Why won't Quicken allow me to keep an estimated payment setting for linked credit card Bill Reminder

Rich_MRich_M SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
edited January 22 in

I've always had my credit card Bill Reminders setup to use an estimated payment amount of Current credit card balance due.

By doing this I get a more accurate Projected Balances report.

What I've already noticed is that linked Bill Reminders have their estimated amount setting turned off and use a fixed amount of the last balance due until the next bill arrives.

This means that your forecasted balances reports do not accurately reflect your outstanding balances due in between billing cycles.

Changing this setting manually is to no avail because it will be changed back the next time you do a OSU.

Wondering if there is already a change request that addresses my issue.

Quicken 2017 Premier - Windows 10

Comments

  • Howard RoarkHoward Roark Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2016
    I don't understand how it could be any other way.
    The linked bill is for a fixed known amount.
    I believe you need to choose one or the other.
  • QPWQPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2018
    The question has come up before, and it was explained (Quicken Somebody, I forget who) that what it does is use the last amount that it has from the biller.  Basically making the assumption that all your bills from a given biller will be the same.

    Frankly from what I see this new bill linking feature as it exists right now, works best in places that you need it the least.  As in it works best when the amount of the bill doesn't vary.  About the only thing it does add is in the case if the due date is changing, but I think that would be a very rare event.  These kind of bills are easily taking care of by Quicken's reminders.

    The most valuable use for Quicken users would be to work well with varying amounts like for a credit card or an utility.
    And as I stated in my post on this, the feature has some rough spots when you look it from that point of view.

    First off I agree with RichMNY that I really don't want to give up the ability to estimate the future.
    Even though based on how they implemented it, it might look like there is a contradiction, but there isn't.
    There is a time from when you pay a bill till the next bill shows up, that basically you have no idea what the next bill is.
    One guess at this is certainly the last bill, but another is an average of the past bills.  Both are valid estimates.
    Now once that month's bill comes in then there is no longer a need for the estimate, it is a known amount and the reminder should go to that amount.

    Now that was the user perspective.  From a developer perspective I can see how when they are shoehorning this into the existing system they will have a problems, because it was never designed for this. It is like how they killed the ability to change the next reminder amount when you are using automatic entry.  Clearly they killed that because it was getting complicated to know what amount to use at a given time/switch between them.

    The other kind of problem that I and others have pointed out is what amount is the right amount if you are talking about a credit card.  Some people pay off the full balance, some the min, some a fixed amount, and others would like it to pick up what they set it to on the financial institution's website.  Right now it assumes that you pay in full.  I notice that it also picks up the min, but other than display it, it doesn't do anything with that.  I don't think that they can even get at the amount the user set on the financial institution's website.  But to add to this is the one thing would have been useful to me, and that is for the amount to vary after the statement date.  As in the statement comes in and that sets the "pay in full" amount.  Well if we return something that amount is removed from the "pay in full" amount, but I have already proved that the bill system doesn't pick up this new amount.  Which I don't find really surprising, since I basically can't see that on the financial institution's web site either, until the bill actual happens.

    I think one of the main reasons this feature seems so "disjointed" is that it was never meant to work this way.
    When I have got errors off of this system you can tell they are using the Mint Bill system to get the information they need.
    Now if you have a tightly coupled bill pay and bill presentment system, this all starts to fall into place.
    The bill presentment is your reminder and you can use the bill payment system to direct how much to pay.

    When you separate these two system, and especially when you are missing the bill pay part, it just won't work as well.
  • Howard RoarkHoward Roark Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2016
    QPW,

    I think most of what you say is true ... and obvious.
    But do you really think it practical to expect this "link bill" feature to provide a better balance than the Quicken "estimated" balance.
    If the "amount due" varies during the time between payments, how would Quicken determine whether your Quicken account balance should be used instead of the current balance at the financial institution?
    And as you note: how is Quicken to know what you intend to pay?

    "As in it works best when the amount of the bill doesn't vary".

    I haven't been able to link but one bill, so I haven't been able to verify that.
    But the bill I linked does vary occasionally and the amount that was linked is correct for the current amount due.
    Obviously, no one needs a feature to tell them what they already know, so I assume that is not what Intuit intended.

    I do believe that bills like an electric bill are perfect choices for this feature.

    Currently, my electric bill is paid using e-billing. Works perfectly.
    The only thing that would make it better is if Quicken presented me with the current e-bill each month and allowed me to make the same choices from Quicken that I now have to go to my financial institution to make.
    The default for me is to allow the the e-bill to be paid in full - I do not need to do anything for that to happen. If I want to change that I can log on to my financial institution and change the default; or I could terminate e-bills with that merchant.
  • markus1957markus1957 SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 11
    "it just won't work as well" for another reason; it's basically screen scraped Express Web Connect for billers. Once Quicken works out the programming bugs, it will work OK until the biller changes the website, then it won't work until the 3rd party provider and/or Quicken revises the scraping code, then it will work for a while until the website changes again. I took a quick look on Mint forum Billing topic and it looked a lot like the EWC posts here' i.e.; why doesn't Provider XYZ work this week, worked fine last week?. :smile:
  • QPWQPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2018
    [mention://67948 @NoWayJose]
    "But do you really think it practical to expect this "link bill" feature to provide a better balance than the Quicken "estimated" balance. "
    No I don't and that is why I (and RichMNY) would like to keep using the Quicken "estimated".  So why have the bill linked at all?
    Because once the real payment is known, I would like to have the next instance of the reminder to be that.  To show this I will point to how I do it right now.  I have my reminder set to estimated and manual entry so that I can change the next instance of the reminder.  And I get notified of the next payment due by email.  In most of those emails they state the amount.  I take that amount and I enter it as the next instance for the reminder.  So I have my best estimate, and when it is known I have the next payment entered.  For me the only difference would be that I wouldn't have to manually transfer the amount from email to Quicken reminder instance.

    Now to keep some of this in perspective. If you have a bill that varies, but say does so by only a few dollars, than a fixed estimate is fine, and linking to a bill that just uses the last bill, would work fine.  It is really only matters when the amount varies a lot.  For instance on your electric bill.  I don't know about you, but my electric bill could vary dramatically from one month to another if it starts getting hot enough to turn on the air conditioning.  The same with gas for when it gets cold (gas heat for the house).  In fact I don't have this problem only because long ago I took advantage of a program that PG&E has, a "balanced plan", which is to say they look at my usage every 6 months and set a fixed amount based on the past average usage.  So I just adjust the amount every 6 months.  That is the ironic part of this for me.  Over the years I have learned how to arrange things so that I really only have one big varying amount and that is the credit card.  Everything I can goes into that or a direct payment from my checking account.  In fact my credit card is automatically paid in full from my checking account.  So this whole operation for me is just "keep enough money in the checking account".  The rest is trivial details to me.

    I'm certainly not the prime user of this feature.  But I do see how others might use it.
  • QPWQPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2018
    [mention://53512 @markus1957] Yes I got the same impression.  And this belief that you can access unstandardized websites and not have problems maintaining it is quite naive.
  • Rich_MRich_M SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 22
    This appears to be a hot topic, as it generated quite a bit of lively, detailed discussion.  QPW is clearly on the same page with me, but I still appreciate everyone's thoughts on my post.

    I think this new feature in Quicken 2016 is an excellent idea and for the most part well done, although quite a bit buggy at this stage.  I had to endure numerous crashes and other strange behaviors before I could set up enough bills to understand how well it would work for me.

    I don't think I will be able to tell how much value it adds until I've used the feature for a few months.

    I've used Quicken for a long time and have my Bill Reminder setup down to a science as everyone else here has.

    I already posted another issue I encountered with Bill Reminders where Tamara told me that a change request was already in for it, so I was satisfied with that response.

    http://getsatisfaction.com/quickencommunity/topics/why-does-quicken-keep-resetting-the-due-date-of-a-linked-credit-card-bill-reminder-with-a-zero-amount-due

    The only purpose of my post is to get some opinions on my issue and find out if it warrants another change request for the Quicken developers.

    My issue here is specifically for credit card bills that are normally paid in full.

    All I want is for the next upcoming Bill Reminder to reflect my remaining outstanding balance after I have paid my current amount due, not the same amount from the last bill.
    Quicken 2017 Premier - Windows 10
  • QPWQPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2018
    As far as I see it, you have a valid point, and as such it certainly worth making the request.  It is up to Intuit to decide if and when.

    BTW I guess I have been lucky.  I have not had one crash on setting this up if you disregard the problem with automatic entry reminders going crazy where I had to kill Quicken.  I have had that problem where I couldn't unlink a reminder, and other rough spots though.
  • Rich_MRich_M SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 22
    QPW, thanks, waiting to find out if an employee thinks it's valid also.  This feature definitely needs some ironing out, but it does look promising.
    Quicken 2017 Premier - Windows 10
  • Rich_MRich_M SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 22
    Another wrinkle I just discovered with Linked Bills using a Fixed Amount in the Bill Reminder, is that the amount never changes for the next instance of the reminder.

    For example, I had a bill that originally had $97.10 due on 12/12/2015 when I first linked it.  After entering that payment, the next instance of the Bill Reminder showed $97.10 due on 1/12/2016 while awaiting the next bill, which makes sense.

    Today, that bill arrived on the Online Bills tab with an amount of $139.99 due on 1/12/2016, which is correct.  I entered the payment for that today, which was recorded correctly.

    However, the next instance of the Bill Reminder due on 2/12/2016, still shows the $97.10 amount from the 12/12/2015 due date, which does not make sense.

    At best I would have expected the amount due in the Bill Reminder to have been updated to the last balance due.
    Quicken 2017 Premier - Windows 10
  • Quicken TamaraQuicken Tamara Member, Employee ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 22

    @RichMNY, when you use Bill Presentment (aka Linked Biller), you can no longer "estimate" the amount due because Quicken is retrieving actual/factual info directly from the Biller.


    If you want to use the estimated values, I recommend unlinking that Biller from the Reminder and delete the Biller from your file.


    If you want to use the actual amount due that the Biller is presenting, then I recommend not using "estimated" values.
  • Rich_MRich_M SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2018


    @RichMNY, when you use Bill Presentment (aka Linked Biller), you can no longer "estimate" the amount due because Quicken is retrieving actual/factual info directly from the Biller.


    If you want to use the estimated values, I recommend unlinking that Biller from the Reminder and delete the Biller from your file.


    If you want to use the actual amount due that the Biller is presenting, then I recommend not using "estimated" values.

    [mention://76623 @Quicken Tamara] I really only have an issue with linked credit card bills, where I want to choose current credit card balance as the estimate.

    With a linked bill, it absolutely makes sense for the current amount due in the reminder to match the amount due from the biller.

    However, after I pay that bill, I want the next instance of the reminder to reflect my remaining balance due, not the amount of the last bill.

    I can unlink those bills in the interim, but my question is whether an enhancement will be made in a future release to address my issue.

    Please read my previous comment regarding another wrinkle I found with Bill Presentment, a fix is definitely required in this scenario.

    Let me know what you think.
    Quicken 2017 Premier - Windows 10
  • jkeyserjkeyser Member ✭✭
    edited July 2016
    I completely agree that this feature is only good for the next bill that has been downloaded.  I use the estimated bill feature to predict my account balances out 2-3 months.  Once the next bill is known, it makes absolutely perfect sense for Quicken to use that.  But for future bills that have not been downloaded yet, it doesn't work very well at all.

    It's too bad because this feature really has potential.
  • Rich_MRich_M SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 22
    [mention://4362348 @jkeyser] We're definitely on the same page.  Without a future enhancement to accommodate this change, those of us who utilize Quicken's balance forecasting screens, will not be using this new feature with certain types of bills.
    Quicken 2017 Premier - Windows 10
  • Quicken TamaraQuicken Tamara Member, Employee ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2016


    @RichMNY, when you use Bill Presentment (aka Linked Biller), you can no longer "estimate" the amount due because Quicken is retrieving actual/factual info directly from the Biller.


    If you want to use the estimated values, I recommend unlinking that Biller from the Reminder and delete the Biller from your file.


    If you want to use the actual amount due that the Biller is presenting, then I recommend not using "estimated" values.

    We can certainly look at what can be done for this specific type of situation.
  • Rich_MRich_M SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2016


    @RichMNY, when you use Bill Presentment (aka Linked Biller), you can no longer "estimate" the amount due because Quicken is retrieving actual/factual info directly from the Biller.


    If you want to use the estimated values, I recommend unlinking that Biller from the Reminder and delete the Biller from your file.


    If you want to use the actual amount due that the Biller is presenting, then I recommend not using "estimated" values.

    [mention://76623 @Quicken Tamara] Any thoughts on why the amount never changes on the next instance of the reminder?  See my previous comment regarding this wrinkle I found for details,
    Quicken 2017 Premier - Windows 10
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