How do I turn off auto renew?

The program constantly asks me to renew my membership and I don't want to.

Best Answers

  • John_in_NC
    John_in_NC SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    If you don't renew the program and continue to use it, you will continue to get the prompt to renew. There is no way to disable that.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    "Auto-renew" is when a company has your credit card and can automatically charge it when your subscription ends. In Quicken's case, you can change this by logging into your account on Quicken.com.

    But if you're talking about renewal notices, not auto-renewal, then what John wrote above is the bottom line: you can't get rid of that messaging. When Quicken was moving to their subscription pricing system several years ago, they originally planned to make non-renewed programs go into a read-only mode where you could access your existing data but not add anything more. Users protested, and Quicken relented by allowing users with lapsed subscriptions to continue to use the software manually indefinitely -- but their trade-off was inserting permanent messaging about renewals on parts of the screen. This infuriates some users, while others just deal with it, and some move on to other software I suppose. Apparently their marketing brain trust thinks they get more renewals by annoying people into it than they'd get with a softer/less frequent approach.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Eric Kuehnapfel
    Eric Kuehnapfel Member
    Accepted Answer
    Thank you John and Jacobs. Your answers are, as I suspected, exactly what I feared. The subscription model's rise among software developers may benefit their loyalists but for the rest of us it's a nightmare. As one of Quicken's first customers back in the day, I will deal with it for now, and also look for alternatives. The marketing brain trust should go back to school and study human psychology.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    Thank you John and Jacobs. Your answers are, as I suspected, exactly what I feared. The subscription model's rise among software developers may benefit their loyalists but for the rest of us it's a nightmare. As one of Quicken's first customers back in the day, I will deal with it for now, and also look for alternatives. The marketing brain trust should go back to school and study human psychology.
    The subscription model in software benefits the companies, plain and simple; it only tangentially benefits "loyalist" customers with, in theory, better products and services. I'm not going to defend the thinking or actions of the Quicken brain trust. ;) But I'll offer a different perspective to at least take a stab at why they might choose the approach they have.

    Remember that people like you, who intend/prefer not to renew are not valuable to them; they are former customers who represent no future income. You're only valuable to them if they can get you to renew. That may sound harsh, but that's generally the reality for any business: you're only a valuable if you continue to buy from the company.

    So let's take two hypothetical approaches for Quicken. If they have no annoying renewal messages, some people might never pay again and some people might renew several years down the road.  Let's say 100,000 customers don't renew at the end of their subscription, and let's say they lose 1/3 of customers permanently, and the other 2/3 renew again once every 5 years on average. Over 10 years, that gets them 133,333 annual subscriptions.

    Now let's say that the have the annoying renewal messages. More people would likely switch away from Quicken and never renew, but of the remaining people, more might decide not to fight the annoying messages and just renew. So take the 100,000 customers who don't initially renew at the end of their subscription, and say they now lose half those customers permanently. With the other 50,000 users, let's say 20% decide to renew right away, 20% decide to renew every third year, and the other 60% renew once every 5 years on average. Over 10 years, that gets them 193,333 subscriptions purchased -- or more or nearly 50% more revenue over 10 years. 

    Those numbers are just made up, but the MBA folks at Quicken, of course, have stats about renewal rates going back many years and can model this more accurately. But the point is that while they might annoy and drive more people people away, they generate more revenue. If you were running the business, which would you choose? (Of course, the devil is in the details: if they drive too many people away and their customer base shrinks too much, then they create a declining funnel where the only way to keep revenues up is to change an ever-smaller customer base higher fees. Conversely, if they can attract enough new customers to replace those who leave, their strategy of getting their customer base onto a reliable annual subscription payment insures long-term success which funds ongoing development and improvements and benefits to the owners.)

    I would think that there might be a better middle ground -- to prod former customers with light messaging and encouragement (e.g. a pop-up message and/or email once a month telling you what's new and what you're missing by not renewing your subscription) rather than a sledgehammer (permanently taking 20% of the screen to annoy you to renew). But since they haven't altered this approach in more than three years, I'm guessing their monitoring of renewal rates has convinced them to keep it this way. 


    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993

Answers

  • John_in_NC
    John_in_NC SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    If you don't renew the program and continue to use it, you will continue to get the prompt to renew. There is no way to disable that.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    "Auto-renew" is when a company has your credit card and can automatically charge it when your subscription ends. In Quicken's case, you can change this by logging into your account on Quicken.com.

    But if you're talking about renewal notices, not auto-renewal, then what John wrote above is the bottom line: you can't get rid of that messaging. When Quicken was moving to their subscription pricing system several years ago, they originally planned to make non-renewed programs go into a read-only mode where you could access your existing data but not add anything more. Users protested, and Quicken relented by allowing users with lapsed subscriptions to continue to use the software manually indefinitely -- but their trade-off was inserting permanent messaging about renewals on parts of the screen. This infuriates some users, while others just deal with it, and some move on to other software I suppose. Apparently their marketing brain trust thinks they get more renewals by annoying people into it than they'd get with a softer/less frequent approach.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Eric Kuehnapfel
    Eric Kuehnapfel Member
    Accepted Answer
    Thank you John and Jacobs. Your answers are, as I suspected, exactly what I feared. The subscription model's rise among software developers may benefit their loyalists but for the rest of us it's a nightmare. As one of Quicken's first customers back in the day, I will deal with it for now, and also look for alternatives. The marketing brain trust should go back to school and study human psychology.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    Thank you John and Jacobs. Your answers are, as I suspected, exactly what I feared. The subscription model's rise among software developers may benefit their loyalists but for the rest of us it's a nightmare. As one of Quicken's first customers back in the day, I will deal with it for now, and also look for alternatives. The marketing brain trust should go back to school and study human psychology.
    The subscription model in software benefits the companies, plain and simple; it only tangentially benefits "loyalist" customers with, in theory, better products and services. I'm not going to defend the thinking or actions of the Quicken brain trust. ;) But I'll offer a different perspective to at least take a stab at why they might choose the approach they have.

    Remember that people like you, who intend/prefer not to renew are not valuable to them; they are former customers who represent no future income. You're only valuable to them if they can get you to renew. That may sound harsh, but that's generally the reality for any business: you're only a valuable if you continue to buy from the company.

    So let's take two hypothetical approaches for Quicken. If they have no annoying renewal messages, some people might never pay again and some people might renew several years down the road.  Let's say 100,000 customers don't renew at the end of their subscription, and let's say they lose 1/3 of customers permanently, and the other 2/3 renew again once every 5 years on average. Over 10 years, that gets them 133,333 annual subscriptions.

    Now let's say that the have the annoying renewal messages. More people would likely switch away from Quicken and never renew, but of the remaining people, more might decide not to fight the annoying messages and just renew. So take the 100,000 customers who don't initially renew at the end of their subscription, and say they now lose half those customers permanently. With the other 50,000 users, let's say 20% decide to renew right away, 20% decide to renew every third year, and the other 60% renew once every 5 years on average. Over 10 years, that gets them 193,333 subscriptions purchased -- or more or nearly 50% more revenue over 10 years. 

    Those numbers are just made up, but the MBA folks at Quicken, of course, have stats about renewal rates going back many years and can model this more accurately. But the point is that while they might annoy and drive more people people away, they generate more revenue. If you were running the business, which would you choose? (Of course, the devil is in the details: if they drive too many people away and their customer base shrinks too much, then they create a declining funnel where the only way to keep revenues up is to change an ever-smaller customer base higher fees. Conversely, if they can attract enough new customers to replace those who leave, their strategy of getting their customer base onto a reliable annual subscription payment insures long-term success which funds ongoing development and improvements and benefits to the owners.)

    I would think that there might be a better middle ground -- to prod former customers with light messaging and encouragement (e.g. a pop-up message and/or email once a month telling you what's new and what you're missing by not renewing your subscription) rather than a sledgehammer (permanently taking 20% of the screen to annoy you to renew). But since they haven't altered this approach in more than three years, I'm guessing their monitoring of renewal rates has convinced them to keep it this way. 


    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • You sound like a person with a business background. Yes, the Harvard/Yale MBAs have it all figured out. Too bad the idea of improving your product for maximum benefit to your customer base is now merely a data point and not, geez, the whole point to begin with.

    Remember when Microsoft tried to buy Intuit back in the ‘90s and their reasoning went something like, “Why build a financial software program from scratch when someone else has already done it perfectly?” Problem is, 25+ years later there’s not much more improvement to be made. Here’s the advertised list of benefits for the latest update:

    1) Automatically receive regular updates with all the latest product enhancements - no need to continually upgrade; 8 out of 10 customers report experiencing the benefit of more frequent releases and fixes.
    2) Significantly faster experience managing investments on Quicken for Windows, investment register and certain portfolio view operations now up to three times faster.
    3) Quicken for Mac up to twice as fast: start-up, charts and graphs load twice as fast, backup is four times faster than prior versions.
    4) Includes over 500 customer-requested improvements and fixes plus significantly improved reliability.
    5) The most powerful connectivity to banks and brokerages of any personal finance software; more than 14,500 financial institutions and 11,000 online billers.

    Now this may sound impressive but in reality it’s darn thin stuff. Five hundred customer-requested improvements? Really? I’ve never had issues with speed in all the decades of using the program, nor am I concerned with security as I don’t use Quicken to connect with my bank (plus I have other security measures in place in my OS). Today pretty much all major banks and investment firms allow bill pay through their own secure web portals, which I take full advantage of, and I prefer to manually sync between my bank(s) and my stand-alone Quicken account. I’m a dinosaur, I know, but there’s something to be said about staying on top of your personal accounts this way.

    Lastly, there’s one thing Quicken could do to make a big improvement for their customers and that would be to provide free connectivity to banking institution instead of charging a fee for service you can get directly from your bank for free. But that will never happen, obviously, as the MBAs will be quick to point out it doesn’t make money for the them. Alas, as you point out, the customer’s benefits come after the company’s bottom line.

    Anyway, nice chatting and I think it’s time to Google “Best Quicken Alternatives” and check out what’s out there. Cheers!
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    @Eric Kuehnapfel I'd like to reply to a few of the points in your post...

    Problem is, 25+ years later there’s not much more improvement to be made.
    I'm a lifelong Quicken Mac user, so I've been on the bumpy road of the original Quicken needing to be completely re-written due to changes in operating systems and coding technology. For those of us using Quicken Mac, there have indeed been significant improvements over the past 7 years since the re-written version was first released, and there are many more significant improvements I anticipate will be coming in the years ahead.

    I realize the picture is different for Quicken Windows users, who are seeing smaller and more incremental changes. But even the Windows code needs to be modernized over time to keep up with changes in Windows, higher resolution computer displays, new online security protocols, etc. Keeping a legacy program running may not seem as impressive as shiny new features, but it doesn't happen without continual investment in the product. The Quicken Mac users out here all came face-to-face with the possibility of losing a program we had used for a decade or two when Intuit bungled the original efforts to create a modern Quicken Mac and the old program could no longer run on the then-current Mac operating system, so perhaps that makes me more appreciative of the amount of time, work and investment it takes just to avoid getting swallowed in the quicksand, let alone building new features.

    I’ve never had issues with speed in all the decades of using the program, nor am I concerned with security as I don’t use Quicken to connect with my bank (plus I have other security measures in place in my OS). 
    You didn't use the early versions of the modern Quicken Mac with 20 years of data, or you'd appreciate the speed improvements which have been made! When Quicken 2015 came out, it could take 40 seconds just to launch; now it takes less than 5. When the Mac developers implemented their optimizations several years ago, it was a jump up and down mom ent of joy for some of us. ;)

    Like you, I also do most of my Quicken use offline. But we're way in the minority; most Quicken users would cite online downloading of transactions as the number one feature they rely on in Quicken, and most would abandon the product if they couldn't connect and download. So even if this isn't an important feature for you, it's central for most users and is the lifeblood of the product.

    This just illustrates how we Quicken users all use the program so differently; a feature that's of top importance to me might be of no use to you, and visa versa. It's a Swiss Army knife, and few people use it all.

    There’s one thing Quicken could do to make a big improvement for their customers and that would be to provide free connectivity to banking institution instead of charging a fee for service you can get directly from your bank for free. But that will never happen, obviously, as the MBAs will be quick to point out it doesn’t make money for the them. Alas, as you point out, the customer’s benefits come after the company’s bottom line.
    So you expect the company to hire dozens of programmers and support personnel, purchase programming tools and computers and servers, pay for Internet bandwidth and phone call centers, etc. in order to provide a free service?? Who is going to pay for it? They need to make money to stay in business, of course.

    There are different possible revenue models. You could use something like Mint or Personal Capital for "free", and deal with being targeted for ads and service solicitations based on their ability to analyze your financial data. 

    Or you can use your bank's free services (which aren't really free because they're making money from you in other ways). But that doesn't allow you to pull together all your financial data in one place; your bank's bill payment service likely doesn't integrate your retirement investments or your mortgage. And if you desire to move to another financial institution, you risk losing all your historical data. These are reasons so many people use Quicken: having all my financial data, and my historical data, in one place and under one hood. To me, that's of huge importance, and why I've been a Quicken customer for nearly three decades.

    In the end, we each choose the tools to use that best fit our needs, and because our needs are different, we come to different conclusions about the tools we select. None of us owes Quicken loyalty. If you can find a tool to help you manage your personal finances as well or better than Quicken, for free or less money, you'd choose it. The people who stick with Quicken either consider it a fair value for what they spend on it, or have looked at the alternatives and concluded that Quicken offers the best combination of tools for their needs.

    Best wishes!
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
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