Quicken red-faced over ACCC fee fight

An investigation by the competition watchdog has prompted Quicken to refund customers an AU$9 fee levied each time a customer re-registers its accounting software on a new personal computer. In an e-mail to customers today, Quicken Australia chief executive Greg Wilkinson said refund of the fee -- first imposed from about 11 March 2003 -- would apply to customers who re-registered Quicken Personal versions 2004 and older and QuickBooks versions 2003 and older.

An investigation by the competition watchdog has prompted Quicken to refund customers an AU$9 fee levied each time a customer re-registers its accounting software on a new personal computer.

In an e-mail to customers today, Quicken Australia chief executive Greg Wilkinson said refund of the fee -- first imposed from about 11 March 2003 -- would apply to customers who re-registered Quicken Personal versions 2004 and older and QuickBooks versions 2003 and older.

Wilkinson also said the company would update its product packaging to alleviate Australian Competition and Consumer Commission concerns "that the imposition of the re-registration fee was not made clear prior to the purchase of the product".

The executive conceded the imposition of the fee had prompted customers to complain to the watchdog.

Customers are required to register with the company to combat piracy as most versions of QuickBooks and Quicken Personal are licensed for single use on one computer.

Wilkinson said the offer included an AU$45 discount for customers to upgrade to the latest version of the software they were using. However, all applications must be made by 30 June.

He said the company had now implemented a "secure online system" to manage future re-registrations.