Josh's Blog

Nefarious Happenings at Intuit (w audio)

Nefarious Happenings at Intuit (w audio)

Click Hear for audio version

It doesn’t really matter, but for what its worth I would like to share with you, good reader, a recent experience I had with the customer service team at Intuit. I have a 2016 version of QuickBooks Pro that I decided to implement back into my day to day. The copy was purchased off Newegg back in 2016 as a full version digital download. As such it came with all of the necessary license numbers and so forth. However, after installing and successfully moving past the ‘yes I bought this’ security bits, the program asked me for a validation code which could only be obtained by calling Intuit’s (QuickBooks parent company) customer service number.

The phone number ended up being a generic customer service line that referred me the QuickBooks ‘contact us’ area within the application. Ugh! So, I went there (fortunately Quickbooks allowed me access to that portion of the app without the code) and I was able to get into a chat session with a likely third party – and Im willing to bet – commission based – customer service agent. I explained the issue, and that I just needed the validation code to get back to using my 5 year old, but $300 dollar application.

Should be easy peasy stuff here.

The woman on the other end said that with a little updating, Id be back on my feet in no time. Yes! I thought! (ignoring the obvious next question as to if there would be any additional cost). So after looking up my account online, and validating that I did in fact purchase this software, the woman told me that the discounted rate to bring QuickBooks up to the current version would only be $199. That’s what it would take for me to be able to use my version of QuickBooks, and that’s when our chummy relationship came apart like a wet soda cracker.

I argued that this was a full version purchase, and despite the fact that its 5 years old I have a right to be able to use it. Just give me the freaking code already. But the woman refused…or said she couldn’t get it (refused). Claiming that the license the software came with was only good for three years. There was nothing more she could do, the only way to move forward would involve my wallet. So I told her no thanks, I’ll be checking out the six-month free trial of their competitor’s software instead*.

She hardly cared.

Still trying to nail that commission though, the woman then asked me if I had heard of QuickBooks online? I told her there is no way Im going to use a subscription service from a company that stoops this low. And that is how the conversation ended.

So that was that.

Only it wasnt…

After searching the internet for ways to crack – or break into – my legitimately purchased version of QuickBooks, I stumbled upon a thread (ironically on the QuickBooks support page) from someone who had had the same problem, with the same 2016 version of QuickBooks that I have. Apparently his laptop was stolen and he had to re-install Quickbooks onto his new computer. Like me, he was unable to get past the validation code screen, and he complained the referred phone number did not provide the solution. Astonishingly, his QuickBooks agent stated that she would ensure he would receive the code ASAP, and the issue was then marked resolved.

On top of that…this thread was dated 2020. So like mine, this man’s license was also beyond the three year license limitations that my agent claimed was impossible to circumvent.

So I decided to initiate another chat session with another agent, and aligned my backstory along the lines of that poor chap who’s laptop had been stolen. I told the agent that I had to reinstall QuickBooks and needed the validation code so that I could access my company files. Amazingly, this new agent told me no worries and after a few futile attempts to upsell and upgrade my software, finally awarded me those elusive six validating numbers. I typed them in and ‘voilah!’ the old 2016 QuickBooks sprung to life, eagerly ready to capture some financial transactions.

So there ya have it. My first agent was a liar and a cheat. OR, Intuit is encouraging its agents push you toward another purchase (at all cost), OR nobody cares, and it really just boils down to who you talk to, and what story you give. In any case, this is why Intuit has made my wall of shame.


  • Available at the Sage website (sadly six month offer has now ended)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*