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June 03, 2011

Intuit's Very Bad No Good Horrible Week -- QuickBooks and Now Credit Card Payments

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor

As screwups go it’s nowhere near as bad as Sony’s, but also not as clever as the brilliant Pop-Tart Cat hack of PBS, either.

Yet for the faithful denizens of Intuit (News - Alert) Community, it was disaster: From Wednesday and into Thursday, Intuit’s QuickBooks Payroll service went on the fritz, meaning small businesses couldn’t pay workers via direct deposit.

Word is Frank McCourt blamed the outage for having trouble meeting payroll for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

According to [] industry observer Larry Dignan, Intuit got the direct deposit working again by Thursday, but now “there’s a recurring credit card payment glitch for businesses that upgraded from QuickBooks 2008 to 2011.”

First the direct deposit snafu: In a “critical payroll” notice emailed to customers, Intuit said “You may be aware of a service disruption today with your QuickBooks Payroll service that may have prevented you from processing your direct deposit payroll.”

Naturally their customers weren’t pleased, as Dignan notes one responded “The professionally responsible thing to have done would have been to send an e-mail notice to all customers impacted at the time of the incident (which was ~8am CDT (News - Alert) for us) and follow it up with updates.

You are just now acknowledging there is an issue 6 hours into it?”

Now Dignan’s reporting that “there’s a recurring credit card payment glitch for businesses that upgraded from QuickBooks 2008 to 2011.”

Add this to Intuit’s tax refund screwup in March when, according to industry observer Chris Kanaracus, “a snafu in some Intuit software recently resulted in a number of Ohio residents receiving letters indicating that eye-popping sums were en route -- in one reported case, a cool $200 million. The bug befell Intuit's ProSeries and Turbo Tax software and involved the process by which taxpayers submit requests for a direct deposit of their refunds.”

And again, it wouldn’t be so bad, but the dagger twist here is that Intuit “sent emails indicating that QuickBooks 2008 users had to upgrade to the 2011 version to retain merchant services from within the application,” according to what Dignan said was a “flood” of angry emails to him on the first Intuit story.

As the community unloaded to Dignan:

“I upgraded to QB 2011 a few weeks ago. I have over 1000 recurring charges. They were working fine until yesterday afternoon when suddenly they all disappeared. Poof !! Gone. This is a nightmare! Intuit better get these recurring charges restored ASAP. It would be impossible to re-enter all of them... They forced me to upgrade and now my business is basically SHUT DOWN.”

As Dignan laconically understated, Intuit is “losing points” with small businesses this week.

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Chris DiMarco

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