Conduct a postmortem after problems and publish results to the customer base

Quicken Development Team:

My profound thanks for Version R38.29, Build! After weeks of agonizing failures to synchronize accounts, at least for me this product finally seems to be restored to its former glory. I am sure that you were exhausted while making this achievement possible.

The purpose of my following notes is to encourage you to conduct a postmortem of what went wrong in the development and testing phases. I also request that you share with your customer base your plans for avoiding such future disasters. I am sure we are a large and loyal base, and as paying customers we would like reassurances on how you will make improvements and avoid such pervasive damage.

As a Quicken customer, my purpose for initiating this discussion is to increase the awareness of Quicken management, developers, and support staff of the negative experiences of their user base. The Quicken Deluxe product has been my choice for years; I depend on it. I have lost faith in the product because of the recent rash of synchronization problems and the inconsistency of your technical support. Now is your time to review why these problems occurred and to seek improvements.

Here are some starting discussion points:

1. We need more thorough testing of Quicken versions before being released.

The prevalence of recent errors suggests that the testing procedures are not sufficient. The exposure of the customer base to breakdowns in their abilities to manage their accounts and finances has more implications than just inconvenience.

2. The ability for a customer to revert (uninstall) a problematic software update and resume with the previous installed version has become important.

3. When the customer surfaces difficult technical issues, a Support Team Agent should be able to quickly escalate them to a higher level, and the customer should be allowed to continue with his conversation at this next level.

An agent is very reluctant to elevate a problem. The initial contact with a Support Team agent is generally an effort to identify and screen the complexity of the problem. This could (and has) taken hours and is repeated every time a follow-up call about the issue is made. If the support agent needs more expertise, a more experienced agent should be contacted and allowed to converse with the customer and view the customer’s screen.

There are also difficulties with language accents in telephone conversations, the ranges of competence, agent fatigue, high background noise during telephone conversations (both within an agent’s call center or home environment), and unreliable telephone circuits. And encourage the agent to request a callback number.

4. A customer is at an impasse when a technical problem is not accepted by either the customer’s financial institution or by Quicken. Quicken should take a lead role in negotiating with a recalcitrant financial institution. A Quicken Ombudsman could be helpful.

5. The use of the Community forum is less effective in managing customer problems. The Quicken forum supplements but does not compare well with trouble ticket systems used throughout the IT industry.

Depending heavily upon the forum is not a good customer experience. The customer should be able to confirm the status of a reported problem, provide additional information to the support team, receive information and attachments to mitigate the problem, follow written steps to help analyze a problem, and agree when the problem is resolved.

(6. And since you read this far, my sincere thanks! My intention is to be helpful and not just critical)

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  • mrzookie
    mrzookie Member ✭✭✭✭
    Agree with everything you wrote.

    I, personally, have not experienced many of the problems I read about, but I'm very conservative about doing app updating. I have them flagged in Windows so they can't install without my approval, and I wait until all the dust settles before doing so.

    I've been a Quicken booster, but its become obvious that their dev process has slipped back to the bad old days. Things had gotten awful, but seemed to improve after the split from Intuit. There was a time a few years back when I was confident enough to just click update anytime a new one came out, but not anymore  Perhaps they're strapped due to the pandemic, I don't know, but the hot-fixes on top of hot- fixes are causing as many problem as they're solving, sometimes more. I'm sure the Schwab debacle unnerved everyone and put them into panic mode, but they need to just stop for awhile and focus.  Fix the dev process and shore up the testing process before releasing new updates. They need to win back user confidence. When they're losing people like me, who are on their side, they're in trouble.
  • leishirsute
    leishirsute Member ✭✭✭✭
    It was my concern that when  Quicken started using a subscription model, the developers would get accustomed to rolling out frequent updates and treating a captured subscription audience as "beta" testers for numerous patches while reducing the due diligence on their end.  Microsoft had a similar issue early on of frequent patches until user uproar caused them to regiment and formalize their patch methodology to a predictable schedule of version upgrades.  Quicken development should consider doing something similar.
    Quicken Deluxe Subscription; Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
  • artg
    artg Member ✭✭✭✭

    Good morning Gene.  Your thoughts expressed a couple of days ago to the Quicken Development Team were articulated very well in my opinion.

    However, may I comment on point number 5.  Since 18 Nov 21 when the Schwab Transition took place I (as well as many others) sought guidance and counsel from our fellow users in the Q Community.  Candidly, I do not know where I'd be today without our fellow users posting guidance and step by step procedures on how to fix the myriad of problems we faced in the last couple of months. 

    One Step Updates from Charles Schwab investment accounts are still not accurate to this day.  Cash sweeps with SWGXX are still not working properly.  The good news is I've learned how to work around the problems from members of the community.

    You're right, use of the Community is less in managing customer problems.  However, I had very little to zero confidence in the Quicken Support staff so our fellow community members were all I had. 

    Please keep posting and thank you.   
  • GeneG
    GeneG Member ✭✭
    Kudos to the Q Community! You are an important resource. As a participant in the Quicken experience, your help is valuable, and your voice is important. It is my hope that the Quicken Development Team will appreciate our comments and will treat us as concerned "shareholders" who fund their products.