Norman L.

Level 3 Contributor
San Marcos CA

Contributor Level

Total Points

11 Reviews by Norman

Verified purchase

After bringing our Yorkie here during his first two years, a break, and later an additional two years, we have completely given up on this practice.

Dr. Brianna Campbell was our Yorkie's first vet, provided excellent general care and, more importantly, also provided a referral for specialized tests and acute care. Though this practice's fees have been higher than other practices, we stayed as long as we can, left, and returned as we have been greatly indebted to Dr. Campbell for her concern, care, and referral during our Yorkie's younger days. However, when we arrived for our March 25,2022 9:40 a.m. appointment, we discovered that Dr. Campbell no longer practices here, a great disappointment; she is now practicing at Midland Animal Clinic in Poway.

The absence of a preferred vet, or a preferred doctor for humans, is not, in general, a basis for discontinuance of patronage of a practice; however, this practice's office and vet support verges on incompetence and cannot be overlooked.

On Thursday, March 24,2022 at 9:12 a.m., we received a reminder text for the next day's appointment, "Cxxxxxx has appts (sic) with us, please arrive Fri, Mar 25 8:00 AM to 8:30 AM. Please reply 'confirm' or call *******400 San Marcos Veterinary Clinic." Thinking the time mentioned in the text is too early for a 9:40 a.m. appointment, we immediately called to confirm a 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. next day arrival time but only received a long HOLD after the menu selection, similar to the long HOLDs or an answering service the previous four weeks. We arrived at 8:30 a.m. on the appointed day but two surprised receptionists told us that we were TOO early. We showed a receptionist the previous day's text. Though the receptionist explained that there were problems with its texting system and offered to hold our Yorkie for an hour, we decided to return in an hour. After the appointment, we discovered that the practice opens at 9 a.m. on Fridays.

Our appointment was for an exam and an annual sedated teeth cleaning. Last year, the sedated teeth cleaning was $400 plus medication costs during another procedure. However, on Friday's estimate, the sedated teeth cleaning is $799.00 for a "Gold Package" on the "Low Amount" estimate column. We immediately pointed out to the vet technician providing the estimate that we had paid only $400.00 last year and that the office forms that we had only earlier initialed list only $450.00 for a sedated teeth cleaning. The vet technician returned with a new estimate of $450.00 but ADDED $85.00 for "Fluids, IV" and $100.00 for "IDEXX YOUNG WELLNESS" on the "Low Amount" estimate column. We questioned the "IDEXX YOUNG WELLNESS" and requested that the service be removed from the estimate. The vet technician adamantly refused and replied that she cannot remove the "IDEXX YOUNG WELLNESS" service (for an almost 8 year old Yorkie).
Noticing that the office cannot properly handle an appointment reminder or that a vet technician cannot discern our Yorkie's age, we subsequently only paid for the exam.

Oddly, yesterday, March 28,12:39 p.m., we received a voicemail from the practice, "... checking how Caxxxxx is doing after the teeth cleaning on Friday. Please give us a call for an update to see how he's doing..." After hearing the unusual voicemail, we immediately checked our credit card charges online for a sedated teeth cleaning. No charge, so far.

In closing, Dr. Campbell easily earned five stars when she practiced here; however, the office and vet support is dismal, earning 0, if not negative, stars. Please carefully examine your appointment times and closely examine your estimates or, better, please look elsewhere.


It was difficult to find an available appointment for a Covid test during the second week of January. Fortunately, Carbon Health Urgent Care had an opened San Marcos appointment for Monday the next day, January 10,2022, and one for Thursday, January 13. Yes, in early January, it was long lines at Cal State San Marcos walkup testing or long waits for clinic and drug store appointments. My wife and I grabbed these relatively early appointments; however, an early appointment became a BIG mistake.

I am the insurance holder, double coverage, so that I can write about my wife's experience. For the Monday Covid screening, an assistant took my wife's blood pressure, temperature, and oxygen level. My wife told the assistant that she only wants a Covid test. The assistant replied that a doctor assistant will be right back to do a visit. Again, my wife told the assistant that she only wants a Covid test, no doctor visit.

After 15 minutes, a doctor assistant came, checked my wife's heart, asked questions about her symptoms, and said an assistant will be right back with the Covid test. The doctor assistant visit WITHOUT my wife's consent lasted 3 minutes total.

Learning of Carbon Health's business practices, I canceled my appointment.

On January 20, my wife inquired Carbon Health about the visit and charges.

The following day, January 21, Sharina Manalili, a Carbon Health representative replied, "I am only seeing a covid [sic] test visit and there was no physical exam done. However our clinic does perform vitals before being swabbed and talking to the clinician. I also checked your bill and it was only for a Covid test and no physical exam charges."

I assumed an exam had been settled. However, my wife just surprisingly received a January 31,2022 Medicare Summary Notice that lists, "New patient office or other outpatient visit, 30-44 minutes, Amount Provider Charged $400.00, Approved Amount $103.77, Amount Paid $103.77."


Even though my wife and I did not directly pay the $400.00 Carbon Health charge or even the $103.77 approved charge, my wife and I believe Medicare or insurance should not pay for a dubious exam without a patient's consent; my wife has demanded that Carbon Health return the $103.77 to the payer but without success.

Please be CAREFUL with Carbon Health.

Verified purchase

I am a longtime AAA member. I reported this lack of road service to AAA who in turn furnished to me the name of this contractor.

Last year, a large dash light warned me of low tire pressure on the freeway. Quickly leaving the freeway, my wife, our dog, and I arrived at Chevron, 11095 Carmel Mountain Road, San Diego 92129, and I called for Road Assistance.

The tow truck came within 15 minutes.

My wife and I are deeply disappointed and shocked by the tow driver's lack of service. The tow driver's poor suggestion of following him on a re-inflated flat tire seriously needs to be addressed.

The tow driver looked at the tire, inflated the tire, felt the tire with a palm, and stated that I have a nail. I had opened my trunk to the Spacesaver spare tire and tool set; however, the tow driver suggested that I follow him to a tire shop only a mile away near his tow shop so that I only need to change the tire once. Though his suggestion is highly unusual in 45 years of car ownership, as he is the professional and knows the neighborhood, I followed his tow truck but the 1 mile drive to Discount Tire, 9859 Carmel Mountain Road, San Diego 92129, is actually 2.1 miles.

The tire started at 32 psi. Unfortunately, the tire slowly and then quickly leaked after a quarter mile of driving. At the 1 mile mark, the tire was at 28 psi. Near the 2 mile mark, before Freeport Road, the tow driver pulled to the side of fast moving and no parking Carmel Mountain Road with my car behind him; he motioned for me to cross three fast moving lanes and turn left across Carmel Mountain Road at the stop light; and later he turned right onto Freeport Road. The tire was at 20 psi, a quicker leak. There is no tire shop on the left side of Freeport Road. On the shoulder of the opposite side of Freeport Road across from Carmel Mountain Road, the tow driver subsequently pointed further down Carmel Mountain Road. Driving further on Carmel Mountain Road, searching and finally finding Discount Tire, I read a final 14 psi. Not good.

Now, I have never experienced or car knowledge friends have mentioned a tow driver suggesting to drive on a re-inflated flat tire in lieu of the standard tire change. After going down to 14 psi at the destination, I consider the tow driver's suggestion reckless.


The dealership's Service Department, mainly due to its service advisors, has deteriorated over the years. Former top service advisors Larry Hastings and later Anna Almasri were courteous, thoughtful, honest, and promptly delivered a repaired car as promised. However, after Larry left and later Anna, the Service Department has slowly slid downhill. The dealership represented by Larry's and Anna's excellent work earns five stars; presently the dealership needs major personnel improvements and, therefore, deserves zero stars.

Larry was an exceptional service advisor, like the advisors (plural) at other Mercedes dealerships, friendly and competent, called and sincerely apologized when there was a problem, and basically looked after the customer. Invoice 653178, 657435,659298,6749,687947, and Invoice #: 716037

Ramon V, in lieu of Larry, promptly delivered a repaired car as promised but, during the repair, it was impossible to contact Ramon via text or phone for an estimate for a future repair job or for the car's repair status before closing time. I contacted a service manager and reported an AWOL Ramon. The service manager apologized and, though busy, provided an estimate. Where was Ramon? Invoice #: 752370

After Ramon's poor service, I gave Mercedes Benz of Carlsbad a try, a trouble-free repair and pleasant experience though the drive is long. Michael S was like Larry, courteous, thoughtful, honest, and promptly delivered a repaired car as promised. Invoice #: 679336

Returning to this closer dealership, Anna, sincere like Larry, was a pleasure to work with, constantly updated me on the repair as I waited but, unfortunately, she did not stay long. Invoice #: 757921

The Parts Department had informed me that it has the parts for the infamously delayed airbag recall campaign. I asked for confirmation. The Parts person confirmed. I arrived the following Monday at the appointed time, met Rudy H, and waited an hour during the repair. Rudy suddenly approached and conveyed that the Parts Department does not have the parts and that the parts should come on Friday. Invoice #: 763749

Brian H mentioned and insisted on a new set of tires numerous times during checkout. I passed as I do not carry a copy of Consumer Reports in my pocket or in the car on new tires. Invoice #: 776944

I questioned Mario V's diagnostic fee as those fees are usually waved during repairs. However, Mario insisted that the diagnostic fees are now part of the dealership's new policy. Invoice #: 803335

I asked Brian O about the diagnostic fee imposed in a previous repair. Brian informed that he does not charge diagnostic fees but that other service advisors may charge diagnostic fees. I thought that I had found an outstanding and upstanding service advisor like Larry or Anna. Nope, Brian does not answer my texts or calls during closing hour. I followed-up with a service manager. Five minutes later, 53 minutes before closing, Brian called and informed that there are no parts, standard TPMS sensors, available and that the sensors are coming in the next day. Was Brian at work? RO (Repair Order) #: 811966

The dealership's mechanics have performed excellent repairs. It is too bad that its service advisors are something else.

Verified purchase

I had thought that I was the only person experiencing disappointing service at this Vista CA location, lack of service, or this restaurant's laid-back "Open when I feel like it" hours. Poring over ALL its Yelp reviews, other reviewers have consistently mentioned this restaurant's odd business hours, disappointing service, and lack of service.

The Ohana Hawaiian BBQ in Vista is a poorly run business. I have been to other Ohanas and other Hawaiian restaurants, many in Hawaii, but this Ohana's service is dismal. The business opens at 11 a.m. Last year, I arrived at 11:05 a.m. and waited until 11:15 a.m., still closed. I reported the closure to corporate. On March 6,2021, I could not find service.

That day, I arrived at 12:25 p.m. and waited ten minutes while a senior male staffer and a young male staffer were cooking and preparing orders in the kitchen. There were five people ahead of me waiting for their orders and a couple of people behind me. Noticeably, the senior staffer is extremely slow, struggling in bringing 4 trays, one at a time, to the counter for a large order. After the customer had picked up most of his trays, the senior staffer returned to the kitchen, tinkered aimlessly, and ignored the new customers. After an additional five minutes wait, the senior staffer returned to the counter so I can order. However, he could not help me and the others behind me as he, pointing to the waiting people, had to take care of the phone orders.

I find it odd and amazing that a fast food restaurant is run so SLOWLY. Avoiding this pitiful service, I replied that I'll come back some other time.

Not wishing to disappoint my family for Hawaiian food, I simply went 3 freeway exits east and hit L&L Hawaiian Barbecue in San Marcos, a quick 3 minutes wait to order and a quick 10 minutes wait for pickup. Usually, the waits are longer.

In conclusion, Ohana's service is extremely poor, or a lack thereof, compared to fast food restaurants. I do not believe that the senior staffer is capable. I am a senior, capable in many fields, and also retired. The senior staffer should carefully examine and be cognizant of his capabilities and make a decision on retirement, not the worse thing in the world.

Tip for consumers:
A good site to see its menu but, at this particular location, there is a lack of service.

Products used:
No meals were available as a restaurant worker was extremely slow, helping an individual member of a group of earlier customers who had already ordered, and apparently was not interested in new orders or new business.


This home gym equipment company is a poorly run business with questionable business practices. It's too bad that this product review is under the company's corporate name and not under its many brands' name so that many readers will miss this review.

With the pandemic and gym closures, this company has affordable home gym equipment in-stock and available. However, after poor experiences with two orders and a report to the Better Business Bureau and the CA Attorney's General's Office following the second order, I do not think that I will purchase more of or recommend this company's brands of home gym equipment.

On October 27,2020, I purchased a home gym, Marcy MWM-4965. On November 8,2020, I reported to the company a damaged Part #8 and requested a replacement part. On November 9, company employee Erika replied, "Please allow 24 to 48 hours for the order to process and 5-7 days for delivery depending on your location". On November 22, I inquired about the replacement part. On November 23, Erika replied, "... the order was on back order (sic) we got the part in, order will ship out tomorrow and email will be sent with tracking information". On November 25, I inquired about the replacement part. That same day, Erika replied, "The order is being shipped out this week (sic) we are just having delays with our shippers". As of today, December 1,2020, I have not received a tracking number or the replacement part. I have notified the Better Business Bureau and the CA Attorney's General's Office.

A previous experience with the company should have warned me of its questionable business practices.

On October 20,2020, I ordered the Marcy MD-9010G, a Smith Machine/Cage System. After realizing that the Marcy MD-9010G required Olympic weights that cost MORE than the Smith Machine/Cage System, on October 26, I emailed and requested cancellation. I received two Marcy form replies. I repeated my request but Marcy sent another form reply. Subsequently, I telephoned Marcy but was on Hold for 29 minutes and did not get through. That same day, Marcy finally emailed, "Order has been shipped, if you want to cancel order (sic) there will be restocking fee of 15% and shipping cost coming back to Marcy". I replied, "As your Order Status webpage states, ‘AWAITING SHIPMENT', and not as you stated in your email quoted below ‘Order has been shipped', I should not be penalized with a restocking fee of 15%... my credit card company has been notified and, shortly, I will document your business practices with the Better Business Bureau and with the CA Attorney's General Office." Marcy later emailed that my order "is now Cancelled". This first order should have served as a red flag, a warning sign of this company's questionable business practices.


I completed my third appointment at this practice. Nothing great and nothing extremely bad at this establishment.
However, my wife, who is on my dental insurance, had previously completed one appointment at this practice but could not complete her recent second appointment, a cleaning and a filling. After thirty minutes in the waiting room, the dental hygienist called her in, started, and completed the cleaning; however, the practice kept her waiting an extra hour for a scheduled filling. The staff was not helpful unless my wife directly inquired about the wait multiple times. After an hour wait and no dentist, my wife left. In closing, if you need a filling, this place is not the place. Please keep looking.

My wife add, "I arrived at 9:50 a.m. on April 9,2019 for a 10 a.m. teeth cleaning and a tooth filling appointment. At 10:20 a.m., I was called from the waiting room to a dental chair. At 10:55 a.m., the dental hygienist completed my teeth cleaning. At 11 a.m., the dental hygienist moved me to a different dental chair for a tooth filling scheduled for 11 a.m. However, by 11:45 a.m., the dentist, Dr. Doche, has not showed up and I inquired. The dental hygienist stated that Dr. Doche will come in a few minutes. At 11:50 a.m., I inquired again. A dental assistant stated that 'the dentist was finishing an emergency appointment and will be right over', which I had not been informed or notified earlier. At 11:55 a.m., Dr. Doche was still a no-show. At noon, after an hour wait, without additional information or an apology for the long wait from the staff or from Dr. Doche, still a no-show, I wisely left."


A garage door spring broke and I Googled "garage door repairs San Marcos". Door Dorks displayed prominently with a favorable 56 Google 5-stars rating so that I read some of its reviews, "Jacob is friendly" and business does a good job. I gave Door Dorks a try, a big mistake.

After I made an appointment last Friday and Jacob came to service the call, Jacob was disappointingly not friendly at all. Though friendliness isn't a requirement for the job, Jacob was more abrupt and taciturn, no sign of politeness. I have wondered about and questioned the accuracy of the Google, and later, the Yelp, reviews of Door Dorks.

Moving on, oddly, I did not receive a written estimate before the repair; Jacob only said, "The office told you the price? Looking at your door, anywhere between $250 and $300" for one spring for a single garage in a two single garage newer home.

I mentioned that the size of his new spring did not match the size of the broken very short spring. Repairmen usually explain their choice of parts and work to the novice customer when asked; however, Jacob only answered, "I know my work than you, a longer spring lasts longer (I wondered why but an answer was not obviously forthcoming), but I can put in a shorter spring if you want".

On the receipt, the single "218Rx30" spring cost $139.98, a very high mark-up, and labor $95, for a total bill of $234.98.

Other garage door repair persons always asked before placing their business' emblem and phone number sticker next to the manual garage door opener in my homes. Unknown to me, after Jacob had finished the repair, without asking, Jacob gratuitously removed the previous garage door repair person's business emblem and phone number sticker and wire-stapled his non-sticking business emblem below the manual garage door opener. Doubting that I will use Jacob's service in the future in view of Jacob's behavior and high bill, I removed his stapled business emblem; as a result, I have two needlessly small holes to spackle now.

If the car, earlier stuck inside the garage, had not been needed, I would have preferred my regular garage door opener installer and repair shop with a friendly office staff, friendly repair people, and a very friendly and helpful owner, but, unfortunately, the office was on voicemail that Friday and I had to, VERY REGRETFULLY, settle on this over-rated business.

Tip for consumers:
Please do not choose Door Dorks in San Marcos, CA based on Google and Yelp reviews


I had purchased a package of Oberto Original Beef Jerky 10 oz from amazon last year, received sealed and unopened, with a "Best By 05Jan18" date. On April 18,2017, at least eight months before the product's Best By date, I discovered, via the package's clear windows, an abundance of white molds inside the still sealed and unopened package.
On the same day, at 11:34 a.m., I telephoned the company's consumer inquiries department, whose telephone number is listed on the lower back of the package, reported the extensive white molds, and requested a replacement or refund under warranty. The company's representative was hesitant in honoring a replacement or refund. The representative stated that I should contact amazon. I replied that my purchase is more than 30 days ago and that amazon will not honor a return or refund; I requested that the company honors its warranty. The representative repeated that I should contact amazon.


I have been almost exclusively going to Great Clips the past seventeen years, greatly enjoying the company's low prices.
On February 23,2017, at approximately 9:25 a.m., I arrived at the company's 342 South Twin Oaks Valley RD, San Marcos, CA 92078, establishment for a haircut. Employee M. Checked me in. At approximately 10:00 a.m., as another checked-in customer and I waited, Employee K. Checked-in, animatedly spoke to, and focused on a customer on a first name basis. However, as my turn was next, Employee K. Focused on her acquaintance, disregarded my name on her monitor, and invited her acquaintance to her chair, "You can go next, he [I] doesn't mind". K did not asked if I minded or not minded. The acquaintance asked, "Are you sure?". K replied, "Go ahead". Tactfully, I did not mention that I was next. However, as a result of K's preferential treatment for a late check-in customer, I waited an additional ten minutes while the customer behind me waited an additional 20 minutes. Reflecting on K's behavior, I find that K's blatant preferential treatment for an acquaintance over two earlier checked-in customers is highly unfair and not businesslike.
On the same day, February 23,2017, I faxed Great Clips Corporate and asked "What can be done so that [Employee] Kxx does not repeat her favoritism toward one customer over other customers who had checked-in before her favorite customer?" No response from the company. On March 6,2017, I re-faxed Great Clips Corporate and repeated my question. As of today, no response from the company.


Unaware, TaxAct Online had downgraded me from Premium filing (1040 with capital gains) to a simpler Plus filing (1040 with Schedule A and associated forms) for tax year 2016. I had been using TaxAct Online for at least 10 years. However, this year, TaxAct Online deleted my repeat-customer-guaranteed and locked-in $26.95 filing fee for Premium filing and charged me $40 for a simpler Plus filing. I had previously paid $16.95 or less for its Plus filing before using only once its Premium filing. I immediately telephoned TaxAct Online and reported the pricing discrepancy; the customer service representative lowered the Plus filing fee to $35, still above $16.95. After a day, I received a customer service representative emailed response; she lowered the Plus filing fee to $26.95, the previously guaranteed and lock-in Premium filing fee though I was using a simpler and less expensive Plus filing service. Since the higher pricing snafu is TaxAct Online mistake, "No, Thank you, TaxAct". Via an online search, I found many inexpensive filing services or free filing services with ads. One online filing service have no ads and offered everything that I needed at $0 cost. The only disadvantage at this competitor's filing service is that this year's tax data and info is not transferable to next year's filing. However, after completing TaxAct Online data input this year but surprised by TaxAct high regular pricing for a simple product, re-entering data on a competitor's online filing service is no biggie. Until TaxAct Online gets its act together, I would, and recommend that you, avoid TaxAct Online.

Norman Has Earned 19 Votes

Norman L.'s review of TaxACT earned 7 Very Helpful votes

Norman L.'s review of GreatClips earned 2 Very Helpful votes

Norman L.'s review of Oberto earned a Very Helpful vote

Norman L.'s review of Doche Family Dental earned 3 Very Helpful votes

Norman L.'s review of Door Dorks earned 5 Very Helpful votes

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