MYOB faces Facebook backlash over price hikes and botched tax updates

MYOB Facebook support claim

Users vent on social media and company forum.

MYOB AccountRight users have reacted angrily on Facebook to a faulty tax-table update which disrupted wage payments by many small businesses to their staff. The volume of support calls jammed the phone lines to MYOB’s call centre, blew out waiting times and forced the company to play a recorded message asking users to call back later.

Users unable to contact support went to MYOB’s FaceBook page to vent their discontent with many protesting at recent price rises of as much as 12 percent for MYOB’s support and upgrade package.

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“I have been trying to get assistance from the help desk for over a week now. Not even the option to leave a message! We pay $800 pa for this subscription,” wrote a user called Julie McFadden on MYOB’s FaceBook page. “Why hasn’t MYOB employed extra help for times of high need e.g end of financial year. Absolutely deplorable business practice!! I am angry and disgusted! What a rip off!”

“I understand it’s end of financial year, but I’m not sure why I pay $500 per year to hear a message on your support telephone number advising that MYOB can’t take our calls at this time due to high demand. Quite disappointed!” wrote another FaceBook user called Jasmin Galati.

When BoxFreeIT asked MYOB for comment a company spokesperson replied, “No MYOB representatives are available.”

MYOB and other accounting software companies released tax tables updated by the Australian Taxation Office at the start of every financial year for businesses to record salaries and withheld tax for employees. The changes included the abolition of the Queensland flood levy and imposition of the carbon tax.

But this year many users found that the FY2013 update required them to reinstall the AccountRight software or install the updates on all computers on a network.

The bungle affected last year’s AccountRight program, version 19.6, for which MYOB had offered updated tax tables because of the troubled rollout of the subsequent version AccountRight 2011.

The problems caught many MYOB bookkeepers and accountants off-guard because the annual tax-table update was usually a straightforward process.

Some businesses were unable to complete the final payroll payments for the previous year and so missed the July 14 deadline for giving payment summaries to employees or were unable to pay staff on time for the first two weeks of the new financial year.

“Historically all you’ve had to do is run the compliance update, hit ok and it self-installs. This is a regime that bookkeepers are very used to dealing with at this time this year,” said Cassandra Scott, a bookkeeper with Laurus Enterprises.

Instead, tax tables refused to update to the latest figures despite the software claiming that the tables had been updated. Users were forced to delete and reinstall AccountRight, or install updates on multiple PCs on one network even if only one user wanted to use the updated AccountRight.

MYOB expert Heather Smith wrote up details of the issues with the tax-table update on her blog and gave advice on a workaround which included a complete reinstall of the accounting software. “I have spent about 5 hours sorting out a client, so yes this is frustrating! Good luck”, she wrote at the end of the post.

“OMG what a nightmare! I have upgraded to & can’t input any payments, purchases or customer payments dated after 1/7/12. I tried for HOURS yesterday to ring, email & get live assistance & NOTHING – sent 2 email & still have no reply,” wrote FaceBook user Nicole Culos.

Most of the complaints on FaceBook focused on the growing cost of MYOB Cover, which included free support and upgrades, and the fact that MYOB appeared to have been caught unprepared and was unable to meet support requests.

Facebook user Barney Gordon wrote that the support phone line was permanently engaged and MYOB’s live chat feature was showing its status as “Canceled. There are no agents available to chat with you right now. Please try again later.” “Is this the support we pay for???????” wrote Gordon.

“My company file has locked us out, i called technical support and was on hold for two hours then they disconnected me without even taking my call, i was on on-line live support chat and was disconnect (sic) after one hour of waiting and i just recalled MYOB technical support and the phone message says we are too busy and it just disconnects you before you are even put into a cue. All this just 5 days after i forked out $850 for their “upgrade”,” wrote FaceBook user John Bonaddio.

Other posters said they had been told wait times for the call centre were over two hours. Users also went to complain on MYOB’s forums about the cost of MYOB Cover.

“I have just received my new MYOB Cover invoice for Account Right Plus- $599.50!! 2009 was $453, 2010 $493 (a ~ 9% increase) and then 2011 ($599 – a 21% increase).  I’m not sure how MYOB justify such a hike.  All I need are the Tax Tables.  I run a Medical Practice and do not require most of the Upgrades,” wrote MYOB user Mark1234.

In a post dated June 29 on MYOB’s FaceBook page, MYOB staff celebrated the fact they had responded to 7,000 calls to the service desk in that week. “Given up trying to phone MYOB they are busy…..” responded FaceBook Glenda Delaforce.

MYOB Facebook support claim

About Sholto Macpherson

Sholto Macpherson is a business technology journalist, consultant and analyst specialising in cloud accounting software.

Sholto is the author of the Macpherson Report, which examines the key technology trends facing accountants in Australia.

He lives and works in Sydney, Australia.

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