MacInTouch Reader Reports

Mac Marginalization: Financial

Apr. 18, 2009
Jun. 16, 2009
Oct. 2, 2009
Oct. 5, 2009
Oct. 22, 2009
Oct. 23, 2009
Dec. 11, 2009
Mar. 9, 2010
Mar. 16, 2010
Mar. 17, 2010
Apr. 5, 2010
Apr. 6, 2010
Jul. 1, 2010
Jul. 2, 2010
Jul. 6, 2010
Sep. 4, 2010
Sep. 7, 2010
Feb. 22, 2011
Feb. 23, 2011
Feb. 24, 2011
Mar. 19, 2011
Mar. 21, 2011
May. 3, 2011
May. 4, 2011
Jul. 18, 2011
Jul. 19, 2011
Jul. 20, 2011
Jul. 21, 2011
Oct. 17, 2011
Nov. 7, 2012
Nov. 8, 2012
Nov. 9, 2012
Jan. 9, 2013
Jan. 10, 2013
Jan. 11, 2013
Jan. 12, 2013
Jan. 14, 2013
Jan. 15, 2013
Jan. 18, 2013
Feb. 7, 2013
Feb. 8, 2013

Newer entries...
Apr. 18, 2009

item.90705

Steve Kayner

The Appraisal Foundation protects their online USPAP manual by using a feature of Internet Explorer to keep people from copying or printing. This is a recent development.

Does anyone know of a cross-platform solution they could use instead of limiting it to IE?

Jun. 16, 2009

item.94135

Jim Weir

Dealing with Rabobank, I went in to get online access to an existing account. Spent over a half hour filling out forms, answering questions, and submitting I.Ds.

During the signing of the documents, the lady said "the only restriction is that it won't work on a Mac."

Just changed to a local bank that does admit there is something other than the Dark Side.

Oct. 2, 2009

item.101692

Stuart Bernstein

Just an FYI, Chase is not Mac-friendly. I have an account there because Washington Mutual got absorbed by them. WAMU had a great web site, easy on the eyes, and fully functional in Safari. With Chase's site and Safari, many of the functions for looking at credit card transactions don't work consistently and the "pay my bill" button doesn't work. It's sent me back to paper checks. Calls to their customer service department take you through a maze of people who tell you that you've reached the wrong department. When you finally find someone who understands, all he can say is use Firefox. No "I'm sorry" or "We're working on it."

I thought the Chase iPhone app would be my saving grace, but it has stopped functioning. Logging on to your accounts takes you back to the iPhone home screen, which I assume means it crashes the app. The advice they give you for this is delete and reinstall the app, but I didn't find that solving the problem. And it isn't worth another call to them.

I'd bet that WAMU's customer base included a lot of Mac folk, so I hope Chase gets it together soon.

Oct. 5, 2009

item.101789

Gary Hobish

My credit union (where I have been a cusomer for over 20 years) just got absorbed by Golden 1 Credit Union. US First had an instant deposit system, e-deposit, where you could enter a check into your account online, mail them the check, and get instant access to the funds. G1's instant deposit system, Z@pit, instead lets one scan in a check directly to the website (and not mail it in.)

This system is not supported for Macintosh.

Oct. 22, 2009

item.102909

MacInTouch Reader

I was considering using PayChex for my small business payroll, but their online products say:

"Supported Browser: Microsoft IE 6 or higher, Firefox. Operating Systems: Windows 2000/XP/Vista or Windows NT".

Surprised that a company that supposedly supports small business would ignore a big component of the market.

I know that PayCycle (now Intuit Online Payroll since Intuit bought them) supports the Mac, so I guess that is an option.

Thanks!

Oct. 23, 2009

item.103019

Mark Mellis

I used PayChex for a couple of years via Windows running in a virtual machine, but I switched to Sure Payroll in January 2008. Not only do they directly support the Mac but I've found their process much more convenient to use for my small business.

item.103041

Dennis Sweet

Macintouch Reader stated:

I was considering using PayChex for my small business payroll, but their online products say:

"Supported Browser: Microsoft IE 6 or higher, Firefox. Operating Systems: Windows 2000/XP/Vista or Windows NT"."

I have been with Paychex for a little over a year and when I started this was the case. In order to download payroll reports, you had to use a proprietary Windows application that would then allow you to print or convert the reports to PDFs. I used Parallels to access their service.

They changed their website recently, for the better. I now use Safari to access their website. When you download the payroll reports from the site, they still have an extension that matches the old proprietary application. I have found that if you just change the extension to .pdf, the reports are now actually PDFs.

I no longer use Parallels to access Paychex. Not quite Mac friendly, but I find it quite workable since Paychex tries to differentiate itself through improved service.

item.103052

Klaus Fechner

Re: Paychex

I have been using Paychex online payroll at
  https://online.paychex.com/
without problems with Firefox under Leopard. Safari 4.x doesn't launch the webapp after login.

Paychex updated their online site several months ago, and since then I have also been able to view their reports (generated and downloadable as PDF). Before that, reports required an idiotic proprietary Windows based applet, and I chose to wait for the printed reports via snail mail.

The new payroll entry has a few user interface gotchas (i.e. what does it really do if I select to keep the data for next time?) but beyond that works just fine. The only minor complaint is that the webapp window hides all toolbars and I can't use the 1Password toolbar button to enter my login info.

I would say that Paychex currently fully supports Mac OS X. Whether that's by design or accidentally, I don't know :-)

Dec. 11, 2009

item.105976

MacInTouch Reader

I just signed up with ADP for processing salaries and taxes for my startup. While filling out the paperwork was shocked to learn that you do not support Macs - you can log into your account only with a recent version of Explorer.

While I understand that big companies are locked into PCs this is certainly not the case for startups - especially tech based startups. Just for fun I checked their "Corporate Philosophy" webpage and found this: "...(ii) "world class service" levels that exceed our clients' requirements and expectations ....". Interesting choice of words since I can't even log into my account.

I wonder if they realize that they only support the least HTML compliant browser in use today in spite of what their IT department might say (see for example http://www.electronista.com/reviews/browser-tests-chrome-firefox-ie-safari.html).

Their rep (he was great) seemed to be embarrassed by this so they must realize it is an issue. I hope they fix this pretty soon or I will be looking for alternatives.

Mar. 9, 2010

item.110647

Norman Palardy

I use Yahoo finance to watch a few stocks (not in real time of course). Over the years it's never auto refreshed like it should and I really never bother to look into it too far.

Recently I just tried something for fun and set my user agent to IE8 or Firefox 3.5.3 and all the sudden Safari updates just like Firefox does on Mac OS X.
No other change was required.

So I looked at the source of the page and it seems that Yahoo actually looks for the user-agent to be one of these and then runs the java script that keeps the page updated.

It _should_ be a simple change for them to add Safari to the list of browsers that work and can auto update.

I've written them to see what they say.

Mar. 16, 2010

item.111075

John Faughnan

Vanguard is one of the largest mutual fund companies. Their FDF tax form downloads require installation of Adobe's notoriously buggy and ill-behaved reader software, and even then users have to switch Safari to 32 bit mode to allow the Adobe plug-in to work.

This is what Vanguard sent me in response to my inquiry about their choice to use FDF instead of standard PDF.

I'm looking for a better mutual fund company. Suggestions are welcome.

...we use FDF files over PDF ones because they allow us to display
the most recent tax information on forms in real-time, in the event a tax
form needs to be revised quickly....

... The issue you are experiencing is likely caused by the version of Safari
that comes with your Macintosh OS 10.6. Since you're on Mac OS 10.6, your
Safari browser runs in 64-bit mode by default. The Adobe Reader plug-in
that's necessary to view Vanguard tax forms is not compatible with Safari's
64-bit version. Please refer to the following link pulled directly from
Adobe's website:

http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/509/cpsid_50983.html

To view your tax form online, you'll need to switch Safari to 32-bit mode....

.... We recommend setting your Safari browser back to 64-bit mode
after saving your tax form. This can be done by following those same
instructions above, except this time you'd remove the check from the 32-bit
mode box.

Mar. 17, 2010

item.111152

MacInTouch Reader

I don't know if this will work for Vanguard, but when I have to download PDF files I use Opera as my browser. It just downloads the file to my computer (skipping Adobe's "do you have the correct Adobe software" check) and I can use whatever app I want to open it. Of course, YMMV.

Apr. 5, 2010

item.112131

Matt Nadler

I use Inuit's Payroll.com to help with "nanny taxes" related to part-time care we have. The service is designed for small businesses but only works with Windows browsers including Firefox. What's interesting is that my work computer is still using IE 6 which Intuit is now warning me they are phasing out and encouraging me to upgrade (which is not my choice).

Given that Firefox works on the PC box, I can only assume that it's not an Activex issue, but classic laziness by the developers who won't test on Mac because it's too small a portion of their potential business (It's 0% now since they don't permit Mac OS browsers).

Apr. 6, 2010

item.112201

Andrew Oyaas

In response to Matt Nadler's comment about Inuit's Payroll.com not working with Mac OS browsers, I have used this service since before Inuit folded in PayCycle under its umbrella. On both my personal laptop (unibody MacBook which I use to do payroll when I am not in the office) and office server (G5 Power Mac) I use Safari and have no trouble doing my payroll on-line. I enter through the old paycycle.com site.

item.112208

D J

Regarding Intuit and Mac marginality I have to say that in my opinion as long as Bill Campbell, Chairman and former CEO of Intuit, is a member of the Apple Board of Directors it's absolutely inexcusable that any of Intuit's products are not 100% Macintosh compatible. I mean really.

item.112226

Jeff Daggett,

Matt Nadler wrote about Intuit phasing out IE6 support on Payroll.com.

While migration may not be the answer, FWIW we have had good experience supporting 2 part time employees and 2 independent contractors in a small family business with the now Intuit-owned Paycycle.com, which also integrates well with Intuit's Quickbooks Online Edition. Both seem to work very well in Safari (though the latter is brightly flagged "Safari Beta").

Jul. 1, 2010

item.117141

Dave C

My wife is a Dave Ramsey fan. Unfortunately Dave Ramsey is no fan of the Mac:

Dave Ramsey's Personal Finance Software (CD-ROM)

Only available for Windows. I have an excel spreadsheet and older version of Quicken(2005) as well as a spreadsheet from the "Til Debt do us Part" show.

Maybe if enough folks contact their software company they will reconsider.

email: psoftwaresupport@daveramsey.com

Jul. 2, 2010

item.117319

Brian Winslow

Re David Ramsey: To paraphrase dear old Groucho, I would never admit to my club anybody who didn't want to join it - and it looks like Dave really doesn't want in.

item.117327

David Ramsay

Just in case, [this] 'Dave Ramsay' is a fan!

Jul. 6, 2010

item.117348

Dave C

Actually got a response RE: Dave Ramsey software.

Thank you for contacting Dave Ramsey's Web support.

We are devoting our efforts towards our cross platform Gazelle Budgeting Software which is included on www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com. This is a web based tool that is accessible to any computer with an internet connection.

I understand Apple makes up almost 10% of consumer computing market share and we are doing our best to cater to a market such as that.

If I can be of any further assistance, please let me know.

It appears they are focusing more on hte money making subscription software rather than their stand-alone products.

Sep. 4, 2010

item.120431

MacInTouch Reader

I wanted to make an online payment on my Chevron Texaco gas card (the span of time between receiving the bill and the due date is quite short).

I went to their website in Safari and went through the process of registering a username/password.

When I tried to log in, a window popped up informing me that the site is only compatible with Internet Explorer 7. It would have been nice to see that before the registration process.

To make matters worse, I called to make a phone payment, for which there was a $15 extra charge. I made the payment, hung up the phone and then put the card in the shredder.

item.120483

Robert Ball

I was slow to start paying my car insurance bill to AAA Michigan via phone or on line, but when I did last year, I learned that it won't take my payment on line from my Mac via Safari or Firefox. No problem on the phone. No problem with Internet Explorer when I shift to Win7 via VMWare, but not on the Windows version of Safari.

On the Mac side, I'm timed out seconds after I attempt to enter my bank information.

I've written the Michigan club CEO to complain. But it's occurred to me that the problem may be out of his hands, that AAA payments and how they're conducted might be through a nationwide organization.

I acknowledged in the letter that I've been wrong before in complaints about marginalization. I don't think I'm wrong this time. Has anyone else had this problem, with the Michigan Auto Club or any other in the U.S.?

Sep. 7, 2010

item.120517

MacInTouch Reader

MacInTouch Reader wrote:

"I wanted to make an online payment on my Chevron Texaco gas card...When I tried to log in, a window popped up informing me that the site is only compatible with Internet Explorer 7."

I registered (some time ago; perhaps it's changed) and can currently log into the site with Safari (although I have not tried to pay a bill online; I use auto-payments for most bills). The FAQs do not indicate that IE or Windows is required, just an SSL-enabled browser.

I did previously send feedback to their site complaining that it tries to require Adobe Reader specifically to view statements. The statement page comes up blank, with this message:

"To view your statement, you must have Adobe? Reader? installed on your computer."

However, the page has a separate link for downloading the pdf file, and when I do that, the statement is a normal pdf file viewable in Preview.

item.120518

Alice Faber

With regard to Robert Ball's issue, I've had no trouble making CT AAA online payments with the current version of Firefox in 10.6.4.

item.120528

Alan Forkosh

In partial answer to Robert Balls's question about problems using Safari for payments to an affiliate of the AAA (American Automobile Association):

I have set up payments for insurance and dues to CSAA (the AAA affiliate for Northern California, Nevada, and Utah) via Mac Safari. However, I have not set up direct withdrawal from a bank account but a charge to a credit card.

item.120542

MacInTouch Reader

When I tried to log in, a window popped up informing me that the site is only compatible with Internet Explorer 7.

I've been paying ChevronTexaco online for about two years with Safari with no problems. I've never seen a message about Internet Explorer 7. I use Mac OS X 10.5.8 on an old iBook G4.

item.120549

MacInTouch Reader

Regarding the user having trouble paying Michagan AAA from a Mac. I think this is a club-specific issue. I've never had trouble paying online (Mac/Safari) to either Colorado AAA or Northern California/Nevada AAA (CSAA).

item.120550

Robert Rosenberg

Robert Ball and MacInTouch Reader complain about cases where they were required to use IE7 to make payments. This sounds like the sites are doing Browser Probing (ie: Checking what the Browser identifies itself as). In cases like this (if the IE7 requirement is *not* due to Active-X usage by the site), you can usually use a Plug-In or Browser setting to tell the Browser to claim to be IE7. For Safari this is done by activating the Develop Menu. For Fire Fox installing the Default User Agent Plug-In. This has helped me in the past when connecting to such Anal-Retentive/Luddite sites.

item.120586

Sailor Paul

Ship the CEO at AAA 4,900 pennies (or whatever is the amount amount) for a few months via UPS.

He'll have a conversation with IT shortly.

Feb. 22, 2011

item.129966

R Jones

I realize it's been a long time since anyone posted anything to this thread, but...

As of the last few days, we've started having problems using Safari with the KeyBank site. Shortly after login (which works fine), we get kicked off with a "session expired" message. We can usually view a few pages, but within about 30 seconds we're kicked out. We've been using the KeyBank site for years with Safari, with no problem. I have called their tech support twice today, and their response is "we don't support Mac/Safari."

I know it isn't an issue with our provider (Comcast) or our router because I have no problems accessing Key as normal from my Windows laptop. I've tried the "normal" ways to resolve this kind of thing: deleted cookies, disabled Safari extensions, restarted. I asked if there's anyone in the KeyBank support area who has Mac experience and was told "we've talked about needing it, but we don't have anyone." No suggested escalation, just silence on the other end of the phone. We're running Safari 5.0.3 on an iMac with OS X version 10.6.6.

Any ideas?

Feb. 23, 2011

item.129985

Ron Williams

I have a boat loan with KeyBank - seeing the same issue with Safari. I can connect with the "limited" mobile banking link - https://www.key.com/gen/html/key-bank-mobile-banking.html

Chrome also doesn't work (just hangs on the URL (https://accounts.key.com). I did have success connecting with Firefox 4 (beta), camino, and Opera. I run into similar issues with sites that are IE specific and my approach has been to just try a different web browser - with most any "issue", I've been able to find a browser that works for my problem URLs.

item.129991

Louis Schwitzer

If you want to get their attention and the lack of Mac access to the Key Bank web site is/was important to the user, then call them back and say you are moving all your accounts to a Mac friendly financial institution and you are suggesting this course of action to all your Mac user friends.

Vote with your business.

item.130029

Andrew Schultz

For the Keybank website Safari issue, have you tried Firefox? Free to download and give a try and if it works on Firefox for Windows it should work the same on the Mac.

item.130031

Nilay Shah

I use the Key Bank website all the time, but in Firefox 4.0 on my Macbook Air. No problems of getting kicked off.

item.130034

Sterett Prevost

Re: R Jones & KeyBank timeouts

What happens if you "tell" KeyBank's site you're using Internet Explorer via Safari's Develop/User Agent menu? To activate the Develop menu use Safari's Preferences/Advanced.

item.130036

Jim Edwards

For 6+ months using Safari 5.0.3 and 10.6.6 (and the preceding versions) I immediately get logged of after logging into Key, but if I relogin I have have no issues.

item.130037

Robert Rosenberg

R Jones is complaining about Key Bank and their refusal to help with his Mac/Safari issue.

He can try this trick.

1) Go to Preferences->Advanced.
2) Click the Develop Menu box at the bottom of the window.
3) Close the window.
4) Open the Develop menu, select User Agent, and set it to Safari 5.0.3 - Windows.
5) Try the site again (now that the site has been told you are a Windows User).

You also might want to install and try FireFox to see it will work.

item.130040

Bill Martin

Change banks?
No. Really.

Change Banks!

In this day and age, any online service that tells you they don't/can't support Macs/Safari aren't following standard internet protocol procedures and thus don't deserve YOUR support and business.

I can deposit checks to my bank account using my iPhone.
(among other transactions)

Do you live in a rural area where you have no choices?

item.130045

MacInTouch Reader

Regarding the Key Bank connection dropping, you might try using Safari in 32-bit mode. Do a "Get Info" and check the "Open in 32-bit mode" box, then restart Safari.

item.130050

Bud Martin

Change banks!

item.130058

Rick Cricow

Re:

We've been using the KeyBank site for years with Safari, with no problem. I have called their tech support twice today, and their response is "we don't support Mac/Safari."

Although it is not easy to switch banks, and with a huge bank like Key, they may not care if you do or not, I can say that I have had absolutely no Mac troubles with any website when I use Bank of America, Chase, or Citibank for national banks, or Oregon Community Credit Union, Umpqua Bank, or Century Bank for local/regional banks in Oregon.

item.130062

Don Andrachuk

R Jones noted that,

"...with the KeyBank site. Shortly after login (which works fine), we get kicked off with a 'session expired' message. We can usually view a few pages, but within about 30 seconds we're kicked out."

From: KeyBank Account FAQs

"If you are using Firefox 2.0 or higher, go to 'Tools' and select 'Clear Private Data.' Verify cookies are unchecked and select 'Clear Private Data Now.'"

You can do the equivalent in Safari by clearing Keybank's cookies and emptying the cache.

item.130063

David Lerner

We use Key "Total Treasury", which is aimed at businesses, and it works fine with Firefox. The security cert never worked right with Safari and the Apple Keychain, but is fine stored in Firefox.

I realize that you are using their consumer app, but you might want to try Firefox too.

Feb. 24, 2011

item.130111

Ron Williams

setting User Agent to "Safari 5.0.3 - Windows" did not help but setting to "Internet Explorer 6.0" did work (have not explored the entire site, but login succeeds).

item.130137

MacInTouch Reader

I use key.com all the time with FireFox 3.6.13, and it works fine.

I just logged on to key.com with Safari 5.0.3 with no problem.

You might give Key Bank tech support a call. A few years ago, when Key changed its system, I called their tech support. They were most helpful, and actually fixed a bug in their system, using me as the test site.

Mar. 19, 2011

item.131842

David Krafchick

I just wrote this to Bank of America Merchant Services:

I am writing this at Adam's request to share a suggestion that grew out of my first Merchant Services use online. I was first alerted that the credit card had been authorized, but not charged. I created an online account, but Safari would not allow me in. The rep then told me to use Firefox. Firefox let me in, but the tabbed window did not come up. I had mentioned that whoever designed the web site did not use the World Wide Web Guidelines which allow a site to use any browser from any operating system. When Firefox did not work, I got frustrated, but at that point, that rep hung up on me.

My next step was to bring up Safari, go under Developer and select User Agent. This includes every version of every browser. I selected IE 8.0, then got in and was able to perform my transaction.

I have since shared this with Adam and suggest that every rep become aware that Safari can allow any customer to access the Merchant Services web site. I want to commend Adam for his care with my account and his follow through on this issue. I hope this reaches the right group to resolve this in a pro active way.

David Krafchick
Brake Director LLC

This is being referred to his boss.

Mar. 21, 2011

item.131947

Marty Landa

Thanks to David Krafchick for his helpful tip about changing the User Agent from the Develop menu to be able to access web pages otherwise unavailable. I just wanted to clarify how one gets to that menu, as some people may not know. You have to go into the Safari preferences first, and click on the Advanced tab, to then be able to check the box to "Show develop menu in menu bar," in order to have access to the User Agent choices David mentioned.

May. 3, 2011

item.134234

MacInTouch Reader

This is somewhat ironic, but Charles Schwab sent out an email today touting their new StreetSmart Edge. It works on a Mac "with a Windows emulator" according to the FAQ. The ironic part is that the AAPL is the most feature stock symbol in the flash intro and on the home page shown after the flash page and yet it does not run natively on a Mac.

(see http://content.schwab.com/flash/streetsmartedge/launch/streetsmartedge/intro.html)

item.134283

Jeff Bagby

re: "It works on a Mac "with a Windows emulator"

Complete tongue in cheek to follow:

Windows emulator? What Windows emulator? The last Windows Emulator for a Macintosh I can think of was SoftPC from 1994-ish, which actually emulated Windows. (Please let my memory be right, or this sarcastic rant falls apart completely). VirtualPC emulated an Intel logic board and ran Windows natively on that emulated logic board under OS 9. OrangeMicro's and Apple's "DOS on Mac" cards were secondary logic boards for OS 9. VMware, VirtualBox, and Parallels all hook into the physical Intel based logic board on modern computers.

Wow. Not only will I have to find a decade and half-old computer, I will need a software package that can only run Windows 3.1, or, Win95 if I'm lucky.

May. 4, 2011

item.134341

Evan

I could not resist.

Google "Windows emulator" and the first hit is

http://www.winehq.org/

...

Jul. 18, 2011

item.139146

Steve H

Bank of America changed its website last week, and I can no longer access my accounts via Safari (5.05). When I try to log in, the website directs me back to the login screen with the message I've successfully logged out of my account. I've always used Safari with no problems. Chrome works fine.

Jul. 19, 2011

item.139204

Gregory Tetrault

Steve H said:

"Bank of America changed its website last week, and I can no longer access my accounts via Safari (5.05). When I try to log in, the website directs me back to the login screen with the message I've successfully logged out of my account...."

I have no problem with Bank of America using Safari 5.0.2. You should remove your Bank of America cookies and try again.

Jul. 20, 2011

item.139299

Wil Nelson

I just logged into B of A using Safari 5.0.5 with no problems. I suggest you try resetting Safari or at a minimum delete all cookies and retry.

item.139302

Walter Ian Kaye

Re: BofA logging you out (Steve H). This happened to me too, and it was indeed a cookie issue. I didn't delete all of my BofA cookies, just 70 of the 80 cookies. I kept the sitekey-type ones because I didn't want to lose that, but I deleted all the weird ones (I was amused by the subdomain sofa.bankofamerica.com cuz it made me think of furniture).

item.139316

Larry McMunn

I was having the same BOA problem on Sunday. But Monday morning, things had returned to normal, and I have have no problem with Safari since then. I just now tested, and was into my account in probably 3-5 seconds after entering my password.

Jul. 21, 2011

item.139522

Brian Weiss

I called Bank of America when that happened to me, and they acknowledged it was *their* problem, they were aware of it, and they were working on it. I've had no subsequent problems with being auto logged off.

item.139353

John Melby

I had the previously-mentioned problem with the Bank of America site on Sunday. After calling and trying unsuccessfully to fix it (cookies, etc.), I was informed by BoA tech support that it was a glitch on their site and not my problem at all. Two hours later, it was fixed, and I didn't have to do anything.

Oct. 17, 2011

item.145541

Jonathan D.

There's good news on the Mac front with banking with the Bank of Scotland, Business.

I've been very frustrated by them, requiring be to use Windows, or a 5 year old copy of Opera to access my Bank Account and I've complained on several occasions, pointing out that many small businesses use Apple computers and they should take note.

Well, they have updated their online banking and I can now access it with Safari. It's a shame that their link does a full-screen, hide the toolbar thing, but I've found a way round that.

Nov. 7, 2012

item.166123

Rich Thayer

Paychex processes our payroll, as well as handling our 401K accounts. Last week I went to access my account via Safari and was told I needed to download Flash 11.4, the newest Flash available. No can do, as I am using an iBook G4, which was abandoned by everybody long ago. So to access my account, I would need to go out and get a new computer. I have no desire as my iBook has given me no problems in over 7 years and there are other more important things that money can be used for.

Interestingly, I loaded Virtual PC running XP SP2 and ran an outdated IE which allowed me to download the newest Flash and Firefox. They allowed me to successfully access my account. So here I am using the latest apps in an even older OS that everybody still supports, on a machine where those apps are no longer natively supported. Makes me wonder about Mac vs Windows machines and longevity and support. Note I do intend on getting a new laptop in a couple of years when I retire. But what flavor?

Nov. 8, 2012

item.166184

Marc Seidenstein

This is seriously a problem with Paychex's engineers. I have been a customer of theirs for almost a decade, and this is not the first time they have done something like this.
A handful of years ago, they released a new version of their online payroll entering system that was a 100% Java applet. It refused to run on anything but Windows Internet Explorer 6.0+. Using Firefox to spoof the appropriate User-Agent made the service work fine - it was just weak code. Unfortunately, I am not aware of a way to spoof a Flash user-agent-type-thing, but the point is that it only fails to work because Paychex is using an outmoded platform, and doing it poorly.

item.166187

Colin Hunter

I probably will not be the only person to mention this but Steelbin's fake PPC Flash 11 plugin available at
  http://www.steelbin.com/FPforFBPPC.zip
should be all you require to access your Paychex account. There's no need to deal with the huge overhead of running VirtualPC, Windows XP, IE, etc.

[http://macpowerpc.com/2011/12/07/plugin-flash-facebook-powerpc/]

Nov. 9, 2012

item.166247

Rich Thayer

Thanks to Colin Hunter I was able to get into Paychex and examine my account using his tip.

Jan. 9, 2013

item.168729

Brian S

Discover Card just started sending their PDF statements using a format that OS X 10.8.2 cannot render. This forces the user to download Adobe Reader (the issue is noted on the Discover site). Adobe Reader does not allow any of the "save as PDF..." options normally available in the print dialog and Reader's "Convert to RTF" option leads to a $19.95 a year service just for that privilege. I was using Apple's Preview and another app named Formulate Pro to reconcile the statement with my spreadsheet (because they allow me to check the items I've done). Now I've got to print a hard copy, so the online statement is less convenient.

item.168755

Joe Gurman

Brian S. reported Discover card statements in PDF format being unreadable in 10.8.2 without Adobe Reader. I just downloaded my December statement, which is indeed formatted differently from the one I downloaded last month, but it's completely legible in Preview.

Jan. 10, 2013

item.168737

Luther Fuller

Yes, I think you can save as a pdf file. Adobe Reader has some confusing problems that short-circuit the obvious procedure. This works for me ...
1. Click on the link to the pdf file.
2. This opens the pdf file in Safari.
3. At the bottom of the document there is an icon bar.
(If you don't see it, move the cursor to the bottom of the page.)
4. Click the Floppy Disk icon at the far left of the bar.
5. Complete the resulting Save As dialog and you should
have a copy of the pdf file on your Mac.

item.168745

MacInTouch Reader

FWIW, Discover mails me paper statements. Nevertheless, I was able to log into my Discover account and download a .pdf of my January statement. The .pdf displayed and printed fine in Apple's Preview, Version 6.0.1 (765.4) running on OS X 10.8.2.
HTH.

item.168750

Stephen Magladry

On the problem with Discover card statements, there are other capable PDF readers. Have you tried any on them? Skim is free, and apps like PDF Pen, while having a cost, add features one can't get with Preview.

item.168753

MacInTouch Reader

Re:

Adobe Reader does not allow any of the "save as PDF..." options normally available in the print dialog and Reader's "Convert to RTF" option leads to a $19.95 a year service just for that privilege.

I'm not familiar with this particular PDF, but I've generally had pretty good luck just copying content out of PDFs and pasting them into a blank Bean document, then saving as RTF. (Bean is a free RTF rich-text editor, kind of a light-duty word processor whose native format is RTF.)

item.168758

Samuel Herschbein

Re: Brian S PDF issue:

Apple's Preview is not compatible with all PDFs. This is Apple's fault for not keeping up with changes to the PDF specification (undoubtedly a moving target...).

A bit off-topic: Apple's Preview has had major issues filling out forms since it first could do so. It corrupts forms so that Adobe Reader can no longer properly view or process them. I've had to inform all my users to always fill out forms in Adobe Reader, and give them a cheat-sheet showing how to make sure they are in Adobe Reader before filling out a form.

<rant>
Yet another decrease in workplace productivity. The number of major issues with Apple's GTD applications (Finder, Mail, iCal/Calendar, Address Book/Contacts, Safari, Preview, et al.) and with Microsoft Office 2011 is radically decreasing the workplace productivity of the Mac users I support and know. If Windows 8 wasn't such a turkey, many of these users would switch to Windows just so they can get their work done more efficiently. :-(
</rant>

item.168789

Joe Gurman

My bad: Discover statements issued since the beginning of this year are indeed unreadable by Preview: all that shows up us outlines and some graphics.

The Discover statements page even states that Mac users have to use Adobe Reader.... one of the most frequently patched pieces of vulnerable software out there. Ugh.

item.168794

Seth Elgart

Samuel Herschbein wrote:

...major issues with Apple's GTD applications (Finder, Mail, iCal/Calendar, Address Book/Contacts, Safari, Preview, et al.)...radically decreasing the workplace productivity of the Mac users I support...

Well, as the old joke goes, if it hurts, don't do that. I use almost none of those. In corresponding order, I use Path Finder, Postbox/Mailplane, BusyCal/Fantastical, Cobook. In place of Safari I usually use Chrome, but for MacInTouch I use OmniWeb because it lets me open a new "live" tab for each topic I want to read that day. I do use Preview, the only one on your list, but I also have Acrobat Pro if I need it.

So to answer your (non)question, all those Apple apps are free, but sometimes you get what you pay for. But in fact, some of the ones I use are free as well (Cobook, Chrome, OmniWeb).

Don't move to Windows, just use better Mac apps.

item.168803

David Layman

Regarding Discover Card and PDF statements:

So far, the December statement is still readable directly in Preview (I download it first).

You can also use the in-line trick noted by Luther Fuller: click on "View," and Safari opens the PDF in a window, and you can save from there.

I have also just observed that the Discover site directs Mac users to download Adobe Reader. I do not recall seeing that statement before, but that might simply be because I was not looking for it.

In sum: for me, Discover PDF statements are still viewable in Preview. YMMV.

Jan. 11, 2013

item.168790

Stephen Hart

Brian S wrote:

"Discover Card just started sending their PDF statements using a format that OS X 10.8.2 cannot render. This forces the user to download Adobe Reader (the issue is noted on the Discover site)."

It's near universal for web sites that offer pdfs to state that Adobe Reader is required. In almost all cases, that's just ignorance (aided and abetted by Adobe probably).

There are some pdfs, apparently, that you really need Reader for.

There's not much downside to keeping Reader updated on your Mac for just such instances. It's probably much safer to use Preview for all normal pdfs.

item.168792

Brian S

Luther Fuller wrote:

"Complete the resulting Save As dialog and you should have a copy of the pdf file on your Mac."

It can be viewed in Safari 6.02 (OS X 10.8.2) just fine, but the resulting saved document is not readable in Preview 6.01 (or PDFPenPro 5.9.1) It looks like this (discoverpdf.png). Thanks for the suggestion Luther. It is a good try.

MacInTouch Reader wrote:

"I've generally had pretty good luck just copying content out of PDFs and pasting them into a blank Bean document, then saving as RTF."

This almost works. All the text is there and readable but the formatting of the original document is lost.

Thanks to everyone who responded and offered assistance. Much appreciated.

Jan. 12, 2013

item.168822

Skot Nelson

Re:

There's not much downside to keeping Reader updated on your Mac for just such instances.

Have you seen the size of the reader app? It also installs an proprietary auto-update system, and I'd call that a downside.

item.168833

Smokey Ardisson

FWIW, based on Brian S's screenshot, it looks like the Discover PDF issue might be a font encoding problem. I remember years ago seeing PDFs like that which originated on Linux; as I recall, when I investigated, it turned out the PDFs were using some bizarre font encoding which wasn't supported by Apple's PDF implementation. Unfortunately, I don't know of any way to fix it, or view it without an Adobe product (although it's odd that Safari will show the PDF OK but Preview won't; you might try printing to PDF from Safari…).

item.168818

Bill Martin

Re:

Luther Fuller wrote:

"Complete the resulting Save As dialog and you should have a copy of the pdf file on your Mac."

It can be viewed in Safari 6.02 (OS X 10.8.2) just fine, but the resulting saved document is not readable in Preview 6.01 (or PDFPenPro 5.9.1) It looks like this (discoverpdf.png). Thanks for the suggestion Luther. It is a good try.

MacInTouch Reader wrote:

"I've generally had pretty good luck just copying content out of PDFs and pasting them into a blank Bean document, then saving as RTF."

This almost works. All the text is there and readable but the formatting of the original document is lost.

Thanks to everyone who responded and offered assistance. Much appreciated. =

My bank, Chase, sends my monthly statement as a pdf that opens in Safari. Doing a Save As, saves the file to my desktop as .webarchive. Changing .webarchive to .pdf does the trick. Instantly. Opens fine in Preview.

item.168837

Brian S

There is one way to bypass the need for Adobe Reader on the Discover web site and save a pdf. Go to the Account Activity tab and, in the Activity Period drop down menu, select your statement. Now click the Print icon and pick a report format. This method invokes the browser's print, which brings up Apple's standard print dialog and allows a Save as PDF....

btw: Adobe Reader may not be as benign as people think. It installed another app (found within the Adobe Reader bundle) in my startup apps (visible at System Preferences, Users & Groups, Login Items). OS X 10.8.2 here.

btw II: Discover sent a message to me: "Please be assured that we are working to resolve this matter; however, we do not have an exact date as to when this problem will be fixed."

Jan. 14, 2013

item.168839

David Barnett

Like Bill Martin, I have found it necessary to change the incorrect extension of downloaded pdf statements from various companies (not just a result of "Save as.").

As a general rule, "Save As..." works from Safari when displaying static PDF files. It seems to get confused sometimes for dynamically generated PDF.

One tip re. Chase statements - Right-Clicking half way up the displayed page offers "Save as PDF..." in the drop down menu.

This used to be reliable for all PDF displayed by Safari. Nowadays it is hit and miss as to whether "Save as PDF..." will be offered. I think the context system, for contextual menus in Safari, is flakey.

item.168844

MacInTouch Reader

I'm not sure if I understand the exact 10.8.2 workflow that is leading to the problem with PDF-formatted Discover Card statements in Apple's Preview, but I'm not having any problem viewing my latest statements using Preview on my Snow Leopard machine.

Another reason not to upgrade to Lion or Mountain Lion?

item.168869

Tom Stiller

I'm running ML 10.8.2 and I have no problem viewing the Discover PDF statements within Safari or with Preview when saved.

item.168863

MacInTouch Reader

I am running a Macbook Pro with Mountain Lion 10.8.2 and a 2009 Mac Mini still on Snow Leopard. Have had no problem with either machine viewing and/or downloading DiscoverCard statements and opening in Preview. My browser of choice is Chrome, but I checked using Safari and again no problem. I do have Preview set as my default app to open pdf files- I try to avoid Adobe whenever possible.

Jan. 15, 2013

item.168865

MacInTouch Reader

If you are just trying to reconcile your DiscoverCard account, try the following:

* Login and click the "Recent Activity" button next to the listing for "Current Balance" on the Home page.

* Here on the "Account Activity" tab, find the pop-out for "Activity Period:" and select the range of dates you are interested in. Depending on your account you should see up to 24 months of statement ranges plus other ranges such as all of 2012.

* To the right you will see buttons for "Print" "Save to PDF" and "Download." Click "Download."

In addition to being able to save in Quicken and QuickBooks formats, you can also save as Excel or CSV.

item.168872

Matt Schultz

David Barnett noted that changing extensions helps him in solving PDF download issues from financial institutions. This is the case for me as well - my bank delivers ".do" files as downloadable statements. This is probably the result of their Oracle App Server dynamically creating the file based on my request.

All I have to do is change the extension to ".pdf" and the file is accessible, FYI...

Jan. 18, 2013

item.169040

Jim Burgess

Thanks so much for the tip about using the Activity Period dropdown as an alternative for handling the screwed up PDF statements. Because of past incompatibilities with Adobe Reader I was looking for a way not to install it. Your tip worked fine, and is actually better since it generates much smaller files for my paperless filing system.

Feb. 7, 2013

item.169764

Vic Drummond

In January there were comments about problems with Discover Card statements in PDF format not displaying properly on Macs. I thought at the time -- gee I don't have any problems! I'm running OS X 10.8.2.

I use the "PDF Browser Plugin" from Schubert|it which has worked great for me for years to display PDFs on-line. Never a problem.

As of today this has changed with Discover statements -- they no longer display properly for me either in "PDF Browser Plugin," Preview, or "PDFpen." I get some graphics, and boxes, but no data.

If I check previous statements they display properly. Discover has definitely changed something in the way PDFs are generated in the last month.

I've submitted a secure e-mail to some VP to complain.

I have no intention of using Adobe Acrobat on my computer. Haven't needed it for years and I'm not starting now. I would rather try to get Discover to fix the issue at their end.

Feb. 8, 2013

item.169799

Ed Heckman

I've been seeing a similar PDF problem with statements from PP&L for about a year now. It turns out that they started using software that generates PDF version 1.3 files. Apparently Mac OS (I'm running 10.6.8) doesn't support the newer PDF versions.

item.169806

Charles Flynn

Discover Card definitely made some change to the file format starting with the January statements. If I download older statements again, they can be read. The January statement has just lines and graphics, with no data specific to my account.

item.169825

Marcus Guerrero

Re: Vic Drummond (Discover Card Statements)

"As of today this has changed with Discover statements -- they no longer display properly for me either in "PDF Browser Plugin," Preview, or "PDFpen." I get some graphics, and boxes, but no data."

I can confirm this behavior too. Never had a problem in the past. All 2012 statements display properly. Problem just started with January 2013 statement.

item.169840

Brian S

Vic: my experience matches your description. My request for manager escalation via Discover customer support elicited a boilerplate response, so it was probably ignored. If you send the VP email address to Ric, maybe I can reinforce your message with my own. Thank you.

item.169838

MacInTouch Reader

I experienced exactly the same problem and also made a complaint.

item.169876

Arthur van Houten

Re: pdf issues.

I think it far more likely that your third-party pdf readers are incompatible with the latest version of the pdf format. Why not ask the programmers to fix it?

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