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the National Science Foundation

Member since November 2014

  • Reviews 44
  • First to Review 13
  • Thank Yous 3
  • Fans 2
  • Profile Views 1,971

Review Distribution

5 stars
19
4 stars
6
3 stars
4
2 stars
7
1 star
8

About Me

Except for the two years at Umass, Amherst, I've lived my life in Maryland. My career was spent in higher ed teaching figurative sculpture and ceramics. Two grown sons and two cute dogs (the one pictured is named Popcorn), plus some exes. I'm very generous with panhandlers and I pick up stray dogs. I am extremely worried about the disparity of wealth and the danger it poses to Democracy and freedom in the US.i.e. our current President. I'm extremely curious.

How I Can Help

I know a great deal about art and ceramics. I'm a trained mediator. I know a fair amount about plumbing, carpentry, electrical work and cooking.

Interests

, reading and making things, I'm a sculptor. I really like to travel

44 Reviews by Daniel

Sort by: Most recent

Heritageauctions.com

Heritageauctions

12/16/18

Having used this site a number of times, I can say with confidence that you can be sure of its integrity. That said, the buyer still must always exercise good judgement. In the auction process there is an opportunity for purchasing items at good price.
Suggestion: This site permits live on-line bidding. If you have never attended an auction, it would behoove you to simply watch several auctions and do some pretend practice bidding. For beginners, it's very easy to get caught up in the very fast moving process: only to find you paid more for something than you had intended. Good luck!

Coyoteclay.com

Coyoteclay

12/16/18

FYI, I am a university trained ceramic sculptor with over 50 years experience. If you are reading this you likely already know that Coyote Glazes produces a line of ceramic glazes for a variety of firing temperature. I purchased several of their cone 6 glazes including a shino glaze and they all worked well. Several months later, I went to use them again only to find that the shino glaze ingredients had formed small hexagonal crystals, thus rendering the glaze useless. In all my years in ceramics I had never heard of or seen this happen.I contacted the company about the problem and they explained that it said on the package, (in very small type), not to store below 65 degrees. I pointed out that something that important should have a more highly visible label. The owner agreed and sent me replacement product at no cost. Yet again my faith in humankind is reinforced.
SUGGESTION: The thickness of the liquid glaze in the bucket is very important for consistent and predictable results. If you don't know already, find out what a hydrometer is and learn how to use it. Forget the-glaze -should coat-your -hand business.

Victorpest.com

Victorpest

10/27/18

I purchased a dozen regular wooden base mouse traps. I then bated six of them with peanut butter. The Mice ate all of the PB but I caught only one mouse! I then bated them with a sticky caramel and added a smear of PB. Still had an 80% failure rate. I contacted the company not looking for replacement but maybe advice. No suggestion but offered to replace them but only if I had a receipt. Really? To be so stingy with an item that retails for about 50 cents each suggests to me that this company cares little about customer satisfaction. One also has to wonder how well they pay their employees. Penny wise pound foolish.

Match.com

Match.com

8/14/18

The only thing one can count on with this site is getting a list with pics of single people that fit your age requirements. If you are a man, it also seems likely that you will contacted by a very young East European woman attempting a scam. Fortunately they are not very clever. So just be realistic. Using the site is difficult as there are few directions. Also, at times they will ignore all of your preferences including your decision to remove a match from your list of possibilities. In the past, when I used Eharmony I had none of the problems I've experienced here.

Libman.com

Libman

8/15/18

They describe themselves as family owned but it must be the family down the street from you that leaves their dog outside when it's freezing and never cuts their lawn. Simply put, I wrote to them about a problem I was having with one of their products.
No response.

Starcomdesignbuild.com

Starcomdesignbuild

8/10/18

This is an unusual review because I am only able to review one aspect of their business. I made an appointment and they showed up and gave an estimate. They said they would return in a couple of weeks to do the job. During the past two months I have been "sincerely" promised on at least 5 different occasions that they would arrive on a particular date, sometime in the future; one time in two days. Never showed up. It's clear they aren't truthful and they are likely cherry-picking jobs for those with the highest return and the least effort. I can't imagine what it would take to get them to come back to fix a problem with their repair/build.

OurTime

OurTime

8/6/18

They collect very little data. I suspect one could do better throwing darts at a wall of pictures. I've used eharmony and Match and found both to be superior. Also, when attempting to stop the receipt of their unsatisfactory recommendations I had to google my question to find the procedure. I find it very, very annoying when sites make it so difficult stop receiving their services.

Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports

8/3/18

I've been a subscriber, that they call a member, for about 50 years and I have found them to be a reliable source of information and advice on a wide variety of products and services. The information and advice on negotiating the price of a car worked like a charm.The last time I used it and was leaving, two of the salesmen actually applauded! To assure impartiality, they accept no advertising and as a member you have the opportunity to vote for their board of directors. While one might not agree with their rating you are confident they've done their best.

Smythjewelers.com

Smythjewelers

6/8/18

While my comments relate to an in-store experience, the attention I received tells me that the company values their customers. I had dropped off a watch to have it repaired and it was returned to me repaired but the band was not completely reassembled. When I returned to the store, the service manager came out to speak with me. This is the service manager in the largest jewelry company on the East Coast. He apologized for the mistake and then thanked me when I let him know about another problem I had. He said,"Good service is our number one priority because without it people loose confidence in the products you sell. In this business a good reputation is absolutely necessary". If all companies respected their customers as much as Albert Smyth Jewelers. there might not be any need for Sitejabber, but don't get your hopes up.

Supplement Clarity

Supplement Clarity

5/30/18

While I too would like to think that there are sites such as these, the probability is slim to none. Reviews are opinions and as such are inherently biased, it's human nature. The scientific studies they refer to are most likely not scientific. Why, because scientific studies are very expensive. They require fairly large, carefully selected populations ( age, race, gender etc) and are double-blind. i.e. Two groups, neither of which know if they are the group that is taking a placebo. They take place over time and generate largely quantitative rather than anecdotal results. The results are published in reputable scientific journals and the study/testing results must also be repeatable. Scientists only do studies that are about significant issues that are funded and will improve their reputations thus garnering more grants for more research. Unfortunately, nutritional supplements do not fall into the significant category. Compare it to Alzheimers. Who will fund the initial study, and, who is going to repeat the study?
That is not to say that some people believe they have benefitted from a particular supplement or vitamin it just means that these are opinions not measurable proof. Lastly, if the site you describe sells nothing, how do they earn enough money to maintain their site and pay salaries? And don't forget, even good 'ol Doctor Oz has been caught fibbing see "Last Week Tonight" with John Oliver.

Value
iTouchless

iTouchless

5/25/18
• Updated review

Wrote to iTouchless about their product failures (four cans) and they wrote back suggesting I call. which I did. Vicki the customer service rep proceeded to tell me all the ways I might have caused the problem....four times! When I told her that reviews on Amazon showed a failure rate of at least 20% she insisted that it was only 1-2%. Huh? She also assured me that the cans are expected to last ten years. With a one year warranty I guess they aren't too sure.

“It Belongs IN the Trash!”
5/17/18
• Previous review

I surrender! I've foolishly purchased four of these and all have lasted about a year. It could be argued that at $59 what should I expect and that may be a valid point. But, and it's a big but (not Kardashian) the carbon footprint created in manufacturing it, when compared to its useful life, must be huge!

Rockler

Rockler

5/21/18

This was a first for me. I recently received an inquiry from Rockler asking if I would be willing to help a customer who was considering purchasing an item that I had previously purchased. While I was unable to answer their question I was able to make a suggestion. Recognizing that to a certain extant I was doing Rockler's job I thought that by putting one person in contact with another it gave us the opportunity to feel better about our fellow man/woman. I would feel better for helping someone and they would feel better knowing that someone cared enough to try and help. Win win.
I like the spirit of the company.

Redironstudios.com

Redironstudios

5/1/18

The owner, Michael Route, is an extremely talented metal worker who produces very high quality work at very reasonable prices. The things he produces do not go out of fashion and will likely be passed down through successive generations. Because most of his work is custom made he is very willing to work with the customer to produce something that pleases them. I have purchased a number of pieces from him and have found him to be a pleasure to work with. Enjoy the process.

HelloFresh

HelloFresh

4/23/18

I originally wrote a lengthy review and have decided to revise it. Pros: Convenient, ingredients are well prepared and packaged, portion sizes are good, a good introduction to cooking for the novice. Cons: The food is at least twice as expensive as store purchased, way too much packaging, you still have to cook it, the recipes are a bit bland and the process for cancelling your subscription is I believe intentionally a bit vague. How to decide: Do you have enough money to pay for the convenience. Remember, you will still have to go to the store.

Tip for consumers: Take some time to understand just what you are receiving and how much it costs.

Service
Value
Quality
Skype

Skype

4/16/18

Signed up for Skype and used it for a few months and it worked well. The nightmare began when I tried to cancel my subscription. You may find this hard to believe but first I had to create an account to close an account. HUH? Anyway, after several attempts over several days I was finally able to chat with customer service. I explained that I wanted to cancel my subscription and guess what...SHE COULDN'T DO IT! She was however, able to direct me to a previously unknown page. I completed the process and now the coup de grace. On a virtually instantaneous internet service with electronic account maintenance it will take 30 DAYS! I guess they just want to get one more monthly payment? UPDATE:I waited the required month and would you believe I was still unable to figure out how to cancel the service. Solution: Cancelled auto-pay with my bank. To Skype I say "Nanny, Nanny Noo Noo!

Thesmokeadvisorsimage coming soon

Thesmokeadvisors

4/16/18

Can you really believe a company which connects the review of a product to a site for purchase. Clearly this company is paid by the number of customers it recommends. How many buyers would purchase a product with a truly negative review. Think about Moody and Poors stock, bond and company ratings. From experience (see review), their number 10 rated Juul is unacceptable. The ONLY site for honest reviews, and I've used them for more than 45 years, is "Consumer Reports". You may not agree with their reviews but their primary goal is to protect the consumer. They accept no ads and also initiate consumer protection legislation.

eSaleRugs

eSaleRugs

3/24/18

They say they have 25k rugs to choose from; needless to say, I didn't count. I can say that the selection was terrific, I was looking for a Persian style and found more than I was looking for. The carpet I found was marked Shiraz-Lori but was actually a very, very unusual design, similar to the Morrocan style abstract patterned type. For the price I paid, I thought it was a bargain. They show lots of pictures of each carpet advertised and the shipping was very efficient and free. The carpet that arrived looked exactly like the one pictured on their site. One caution: I have great doubt about the validity of the 60% price reduction advertised.

SodaStream

SodaStream

3/15/18

I purchased the product not for the cost saving but because of the number of flavors offered. Instead I got a time consuming process with awful tasting and often expensive flavors. Being somewhat resourceful, I soon made my own flavors using Crystal Lite powders and mixing them with water; these were actually pretty good. But here's the rub. If you don't turn in your used co2 cylindar when you purchase a replacement the full cost would be prohibitive; think propane cylindars. Unfortunately, I had to purchase my replacements from Office Depot which is not near me, thus requiring a special trip. If you want a cold beverage when you want/need it, you must plan ahead. One, be sure to have a working gas cylindar on hand.Two, keep the refillable bottles full and in your refrigrator thus they are immediately cold when you make the drink. This of course takes up a lot of refrigerator space.Three, don't forget the crystal lite. Now imagine you've finished mowing the lawn you're hot and want a cold drink. Assuming you have done the first three steps, you can either get out the equipment and supplies and make some (10-15 min for three bottles) or you gan grab a Coke. Which do you think you're going to do? I rest my case(of Coke)

SimpliSafe Home Security

SimpliSafe Home Security

1/30/18

I use this system. Having used other home security systems, I can say with confidence that a little research on your part will show you that Simplisafe is by far the least expensive to purchase and operate and it's a very easy DIY project if you READ THE DIRECTIONS. The no contract monthly charge greatly reduces future agravation when trying to cancel such as the company requiring a written, snail mail deliverd request. FYI, I refused and just stopped payment. There are however two features that are not readily apparent. First, because Simplisafe uses a dedicated cell phone as compared to the typical use of a land-line connection, would be burglars can't disable the system by simply cutting the phone line. In contrast, even unplugging Simplisafe, without the pass code, alerts the company. Second, by carrying the activation fob on your person when at home, you have, at no extra cost, the benefit of the expensive Lifealert, "i've fallen and I can't get up!" system. Simply hit the panic button and they send help.. What's not to like?

Sotheby’s

Sotheby’s

1/29/18

I recenty purchased/won a set of antique glassware and all went smoothly until I was informed by Sotheby's that one of the glasses was broken and a damaged one could be repaired. Their offer was to repair the damaged item and reduce the buying price on a pro-rated basis. There was no consideration for my need of a specific number 0f glasses or the fact that I might not find the repair to be acceptable. This resulted in numerous back and forth emails in which I countered with a request a full refund. For a while it appeared as though their offer would be one of take-it-or-leave-it. It was only through my insistence and and the help of an understanding employee that I prevailed and was given a full refund. The lesson is, be persistent and make a good and reasonable argument.

Daniel Has Earned 92 Votes

Daniel B.'s review of OurTime earned 6 Very Helpful votes
Daniel B.'s review of CarMax earned 2 Very Helpful votes
Daniel B.'s review of starcomdesignbuild.com earned 2 Very Helpful votes
Daniel B.'s review of Thesmokeadvisors earned a Very Helpful vote
Daniel B.'s review of Supplement Clarity earned 3 Very Helpful votes
Daniel B.'s review of heritageauctions.com earned 3 Very Helpful votes
Daniel B.'s review of Consumer Reports earned 3 Very Helpful votes
Daniel B.'s review of redironstudios.com earned 9 Very Helpful votes
Daniel B.'s review of smythjewelers.com earned 4 Very Helpful votes
Daniel B.'s review of HelloFresh earned 7 Very Helpful votes
Daniel B.'s review of iTouchless earned 2 Very Helpful votes
Daniel B.'s review of coyoteclay.com earned 3 Very Helpful votes
Daniel B.'s review of SodaStream earned 3 Very Helpful votes
Daniel B.'s review of SimpliSafe Home Security earned a Very Helpful vote
Daniel B.'s review of victorpest.com earned 3 Very Helpful votes
Daniel B.'s review of eSaleRugs earned 2 Very Helpful votes
Daniel B.'s review of Sotheby’s earned a Very Helpful vote
Daniel B.'s review of Skype earned 2 Very Helpful votes
Daniel B.'s review of Rockler earned 2 Very Helpful votes
Daniel B.'s review of libman.com earned 3 Very Helpful votes
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Daniel Has Received 3 Thank Yous

ivanm123
Ivan M. thanked you for your review of smythjewelers.com

“Son unos estafadores”

jonk47
Jon K. thanked you for your review of smythjewelers.com

“Service keeps customers, right? Generates wealth for them and feeling good too, for everyone involved.”

maxineb8
Maxine B. thanked you for your review of SodaStream

“Thank you for the review. My sister bought these for Christmas gifts a few years ago. I told her to keep mine are get tefund. We poured the drink out.”

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