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About Me

A "Tweener" (born between WWI and WWII), I'm turning into one of those crusty old fogies I used to laugh at. 30 years work in IT, so I know what makes a good website.

How I Can Help

Aside from obsolescent skills in IT (I'm now retired), I have no special expertise, except that which comes from life experiences.

Interests

Marine biology, Ancient History, science fiction.

30 Reviews by James

Sort by: Most recent

BrightLifeDirectimage coming soon

BrightLifeDirect

6/9/19

BrightLife Direct specializes in mail-order compression stockings (for people with lower-leg edema, i.e., swelling of the legs caused by various medical conditions generally associated with either diabetes, or aging, or both) and compression wraps for arms and other body parts. Their online catalogue offers a wide variety of such stockings and wraps by various manufacturers.

The website is easy to work with and the mail delivery is adequate. I'm giving the website only four stars, however, because one of the four items I ordered was the wrong one, and this was apparently due to the warehouse label (the one glued to the box) being incorrect. The label didn't match what was printed (by the manufacturer) on the box itself, which suggests a certain carelessness on the part of warehouse staff when labeling incoming boxes for storage. The discrepancy was not disastrous, however, so I didn't return the item.

Xoom Corporationimage coming soon

Xoom Corporation

7/6/18

Xoom was recommended to my friend Bill as a quick and easy way to transfer emergency funds to relatives in a different country. Since Bill has a little less experience with computer stuff than I do, he asked me to help him get the transfer set up. After talking with a service rep by phone, Bill put together an email with the information requested, including some scanned images of various documents, like his personal ID card, and sent it to Xoom. The following day, Xoom replied with a "Got it; you're good to go!" email, and Bill submitted his transfer request.

Then the fun began. Another Xoom email, a day later, indicated that the transaction had been cancelled because "the required documentation was not received in time." This led to some increasingly irate telephone discussions between Bill and various Xoom service reps until a "manager" was brought to the phone: the manager explained that the document in question was the I.D. of the RECIPIENT of the cash Suppressing the urge to yell "Well, WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME THIS BEFORE?," he agreed to get THAT document as well. He then told me that a close friend of his had been using XOOM for more than a year to transfer money to relatives in that same country, and had never been asked to provide the recipient's ID.

At this point, it occurred to me to look up some reviews of Xoom on SiteJabber and other websites: most of the customer reviews that I looked at were quite negative, and focused on the point that "service is terrible, and these people don't seem to know what they are doing."

One might expect that a company in the money-transfer business would develop standard procedures for sender and recipient, for each country in their network. One might also expect that they would also offer a checklist of the information and documentation required (from both sender and recipient), by country, AT THEIR WEBSITE, rather than providing this information on-the-fly, by phone.

Bill has decided to do his money transfers via Western Union.

UPCLICKimage coming soon

UPCLICK

11/8/16

UpClick provides payment services (collection of online payments and related features, such as local-language translation and interfacing with various payment sources) for various companies worldwide. Their corporate headquarters are in Malta; the only North American office was (at time of review) in Montreal, Canada. Website reviews of UpClick indicate that it cannot be trusted; for example, WOT (as reported by the review website EasyCounter) has Trustworthiness: Poor.

I first encountered UpClick when a friend I'll call "Bill" got one of those terrrifying pop-up messages warning him that serious errors had been detected on his hard drive, and that he MUST download and execute a fix-it app IMMEDIATELY. Bill was also instructed to telephone an 885- number, which he did. This led to the installation of an app called Advanced Mac Cleaner for $60 (less a nickel), charged to his PayPal account and paid to UpClick. Not only that, but a (purported) Service Tech at the 885- number talked Bill into granting him online access to Bill's computer, and as the Tech began to rummage around in it, he warned Bill not to interfere in any way, or the hard drive might be fatally damaged.

Then the Service Tech told Bill that PayPal was down, and that Bill would have to provide a credit card for the remaining charges, a demand which made him suspicious enough to get in touch with me. I told him to power-off his computer immediately, hang up the phone, and not to answer when the Service Tech called him back (which he did, twice).

A little research on the Internet turned up the information that Advanced Mac Cleaner is actually malware, designed to keep the mark paying for additional clean-up services. With some help from Apple Support, we were able to remove this item, as well as the malware that had produced the pop-up warning message. Later, we discovered that a pair of ongoing automatic payments to UpClick, one for $9.95 and another for $19.95, to be made every six months, had been posted to Bills PayPal Profile, payments which we immediately cancelled.

Despite that warning of fatal errors, Bills hard drive seemed to be OK after the computer was powered-off, restarted, and cleaned. We don't know, however, what information may have been extracted as the Service Tech was accessing his hard drive, or what data may have been damaged or altered.

Whether UpClick itself is a scam organization, or only a few of its employees run scams via company resources, is impossible to determine. In any case, UpClick is not trustworthy. Do not do business with this company!

Omnimapimage coming soon

Omnimap

10/11/16

OmniMap is the website of OMNI Resources, a map distributor in Burlington, NC, specializing in detailed and hard-to-find maps of various places in the USA and other countries. WARNING: don't confuse this company with Omni Resources (website: omniresources.com), a tech-project consulting group. OmniMap also offers bicycle guides, for those intending to travel by bike and wanting a little more detailed information on the places theyll be seeing en route. Other items on offer include historical maps, relief maps, topographical maps, flags, pins, globes, postcards and so on.

The website design is not the best (I found the Search feature difficult to work with), but can be managed with a little trial-and-error effort. The order process is fairly straigntforward. Communication with the company (via Contact Us) may be by mail, phone, or email.

I marked my review down a point because the company failed to respond to my email, requesting a status update on my order (the departure time for my trip was getting close, and I wanted to know if my maps had shipped or not: as it turned out, they arrived in time, and I was able to use them on my trip). Otherwise, I found the service satisfactory.

Survey.vovici.comimage coming soon

Survey.vovici

6/29/16

This company (Survey.vovici) sent me an email today, with a request to complete a survey regarding my recent experience with a telecommunications company.

I did complete the survey, cursing frequently as I did so: it included far too many questions, and the level of detail bordered on the absurd. NONE of the questions could be skipped; my attempts to do so stopped my progress cold, with the display of a red-lettered warning to "answer EVERY question, you incompetent fool!" (OK, I added that last bit!--But that was the survey's style.)

Here's my favorite question from the survey, rendered as accurately as I can remember it: "Did the website information flow seamlessly from topic to topic?" Now, how is the average user supposed to evaluate the term "seamlessly?"--Even an IT specialist would have trouble with that one, let alone the ordinary user.

The only reason to complete a survey of this type (for free!) is in the faint hope that doing so will improve the service provided by the company for which the survey was distributed. Given the generic quality of the questions asked, I suspect that such hopes are likely to be unrealized. This whole thing struck me as a "pro forma" effort, paid for by the telecom company in order to say "Everything's fine, we did a survey!" at the next Board meeting.

So, bottom line: if you get an invitation from Survey.vovici, don't click on the link unless you're totally bored and looking to waste a half hour or so of your precious life. Better yet, go re-arrange the contents of your sock drawer.

Frontier Communicationsimage coming soon

Frontier Communications

4/1/16

Verizon is transferring some of its less-profitable accounts to Frontier Communications, whether its customers like that change or not.

Yesterday morning (Thursday, March 31), I got an email from Frontier, inviting me to set up a new Frontier ID on its website for my Verizon account, and to link my new ID to the account.

This afternoon (Friday, April 1), I set up the new ID and password successfully, but got an error message each time I tried to link the account, using each of the three possible data elements (email address, telephone number, account number) in turn. I tried logging off altogether and logging back on, using my new Frontier ID, but this time I got an error message to the effect that the billing system was unavailable, and that I should try again later, or use their Chat service, or call the 800 number for assistance.

I called the 800 number, and fought my way through the usual annoying audio menu until I reached a female human voice, to whom I explained my problem.

"The system is undergoing maintenance," she replied, "you'll have to try again after 24 hours." Then she shouted "APRIL FOOL!," giggled hysterically, gave me a "raspberry," and hung up. (Oh, all right, THAT didnt happen!--But it COULD have!).

Either Frontier's left hand (customer service) doesn't know what its right hand (system maintenance) is doing, or the company just doesnt care. In any case, this is not a good omen for customer service. Find another telecom company, if you can!

Update 4/2/2016: for a sample of the many, many complaints about this company, see the comments at the "Consumer Affairs" website (go to www.consumeraffairs.com and search on "frontier communications").

Nueske'simage coming soon

Nueske's

3/25/16

Nueskes advertises itself (on its website) as providing the Worlds Finest Applewood Smoked Meats. This Wisconsin-based company provides a variety of smoked meats: beef, ham, bacon and pork; turkey, duck and chicken, etc. In addition, they offer several different varieties of cheese, a few seafood dishes (crab cakes, shrimp and scallops with bacon, etc.), and some dessert items (pies and cakes). The online ordering process is fairly straightforward, and delivery is quite reliable.

I wanted something fancy for a New Years Eve Party a while back, so I ordered their whole smoked pheasant: this delicacy is not cheap ($40 for a 2-1/2 lb bird, part of which is, of course, inedible bone), but it certainly meets the qualification of fancy. It was a hit at the party; the one drawback was that (typically for smoked meats) it was very salty, not a good thing for people worried about their sodium intake and its effect on high blood pressure. After the party, I sent an email to Nueskes, asking (out of curiosity) if the high salt content was required by law, or some other reason. The answer I received was, in effect, some people like it that way, some dontits all a matter of taste, which I thought was not responsive to the question, and a bit defensive, as well. But this is a minor point, and at least I got a response from the company.

A quick survey of the Internet seems to indicate that their prices are in line with those of other online-order websites (like Harry & David) that offer gourmet smoked meats, and perhaps slightly lower for some items.

If youre looking for high-quality smoked meats, and dont mind the associated high price and the high sodium content (for which I'm subtracting a star, in my review), Nueskes would be a possible source.

BidlessNowimage coming soon

BidlessNow

3/8/16

I accessed Bidlessnow as an online-catalogue extension of the Sears website, which I reached while searching (via Google) for a particular piece of medical equipment. The items that I ordered via Bidlessnow arrived within three days, carefully boxed and in perfect condition, so I have no complaints.

I did see two complaints regarding Bidlessnow on the Internet. One was clearly the result of a failure to read the product description carefully, so I disregarded that one. The other complaint was more substantial: apparently Bidlessnow does not require its delivery service (UPS, in this case) to get a signature from the recipient upon delivery, which means that the package may be left at the door, exposed to theft. The complaining customer stated that, although UPS marked the item as delivered, the customer had not actually received the item. With no way to prove this, the purchase price was lost. Buyer beware! I'm taking one star off my review, due to this reported problem.

TzarMediaimage coming soon

TzarMedia

2/11/16

From "About" on the Facebook entry for tzarmedia.com on Feb. 5, 2016:
-
Tzarmedia is your entertainment hub, offering movies, books, games, and music for one low monthly price. Oh, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee!
-
(Don't you love that "Oh"?It suggests a sudden afterthought, as if satisfaction were an unimportant little element in the transaction that TzarMedia had just decided to offer to each customer, as a "free gift!")

On that same Facebook page, mixed with the promotional posts from TzarMedia, were a series of customer complaints, each accompanied by a friendly, apologetic reply from TzarMedia, suggesting that the person contact support@tzarmedia.com to request a refund.

I came across TzarMedia while researching movie scams of the "skimmer" type: the film buff attempts to play a movie on YouTube and is told to link to a different site to see the "full movie." If he does jump to the new site, he is asked to register a new account, with requires a credit card.

A "skimmer" website provides some desirable content, while also bilking the customer of small amounts of money, like a monthly fee for a supposedly free account, or an unwanted upgrade of the account to a "premium" (and more expensive) version. Sometimes there are charges for items the user did not actually buy. These websites don't make very much money from such nickel-and-dime scams, but there are so many of these mini-scams that they add up to a very good income for the scammers. If the customer complains, these websites often issue a refund, since they don't care about any one scam, just the cumulative total.

I didn't find a review of TzarMedia on SiteJabber, so I took a side trip to see if it had any negative reviews elsewhere. Here are some other places you can go to look for website ratings, and how TzarMedia was rated at each one (data obtained Feb. 5, 2016):

ScamAnalyze (scamanalyze.com) - "Very Poor Reputation/May not be Safe to Use" Trust Rating 9%
AVGThreatLabs (avgthreatlabs.com) - "Currently safe (no active malware)" but only 25% positive (out of 28 votes).
WOT (Web of Trust) (mywot.com) - Trustworthiness = 9 (max. is 100)

Some of these websites offer space for the user to post a comment. On WOT, for example, the 41 comments about TzarMedia are mostly of the type "they took my money for something that wasn't actually available from their website," and "they charged me for something I didn't buy." Each complaint was followed by a posting purportedly from a TzarMedia rep, apologizing for the mistake and offering a refund.

Bottom line: TzarMedia is not to be trusted.

Go.donnaplayimage coming soon

Go.donnaplay

2/11/16

The website name go.donnaplay.com is apparently an alias for donnaplay.com, which has some reviews on SiteJabber. Donnaplay is another "skimmer" website, one that provides some desirable content while bilking the user of small amounts of cash, like the monthly fee for "free" access.

See the reviews for donnaplay.com for additional information.

DonnaPlayimage coming soon

DonnaPlay

2/10/16

Donnaplay is another skimmer website, one that provides some desirable content while bilking the user of small amounts of cash, such as a monthly fee for the "free" access, or an unwanted upgrade to a more expensive account. It has an alias, go.donnaplay.com, also reviewed on SiteJabber. Websites similar to this are Movimx (movimx.com), Cinamuse (cinamuse.com), and TzarMedia (tzarmedia.com), all of which are reviewed on SiteJabber.

YouTube has become a prime location for scammers wishing to pull in film buffs, through a "honeytrap" approach: the film buff wants to play a video advertised as full movie, but the mark's attempt to start the video triggers an announcement that "you'll have to link to my site to see this movie." (Sometimes there is a video of a sexy young blond woman in a tight red dress making the "Hello! Sorry..." announcement; sometimes this announcement is audio-only.) If you click on the link presented, youll be transferred to a different website, where you'll be presented with a demand to register as a new account, a process which requires the entry of credit card data--not as a CHARGE, you understand, only for ID purposes! Once they've got your card, they're off and running: you will see unexpected and unwanted charges on your next statement.

In addition to checking the reviews of Donnaplay on SiteJabber, I searched the Internet for reviews at other websites (data obtained Feb. 5, 2016):

ScamAnalyze (scamanalyze.com) - Very Poor Reputation/May not be Safe to Use
Trust Rating 7%
WOT (Web of Trust) (mywot.com) - Trustworthiness = 7 (max. is 100)

The WOT website had 19 reviews for Donnaplay, all negative. Do not trust this website!
- - - - -
The following email (purportedly from a service rep at Donnaplay) was forwarded to me from SiteJabber on March 29, 2016:
. . . . .
Dear James B,

Thank you for taking the time to contact us.

Donnaplay.com is a legitimate website. All our content is licensed and legal for distribution and use.

Regards
Ashley Martin
Client Service Representative
Donnaplay https://www.donnaplay.com
. . . . .
Given the complaints posted about this website, this is a new and rather peculiar use of the word "legitimate." See, for example, the complaints about Donnaplay posted at
complaintsboard.com
reddit.com
review.easycounter.com
scamanalyze.com
mywot.com
ripoffreport.com
scamadviser.com
Of these, perhaps the most interesting is the detailed comment posted by "goretsky" (Aryeh Goretsky) at reddit, which lists the other "businesses" operating out of the same address as the one listed for Donnaplay. See
https://www.reddit.com/r/ebooks/comments/3cqhdg/what_can_you_tell_us_about_this_donnaplaycom/

Cinamuseimage coming soon

Cinamuse

2/11/16

I discovered Cinamuse (cinamuse.com) in the course of researching the website Movimx: see my review of movimx.com on SiteJabber. Movimx is apparently a "front" for Cinamuse, which has an even worse reputation on the Internet. These websites collect credit card data for later misuse, such as charges for items the customer did not purchase and unwanted "upgrades" to more expensive accounts.

After finding that there were no reviews of Cinamuse on SiteJabber, I searched the Internet for reviews at other websites (data obtained Feb. 5, 2016):

ScamAnalyze (scamanalyze.com) - "Very Poor Reputation/May not be Safe to Use"
Trust Rating 8%
WOT (Web of Trust) (mywot.com) - Trustworthiness = 8 (max. is 100)

The WOT website had nine comments about this website, all negative.

For more information on Cinamuse, see the review of Movimx mentioned above. I suspect (from the information about this website on robtex.com and elsewhere on the Internet) that Cinamuse uses additional front websites. It should not be trusted.

MoviMXimage coming soon

MoviMX

2/11/16

I discovered Movimx (movimx.com) when a friend who wanted to see the 2015
Romanian movie "Aferim!" went to YouTube, searched for the movie, and found what
purported to be the "full movie." An attempt to start the movie triggered a brief audio
announcement, in a cheery female voice:
"Hello! I'm sorry, but the original video has been removed by YouTube due to the DMCA
Notice. But you can watch full movie streaming in HD quality at my sites! Just hit the
link in the Description below. Enjoy!"
Clicking on the link took him to the Movimx website and a page with "FULL MOVIE" at
the top, and a convincing display of information about "Aferim!" below. But his attempt
to start "Aferim!" here triggered a "Login or Register" popup window, asking him to sign
in, or register as a new account. Clicking on REGISTER took him to yet another
website, Cinamuse (cinamuse.com), where he was asked to provide his email address
and password (so far, so good). Completing these entries took him to the next webpage
whereoh, yes! you guessed it!he was asked for his credit card information.
Fortunately, he stopped at this point, and asked for my advice.
After finding that there were no reviews of either Movimx or Cinamuse on SiteJabber, I
searched the Internet for reviews of Movimx at other websites (this data was obtained
Feb. 5, 2016):
ScamAnalyze (scamanalyze.com) - "Unsatisfactory Reputation/May not be Safe to Use"
Trust Rating 50%
WOT (Web of Trust) (mywot.com) - Trustworthiness = 50 (max. is 100)
The WOT website had one very negative comment, stating that this was a scam
website.
Cinamuse, on the other hand, had an even worse rating, and many negative reviews
(see my separate review of cinamuse.com on SiteJabber).
Of course, I warned my friend not to provide any credit card info. I also told him to be
ready for spam email from Cinamuse, asking him to "finish" his registrationthat is, put
in that credit card info.since one of the WOT commenters wrote that this had
happened to him.
Let's return to that cheerful announcement on YouTube from the scammer's agent,
which mentioned a "DMCA Notice:" DMCA is the "Digital Millenium Copyright Act" (it's
described in Wikipedia). A DMCA Notice alerts the owners of a website (like YouTube)
that they are providing copyrighted material in violation of the law. The Notice gives the
owners a chance to remove that material, before further legal action is taken against
them. A legitimate website, like YouTube, will no doubt remove such material
immediately.
So, that cheerful announcement is telling you that "YouTube has been informed that
legal permission to play this copyrighted movie on their website has not been granted.
However, if you jump on over to MY website, I'll let you see the movie, because I don't
care about any silly old copyright laws!" Anyone who follows that suggestion should
prepare to be scammed.
Scammers seem to be usng YouTube as one of their preferred "honeytraps" for
unsuspecting film buffs. Movimx appears to be operating as a "front" for Cinamuse,
which already has a very bad Internet reputation. Neither of these websites should be
trusted.

Scribdimage coming soon

Scribd

4/23/15

I attempted to purchase a downloaded copy of "Heresies," by Thomas Szasz (1976) from Scribd today--I wanted to search the PDF for particular phrases. The website offers one-time, monthly, and annual subscriptions, and I wanted to check it out before committing to a subscription, so I requested one-time access.

I used PayPay to pay for the $8.99 one-time fee. PayPal delivered, but the transaction hung at this point, and attempts to return to Scribd took me right back to the previous "choose your subscription" menu, with no record of my payment. Bad design! After reading the reviews of Scribd on SiteJabber, I decided not to try to get my book through any of the other methods offered. NOT RECOMMENDED!

-----

In response to my complaint, Scribd Support promptly gave me extra days of access until I was able to download the file I wanted. So, they get a boost in their overall rating. However, this was a "known problem," and what they should have done was disable the PayPal payment option until it was fixed--rather than letting customers stumble into it.

Local Records Officesimage coming soon

Local Records Offices

3/5/15

Like "Title Recording Service," this company offers services (such as printing and delivering a copy of the latest deed to your property) which can probably be obtained at a lower cost by filling out the appropriate forms and going to your local county offices. This service is therefore legal, just not necessary, so it's a "legal scam."

Titlerecordingservice.comimage coming soon

Titlerecordingservice

3/5/15

Do you really need a "Declaration of Homestead?"--If so, you may file the forms yourself with the county recorder's office. This is another of those "pay us instead of the government" offers, so it's legal--just not necessary.

Caller Centerimage coming soon

Caller Center

7/23/12

CallerCenter is a bulletin board for victims of telemarketing scams, and/or just plain harassment, like frequent "robo-calls" from the same company. The complaints sometimes contain useful information, even (purportedly) the name and address of the company (NOT guaranteed to be reliable information!). Pros: information about "spoofing" and legislative attempts to deal with the problem. Cons: search of website is by phone number only, not name of company or other alphabetic identifying info. Bottom line: this is a HUGE problem which the Federal "Do Not Call" Registry (in the USA) simply fails to address. Government has only begun to study the whole "spoofing" issue, so we'll continue to be harassed by telemarketers for the foreseeable future. But at least CallCenter.com will make us feel less alone.

PS: see the SiteJabber reviews of the "LifeHacker" website, which offers suggestions for ways to block unwanted calls.

Scamshield.comimage coming soon

Scamshield

7/23/12

ScamShield presents information primarily on known "on-the-ground" scams, like the "White Van Scam" (in which con men approach "marks" in a parking lot, and offer fake high-end audio equipment at discounted prices), rather than telemarketing and Internet scams. Currently (July 2012) it describes only three such scams. However, the ScamShield website also offers a list of government and other agencies which deal with scams: this list might be useful for Internet-scam victims. ScamShield is referenced in the Wiki entry on "White Van Scam." The website is maintained by volunteers, and offers a volunteer sign-up page.

AT&Timage coming soon

AT&T

5/15/12

"WE DON'T CARE!--WE DON'T HAVE TO! WE'RE THE PHONE COMPANY!"--Lily Tomlin as "Ernestine," the playfully sadistic phone operator, on the old TV show "Laugh In."

After using the AT&T website (successfully) today, to add some features to my home phone service, I tried to find a way to ask the question, "Why do some people I call see "caller ID blocked," instead of my name and number?" (I don't have blocking on my account.) After trying very hard to follow the on-screen instructions exactly, to get to a tech support person for a "chat" about this, I found myself stuck in a loop, required to log in again and again.

Abandoning the website, I tried the 800 number, found myself in phone-menu Hell, and (after finding no option that met my needs) discovered that the menu offers no option of the type "just let me talk to a human being, PLEASE!" (If you fail to select one of the menu options offered, or press "0" in desperation, you'll just be kicked back to the beginning of the top menu.)

Exasperated, I went to the corporate part of the website to find the name and address of someone to whom I could write a letter of complaint. I found none. Searching the Internet for "at&t complaint" and similar combinations, I found a mountain of complaints posted, plus an interesting report that, if you write the CEO of AT&T with your complaint, your letter will be forwarded automatically to the legal department, which will send you a "cease-and-desist" letter threatening legal action if you persist.

AT&T's attitude of "man the barricades!--the customers are coming!" is a striking contrast to that of another phone company, which not only posted its corporate address and CEO name on its website, but quickly responded to my letter of complaint (directed to the CEO), and actually had company officials (plural) call me, for further details.

The most infuriating part of my experience with AT&T was the badly-designed website. If AT&T wants to avoid payroll costs by routing all inquiries to a computer, they should at least have a really user-friendly website, with instructions that can be easily followed by the average consumer. (Hey, I have 30 years professional experience in IT, and even I couldn't make the website work!) And, most important of all, the website should have a "fall-back" option: some way to ask a human being what to do next, either via chat or email. The failure of AT&T to provide this last option, on either website or phone menu, should be a red flag for consumers, and--dare I say it?--to investors, as well, since indifference to the basic needs of consumers is not a good sign for the long-term health of the company.

Angie's Listimage coming soon

Angie's List

5/28/11

I signed up on Angie's List in April of 2011, and generally agree with the other reviewers on SiteJabber: the cost of membership is too high for the services received. Here's another drawback: when you sign up for a "List," you sign up for reviews of businesses ONLY IN A SPECIFIC GEOGRAPHICAL AREA ("area" is defined by Angie's List). So, if you want to find reviews of businesses in a DIFFERENT area, you'll have to pay extra, for an additional "List." Let's say, for example, you inherited some vacation property outside the area of your original "List," and need to find a contractor or plumber to fix up the cabin on the property: if you want to see reviews of local contractors on Angie's List, you'll have to sign up for a new "List" in that area, for an additional charge. Needless to say, you can't find out if there ARE any reviews of local contractors until after you sign up for the new "List."

Even worse, if you later sell your property, or just decide that you aren't getting your money's worth from the new "List," you'll have to telephone or email Angie's List and request a "stop" on the automatic annual renewal (or request that the "List" be removed from your membership, altogether). There is no way to flag this "List" on the website as "do not renew."

There's nothing wrong with automatic renewals of membership subscriptions, but any website that allows you to sign up for an additional membership service should also allow you to CANCEL that service at any time, without going through extraordinary efforts, like calling or mailing the company. Lack of such a "stop charging me!" function should be a red flag for any subscriber, or would-be subscriber.

James Has Earned 99 Votes

James B.'s review of AT&T earned 4 Very Helpful votes
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James B.'s review of DonnaPlay earned 23 Very Helpful votes
James B.'s review of UPCLICK earned 4 Very Helpful votes
James B.'s review of Xoom Corporation earned a Very Helpful vote
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James B.'s review of Ancestry earned 10 Very Helpful votes
James B.'s review of BidlessNow earned a Very Helpful vote
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James B.'s review of Cinamuse earned a Very Helpful vote
James B.'s review of MoviMX earned a Very Helpful vote
James B.'s review of Wilmington Trust earned 4 Very Helpful votes
James B.'s review of AT&T earned a Well Said vote
James B.'s review of Angie's List earned 5 Very Helpful votes
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Alice H.

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