I love Quickbooks, it is fantastic software, and I happily recommend it to anyone who will listen. It is far superior to Sage.
But I don't like the way they handle their upgrade policy. Every couple of years, they release a new version and eventually stop supporting old versions. This is perfectly sensible, and we also upgrade every few years, as our version approaches its "sunset" date (the date when they stop supporting it, and stop offering payroll tax table updates).
We prefer not to upgrade to the very latest version as soon as it comes out, because new software (whether from Microsoft, Sun or Quickbooks) often has bugs which are only ironed out once very large numbers of users have been bashing away at it for a year or so. Indeed, Quickbooks itself had quite a serious bug in their 2003 Pro edition when it first came out. Plus there was a complex change to VAT reporting in 2005 Pro which, while not a bug, was difficult to handle and we handled it incorrectly causing us considerable problems later on. This was our fault, but nevertheless is another example of why we avoid upgrading too frequently - we don't want to have to spend time every year figuring out this sort of thing.
But Quickbooks always try and bamboozle us into upgrading nearly a year before our current version sunsets, by refusing to sell us a payroll subscription for our version, on the basis that that version will sunset a few weeks before we have had a full twelve months' use out of that payroll subscription (because we first subscribed in May 2001, so every year we renew in May, but the sunset date always falls in April.)
We then have a little barney about this, insisting they honour their published sunset date, if that means we lose a few pounds-worth of payroll subscription we really don't mind. And they agree, and we then upgrade about a year later. (And I don't think we do ever actually lose out on the payroll subscription, because we roll it into the new version when we do upgrade).
That's all broadly fine. It is obviously in Quickbooks' interest to persuade people to upgrade more frequently, so I don't object too much to them trying to do that.
But I do hugely object to the telephone manner of the "supervisor" who I just persuaded to renew our payroll subscription. She did this very begrudgingly, saying "but you are just going to complain about this in 2008 when you need to upgrade the software. Every time you contact us it is to complain."
Pop quiz: what's the best way to deal with a customer who complains? Blame them for complaining too frequently? Or try and fix the problem?
(plus, it's not me contacting them, it's them contacting me, trying to sell me something I don't really need.)