SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Intuit cheated purchasers of its Quickbooks Premier Edition 2005 software of millions of dollars by designing it to block access to or disable its online features when an upgrade became available, a class action claims in Federal Court.
The class claims that “to coerce buyers of its products to purchase upgrades, Intuit blocks access to the online features on its software unless the owner of the software purchases upgrades that are issued periodically.”
“The software Intuit sold to Plaintiff is marketed with many on-line features representing a large portion of the value of the software,” the complaint states. “However, in order to coerce buyers of its products to purchase upgrades, Intuit blocks access to the online features on its software unless the owner of the software purchases upgrades that are issued periodically.
“At no time did Intuit disclose to Plaintiff and members of the class that without the purchase of upgrades the product already purchased by Plaintiff would no longer allow on-line banking and therefore preclude the Plaintiff and members of the class from using the online features for which plaintiff and other consumers had already paid.
“For example, because the plaintiff’s online features were disabled and/or access to them was blocked, plaintiff has been unable to prepare and send email versions of the checks, invoices or estimates to customers and vendors, thus depriving plaintiff of substantial value of the software. In addition, the online payroll features of the software have been disabled and/or access thereto has been blocked.”
Lead plaintiff Neri & Russo Plumbing & Heating demands an injunction and more than $5 million in damages. Plaintiffs are represented by Mark Tamblyn with Wexler Wallace of Sacramento and Lee Squitieri with Squitieri & Fearon of New York.