Intuit looks to add $200 to the $19.99 Mountain Lion update’s Pricetag

QuickBooks for Mac 2012

When you use your Mac for “real” business, it’s always a good idea when a new OS update comes out to hold back a couple days and let other brave souls take the plunge for you, just to see if anything essential you use is not supported. Well, faithful Macenstein reader and QuickBooks 2011 user Andrew got a surprise e-mail from Intuit more or less telling him if he wants to use all the great new features in the $19.99 Mountain Lion OS update, he’ll need to shell out $200 for what Andrew calls a basically new-featureless QuickBooks 2012 update.

“In a stunning and selfish display of lack of consideration for its customers, Intuit is (for the second time in roughly one year) holding Quickbooks for Mac users hostage. In an email to all Quickbooks for Mac customers yesterday, the company informed the masses that in order for full compatibility with Mountain Lion, they will need to spend $200 to upgrade their software to the latest version Quickbooks for Mac 2012. A surprise to Mac users? … not even close! This is exactly what happened one year ago during the transition from Snow Leopard to Lion. A move clearly designed to fleece small business customers for preferring OSX to that other platform, the company offers zero incentive for the upgrade, which most users passed on due to a lack of new features. Hoping to ride the OSX upgrade wave, it seems Intuit fails to understand the difference between asking people for $19.99 each year to upgrade an entire feature packed OS and requiring $200 for a few new icons. What’s worse, Quickbooks for Mac 2013 is scheduled for launch in the Sept/Oct timeframe, but the company only allows for an approximate 30 day window in which users who buy 2012 can get the upgrade to 2013 for free. Intuit’s suggestions: 1) don’t upgrade to Mountain Lion! Proof positive that they do not understand their Mac customer base. 2) Create a partition and run Lion separate from Mountain Lion to do your accounting! The most nauseating self-absorbed garbage I’ve ever heard. And finally, 3) upgrade your OS and keep using Quickbooks for Mac 2012 … but if something breaks we’re not responsible and you’re S.O.L. Oh, and buyers beware … even if you do pay the upgrade cost to QB2012 and figure you’ll skip 2013, take a look back at the Forums from last year’s forced Quickbooks 2011 upgrade. The company’s lack of preparedness left users in a bind for months while they tried to work out a number of bugs from their “compatible software”. Don’t be surprised if come October they try to force another $200 from your pocket for a “fully” compatible copy!

It’s a sad day, in this or any economy, when a company like Intuit chooses to prey on its loyal customers. Shame on you Intuit … shame on you!

Best,
Andrew”

Now, I don’t use QuickBooks, and can’t speak to Andrew’s problem specifically, but he seems outraged enough (and I would be too) that I felt his rant deserved posting. And certainly that QuickBooks 2013 upgrade policy is TOTAL BS given it’s only a couple weeks past Mountain Lion’s release – seemingly a clear cash grab to get those Mac faithful who can’t wait to upgrade to Mountain Lion to pay $200 for QuickBooks 2012 now, and QB 2013 in 7 weeks. As Andrew rightly points out, it’s not like Intuit didn’t see the ML update coming. The odd thing to me is, if you read Intuit’s e-mail to Andrew (below), tell me if you don’t think this is simply a matter of scare tactics from a company looking to shake down worried consumers:

“Intuit® QuickBooks®

Dear Andrew,

Let’s talk about Mountain Lion!

Like a lot of Mac users, everyone on the QuickBooks for Mac team is excited about the upcoming release of OS X 10.8: Mountain Lion. You may be wondering how Mountain Lion will affect your version of QuickBooks for Mac.

QuickBooks 2011 and prior are not supported on Mountain Lion. (Note that QuickBooks 2012 is supported on Mountain Lion.) Read more about this on Little Square.

If you decide to upgrade your OS, you may find that most things in your QuickBooks for Mac work for you, but if you run into a problem, we may not be able to help you. To minimize the chances of running into issues, you should make sure you’ve installed the latest update for your software. To find and install an update, click QuickBooks > Check for QuickBooks Updates.

If the new features in the Mountain Lion OS aren’t a big deal for you and you don’t want to upgrade either your OS or your current version of QuickBooks, then just stay with your current OS and QuickBooks versions. We can continue to help you with any problems you may run into.

If you must upgrade your OS, but don’t want to upgrade QuickBooks, you can continue safely running QuickBooks for Mac and any other software that may not be compatible with Mountain Lion on a partition. (Note: it’s important that you check all your software on the Mac you use for your business to be sure that it’s all compatible with Mountain Lion.) You can learn more about setting up a partition at this article by Apple: http://support.apple.com/kb/PH5845

If you want to run QuickBooks for Mac on Mountain Lion, you should upgrade to QuickBooks 2012 for Mac. That way if you do run into any problems, we can help you. You can find QuickBooks 2012 for Mac on our website at http://quickbooks.com/mac and at most major retailers.

We really appreciate your business and wish you happy accounting whether you choose to upgrade to Mountain Lion or stay with your current version of OS X.

You’ll find great answers to your questions and advice on our Community. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter. And Little Square will keep you up-to-date with new developments about QuickBooks for Mac on Mountain Lion.

Sincerely,

The QuickBooks for Mac Team”

Now, I don’t think Intuit is actually saying that QuickBooks 2011 WON’T work with Mountain Lion… they are just sort of implying it, and saying they won’t provide any technical support IF something goes wrong or doesn’t work. You really almost have to admire a company that is so willing to say to customers “Our software is good for one year, on the current version of the OS. We will not support or update it, if you want to keep using it, just pay another $200″. (Oh, and that’s another thing. The UPGRADE from 2011 to 2012 is $200, while the full version is $230. Not exactly what I’d call a stellar discount for loyal customers).

I haven’t really seen all that much new under the hood of Mountain Lion that I would think breaks app functionality – my Office and Adobe apps all seem to like Mountain Lion, and those are as bloated and inefficient as code gets. So part of me wants to tell Andrew to just go ahead, update to Mountain Lion and call Intuit’s bluff. But then there’s the part of me that hears his horror story from Snow Leopard to Lion…


“I have yet to upgrade, and clearly the wait is killing me. Sadly I need to do some accounting and knock out some invoices before I try. What drives me crazy is how little they seem to care. At the very least they could have published a list of things that don’t work. There has been developer code out forever, as you are well aware, so it’s not like they don’t know! Last year, on the upgrade to lion users lost the ability to print invoices and export to excel. It took months to rectify. I just fell like they are all sitting around laughing at the mac community and needed to vent to someone with more of a voice than I have.”

… and I want to say hold back. So, have any of you brave souls who use QuickBooks 2011 for Mac upgraded to Mountain Lion and can tell Andrew what, if anything, to expect? Leave your comments below, and thanks.

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Comments
29 Responses to “Intuit looks to add $200 to the $19.99 Mountain Lion update’s Pricetag”
  1. Alex says:

    I would not believe a company of mac software that uses baner photo of mac fliped over :)
    My advice to Andrew is – try to find another app. :)

  2. Rob says:

    I received the same email as Andrew and laughed very loudly when I read it. I advised our Accounting Department and Accounting teachers to start looking for an alternative.

    So, good job Quicken…not that I expect Quicken to read this as they are not cool enough to read Macenstein as they would need to be more familiar with the Mac user base…which clearly they are not!

  3. gryhound says:

    I used to be a loyal Intuit customer. I used Quicken for 12 years on Mac until the Financial Essentials/Quick Books Pro 07 debacle.

    1) It dumbfounds me on how the data file on Quicken and Quickbooks Pro for Mac isn’t the same as the Windows version. Microsoft has had the same data files on Word, Excel and Powerpoint since the late 90’s.

    So… I recommend iBank to my customers now and help them convert their data files.

    Boo Intuit.

    • Ron says:

      iBank seems to be having its own problems with Mountain Lion,,, see iBank support site. Any reports out there on iBank users who have upgraded to ML?

  4. Biscotti says:

    I work on QuickBooks Mac in engineering. I’m probably not allowed to comment but I believe I can say that we have raised the matter internally.

    • GoldenPRGuy says:

      Biscotti, I actually believe you work there!! And not because you say you do, but mainly because your answer lacks any specifics – EXACTLY like the crappy letter we received from your employer on the subject of upgrades. Fix the problem or don’t … I DON’T CARE! But have decency to publish a list of features that are not working under ML. Let people choose if they can live without them! You have had MONTHS to figure this out and document issues!

  5. R. Wilson says:

    I am a farmer and small businessman. When last year’s Mac operating system upgrade came out, Intuit refused to update it’s Quickbooks for the Mac 2009 and said it would not support it. All my other software vendors had no qualms about updating their software to work with the new Mac OS. My accountant wanted me to continue to send him our business accounting in Quickbooks so I was forced to buy a new Quickbooks. A new Quickbooks was cheaper on Amazon than the upgrade on the Intuit website. Little did I know that less than a year later, Intuit would again want me to buy a new version of Quickbooks to work with the new Mac OS (Mountain Lion) at a cost of $184. No other software company forces its customers to buy a new version of their software every year. I have long since given up on Quicken for the Mac and replaced it with Moneydance since Intuit has shown no interest in a serious upgrade since 2007. Now I am forced to ask my accountant to work with me with other software or change accountants. Intuit may produce good software for the PC but is a predatory company as far as Mac users are concerned.

  6. grubs says:

    quit using quickbooks or use the windows version of it through virtualization or remote desktop connect (rdc).

    both versions (mac/windows) are poorly written and have been for years/decades.

    i’d rather keep my books with pebbles and shells.

    • dfok says:

      I’m now in hour five, day two of trying to get quickbooks to run with VM Fusion. Having suffered for years I am done with Intuit. Pebbles and shells will be a major upgrade.

  7. Gussy says:

    I run an IT company, i run Quickbook in a VM. I think i might change after this year to Freshbooks, portable and getting new features all the time. I hate working with Quickbooks on many customers machines, its so archaic and not logical in any sense.

  8. BlueHills says:

    Has anyone out there already upgraded to mountain lion? If so have you seen any issues with Quickbooks 2011 yet?

  9. Jamie says:

    It enrages me that QB holds Mac users hostage whenever there is an OS change. It’s been a while since I used Windows but do they do the same thing when Windows changes their OS? I paid to upgrade last year when I went to Lion and had problems for months with getting checks and invoices to print. I had to uninstall and reinstall QB several times and even now I occasionally run into the same problem that was supposedly “fixed”. It’s obvious Intuit really doesn’t care about their customers and just want more money at a time when small businesses are struggling and can’t pay another $200 for basically nothing. If they were smart, which they obviously aren’t, they would sell upgrades at a low price like Apple. I upgraded my Macbook to Mountain Lion and love some of the features but i’m not updating my desktop Mac for a while, I just can’t afford to spend the $200 and have a really bad feeling Inuit will require another upgrade when they release QB2013.

  10. Mr.Mag One says:

    I have updated to Mt. Lion and use Quickbooks 2011. Everything seems to work great! I will not be updating until forced to.

  11. Jamie says:

    Thanks for the info, I’m going to go ahead and try it myself.

  12. Bizlaw says:

    I read Intuit’s letter as stating that it’s not supporting QB 2011 on Mountain Lion, but that it may work just fine. However, if you want support for QB in Mountain Lion, you have to upgrade to QB 2012. While I think that’s BS that they won’t support their software which is just a year or so old, it’s really just a warning to watch out when you upgrade.

    I used QB 2009 until I had to upgrade to QB 2012 for both features and OS upgrades. I don’t plan on purchasing QB 2013 unless there are some really compelling features, but I can’t imagine what those would be.

  13. Jeanne says:

    I’m guessing QB 2010 probably won’t work with Mountain Lion but if anyone using QB 2010 upgrades their OS please post how it did for you. Thanks.

  14. Jamie says:

    I upgraded to Mountain Lion last Friday and so far my QB2011 is working creating and printing invoices and checks. I haven’t tried anything else yet and will see what happens. For now I’m not upgrading until absolutely necessary. I think its criminal to charge $200.00 for an upgrade when a brand new version of QB2012 is $229.00 at Staples.

  15. Mabou2 says:

    I have to say, I used to be a huge intuit fan and have used QB for my business for years. But I am shocked at the gall of this company to continue charging $200 for updates. These updates are usually so painfully incremental with almost no major revisions. Largely cosmetic, sometimes UI, and rarely substantial.

    Shame on you Intuit. I am on the hunt for a good alternative to QB and won’t look back once I find it.

  16. Tom says:

    What is the point of this article? Just because Apple droped the price of their OS to 19,99$ other companies must do the same? Do all the writers here drop their income also, if somebody else works for less? Or will they refuse to take money, if somebody does what they do for free?

    Apple can obviously lower the prices for their software products to whatever, because they have a huge customer base – I am sure other companies would follow, if they had the chance to sell 4 million copies within just a few days. But since this will never happen for a product such as Quicken, Initut need to earn money elsewhere. Let´s face it, Apple had – for many years – quite expensive software products (such as the Final Cut Suite etc.) and the mandatory upgrades when new OS versions were released have not been cheap either. I am very sure they would have never cut prices so drastically, if they would not use software to fuel hardware sales in the first place.

    • Mabou2 says:

      Hi Tom,

      Personally, I think the bigger story is that Intuit way, way, way overcharges for their incremental updates. Apples FCP studio updates were fairly priced, especially considering the hundreds of thousands of man-hours that went into each (substantial) update. The Quickbooks updates are pathetic for $200. New icons? A new Help section? Oh Please.

      It is possible that Quickbooks doesn’t sell on the Mac as well because Intuit never did the hard work of bringing the Mac side to Parity with the Windows side. The Mac version is crippled compared to the work they did on the Windows side. That makes the initial purchase of QB expensive for relatively outdated technology, then you have to pay $200 a year if you want to creep your way toward something that is ever-so-slowly catching up to the times.

  17. Tom Gott says:

    Woe! After upgrade to Mountain Lion Quickbooks 2012 for the Mac seemed OK at first. Today I entered two jobs and noticed they did not sort as they used to – they just stayed under the Customer out of order. Then after several entries the whole file disappeared. Program did not crash but there is no visible file to work with.

    (FWIW, Woe #2 is my free Evernote disappeared and I seem to have to get the paid version – if that wil work.
    Woe #3, the terrific Voice Dictation in ML worked flawlessly ONE TIME and since then I cannot access it, it simply says “Done” and hits the beach.)

  18. Ryan says:

    I upgraded to 10.8 and had no problems. I am using QB 2009 (gasp!). All was fine until this morning. I changed nothing yesterday and now I can’t use the email invoice function. I have to print the invoice to pdf and mail it. This takes and extra step. QB is terrible, we all know that but we all use it.

  19. Lana says:

    Just upgraded to Mountain Lion. Big mistake; HUGE! Took forever to download, don’t like the changes, and my mac is running really, really slow now. And the worst? Realized QB for Mac 09 (. . . I know, I know . . .) doesn’t work AT ALL!

  20. Annette says:

    I’m a small business owner running Quickbooks 2007 on Snow Leopard. I’m usually pretty good about upgrading my OS but I’m really afraid to upgrade Quickbooks. I was thinking about upgrading next week but now I think I’ll wait. What always amazed me is that the Mac version isn’t fully compatible with the Windows version (at least not 2007). So when I ship my company files to my accountant (who uses a PC) we never know what’s missing or not working properly. I’ve heard ‘Freshbooks’ and I’ll look into that application, but can anyone recommend a program that works on the Mac and is compatible with Quickbooks PC?

  21. James says:

    Why is everyone blaming Intuit? The problem is with Apple. Of course Apple Lovers would never believe that.

    QB is one a many applications that will not run on Apples latest “updates”. I blame Apple for not caring about it’s customers enough to ensure that the software they own will be compatible with each new release of OS. This rarely happens with Windows and never did until Win 7 and Vista. And even then on a very limited basis with workarounds like being able to run apps in XP mode.

    I use both for business and hands down Win OS is more backward compatible. I can’t even update iTunes any further with Snow Leopard yet I am able to update iTunes on my Win XP box. This proves that Apple is the culprit. They have always built in planned obsolescence into their products and use marketing hype to keep the loyal “lemming” masses coming back to buy new products while the products they have would otherwise work fine.

    There is a reason Macs only make up 12% of the PC community.

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