Don’t worry, it won’t affect anything

Before upgrading to Lion, I checked the compatibility of the apps I use, and discovered that Quicken doesn’t work on Lion. Intuit hasn’t actually updated the Mac version or Quicken for nearly 5 years, instead bringing out something called “Quicken Essentials For Mac” which didn’t have the one thing I used most in Quicken, which was bill paying. So I decided to bite the bullet and start using my bank’s ancient and creaky web interface to pay my bills. In a wonderful bit of synchronicity, my bank started offering a web product called “FinanceWorks” which did the other thing I used Quicken for, which was showing me what expenses were coming up, which helps me decide how much money I have to transfer into savings or back out of savings and the like. It even allowed me to combine information on my bank accounts, my credit card, my retirement accounts and my mortgage all in one place. Very nice. It’s an Intuit product, looking very similar to their mint.com web site, but it’s integrated into the bank’s web site so once I log into the bank’s web site I can bring it up without any further logging in.

Flash forward to 7 days ago. My bank phoned me up and said they had to change my account from “Foo checking” to “Bar checking”, but the account number would stay the same and all my web payments would be unaffected. I said ok, and within minutes, the bank’s web interface showed the change.

But it turns out they lied. There was one thing that changed – FinanceWorks can’t update any of my bank accounts. It’s still updating my third party accounts, it just won’t update my primary accounts.

And that has lead me into the hell that is Intuit technical support. The way you start a support request in this case is you just click a button and it shows you some details (like your customer id, financial institution, account that’s not refreshing, error code, etc) and sends it to Intuit. That information should be more than sufficient for Intuit to see that the accounts that aren’t refreshing are the ones on my primary bank, ie. the one that I didn’t (and couldn’t) enter login details into FinanceWorks, they’re included automatically. And yet the first couple of responses from Intuit are along the lines of “make sure you can log into the bank’s web site?” and “did you enter your details correctly?”. I kept responding and telling them that it was my primary institution. So those responses started tapering off (but not ending) and I started getting a different response, saying to use this particular option to reset my account. Except I couldn’t find this option anywhere on their site. And so I’d respond saying that I can’t find this option, and they’d respond with another demand that I use this option. (I should mention at this point that the “Help” in FinanceWorks is just a simple FAQ, not searchable and not very detailed or complete – also, there is no search to find options on the site, so it is possible that there are menu items I can’t find).

It’s been 7 days now, and I still can’t get FinanceWorks to update after this supposedly innocuous change. And as of 5 minutes ago they just sent me another “Go to the account details screen and change your login information”.

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2 Responses to Don’t worry, it won’t affect anything

  1. Tobin Lee says:

    Paul, Just read your post with great interest since I’m an Intuit employee. Thanks for the honest feedback, and our sincerest apologies for the inconvenience. We’ve since resolved this issue in FinanceWorks. Give it a try now. Please contact your financial institution should you have further issues.

    • Paul Tomblin says:

      Interesting. Not long after that blog post, I got a message saying that it was all fixed, but when I tried it updated my savings and overdraft accounts, but not my checking account, which is kind of the important one. Since the message telling me everything was peachy keen said to click the “Report a problem” link if it wasn’t, I did so, which opened another case. The internal error code was slightly different (ccscrape 106 instead of ccscrape 102, I think), and it definitely mentioned this was the primary account. So imagine my surprise when the first response from FinanceWorks technical support suggested that I need to check my login details and make sure I can log into my financial institution’s web site.

      At this point, I just about lost it. I swear, if I’d been able to find a financial planning web site that didn’t belong to Intuit I would have cancelled FinanceWorks right there. I’d long ago given up on being polite, but by now I was ready to start throwing things. And it didn’t make it any better when a few hours later I got an update telling me that “We are pleased to inform you that your bank issue in Mint.com has been resolved.” It’s bad enough that your tech support people can’t seem to read a problem report before they start sending you canned responses that don’t apply, but you’d think they’d at least get the product name right.

      Anyway, this morning I got another confident email telling me the problem had been fixed. I tried it, and it hadn’t. By this point, I had started the process of signing up for a Yodlee account. But before I finished signing up for Yodlee, I tried FinanceWorks again and this time it actually worked. Mirable Dictu!

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