They can't even add any new transactions manually.
And there is no way to "buy" Quicken using the old business model.
If this is left unchallenged they will most likely use this model for the US version next year.
People should vote on this "idea" if they are against Quicken Inc using this business model.
(If you find this reply helpful, please be sure to click "Like", so others will know, thanks.)
One of the reasons cited for the change in business model is to reduce the complexity of dealing with multiple version of the same product over several years. This will allow Quicken to save costs while focusing its efforts presumably in other areas to increase revenues. On a business level I laud the initiative. Issue is that in doing so and as I read this thread, you risk alienating your customer base.
The big issue is the price for the product. I and presumably like most of your customer base have been upgrading every 2 - 3 years and more recently only when I'm not able to download transactions. I'd pay around $100-110 CAD every 3 years (Including tax!). The price increase for your 2014 cohort is essentially 3x for me personally. As others have mentioned you'd be able to maintain similar revenues even if you lost between 1/2 - 2/3 of your customers base, but would most like be left with an overwhelmingly dissatisfied base initially. Perhaps a better model would have been to start with a lower increase say $60 per year for the full version and $40 for the other version.
I also have issue with CEO comments:
1) If you tell your customer base that it will cost you less to support the product under the new model and only offer very incremental new benefits (The last few upgrades I've installed provided me with little extra) it sounds to your customers that you are reducing costs. With the price increase you are increasing revenues. Unless you are investing in something else that might benefit customers the assumption would lead most to speculate that the strategy will only benefit management and company investors.
2) I don't buy the argument that we as Canadians get value for the difference in exchange rate which is what you are implying when you convert the USD perpetual license cost to CAD. Most Canadian's will find this insulting. Perhaps you should take take on some of the FX exposure.
I currently have Quicken Canada Home & Business 2014. I recently received an email from Quicken telling me that my online services will terminate on May 31, 2017. I have always entered transactions manually, but really like the robust investment tracking features, including the automatic stock and mutual fund price updates.
Quicken offered me a meager 10% off if I upgraded now to the new 2017 Canadian subscription model. I did some research and found out that this would only work for one year, then I would actually be locked out completely (unless I kept paying, of course), and would not even be permitted to enter manual transactions. Essentially they are saying that the software will become useless! This really upset me, so I responded to Quicken's email telling them so, but of course I received an automated reply informing me that the email address is not monitored.
So, below is my email response. To Quicken - I do not expect a reply, just wanted to show you how frustrated I am with your new direction.
"Thank you for pushing me out the door! There is no way I am going to be forced into purchasing an annual subscription for almost the full cost of previous versions that lasted 3-4 years. Especially after I read the fine print which told me that after a year, I won't even be able to enter transactions manually if I don't continue to subscribe! Wow!
I have already moved to YNAB for the family budget (budgeting and cash flow is much easier), and looks like I will have to brush up on my Excel skills to track my investments.
So, thanks again for forcing me to leave, it is saving me money."
I, myself, would not mind a Subscription Model, if the pricing were broken down.
Quicken 2017 costs for Home & Business is selling right now for $119.99. The Use per month divided by 42 months or 3 and a half years is $2.86 per month rounded off.
Now multiple $2.86 x 12 equals $34.32 yearly Subscription Price.
This would be more reasonable.
And once you jump on board with paying that fee, you should be grandfathered in, so you payment would never go up.
Glary Utilities offers Free Use of its program and has a Subscription for its Professional version and while it raised the cost of the Subscription, Users that have been paying a Subscription saw no increase.
I have been loyal Quicken user since 1991 and have upgraded every 1 to 3 years. I will NOT be upgrading to 2017 as long as it is locking me out after the subscription expires. What would happen if they decide to dump Quicken and not come out with a new version next year!
I DO NOT buy the latest version. It is not worth the damage it will do when it updates my prior data. And I WILL NOT subject myself to an email notice on the subscription plan that says I have to go to a 2 month old backup file and re-enter everything because they introduced a NEW BUG that damaged our files from that point forward.
I WILL NOT subject myself to features being moved (i.e. hidden) and/or deleted on a weekly or even monthly basis. Think folks. When did they last add a valuable feature? It's all about making the product harder to use by MOVING SH*t and taking away.
I will simply buy their last non-subscription product after it is 6 months old and go to manual data entry once that service is removed...or their competitor if this makes it possible for a competitor to step in and take their customers.
I am an Intuit Quickbooks Pro Advisor and use that program to manage my business.
I upgrade annually because that is the nature of the agreement and because access to the payroll process and to the online banking services are both valuable features of the program that I am willing to pay for.
I use the desktop version, not the cloud subscription model, and so I control access to my data, its use and storage. The downside of not upgrading annually is that I would lose the online banking access and payroll processing abilities.
I choose to continue those features. If I do not choose to buy the new program, I can still access and enter and manage new business transactions, just not as efficiently.
That is a decision that I make annually and in favour of the purchase because the software continues to be developed and it is very good product and is competitively priced.
I understand that H.I.G. Capital purchased Quicken from Intuit in 2016.
Often when a venture capital firm purchases a successful service business, the focus of the new owners is in clinically exploiting the customer base by introducing a new, more expensive, pricing model with the expectation that the loyal users will not switch.
I have been using Quicken for over 20 years. My upgrade pattern has been to purchase the new product every two to three years as banking access for each version would expire.
The banking access and bank transaction download capability is a valuable feature of the program, that I am willing to pay for.
All the other annual tweaks and incremental changes to the program are irrelevant to me because I rarely use them and none are significant enough improvements to justify an upgrade .
The key aspect of this process is that I upgrade when I must, to keep banking connectivity and that I control my access to and management of data.
I reviewed the Quicken website regarding the Canadian User imposed subscription model for 2017.
What does this mean for me if I continue with the program?
· My annual costs for the “Service” are proposed to increase 200% to 300% as I am now will be forced to buy the subscription annually instead of buying the new software every two to three years;
· The subscription services offers me a mobile app (irrelevant!), automatic updates (unnecessary – having the newest version is immaterial to the program’s effective use by me) and temporarily (one year) free online support. I have never in over 20 years had a need for technical support with this program, so this is of no benefit to me.
· The most offensive feature of the new subscription model is that program functionality is diminished if I let the subscription expire. I cannot enter new data through manual entry I am compelled to pay the annual fee. It is a take it or leave it proposition
The company’s US division still offers a purchase model for this program.
The Canadian Quicken now offers me no such choice. The Subscription Model is being imposed on me and my historical financial data is the leverage. The business strategy borders on extortion.
The bean counters at H.I.G. Capital ( and I use that term in its most derogatory sense) want to create a customer pricing model that drastically increases the price of the software, thereby gouging its customers, while the Company does nothing more than Intuit has successfully done while it owned Quicken.
I could justify an increased annual average cost of the software if I kept control of the data but Quicken wants to control my data and simultaneously exploit me as a loyal customer.
When I received the email informing me that online services for Quicken were terminating May 31, 2017, I almost just subscribed without really assessing the implications.
Now having thought through the process, I must look elsewhere for a personal financial program. Lack of data control is a deal breaker for me.
I would hope that Quicken would re-consider its Canadian market strategy but that appears unlikely given the current new ownership of the company.
I will be advising everyone that I know that uses the program of the reasons for my decision.
I have previously expressed my dissatisfaction in this stream with the forced subscription model now being imposed by Quicken on its loyal Canadian customers. I am currently using the very reliable 2014 version of the program. Practically speaking, I need no improvements to this model. It does exactly what I want it to do.
I don't want to be forced into the most current version of the program, by subscription, which will make me an unwilling ongoing beta tester of the software enduring all of the headaches associated with each modification to the program.
Quicken has informed me and other Canadian customers that support for the 2014 version of the program ends on May 31, 2017. That presumably means that the web connect files, the means by which I bulk download banking and credit card information into the program will no longer work. That will make data input significantly more difficult.
Here is the issue. I am not going to continue with the proposed subscription model.
I am prepared to enter my data directly even though I would prefer not to. I have done it before. I can do it again.
However, I would be prepared to subscribe at $30 - $ 50 per year for the web connect facility. That would be fair and would financially mirror what I have been doing historically: paying $90 every three years for an update of the program and renewing the web connectivity, which is the main objective for me, not the software update.
Quicken's approach with the new pricing model is heavy handed and insulting to its Canadian customers. The 2017 program which blocks user data input to the program if the users drop from subscription is antagonistic, a take it or leave it proposition. The subscription pricing is 200% to 300% more expensive than my historic three year renewal cycle that maintained web connectivity.
This aggressive stance to the Canadian Quicken customers is a cynical and calculated revenue driven strategy by H.I.G. Capital, the huge venture capital firm that purchased Quicken from Intuit, a likely trial run for how the Company intends to treat its US customer base: to prospectively double or triple revenue and significantly increase the bottom line from sleepy little personal money manager Quicken software, a program that lacks the dynamic features that might justify this approach with other software.
Of course this is a speculative gamble by the owners of Quicken that the revenue generation from the price increase to the retained customers will more than offset the lost revenue from those customers that reject this model and do not subscribe.
Let me propose an alternative solution:
- Separate web connectivity as a revenue stream from the desktop program. If I want this facility, which I do, I will subscribe to it in the $30-$50 per year range which is effectively what I have been doing, on the low end of the pricing range, through my purchase of the new program every three years;
- Offer the subscription model to those who want it, which will automatically include the web connectivity feature as it now stands;
Continue to offer a desktop version of the program in which users totally control data input as they have historically but without any web connectivity unless subscribed to.
I am prepared to subscribe to web connectivity. That is a valuable service to me!
How much Quicken proposes to charge me for that service is a key issue here.
If I have effectively paid $30 per year average for this feature up to now and the Company wants to jack that pricing up to over $90 per year and to do that through a bogus subscription model that hijacks my control over data in the process, then that is problematic.
Even Microsoft offers desktop versions of its software as alternatives to its subscriptions software.
Quicken may appear to be an “orphan drug” to H.I.G. Capital, an opportunity that can exploited by this venture capital firm through dramatic price increases imposed on a loyal and hopefully entrenched customer base but I think the decision to force this model may prove to be short sighted by alienating customers who otherwise would continue to purchase this product and subscribe to the web connect feature.
I like using this program. I would prefer to continue its use with web connectivity.
To H.I.G Capital, I request that you please re-think this exploitative strategy!
The subscription model with "extortion mode" is a show stopper for logical and emotional reasons.
I do not download data. With my credit union I don't have that option and regardless prefer to keep my data as stand alone and controlled.
I will not upgrade to 2017 and will keep using 2015.
I am on 2014 now and learned about the limited lifetime of the product only yesterday from Google, not Quicken. I started searching for possible explanation why the application became unstable and unusable about a week ago. It turned out they switched it off on April 30 with NO WARNING! What a way to treat customers! I fully appreciate the business need to obsolete products but not after three years, not overnight and certainly not without an ample advance notice. Well, the application was not completely killed but it took 15 min to boot up and kept freezing after every other mouse click. As I understand now, under the hood it was just trying to connect to some unresponsive servers.
The bad news are an ambush and don't allow for much time to shop for an alternative. I will try upgrading to 2017 only to buy time and find something better...if they honor the three year commitment that is. My confidence is very low.
I actually attempted an upgrade to 2016 last year and it turned out to be a disaster. Q16 disabled the use of a mouse, killed a month worth of data, etc. So I rolled back to 2014 only to find out that I now must update to 2017. Some posts say 2017 is much buggier than 2016, not sure how it is even possible.
Subscription fee comparable to today's cost for the product that is getting worse, not better with time is NOT an option for me. I would feel being taken advantage of every time I use the software. Nah...Please count me out.
(1) Given Quicken's poor quality control it is likely that at some point there will be a bad update trashing your data. Microsoft now allows update deferrals after they did it a couple of times.
No mention by Quicken about reliability measures in the new scheme.
(2) Microsoft DOES NOT COMPEL users to subscribe to Office products.
PERPETUALLY FULLY FUNCTIONAL (but not perpetually upgraded) stand alone versions are available for purchase.
Users will subscribe if there is a compelling reason. If not, then Quicken management should question themselves.
(3) It really is a design execution problem at Quicken if there are "too many" SKUs. The functional differences are modular and should be able to be delivered reliably.
(4) Once Quicken demonstrates that it can consistently deliver bug free software out of the box, has a functional beta scheme e.g. Quicken Insiders to screen out the egregious stuff that they usually release, then I MIGHT consider sticking with them.
(5) However, my default plan is to buy standalone Q17 and wait to see whether Quicken SaaS flies or crashes and burns. I'm hoping it works out, but expect a lot of bumps along the way unless Quicken really gets quality control religion.
I have been using Quicken since 1995. I got a notice that Canadian Home and Business 2014 would need to be upgraded to keep downloading from the bank and discovered that Quicken was moving to a yearly subscription model, basically making it three times the price. I was considering upgrading anyway, then a little additional research turned up the TOTALLY UNNACEPTABLE fact that the software would be read-only if the subscription lapsed. That's ransomware, eh.
Looking for alternatives.
Followup: May 16, 2017:
I have located a conversion program developed by a Canadian programmer that takes Bank QIF and QFX files and converts them into a modified QIF format that integrates with the Quicken 2014 Home and Business program that I use. It permits the bulk download of bank and credit card data and allows the mapping of the respective information into the bank and credit card accounts within the Quicken program.
I tested the program on the past four weeks of bank and credit card data on my bank site and the process worked very well. This program meets my needs and will permit me to use Quicken 2014 Home and Business software indefinitely into the future.
Here is the key point and H.I.G.Capital should take note.
They have created significant disruption to the loyal Canadian customer population with the Quicken 2017 mandatory subscription strategy.
However, I would speculate that the ability to download bank data into the program is a significant feature for many users, that historically has been linked to a three year renewal cycle when that feature, for a product year, expires.
Improvements to the program itself have historically been insignificant.
So if there is an alternative that maintains access to the bank data feed, why buy a current version of the program at all?
I mention this because I would never have looked for an alternative had the current three year cycle and desktop version of the program been retained by Quicken.
I was not unhappy to renew the program every three years for the data connectivity. It seemed like a fair price and it supported Quicken.
But the shift by Quicken to an extortion model in 2017 that holds my data ransom and triples the price of the service proved a tipping point for me.
The decision for me was simple and I purchased the conversion program for $99 US.
I am not advertising this program. This is not the forum for that. I just mention that it can be found with a rudimentary Google search and that it is effective.
Through their greed and heavy handed strategy, Quicken (and H.I.G Capital )have lost my revenue stream.
I've been using the program for 15+ years. So long that its now painfully slow to do any edits on my data.
Have to reconsider my options. At the minimum should offer a 3yr buyout or a cheaper subscription model w/o support where the cost equals the cost of the 3yr option/3...
@Quicken rep, what you're reading from us loyal users is that we barely tolerate the 3-year model today; we don't get enough improvements. So if your plan is to triple the price for the same improvement pace, you'll have a revolt on your hands. Your investors' plan will backfire if we all find a different way of managing our money. Don't think it can't be done.
Data Connectivity for my Quicken 2014 program ended May 31, 2017.
I did not renew to the subscription model Quicken 2017.
On June 1, 2017, I downloaded QFX files from my financial institution pertaining to bank and credit card transactions for the month of May 2017.
I used conversion software described in the latest post above by "Grands Kids" , to modify the QFX data to QIF format,and imported the resulting "modified" QIF files into Quicken.
The same entry, matching and transaction allocation process of bank and credit card data into the Quicken file applied as for the direct QFX file import used previously.
My Quicken 2014 file is up to date! With the conversion program, data connectivity still works!
Does anyone have any experience with moneydance and care to comment on it?
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