In writing my book, Silicon Collar, I saw plenty of examples of how machines make human workers safer, smarter and speedier. I also became more aware of poor implementations where the man-machine balance is broken and leads to worker and customer dissatisfaction. In this series, I will highlight some of those experiences.
We got the annual renewal notice for our Quickbooks Payroll. Seemed high so I bought on Amazon the base Quickbooks Pro and the payroll for $ 150 less. Actually, Intuit forces everyone to update the base software very three years and this also bought me the upgrade so the savings were close to $ 500
The Amazon download worked fine – but they only provided keys for the Pro product, so I called in for the Payroll keys. They could not figure it out so patched me to Intuit support. As usual the Intuit agent collected all kinds of information, then said she needed to transfer me to the payroll group. I protested that would be yet another handoff and she managed to get me the payroll keys. 45 minutes so far.
I then asked her to make sure my credit cared was not charged for the original notice. This time she said the payroll group was gone for the day (being Sunday). Can I communicate online? No (indeed their website does require you to call in – see image below)
So I asked to speak to a supervisor. He managed to note in the system not to charge my card but could not email me the detail. How about emailing a screen shot? Or a printout to be faxed or mailed to me? He said something about security restrictions. Talk about not empowering your employees. He finally managed to paste the screenshot to a Word doc and email it to me. It came from a “NoResponse” address. More unempowered employees. So, if they do charge our card, someone can pretend the conversation never happened?
So, here’s my question – how does a company which is paid to make small businesses more efficient have such poor leverage of man and machine. Why did their poor customer support (who by the way were impeccably polite) and I have to spend an hour on the phone when a couple of keystrokes on my part should have sufficed. And why do they make someone as efficient as Amazon also look bad?
BTW – see the Frustrated icon at the bottom-right of the image? I have pasted a link to this post. See if they bother to respond