Mysterious application of categories and payee names to dowloaded cc transactions

So, I've got 3 credit card accounts for which I download transactions via Quicken Connect. I want every newly downloaded transaction to be Uncategorized, and most come through that way. But a handful of payees' transactions always come in with the same unwanted categories (ones I've assigned to some of those payees' transactions in the past but don't want on every transaction). I've had "Automatically improve the quality of payee names and categories" de-selected for ages. Same for mobile sync. I have very few QuickFill rules and none apply to the payees for which this is happening. In fact, Quicken ignores those rules for the payees that do have them.

Similarly in these downloads, Quicken converts some payee names to names I've created where I'd really rather it didn't. For instance, it will convert "FRED MEYER FUEL #999" to "Fred Meyer". Seeing that it's FM fuel vs regular FM lets me categorize it at a glance, so this change is not helpful. I have only 4 renaming rules and they don't involve the affected payees.

Any ideas? Only one of these cards has the Direct Connect option. Thinking I'll try that for the next download to see if it helps.

Quicken for Mac 6.10.3, MacOS 12.6.2

Comments

  • Quicken Jared
    Quicken Jared Moderator mod
    edited December 2022
    So, I've got 3 credit card accounts for which I download transactions via Quicken Connect. I want every newly downloaded transaction to be Uncategorized, and most come through that way. But a handful of payees' transactions always come in with the same unwanted categories (ones I've assigned to some of those payees' transactions in the past but don't want on every transaction). I've had "Automatically improve the quality of payee names and categories" de-selected for ages. Same for mobile sync. I have very few QuickFill rules and none apply to the payees for which this is happening. In fact, Quicken ignores those rules for the payees that do have them.

    Similarly in these downloads, Quicken converts some payee names to names I've created where I'd really rather it didn't. For instance, it will convert "FRED MEYER FUEL #999" to "Fred Meyer". Seeing that it's FM fuel vs regular FM lets me categorize it at a glance, so this change is not helpful. I have only 4 renaming rules and they don't involve the affected payees.

    Any ideas? Only one of these cards has the Direct Connect option. Thinking I'll try that for the next download to see if it helps.

    Quicken for Mac 6.10.3, MacOS 12.6.2
    Hello @nhuddleston,         

    I am sorry about this situation with online banking and undesired category and payee information being downloaded. Thank you for speaking with us about this here on the Quicken Community. 

    First, are all of these accounts associated with the same financial institution? If you have the chance, it would help us to troubleshoot the situation if you could save a backup by going to File > Save a Backup... in the upper menu at the top of the screen while Quicken is open and then create a new 'test' data file by following the steps listed below:
    1. Navigate to File
    2. Select New
    3. Select Start from scratch
    4. Click Next
    5. Choose appropriate default categories based on geographic location
    6. Click Next
    7. Choose Don't use Quicken Mobile & Web
    8. Click Next 

    You may then add the three accounts in the newly created data file by clicking on the Add Account button denoted by the '+' symbol in the upper left-hand side of the screen, then choosing your financial institution and entering your credentials as prompted. I am curious whether or not these issues continue in this data file.

    I look forward to your response.

    Thank you,

    Quicken Jared 
  • nhuddleston
    nhuddleston Mac Beta Beta
    So, I've got 3 credit card accounts for which I download transactions via Quicken Connect. I want every newly downloaded transaction to be Uncategorized, and most come through that way. But a handful of payees' transactions always come in with the same unwanted categories (ones I've assigned to some of those payees' transactions in the past but don't want on every transaction). I've had "Automatically improve the quality of payee names and categories" de-selected for ages. Same for mobile sync. I have very few QuickFill rules and none apply to the payees for which this is happening. In fact, Quicken ignores those rules for the payees that do have them.

    Similarly in these downloads, Quicken converts some payee names to names I've created where I'd really rather it didn't. For instance, it will convert "FRED MEYER FUEL #999" to "Fred Meyer". Seeing that it's FM fuel vs regular FM lets me categorize it at a glance, so this change is not helpful. I have only 4 renaming rules and they don't involve the affected payees.

    Any ideas? Only one of these cards has the Direct Connect option. Thinking I'll try that for the next download to see if it helps.

    Quicken for Mac 6.10.3, MacOS 12.6.2
    Hello @nhuddleston,         

    I am sorry about this situation with online banking and undesired category and payee information being downloaded. Thank you for speaking with us about this here on the Quicken Community. 

    First, are all of these accounts associated with the same financial institution? If you have the chance, it would help us to troubleshoot the situation if you could save a backup by going to File > Save a Backup... in the upper menu at the top of the screen while Quicken is open and then create a new 'test' data file by following the steps listed below:
    1. Navigate to File
    2. Select New
    3. Select Start from scratch
    4. Click Next
    5. Choose appropriate default categories based on geographic location
    6. Click Next
    7. Choose Don't use Quicken Mobile & Web
    8. Click Next 

    You may then add the three accounts in the newly created data file by clicking on the Add Account button denoted by the '+' symbol in the upper left-hand side of the screen, then choosing your financial institution and entering your credentials as prompted. I am curious whether or not these issues continue in this data file.

    I look forward to your response.

    Thank you,

    Quicken Jared 
    Hey, Jared, thanks for the reply. I finally gave your new file test a go this morning, which turns out not to have been great timing: there's a warning on the Quicken support page about widespread connection errors (Ticket #9928609) that seems to have thwarted part of the test.

    I created the new file as described in your steps-- though there is no step for choosing default categories; after "start from scratch" comes choosing wether to use mobile/web, nothing in between or after. 

    I first added my Citi card, via the "Citi Cards" institution. The initial connection attempt failed with a prompt to go to Citi's website to set up access -- just a URL provided, no direct link. I went to the address, followed the steps to approve access and a connection was made (Direct Connect, default); 424 transactions were downloaded, back to 6/19/22. A category was assigned to nearly every transaction, pretty much all categories I don't use, ones I assume are standard issue from Quicken or Citi. Payee names were a mix of those I expect to see in a download (all caps, often with a phone#, often for a specific chain store location rather than just the chain) and simplified non-all-cap versions (like my previous "Fred Meyer" example).

    I next tried to add Chase and Capital One cards. Quicken Connect is the only option for these institutions. In each case there was a sign-in button that took me directly to the bank's website for authorization (oddly the 2 dialogs were different). In each case authorization succeeded, then I waited several minutes for the connection attempt to fail with a "remote update in progress" error, which I assume is the problem noted on the Quicken support site.

    While I was waiting on these connection attempts, I re-discovered a transcript I'd forgotten about from a Quicken help session in February '22 regarding this same issue with Quicken 6.5.3 and Mac OS 12.2.1. The recommended solution was essentially the same, but there was an instruction to uncheck "automatically improve the quality of downloaded..." in the Connected Services preference after creating the new file. I had assumed this would still be unchecked when I created a new file since it's ostensibly an application preference, not a file preference. At the time it was checked by default with creation of a new file, and it turns out that's still the case. 

    So I created another new file, went straight to Preferences before adding the Citi account and unchecked "automatically improve...". This time, all transactions came in uncategorized and with all-caps payees. 

    I took another look at my regular file, and it looks like transactions from the beginning of June into late September of '22 downloaded the way they should with that preference unchecked, as they did in the second new file. As I've said, I've had that preference unchecked for ages and don't know why the behavior would have changed.

    One last comment: on Citi's "manage your desktop apps" page, the new files I created today appear as "Quicken Mac", as expected. When I was granting access to one of these new files, I removed it for an existing "Quicken Windows" file since I don't have a Windows computer. Turns out that was authorization for my regular Mac file. After realizing that, I re-authorized access. It now shows up as... "Quicken Windows". Huh?
  • Quicken Jared
    Quicken Jared Moderator mod
    So, I've got 3 credit card accounts for which I download transactions via Quicken Connect. I want every newly downloaded transaction to be Uncategorized, and most come through that way. But a handful of payees' transactions always come in with the same unwanted categories (ones I've assigned to some of those payees' transactions in the past but don't want on every transaction). I've had "Automatically improve the quality of payee names and categories" de-selected for ages. Same for mobile sync. I have very few QuickFill rules and none apply to the payees for which this is happening. In fact, Quicken ignores those rules for the payees that do have them.

    Similarly in these downloads, Quicken converts some payee names to names I've created where I'd really rather it didn't. For instance, it will convert "FRED MEYER FUEL #999" to "Fred Meyer". Seeing that it's FM fuel vs regular FM lets me categorize it at a glance, so this change is not helpful. I have only 4 renaming rules and they don't involve the affected payees.

    Any ideas? Only one of these cards has the Direct Connect option. Thinking I'll try that for the next download to see if it helps.

    Quicken for Mac 6.10.3, MacOS 12.6.2
    Hello @nhuddleston,         

    I am sorry about this situation with online banking and undesired category and payee information being downloaded. Thank you for speaking with us about this here on the Quicken Community. 

    First, are all of these accounts associated with the same financial institution? If you have the chance, it would help us to troubleshoot the situation if you could save a backup by going to File > Save a Backup... in the upper menu at the top of the screen while Quicken is open and then create a new 'test' data file by following the steps listed below:
    1. Navigate to File
    2. Select New
    3. Select Start from scratch
    4. Click Next
    5. Choose appropriate default categories based on geographic location
    6. Click Next
    7. Choose Don't use Quicken Mobile & Web
    8. Click Next 

    You may then add the three accounts in the newly created data file by clicking on the Add Account button denoted by the '+' symbol in the upper left-hand side of the screen, then choosing your financial institution and entering your credentials as prompted. I am curious whether or not these issues continue in this data file.

    I look forward to your response.

    Thank you,

    Quicken Jared 
    Hey, Jared, thanks for the reply. I finally gave your new file test a go this morning, which turns out not to have been great timing: there's a warning on the Quicken support page about widespread connection errors (Ticket #9928609) that seems to have thwarted part of the test.

    I created the new file as described in your steps-- though there is no step for choosing default categories; after "start from scratch" comes choosing wether to use mobile/web, nothing in between or after. 

    I first added my Citi card, via the "Citi Cards" institution. The initial connection attempt failed with a prompt to go to Citi's website to set up access -- just a URL provided, no direct link. I went to the address, followed the steps to approve access and a connection was made (Direct Connect, default); 424 transactions were downloaded, back to 6/19/22. A category was assigned to nearly every transaction, pretty much all categories I don't use, ones I assume are standard issue from Quicken or Citi. Payee names were a mix of those I expect to see in a download (all caps, often with a phone#, often for a specific chain store location rather than just the chain) and simplified non-all-cap versions (like my previous "Fred Meyer" example).

    I next tried to add Chase and Capital One cards. Quicken Connect is the only option for these institutions. In each case there was a sign-in button that took me directly to the bank's website for authorization (oddly the 2 dialogs were different). In each case authorization succeeded, then I waited several minutes for the connection attempt to fail with a "remote update in progress" error, which I assume is the problem noted on the Quicken support site.

    While I was waiting on these connection attempts, I re-discovered a transcript I'd forgotten about from a Quicken help session in February '22 regarding this same issue with Quicken 6.5.3 and Mac OS 12.2.1. The recommended solution was essentially the same, but there was an instruction to uncheck "automatically improve the quality of downloaded..." in the Connected Services preference after creating the new file. I had assumed this would still be unchecked when I created a new file since it's ostensibly an application preference, not a file preference. At the time it was checked by default with creation of a new file, and it turns out that's still the case. 

    So I created another new file, went straight to Preferences before adding the Citi account and unchecked "automatically improve...". This time, all transactions came in uncategorized and with all-caps payees. 

    I took another look at my regular file, and it looks like transactions from the beginning of June into late September of '22 downloaded the way they should with that preference unchecked, as they did in the second new file. As I've said, I've had that preference unchecked for ages and don't know why the behavior would have changed.

    One last comment: on Citi's "manage your desktop apps" page, the new files I created today appear as "Quicken Mac", as expected. When I was granting access to one of these new files, I removed it for an existing "Quicken Windows" file since I don't have a Windows computer. Turns out that was authorization for my regular Mac file. After realizing that, I re-authorized access. It now shows up as... "Quicken Windows". Huh?
    Hello @nhuddleston,  

    I am sorry that these online banking service issues are continuing. Thank you for getting back to me with more information about your results.

    Have you tried restoring from a recent backup? We recommend saving backups frequently by navigating to File > Copy or Backup File... in the upper menu at the top of the screen. Provided that this has been done often, you should be able to restore from a backup that was saved just prior to when this issue emerged by navigating to File > Restore from backup... in the same menu. I am curious about whether or not this problem continues in the restored file.  

    I look forward to your response.

    Thanks,

    Quicken Jared 
  • nhuddleston
    nhuddleston Mac Beta Beta
    Hello @nhuddleston,  

    I am sorry that these online banking service issues are continuing. Thank you for getting back to me with more information about your results.

    Have you tried restoring from a recent backup? We recommend saving backups frequently by navigating to File > Copy or Backup File... in the upper menu at the top of the screen. Provided that this has been done often, you should be able to restore from a backup that was saved just prior to when this issue emerged by navigating to File > Restore from backup... in the same menu. I am curious about whether or not this problem continues in the restored file.  

    I look forward to your response.

    Thanks,

    Quicken Jared 
    Thanks again, Jared. I have automatic backups set up, so there are lots of backups to choose from. But starting over from September has no appeal. There'd be a mountain of transactions to recreate -- not all of them downloadable -- errors to be tracked down and fixed again, opportunities for new errors/discrepancies, etc. The latest Citi Direct Connect download came through as desired. I'll have to wait until I have new transactions to download for the other two cards to see whether maybe checking then unchecking the "automatically improve..." pref helps with Quicken Connect.