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February 06, 2006

2005 vs 2006

I haven't written since December, so a Happy New Year to you all! And because it's a new year, I thought I'd share my overall reflections on last year and what is coming ahead this year.

First, I'll share my reflections on 2005 with respect to Zipingo.

2005 was all about assembling the right team to create something from scratch that puts us on track to solve a big pain for people...and to do so quickly. Why quickly? Because we didn't want to spend a year "perfecting" a solution solely guided by customer interviews and contrived usability lab tests. There is nothing more valuable than real world usage by real people trying to use under real circumstances. So when we released version 1.0 at the beginning of August 2005, we knew we still had a ways to go. We knew we had a lot of rapid learning to do and that we'd have to evolve Zipingo quite a bit based on our learnings from you.

And that brings me to what 2006 is all about. 2006 is about applying what we're learning to evolve Zipingo into what it needs to be based on all the feedback we've received and continue to receive. By the end of this year, Zipingo will have gone through its first cycle of evolution based on how you are using it.

Speaking of how you are using it...I know I've said this before on, but I want to reiteratie: please continue to use Zipingo as we evolve it. We need you to continually use it to rate businesses you use and to look for businesses you need. But that's not enough...we also need you to continually use the feedback links to tell us about your experiences using Zipingo: what's working, what isn't and what ideas you have for improving it. I can't say enough about how important your feedback has been to date. In fact, it's so important, I will dedicate my next blog post to it. Anyway, use Zipingo to review and look for businesses, even with its current quirks. And talk to us about it. We're listening.

~ Hisham


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Andy Taylor

I have turned off the preferences to get rid of zipingo and it still shows up all over my Quicken 2005 (Edit-Preferences-Register -> uncheck two check boxes).

I am really not interested in Quicken installing this kind of thing into the software that I use to do my finances and would REALLY LIKE to get rid of all references to it. I am extremely annoyed that I have wasted hours trying to remove it and that it still shows up throughout Quicken. For example:

Bottom right of my check register
Online Tab - rate your payees
Online Payment Center

I appreciate that some people might want this "feature". However, I am extremely irritated that it has been downloaded into my personal finance software without my permission and that I can't get rid of it. Also, I am annoyed that I have to tab over this button through the normal course of entering my transactions - i real pain in the ass.


Zipingo Kim

I would like to address the concern that users have posted here, labeling Zipingo as spyware. Unlike spyware, Zipingo does not take control of your computer and no information is sent without your consent. Zipingo does not monitor your Web browsing nor does it route your browser unexpectedly. I have been the victim of spyware and Zipingo does none of that.

Zipingo is simply a new editable feature in Intuit software that easily enables you to share your opinion with the Zipingo community, but only if you choose to do so. It is not a separate software program, adware, spyware or a data mining tool, and it's not from a 3rd party provider.

You can easily see at a glance exactly what Zipingo will receive if you decide to contribute by rating a business and writing a review. Zipingo does not receive any personally identifiable data from Quicken and your financial data is not attached to your Zipingo ratings in any way.

Zipingo does not receive any transactional data without your permission -- you must choose to rate a business to reveal selected data like an individual Payee Name. Quicken suggests a general Payment Range based on the business transaction you choose to rate. But you can get rid of that range by checking a box before you publish your review, if you don't agree with it or simply don't want to share it.

And the only user name associated with your public rating is the one you invent when you rate your first business.

So you see, you may or may not like the new feature in your Intuit software, but it's far from spyware.


I was a longtime Turbotax user and stopped buying it when Intuit stoked it with harmful licensing spyware. I've since used Taxcut every year since. Now that this has occurred, I'll probably dump quicken as well. No offense to the developers of Zipingo, but my financial data is the LAST thing in the world I want information going out about. I agree 100% with Zipingo Kim above. What in the world is Intuit thinking.

Zipingo Kim

If editing user preferences doesn't meet your needs, there's an FAQ on the Quicken site you may be interested in...

How do I remove the blue star from the Online Center and Write Checks window?

Mark [declined]

I am not a zealot. I am an average upper-middle-class IT security professional who sees, on a daily basis, how organizations with the best reputations for privacy and security unintentionally “leak” thousands of their customers’ non-public personal information. The result for the offending organization is brief bad publicity, admonishment and, maybe, a slap-on-the-wrist fine. Unfortunately, for those whose identity is stolen, the result is often a destroyed life: lost jobs or promotion opportunities, reputation damage, permanently damaged credit scores, direct and indirect financial losses, physical and mental health problems.

So I carefully limit who has access to any of my non-public information. As far as I’m concerned, the single most sensitive thing I (or anyone else) does on their home computer is manage my finances. Every facet of a person’s finances is recorded in detail in Quicken. The fact that Intuit itself seems cavalier with this information is a grave concern. The promotion of Zipingo data mining from within what should be the most secure consumer software package made is mind-boggling in a bad way.

Intuit has earned a reputation for never leaving a nickel on the table. They promote paid referral/advertising services as objective research services, load up their products with distracting advertisements for other Intuit products and enterprises, and generally appear to run their business like a carnival midway. It is not so much that Intuit came up with Zipingo, but rather that it was forced upon me without my consent, that raised my ire.

I will disable Zipingo by uninstalling the program and blocking your addresses at my firewall. I’ll do the same for the rest of the Intuit sites. I’ll document these procedures and post them so others on the Internet can do the same. Needless to say I’ll not be purchasing any Quicken upgrades. When Quicken PHB 2005 becomes unusable I’ll switch to MS-Money or something else. But it’s time I stopped supporting a company that doesn’t support me back.


I am offended by your intrusion into my check register with your blue star zipingo thingie. Marketing/Advertising/Data Mining... call it a service if you want but it is no service to me. As a previous writer indicated, there is apparently no way to remove this "service" completely. Are you people into Microsoft Money also? Or are you just Intuit's brainchild? After many years of Quicken maybe it's time to check out Money.

Did I mention that this really ticks me off?

Peter C.

Well Zipingo team are you ready for the flood... or should I say tsunami? I found that blue star on my Quicken 2005 program and of course was unable to totally remove it as well. I find Intuit programs so laden with self-promotion, cross-promotion and other non-related add-ons that the blue star is the final straw for me. Can I make this any plainer... I HATE IT! I hate the concept, the execusing but most of all the intrution! I'll bet I'm not alone. And you did this at the height of tax time? clever!

I am sick and tired of data-mining portraying itself as some useful add-on that is only meant to generate more ways of of slicing and dicing the collective information. You want information? Pay us for it! The blue star on my Quicken screen is a pimple that needs to be popped. I'll keep scratching.

Henry Doenlen

I too, would like to remove all "blue star buttons" from my Quicken 2005. I unchecked the rate payees checkboxes in Quicken Program Preferences for register, but I still see the blue star button in the Online Center window and the Write Checks window. How do I remove, or at least hide, all blue star buttons?


To hide or turn off the Zipingo ratings option in Quicken:

Click on the Edit menu
Click "Preferences" then "Quicken Program."
In the left pane ("Select preference type"), click Register.
In the right pane ("Select preferences"), locate "Register appearance."
To hide the Zipingo blue star, click/uncheck the "Show rate payee button" box.
To hide the "Rate your payees" link under your register, click/uncheck the "Show rate payee link."
Click on OK.


I'm sorry you were annoyed, David.
You can turn Zipingo off in your Quicken via a couple of user preferences options.

I hope that one day you will find Zipingo a useful service for you.

David P. Howard

I have looked at Zipingo and I am not interested in using it. BUT (a very big "but" I am finding out) it has been insinuated into my copy of Quicken 2005 Deluxe R5 and there seems to be no way to remove it nor even hide it in my registers. I find this silly, offensive, a real annoyance and unacceptable.

I called the Quicken help line and was told "No problem. If you don't like it just ignore it" That is NOT an acceptable response from what I consider to be a good comapny (Intuit) and a very good product (Quicken).

I would just like someone tell me how to hide that annoying blue star in my Quicken registers.

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