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Phil N.

4 Level 4 Contributor
  • 32 Reviews
  • 74 Helpful Votes
  • 0 Thank Yous

Experience: Clothing & Fashion, Computers & Technology, Business

Member since September 2017

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32 Reviews by Phil


If you plan to set up and sell merchandize through Etsy's or any other "store" platform, you are at their mercy, and they may or may not explain why they shut your store down. I'm a newbie with Etsy, and had only created a listings. Then with no warning what-so-ever, my account was suspended. When I clicked through to contact customer service, of course speaking with a "person" is not an option. I had to fill out their little form for an inquiry, and was told I'd have to wait up to a week for a response. So, there I sit...

What's scary about this is, what if I had succeeded and was selling regularly through my Etsy store, and boom - the store is gone. Not for minutes or and hour or so, but for days, or even a week?! Can you imagine the damage that would do to your momentum and credibility?!

Etsy did respond today to let me know all was well with my store, but didn't tell me why they shut it down. If I did something wrong I'd like to know, so I don't do it again. The more products I load, the more opportunity there may be for me to violate one of their policies.

Using a platform of this nature is the best and most cost effective means of getting up and running, but that easy comes at price - you're not in control. The folks who are, are too busy building their business to worry about how their actions may affect your piddly little store. If they suspend your account by accident or even legitimately... Whoops, it sucks to be you!

Tip for consumers:
Just go into it with your eyes wide open, and know they can shut you down at anytime for any reason, and not owe you an explanation.

Products used:
I was, am setting up an on-line store using Etsy's platform.


This is more of an FYI, than a true complaint, though I think UPS could do a better job with their Customer Service.

Overall, I like UPS and have had for the most part good experiences with them. But, recently we purchased an item from Amazon which was shipped via UPS. We received notification from UPS that the package was successfully delivered to some place about 30 miles from us. Ok - mistakes happen, so we figured we'd call UPS to get it straightened. Um, no,... not that simple.

We tried multiple times to get through to a person, and each attempt they kept pushing us towards their website and to file a claim. So, after going round and round, I finally gave up and filed a claim.

I was able to up-load pictures of the order, along with the confirmation. About 10 days later we receive a notice from UPS that they had confirmed there was no package delivered to our address during the time the package was confirmed as delivered. And...? Nope, that's it!

Ah geez, no I have to call in again... After about 40 minutes and going round and round I finally got through to a live person. I gave her the pertinent information and she put me on hold while she took a look. She confirmed that an investigation had been instigated - was that you? Yes! "We can not initiate an investigation with packages sent from Amazon - they must request an investigation."

Well then why the hell doesn't your on-line claims form state that up front?!

The take away - if you order something from Amazon and it gets lost, don't waste your time and effort contacting the delivery company.

• Updated review

I believe I have finalized our saga with this so-called "business". Their final offer to us is a refund of 44% of our purchase price, and we can return the merchandize to Dubai at our expense! It's confirmed - their 100% satisfaction guarantee and their easy return policy are completely lies!

Tip for consumers:
Don't believe their return policy or their 100% customer satisfaction guarantee - both are lies.

Products used:
Of the 3 products purchased, none fit properly and are unusable.

Edtavia Shouldn't be Advertising on FB
• Previous review

These guys are idiots. We're still fighting to have them honor their "30 Days Easy Return Policy" and their assurance, "If for some reason you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase we will gladly help you return your new and unworn item(s)." We had to file a complaint with our VISA, who have issued a full refund. Interestingly, about a week after filing a complaint with our VISA Edtavia has offered a discount on new purchases, offered $13 and we keep the items that don't fit, and today they offered $25 and again, we can keep the item that don't fit. We paid over $80!

With their latest $25 offer, they stated that their main warehouse is in Dubai, and postage is too costly. Though I appreciate their problem, I suggested they stop advertising on FB in countries where they feel it is too costly to honor their return policy.

Let this be a warning to anybody who sees something interesting on FB, or anywhere else. Anybody can buy advertising - it's actually fairly inexpensive. But a lot of these "stores" are small Mom & Pop's operating out of their living room, advertising items that are shipped directly from the manufacturer's warehouse. These stores are simply middlemen and have no vested interest in providing quality customer service - other than if they want to grow their business.

Be careful what advertising you click on, and always use a VISA or MC credit card to purchase - not a debit card! The guarantee they offer may be your only safeguard!

Once This "Company" Has Your Money, They're Not Returning It!
• Previous review

This "company" is a ship-on-demand entity based in the UK, and shipping from China. Their "30 Days Easy Return/Exchange Policy" is a complete farse.

Their policy states: "We have high quality control standard to make sure all the products we ship in perfect conditions, however, a return or exchange is unavoidable. IF FOR SOME REASON YOU ARE NOT 100% SATISFIED WITH YOUR PURCHASE, WE WILL GLADLY HELP YOU RETURN YOUR NEW AND UNWORN ITEM(S)."

But then, further down under "Return/Exchange Guidelines", line item #2 states: "Only if our products have quality problems, we will accept return request..."

Their only reason for authorizing a return is if you can prove there is a defect. To do that, they require you send photos of the packages and of the defective, and then they must agree with you.

Their statement regarding 100% satisfaction, apparently applies to their level of satisfaction with the sale, and once they have your money, they're 100% satisfied with the sale!

Since they're located in the UK/China you have little recourse. We have filed a complaint with FB advertising, which doesn't do much. Our only hope is filing a complaint with VISA, which we have done.

Learn from our experience - be careful when clicking on ads through FB. You have no idea where the sellers are located, and if there's a problem your ability to seek a solution is limited if the seller is located outside the States.

The seller has currently simply stopped responding. The last time they responded they offered a discount on our next purchase. Like we're ever going to buy anything from them again...?!

Tip for consumers:
Do not place an order! They are located outside the US, and if they choose not to honor their 100% Satisfaction Return Policy, you have little recourse.

Products used:
Of the 3 products order, none fit - despite using their sizing chart.

Note: shipping was included upon purchase, but if a return were to be authorized, the buyer is fully responsible!

Run don't Walk, AWAY from this site!
Verified purchase
• Previous review

I finally received the products I ordered, and in all fairness though the shipping time was slow, they stated it would take 30-40 days for the products to arrive. One of the reasons I opted to order from them is, they offered a 100% satisfaction and a "30 Days Easy Return/Exchange" policy. Unfortunately, even with using their measuring guidelines, none of the 3 items I ordered fit properly. So, I contacted them for the required, "Authorization" to return. They are dragging their feet... Now they want me to send pictures. I'm to sure of what, but I took pictures of the re-packages items, which I did very professionally, and sent those. If they want me to take pictures of me wearing the items, I'll have to unpack them again, put them on, an essentially take pictures of my breasts to show the garments don't fit. And I really don't like the idea of sending photos of my breasts around the world, and won't do it. More importantly, I don't see any reason to, because their return policy clearly states, "If for some reason you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase we will gladly help you return your new and unworn item(s)." Well, I'm not at all satisfied, because they don't fit! All I ask is they behave like a professional company, honor their return policy and send the authorization to return and refund the purchase price - I have to pay the postage to return. I suspect they're a third party, operating a ship-on-demand business, where they carry no inventory, and all orders go directly to the manufacturer located in China for fulfillment. Which means they have already taken their cut of the purchase price, and probably spent it. I'll see how they respond next, and then file a complaint through my VISA. Buyers beware!

Tip for consumers:
My tip would be, 'Don't' use the site. Shipping time is very slow - 30 days or more, sizing is iffy even when you use their measurement suggestions and if you want to return an item you have to pay for postage and they drag their feet. They appear to want you to prove why you're unsatisfied. Which implies, the metrics they use to determine satisfaction, are their own - not yours.

Verified purchase
• Previous review

I'm here to tell you about the great products I have received from this site... Oh wait, I can't. I haven't received them yet, though I ordered them on March 27th! Still waiting... Zzzzz...

Tip for consumers:
Plan way ahead! Expect at least a month before delivery. If you ask for help, expect they'll copy and paste the tracking record.

Products used:
None - haven't received them yet.


We purchased N&D Quinoa for our cat. We received in a normal amount of time, so all is well. But, between the time I ordered the product and we received, we had a vet appointment. At that appointment, the vet changed the cats diet, and switched him to a completely different product.

So now what. We have the 11 lb. bag of cat food - that wasn't cheap, and can't use it. I sent Farmina and email explaining the situation, and asked if we could return the product. I wasn't expecting much…

To my surprise the only question they asked, was whether the product had been opened - which it had not been.

But what they did next, blew me away! They not only approved the return, they covered the cost of shipping, and … AND, they credited my account immediately! Not a week to 10 days after the return had been received and inspected. But immediately - before I even had a chance to get it packed up, let alone dropped off to the shipper!

Farmina Pet Foods, is a company that knows what customer service is, and values their customers!

• Updated review

As I previously mentioned, I received notice that my package was available for pickup, because it couldn't be delivered for some weird reason. So, I rearranged my work schedule so I could get by the USPS to pick up the package. When I approached the counter, I told the attendant that I thought there was a package for me, and gave here the tracking information. She rolled her eyes and said,"I'll go look, but I know it's not here. They do this all the time..." As she walked away. After about a solid 10 minutes or more, she returned to tell me the package was out for delivery. And she basically said, in the future just ignore those messages. The item I was waiting for I needed for work, and had a value of about $200. So, I really didn't want it laying around somewhere. Anyway, that late afternoon the package was delivered to my residence. Why it was flagged as an exception, and stated it was available for pickup remains a mystery...

Package Delivery - Not!
• Previous review

You know, I know the current administration is gunning for the USPS. But they're not doing themselves any good by accepting payment for delivery of packages, and then not delivering them. Recently, our household has purchased items vis the internet - but from different venders. And we have received notice that the packages are out for delivery, and then the status is changed to: "Delivery Exception, Package available for pickup at the Post Office."

My problem with that is, they have received payment to deliver the packages, and now they have reneged on that promise, and require that we pick these packages up. If you're a vender beware, as the USPS is not honoring their commitment.

• Updated review

I finally did get my printer to work, so all was good! For a couple of days. I woke Sunday and my WiFi was gone. After some checking, I verified the internet service was fine, but my WiFi was completely gone. I had to start from scratch and reinstall the Orbing. I discovered that the Orbi will only recognize the default WiFi that comes with the device. I had to add my network as a guest network, instead of the primary network. Which is irritating, because I assume that many purchaser of this product received the same Network Name, and password - but for now I'm just happy to have WiFi back. I had to install my WiFi printer using their default info, too. This experience has made me realize why I ought to continue to hard wire my primary devices. WiFi is too unpredictable.

Great Product, unless You want to use a WiFi Printer
• Previous review

I received a Netgear, Orbi router as a gift, to enhance my WiFi capabilities. And, my WiFi is much better and pretty much everything is working better. Except... My Epson WiFi printer. Even though both my Mac's and the printer show they are on the same network, my computer simply doesn't "see" the printer. I have searched the internet for a solution, to no avail. Looks like I'm going to have to buy a printer, which I find irritating. Because the Orbi was a gift, and I don't have the receipt, I am ineligible for a warranty. The inability of my Mac's to connect with the printer is considered a warranty issue. So, no help from Netgear - unless I buy an extended warranty, of course. I'll continue to try to find an assist on the internet, but I am disappointed I can't get any help from Netgear.

• Updated review

After having 4 of these cameras in operation for about 10 months, I'm still relatively happy with being able to use them to see what's going on around m home. But, they tend to lose their connection, forcing e to power cycle them. Which makes using them to keep an eye on things when you're away, or recording events impossible. They're inexpensive and super easy to install. But, if they're unreliable all the positives slip away.

Wyze Cam V2 Are Great!
• Previous review

These little cameras are the best. 1) They're cost effective - $20-30 each, depending on the model you get. 2) Extremely easy to set up. 3) NO subscription needed to use! This is what I have been looking for, for a couple of years. I unpacked mine, and had the first one up and running in minutes - literally. In my case, I had to upload the BlueStacks app, to access the camera's feed on my Mac. I have all my cameras pointing outside, so disengaged some of the features, such as night vision (reflects off the glass) etc. And I have one is set up outside, under a protected eve, since these cameras are designed to be used indoors - and it's working fine. If you want a bit of security, and would like to be able to record events around your home or business, these work great. The quality of the feed, is a heck of a lot better than some of those security camera feeds you see, and they're in color. Keep in mind, the price and no monthly subscription! Generally, you get what you pay for but in this case you're getting a quality product for a reasonable price. And they're continually strive to improve their app! That said, they're not going to compete with your more expensive security cameras, though they're doing a pretty good job of it.


We been ordering from Chewy for several years, with no problems - until now. We placed an order - nothing unusual. But, when I checked my back account, they withdrew the funds twice...?! When I called they said, "Oh yeah. Well, the items are being shipped from different locations so, we billed the entire amount and then had to bill for the items separately. But, we'll credit your account today or within a couple of days." Bull$#*!! I placed on order, and authorized one payment. If they ship from different locations and their accounting can't figure it out - well that's their problem. What they are doing is fraudulently accessing and withdrawing money from customer's accounts. Imagine how many customers they have and how many orders they receive daily. Now if they "innocently" bill every account double, that's a $#*!-ton of other people's money they're playing with! Plus, that particular account is a debit account, where I keep a slim amount of funds in case of a breach. Their double dipping, could have caused an over-drawn situation, and a financial penalty from the bank. NOT HAPPY! If this is a common practice, they need class action law suit!


Before you upgrade your Mac's operating system to Catalina, make sure you have all your music backed-up somewhere other than on your Mac. I know, that's typical protocol. But, they maintain that Catalina's switch from iTunes to Apple Music will preserve all your music, whether purchased through Apple or not. My iTunes Library was stripped of anything that had not been purchased through the Apple store. Fortunately, I have my music backed-up in several locations. But, had I not, I would have lost a considerable investment. Oh, and all my Playlists were obliterated, which really pisses me off. Again, I have them backed-up, but the amount of time, energy and effort to transport them back in, is irritating.

• Updated review

My previous review was a bit salty, and more about the lackluster support. Due to 'life' throwing a few curve balls, I was unable to do much with the site, so let it languish, with the intent of coming back to it. With hosting, security and a few other accounts coming up for renewal, I thought I'd check in on the site and see about reviving it. Surprisingly, the site is completely wiped out. Nothing there but a blank slate. Of course I have no idea about the who, what and why's... What I do know is, there was only one other person who had the login information to access the site. Hm...?

Ron K. – The PLR Store Rep

This issue was resolved nearly a year ago.

This customer was provided install service twice. The original installation, and then a second installation, at no extra cost to him, because he had taken the site down himself due to a misunderstanding and frustration.

Our last correspondence was September of 2019. The site had been removed once again, and I let him know that it was no doing of ours, and to reach out to his host to see if something had happened on their end. I took some much-needed family time away from the business and in the interim, he wrote the first review. I expressed my surprise as to why he was upset and angry with me via email, as I had bent over backward to help him out with this site over time. I had installed the site twice and did everything I could to make sure it was up and running. We had agreed that it would likely be best that we parted ways at that time.

The correspondence had been left at that. I am not a malicious or conniving person, and have not touched the site since the second installation. I do not know what happened when it 'disappeared' during our last email exchange, when I suggested his best course of action was to reach out to his host to see if they could dig through and possibly find the answer, and even provided install instructions for him as he expressed the view that he would upload the information himself. I do not know if he re-installed the site at all, as I have not revisited it and would not stoop so low as to log into a customer's website and wipe or adjust anything at all, even if there have been disagreements. I resent the implication that we would do something like that to our customers, as we never have and never would.

Meh, Offering Support not His Bailiwick
• Previous review

After five days and after reading this review, the seller did reach out to me. Clearly not happy with the review I left here. And especially bothered by my stating he blew me off'.

One of the biggest differences between a brick-and-mortar business and an online business is the accessibility. He mentioned that he had taken some time off to spend time with his family. If a brick-and-mortar business closed their doors for 5 days just cause they could, they'd be out of business. So, I appreciate the attempt at a guilt trip, I'm not buying it.

I understand that the internet allows people to throw stuff up to sell, and to automate things very effectively, but to expect folks to invest their money buying your products, only to discover the business is closed with no idea whether it's going to open again, is really disrespectful of your customers.

He closed saying that even though he went above and beyond (which he did, the first time around and even now - though after 5 days), and because I stabbed him in the back, that we should go our separate ways.

He sold me a PLR products and never wants to be bothered again, yet he didn't offer a refund. I'm inclined to agree, but then I paid good money for the product, I should be able to put it to use.

He seems like a nice guy, but he sure doesn't want to be bothered with customers.

Meh, You Get What You Pay For.
• Previous review

First off - I'm a newbie when it comes to online marketing, and it was suggested to me that a good way to get started is through Private Label Rights (PLR), products. After an online search I found the PLR store, and purchased a $47 dollar product, paying extra for them to set up.

I provided all the set up info and waited. Now what happened next is 100% my fault. The site was there but I could not access it to do anything with it. I sent an email, and received no response. Having been burned on several occasions by shady online marketers, I kinda flipped out and figured I got scammed again. Dang. So I torched the site, change all my access info, and sent a blistering email to the seller.

Surprisingly, the dude responded, and was kinda like, huh?! So, I explained the situation from my perspective, and he basically was, dude you're way off-base. He even agreed to re-install the site at no fee. Which was very cool.

So, a couple months went by without me doing anything with the site - as I got tied up with my "job". This week I had some time, so decide to see what I could do. I typed in the domain name, and zip. I went to my host and checked out cPanel, and nothing. I mean the domain was there, but the data was toast.

I reached out to the seller, to see what kind of support was there. He checked out the situation and confirmed, yup the site's gone. Must have been your host.

So, I figured, OK, looks like I've got to load the thing myself. But I needed some basic clarification, so I reached out to him again. This time, he's just blew me off.

I actually thought, that if he responded and was upfront with me about the limits of his willingness to help, that maybe one of his other PLR products was a self-help website builder kinda program, that I could buy.

So, the reason for the "Meh" rating is, the seller not wanting to be bothered to even respond - with a polite, sorry can't help you with that - yet he's still sending me sales emails trying to sell me new programs.

I also think, given his site promises support, that even though it's not his fault, that it is a good business practice to offer some amount of help - even at a price.

Given the size of his site and the amount of products, I'm surprised he hasn't found somebody on Fiverr who he could direct people like me to, for such help.

That's one of the downsides of online businesses - once they start making sales, it's too easy for them to blow-off their existing customers.

Tip for consumers:
There's some OK, inexpensive products there. I would say don't go there, but be very aware of the limitations.


We needed a head board for a guest bed, but didn't want anything elaborate or expensive. We looked around and found a headboard made by Zinus - manufactured in China. Given the price point and to place of manufacture, our expectations were low. It arrived and had to be assembled. To my pleasant surprise, the pieces were well packaged, as was the hardware. I unpackaged it and put it together in about 10 minutes. Grant it, there's not much to a headboard, but this one had 7 pieces, which made me think it might be kinda flimsy. Not so! The pieces fit together very well, and the design of the connectors was such that the bolts pulled the pieces together tight and in-line. The end result being a very sturdy, attractive headboard.


I have had two "deliveries" from these guys, and neither have been received. The first time, I received notification that my package had been delivered. I was home - had been all day, so checked my porch. Nothing... So, I contacted and their response was, "Oh, we show it was delivered and we have proof." I asked what, and they said they had a picture. The proof they had, turned out to be a picture of an empty porch. I was like, if anything, that's proof nothing was delivered, because there's nothing on the porch. I ended up having to go back to the Seller to request a refund due to non-delivery, and left it up to her to figure it out. Fast forward to today. Again, I received notice that my package was ready for pickup - at a location 3 hours away! So, I called. I explained the situation, and was told they could verify that I had gone online and requested that I be able to pickup the package, at their location 3 hours away. I told her, first - I didn't even know that was an option until I heard it on their pre-recording marketing piece that they play when you're on hold. Second, even if I did want to pic it up, I would select a location 3 hours away from me! So, we went round and round for a while, with her repeating numerous time that I had selected to pick it up across the state. Finally, it she agreed she would submit a request for the package to be shipped to my home, and that I'd just have to watch the tracking to see if and/or when it would be shipped to my home. What?! I mean, these guys are idiots! By the way - I never did get the first package, so I'm not holding my breath on the second. I have also reached out they the seller, as I kinda want what I purchased!


We've had this service for years. We enrolled when ID theft became an issue with the growing use of the internet for financial transactions.

Late last year, we got with ID Theft, and in listed their help. The first thing, that was a bit dismaying is, they never "saw" the fraud. Because the fraud occurred through a credit card, they're not set up to "see" those transactions. Instead, they monitor your credit status, so until those fraudulent transactions get posted to your account, they won't "see" them, and won't be able to notify you of the fraudulent activity.

That was our misunderstanding. We were initially disappointed they hadn't notified us of the unusual activities - to the tune of over $80K in new charges from Chicago to Florida!

OK, so there's that. They monitor your "Identify" not credit cards activities.

However, once we were aware of the fraud, they could help us. They advertise they will spend "X" number of hours helping clear up any problems Well, the help we received - which, in fact was helpful, was a list of things we could do to mitigate the problem. Which amounted to contacting the repositories to notify them of the fraud, and to place fraud alerts on the affected accounts.

Fast forward to today, and we received notice of activities. I went on-line to check them out. There they listed they activities and ask, "Do you recognize this?"

They give you two choices, "Yes or No". If you respond yes, then you're done. If you respond no, then you're instructed to call in.

So, I called in I was told they would send me an introductory package - wait, what?

"I've been a member for years, why send me an Introductory package?"

"Because, that will tell you the steps you should take."

"But wait, I just want to notify you these inquiries are fraudulent."

"You'll have to contact Transunion, and let them know about these items, but we can transfer you"

"OK, so what is the service you provide? Are you like an answering service for Transunion? Where I call you, so that you can transfer me to them?"

"Uh, well, we can't speak to them about your account You have to speak to them directly, but I can transfer you."

"OK, this doesn't make sense to me. I'm not sure why we're paying you a monthly fee, to simply act as a answering services?"

"Um, sir, we can transfer you, so you can let them know"

"OK, I can do that myself - thanks."

So, it appears any fraudulent financial activities are covered through Transunion. If your drivers license or something like that occurs, apparently you can enlist their help.

Keep in mind, I believe ID Shield used to contract through Kroll Identify Protection. They severed ties, and it appears took thing in-house, and now rely on Transunion, and other such services for their data, and use a staff who is lightly trained, and gets easily confused if they have to go off script.

Is their service worth the monthly fee - I'll be doing some research, but as of now, I don't think so.


This site sells a monthly membership and the vehicle they use to sell that is a line of 'natural' supplements designed to cure various ailments. Of course, there's no way of telling wether they actually work or not, and most likely they benefit from the power of suggestion. I purchased a 3 month supply of product. Hat I didn't realize, that with that 3 month supply, came a monthly billing of $9.99. Apparently the billing of $189.95 included 3 months of product, and the first month's 'membership' fee. Keep in mind, I didn't realize I was agreeing to a membership... The following 2 months I was billed $9.99, for the membership - admittedly, I didn't see those fees, or I would have taken action. Now on the 4th month, I received another bottle of this witches brew... I figured, OK, I screwed up. I accepted the 49.95 fee, but sent an email stating I wanted my "account" to be cancelled effective immediately. I received a response stating, "Your request (8634) has been updated." To me, that means they have cancelled my account. But, noooo... This month I received another bottle of their ineffective crap, and upon checking my account, another $49.95 fee. Both bottles I have returned. As of this writing, I still have been unable to cancel my account. From here, I'll be filling a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and the State's Attorney General. These guys have simply devised a scheme to separate you from your hard earned cash.


Ok, so overall the service is decent. I called in and stated I needed my car towed. They took my information, and got my location.

They gave me an ETA of a little over an hour, and arrived within about 15 minutes. The towing service was great. My concern is with Verizon's roadside mobile service's mapping and billing.

I was having it towed to a specific auto service center, which was within the 10 mile free' tow zone. The most direct route, using the highway, was 9.7 miles. She quoted me 12.5 miles, which would incur an additional fee.

Now the additional fee was $10 plus change, which isn't much. But, to get that extra fee, they must have their mapping service set on - "Take the Longest Route"! Instead of going almost directly SW, by getting on the freeway at the closest entrance point, they showed a route taking the driver north, then west, then SE, adding about 3 miles.

Again, the $10 isn't much, but multiply that by their 1000's of customers, and they're doing a great job padding their bottom line, at the consumer's expense. It's that nickel and dime mentality of so many service providers that I find infuriating. The entire premise is, to pad the bill by small enough amounts, that the consumer won't complain.

Real Estate starting doing this back in the mid 90's. If you sold a house, you signed a contract agreeing to pay a percentage of the sales price as commission. Then the gurus started marketing the idea that adding a small office fee, wouldn't even be noticed by the consumer at closing, when they're about to fork over thousands. So, $100 dollar office fees started popping up on closing docs. That worked! Let's try $200. Yeah! How bout $300! That worked so well, that other fees' began to emerge.

That same mentality has percolated throughout the service business industry. Now we, the consumers pay a set fee for service, yet when the service is provided, there often is an additional fee created one way or another.

National Institute For Cannabis Investors (NICI)

When you join as a base member for $39, you gain access to a lot of good information about the Cannabis Industry. But, to put that knowledge to work for you, you'll have to join other "clubs," where they unveil the secret sauce - so to speak. Many of their reports will tell you about a new company and explain what a great investment it is, and then tell you, to learn how to invest, join our exclusive membership for only $1,500 (or whatever), for the opportunity to snag a windfall practically overnight. It's really just one upsell, after another. There is some good information, but to make it actionable, it's gonna cost you. So, the $39 bucks is an entry fee, used to determine whether you're willing to pay to play.


The only different, at the time, was that it offered wifi capability, to view the temperature of your home, and adjust settings remotely. Which in theory sounds good, but in practice I never used. Initially, it also provided access to their website, to show usage etc. Which again, was kinda cool. But, I pretty much used it as a thermostat, so when I did decide to begin using the wifi capabilities, I was surprised to learn they had 'updated' the service, so my phone was no longer capable with their app. But, in truth, I'm not one to get the latest and greatest, so my phone was older - iPhone 5s. Ok, so I have to upgrade my phone to use the app, that they sold me on. Errr... Well, I wasn't going to do that. But, then circumstances changed, I got a new phone and decided to begin using their app, once again. Oh, but now I learn, they've made it a paid service. Again, just $1 per month or $10 per year. But I paid a premium for this damned thermostat, and now they feel the need to nickel and dime me?! Nope - not doing it. It's smarmy. All these guys attend the same seminars, where they learn "subscriptions are golden"! Nobody feels that buck or two slipping away every month, and when they implement an increase, you're so busy you don't remember the email they sent you. Before you know it you're paying $5 per month, and you never use those silly features. But the neighborhood hacker, and access it!


Their credit card is issue by Community, but here's what happened. Our daughter purchased a couple hundred worth of product. She moved, lost her card and traveled out of the country, all in a span of a couple of months. During that time a couple monthly bills were sent out. One didn't reach her, due to the move, we suspect. The next one came after she had lost her card, and was out of the country, and the bill arrived at her parent's home.

First, the interest rate is ridiculous - 27%! Plus, since she missed the previous bill, there was an extra $39 fee on there. Ok, whatever - we'll move on

The due date was just a few days away, and we wanted to get the bill paid before another late fee was applied. We took the bill, along with cash - (legal tender, I believe), to the local Victoria's Secret store. They would not accept the payment, without our daughter being present, or her driver's license?! The account number is on the bill, we have her birthdate, driver's license number, SS#, address, phone, location of her birthmarketc.

We weren't trying to use her account, but trying to give them money to pay the account in full. Nope. Can't do it!

Now if you go to Sears, Kohl's or just about any other store - as long as you have the bill and money, they'll take it.

We came home, and got on the phone. The first person we spoke to was a real bee-atch! The next person said, they'd accept payment if we provided all our banking information to them - which we weren't going to do. We figured they would end up associating our banking, credit information with the account - and that wasn't going to happen.

Finally after insisting on speaking to a manager we got Ryan. He gave us some mumbly excuse for why they couldn't accept cash payment, but finally agreed to take payment over the phone, if we used a debit card. After spending waaay too much time trying to give them money, my wife agreed.

Personally, I would have told them to send it to collections, were they'd get 20-30 cents on the dollar. But, they had worn my wife down by then, and she agreed to give them her debit card number. Ugh!


Experian is one of the three primary credit repositories in the US. The data they collect on you determines what credit score they assign to you. That credit score is used by any business considering extending credit to you. The lower the score the higher the risk you are considered. The higher the risk the more you're going to pay in interest, down payments etc.

So, you'd think accuracy would be important to them. Nope. Because you're not their primary customer - the creditors are, and that's who their loyal to. If their information is bad, it just protects the creditor by costing you more money. And, truthfully, do they care f you have to pay more - that's a hard no!

Recently I checked my credit, and found some errors. Following their protocol, you can make some corrections, but not if institution has submitted the incorrect info. You then are directed to contact the institution, and I guess, provide proof that the information they have submitted to the repositories is inaccurate.

Initially, I was going to take care of that, but then I thought to myself, why? Do I care if they're making money selling inaccurate data about me? Do I care if hackers steal inaccurate data about me? No, & no

Screw the repositories!

If they want accurate information about me, they can pay me for it!


This site does background checks on people. Marketing itself as the best and most thorough.

Not so much

I joined the site with one of their trial plans, where I paid a nominal fee to have access to their site for a short period of time.

I did a search of myself. What I found was mis-information, and no way to correct it. Much like the credit repositories, they throw out a net and gather all this info on individuals and then it's up to the individual to find it and correct it. But, to correct it, you have to buy a premium membership. So, obviously, accuracy is not that important.

What MyLife does is assign a score to you - the higher the score the better quality person you are? - I guess?!

So, my score was pretty decent, but it was getting knocked down by my "sleezy" associations, I guess. So, I looked at who they were associating me with, and I believe only one was accurate. Almost all were neighbors. Of the neighbors listed, two are dead, and have been dead for a while, one I have never heard of and doesn't live on my street, one I wave to occasionally, and the rest I don't interact with at all. Yet, these folks are being used as associates of mine, and affecting my score'!

Just keep that in mind before you pay for any information.

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