In a move that may well set an industry precedent, Intuit has been hit with a preliminary lawsuit alleging that its Quicken desktop financial package is not Year 2000 compliant.
The class action suit, which was filed in the New York State Supreme Court on behalf of everyone who bought versions 5 and 6 of Quicken running under both Windows and the Apple Macintosh, is seeking damages and requests that Intuit provide free fixes to remedy the situation.
It claims that Intuit admitted the online banking functions in the applications, which were sold as recently as last October, could not deal with the Year 2000 date change, but that it did not warn users of the problem.
The supplier instead told its customers that the only way to deal with the millenium bug was to spend $35 upgrading to Quicken 98. But, Jeffrey Klafter, a partner with law firm Bernstein, Litowitz, Berger & Grossmann that filed the suit, said: "We believe this is unlawful and violates New York statutes. It?s trying to make a profit from their own mistake. It shouldn?t be able to do that."
He added that the company was also investigating similar claims against other suppliers that were trying to charge for millenium compliant upgrades.
Intuit has 20 days to respond to the suit, but issued a statement claiming executives have not yet received a copy of it. However, it believes the action is "completely without merit" and will "defend vigorously against it".
On the Year 2000 Frequently Asked Questions page of its Web site, the firm also states that Quicken 6 and the current release, Quicken 98, can handle dates up to 2007, but version 6 does not support this feature for online banking.
The move follows last week?s decision by a Californian legislative committee to defeat a bill that would have granted the state?s software organisations immunity from legal action related to the Year 2000 issue.
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