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Jaquie M.

4 Level 4 Contributor
  • 26 Reviews
  • 156 Helpful Votes
  • 1 Thank You

Experience: Computers & Technology, Food & Drink, Pets & Animals

Member since September 2016

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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.

26 Reviews by Jaquie

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!
Ever since my husband and I had a couple of 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.

A shout-out too to Sony, who I was able to connect to on Live Chat today. While neither could resolve the issue at that time, the two agents I chatted with were extremely personable, patient and seemed genuinely dedicated to trying to help.

EDIT: WOW! I posted this review without having seen their score on here or having read other people's reviews. I am confused 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 lack of customer service on high-priced items. To us, Samsung is King, ad 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.

First bad experience with them today. I apparently purchased a TV Stand from a 'third-party' seller who sent a bogus tracking number with no information on shipper website. All Amazon can do is send them an email asking them to send an updated tracking number. Seems like it is going the way of eBay, where more and more squirrely sellers are joining in and mucking it up.
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". Some of these programs help with organizing your desktop shortcuts icons and running tasks; others help accessing frequently used applications from an animated (customizable) docking station; another organizes, or fences in, multiple applications into grouped tabs; another yet, allows you to incorporate/use animated background images as your desktop/laptop background/wallpaper.

MY personal favorites include CursorFX which allows 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 .... 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 (note that they limit downloads to 6 a day). I will include pictures of a few different cursor themes below. The problem, however, 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. 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.

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.

Yes, the programs I have paid for and USE, I like, and I've made work ... mostly ... for what I need them. In fact, I am about to purchase a third program (WindowBlinds). In my overall estimation the programs I have were a good investment for someone like me who loves to customize their workspace and worth the prices (CursorFX more so than IconPackager), BUT ... they could be better, if they were just all they are purported to be.

3.5/5 Stars

*** Sorry about attached images. I have an ultra wide monitor (3440x1440 resolution) and for some reason all my screenshots come out half black and half "scrunched" into the upper left corner of the shot, so they look terrible.
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.
I live a low-carb lifestyle for the most part, which includes little to no sweeteners in drinks. When I first began to eat this way a couple of years ago, giving up orange juice and a can of diet coke a day, were the most difficult things for me to do while my body adjusted. As I also hated drinking plain water, my options were pretty limited for a long time. Almost a year back, however, I discovered LaCroix Sparkling Water, and I can tell you that my family is obsessed with it. While it comes in a variety of essences (note that I did not say flavors), we LOVE the Coconut one - and I don't normally like coconut anything. It is particularly good when it is ice cold. The thing is, that it is NOT sweet. It contains no calories or sweeteners. Think of a Perrier, with more than a hint of coconut. Just delicious!
I must be getting old, but I still remember opening my IMDB Account when I was eleven years old. God, it seems like an eternity ago in some aspects and only yesterday in others! I remember leaving a review for The Matrix, which of course, like almost every one else on the planet, I loved and was enthralled by. For days after, I spent hours upon hours reading other people's reviews and finding new gems, some I had never even heard of, to look for and watch next. What a great site!

Fast forward to the present, and it is with a heavy heart that I am thinking of deleting my account. No, I confess I have come close, but have not done it yet.

The reason? Simply, it is no longer a site which can be trusted for honest, correct ratings and reviews.

The problem? Well, aside from the blatant and overt distortion and manipulation of ratings on a growing number of films, it is the fact that no one at IMDB seems to care.

In fact, in my opinion, and I must stress that it is my opinion only, I sometimes think that maybe the site itself receives kickbacks of some kind in order to facilitate the ongoing deception(s). The reason why I so firmly believe this, is that to begin, they have no real kind of reporting tool save a report button under each person's review, which leads you to a choice of four options - none of which cover "suspected ratings manipulator" (or something similar), and when you do choose another of the options nothing ever comes of it. Reviews very RARELY, if EVER, get deleted from the site.

For example (just one example out of a very many) there is a 2015 film called Whispers (Google "Whispers (2015) - IMDb"). Until a year back, it had a rating of 9.2 ... and I can honestly tell you that it is one of the most ridiculously bad movies ever put to film. I kid you not when I tell you that every single day, for YEARS, the creators or those involved in the film would "up" the rating by at least 30 votes. Every DAY. i KNEW this because of several reasons. 1. we had been duped by the high score into renting it and were flabbergasted to discover it was a terrible film; 2. after I left a bad 1-star review on it (and then saw all the other bad reviews on it which had been hidden at the bottom) the "fakers" came and posted THREE 10-star reviews to drown out mine, which caused me to begin checking it every SINGLE day; 3. when other people left bad reviews on it (all saying the same thing: "don't fall for the fake good reviews") the fakers would rush in and again post three or four reviews right after and for every bad review left; and 4. every SINGLE day the 10-Star reviews would gain almost 30 up-votes and the 1-star reviews would be down-voted at least thirty times EVERY SINGLE DAY - FOR YEARS. I promise this is true.

After a few months of watching this, I reported it on the IMDB Get Satisfaction Page (which is anything but), only to find that it had already been reported along with a bunch of different titles. IMDB did NOTHING ... for YEARS. During that time, I can only imagine that the creators of the film raked in money in rentals and other royalties (the film was available on Red Box where they also left fake reviews), and in my eyes, IMDB was complicit in fIeecing a great number of people by not doing anything when they were advised of what was happening.

It would not have taken anyone at IMDB more than a couple of days to catch on to what was going on with it. Heck, a couple of hours would have been sufficient time to not only go through all the comments and see how every high-score review said almost the exact same thing, spelled and misspelled words exactly the same, used very similar usernames, etc., but also to take into consideration the number of people who had been duped and who had left reviews warning others.

As it is, years later, that title has now (mostly) been cleared up and cleaned up. I say mostly, because although IMDB deleted a huge number of reviews (both bad and good) and removed the plumped-up ratings which brought it from the 9.2, to a more believable 4.4, the fakers STILL visit the site and have up-voted all the positive reviews back up to the top, so again, any unsuspecting person who visits the page will see all glowing reviews on it, and most likely will not dig deep enough to see the real ones.

Again, that is only ONE title out of hundreds that this is happening to.

There is a Netflix film called Time Trap where 80% of the positive reviews all say the same: 'give these guys a sequel!'; 'I want to see Part 2!'; 'This should be made into a television series!'; 'there needs to be another one of these films!' .... only, the first one was terrible .... and the positive reviews mostly ADMIT that it was terrible, but always include a caveat: "Yes, there are plot holes galore and the acting is pretty bad and the ending feels rushed ... BUT ...". It's sad.

M Night Shyamalan's "Glass", has at least FOUR 1-Star reviews from who can only be the same person. This person talks about having wanted the film "to be about the cheerleaders" in all four small reviews AND all four "reviewers" have all reviewed the same three or four films. It isn't rocket science! :)

In short, IMDB used to be great. Now it is untrustworthy. While it is still a behemoth in regard to film reviews ... because there is really no one else doing the same, and hey, more power to them for knowing and cashing in on that, the more people keep falling for fake reviews and high ratings, the less people will use them. There will still be the reviewers who enjoy seeing their usernames on reviews and who up-vote themselves to the top, and those who monetarily or in other ways benefit from planted reviews, but REAL users will be fewer and fewer.

And so it is with a heavy heart that I post this review. I hold a glimmer of hope that a new site, with stricter measures or perhaps better algorithms may pop up. One that would see through all the "fake", to give us clean, unvarnished opinions from one film lover to another.
• Updated review
Even when 'stiffed', I hardly EVER left bad Feedback for the Sellers, HOWEVER, on the last purchase (the phone which was financially locked), I did. Well, the bad feedback was REMOVED!

Upon checking as to why - I swear, I kid you NOT - I was advised that eBay now has a "Special Seller Program" which sellers can PAY to be opted into which (ready?) "allows sellers to have up to TEN BAD FEEDBACKS removed from their history"!!!

This is the last thing I will say on this matter: HOW can you trust a company that sells the option to remove REAL people's opinions on their purchases?

eBay and their practices: Grossly immoral and ethically remiss.
Read BEFORE making a purchase, then decide. (100% honest review with pros & cons). *VERY long read!*
• Previous review
Even when 'stiffed', I hardly EVER left bad Feedback for the Sellers, HOWEVER, on the last purchase (the phone which was financially locked), I did. Well, the bad feedback was REMOVED!

Upon checking as to why - I swear, I kid you NOT - I was advised that eBay now has a "Special Seller Program" which sellers can PAY to be opted into which (ready?) "allows sellers to have up to TEN BAD FEEDBACKS removed from their history"!!!

This is the last thing I will say on this matter: HOW can you trust a company that sells the option to remove REAL people's opinions on their purchases?

eBay and their practices = Grossly immoral and ethically remiss.


There was a time where everywhere you went, the biggest buzz you could hear, was all about "eBay". Even when all the fervor died down, eBay still stood among one of the biggest consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer sales companies in the US. And rightfully so. They were doing a helluva LOT of business. Or more so, people were doing a helluva lot of business on it, with eBay reaping the profits from facilitating the transactions between "seller" and "buyer".

Not soon after, you began to hear rumblings and came across news stories about privacy issues, and how eBay seemed to operate with a blatant disregard and disrespect for their user's privacy concerns. MORE so, through their purchase of, and association with PayPal way back in 2003, they became a behemoth who began overstepping if not legal (well, that too), at least ethical and moral boundaries with respect to their customer's accounts and MONEY. To this day the company's attitude remains pretty cavalier about their business practices.

Now, as if privacy and MONEY concerns were not enough, eBay's biggest, cardinal, unforgivable sin (which seems to have not changed in all their years of operation) is a monopolistic and autocratic mentality, or, what THEY deem and decide is "right", is always right, even if it is WRONG; and what THEY say GOES, and damned be the consumer/buyer and damned be the customer/seller - as long as they can watch buyer and seller fight about certain transactions, while, again, eBay retains all the power and say-so ... and can walk away with some of the profit.

In July of 2015 (IMO to revamp their fledgling profits by disassociating with the "bad guy" - each other) eBay and PayPal finally split into separate public companies. Laughably, this disassociation, was on paper only! Kind of like a husband and wife divorcing, but still continuing to live with each other as husband and wife. You see, at the time of said split, they signed a five-year operating agreement to maintain a 'close relationship'. Translation: pretty much the exact same relationship. "Honey, who gets to tell the kids we're taking a vacation with their after-school-job money?"

Anyway, while this company (eBay/PayPal at that time) continued to handle itself in disconcerting ways in regards to privacy issues, and within its relationship to its user's money, and crowned itself both "King/Queen Totalitarianism", sellers became disillusioned, and in turn, buyers became disillusioned, and a change began to occur in terms of all these disillusioned buyers and sellers.

Old BUYERS left and new buyers began to try out eBay. Worse of all, old SELLERS left, and new sellers arrived. The problem with these new arriving sellers? MOST are Chinese-based companies that sell ..._JUNK_...! And, with the overwhelming popularity in wireless and communication devices that happened to occur around the same time, eBay was practically INVADED by a ginormous influx of cell phone, etc. "re-sellers". NOT good things to happen, and all the garbage I have purchased (and/or had to return) through eBay, is precisely what my review is about.

I joined eBay despite having had a bad experience with PayPal (see my old reviews); despite all the bad reviews I had read about doing business through them; and despite my Spidey-senses telling me not to. You see, I just HAD to have some new colored contact lenses I had found on a random link, and which I could not find elsewhere. I mean the ways in which youtube had shown me that these things changed green eyes to a subtle, ocean-like aqua-green paradise of sparkle, was just to die for! I HAD to have them. And a seller across the world, although they were not an item which could be sold on eBay, was selling them!

Although the order was flagged by eBay, the seller, had already shipped them, and I'd be lying if I said I was not thrilled with the purchase. I had some glorious contacts which I could not find in the US and I had them at a cost of a little less than what others who had purchased them wrote/said that they had paid for them. I was hooked.

My next purchase on eBay was an Android cell phone. (And no, dear reader, I will not bore you with every purchase I made. In fact, it actually pains me to look back and see how much junk I bought - so 'not gonna do it'). :) I was really pleased with it and the seller was lovely, and to be honest I had it for a couple of years and would have kept it forever if possible. It was a keeper and a fighter, as it had survived having green avocado-like salsa spilled all over it. Unfortunately, it was doomed when it fell into the bowl of chicken soup a few weeks later. DAMN YOU CELL PHONE REAPER! This phone however, was pretty much the last thing I bought off of eBay that I really loved, that lasted, or that did not arrive much differently than had been advertised.

Some of my other purchases included around EIGHT more phones (I kid you not), always trying to replicate that first glorious phone purchase - and falling short. EACH of them, (again, I kid you not) had defects - from minor to major. The very second phone I bought, was listed to the wrong carrier so I had to CHANGE carriers AND the microphone did not work which I did not know until after it was registered with the new carrier. (I was such an eBay newbie)! One, which had been listed as a *mint* phone, had the image of what I can only construe to be the battery having burned through a little on the back cover. I will skip over all the others because I still have a lot to say, and not sure what the maximum number of characters is here. Lol. Who knows if you're even still with me. :) I hope you are. Let me just add that the very last one (and what prompted me to write THIS review) which I purchased a few days ago and received the day before last, was "Financially Locked." /facedesk

Now, a month before buying this 'last phone' which was "financially locked", I had used my coupons (more on these below) for the phone that seemed to have the battery burned into the back cover. Upon receipt of it, KNOWING that one of the coupons was about to expire, I PHONED eBay and asked them what to do. This phone was advertised as *mint*, yet was obviously far from it, but what would happen to my coupon? The eBay CSR guy was super sweet and said not to worry, to return it, and if needed, the expiration date on the coupon would be extended. In short, it wasn't.

Enter the series of nightmare calls which made me want to bang my head against the wall at the futility of dealing with some of the frozen few among a sea of vapid, clueless, eBay "representatives". You see, having purchased SUCH crap phones through them in the past, I had been granted some eBay coupons and PayPal bucks INSTEAD of refunds - one of which they had no record of, except for the fact that I used it twice (bought, returned item, used again). One of the people who 'granted' said coupons apparently picked up the price of the other phone I had already been "couponed" for and made the coupon for that, but by the time I saw it there was NO WAY I was going to call and complain, especially since the difference was only about $30. Well, I should have, because toward the end of all this (we'll get there) I think eBay thought I must have hacked my way into their system and awarded myself a $120 coupon. **ROLLS EYES**.

Finally, having given up on these calls after one representative said they WOULD indeed return the coupon and to give it a couple of days, yet a week later still not seeing it, I decided to look for the CEO of EBay and send him an email. I was NOT fishing for the coupon any longer and I wasn't even looking for an apology. I told him I was going to post my experience with eBay to my over 10k+ followers (hint, hint, hit me up ;)) across social media sites and that no amount of money (or a coupon) was worth the headaches and frustration. Not too long after, I received a call from a lady at eBay's executive office in regard to the email. I told her that I was not interested in any recompense and that we'd leave it at that. (That morning I had been looking to make a purchase with my last eBay bucks and to close out my account in order to add the image of my closed account to my reviews and posts). She insisted however, I explained, and she ultimately returned the coupon. Which brings me back to the financially locked phone - my last phone ever from eBay.

As the eBay bucks/coupons were to expire in the following two days I purchased the above-mentioned "last phone". Now, you MUST note that having had such an experience with these phones and other crappy items before, I WAS ARMED TO THE TEETH with supposed knowledge and a plan! I looked for Top Sellers with a rating of 99.5% and above, grade A or mint phones, no negatives in the last six months, etc. BEYOND that, when I found the phone I was interested in, I asked the seller for the IMEI number and I SPECIFIED the carrier I would be using it on (GenMobile which is a Sprint network). I thought I did everything right.

Obviously, I didn't. As stated above, when received and I attempted to activate it, I was advised that it was financially locked. THEN, almost as if to rub salt in the wound and twist the knife, I could not get my coupons back, because as I was told: "They had expired, and had only been granted as a courtesy." Sorry, but in what world is making good on a bad buy YOU are responsible for, a courtesy? Besides, did I ask for a 'courtesy' the countless times I bought other JUNK and had to keep it?

In the end, (as I did say I would include "pros"), I think eBay has the potential for being the dreamed-about company which people first wished it was when first instituted. They have all the tools. The problem is that in their blatant greed, they are their own worst enemy.

I DO love my contact lenses, though ...
There are favors, and then... there are FAVORS. Trust me when I tell you that if you are considering using Direct Express, or if you have for some reason been led to believe that you HAVE to use Direct Express, I am about to do you the biggest favor, EVER. I am even not exaggerating (that much).

There are companies which are terrible to do deal with and which you should avoid at all costs. Well, Direct Express takes that "Terrible to Deal With", runs with it, and finds the muddiest pit imaginable, then digs down, way down, into the realm of "Even Worse Than Terrible to Deal With". In fact, it's almost as if they invented the concept, and then perfected the practice of being Even Worse Than Terrible to Deal With.

My granny is adamant that she does not want to sell her house and in that she wants to keep being as independent as possible, which at her age, is not very independent at all anymore. As such, I handle most of her finances, her grocery shopping, etc. For a while, we would receive her SS check in paper form, but then began to receive notices with the check, that we HAD to set up a form of direct deposit. These notices (shame on you, SSA!) 'pushed' Direct Express to the point where any reasonable person would think the Social Security Administration and Direct Express are associated - They are NOT; or that Direct Express is a government entity - it is NOT.

Simply, if you believe that you are required to enroll with them, this is NOT the case. The Direct Express card and Direct Express itself, is a third-party OPTION for federal benefit recipients to receive their benefits electronically.

I opted for using them because I am the payee on her account and my bank account is in my married name, and mostly because I did not bother to read the fine print (shame on me) and thought the SSA and DE were associated and thought the entire thing would be easier because of it. I was wrong.

The main and most concerning things about Direct Express, is that it is EXTREMELY difficult, IF NOT DOWNRIGHT IMPOSSIBLE, to get through to them over the phone - while at the SAME TIME, their online presence and "help" options are practically NONEXISTENT.

You literally call in, have to go through several phone options, only then to be told that they are "experiencing heavy call volumes" (always) and to "call back", right before you are summarily disconnected and have to do it all over again. 'HOW is this possible' you may ask. I ask myself the same. If this is the card/company of choice for the SSA (and by the way they push and almost market the use of it, you'd say it was), HOW can it be so damn awful? Not sure, but it is.

After having registered her, we waited 14 days (two weeks) for a card which did not arrive within the 7-10 days we had been told to expect it by. I made three calls before I could reach anyone and was told that their system showed it was in "the mail pan", and I kid you not, this person told me that we might have to wait up to FORTY days. I thought to myself, that cannot possibly be right. Don't many recipients live from SS check to SS check? What if my granny did not have us to fall back on? I then attempted to call again just in case that forty-day information was incorrect. This time it took 11 times (just in case that was not clear, that is ELEVEN calls) before I could actually get a line in, and before I could speak to anyone.

Note here, that they have two different numbers *******311 and *******115). The second is WAY busier than the first, but on the first number they do not have nearly all the information that the people on the second number have. (The person who told me we'd have to wait up to forty days was at the first number).

Upon reaching someone at the second number, I was told it had been sent out and that sometimes they just run late and to give it a few more days before calling to have it canceled and reissued. Both our homes are subscribed to the USPS Informed Delivery service which sends me images of what mail pieces to expect, and I had not seen an envelope which might have been the card within the images they send, however, I decided to wait, mostly because the idea of starting the entire process over was a little too much. Thankfully, it arrived a few days later. (Day 19 or 20).

After we received it, thinking that we did not want to have to call back twenty times each time if we ever needed anything in the future, we decided to just change the direct deposit from Direct Express to my bank. After a few (MORE) calls, I was told that I needed to contact the SSA to do that. Upon contacting the Social Security Administration, I was told that my 93 year old great-grandmother would have to GO IN AND VISIT a SS Office in order to make the change.

Save yourself the headaches. If you have a good bank you trust, make sure you avoid dealing with Direct Express at all costs.
My family and I have been with almost every single carrier. That is TRUTH. In fact, in thinking back, I cannot think of one we have not been with within the past few years.

During that time, we have found that the top carriers (Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, et. al.) do indeed put more effort into customer service; however, as the adage goes, you get what you pay for and companies such as these are on the high-dollar side. Additionally, not only are they on the high-dollar end of the spectrum, they have hidden fees, ever-changing fees, fine print, and worse than all that, they have: up-selling ad-nauseum. On Sprint they automatically sign you up for a phone protection plan, which is optional, but you have to specifically opt out from it. When you do try to opt out, however, they switch you to a salesperson who is fantastic at what they do. You would have thought the one I got was my best friend who thought I loved taking pictures and tried to convince me how much I needed this protection at "only" $8.00 more a month. Lol. Well, if you are like me, and like to find the best service possible, at the lowest price possible, these are not for you.

On the other hand, we have the low-cost carriers and in this group I am also including the 'government assistance' carriers. They're all pretty much terrible. Again, you get what you pay for.

Enter GenMobile, who I believe is the new kid on the block. Their customer service (at least for now) is TOP-NOTCH. It is EXCELLENT. Bravo, GenMobile, and were I rating just this, it would be a five star review. Their prices are also really, really hard to beat. With plans starting at $5 a month for unlimited text (text only); $10 for unlimited talk and text; $15 for Talk, text, & data; and so on, they are among, if not the, lowest cost service providers I have found. Still, a five-star review would be warranted. Now, let me explain why I gave them a 4.

We recently ported two numbers to GenMobile just to keep the numbers and to test their services before we move our current main numbers from Walmart Mobile Family Plan to them. Since it was only meant to hold these numbers until we can play musical phones with our actual phones, we chose the lowest-cost $5 text-only plan. The porting was easy and fast, I did not need to wait for a sim card (this was based on the phones I used to port to though, and has no bearing on GenMobile) and they work as expected. The problem I encountered is SPAM!

Now, I do not know if the spam was a carry-through from my old numbers which were about to expire on my old carrier, or if GenMobile, to help offset the cost of their low cost service "sells" the numbers out to spammers. If the latter, it is a big deterrent, and a personal pet peeve of mine.

All-in-all, I DO recommend this company to those needing low cost cell phone service and plan to move one of our first main numbers to them this coming week.

Update: ALL of my family's phones are now on this Network. They have EARNED our business. I'll come and update with details, but trust me. EXCELLENT SERVICE, plans, free minutes and data, plus they keep your account active and provide you free text messaging for fifteen days if you forget to pay instead of disconnecting AND I was able to get a really old phone number back. Just amazing company. (Please don't change, GenMobile)!
Insofar as these companies go ... Grubhub may be the best of the not-so-great.

To preface, let me state that we use food delivery services A LOT. Well, to correct, we used to use them around three or four times a week for a long time. Now, we're down to maybe once a week to two times every three weeks, if that. We've decided, for the most part, that ordering through these services, is just generally NOT worth the frustration which almost invariably accompanies the orders.

That said, Grubhub deserves a "shout-out" for being the very best out of the terrible ones we have used, which include: (Grubhub), Doordash and UberEats.

In regard to prices (I've literally started orders for the same items at all three, at the same time, and have compared totals before check-out), we've found that dollar-for-dollar UberEats is always higher than the other services, and Doordash is just about the same as Grubhub, unless you are using the Doordash Pass which makes it just a bit cheaper IF you do not factor in the cost of the Doorash Pass itself.

The difference is in the drivers, service, restaurants they use, and ultimately, with their CUSTOMER SERVICE.

While I have heard that the drivers trade off and sometimes work for two companies at a time, I've always found that the GrubHub and UberEats drivers are the best and most accommodating when required (although I strongly suggest that the best practice is not to request special delivery instructions as a norm, in order to 'not tempt fate', so to speak). "Keep It Simple" is the best practice in terms of delivery instructions.

In regard to selection and number of restaurants, it is a toss-up between UberEats and Doordash. These two pretty much offer menu selections from the same restaurants, give or take a couple. GrubHub, unfortunately, falls somewhat short (at least in the Houston market) in regard to restaurant selection although in the past year we have seen good growth with them.

The deciding factor, at least for us, boils down to WHO GETS IT RIGHT most of the time, and in this case, it is definitely GrubHub.

Seldom, upon ordering with GrubHub, have we had an order arrive with missing or incorrect items, which HAPPENS ALL THE TIME with Doordash, and a lot with UberEats. While it has occurred with them, and there was also one occurrence where the order did not arrive at all, Grubhub is quick to offer a refund or credit AND the scale of what was missing or incorrect, was nowhere near what it generally is with the other two. In short, GrubHub's Customer Service, in comparison to the other two companies' Customer Service, is LEAGUES better.

In closing (and I may be repeating myself from another review), I have to say that it is MIND-BOGGLING (and not in a good way) to me, just how many companies stay in business (and some actually flourish) while offering the customer so little for the money that is traded for their goods and services. Or, worse yet, how much these companies spend in advertising to attract customers, yet put zero effort into KEEPING us customers once they do 'get' us. One of the reasons this happens, however, is that we, as customers, keep rewarding these companies with our business, or we fail to reward the companies who try to do it right. (I know that I am personally guilty of this). We need to remember, that we, with our wallets, VOTE for which companies stay around. Conversely, what these three companies in particular, should remember, is that if a customer has to go through an unpleasant experience, such as invariably having to contact someone in Customer Service every time we order through them, then sooner or later, we'll just STOP ordering altogether.

With that being said, if you're like us, and sometimes just NEED to have it brought to you, I highly recommend GrubHub. Chances are that upon delivery - in comparison to ordering through one of the other options - you won't be spending the next twenty minutes on the phone and frustrated over items which were left off the order.

EDIT: As clarification, items left out, not credited back, etc., are the restaurant's fault, yes; but it is also something the delivery platform needs to deal with (with the restaurants and at the root level) and be accountable for with their customers. If a restaurant is aware that the delivery platform does nothing to remedy the issue, the less they'll care about getting it right.
Before I get into my review, I need to provide a little background on myself. I HATE WATER. Like, REALLY hated it throughout my entire life. There. I said it.

For as long as I can remember, drinking plain water has been a struggle. I just never enjoyed the taste (or lack thereof) , consistency (or lack thereof), or even the thought of drinking water. Knowing that good hydration is important, however, I'd try and FORCE myself to drink as much as 1/2 a gallon a day, but mostly could only reasonably down a couple of 8 oz. glasses. Nowhere near what I needed. My water-drinking-difficulties even changed the way I drink anything - period. Since I literally forced myself to drink water, I'd count every sip I took of water, every swallow, gulp, 1... 2... 3... 4... and so on and so on. So much so, in fact, and I guess for such a while, that I inadvertently developed the (bad) habit of 'counting down' pretty much anything I now drink. Weird, I know; but true. I felt that I had to share that so that you could get an idea of how very much I hated water. A few years back, I started drinking sparkling water which is really very good when cold. That helped my water intake somewhat, but buying ENOUGH to meet what my water intake should be, plus the fact that not all sparkling waters are created equal, and there was still a gap in my life for Mr. "Right Water". :)

Then, (queue harps), I found LifeWtr at WalMart. :) The bottles were somewhat eye-catching, and a pack of six was on sale, so I bought one.


I cannot stress enough how different this water is. It just TASTES like what pure crystal water SHOULD taste like: PURE and delicious, while not really "tasting" like anything! I know that sounds like a lot of babble, and if I had to sum it up in one word, it would be: "GREAT". I wanted to use "delicious", but I don't want to give the impression that it actually tastes like anything other than really good water.

I LOVE it.

With as much of it as my family is now drinking, the price does frighten me just a teensie bit because I don't want to have to pay as much as I am paying for it every week, but my hubby and I agree that it is really good, so, for the time being, I am so very happy at having found it - to me, it is a god-send.
I recently signed my granny up for QLink phone services and the enrollment and receipt of the phone went smoothly. However, upon checking up on delivery of a Sim Card Kit the other day we realized she was de-enrolled!!! How? Why? It was simply not possible, as nothing had changed, so I attempted to contact QLink. There, BEGINS the nightmare. (LONG, but worth the read).

I was sent to an endless loop of only four phone options - NONE of which was the choice of a LIVE AGENT. I must have phoned at least twelve times, chosen every option and every one sent me back to the same loop. I then logged in to send them a message from their website, but it kept taking me to a de-enrolled page. I was able to finally find a contact site and sent a message.

After doing so, I immediately contacted the PUC who gave me the number for Texas Lifeline and was lucky enough to speak to a really great guy. He told me that everything was in order on their end in regard to the program itself, but that he showed that she had TWO accounts with QLink. Apparently, a de-enrolled one because "the provider had neglected to send in a number (?) within a necessary time allotment", and one, which had been "enrolled" just TWO DAYS PRIOR (just two days from/before when he and I were speaking). Whaaat? He suggested we phone QLink and let them know what they showed. I explained that I had tried contacting them to no avail, but that I would try again. (I figured that QLink had just enrolled her again, so perhaps their system had not updated). I attempted to contact QLink by phone a few more times, but it appeared that the phone I was calling from was flagged as associated to her account, so again, I received no more than the four options and none to a live agent.

The next day, we received an email which said, "call us and a live agent will help, or click the button below, and a live agent will contact you within 48-72 hours." Figuring they had fixed the problem where I couldn't reach an agent before, I phoned in, and of course, it was the same garbage loop - no live agent. To add insult to injury, however, the 'Click Here, Someone Will Phone You Back' Button DID NOT WORK EITHER. IT sent me into an endless loop on their site, which still said she was de-enrolled.

Well, having worked for the CEOs of two major companies in the past, you kind of develop that pit-bull mentality they have - where you just can't let go of a bone ... and I was irked. I researched the owner of QLink, an "Issa Asad", his company, and located a number for the counsel he used for his Petition For Expansion of ETC Service Area into our state. Digging way deeper still, I was able to locate a number for him. Now, let me digress for a moment and say that I have contacted three or four heads of major companies before; heads of companies WAY bigger than QLink; and what is surprising to me, is that without fail, they have expressed genuine concern and gratitude for bringing up issues that they may not be aware of, to their attention. That was NOT the case with Asad. (I guess names really are telling).

The first time I phoned, the number rang and rang and rang at least a dozen times, to where I wondered what kind of line it was, then it clicked and switched to another kind of ringing, and then went into a voicemail system where he said he was busy and if immediate help was needed, to contact some of his associates (no numbers for them) or to send him a text at that number. I left a message in which I went into a little of what was happening and my inability to reach anyone from Customer Service. I think my voice gave away the stress of the past few days and I wasn't as even-tempered or cordial as I normally would be. Upon hanging up, I called right back again, at which point he answered, and was really rude, short and dismissive. He seemed upset that I had contacted him directly, and had not one ounce of understanding or empathy about or for what I had been dealing with for days because of some error on his company's part.

In a rushed and almost contemptuous tone, he told me to "call customer service", at which point I asked him what he thought I had been trying to do and that I was contacting him, because I did not have the ability to reach them. He then asked for my number which of course he should have had, but I gave it to him.

About 15-20 minutes later, I received a call which was obviously being recorded but for which there was no message saying it was being recorded, and a woman identified herself and asked what the issue was. She said her records showed that the lifeline program had de-enrolled my granny and that she did not have services through them. She too was rude beyond belief. I explained what I was being told by Texas Lifeline, and told her that quite honestly, 'common sense would dictate that they knew what they were talking about'. (Why would they say there were two accounts if there weren't)? She said: "Well, they don't have our records." I felt like asking how in the world the government agency that oversees the program, and who by law, they report to, 'could not have access to their records', but this was one of those silly people who don't even matter enough to argue with because they are just too dense and incapable of common sense, so you'd never get anywhere with them.

After we spoke, I called Texas Lifeline Services yet again, and reached a sweet young lady who told me, pretty much verbatim, what the gentleman I spoke to the other day had: that she showed TWO accounts with QLink - a de-enrolled one and an enrolled/active one which had been enrolled just a few days prior. She said she could de-enroll us, or that she could open an investigation. I chose to open an investigation, if only for the very simple fact that I will be happy to text Asad a copy of what is revealed at the conclusion, although I can tell you now - he won't care one way or another.

In closing out this review, I have to tell you that none of these companies really make any BIG money off of the 'government phone' program (they make it from added services), so customer service will always be lax at any of them. This one however, QLINK, seems to have an inborn, inherently dismissive and couldn't-care-less attitude that comes from the owner himself. Do yourself a favor, save yourself some massive headaches and frustration, and do not reward them with your business.

P.S. Some of the legal stipulations of Asad's deal with the U.S. Government in order to provide this type of service, includes:
Q LINK ETC Service Area Will Serve The Public Interest
Q LINK Will Comply With Applicable Service Requirements
Q LINK Will Satisfy Consumer Protection and Service Quality Standards; AND:
Q LINK is dedicated to quality customer service and care, specifically:
"Lifeline customers can reach Q LINK's Customer Service department via phone, mail, e-mail, fax, or online" . . . . . . which we have already established, is not the case.

If you have issues with them, open an investigation or request help from the Lifeline program in your state.
Note that I am only reviewing their delivery / pickup options, as I have not stepped foot into an Olive Garden except to pick up food, in YEARS.

Anyway, I normally make a better version of their Zuppa Toscana at home, but when I'm too lazy (which turns out to be about once or twice a week :)), we like to order it from them for pickup. WELL, I am not exactly sure when their phone menus changed ... but it is a godawful experience to call in and try to place any type of order over the phone. HOW, i ask you, do companies survive with such a moronic way of doing things? It's mind-boggling! While the phone system message heavily tries to sell you on their online ordering system (which we will get to in a moment), there is literally no way to get a live person without jumping through hoops, so I can only imagine the number of people who have called for other things, and have just become fed up (hahha) and have hung up.

Now, I understand the desire that companies have to automate things, BUT COME ON! I AM LITERALLY CALLING YOU TO GIVE YOU FIFTY DOLLARS for what basically 'boils down' to sausage, potatoes and water!!! The least you can do is act as if you care. As it is, as a customer, one has to sit through an entirely long and tedious/tiresome message asking you to order online ... The kicker? The kicker is that their online ordering system did not have (in the past - not sure if they have added it) the option for a GALLON or two of soup. So, if you really want their soup you have to make a conscious decision to go through the Never-Ending Message Loop of Boredom before you could place an order.

Furthermore, as for their delivery, it is nonexistent to a home address.

While they do have what is technically dubbed "catering", get this: YOU CANNOT ORDER FOR DELIVERY TO YOUR "HOME" because .... (ready?) : they cannot "set it up" for you. Well, who is asking them to? Should that not be the prerogative of the person placing the order? Should I order from work so that I can then jug around two gallons of soup to my casa? NAY! No soup for us.

Really, with so many other options out there, I just can't fathom how companies with no obvious common sense toward the CUSTOMER, survive for as long as they do.

Update: Re. "08/06/19 Soup Run" - Houston Willowbrook location
Phoned in and a manager took the order. Once home, we saw that the soup had very little sausage which had never happened before! I am in no way exaggerating: we had to stir and stir and stir and kind of dig down in order to find a few pea-sized pieces of sausage. Curious as to how this had happened, (as, again, we'd never experienced that before), I phoned them. Well, upon reaching the manager again, and explaining why I was phoning, she was pretty rude. I got the feeling she thought we were full of 'it', which kind of upset me. WHY would we - out of the blue - despite having ordered for years, decide to - all of a sudden - say the soup had no sausage? Ridiculous.

To me, it just feels as if Olive Garden (or maybe their parent Darden Restaurants), as a whole, feels that it has "enough" business, to where keeping customers really isn't that important. In my estimation judging from the experiences we've had with them, lost customers or business is of little consequence to them ... And, well. maybe it is just me, but I want to do business with a company who WANTS and values my dollars.
ZERO, or better yet, NEGATIVE stars would be more appropriate.

Time and time and time again Doordash has proven to be incapable of meeting the most basic of services. We used to be pretty steady customers and "Doordash Pass" holders for almost 8 months, but they repeatedly dropped the ball, eventually driving us to use UberEats. With Uber constantly raising their service fees, however, we decided to give Doordash another series of tries.

Well, nothing changed. --- They were always terrible, and remain so.

Pretty much, EVERY restaurant we have ordered from through Doordash, except for one, has somehow managed to get our orders wrong. It is frustrating to no end. I mean, HOW do you not get an order right which is entered from a LIST of options? It is mind-boggling/blowing (in a bad way) that invariably, 99% of the orders they deliver are delivered with incorrect/missing items. At first, we blamed the restaurants, and yes, a lot of the fault is with them; but then we figured out that Doordash does not hold the restaurants up to a better standard. Doordash doesn't care, so why should the restaurants care - and it shows.

The worst part of each and every experience, apart from just the utter frustration of having to deal with it 'yet again', is that upon phoning Doordash Customer Service, you receive only a FRACTION (pennies on the dollar) of the price of ONLY the MISSING items. Doordash will NOT make good on items which are incorrect (which again, is almost ALWAYS), cold, hard, under-cooked/overcooked, burnt, dry, rancid etc., instead, advising you to just 'leave feedback on it'. The restaurant can send a plain burger and cold fries in place of the specialty burger with onion rings one ordered, and it'd be okay, and ignored, by Doordash. Truly, the shoddiness of the customer service agents who offer vapid banalities and canned "I understand your frustration" platitudes, while in no way really understanding how unbelievably frustrating it is, is utterly ridiculous, but more so, is obviously a measure of what the company as a whole feels about its customers.

As such, what is the sense in ordering?

Invariably, one member of the family is either left without food, has to cook, has to go out and get something, or has to share, which defeats the entire purpose of ordering for delivery!

After almost a full year of throwing money at Doordash, and being bilked over and over and over again, it is somewhat satisfying to think that if I can save at least ONE family the exasperation, annoyance and irritation of going through the same thing: YEAY.

Avoid Doordash like the plague.
To begin, they are LEAGUES better than Yellow Cab, and slightly less expensive than Uber. Unfortunately, they are still greedy, disorganized and unprofessional.

We "found" Lyft when Yellow Cab left us stranded, and our first several rides with them went SO well, that for MONTHS we literally became addicted to not driving, and just took Lyfts everywhere. A few months in however, the shine began to wear off. We began noticing that a few of the drivers weren't the greatest. Some were unkempt, a little rude, got lost - yes, even with GPS, they got lost ... It was so hit or miss, we began driving again. It is difficult though to go back to driving once you are driven around so much.

The straw that broke that camel's back however, was a round-trip to pick up an order of wings. Again, this driver could not set his GPS, and got lost on the way there. That was not a problem that time, as we weren't on a tight schedule or anything. AFTER the trip however, I saw a $25 charge on my card above and beyond the fare and tip.

When I contacted Lyft to inquire about it, they said it was for cleaning the driver's car, since we had supposedly left grease in it from the wings. Knowing our order had not leaked (I carried the bag on my lap and had a tan dress on), I immediately canceled my credit card and asked for proof from them. They sent me pictures of a clear puddle of LIQUID on the SEAT. ummmmm, where we had been sitting(!), floor, and base (or footrest) of door. I told them that it was not grease from our order, as our wings were "hot" wings and the oil and sauce on them would have been at least a little orange, and not "clear" (the seats were white leather). I also asked them to explain how SO MUCH oil was on the SEAT where our butts had been. Did the order leak THROUGH me? Did they think one of US leaked oil? Wouldn't the oil have been at least a little hot? Wouldn't we (or the driver for that matter), have noticed this oil at the time and made an effort to CLEAN it? More so, for there to be the amount of oil in the pictures, wouldn't common sense dictate that the wings themselves had to have been SWIMMING in oil/grease that we then would have had to purposefully invert onto the seat? Did they think we ordered the "Wings In Grease Soup Special"???

It was obviously a scam on the part of the driver, but no one at Lyft was smart enough to put it together, or cared to even TRY, which says a lot about them. The two agents with whom I communicated had ZERO common sense, and after a few emails back and forth, I simply contacted my banking institution and opened a dispute for the $25 charge which was immediately credited back while they conducted an investigation, and which became final around a month later. In the interim, however, I received yet another message from Lyft which stated that a $SEVENTY-FIVE$ dollar charge would "not go through" and to please "update" my card.

Ha! As if.

We have never used them again, nor will we.
Really helped my granny a lot during some months she was on this service and during which time I could not run lunch over to her and Doordash was getting way too expensive. Some of the volunteers aren't very sunny or well-dispositioned, but the service itself was a god-send.

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