When activation systems go bad

16 Comments

I use Quickbooks Pro 2003 from Intuit to provide my business accounting needs and it has served me well for a few years.  There are newer versions of the software available but Quickbooks is pretty pricey and the version I have works perfectly for me so I have not felt a need to update it.  Intuit uses an activation scheme for QB that has left me totally without accounting software and no apparent way around the roadblock.

Readers know that I recently changed computers and picked up an HP tc1100 which has become my main computer.  I installed QB on the HP and did all the live updating and it works just as it should, rather it worked fine.  I can’t use it now at all.  Since my copy of Quickbooks had already been activated several years ago I immediately went through the QB online activation process which stalled right away.  They ask you to enter the first and last name of the person that did the original registration, a horrible practice for business software since employees change, and according to QB my name doesn’t match the one in their database.  I remember when I originally activated the product via the telephone that the QB rep misspelled both my name and my company name in their database, and for the life of me I can’t remember exactly how they misspelled it.

The activation process stalls at this point but they provide an 800 number to activate and register it over the phone so all should be OK.  Unfortunately, all menu options on their phone system directs me back to the web page where I enter my name that they can’t match in the database.  Endless circle.  When I break out of the phone menu system by requesting to speak to an actual person, their phone system says OK and dials a number.  That is answered after a bit with a message that says due to system upgrades no phone activations are possible and directing me back to the same web page that doesn’t work.

At this point I cannot use my accounting software and am really stuck.  This is a travesty considering the fact that QB is business accounting software and moving/ installing it on new computers is something that happens all the time in office settings.  There is no one I can talk to, nowhere I can go for manual activation, nothing that I can see I can do at this point.  Well, except switch to another product.

Update: Intuit apparently checks Technorati where this article appears and a representative has contacted me to help me get the activation problem resolved. I’ll update again when this happens.

16 Comments

QB_neveragain

Intuit are useless. I’ll never purchase from them again.

Maybe this will help some people:

If you have access to the original installation, take a look at /program files/intuit/quickbooks pro/INET/license.qbl.

Open the file with notepad and all of your registration/licence information is here.

Save it somewhere safe as a txt file.

I’m now a very happy Microsoft Office Accounting customer!

Joe

I was running QB2003, but when i moved it to a new PC, it wouldn’t run without the reg-code. Many many calls to Intuit proved futile, with them insisting i pay £300(uk) for a new code. Thanks for the info from Matt – you’ve saved me a whole heap of cash!

R K

My father is running QB 6.0, can you tell me what version he can upgrade to without having to deal with the activation crap?.

He is happy with QB 6.0, the only problem is cut & paste between Office apps. So wonder if QB 8.0 will solve his problem? He does not want to upgrade to 2007 as he thinks it will be a waste of money.

david

My friend purchased Quickbooks pro 99 years ago and never used it. He gave it to me and i tried to register it. They told me that it was already registered under another name, it has never been registered before. is there anything i can do?

Bernard

If I have all my licence info can I activate QB when installing on a new machine without calling QB?

Matt

I used to work for QuickBooks registration team, and I can tell you a couple of things:

1. I worked there during the QB2003 roll-out. At that time, despite what all the reps told you, I could generate a new registration code for QB programs all the way back to version 4.0. You just had to manually identify which version you were entering the serial number for. For version they supported, the registration program would automatically tell you what version someone was trying to register.

2. If it was an unsupported version, even if the registration code was up on the screen, we were supposed to tell the customer it was unsupported and do our best to sell you an upgrade. If all efforts failed, we were supposed to put you tell you we were going to contact a supervisor to try to get “special dispensation” for you. After leaving you on hold for awhile, we would then come back and tell you we were doing you a great favor and the supervisor pulled some serious strings and accessed a super secret portion of the database and managed to get your old registration number. Aren’t we wonderful?

3. Always write down the registration number. It never changes, no matter what machine it is on. So, if you have version 4.0 running on XP-SP2, the original registration code will work.

4. If you still have the old version running on your old computer, bring the program up and click on the Help menu and then the About Quickbooks menu. It will show you the registration code and serial number right there. Write them down and you can transfer them to the new computer.

It is amazing to me that as popular as QB is, there doesn’t seem to be any cracks out there to generate registration numbers, remove the activation code or allow you to enter your own tax table information! I think that Intuit should be required to make a patch freely available for every version they “Sunset” that removes the need for activation. That is what people are saying Microsoft should be required to do with XP when they drop support for it, so why not Intuit?

Vidge

“Hmm…are there any tax/budget/accounting programs that do not pull the “you need an update every x years or else” but allow you to purchase maybe updated packages for tax tables and what-not?”

Peachtree still gives the user access to the tax tables.

Vidge

“vidge, do you know of any way to get Quickbooks data into MS Money for Small Business?”

No, sorry I don’t. I’m not familiar with any recent versions of MS Money. Is there an import feature built into the program?

Peter

Yeah, this is quite rediculous. I have had similar experiences with Quickbooks. Enough is enough; I’m not buying their products anymore.

charlene

Hmm…are there any tax/budget/accounting programs that do not pull the “you need an update every x years or else” but allow you to purchase maybe updated packages for tax tables and what-not?

jk

Update: Intuit apparently checks Technorati where this article appears and a representative has contacted me to help me get the activation problem resolved. I’ll update again when this happens.

jk

vidge, do you know of any way to get Quickbooks data into MS Money for Small Business?

GRC

Intuit also gets you if you use TurboTax in conjuction with QuickBooks. Every couple years, that years version of Turbo Tax will not work with QB if it is a couple years old, forcing you to upgrade QB if you want to be able to export your info to TTax. Great sales/marketing ploy.

Vidge

I don’t know what the folks at Intuit are thinking with schemes like this and the one I had to help a client with yesterday. He has been using QBPro 2002 and Intuit ended support for the product 4/30. Although he had purchased the upgrade, he hadn’t gotten around to installing it yet. He ran his payroll for his various stores on Sunday night and after sending them out, he realized the program had not deducted most of the taxes (none except Social Security). He has a valid license for the payroll portion but it seems when Intuit says no more support, they really mean no more support.

Although I am a QB Pro Advisor, I’ve never been a fan of the software. This just makes me even less so.

Sheri

You have just described a typical day in the office for me! Now, multiply it by 10 users and a very grumpy boss who doesn’t understand technology, nor does he appreciate that I get all of my other work done as well as deal with this! OK, rant over!

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