30
    I process less than 10 ACH payments a month and maybe 3 that have checks that end up in USPS. So paying extra for Quickens Premier service is not worth if for me.

    I have all my recurring payments scheduked in Quicken, so the only additional manual entry is amount and payment confirmation number received from the payee's website when I schedule a payment, typically a credit card.

    For the scheduled recurring payments that end up in USPS from my bank's bill pay system there is no manual entry at all. I just download my bank transactions within Quicken. I have all other payments setup to AUTO PAY from the payee's end so there is no manual entry. These are also scheuled in my check register in Quicken. So all I do is a monthly reconcilliation. No manual entry at all.

    This is they way I like doing it. I see zero benefit in paying Quicken more money to do what I can do in less than 10 minutes a month.

    If you make the same payments every month are you scheuling them in Quicken? If not, this will save you from any additional manual entry. Also, if pay the same amount each month to a creditor then you can batch schedule many months in advance at your bank's bill pay facility and further reduce your manual entry. I typically scheudle 12 months at time in ACH payments in my bank's bill pay for those payments that are going to be the same each month.
  • Barryng
    Barryng Member ✭✭
    Previously I could schedule checks and I certainly did schedule most checks. For example, each month eight checks were sent on the same date with the same amount to the same eight payees. However the date sent (dependent on a deposit clearing) and amount (dependent of revenue) changed each month. These eight checks were scheduled and each month all auto populated into the check register on the specified date. It was easy and quick to change the amount and date appropriate for that month in the already populated check register. Then, all it took was a quick scan the eight checks to assure no errors, a single click of the "Update" button and I was done. For my personal account, repeating bills populated and, again, all I had to do was change the date and amount and click "Update". Now, a scheduled check is automatically ordered sent on the day scheduled with the amount specified when it was scheduled. Obviously, it is impossible to schedule a payment unless the exact amount and date it can be sent is known when it is scheduled and that applies to very few of the business and personal item I am responsible for. I also am not at all comfortable having a check automatically ordered sent without giving it a final OK on the day the order goes out. Now, I must individually enter and send each check after I learn the amount and then not until the day I learn when it is OK to send them. This works, but compared to the flexible and elegant method previously available for over 20 years, it causes me more time and work, more room for error, and does not make make the Quicken coders that revised the software shine. There just doe not seem to be any practical reason why I cannot schedule checks to auto populate the register, make any necessary changes, and then send all ready to send with a single click click like previously.
  • iMoonlight
    iMoonlight Member
    I've used check pay 2 times already to pay this bill. In general, check pay takes a exceedingly long (at least 10 days). Much longer than the old Bill Pay used to take.
  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 3
    Some of the Check Pay delays may be due to a variety of USPS delivery issues caused by cut backs, COVID, and the weather.
  • mzreed
    mzreed Member
    I spent almost three hours on the Quicken help line and was finally able to find out some information on the check pay delay issue.

    The first two customer service reps said that Quicken was now using only the bank Check pay services at my bank. I called my bank and they said that this is not the case. The checks that are being issued do not come from my bank.

    My bank called Quicken support on my behalf, because they are awesome!, and we found another rep who said that in fact there is a third party vendor and that the delays are the fault of the USPS.

    I said that I find that hard to believe and that they should look into it because missing payment due dates is A BIG DEAL! I had three calls this month from my payees!!

    The rep stated that they were not going to do anything because it is not there fault.

    I don’t think this is the way to look at this issue. 1) Quicken provides the service. 2) I pay Quicken for the service and 3) Quicken is blaming the USPS.

    QUICKEN MUST TAKE OWNERSHIP OF THIS ISSUE.

    I just last week paid my subscription fee and last month had to pay extra for checks to be sent that took 20 days to arrive.

    I noticed that one check pay in my “check status” said it was sent on the 1/15 but the check that arrived was written on the 1/19 so there is four days right at the beginning stuck in the cue. It probably wasn’t posted for a couple more days. Unfortunately, the USPS doesn’t date stamp bulk mail so will never know but I am watching.

    Please fix this issue or I will be forced to take alternate measures to include cancelling my 20 year run with quicken.
  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭

    About your Bill Pay / Bill Manager issues

    My 2cents' worth:
    I don't use Bill Pay / Bill Manager at all. Since time "B.I." (before the Internet was invented) I have set up almost all of my recurring payments as Direct Debit, PAC Draft, Autopay, APS, whatever the biller calls it. Just authorize the biller to debit the payment directly from your checking or credit card account on due date, sit back, relax and wait for it to happen.

    When I get notified of a new statement having arrived, usually by email, all I have to do in Quicken is to run a regular scheduled reminder to record the transaction. Haven't missed a payment in many years.


  • Barryng
    Barryng Member ✭✭
    On Saturday, January 16, 2021 I created a check with the same date. The check was actually dated Tuesday, January 19, the next business day (1/18 was a holiday). It did not arrive until yesterday, February 4, 2021, 16 days later. Most interesting, if the checks are mailed via first class mail, how does Quicken get feedback from the USPS to be able to state, when requesting the subject check's status, "Estimated delivery date: 2021-02-03"? Checks that have not been delivered yet state "Printed and delivered to US Mail" so the status provided by Quicken changes well after the check was apparently sent. There is no tracking provided by the USPS for first class mail so what mail service is Quicken using to mailing the checks. Maybe this helps explain why checks are now taking substantially and unacceptably longer to be delivered. Again, I understand Quicken had to implement many significant changes when the Metavante service was discontinued. Nevertheless, I cannot begin to understand why the delivery time for checks is not upward of three to four weeks for the majority of checks I order sent.
  • mzreed
    mzreed Member
    UKR, The checks I use check pay for are ones that do not have auto pay or electronic bill pay available. Most of the time these are individuals.
  • mzreed
    mzreed Member
    Barring, I am completely with you! I found out they are using a new third party check pay processor who is blaming the USPS for Quickens problem.

    The software is working as designed, it is the the third party that is dropping the ball. I too had checks sent on the 1/15 that did not arrive until 2/6. If you look at the check status it says delivered to post office on the day “payed” or the day after but if you look at the actual check that was sent to the payee, it was dated 4-5 days later. Then who knows how long it took for someone to drop them in a post office box.

    Please take ownership of this problem Quicken!
  • Barryng
    Barryng Member ✭✭
    > @mzreed said:
    > UKR, The checks I use check pay for are ones that do not have auto pay or electronic bill pay available. Most of the time these are individuals.

    I manage a small business and I send nine checks every month to the same nine individuals, not businesses. That is why having the ability to make ACH transfers direct to these individuals would be such a huge convenience for me.
  • Barryng
    Barryng Member ✭✭
    For whatever its worth, I just received the envelope for the check I discussed above that took 16 days to be delivered. There is no post mark but printed where a stamp would go is, "FIRST-CLASS MAIL PRESORTED U.S. POSTAGE PAID DENVER, CO PERMIT NO. 2450". So, again, since there is no tracking associated with first class mail, how can the status provided by Quicken change well after the check was "Printed and delivered to US Mail". I want to believe the statuses provided by Quicken are accurate but this apparent discontinuity is very troubling, especially as checks are taking so unreasonably long to be delivered. As I understand it, whomever is sending the checks pays slightly less postage per item by presorting by zip code. I am not aware this also includes any tracking.
  • Richard@
    [email protected] Member ✭✭✭
    To add fuel to the fire, Check pay mailed a check on 2/5 with a USPS indicated delivery date of 2/12 - Check has not been received by the vendor as yet - 2/18.  About to miss the due date and I purposely scheduled it to mail 15 days early.  Never had the problem before with Quicken's previous vendor!!!
  • Quicken_Tyka
    Quicken_Tyka Moderator mod
    edited February 18
    Hello all,

    Thank you for taking the time to visit the Community to report this issue. Although I apologize for any frustration that this has caused.

    This feedback has been forwarded to the proper channels for consideration. However, check pay payments are mailed via USPS and due to ongoing postal delays, some payments may be delayed in delivery. 

    The estimated delivery date may not be present on every single check payment that gets sent out. It's reliant on the USPS personnel scanning the envelope when it's out for delivery, and there's only a 90% capture rate.

    These two factors are not within Quicken's control, however, we apologize for the inconvenience this has caused and are aware of the frustration being experienced by members.

    Thank you,
    -Quicken Tyka
    ~~~***~~~
  • Barryng
    Barryng Member ✭✭
    Thank you Quicken Tyka.
  • jmrydzon
    jmrydzon Member ✭✭
    I don’t believe USPS is the problem. Earlier this year, I received late notices from some payees, although the I scheduled their payments to arrive a week ahead of the due dates. Quicken support blamed Covid, USPS, etc. Not knowing what happened to the checks, I repaid through Chase. The chase checks arrived and were deposited a few days later. Several days after that, the Quicken checks finally showed up.

    I’ve subsequently switched all my bill paying to Chase and now my checks arrive on time.

    Like many others, I have used Quicken for over 20 years and am very disappointed in its transition to a clunky bill paying system. Also, where is the recurring payment ability that was to be available “soon”?
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