No fucking thank you, Quicken tech support

Update: Almost as soon as I finished writing the rant below, I got an email from Quicken tech support explaining what I should have done – used “Activities->Prior Statement” (which would have shown that list of prior statements that I semi-accidentally discovered on my own) and then used splat-D to delete them. Delete doesn’t appear on the Prior Statement window anywhere (nor anywhere on the help that comes up if you press the ? button that I could see), but evidently it’s there on the main menu under Edit, so I should have just known to look.

I got a paper bank statement the other day, covering up to the 5th of January. I went into Quicken as I had so many times before, only to find that all the stuff I’ve downloaded from the bank recently was marked with an “R” (meaning “Reconciled”) instead of a “C” (meaning “Cleared”) like it’s supposed to be. Attempting to click on any of these “R”s just takes you to the Reconcile page, which won’t show you any of these transactions that have supposedly been Reconciled. And it also complains about the fact that the date range you are attempting to reconcile comes before the last “statement” that it evidently processed.

I couldn’t find anything on the local help, or the on-line help, so I clicked the “tech support chat” button, which had me enter some information on what version of Quicken I’m using and a brief description of the problem, then connected me to somebody with an Indian sounding name (which isn’t too surprising at 9pm on a Sunday). I briefly described the problem again, and he/she said they could email me some steps that would solve my problem. I said that would be fine, and clicked off. The mail came some minutes later, but by that time I’d had enough of bill paying and put it off to today to deal with.

Today I read the instructions. The very first step says “First reconcile your transactions, where you see R click on it make it C .” Since the very problem I was complaining about was that once these things were “R”, I couldn’t make them “C”, that was less than helpful. The rest of the instructions about saving a copy of the file to my desktop were a little vague, but when I followed them as best as I could, I ended up with exactly the same results as before. So I threw away the copy of the file, and wrote a reply to the email telling them that their steps didn’t work, and could they please actually try reading the problem statement before sending me boiler plate responses to a similar but different problem?

And just as I sent it off, I got an email asking me to take a customer satisfaction survey. I was pleased to report that they didn’t solve my problem, I was very dissatisfied with the quality of their tech support, and in the “suggestions for improvement” I suggested they actually try reading what the customer is saying.

Then I got to playing with Quicken again. I tried clicking those pesky “R”s with various modifier keys, and found one (I think it was Control) that allowed me to uncheck it. Which brought up a warning about how I was going to mess up the reconcilliation, and then another dialog about how I had to save the transaction, and another dialog about something else I was going to mess up. If I was going to have to go through this with every “R” transaction that I wanted to un-reconcile, it was going to be a long night.

Some more messing around brought up a list of previous reconcilliations, which showed a succession of monthly manual reconcilliations, and then two this month which must have happened at Quicken’s whim when I downloaded bank transactions. I clicked on each of the two bogus reconcilliations, and clicked the “Re-reconcile”, which brought up the same dialog I normally use to reconcile. I clicked “uncheck all” and then “save”. It warned me that the reconcilliation didn’t balance, and it was going to put in a new transaction to fix them. After it was finished with that, I found and deleted the two “reconcillation adjustment” transactions. And then I tried the paper reconcilliation. And you know what? It worked. Everything looks fine now, but I don’t doubt I’ll have some problems with the next paper statement as well. But now I think I know how to fix them.

And just in case, I turned off the “auto reconcile” option entirely. I’ve had that on since I started using Quicken in 2002, with the submenu “reconcile when I recieve a paper statement on the 22nd of the month”, and it’s never caused problems before, but I suspect it was that causing the problem. The option probably didn’t mean what I thought it meant, but I guess I’ll see when the next paper statement comes.