Jaqi M.

Level 4 Contributor
Texas, United States

Contributor Level

Total Points

About Me

Lover of all things musical. Lover of dance. Admirer of words. Fanatic and respecter of animals. <3


How I Can Help

15 years experience working directly for and with CEOs of two Fortune 500 companies, and their VPs of Legal, M&A and HR.


Food, pets, dance/music and computers rank at the top of my list of interests.

38 Reviews by Jaqi


One of our babies-in-fur (dogs) began throwing up on the evening of the 10th of January and continued to do so at various intervals through the night. At around 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning I joined another site (similar to Pawp), wherein you could chat with a vet online (which I will also review, shortly). The vet on that site was nice, but of course, she ended with "take her to the vet in the morning." I actually expected that, as no clinic is yet set up (I believe) which can offer FULL veterinary care nor can they prescribe medications, etc. I was just desperate, and needed some advice and peace of mind until I could get our baby to our vet.

UNFORTUNATELY, the next morning we were advised by our regular vet that they were booked for the following three days. (They are very popular due to their prices and experience, and due to the pandemic, they are now going solely by appointments). I then began phoning around and made an appointment with a vet I had never seen, who was the only one open with appointments available. He was TERRIBLE. Close to $1,000.00 and a MYRIAD of tests later, he said he "wasn't sure what was going on."

There is definitely much more to it, but we would be here all day, so long story short, desperate and at the end of my wits, I joined Pawp. There was originally an issue connecting to the video chat from my laptop (my settings I believe, and not an issue on their part) but I connected quickly on my phone with their phone app.

In one word, based on today's interaction with both "Julie B" (over text chat) and with "Danielle O" (over video chat), Pawp is AMAZING!

While both Julie B. And Danielle O. Were great, I simply cannot say ENOUGH good things about Danielle O., who I video-chatted with. She is a person who exudes... the type of person I WANT to be. She was kind, considerate of what my pet and I were going through, she was knowledgeable, informative, caring, respectful... I could go on, but I am about to cry. In fact, the vet with whom I visited just days before, could honestly learn SO much from the lovely people I "met" today "at" Pawp and in regard to how to deal with both a pet and pet parent, in crisis.

In closing, I know, (at least I hope), there are those who love their pets as much as I do. To them, and everyone, really, who may need a little more direction regarding their pet's health than what a Google search may provide or to those who need the comfort of a voice to help with a pet in need, I would recommend Pawp in a heartbeat!

*Again, I want to stress that I do not believe any of these sites may currently diagnose a pet or prescribe medications, but this review is a real account of my experience with Pawp, and I am happy to have found them.

Tip for consumers:
Digital (online / virtual) Pet Care


I am updating my previous review in which I originally harped on MediaMonkey for my inability to remove the Cast option and for the inability to register a new account on its forum. It is difficult, however, to - in good conscience - leave a low rating or bad review despite its minor flaws, BECAUSE it REALLY is THAT GOOD.

Of ALL the video libraries and players I have tried, MediaMonkey does MORE - and does it better.

While it is not perfect, 1. There is no other player or library organizer that comes close to its capabilities for both PLAYING and ORGANIZING music and video regardless of whether you have 20 files or 20,000 files; 2. There's a reason it is the most popular option; 3. Once you try it, it is doubtful anything else will do.

It is sleek; streamlined; (mostly) easy-to-use; highly customizable in regard to individual needs and uses; appropriately customizable in terms of layout options; somewhat customizable in appearance/colors; excellent at handling almost every audio and video file format you can throw at it. It can find and DOWNLOAD files from your local device, a network device, from a disk and even the internet... and YES, there's MORE:

It can sync your audio, video, podcast and audiobook files to and from your Android or iPhone, VIRTUALLY** eliminating the need for that old, outdated, bloated, ridiculous iTunes!

**Note that I said "virtually". Unfortunately, MediaMonkey does not have the capability to store or manage photos. If it did, MediaMonkey would undeniably make BANK! $$$ (A program named iMazing, which I will also review, is leagues better than iTunes, but costs ~$49.99/year. If MediaMonkey got in the 'photo-syncing-game' without raising its price for MediaMonkey Gold edition, EVERYONE would drop iTunes and other such software like a hot potato. Speaking of prices, MediaMonkey standard is FREE and does practically all a basic user needs it to. MediaMonkey Gold is their paid version, and those who know me from my other reviews will know I am pretty frugal and would not say this unless I mean it: it is WORTH what it costs (currently $39 lifetime license I THINK).

Also note please, that I am in no way associated with MediaMonkey except that I have been a user for over EIGHT years.

In closing, as they say that a picture speaks louder than words, I am including images of my MediaMonkey Library. It's beautiful, isn't it?

Tip for consumers:
No manual for use, only questions on a forum.

Products used:
Audio/Video Library and Player


To begin, at around $12 for one power outlet and $20-ish for two (these are average prices & can vary greatly), I am not certain how economically sound this way of smartening-up the power devices in your home may be in comparison to other methods, but I became a fan of my first Geeni power outlet and so began my descent into the rabbit hole.

I will tell you about it.

I started by buying ONE Geeni power outlet for our tall, corner bedroom lamp. The installation of the outlet and pairing it with my iPhone (while not plug-and-play simple), was simple ENOUGH. I came across a couple of glitches and had to have it search and run through its installation process a couple of times before it "paired", but all-in-all, it went quickly enough.

I LOVED IT. My hubby loves it. (By the way, more than one phone can control the same devices by mirroring the phones). Aaaand, not only can we turn that one lamp on and off from our phones, but we also scheduled it to come on and turn off at certain times. Awesome!

Since we love it so much, my husband thought about getting another one to power an entire 6-outlet surge-protected strip, so we did. I purchased a "Merkury" power outlet which is also manufactured by Geeni and which is supposed to use the same app to control the device. Here is where we ran into issues.

Although we managed to confirm that both the Merkury products and the Geeni products are one and the same, for some reason we could never get the Merkury outlet to "pair" with our phones, or work.

Not only that, but customer service was pretty lacking. First of all, the directions in the package do not cover adding a new device to an already existing home setup, and their website is pretty lacking in information on it. Upon calling them, you are on hold for forever while they "LOOK" for an agent to help you. I called a total of SEVEN times connecting to a real person, three times. The first was a very nice gent who I could hardly hear and who would talk louder for only a moment after I asked him to and who then devolved into low-speak again, who had me try a few different things, none of which worked. The following real person was a lady who kept talking over me, told me to turn Bluetooth off and then (I swear I could tell), suddenly made believe she couldn't hear me, then hung up on me. The third and last time, I connected to a very nice gent (who may have been the first guy again), who I could hardly hear, and who was not able to help. After a while of troubleshooting, he suggested I take it back to the store.

SOOO, in a nutshell, while Geeni/Merkury seem to have let me down as of right now on the second outlet, being able to power electrical devices from your phone - ROCKS! EVERYONE will be doing it soon and in a few years, it will just BE the norm. Oh, and I am NOT one of those people who love their phones and do everything on them. I hardly ever surf on my phone, preferring my good ol' trusty laptop. Heck, I hardly even answer calls on my phone. Managing our lights (for a start), oooohhh, that's a different story now!

Tip for consumers:
Automation aspect of it ROCKS! Support for it, not so much.


Awfully terrible at best. A scam at worst.
In a NUTSHELL / TL; dr Version: I HIGHLY advise anyone who is thinking about signing up for service with Gladden, to review their Terms & Conditions. They are a joke and I can practically guarantee you will not sign up with them if you do so.

Example: One of their selling points is that you can "suspend" delivery "at any time", like if "you have too many water cases you haven't used." What they don't tell you, is that you are still billed for the water you DO NOT GET / have suspended -! AND! - that they can (and will) bill you any amount they WANT for your cooler rental.

MY Experience with them:
Their new "boxed" water is AWFUL in every way imaginable. Not only does it taste bad, but the loading of their new "boxed" water into the Cooler is a frustrating effort in UTTER futility. (Even the tape that is meant to keep the boxes together is flimsy, so you have to sometimes FIRST secure the boxes with your own tape BEFORE even attempting to load them). In fact, there are actually numerous VIDEO 'tutorials' online meant to walk you through the loading a box of Gladden water into one of their coolers in which they try to make it look easier than it is - - - which in itself should set off all kinds of RED FLAGS as to WHY one would need an instructional video to do something that SHOULD BE as SIMPLE as loading a cooler! Don't even get me started on their customer service, who, while well-trained to keep you going around in circles, is unimaginably inefficient in terms of actually actioning anything for you, the customer.

Our experience with Gladden has been nothing short of a bad comedy film.

Due to the bad taste and difficulty/awkwardness of loading the Cooler, we used much less than the three boxes we had requested upon first ordering, and had around 8 boxes of unused water we paid out of the ear for, stacked up in the corner by the front door. (THINK ABOUT THAT - we had water we would not use).

As per their Terms & Conditions, we requested for the service to be "suspended" for two months, but they CONTINUED billing outrageous amounts ($50-ish each month for three more months) and delivered THREE more 5-gallon boxes, AGAIN, even AFTER contacting them by phone and by text (they prefer text) to request that the service be suspended.

In their responses, they did not address the fact that they did not adhere to the suspensions we time and time again requested, but rather, they kept bringing up the Cooler rental.

In short, they bombard you with water you do not need, did not request or requested that they stop, then try to tell you they will continue to charge for the cooler rental WHICH you NEED because of their so-called "new" TERRIBLE boxed-water design AND for "plan fees". IT IS a SCAM - but remember - YOU did not sign anything. Cancel your bank card ASAP at the first inkling of trouble if you decide, against my review and better judgement, to go with them! You'll thank me.

Lastly, worth noting is that most of their positive reviews are fake. I found three on Yelp and two on TrustPilot which used the same pictures and reported them and they were taken down. Many of their distributors work on commission, so the adage BUYER BEWARE is especially noteworthy when dealing with this company (who by the way lost their ability to use GladdenWater for similar bad practices).

Tip for consumers:
Read their Terms and Conditions!!!


Sport channel selections are top-notch from what my husband and brother-in-law don't say. (Get it? They don't say, because they're too busy watching them). In all seriousness though, they are thrilled with the selection, and in-between manly grunts and chili fries, they have voiced their sincere approval. YouTubeTV, from what I understand, beats ESPN in a lot of ways.

I have binged so many past Cake War episodes that I think I gained five pounds just watching. Now I just sit farther from my screen. ;) Lifetime, however, is not included, and I'm addicted to one of the shows on there, so that's a miss. Edit*** Earlier broadcasts can sometimes not be easily re-watched. Example: HLN is presenting excellent coverage on the George Floyd case, but upon missing one day's coverage, neither that day, nor any previous days (termed Episodes on YTTV's Site), were available to view).

While YouTubeTV offers a better SELECTION of more current / newer movies than Flex or Peacock or Tubi alone, because they pull them from each of those platforms, their collective offering is pretty solid, although not excellent. PROBLEMS include:
1. Normally, their featured films are "UPCOMING", meaning you need to wait a day or two for them to begin streaming. SO, you click on a featured title expecting to view it, only to find out you have to wait days for it to come on. (Seriously, Youtube, whoever came up with the idea to tease, or not 'deliver', something we are specifically clicking on and prepared to view, only to be told it is still not playing, should be fired.
2. With movie trilogies, sagas or franchises, only a fraction of the complete series is normally included. Sometimes it is a good fraction, but still a fraction. Example: 19 out of the 23 Marvel Franchise films.

The platform itself is bulky and not very user-friendly. It loosely resembles the regular YouTube channel rather than other streaming services, which is okay for YouTube, but not for a streaming service. It needs a complete revamp in several areas to do with searching/finding. For example, if you want to watch Fox or CNN, or whichever your cup of tea may be, you can search for either, but the results are much too broad or too few, confusing, murky, not very descriptive, not laid-out well and most of all, mostly not playing even if you specifically search under "LIVE TV". Definitely another miss.

YoutubeTV will refuse to work with a VPN, and that is a major con for us. More and more of us have moved toward using VPNs for online security and I sometimes like to use social media while I have the TV on in the background. With YouTubeTV, you cannot run a VPN without it refusing to connect. Huge miss.

I am frugal. I like good things, but I love good deals, and the fact that we're paying almost $76.00 a month for this service, bugs me enough to where I am keeping an eye out for alternative options, one of which is HULU, who offers ALMOST the same number of channels for $10-$12 LESS a month. "What's $12?", you may ask. Well, it's 3 gallons of milk, two quarts of Baskin Robbins mint chocolate chip ice cream, a co-pay on a prescription, the difference between an older model and newer model external hard-drive on Amazon, a dog toy which will last for a week in this home, and enough to gas up my car for 3.5 visits with my grandmother. On the other hand, can I really put a price on seeing my husband happy after a long day's work, relaxing on a plush leather recliner and watching his favorite NFL team score a touchdown while he waits for a slice of my latest cake-decorating masterpiece?

It's a tough call, but in a nutshell, if we could find a streaming service which offers the same channels for less, we'd move quickly. YouTubeTv while plentiful with CHANNEL SELECTIONS lacks way too much in other departments to win over our loyalty.

Tip for consumers:
Site needs work / upgrade / revamp, and price needs a cut.

Products used:
Live TV / Movie Streaming


Without exaggeration, since buying this printer at the end of JULY 2020, I have needed to contact Epson each and every time I have needed to print.


I am beyond frustrated with it and want to throw it out the window, then run around the house to go stomp on it for good measure.

HOW can we be so advanced in so many areas, and yet Epson's connect and print technology is still so outdated and crappy? SERIOUSLY, you'd think that with the EIGHT different bloatware programs their "lite driver" (I'd hate to see the non 'lite' one) installed on my system, ONE of them would actually be able to communicate with the printer, but noooooooo!

After being on hold with them for 27 minutes, someone just picked up, then hung up. #&%@$@!
After finally reaching someone and after an hour and one minute of 'troubleshooting', I was transferred to a supervisor, and then a Level 2 Escalation Technician... THE very FACT that they need Level 2 Escalation Technicians FOR SIMPLE PRINTERS, ought to tell you something.

Stay away from Epson printers.

NOTHING worked, so DID indeed throw it out the window after Epson did not even offer service or replacement on a practically NEW unit.

Let me reiterate:
Stay away from Epson printers!

Tip for consumers:
Terrible product and terrible customer service.


I have NEVER found a working coupon / promo code on RetailMeNot. Not ever. In fact, I actually thought I had blocked that site from my search results with a google extension because of it.

Well, this morning I ran a general Google search for codes for Instacart, and RatailMeNot popped up, so I went ahead and tried again - with 12 or more of their so-called coupons - and every single one of them was kicked back as "not valid" or "use exceeded"! I later realized that under some, next to "Submitted by: (Name)", the name oftentimes matched the first digits on the coupons/codes (i. E., Submitted by A. Santana | Coupon Code Sant63F086). This can only mean that some *geniuses* are submitting their one-time-use codes and RetailMeNot is not validating the submissions.

In short, this place seems more like an advertising site than a promo code site. What a waste of time for me.

EDIT: To RetailMeNot Rep.
Thank you for your reply, however, I see you've replied to several reviewers, and yet all of these replies sound more like excuses than anything else, because it is something that is obviously never addressed. Simply: Don't bother responding. Rather, concentrate those efforts into providing coupons which actually work, instead of pages upon pages of coupons that do not. In today's world, very few people have half-an-hour or more to waste in having to do half your work for you (advising YOU of the coupons which do not work).

RetailMeNot S. – RetailMeNot Rep

Users and community members post many of the offers listed on RetailMeNot and at times and we do everything we can to validate all content that comes in to make sure we have as many coupons available as possible so that we can help you save money when you shop! We're always happy to help if you ever run into any offers that aren't working for you. Please reach out to us at https://help.retailmenot.com/s/contactsupport.


Hotels.com has been a go-to on a few occasions simply because in doing a general search, they happened to offer the lowest rate for where we wanted to stay. This weekend, however, we had made a non-refundable reservation through them and thought we'd lose the full cost of the room, being that I felt under the weather and chose not to travel. Without much hope of receiving our money back, my husband contacted hotels.com and asked if we could move the date of the reservation. The agent not only said she would do so, but offered us the choice of canceling or having the change-fee of $89.00 waived. THIS is how every company should operate, and in doing so, they've earned our business each and every time we travel going forward.


I have used their delivery service for over a year because it would seem that I am a glutton for punishment. It really is pretty damn terrible.

First of all, even before the pandemic, their delivery service was awful. Of course, it had not been too long before they had begun the process of implementing it company-wide, so I figured a few glitches were to be expected... only here it is more than a year later, and things (still) S U C K.

They suck SO much, that I began supplementing my delivery orders with orders from OTHER grocery services such as HEB delivery, and just today, FiestaMart through Instacart.

Sometime after our fourth or fifth 'supplemental order' from HEB, I decided to complain about the awfulness of Walmart's Delivery service and emailed WalMart's executive office, including images of our HEB receipts. I was contacted by one of the local managers who assured me that they would look into it and try their hardest to resolve the issue. They never have.

THINGS LITERALLY GO AWRY WITH 99.9% OF THE ORDERS, and one really has to stop and wrap one's brain around HOW this can be. I bet that if they TRIED to actually get it as WRONG as the normally do, they'd probably fail at that, and would actually IMPROVE, since there is no way they can get worse.

Case in point, my experience on JUST MY LAST THREE orders:

Order 1: Received only about 1/3 of what I ordered. Called in and was told the driver probably left my items with another customer and that they would send out replacements. Replacements were mostly out of stock.

Order 2: Order was placed for delivery the following day between 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. (only slot available). At 8:34 p.m. the next day, no delivery, no update, no receipt, no contact, - nothing. Called the main number and was told they were closed for the evening and to call the following day. Called the following day at 9:00 a.m. and was told to call yet again, "later", because the agent could not get through to anyone at the Pickup and Delivery Dept. (Seriously). Called again, no one at store available. Called again and asked for a supervisor, but agent said she could try to help by calling the store itself and getting the GM. Was on hold for a while, and while no one came back to the line, while waiting, I did receive a text saying that the order had been canceled by the store. What happened to my items and do I have to go through this again to receive them?... Insanity!

Order 3: (Today) Received less than half of what I ordered, but did receive an 'update' to say they were "Out of Stock" on a couple of things and could not fill them and that they would be refunded - BUT ON TOP of the not-in-stock items, MORE items were missing (had not been sent, but were charged)!

The entire thing is simply maddening.

One of the issues, too, is that I cannot CHOOSE the store I want to order from in our area, despite customer service telling me that I should be able to. I am relegated to this one ridiculously AWFUL Walmart store which has no inventory to begin with, just pages and pages of "Out of Stock" items. Then, to add insult to injury, EVEN IF something says that it is in stock and it ALLOWS you to add it to your cart, upon trying to check out, the order is normally STILL kicked back with a notice of "We are sorry, but so-and-so item is no longer available. Please remove it from cart or pick a new delivery window."! When this happens, due too a glitch of some kind, I guess, you HAVE to go ALL the way back to the beginning after removing the item, then go through the process of picking your payment method again, choosing which items you'd prefer substitutions on or not, etc., and hope that while you do that, ANOTHER item doesn't become "unavailable" or "out of stock".

NOW, if you think that's it, HA! Again, after all is said and done and your order of supposed in-stock items has been placed, 99.9% of the time you still have missing items upon receipt of your order, not due to the reasons already covered, but because simply, they WERE OUT OF STOCK.

It's almost too exasperating for words.

Hopefully someone will take this new wave of the future which is here to stay, that being GROCERY DELIVERY, and will learn to do it right, because WalMart has had nearly two years in which to work the kinks out, and they haven't.

Tip for consumers:
You my have better luck in your area. Our store is awful.

Products used:
Consumables, mostly.


If it were not for the overwhelming amazingness of one of the nurse practitioners at their Victory location, UT Physicians would deserve a ZERO.

It wasn't always like this, however. When I first became a patient of theirs, around five years ago, the care was pretty decent. Somewhere along the line they made a complete reversal and lost not only many of their doctors, but apparently, along with them, what made UT Physicians worth visiting.

As of a couple of years ago, the care (I use the term quite loosely), has been pretty terrible.

The main doctor at the Victory location has never been very personable, but understanding that it isn't a personality contest, I can live with that. What I cannot stomach is the completely abhorrent disregard and failure to correct issues, and which said disregard seems to stem from, and then trickle down, directly from the office of the CEO, Andrew Casas.

More than once I have had problems with the wrong medication or dosage being prescribed, a prescription being delayed because they were busy or did not obtain a prior authorization despite being advised that they needed to, paperwork which was faxed to them being repeatedly lost/misplaced and several other issues. I have literally gone back and forward with them for MONTHS over certain issues.

What is worse, is that upon trying to contact anyone within the executive office there is NO WAY to do so without being redirected BACK to the originating location, person or problem. I have had to email Mr. Casas directly, after which I have received a call from someone who sounds as if they are doing me a favor by deigning to call me, and as if doing their job (which is to care for their patients) is far beneath them.

Unless you were to specifically ask for the nurse practitioner who I alluded to at the beginning of this review, and who is a credit to not only this organization, but to her profession in general, then I would not recommend UT Physicians to anyone. It is AWFUL.


Philo boasts of offering shows from 61 channels - all Discovery Network channels; and while not a bad selection, on the trial period every episode is littered with five or six commercial interruptions each 2 or 3 minutes long (so, ten minutes at best | 18 at worst). WORSE than that, upon being billed, you jump to NINE or more commecial interruptions.

Sorry, but if I am paying $20.00 a month (plus $6.00 more for epix and $9.00 more for Starz), then all these commercials are unacceptable.


We have been customers for TWELVE years (although through an error of theirs, their records only reflect eight years), and for the most part, XFinity has proven good enough to retain our loyalty.

Here's the good and the bad, as we've experienced it. (Long read, but hopefully useful).

First of all, the error in which we only show up as customers for eight years instead of the actual twelve. It's not a big deal, but it does bug me. Along the same line (minor issue) is the fact that until recently, agents INSIST we've used our own router when in truth, we've always rented it from them. That is, until I told them: "Fine. You're right! We have our own, so please REFUND ALL the rental fees we've paid you until now." :) They straightened it out after THAT.

Now, a real issue, more problematic, IS their rental equipment.

When we first became customers, we purchased a router from their site. When we received it, they said it was not compatible because their server applications had changed. They instructed us to take it to one of their stores where they would swap it out with one that worked. WELL, 'work' is a relative term, apparently. Since then we've had to replace (swap out) close to twenty routers. In short, their equipment SUCKS. They rent out cheap plastic routers which are refurbished over and over and over and over and over, and eventually, ALWAYS eventually (not a typo), cause lags and disconnects. THEN, the inconvenience of having to either visit a store to trade it in or wait by the mail for another of these cheap, plastic routers which has been refurbished over and over and over and over and which will eventually do the same, is just ridiculous.

Their website design and their XFi App are great, especially when compared to AT&T's. (We have a TV and low-speed Internet bundle for my granny's house with AT&T and their site design, speed and navigation is AWFUL).

Their PRICES for internet service, are also relatively good. They are comparable to other major ISPs which in turn keeps their prices reasonable, at least in our area. I believe that this is because AT&T (their major competitor where we live) has FINALLY begun to offer comparable rates for similar speeds. In fact, with both companies going Fiber and Wi-Fi 6, it will be interesting to see who customers veer to.

In that vein, (realizing that customers will probably go with whoever offers the fastest speeds [Fiber, 2Gb, please] for the least cost), CUSTOMER SERVICE will most likely be the deciding factor, and with XFinity, it's pretty hit-or-miss. Sometimes you get lucky and get some of the most professional, courteous and KNOWLEDGEABLE agents ever, and sometimes they are downright terrible. IMPORTANT TO NOTE HOWEVER, is that when XFinity 'does it right', they really do it right, meaning that they bend over backwards to resolve your issue, issue credits when warranted, waive delivery/shipment fees on failing equipment, etc.

For example (long read/shorter version, below):
Until a couple of weeks ago, we had a 200Mbps plan with XFinity, and switched to a 600 Mbps plan, but have only been receiving speeds of UP TO 44Mbps!

When I phoned XFinity about it, the CSR told me that 'that happens' when using wireless connections and that I need to connect via an Ethernet cable. I explained to him that while I was AWARE that a wired connection is faster than a wireless one, that I've used wireless during ALL the years I had been with them, on every plan I have had with them, and with EVERY plan I got more or less the speeds that we paid for, except for this time. I also noted how even using the wireless connection we are, it should not account for THAT severe a loss in speed, especially given past connection speeds. I additionally asked how in the world he thought that I'd be able to run three or four Ethernet cables across my house. He then made an appointment for three-days out, for a Technician to come to my house and troubleshoot our connection. A day after speaking to him and making this appointment, I missed a call from their "Elevation Team" which left a message saying that they were calling because they "can often help on many issues without having to have a technician come out". I phoned back and reached someone who I literally could not understand. I am in no way saying that to be mean or to come across as a bigot or anything along those lines, I just could NOT understand what they were saying. And it isn't as if I haven't been on calls with people from other regions or countries before, it seemed to be just this group! FIFTEEN minutes into the call, and getting nowhere, I just hung up. I felt bad telling the agent that I could not understand her, so I hoped that she would think we just got disconnected. I called back. And... SAME THING. It happened over and over. I even switched phones thinking it might be my phone. At about the fourth agent, I told them at that point: "I am SO sorry, but truly, I am having difficulty understanding what you are saying. I will call back." The next day, I tried again today and was hung up on four times. Maybe they thought I was a robot, having called in 5-6 times the day before. I switched phones yet again and then reached someone who I thought I'd stick with, no matter what. The problem? This guy literally did a 'reset' on my router and said that the technician tomorrow would troubleshoot and fix the problem. I asked him: "But aren't you supposed to try and help so that the technician doesn't have to come out?" He said he had reset that line and that the Tech could try and do more.

I understand companies wanting to save money, but come ON. This is your "Elevation Team"?

Shorter Version:
Wrapping up, a couple of customer reps have said that on their end, they show we have "leakage" somewhere. One technician, however, came and went without saying anything. The other technician that came out said he tested everything outside of the house and that he can say almost positively, that it is the router. Yes, you got it: THE RENTAL EQUIPMENT! (See my comments regarding equipment).


He said that, unfortunately, he did not have any routers in his truck to switch it out with, and that for the past couple of months they've seen a big shortage in equipment (thankfully, it seems as if they are finally phasing out their old equipment) and that he'd put an order in for one to be sent out. This morning I phoned to be sure that had been done (it hadn't), but it was one of those "HIT" occasions where I reached a terrific agent who said he'd overnight one out and offered a small credit on the account. Small things, but at least they care enough to do it.


I've had issues with UPS previously, such as delayed items, etc., but nothing too egregious for me to consider them worse than FedEx (who I consider to be bottom-of-the-barrel-bad). Then again, not many of the shippers who I received deliveries from in the past, had ever used UPS enough for me to have developed a concrete opinion about them. Until now.

Anyway, against my better judgement, I had purchased through eBay again, and waited excitedly for my package to arrive. Unfortunately, when the box did show up, it was split open on two sides, torn, three of the corners were damaged/sunken in, and most telling and laughable (if it had not been so sad), was that it had been left in front of my door, actually balancing on one of the sunken-in corners of the box. Almost like a joke.

The worst part, I thought, upon seeing the box in that state at my door (although I do admit that UPS may not have known this during shipment), was that it contained electronic equipment of a fragile nature. Upon thinking about it further, however, I realized: WHO CARES whether UPS specifically KNEW it contained electronic and/or fragile equipment? Shouldn't they transport each and every package with the care necessary to ensure NO damage to ANY package? You know - almost as if EVERY package contained electronic and/or fragile equipment? Nope. No care whatsoever, and as I later discovered upon opening the box, the remote control was missing, a leg and foot was missing, two sets of cords were missing, and the main unit was broken (missing a chunk of its corner and side).

Upon seeing this, I contacted the seller who assured me that they had "packed the shipment well" and that "apparently the shipping company was loading crates on it". Now, I did not really believe the seller, because:
1). I realized upon opening said package, that this nincompoop had basically just
Thrown everything in a box with NO padding, foam, crumpled-up-newspaper
- nothing for protection;
2). How would/could he know that the 'shipping company was loading crates on it'?

I THEN contacted UPS and asked if they had a "Lost & Found" of sorts, where missing items from a package might be held at. They said that they did not. I then asked if there was a way for me to possibly contact the actual warehouses where it showed that the box had physically been at. I told them that I was simply interested in seeing if I could track down the MISSING parts and pieces, the remote control, especially. I was told there was no way for me to do so. I then asked if there was possibly somebody, ANYBODY, who might want to go beyond what was generally expected of them, and perhaps reach out to a couple of the locations to see if maybe they found a remote control of some kind. They said 'no'. I was, however, told that I needed to file a claim and that as part of said claim, they would investigate what may have happened to the missing items.

Seeing as the shipper was sticking to his guns that the sale had been a "no refund" sale, and that he had "packed the shipment well", I filed a claim. I mean, IF the shipper had packaged it less-than well, shouldn't UPS have refused to ship... or after acceptance, again, shouldn't they just have handled it with care?

A couple of days later, I received a call from UPS telling me that they were closing the claim and that I should advise the seller to file a claim since HE was their customer.

I told them to F-off.

Personally, I will never give this place a dime and will (try) to avoid sellers who state they ship through them.


A few years ago, in looking for a lower cost option as to where I could obtain my pet's heartworm preventative, I came across a site which had been opened by a couple of veterinarians and which did not need prescriptions, and where the items they sold were purported to be the "REAL" and "EXACT" products you would get at your vets. The reviews, although not many, were positive. Although wary, I figured I would take the chance and see what it was exactly that I received.

I placed an order for one pet only, waited for about a week, and then received the heartworm preventative I had ordered. I immediately compared both internal and external packaging. I looked for misspellings in their directions, ingredients, etc. It passed the test in that the packaging was pretty much identical. Still with a little bit of trepidation, I administered the first monthly dose to my dog. No issues. I then ordered from them a couple of more times before they closed. In their closing messages however, they recommended BudgetPetCare. Well, based on the recommendation from where I had been happy shopping, I visited BudgetPetCare's site, and immediately felt comfortable ordering from them. Again, not only was it recommended from a company who had established itself as what they said they were, but I liked their website layout; their no-frills, informative pages; their prices; and their money-back guarantees.

I placed the first of a few orders through them, that very day.

That was a couple of years back, and I have been satisfied with every purchase since then.

If there is one (minor) thing to be aware of, it is the number of promotional emails you receive from them once you order. It may be less or more of a problem for you, depending on how much of a pet peeve receiving unsolicited email is for you personally, but it was just this side of annoying for me. On the flip side, I would not recommend unsubscribing from them, because they always contain coupon codes, and the like, to save you a few extra dollars off of their already low prices.

In short, I cannot recommend them enough! Unfortunately, it is a sad fact of life that some pet owners find it difficult to decide between keeping up with the cost of their pet's well-being and paying the light bill (or in some cases, a new set of earpods). BudgetPetCare HELPS!

Needed my dog's Heartgard, so I prepared to order it from BudgetPetCare, and discovered they have begun to carry something called NuHeart. Researched it and saw it was supposedly a 'generic' Heartgard, and a lot less $$. Ordered it expecting it to take over a week, which was fine, but it arrived in 5 days, which was nice. I read the inserts for both types (based on dog weights), felt comfortable giving it to my dogs on August 18th (17 days ago) and have seen no adverse reactions. The one minor detractor is that it comes in little pills versus the meat-like chunks that Heartgard come in and which my dogs seemed to prefer. On a good note, the pills are easily given (my dogs did not just volunteer to eat them) and they are also water-soluble from what I read. See new pictures.


Ever since my husband and I had a couple of really, REALLY bad experiences with LG a few years back, we began turning our backs on LG and started adding to our (then) small Samsung collection of goods. An Edge, a couple of Galaxy phones, a microwave, a refrigerator, a washer and dryer set, then a couple of years back, a 58" UN58NU6080 TV, and just a few months back, an 82" UN82RU8000 - which may very well be the most beautiful thing I've ever seen ;).

SO, yesterday we decided to install a Sony home theater system I inherited as a hand-me-down from a friend, on the Samsung UN82RU. While we were able to get the sound to work on the channels and apps associated with the Sony blu-ray player, we could not hear anything from Live TV, SamsungPlusTV (or its channels), from our cable Flex box, or any other channel not on the Sony app. As such, at our wits end, I attempted to phone Sony, and reached a message that they were not taking calls during the pandemic, and to please try them through other means or look for answers on their forums. I then tried Sony Live Chat, and they were closed for the day... I then CALLED Samsung.

Now, there is a reason I capitalized the word: "CALLED".

In today's 'world', where it is almost impossible to actually reach companies and/or their live agents... Samsung connected me to someone in less than FOUR minutes. What's more, they helped troubleshoot our issue and rule out that it was a Samsung problem, helped tweak the TWO TVs, and answered some minor questions we'd always been dying to ask about THEIR features, etc. They were great. BUT, that's not the reason for my review!

In short, (TL; dr version), the reason for my review, is that after the call, it DAWNED on me, that in all these years of surrounding ourselves with Samsung products, not once, not EVER, have we had to deal with Samsung because not ONCE, NOT EVER has a Samsung product EVER failed us or stopped working on us.

Not EVER. In years.

In today's world, that is almost unheard of - and it really shouldn't be.

WOW! I posted this review without having seen their score on here or having read other people's reviews. I am confused/baffled and dumbfounded! My reviews are always 100% honest, and to realize others have so many problems with Samsung is just... inconceivable. I am pretty unfamiliar with Sony (until now), and absolutely detest LG due to some failing equipment we had from them in the past and their utter lack of customer service on high-priced items. To us, Samsung is King, and I'm surprised and sorry that others have had bad experiences with them. :(


I've had an Amazon account since 2016 only, and I had never been a big Amazon shopper until this year. To me, they seemed more expensive than eBay, and I am ALWAYS looking out for the 'better' deal. After a few bad purchases on eBay however, I began using Amazon more and more... and the more that I have, the more and more impressed that I have grown with them. To clarify, am I saying they are perfect? No. (See below). However, in my experience so far, they try and go the extra mile to ensure an all-around positive transaction, on each transaction.

I have purchased a few electronics and they have all turned out pretty great. On my last two electronics' purchases I opted for the lower-cost options Amazon sometimes provides on open-box, used, etc. models, and again, I've been greatly surprised and satisfied with what was received. So much so, in fact, that I have not yet had to return anything, so I cannot review the returns aspect of their business.

Very recently I signed up for Prime as well (which I will be reviewing separately) and can say that I am equally satisfied with it. I have, literally, never had a bad experience with Amazon. That's A LOT more that I can say about several companies I do business with.

If I had to add cons, one is that unlike eBay or Google, Amazon does not provide a negative (-) function in order to exclude a word from a search. For example: Alienware -legacy -collectible (the dash preceding a word or term, serving to exclude it from results). While they do provide the options on the left, these are not always all-inclusive or helpful enough to narrow a search down enough. That said, it is a small issue for me and something they will hopefully soon incorporate. The other is that much like eBay did, to its detriment, it seems as if Amazon now too is opening their provider 'doors' to more and more Chinese companies with less proven track records and longer shipping times. We, as buyers/consumers, need to do a little homework regarding what we purchase and opt to purchase through not only Amazon, but everywhere.

In closing, I'd like to add that I am a HUGE believer that companies must demand a high level of excellence from themselves in order to obtain positive reviews.

If companies do things at merely an 'okay' level, why bother reviewing them? Technically, they are doing a minimum to receive a minimum.

If companies do a terrible job, then they should be reviewed as terrible, in order to save other people the headache, and so that new customers do not reward them with their hard-earned money.

Amazon, in my opinion and experience with them thus far, seems to demand excellence from itself, and so, deserves a positive review.


Stardock (Stardock.com) touts itself as "a cutting-edge innovator specializing in desktop utility software and PC entertainment". Basically, they market utilities for your PC (laptop, desktop) that are meant to improve some functions and to customize or "beautify" your workspace.

MY personal favorites include CursorFX which *used to* (now they are selling many) allow you to download and use a myriad of animated cursors (they are lovely), and their IconPackager which they SAY allows you to change all your Windows icons "at once" with custom icon packages. Also lovely... but in theory more than practice.

You see, the problem is that while the promise of these great customization programs is fantastic, seldom does the follow-through match.

I do genuinely like CursorFX and at $4.99 it is (in my estimation) worth it, because there is a huge database on WinCustomize.com where you can download cursor packages for use with it. (EDIT: note that they limit downloads to 6 a day and more and more now, are charging for some 'featured' cursors). I will include pictures of a few different cursor themes below. The problem, in addition to limiting downloads and now charging for some, is that beyond selling it as such, they also say that you can create your own cursors with it... and that's a reach. You need additional programs to create usable static cursors, and if you want to animate them, well, good luck with that! There is no good tutorial on doing so, and the response from the Stardock Help Desk and/or community forum leaves a LOT to be desired. I actually had one guy trying to up-sell me to a $29.99 program which I had no need for.

IconPackager is pretty nice as well, except there are only a limited number of packages you can download to go with it, and of these packages, not all of them change "ALL" of your system's icons, as the program says it will do. Many, many times you end up with a system that has a few IconPackager icons and the rest are your default icons, which looks pretty terrible (exactly the opposite of what you were going for). To correct this is A LOT of work since you have to do it manually and half the time it doesn't work unless you use an outside program to supplement the icons or finish it off. It feels unfinished, and hardly worth the price when you not only have to do all the work yourself, but when it messes up (and it will), and you have to start over. Also, as with CursorFX and making your own cursors, support for IP is pretty limited as well, although you DO get users and "skinners" who are amiable and try to help.

The major issue is that despite these people who try to help, generally, if one goes through the Stardock forum, you will see many users asking for help, direction, etc. on several of the programs Stardock sells, and the majority of times you will see a reply which reads: "we are forwarding this along to our technical help team for an answer" (I am paraphrasing), but it is hardly EVER followed up with an ACTUAL ANSWER.

In short, it feels as if Stardock as a whole, is an entity with great ideas... but ZERO follow-through.

They are good at selling their programs which for the most part seem to be only half-finished, half-tested and half-perfected, and which have no support behind them. That's a shame, because there are many, many like me who love to customize their workspace and who would happily buy from them and recommend them, IF ONLY their programs were all that Stardock PURPORTS THEM TO BE.

They are not.

2.5/5 Stars


Later in this review, I will show you what to choose as answers and what not to choose, but just to begin:

We had purchased four different warranties from SquareTrade through eBay and WalMart: two which we never used and expired; one that we have not used and is still good for a year; and the one I filed a claim on today. The one I filed a claim for, was for a portable A/C & Heating unit we purchased on WalMart.com in July 2019. We did not use, or even unpack the item for a few weeks after we received it, but kept it stored properly - in fact, just as it had arrived, and in the corner of the den. When we did finally use it, we noticed that it really did not cool very well. I phoned SquareTrade and they had a very short message saying they were closed. This went on for several days. WHAT KIND OF COMPANY IS ALWAYS CLOSED? I guess the kind that racks up dollars but never pays anything. That kind.

Anyway, life got in the way, the unit was placed in a hall closet, and we did not have a need for it until a family with a baby was staying with us over the holidays. While it did heat well, it became full of (condensed?) water, and had to be lugged and emptied almost every two hours. Who wants to wake up to a loud beeping (which woke the baby) and have to open the doors to empty this thing in the dead of winter and every two hours? It went back in the closet.

A few days ago, I was doing some house cleaning and finally decided to do something about this thing. I plugged it in and waited for it to cool. While it did stream cool(er) air than the air a fan would push, it was not very much cooler and in no way was it cold air. The room itself did not grow any cooler; it was in no way a 14,000-BTU cooled room, or system, as touted. I phoned SquareTrade again. AGAIN THEY WERE CLOSED! No recording about Covid closures, etc., just "CLOSED".

I called the next day. CLOSED AGAIN.

I got it then. Pretty much, they are a grotesque parody of a "Warranty (protection and coverage) or Insurance Company" and operate in a surreptitious, slimy way, hoping that you do exactly what we did: forget about it - don't deal with it - take it as a loss, and move on. In short, they are GARBAGE. I knew this then, before even going further.

At that point, I went through our emails, found our original receipt, date of purchase, and finally a link to filing a claim. If I had not been convinced of this company's shadiness beforehand, I more than was convinced after going through their claim process. Trust me, it is SPECIFICALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY ENGINEERED to steer you into not being able to process a claim.

Before filing you have to assert that you are not filing a false claim and that if you file any false information, your claim can be denied. This is all well and good, EXCEPT for how the Claim's questions are laid out and how they ALLOW you to reply to them. You must SELECT data about your product, but not all the data (manufacturer, model, etc.) is provided as a selection, so technically you cannot proceed WITHOUT IT, but IF you choose the WRONG selection, they can say that you "provided false information". Catch -22, or as it should be called: SCAM; PLAIN AND SIMPLE: SCAM. Next, you proceed to a screen which either asks you for your serial number - you cannot proceed without that, OR more often than not, directs you to a screen which tells you that you should check with the manufacturer because your item might still be under warranty with them. Well if so, THEN WHY BUY SQUARE TRADE AT ALL? IF it does not take you to that screen, it takes you to a screen where you must choose whether the item was working when you received it, and HERE is where they got me, and where you need to be careful!

Technically, mine does not cool a 560 sq ft room like it says it should. It blows cool air out, but it does not cool the room. In other words, it does not do the job for which it was purchased and intended. So, does it mean it is or isn't working, and if so, has it ever cooled? I did not know which of the two to choose, seeing as one could see it either way, and so I chose "NO". BIG MISTAKE. ***DO NOT CHOOSE THIS***.

The most laughable part of the entire thing is one of the following questions which asks you not only to tell them "in your own words" what "happened", BUT where they have already pre-filled a 'sample' statement of: "My cat spilled water on it", which of course, again, is PURPOSEFULLY meant to drive a person to fill it out in a manner in which THE BUYER (YOU) assume responsibility, ergo making the claim deniable AND TO BOOT, THEY ONLY GIVE YOU 250 characters to explain. Again: SCAM.

After your claim is denied, they DO give you a number to call (I did not include all of it on the screenshot in anticipation of them using that as an excuse to have this review removed in an effort to clean up their negative online presence), but when you do phone in, you invariably speak with a representative who in a bored fashion literally READS OFF a litany of canned replies as to why your claim was denied. When you try to explain that there is not enough information allowed in the claim in order to make that decision, they again read the exact pre-canned response.

This is NOT the only review to say this. As such, do your research before buying a so-called warranty from them. 9/10 times it will not be honored.

In closing, I know I've said certain companies are "the worst", but I must now go and edit those reviews as SquareTrade has been crowned as the absolute worst of the worst of the very bottom-feeding, sludge-forming worst.

If anything good comes out of this entire thing, it is the takeaway that SquareTrade is an "Allstate" company, and seeing as how they conduct themselves and in my opinion PURPOSEFULLY, INTENTIONALLY AND DELIBERATELY try to SCHEME AND SCAM its customers out of JUSTIFIABLE and VIABLE small claims, just imagine how much of a nightmare and enemy they would be as they most assuredly try to deny a house or auto claim.


About masks: "Oh no, it's just that they're terribly comfortable. I think everyone will be wearing them in the future." - Dread Pirate Roberts - The Princess Bride.

Much like in using masks nowadays, the care one must take with our online presence grows every day. As such, my husband had talked about beginning to use a VPN Provider. One night, while surfing, I saw an ad for Zenmate and a special they were running, so I signed us up. It was an excellent experience with an excellent company, and I would recommend them. Connections were fast and the browsing was not affected in the slightest except on one website. In fact, just the thought of having an extra layer of protection made surfing better and the fact that this company provided a 'masking' service as seamlessly as it did, was great.

We are no longer with them, as an IT guy where my husband works recommended we try another company, but we now pay FOUR times as much. If you are looking for a simple, straightforward, inexpensive but good VPN, I recommend you give Zenmate a try.


Not only is customer service pretty much 'nil' at their brick and mortar establishment(s), but their online and phone support is terrible.

My card was just declined when attempting an online purchase, and when calling to ask them to fix the problem, their outgoing message SPECIFICALLY TELLS YOU that due to the Covid-19 pandemic they do not have people to help or take your calls. SERIOUSLY? While almost every other company is doing their part to help Americans during this time, this company obviously lets its employees go AND leaves their customers out to dry? I'd say that can't be right, but having been a customer for a little over seven years, I know better. I also understand that because they are a financial institution, the leeway one can give a working-from-home employee is pretty sparse. That, however, has not seemed to affect other financial institutions which are working through it and finding a way to do it WELL.

EDIT: I was finally able to get through to someone on a line reserved for disabled people, apparently, and the CSR I spoke to said she wished she could help me, but that unfortunately, the credit and debit card departments are both closed on Saturdays and Sundays. WOW. So on the days where / when people most normally SHOP? Great-going, Chase. TRUTH: I have another account with Discover - which has always been pretty fantastic - and I just moved the bulk of my account to them. Do I sound upset? I hope so. You see, I'm funny that way. You know... thinking companies should look out for its employees and customers.

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