Minor bugs create unhappy customers for Internet Marketers.

internet marketing














I bought the 2012 upgrade to Quicken, the accounting programme I use, from the website of a major office products supplier. I bought it from that website because it offered a better deal for a suite including an update to the tax programme I use, than I could get on-line from the software publisher.

Installed it on my new computer, imported the data files from my old computer and started getting my accounts up to date. I wrote before that I am a terrible procrastinator when it comes to accounts and pure admin work. That is the one part of Internet Marketing that I do not enjoy and it’s on my list for outsourcing one way or another very soon.

Everything was going well until I started processing vendors invoices. I entered the details in exactly the same was as on the older version, the input form looked identical, but when I hit save, it processed the entry as a vendor credit not an invoice. I thought I had made a mistake, processed another bill, same result, spent an hour checking settings, comparing the older version which I had deliberately left intact on the older computer. Tried some more test transactions, still the same result.

It seemed such an illogical result from a simple action, that I still thought it must either be a problem with my settings, or that I was going mad, some sort of sudden onset dementia. Eventually I overcame my reluctance, decided to risk sounding like an idiot and phoned the support line. A very helpful person there told me that there is a problem with this version. The quick work around fix is to enter the amounts as a credit by putting a – before the amount (without the – for a discount or credit). I tried it and it works.

Problem was, I was so irritated after wasting nearly 2 hours that I was muttering about throwing the programme out and trying a competitor’s product.

It reminded me that 20 years ago, back in Zimbabwe, I used an accounting programme called Pastel Accounting that was easier and quicker to use, than some of the modern ones. That was before windows and the mouse came along to complicate things. Even the later, windows compatible, versions did what they were supposed to, quietly and efficiently.  So much for progress!

The lesson here is that had I been further frustrated by an automated telephone answering system or an ineffective customer support person (as happens too frequently with other on-line businesses) I would have put the phone down and driven straight to Staples for a competitors system, a repeat customer over several years lost and unlikely to be regained.

It seems that Quicken have known about this bug for a while, I can understand them not wanting to advertise a problem, but once I had confirmed my order on-line it would have been a simple process to put me in an autoresponder that sent me an email explaining the problem and how to get around it. I got the actual cd, not a download, delivered by parcel delivery service, another lost opportunity to alert me.

Kudos though to Quicken for their excellent service when I phoned them. That is why I am still a customer.

Will all their frustrated users persevere and make the call or will some just abandon them and go to a competitor?

Just shows how much damage a little bug can do to our Internet Marketing.

Do you have bugs in you system that affect your customers experience? It’s not always the bug that loses customers, but how the customer is treated after looking for help to fix it.

Wishing you success in all your endeavours.


Peter Wright





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