QuickBooks Registration: Read This BEFORE You Make the Call!
Creating a Memorized Report in QuickBooks

Intuit Exposed: The Deception During QuickBooks Registration Has Got to Stop

An Open Letter to Mr. Brad Smith, CEO of Intuit...

Dear Mr. Smith:

The deception and charades that you force your QuickBooks customers into during the software registration process has got to stop. Now.Stop Sign

In case you weren't aware of the problem, please review my blog post so you can read in detail about the problems and hassles Intuit is inflicting on its' QuickBooks customers each and every day.

For a company that prides itself on listening to the "voice of the customer" (or VOC as you refer to it internally), Intuit is batting a big .000 when it comes to hearing what the customer has to say about the games that are played during the software registration process.

I think Intuit has done a marvelous job of scorching the brand equity your marketing department works so hard to build with this deception and nonsense.


Skeptical about the extent of this problem? Take a quick look at the Twitter feed of your own employee (@ErichatIntuit), who is the director of product registration. I see a definite pattern here. Do you?


I completely understand the need to register QuickBooks software. No problem there.

What I (and thousands of others) don't understand is why they are forced to call and waste anywhere from 5 to 20+ minutes on a call in the first place. This could all be done online.


During every call I have made to register QuickBooks for my clients, I have been subjected to upselling and cross-selling of other QuickBooks products and services. QuickBooks says that I have to call and get a software validation code in order to complete the registration process. It does NOT say that I will be forced to listen to marketing pitches for other products and services in order to obtain this code.

Thousands of other callers have been subjected to the same insulting behavior.


Every caller during the registration process has heard these dreaded words - "please wait while I generate your validation code". And then the wave of upselling begins.

To the unseasoned QuickBooks user, they figure that it is mandatory for them to answer all the questions your representatives ask while "they are waiting for a validation code". The reality is this - with the exception of the question about how many computers QuickBooks will be used on, ALL of the other questions are to provide the opportunity to upsell the caller, nothing more. They have NOTHING to do with obtaining a software validation code.

To the seasoned QuickBooks user that has just plunked down a pretty penny to upgrade to a newer version of QuickBooks,some of them are on to the registration charade and refuse to answer the questions. Others aren't wise enough to know of your games and fall victim to the same upselling pressure that first time callers receive.

After personally enduring this headache for years when I call on behalf of clients, I tell the rep right up front I don't want to hear any marketing or promotional pitches. So what do they do instead? They put me on hold "while they generate the validation code". I've been on hold as long as 10 minutes waiting for them to return to the line.

Seriously - are you using punched card readers to generate these codes?


Honest. I tried to get the attention of your management team before deciding to press the gas on this issue.

After having some very candid dialogue with one of your high level executives, I was told, and I quote - "Currently, we have a high customer satisfaction rating with the QuickBooks registration process".

Really? Your team actually believes that? I can only surmise that the respondents had smoked crack before filling out their survey.

I do give you credit though...

As part of the dialogue with your executive, Intuit did make a change. And the change was to let any accountant use an online registration process to get their QuickBooks registered if they were using the Accountants Edition of QuickBooks.

That is a step in the right direction.


What about the other 80+% of users that are NOT accountants? Why didn't you just make one change that impacted EVERYONE at the same time? Why do accountants get the special treatment?


My theory is that your mounds of marketing data indicated that your upsell/cross-sell rate for accountants was nowhere near as high as it was for the small business users of QuickBooks. Many accountants are on to your registration charades, and don't buy anything. So why waste call center time on them.

Unfortunately, the small business owner that doesn't know any better DOES buy things because he is pressured into it. I have even been told that some representatives insist on getting the callers credit card number to purchase a support plan or else they would not provide the validation code.


  • I registered Peachtree completely online. I could call to register IF I wanted to.
  • I registered Microsoft Office completely online. I could call to register IF I wanted to.
  • I got hassled to register my QuickBooks on the phone.


I am hopeful that you find a way to stop this nonsense - and stop it now. I have filed a complaint with the FTC about this process and am hopeful they will step in and take a look at what is actually happening during the registration process.

FTC Complaint Box

Put simply, the process of registering QuickBooks should be less than a minute and be able to be done online. No upselling unless the customer asks for it. Period.

Believe it or not, I'm on your side, having worked with QuickBooks since the '99 release. Just think of what some enterprising attorney could make out of this deception if they wanted to?

Mr. Smith, as CEO of Intuit, you can make this whole headache go away with one phone call to your programmers. I hope that call is made very, very soon.

I and thousand of other QuickBooks users would like to hear your perspective on this issue. Please post a comment below.


Scott Gregory

Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Certified QuickBooks Enterprise Advisor

Intuit Solutions Provider



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T Phillips:

Thanks very much for sharing your experience with this - appreciate you taking the time to do that.

As I don't use the fixed asset manager feature in my practice, I was unaware that this is how Intuit handles the upgrades to the information - by forcing an upgrade to the core software itself. Very interesting to say the least...this is the same as how they handle payroll. In order to get the updates, you have to renew your subscription each year. Since fixed asset manager is embedded in QuickBooks, the only way to get the update is this way.

I came across this number for the office of the president at Intuit - 520-901-3280 - not sure if it works or not, but wanted to pass it along to you...

Scott Gregory

Just spent 2 1/2 hours trying to get an issue resolved (Tax Worksheets on Fixed Asset Manager grayed out. After talking with 5 different "FAM Experts" I find out that when I purchased QB Accountant 2012 and FAM, I was actually only getting FAM 2011, so if I want to get my 2012 Tax Reports, I have to purchase QB Accountant 2013. Now there's a scam. I asked for a phone number and email of someone at a Vice President level (who might actually care), I was given both....only to find out they were both bogus. Would love to send an email to one of their executives but all you get on their site is their Bios. Their website is a rambling maze. I think this is false advertising. Surprised the FTC hasn't stepped in. Am anxious to find a different accounting system. So many companies seem to use QB and yet, from an accounting standpoint, it has A LOT of quirks and limitations. I don't think they involved any accountants when they designed it. They certainly included marketing folks though!!!! Very clever making a key module always be one year behind.

Nearly two years later and they are still getting away with this. Shame on Intuit.

Wasting a chunk of your day on the phone with someone who barley understands you, repeating the same info and spelling words out multiple times, being transferred to a "supervisor" just to go through the same asinine process... call me crazy, but isn't that a great way to really annoy and frustrate your clients as opposed to making their lives a little easier with a simple, online registration form?!


What you were told is correct.

QuickBooks 2009 is not supported on Windows 7. Only QuickBooks 2010 or newer is supported.

There are cases where people get 2009 working ok, and other cases where they don't and have to upgrade to the new version of QuickBooks:

Scott Gregory

Called yesterday afternoon to register QB Pro 2009 for a upgraded computer, was informed that I may have serious data corruption errors unless I upgraded to 2012 because QB and Windows 7 are not compatible and QB has received numerous reports of problems.

Hey Quicbooks you are turning to Slowbooks. I have my Quickbooks 2009 which I purchased some years back. I have my numbers including the validation number. Must I go through these hasles to get another validation number?

An absolute joke, I just called to register QB Pro 2011 3 User and I have to call back during their office hours? Really?

Well I just got QB 2011 last night and tried to register it at least 5 times now, and each time I get this message...

[We're sorry, but your registration was interrupted
•The process may have expired for security reasons after a period of inactivity•Your internet connection may have been temporarily disruptedPlease begin your registration again, or register by phone]

At first didn't think anything of it, but after reading this I'm very skeptical of Intuit. Almost makes me wish I hadn't bought the program! Anyway, I'm glad I found this page this evening before I got a hold of them. I will be sure to get my point across that all I want is my code.

I have so much complaints with my QuickBooks Customers in UAE for registration process.

Great read, i was talking to a friend the other day about the same issue and gave him this article to visit.

Scott, I did go through the variety of sales popups and registration process as part of buying Quick Books Pro. Put up with the time and frustration to get my business books on the computer. The bigger customer service issue was with technical support when my program was not opening. Customer service agent and supervisor were in India and good about selling an upgrade or requiring payment for product support. Not at all customer friendly and definitely an integrity issue as to support.

Intuit and Quicken have strong brand names that I have felt secure with, but that has now changed for this customer. Hopefully they can reclaim their name with some diligence at tackling these issues.

Very sad that they stopped.

I also experienced the same thing. Just switched from Microsoft SBA to QB. Called CSR of QB to get the validation code,spent 20 mins. on the phone only to tell me that there's an error in my license and product no. With all this hassles, do we really need to register our QB? What will happened if we did not?

Interesting. I just completed registering QuickBooks by phone and couldn't help but Google "quickbooks upselling" to find out how many others out there frustrated by the obvious sales tactics they use. And I found this page.

Their sales tactics are used to push folks to sign up for various levels of technical support, payroll, etc. And they use the FEAR tactic to make you feel that you're making a big mistake if you don't sign up for the tech support. I think their mandate is to sign up as many people as possible to collect monthly fees.

One at a time, I turned down their offers. The telephone rep then gave me my validation code. Then, she quickly "confirmed" my signing up for the basic tech support which I never agreed to. So I had to repeat that I was not signing up for ANY of their offers. Beware!

Thanks Scott for revealing QuickBooks issues like this.

I find that if i call on behalf of my clients i can get the product registered in 3-5 minutes tops.. I just explain i am a proAdvisor that has already notified the client of the additional products available and i am given the code and sent on my way... It would be nice however to just get the online registration process vs a phone call.

I more so hate all the pop ups that are in the QuickBooks for "ordering check" or "credit cards" enough already... I did run across a blog post that gave directions how to deactivate all of the those.. i am going to have to find that one again and re post for the masses!!

I must concur. I just spent 45 minutes on the phone trying to get a validation code from someone I could not understand, who kept trying to upsell me on a support contract, who I'm not sure understood I didn't want it, who then had to pass me off to tech support, where I waited for 10 minutes on hold, who gave me two keystrokes to fix the problem.

I have been pretty loyal about updating my software every year but no more. The fact that I even had to pick up the phone to register software I downloaded is utterly ridiculous.

I think Intuit has done a marvelous job of scorching the brand equity your marketing department works so hard to build with this deception and nonsense.

Scott - you are spot on. My experience registering is exactly what you and others have described. Boy...does the Intuit/India call center trainer do a masterful job brainwashing the help! The process of registering is painful and a waste of time!

I JUST went through this as I moved my Quickbooks license to my new laptop. After I gave the tech the license code and product code and he gave me the line about generating my validation code, I said, "I am not interested in Quickbooks Payroll, Support, credit card processing, or any other product or add-on you are going to try to sell me. So, you can either run through all that, and waste both of our time OR you can just give me my validation code and move on to the next customer." He gave me the validation code then and there.

I have helped a few clients through the registration process and I just keep telling them "say no, no, no" throughout the phone call. I have also had a couple of clients call me after they purchased the Intuit support plan for $475.00 and found they were having to deal with speaking to someone from Pakistan who could not understand their issue. None of my clients had to wait more than 5 minutes of a sales pitch to get the activation code and everyone of them spoke to nice people, but they were just sales people doing their job. So, I guess we were fortunate compared to the experiences above.

I just tweeted this - if you call the Proadvisor line (of course you have to be a Proadvisor) you can get the activation code in 2 seconds from them. I have a record of every client, every edition (year) and their activation code so they only need to get this once. When you call the proadvisor line there is no BS - they just give it to you, no questions, to sales, just a code!

I had the mis-fortune of installing QB2010 Premium Accountant on my laptop. I had to call to validate. I was on the phone for at least 20 minutes. I tried to be pleasant. She kept apologizing for the delay in generating the code...but 20 minutes??? I'm a former salesrep and I won't be upsold, unless I want to be. I was trying to get out the door and was clearly distracted. That's the worst possible time to be insensitive to the person you are trying to upsell. I've called Microsoft, Adobe, and others to resolve an activation issue, the longest it has taken is 5 minutes.

I AGREE. I was on the phone for 30 mins to register my enterprise version last month. What a waste of time!

Agree 100% with this post. I've been subjected to this process numerous times and don't play their games anymore. I'm typically put on hold for 5+ minutes while they "generate my code" using an old school abacus.

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