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kens375

Ken S.

5
Level 5 Contributor
Loveland, CO

Contributor Level

Total Points
6,178

47 Reviews by Ken

CDW
238 Views
10/11/21
Verified purchase

I thought CDW was a trustworthy online merchant that could really execute, until my most recent order. I ordered a new laptop to be a birthday present, two weeks before it was needed. The site indicated that the laptop was in stock and would be delivered in about 3 days. Well, nine days later they send me a backorder notification. But here's the kicker: the site still showed the laptop as in-stock and delivery in 3 days. So I fired off an email; there was never an answer, but shortly afterward I got a shipment notification. If I hadn't fired off the email, I'd probably still be waiting. Poor execution!

Tip for consumers:
Order very early and start asking questions if they don't ship when you expected.

Products used:
Asus gaming laptop G713QM-RS76.

6/25/21

I'm a long-time Republic Wireless customer. As such, by definition, my phone number is a mobile number. But not according to Venmo. After I sold an item to someone who wanted to pay by Venmo, I tried to open a Venmo account. But they rejected my application, saying my number was a "landline" number. I tried, repeatedly, to see what evidence I could offer so I could open an account, but they just kept falling back on the landline bit. I can only conclude that they'll let you open an account with SOME carriers' mobile numbers, but not mine.

Tip for consumers:
Why use a payment company that won't accept all possible customers?

Products used:
I didn't - they wouldn't let me.

296 Views
6/23/21

My wife and I stayed the night of 3/25/2021 at Fairfield Inn & Suites Colorado Springs South, on 20,000 points from my wife's Marriott Bonvoy account. Long before the reservation was made, the Bonvoy account had 20,446 points - enough to cover the stay with 446 points left over.

Inexplicably, Marriott charged $250 to my wife's credit card on 3/22/2021. This is the exact amount it would take to buy 20,000 points. However, not only was this charge unauthorized, no points were credited to the Bonvoy account.

Numerous calls to Marriott have not reversed this charge. Each time, the agent on the phone has seen and verified the issue, but when the case is forwarded internally, someone named Taylor W. Has closed it, stating that points were purchased. They were not.

Tip for consumers:
Take screenshots of your points balance before, during, and after booking.

Products used:
1 night stay

Service
Value
Quality
6/11/21

They are legitimate, but you may not get as much money as you think. Looking at their site right now, the lowest advertised price is $85/cat; the highest is $500/cat. I sent them some photos; my offer: $25. Being better than nothing, I took it. It cost me $12.16 to ship it. PayPal charged a 4.1% fee of $1.03. So I netted $11.81 (not including the cost of gas to drop it off).

Tip for consumers:
Ask how to avoid fees.

6/9/21
Verified purchase

I ordered a "Black WIdow Premium ATV Rear Cargo Box" (p. N. ATV-CB-8030). I'm happy with the product and happy to have ordered it from DiscountRamps. The shipment arrived quickly and in great shape.

Tip for consumers:
Look around for a discount code.

Products used:
ATV-CB-8030

Service
Value
Shipping
Quality
6/9/21

I'm surprised to see the number of bad reviews here. I ordered two YTX20CH-BS batteries for two 2006 Suzuki King Quad 700s. The batteries came quickly and were as cheap or cheaper than I could find anywhere else. Both batteries have now been through one weekend ATV trip and no issues at all.

Tip for consumers:
They are legit, and IMO worth buying from.

Products used:
YTX20CH-BS battery

Service
Value
Shipping
Quality
5/28/21

The device they are selling sounds too good to be true - and it probably is. What I am 100% sure of is that their discounts aren't what they claim. Do to the math - the "70% off" discount isn't. Nor are any of the others. The first time I visited the site, one offer was for "85% off" - but anyone with 3rd-grade math skills could see it wasn't true. I'm attaching a screenshot showing some of the offers and how they don't add up.

Tip for consumers:
If you can't trust their claimed discounts, can you trust any other their other claims?

Products used:
None - I didn't buy.

5/12/21

As simply as I can tell this story: I have a Dodge Durango. When I bought it (new), I also bought a lifetime, unlimited-mileage warranty from Chrysler. The warranty covers anything not designed to wear out (brake pads or a rust spot on the body are not covered, but a failed alternator is). The "wheelhouse silencers" (felt inserts in the rear wheelwells) are drooping onto my tires; holes have been worn through them.

I was unable to get the Wheelhouse Silencers approved for warranty replacement through the Greeley, Colorado Dodge dealer, so I contacted the warranty folks myself, carefully explaining the issue and why I thought it should be covered. This is an exact quote from the response: "We are disappointed to learn of the concern with the transmission in your 2012 Dodge Durango. We understand your frustration and fully appreciate your concern, particularly in view of the expense and inconvenience involved, however, we are unable to accommodate your request for out-of-warranty consideration. The vehicle has exceeded the time and mileage limitations of the warranty we offered on the vehicle at the time it was placed into service."

Holy crap. I did not say anything about a transmission, and it's not possible for my vehicle to be too old or have too many miles. The response is nonsensical. I regret buying the Durango, and the warranty.

Tip for consumers:
Think twice before buying a warranty from Fiat Chrysler.

5/11/21
Verified purchase

As a purchaser of an LS-3 E-Rod engine from Gandrud Chevrolet / GMPerformanceMotor.com: they are legit. Chevrolet seems to dictate pricing, but Gandrud was as low as anyone, shipping was FREE, and these guys were taking orders when other dealers were not. They were not good about updating me when the ship date slipped, but they were good about responding to my requests for order status. Be aware that any special incentive offered by GM must be requested to get it. Bottom line: I would order from them again.

Tip for consumers:
If you are expecting to participate in a rebate offer, note the deadlines and required documents, and request them - repeatedly, if necessary - so you don't miss out.

233 Views
4/22/21

ACDelco, like make manufacturers, does not sell parts directly. Therefore, the only reason a site like ACDelco.com exists is for people to get information about the parts they sell - and that's important. So it is very disappointing that you cannot trust - at all - the information there. To take a recent example: I was researching batteries for a 2012 Dodge Durango. The most important two specs of a car battery are Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) and Reserve Capacity (RC). The results for the Durango showed three batteries; all three, even the "High Reserve" model, were shown as having the exact same specs (700 CCA and RC 140). Worse, the stated CCA of the two "Gold" batteries did not agree with the CCA shown in their photos (800 CCA). Finally the CCA specified for the exact same battery (94RAGM) on Amazon and Summit Racing was different again (850 CCA).

So depending on where you look, the CCA for a 94RAGM ACDelco battery is either 700,800, or 850, and we are also to believe that their "High Reserve" 94RAGMHR battery has the exact same capacity (both spec RC as 140).

Tip for consumers:
Don't trust the technical information found there.

4/15/21

Do employees of Popular Direct ever use their own website? The surprising limitation here is that you can only search two months' history. Let's say you need to do quarterly estimated taxes. You'd need to see all interest earned in a 3-month period. You can't search for that. An error message tells you that you can only search a 60-day period. You have to split your search in two. Obviously it's much worse if you need to search an entire year - something that's fairly likely when doing taxes.

Tip for consumers:
There are many online banking options. Consider others.

4/7/21
Verified purchase

You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out that a business is only as strong as its weakest link. 95% of the way through my 1966 Mustang radiator replacement project, this was going to be a 5-star review. The final step was to reinstall the radiator cooling fan. Well, the fan couldn't spin; it hit one of the transmission cooling lines that attach to the bottom tank.

I contacted customer service for help. This was Frank's entire response: "We can't chg that, sounds like the fan is to large." The STOCK fan. As we went back and forth, he then blamed my fan spacer, which put the fan the EXACT RECOMMENDED DISTANCE from the radiator. When I asked for a drawing of where the holes should be, he responded "They are in the bottom tank". And so it went, until he just wouldn't answer me.

From the beginning, it felt like a fight, not at all the "Be simple to do business with and speak to you, the customer, with respect" philosophy promised on ECP's website. If I were the owner, the guy who created the website, the guy who kept costs down and allowed the radiator to sell at a great price, or the guy who shipped it, I'd be mad as hell at Frank, because he's the weak link who earned ECP this well-deserved 1-star rating.

I still don't know if the radiator was built as designed. I can tell you from measuring the stock radiator and ECP's radiator that the troublesome fitting was a half-inch closer to the path of the fan. Sometimes a half-inch makes a huge difference.

Tip for consumers:
I suggest doing background research on this Chicago, IL business. Don't just give them your money because of promises made on a website.

3/30/21

I placed an order for an Nvidia graphics card (an RTX 2080 Super) because Hummingbird Networks' website showed it "In Stock". A couple of days later I got a call and they told me that the item wouldn't actually be available for months. They were polite and honest - getting a refund was no problem - but I still think that "In Stock" should mean "In Stock".

Service
3/24/21

B&H is good, but not perfect. They earned my family's trust over a period of years. We order from B&H and don't have to worry if the products we receive will be Chinese knock-offs (which is a real problem with Amazon). The few times we've had a problem with a B&H order, the issue has been very well handled.

But, they do have some problems with their ordering process. Very recently I placed an order, then decided to add something to that order. The website provided a way to do it, but doing so put my order into into "secretly hung status" where it showed an expected delivery date, but in reality the order hadn't shipped and wouldn't until I called to see why my package was never delivered.

Nor was that my first problem with a hung order at B&H. When I ordered a $7K HP workstation a few years ago, they sat on the order for months while waiting for a $70 PCI card to come in that I didn't even really need. By the time I got the PC, the price had literally dropped. Nobody ever even asked if I'd like to have the PC shipped without the missing PCI card.

Tip for consumers:
Be sure and comparison shop Sweetwater.

Products used:
GoPro Hero 8 Black

Service
Value
Shipping
Returns
Quality
3/4/21
Verified purchase

I have been a customer for 15 years, and I discuss Rise regularly with my neighbors. Rise behaves like all monopolies do. They just raised the price of my monthly plan 34% without any notice or explanation. Their advertised prices are misleading; they add an $11/month "Equipment Rental" and a $7/month "Carrier Recovery Fee" that would be more honestly called "Additional Money For Rise". I've had problems that took months to get resolved, and been told the lie that my slow speeds were "due to geography" even though the speed had been 3X faster a month earlier! Of maybe 8 times I've been told that tech support would call me back, it actually happened once. Rise has the capability to see that your antenna is out of alignment, but they don't check it unless a customer calls in with a problem. I could fill a book with stories of bad Rise experiences I've had and others have told me. Most of the employees I've dealt with have been nice, but Rise as a company will frustrate you over and over. Only competition would force them to clean up their act.

Tip for consumers:
Consider all options before signing up with Rise.

Products used:
50Mbps Internet Service

Service
Value
Quality
3/2/21

I've been using Findster for over a year. I give kudos to their support folks for effort, but the best support in the world cannot make a bad product into a good one. These are the problems we deal with daily:
(1) The app freezes and you don't know it. You glance at your phone and the dogs appear to be fine. Later you notice that they haven't moved in a long time. You kill the app and re-start it, and suddently your dogs jump to somewhere they shouldn't be, or even worse, their icons are grayed out because you've lost connection. This is the part where you freak out! We thought it was the old phone we were using, so we moved to a newer one; it changed nothing.
(2) Charging is unreliable. At least once a week we'll get up in the morning, needing to use Findster, and either the Guardian or one of the on-dog trackers will not have charged overnight. Cleaning the connectors with alcohol does help, but the problem never fully goes away.
(3) Devices come off the charger turned off. Why? The only reason you'd pull it off the charger is to use it. Turning each of 3 devices on is tedious and unnecessary.
(4) About 1 time in 20, the Guardian or a tracker won't turn on like normal. Either it's on but the green LED "forgot" to flash, or it's in some funky state that's neither fully on nor off. You have to hold the button for a long time, get it to affirmatively turn off, then wait a few seconds and turn it back on. Sometimes you have to do this multiple times to get it to work.
(5) We have two trackers. One lasts about 10-12 hours on a single charge; the other one lasts about 8. Eight hours is not enough.
(6) The tracker gets to where it won't lock into place on the dog's collar. At first, it would click into place and you could be confident that it wouldn't fall off. After a few months, it changed to more of a "preference" for being in the right place, but you can still easily turn it to where it falls off.
(7) Notifications accumulate and never go away even once they're irrelevant. For example, I just cleared a "low battery" warning from two days ago.
(8) When drawing a fence, they won't let you zoom in to draw it as precisely as possible "because GPS is inaccurate". So you end up adding the forced-inaccuracy of your fence to the inaccuracy of GPS. It makes no sense.
The hardware problems are the result of inadequate testing, which is perhaps to be expected from a startup company like Findster. The software problems are less excusable; I brought them to Findster's attention more than a year ago and nothing has changed. An app that crashes daily? There's no excuse for that.

Tip for consumers:
Research alternative pet-trackers that do not require cellular service.

2/17/21
Verified purchase

I worked in the PC industry designing motherboards. I've installed and uninstalled software hundreds of times. Only a handful would not uninstall when asked to. PDF Creator, version 4. 2. 0, on Windows 10, is one of them. It gives an error rather than uninstall. It was a fresh installation. There is no excuse.

Tip for consumers:
Don't fall for it - you cannot easily get it back off of your PC.

1/31/21

2Checkout are the folks that actually take your money when you buy something from StellarInfo. My experience with StellarInfo has been terrible.

I had a corrupted photo that meant something to me, and StellarInfo claimed to be able to recover photos like mine with a ". CR2" extension. The catch was, there was no way to try it without buying it. They offered a money-back guarantee, so I went ahead and paid the $29.99.

Within minutes I had tried it, and it didn't work. (FYI I'm an electrical engineer who used to design PCs; the problem was not "operator error".) Immediately I requested a refund. The response basically said if I really, really wanted a refund, they would give me one. I replied that yes, I did want a refund.

That all happened on January 15. It is now January 31, and I have received no refund. I have initiated a dispute on PayPal and don't know how it will end. 2Checkout certainly has not willingly agreed to refund my money.

Tip for consumers:
Avoid them.

Products used:
Made a purchase from StellarInfo; 2Checkout took my money on their behalf.

Service
Value
Returns
Quality
1/31/21

My experience with StellarInfo has been terrible, and I believe most of the reviews here to be fake.

I had a corrupted photo that meant something to me, and StellarInfo claimed to be able to recover photos like mine with a ". CR2" extension. The catch was, there was no way to try it without buying it. They offered a money-back guarantee, so I went ahead and paid the $29.99.

Within minutes I had tried it, and it didn't work. (FYI I'm an electrical engineer who used to design PCs; the problem was not "operator error".) Immediately I requested a refund. The response basically said if I really, really wanted a refund, they would give me one. I replied that yes, I did want a refund.

That all happened on January 15. It is now January 31, and I have received no refund. I have initiated a dispute on PayPal and don't know how it will end.

I do know that I seriously regret trying StellarInfo's product.

Tip for consumers:
Please don't get suckered like I did. There is no fountain of youth, and there is no way to recover a photo that has actually been seriously corrupted.

Products used:
Stellar Photo Recovery

Service
Value
Shipping
Returns
Quality
1/23/21

First let me say that we are thrilled to have adopted a dog, and happy that it was done via the LCHS. But this question is asking about the experience, and to be honest it wasn't great. I have a Loveland address, but it's roughly an hour to reach your facilities. With nobody answering the phone or emails, there was no way for me to put a hold on the dog we wanted, so we had to just take a chance and drive over. With a wait time - once somebody finally came to the door - of over an hour, that means we'd invested at least 3 hours in what we expected to be a waste of time. And I would add that this was not our first visit to LCHS. A previous visit had been completely for nothing. If you think of each aspect of the process as either having a Deterring effect or an Encouraging one, there's too much Deterrent here. I know COVID will be used as an excuse, but that's exactly what it is. People can find a way to get important things done.

I also think the price tag is awfully steep, in comparison to equivalent facilities elsewhere. We adopted a puppy for $300 in Austin last year. Why is LCHS double? Deterrent!

On a positive note, a lengthy paperwork application would have been an additional Deterrent, and I commend you for not having one; I strongly suggest that you keep it this way if the primary goal is to help put homeless animals into the homes of people who want them.

Tip for consumers:
Be persistent!

Ken Has Earned 18 Votes

Ken S.'s review of Motorola earned a Very Helpful vote

Ken S.'s review of 2Checkout (now Verifone) earned 5 Very Helpful votes

Ken S.'s review of eBay earned a Very Helpful vote

Ken S.'s review of Summit Racing earned a Very Helpful vote

Ken S.'s review of Discover earned a Very Helpful vote

Ken S.'s review of Stellar Info earned a Very Helpful vote

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Ken S.'s review of Steelmaster earned 3 Very Helpful votes

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