Creating a New Payee

It is beyond ridiculous that YNAB constantly thinks I don't know who I have paid wants to rename payees.  I went to lunch at Coolgreens today.  So I typed that in and put in an amount.  I then see that it is being recorded as Walgreens.  

Yes, yes, I know I can manually select create payee but that is inefficient.  If I type in Coolgreens feel free to assume I am not an idiot and know that I actually had lunch at Coolgreens, not Walgreens.  This issue happens on a daily basis.  I type in a name not really all that close to another payee (often having a few letters at the end of the word that are similar and it gets changed.

This is just beyond annoying.  I should not have to manually select create payee just because I chose to go somewhere new.  It is particularly annoying when it is being renamed to something not that similar.

A few months ago I had dinner at Red Barn BBQ.  YNAB decides that I really don't know where I went so it should change it to Dress Barn.

Typing in a payee's name should be sufficient to create the payee.  Maybe you could give people the option to want to have Coolgreens changed to Walgreens just because.  But me?  I am normally and just want to type in a new payee without rigamorale.

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  • Hi katsmeow !

    Sorry for the annoyance there! If you're typing a new payee that doesn't contain the same characters, then it defaults to the option to create a new payee. For instance, if you have Dress Barn and Coolgreens as payee options but type in Apple, the default will be to create an Apple payee. However, since Dress Barn and Red Barn BBQ have matching characters included, it defaults to matching them.

    When you have a moment, would you mind submitting a Feature Request for a change in the Payee auto-fill logic? That form goes directly to our development team so you can let them know what you’d like to see going forward. We can’t make any promises, but that puts it on our list of possibilities! :)

    Reply Like
      • sbw
      • Violet_Cheetah_c4d187e5
      • 6 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Faness , I first reported this BUG via email in 2017, and it still hasn't been fixed.  Since then, I've had repeated discussions with support staff.  I have given many examples of completely indefensible matching and explained why YNAB's behavior is counterintuitive, surprising, and frustrating to us.  Everyone tells me your development team is aware of this, but apparently they do not agree with us that this is a BUG that needs to be fixed.

      Therefore, here's what I want now: I want YNAB to respond with the rationale for not fixing this after more than a year.  I want the development team to give you a response to post here that explains their rationale clearly.  What usability studies have they done that PROVE we are wrong and that it would be more harmful to fix this than to continue to ignore our reports.  I want that rationale to address the facts I have given in the past:

      - Often the match is indefensible.  "Dominican Hospital" and "Steinway Animal Hospital" obviously should not match.  "Kickstarter" obviously is not "Starbucks." I think one of your developers may be way too enamored with fuzzy matching and should pay attention to the evidence we are giving you from the field!

      - Often YNAB waits to destroy my careful typing of a new payee UNTIL I TYPE THE LAST CHARACTER.  At that point, my mental model is "I'm done typing," so I press the Enter key without checking whether YNAB just destroyed my typing.

      - When I'm entering a new payee, my mental model is that I'm entering a new payee, so I'm not primed to watch carefully for bad matches.  I understand YNAB doesn't know I'm typing a new payee, but nevertheless, because I'm human, it is natural for my mental model to be affected by that additional knowledge.  Good software recognizes such human behaviors and strives to behave in a manner that causes the least astonishment and reduces errors.  Let's do that here!

      Seriously, we have been putting in time to help YNAB fix this for months.  Since you choose not to fix this, we deserve a meaningful explanation of WHY NOT.

      Reply Like 3
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 6 mths ago
      • 8
      • Reported - view

      sbw considering there are massive bugs that were reported before the software was released at the end of 2015 that still haven’t been fixed nearly four years later, I’d recommend adjusting your  expectations for your timeline. The better to avoid stroking out over it. 

      Reply Like 8
    • Hi sbw !

      I wanted to offer a bit more of an explanation, though I don't have access to usability studies done by our development team. At this time, this feature is working as designed, so it isn't considered a bug - because that's how the matching is programmed to perform. Since you'd like to see a change to how that feature is designed to work, the best approach is to submit a Feature Request. I understand the logic behind the payee matching could use some updating and you can let our development team know what you'd like to see through that form.

      Reply Like
      • sbw
      • Violet_Cheetah_c4d187e5
      • 6 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Faness I can't believe this is working as designed.  I doubt there's a design document somewhere that says, "Override the typed payee if it has a few characters in common with a past payee, even if most of the string is completely different."  More likely, the design says, "Find a good match."  That's broken and needs to be fixed.

      So, no, I am NOT gonna create a "feature request," because I'm not asking for a new feature.  I am reporting a feature that is broken.  If YNAB has an open list of defects we can participate in, point me there, so I can report this defect, and the developers can respond as to why they feel the examples I have given repeatedly really are acceptable matches, even though YNAB customers are telling you right here they are not.

      I was gratified to receive an email reply from "Dan," who says he's in the "Bug Squashing Team," in which he seemed to agree this is a bug, so I hope it will be addressed as a bug.

      Reply Like 4
      • JoeDid
      • Remember: It is To Laugh
      • Purple_rain
      • 6 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Faness An effective soundex matching system relies on the first letter being a match to the searched-for result, followed by a matching formula involving numerical data for the balance of the word. There's no way 'Red Barn BBQ' and 'Dress Barn,' or 'Coolgreens' and 'Walgreens' should ever be matched.

      Reply Like 1
    • JoeDid Thank you for explaining! I hadn't looked into the logic behind soundex matching, but that isn't currently the logic used for the payee entry. Our development team is looking into improving this feature due to the resulting confusion. 

      sbw Our development team is looking into improving this feature. Submitting a feature request is the best way to let our development team know how you'd like for that feature to behave. It's completely optional, of course!

      Reply Like
      • Voracious Reader
      • YNAB broke is not the absence of money, but rather the judgment that it has something more important to do.
      • Orange_Cheetah.3
      • 6 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Faness 

      Not to pile on, but I can't quite see the matching as "working as designed" either. It's really, really not, at least not in any way I, as a newer user, find valuable. It is, frankly, really irritating. I would almost rather it be turned off completely than perform as it does now.

      Reply Like 1
    • Voracious Reader No no, please pile on - we'd rather have an abundance of opinions than to miss someone! :)

      We're looking into ways to improve this behavior, but the current matching logic is based on any point in the payee entry. I'm sorry for the irritation it's causing and I hope you'll like the changes made to it in the future!

      Reply Like
  • Oh, I know how it works.  I am just saying that it annoying and insane to type in Red Barn BBQ and have it changed to Dress Barn or Coolgreens changed to Walgreens.  I've worked with many programs that have payees and this is the only one ever that does it that way for things are so different.

    I have submitted a Feature Request and have been told that this is on the list of things.  I was told this months ago.  I am expressing that it is totally absurd to have something that is so consistently annoying and time consuming to deal with.  This shouldn't work this way and should be fixed.  

    Reply Like 2
  • Agreed, this is real dumb. There's just no way "Coolgreens" should match "Walgreens". It's a bug.

    Reply Like 2
  • Hello again, all. I live in Austin, Texas, for crying out loud; there is no acceptable reason to assume that if I start typing "Taco" it's going to be the same payee as any one of the dozen or more places I've already been to with "taco" in the name. Your matching algorithm is broken.

    Reply Like 4
    • bevocat Thanks for letting us know! 🌮 Our development team is looking into how we can improve the logic behind the matching feature. If you have a moment, would you mind submitting a Feature Request? The information collected will help our team narrow things down!

      Reply Like
  • Super annoying! If it's not an exact match, I don't want it to auto-match it. Should be something we could at least disable. (ie. bissell.com does not equal raise.com)

    Reply Like
    • Hot Pink Admiral Sorry for the trouble there! We're looking into how we can improve this particular feature. When you have a moment, would you mind submitting a Feature Request letting them know you'd like to see some changes, and an option to enable or disable? That form goes to our team, so you can let them know what you’d like to see going forward. 😀

      Reply Like
      • katsmeow
      • katsmeow
      • 5 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Nicole  I am pretty sure it had been over 2 years since I was told you were trying to improve this. Since this has not happened let us at least turn off his atrocity

      Reply Like 2
  • I'm not sure if any of the YNAB staff is aware, but a large portion of your user base has given up on the feature request portal, because it seems that the only thing that ever comes out of it is is autoreplies saying Tuesday they've gotten the email, but neither actual replies (which are promised in the autoreplies), nor features, nor bug fixes come back out of the black hole that is the feature request portal. 

    Reply Like 4
      • TheTabby
      • Just a common cat trying to budget uncommonly well.
      • TheTabby
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      TheTabby appologies for the typo.  I was on my phone and didn't manage to successfully proof read that.  Substitute "that" for "Tuesday".

       

      Oh, other feature request:  Let me edit my post for typos more than 30 minutes after I write it.  I'm probably not going to go back and re-read my post directly after posting it the first time, so that edit time frame isn't useful.

      Reply Like 1
      • Patzer
      • Retired at age 60. Thank you, YNAB!
      • Patzer
      • 5 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      TheTabby 

      TheTabby said:
      TheTabby appologies for the typo.  I was on my phone and didn't manage to successfully proof read that.  Substitute "that" for "Tuesday".

       You missed an excellent opportunity to point out how the stupid phone autocorrect is similar to the YNAB payee match.

      Reply Like 2
      • TheTabby
      • Just a common cat trying to budget uncommonly well.
      • TheTabby
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Patzer Aww, dang!

      Reply Like 1
    • Hi TheTabby !

      The feature request form should state Not to expect a response, not a promise that we will respond. If you'd rather discuss a feature with support, you can email us at [email protected] instead. We're looking into ways to improve the feature request form so that it doesn't feel so blackhole-ish. :)

      Also, please don't submit Bugs through the Feature Request form. There's a Bug Report that goes directly to our bug squashing team so they can investigate and make sure we address the issue you're running into.

      Reply Like
      • Patzer
      • Retired at age 60. Thank you, YNAB!
      • Patzer
      • 5 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Faness 

      Faness said:
      The feature request form should state Not to expect a response, not a promise that we will respond. If you'd rather discuss a feature with support, you can email us at [email protected] instead. We're looking into ways to improe the feature request form so that it doesn't feel so blackhole-ish. :)

       The best way to make the Feature Request not feel so blackhole-ish would be, um, to actually IMPLEMENT some of the well-reasoned, no-brainer feature requests.  The second best would be to have some actual conversation about what a request means, instead of just having to dump a one-time communication into a no-response mailbox with no assurance that whoever reads it (if anyone) actually understands what is being requested.  Or maybe, a radical idea:  Find the people who are responsible for making the decisions as to what features get implemented.  Make it PART OF THEIR JOB to hang out here, discuss what people are asking for, and talk about the programming implications of doing things one way rather than another.  Clearly, the substance of what is discussed here is not making it to them.

      The line of, "we recommend you do this thing that is horribly inconvenient for you" gets really old, even if Support personnel really do prefer the program to act in a way that is horribly inconvenient for many of us.

      Faness said:
      Also, please don't support Bugs through the Feature Request form. There's a Bug Report that goes directly to our bug squashing team so they can investigate and make sure we address the issue you're running into.

       How are we to tell which form to use?  Lack of running balance looks like a bug.  Lack of future committed transactions looks like a bug.  The fact that entering a deposit to a credit card categorized as TBB doesn't affect any budget categories at all looks like a bug.  Goals turning yellow after money is deliberately moved out of a category looks like a bug.  Yet none of those are deemed to be bugs.  So why would we think that the weird way YNAB handles payee matching would be deemed a bug?

      Reply Like 3
      • TheTabby
      • Just a common cat trying to budget uncommonly well.
      • TheTabby
      • 5 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Patzer exactly.  Every time we bring something up as a bug on the forums we're told that it's actually a feature and it's working as designed.   Therefore all bugs must be submitted as feature requests, which are promptly and thoroughly ignored.

      I'm fairly certain that mailbox routes to /dev/null.

      Reply Like 2
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Patzer Faness Yeah, in a support role you have to accept a certain amount of people categorizing or handling things in ways you didn't expect, interpret, repackage and reroute the information based on the insider knowledge you have that the customer does not have. I don't get to say "you didn't fill out form 189-7b in triplicate and move your own clothes down to the lower peg so I don't have to do my job and help you."

      Reply Like 1
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      TheTabby Seems like they could easily falsify that claim by genning up an aggregate view or something based on the submissions to the google form.

      Reply Like 1
  • TheTabby said:
    I'm fairly certain that mailbox routes to /dev/null.

     Who wants to start a pool that one of the developers set that up and has been shinin' on the support people this whole time and is going to get the ax when the higher-ups finally, finally find out?!

    Reply Like
      • Patzer
      • Retired at age 60. Thank you, YNAB!
      • Patzer
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      bevocat I don't gamble; but if I did, my money would be on the proposition that the way it works comes straight from the top and no contrary opinions are allowed.

      Reply Like
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Patzer On what planet could someone hope to run a successful business like that? I'm the last person in the world who would ever want to run a business and even know better than that!

      Reply Like 1
      • Patzer
      • Retired at age 60. Thank you, YNAB!
      • Patzer
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      bevocat Microsoft does pretty well being customer-hostile. 

      Reply Like
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 5 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Patzer I've been working closely with Microsoft for two decades and this actually takes it to a whole nother level IMNSHO.

      Reply Like 2
      • Patzer
      • Retired at age 60. Thank you, YNAB!
      • Patzer
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      bevocat Point made.  Okay, another example.  I had an employer that operated pretty much that way.  It wasn't much fun working there.  Ultimately, a change in work policy that inconvenienced me for no benefit to the company got me to retire.  3 years later, the dividend has been canceled, the stock price is in the toilet, and the company sure looks like it's on the road to bankruptcy.

      Okay, you're right.  No sane, aware person could expect to run a successful business like that.  But many people *do* run large businesses that way, and it frequently fails to kill the business before the leader retires.

      Reply Like
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Patzer Ah! The trick is to leave some other suckers holding the bag. Got it. Yeah, I wouldn't feel good about myself doing business that way.

      Reply Like 1
  • This still remains unbelievably annoying.  I wrote a check to someone with the last name of Robinson.  So -YNAB changes this to Baskin-Robins.  I have used so many budgeting/financial programs over the year.  All the way from Managing Your Money, through MS Money through Quicken and YNAB.  None of them do it this way.  None!  This is still insane.  Making feature requests is useless.  I was told a long time ago that this was actually already in the works to be changed.  And, yet, nothing happens.

    Reply Like
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 12 days ago
      • Reported - view

      katsmeow well, based on past history, YNAB's conception of "a long time ago" does not necessarily comport with a reasonable person's conception of "a long time ago".

      Reply Like
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