QuickBooks Support, Xero Support, Xero Wins Big

Filed in Accounting, Business, Intuit QuickBooks, Xero by on June 25, 2012

I strongly believe that almost all QuickBooks Support and Xero support users will say that Xero wins big when comparing QuickBooks support and Xero support. However, my QuickBooks insider status gives me unique insight into QuickBooks and Xero support.

QuickBooks Support History

I am probably the only person who ever got frequent QuickBooks email support from Intuit CEOs and their best assistants. This mainly related to my answering around 7,000 (yes, seven thousand) mainly QuickBooks newsgroup and forum questions, before Intuit had much of web presence. Many emails were on questions regular Intuit support and I could not answer. This did not keep me quiet when Intuit began charging for separate tax tables for each company using QuickBooks, not each copy of QuickBooks. I whipped up a protests and boycotts, using my successful tax-cut petition leader and political experience (gave my salary back, never let lobbyists buy lunch). According to CNET:

This major victory for consumers of Intuit’s financial products was almost certainly caused by a gigantic hue and cry in the Internet discussion group known as “biz.comp.accounting.” Block, the owner of a Florida tax consultancy, BlockTax… is the moderator of the discussion group and led the battle against the new fees.

Wikipedia also mentions this (QuickBooks, Criticism 14). It may have cost Intuit $40 million. Intuit CEO Steve Bennett knew this when he later let me on a QuickBooks Advisory Council, as he may have become CEO partly due to it. However, while on the Council I boycotted TurboTax over copy protection. Instead of dropping me from the Council, Steve saw my posts about fighting Intuit to make it better, so it could do more for users and itself. He also made or let others make many good changes on the first day of my boycott. They included approving my suggested free copy of TurboTax, without copy protection (after April 15). I then spent lots of time posting why we should stop boycotting. Steve later wrote that I should, “Keep raising hell when Inuit does something wrong.”

Steve told current Intuit CEO Brad Smith (according to Brad) to contact me, before Brad reported to work. Brad’s first email is on my Our Intuit Friends page. We had a one-hour conference call, with several Intuit staffers, on a public new feature and bug tracking website I wanted. He soon had a three-day meeting of top Intuit execs. Intuit founder Scott Cook said he wanted a system that would let Intuit could follow up with users years after they made good suggestions. Brad soon created my suggested site, but I could not get him to fix it. This let to our very many email exchanges.

There has long been no email support for most QuickBooks users. Almost all QuickBooks support requires substantial payments. Phone support can take more than an hour. That made me push hard for tech-support backed user-to-user forums. I did this for many years, directly, through many forum posts and through my Intuit QuickBooks Advisory Council. It helped an expert nagger (my mother) taught me and I then had tax-cut petition and political experience.

Brad finally got tech support backing for Intuit forums. He also linked in-program help to them. That let users quickly post issues to applicable forum areas if there were no good prior answers. Surveys showed that this produced far better (43%) and faster answers, while Intuit cut a seventh of total staff. This terrific tech support improvement was probably a big reason why Brad became CEO, though I told him he would be the next Intuit CEO two years before he was. As the above link shows, I then called him t Amazing Intuit CEO. It also was, therefore, not a big surprise when he later wrote, “Your fantastic Mike! Absolutely fantastic!”

Unfortunately, Brad’s assistants stinted on the tech-support backing of these forums. They also did not let QuickBooks phone support recordings refer to it for a long time (if ever). I understand this. Phone support is a big money maker for Intuit and the managers who must authorize such announcements. This is very bad because most QuickBooks support techs simply seem to read answers that they look up (without understanding them). Even worse, many techs (not the costly QuickBooks ProAdvisor support), do not speak English well. That would be minor if they answered email, but Intuit has no email support.

Finally, Intuit did not make much of its tech support database public for a long time. I repeatedly told top Intuit execs that this violated their (supposed) goal of placing users first, but Intuit often ignores its stated goal of placing the customers first. Intuit finally released part of this tech support database, but only to QuickBooks ProAdvisors. This was an obvious ploy to increase paid tech support calls and ProAdvisor dependence. However, about 75% of QuickBooks ProAdvisors never pass the Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor test (much less the Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor test that I did frequently). Therefore, no one knows if these QuickBooks Advisors know anything about QuickBooks. Giving only them the tech support database was one more way in which Intuit hurts users. That is one reason I wrote, Why QuickBooks users waste a billion dollars a year on so-called QuickBooks ProAdvisors.” It also is why I called this section QuickBooks Support History: the more you know about QuickBooks support, the more you may dislike it.

Xero Support:

Xero does not yet have in-program links, to specific user-to-user forums, from corresponding sections of its program or from its web program help, though it is discussing them. However, it has long had forums that are exactly like the tech-support backed user forums I worked so hard to get from QuickBooks. I also believe it provides far more tech-support backing to its forums.

QuickBooks paid phone support and unlimited-fast-free-Xero-email-support are both available 24/7. However, Xero web and email techs seem far more knowledgeable than comparable QuickBooks techs. Only QuickBooks ProAdvisor techs begin to match them. However, even QuickBooks ProAdvisor techs antagonize users with one or two stages of wasted phone hold time. Xero email techs avoid this. Therefore, Xero support is far better than QuickBooks support.

The payoff on QuickBooks Support vs Xero support came recently. I wrote to Xero about them not understanding and answering a support question. I quickly got an email asking when I had time to talk about the problem. As soon as I set a time, the Xero rep called. I got three questions fully answered in 15 minutes, though two were new. 

That is why almost all QuickBooks and Xero support users say that Xero wins big, when comparing QuickBooks and Xero support.

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About the Author ()

I provide the fastest and easiest Xero daily automatic accounting for accuracy, very low cost, safety and reliability. QuickBooks, Intuit Federated Applications and our popular http://www.QuickBooks-blog.com/. I increase small and medium business profits and cut business and personal taxes.

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