Customer service at IGG Software

Update 2014-11-07: Commenter “Karen” posted the solution in the comments at the end of the article.


As regular readers of this blog have learned, I seem to be stricken with a curse that prevents me from ever getting good customer support. And the latest example is a situation with IGG Software, makers of the iBank 5 software I use for personal finance management.

On December 4, I emailed IGG Software, reporting issues with iBank 5 connecting to a bank it advertised support for:

I tried to login to CapitalOne 360, via direct connect. After entering my customer ID and access code, I was presented with a dialog to answer two security questions. I’m sure I answered them correctly, because I referenced screenshots of the bank website when I originally setup the security questions. After a few moments, I was returned an “invalid login credentials (402)” error.

Subsequent attempts to login did NOT present any security questions; rather, simply returned the “invalid login credentials (402)” error.

About a week later, I got a reply from “Jared”:

I’d like to take a look at the Direct Access log that is created when you attempt to log in/download from your account. Here’s how to generate the log I need…

I’ve worked with Jared in the past on other iBank-related issues, and he always demonstrated himself to be competent and knowledgeable. In this instance, he outlined a procedure to enable logging and retrieve the associated log file.

Unfortunately, however, after following his instructions, no log file was created at the location he specified. And while looking for that file, I discovered something really weird—iBank had created an aliased copy of my home folder in the iBank application support folder.

I created a few supporting screenshots and sent the following reply to Jared:

I followed the procedure, but the com.iggsoftware.iBank5 log folder remains empty.

Also, I noticed a strange root hierarchy to that folder:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/eupfo37moq6tosc/Screenshot%202013-12-12%2019.12.51.png

Is it normal that the parent folder in that tree contains what appears to be a full replica of my user directory?

https://www.dropbox.com/s/u2vd9x15oh22909/Screenshot%202013-12-12%2019.13.42.png

Notice that I use Dropbox to host my screenshots. It’s very convenient; just snap a screenshot with command-option-4, and Dropbox automatically uploads it and puts the URL on your clipboard. (I’m mentioning this, because it becomes relevant to this story later on.)

A week later, I’d not heard back from Jared, so I emailed him a reminder. A week after that, I emailed him once again, pointing out that two weeks had now passed.

At that point, I received a reply from “Melissa”:

Jared is no longer with IGG Software.  Can you please give me a brief summary of the issue you are having so I can try to assist you?

Well, that’s unfortunate—support ace Jared is no longer with IGG Software. And the first contact with Melissa is a bit strange; she’s asking me for a summary of the issue? Can’t she see the communication thread with Jared—that is fully quoted in this very email?

I replied to Melissa:

The only thing you’re missing from the thread below, including supporting screenshots, is my original email to Jared. Here is a copy of that… … So there are two open issues:

  1. The issues I’m having connecting to CapitalOne 360.
  2. A clarification as to why I’m finding an entire aliased replication of my home directly in the support directory of iBank.

Melissa replied that they’re investing the connection issues, and then added:

On the other issue, I am not clear on what you mean about the aliased replication…. Can I have a screenshot or two to help me understand that?

To which I replied:

The screenshots are in the thread history of this conversation (in this same email.)

To which she replied:

I am not able to see that view, so can you please email me the information again?

What view is she talking about? How in the world is it possible that she can read a portion of my email, but not the whole thing? I replied:

The whole support thread is appended below, in this very email. As it has in all previous emails. How is it possible you can’t see it? And if you can’t read the history thread quoted in this very email, how do you propose I get it to you?

And that is when things got really weird. Here’s what Melissa sent me next:

It looks to me like you are using Dropbox, is that correct?

We do not recommend Dropbox as a file location for your iBank document (data file) because it has been shown to cause corruption and/or data loss.

Your iBank document belongs in your Documents folder on your Mac, and the application in the Applications folder, also on your Mac hard drive.

Oh. My. Goodness.

She figured out how to read the whole email, and evidently saw my screenshot URLs, which include “dropbox.com”—since, as I mentioned before, they are hosted on Dropbox.

And from that, she assumed that I’m using Dropbox to store my iBank data file, and sends a response that might be relevant had I been reporting a data corruption issue.

Very frustrated, I demanded to be put in touch with somebody else, and she replied that she’d forwarded the support issue to her manager. A few days later now, and I’ve still heard nothing.

Who’s at fault?

Although I was frustrated with her, I can’t blame Melissa. As far as I can tell, she’s doing her best, and responding to issues in accordance to the manual she’s been given.

The root of the problem is the function of customer support leaving the people who make and use the software, and being delegated to people who don’t use the software and have little technical expertise.

And what’s really frustrating, as a customer, about the whole thing isn’t just that my problems don’t get solved; no, far more than that, the real problem is wasting my time.

Owning a company that sells software products, I know that customer support is challenging. And once you have a reasonable number of customers, providing support can take a good chunk of a team’s time away from product development. So I fully understand why companies, when their customer base grows enough, choose to delegate support. But what we typically find today isn’t the answer, and ultimately just transfers the problem of lost time from the company to the customer.

There’s got to be a better way.

8 thoughts on “Customer service at IGG Software”

  1. If you find an answer, please post an update. I’m having the same “invalid login credentials (402)” problem with Cap. One 360 on the iOS version of iBank.

  2. I’m having the very same issue. Please post an update if you find a resolution to this problem. Mint.com has no such connectivity issues with capitalone360

  3. I had a problem with Direct Access recently (not the first time though but couldn’t fix it myself this time). Contacted IGG Software support on June 9, had reply same day asking for more info, replied then trail went dead for weeks. Only after tweeting Ian Gillespie, the owner, and using a LiveChat session did I make any progress. Even he said I shouldn’t have needed to wait for 2 weeks, so something was wrong. Seems this is a recurring theme with regards support (and with Direct Access service), having read your blog. We went round and round in circles on LiveChat and they tried to say that they had not heard from the DA provider until yesterday (the day I contacted them again). That’s why they didn’t get in touch. OK, so maybe just a coincidence that I kicked up a fuss and that very day they get some news on the issue. I don’t know. But in the meantime they ignored a number of emails from me asking what was happening. They could at least have replied, even if just to say they were progressing the issue but still had no answer. Very poor experience. I hope iBank doesn’t break again because I don’t ever want to have to rely on their “support”.

  4. I also saw the 402 error — here’s what finally worked for me:

    I used “ING Direct” for the bank instead of “Capital One 360”. Customer ID – put in Capital One 360 username (does not work with the Capital One 360 Customer ID number) PIN- put in your Capital One 360 access code. You make this code at your Capital One 360 online site. From your “My Info” pull down menu select the “access code” and follow the prompts. Use this number as your PIN for the ING Direct account. It magically takes you to your Capital One 360 accounts.

    Hope this helps.

    1. Karen, thanks so much for this — which does seem to solve the problem. Finally! The one additional note to add, from my experience, is that the “username” can be found in the “My Info” area of the Capital One 360 site (along with the access code).

      Well, this is really great news. Thanks again, Karen! (I can’t imagine, though, how you actually stumbled across this solution! 🙂

Agree? Disagree? What do you think?