Last year I started using Quicken online and found it a breath of fresh air. I have been using Quicken software on my Mac for many years but I liked the idea of having everything out in the 'cloud' so that I can get to it from any computer. After I started using the online Quicken they added a feature that allowed you to have regular SMS messages sent to your phone. This seemed like a good idea so I enabled it. Every day I'd get a series of short messages with updates (there was too much information to fit into 1 text message).
Along the way I decided to make my account password very secure. I had started using a great program called 1Password that generates strong passwords. You just have to remember one password and it will fill in all of the passwords you need for any site you visit. Everything was going great. Then I got a new computer and had some issues getting 1Password to work properly. It garbled a few of the passwords, and apparently (unbeknownst to me at the time) one of those was my Quicken online password.
I didn't think about Quicken at the time because it had stopped sending me the daily messages by SMS. And I appreciated the silence. I had started experimenting with a service called Mint, which seemed more robust than Quicken Online. And so I basically forgot about Quicken.
One day I sent out a 'tweet' (e.g. Twitter post) about how much I liked Mint, and that I preferred it over Quicken. I got a few responses, including one from a team member at Quicken asking what I didn't like about Quicken. I told him I just liked Mint's interface better.
Ironically, a few days after that I started getting the flurry of SMS messages from Quicken. This was annoying, and so I navigated to Quicken online to turn off the SMS notification. That's when I found out that I had lost my password. I tried to get the service to send me a new password and along the way found out that I had two accounts. One I could access, which contained no data. And the other I couldn't.
I presume the one I can't access is the one that dutifully sends me text messages.
Yes, the account does have a challenge question asking me for my childhood hero. And, despite the fact that I have a routine answer for that routine security question, it seems the answer I provide is not the correct answer. So, what does one do in this situation? I went to the webpage and tried to find some way of contacting a live person, or even an email address to which I could report my dilemma. I found an email address but the two times I sent in a report to that address I got no response.
Back to Twitter. I sent out a message again complaining that I didn't like Quicken online. Amazingly, I got a response from the same guy at Quicken who was using Twitter. Hurrah for a company that actually 'gets' how to use social media! That's what I thought, at first.
I exchanged a few tweets with the Quicken rep, who assured me that he could help. I explained things to him in 140 character bursts of information, and then the 4th of July weekend came and he said he'd have to get back to me after the vacation. I asked him to just get me a phone number or email address of someone so that I could explain my situation in detail. He ignored that request, and simply assured me that things would get resolved eventually.
Meanwhile, his company dutifully sent me a flurry of 4 text messages per day with updates to an account that I longed to delete.
A few moments ago I completed the last of my short burst transmissions. The representative told me…(wait for it): that I'd need to access my account to turn off mobile updates. So, after a bunch of tweeting back and forth, the final assessment on the part of Quicken is a self-evident statement. Meanwhile, I'm back where I started from.
I can't call anyone at Quicken, and I can't email them. I can send Tweets to one of their representatives who is using Social Media to keep up with what people are saying about Quicken, but he can't help or direct me to anyone who can. His job is to Tweet, not help.
Meanwhile I can't access my account. And I can't get anyone at Quicken to access it for me (even though I can prove that it's my account because it is tied to my email address). I'm certainly not going to switch phone numbers to avoid the annoying daily text messages. So this blog post is about the only thing I can do. I can't help myself, but I can perhaps warn a few other people to avoid using Quicken online. When it works, it's great. But if it doesn't work and you need help, then you're screwed.