kens375

Ken S.

5
Level 5 Contributor
Loveland, CO

Contributor Level

Total Points
9,556

About Me

My approach to shopping is very simple: (1) figure out what I want, then (2) figure out how to get it (from a reputable seller) for the lowest price. Doing lots of research is a normal part of my process. I love finding good businesses and rewarding them with a good review. I also feel that exposing bad businesses helps make the world a better place.

Social

How I Can Help

I'm an electrical engineer, a car guy who's restored several cars, and an ATV rider. I'm an investor in stocks and real estate.

70 Reviews by Ken

5/5/22

Although 4LifetimeLines doesn't have any online reputation to speak of, their lifetime warranty on all of their products (https://4lifetimelines.com/pages/warranty) is outstanding. Every business has to get started sometime; I thought I would give them a chance. Ordered a bunch of copper-nickle line and various fittings. Everything arrived as described. So far, so good...

So what? Well, I ordered a flaring tool on the basis of some pretty big claims. In particular, there was a claim that it could flare stainless steel lines. So I ordered it. I had a regular-steel line to flare, which on the difficulty scale is a bit below stainless. I followed the instructions, even watched videos on how to flare, etc., and for the record I've done a number of successful flares with other tools. Well, the new flaring tool couldn't do it. And I had tried very hard to make it work. So I decided to return it.

The returns page doesn't provide any instructions, but it does list their main number and email address (*******@4lifetimelines.com). So I emailed them. Waited several days, and no response. FInally I filed a dispute via my credit card. Soon after I got a response to my original email. Ended up both trading a few emails and talking to them on the phone, and I have to say they were nice about it. I got the return address and sent the flaring tool back. And then... nothing. Again. They never did issue me a refund, and instead the credit card kept the dispute open for a long time before closing it and telling me to keep the temporary refund they (the credit card company) had given me.

This is a real business. They really did ship me every product that I ordered. The only trouble I had was when I did a return. But what's the value of a lifetime warranty when returns are this difficult?

Tip for consumers:
Do your homework. Google their address. Check out the street view.

4/19/22
Verified purchase

For several years in a row, I have used FreeTax and my wife has used TurboTax, and we don't quit until we come up with the same number. The interesting part is when we sit down and try to figure out our differences. Based on this I can say with certainty that FreeTaxUSA is better (and cheaper).

Having said that, FreeTaxUSA has some issues that I find almost unbelievable. Things like having to enter information from a single K-1 up to three times. And far too many times, if you don't click the little question mark to get more information about something, you'll enter a wrong value. Taking an example from the Colorado deductions page, this sounds very clear: "Enter your total charitable contributions made during 2021:". But it's not. If you clicked the question mark, you'd find out that they really meant "Enter your total charitable contributions made during 2021 AND NOT ALREADY DEDUCTED ON THE FEDERAL FORM:".

Tip for consumers:
Make a habit of clicking the question marks for more information; a lot of times the info there is critical to getting your taxes right.

Products used:
Federal (deluxe) and State (Colorado) tax calculation and e-filing

Value
Quality
sams185
Sam S. – FreeTaxUSA Rep

Hello, Ken! Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your valuable feedback. We are happy to hear you find our software superior, and we sincerely appreciate you bringing these areas for improvement to our attention. I will make sure to pass along your suggestions to our development team.

4/15/22

Wire And Supply was, for us, a great place to get the exact colors of 10-gauge copper automotive wire that we needed to match our wiring harness. We received the wire quickly, got exactly what we expected, and would definitely order from W&S again.

Tip for consumers:
They are legit!

4/12/22
Verified purchase

How can I be the first person to review this incredibly useful site? For the specialized task of adding connector pins to automotive wiring harness connectors, I had been ordering pins from Amazon and eBay. I always had to order way more pins than I needed, and it was expensive. Recently I discovered CustomConnectorKits.com. I was able to order any quantity - even 1 - of the exact pins that I needed, and by spending just $25, shipping was free - plus they shipped my order quickly. They'd get an enthusiastic 5 stars but for one thing; apparently they didn't have one of the pins I ordered, so they refunded the correct amount (good) but didn't communicate (bad) - and later emails about my order continued to show that all parts were coming. It wasn't until I received the package and went though the order line-by-line that I was able to figure out which pin had been omitted.

Tip for consumers:
Check for a discount code.

4/12/22
Verified purchase

It's a good thing Camaro Central is around. Sometimes we need something for our 1980 Camaro restoration that the other guys just don't have - and kudos to CC for having it. And they sometimes will estimate shipping much higher than it actually turns out to be; when that happens, they only charge you actual shipping. So that's the good. The bad is (1) prices that often aren't competitive, and (2) they have always gotten my sales tax wrong (more than 2X what it should be). I have a hard time understanding it; YES sales tax is stupidly complex because of the many jurisdictions, but if I Google "what should my sales tax be", the first two sites give the correct answer, instantly, for free - so it can be done! (Not to mention that all the other Camaro parts places get it right.)

Tip for consumers:
Double-check your sales tax and call them on it when it's wrong.

4/12/22
Verified purchase

I can't believe nobody's reviewed this site before; it's my best discovery in years. I ordered 4 battery cables for a project car that we're completely rewiring. Each cable had the gauge, length (in 6" increments), color (red or black), and terminals (hole size for each end) that I specified. And they're quality copper cables. They shipped 'em out quickly, and when they arrived I confirmed that I got exactly what I had ordered. For all of this, the price was less than what I'd have paid anywhere locally - even at Walmart - for cables of worse quality and a much poorer fit. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Tip for consumers:
Before you go online, know the gauge, length, color, and type/size of terminals that you want.

4/10/22
Verified purchase

I ordered two Holley LFRB135 headlights on 12/25/2021, and my credit card was charged then. As of 3/10/2022, not only had they not shipped, I was told that the parts were "still on special order nationwide", and "and your [sic] on the list due to ship in 2-3 weeks". Then I checked; the headlights were in stock at Holley, Summit Racing, Jegs, and other sellers. So I asked "why 2-3 more weeks?", and the answer was "we can't control that" - which does not answer the question. I cancelled my order and wrote a review here.

Within minutes, my phone started ringing. In the span of 8 minutes, they called me 9 times, seven from *******797, then twice from *******373. The 20-minute "conversation" that happened when I answered was quite remarkable. "Unprofessional" doesn't even come close; it was threatening, profane, and 100% unapologetic. Specifically, the guy said he had my address, that he was going to "put Legal on me", and that bad things were going to happen to me (several times). He also called me an a**h***; in fairness, I called him a p**** after the second time I asked for his name and he still would not identify himself. (It was 15 minutes into the call and I was not a happy camper.) He said they would come after me for "slander" and "defamation". I challenged him - repeatedly - to tell me even one word that I had written that was false, and he had nothing except claiming (inaccurately) that I said it was a scam website. He also said that I was "putting 50 people out of a job". I don't have that kind of power; I share my own experiences - accurately - to help inform others. Period. And I WILL NOT be intimidated out of doing so.

At this point, I have received a full refund, and I thank MBenzGram for that. However, it's not proof of legitimacy, as Mr. I-Won't-Indentify-Myself seemed to think it was.
FACT: Bernie Madoff would cheerfully give you your money at any time - until his Ponzi scheme ended.
FACT: The "God Wants You To Roll" guys would quickly give you a refund if you asked.
FACT: Classic Industries, a legitimate parts website, does not charge you for back-ordered items until they ship.
FACT: ScamAdviser.com gives mbenzgram.com a Trustscore of 36 out of 100.

I do not want to put 50 people out of a job. I do not want to hurt legitimate small businesses. But anybody who had my experience would have to wonder. I can prove everything I have written, even about the call, which I recorded. So, MBenzGram, let's see if you will carry out your threat to go after me legally. You will end up paying your legal fees, my legal fees, and a big bill for harrassing me. Will you also go after the other reviewers who described similar experiences? And ScamAdviser.com? And other similar sites? Will you take on the whole world?

*Information redacted by admin

Tip for consumers:
Do your homework and make up your own mind.

Products used:
Holley LFRB135.

118 Views
3/29/22

I ordered a K74999U-HP Universal Dipstick And Tube ("fits almost all 1998 - up 4L60/65/70E transmissions") for a 1980 Camaro with an LS3 and a 4L70E transmission. What I received was well made, would bolt up the bellhousing perfectly, but unfortunately was much too long for our application. At that moment I didn't know what FitzAll's return policy was, or even if they had one. Well, turns out they do accept returns, and I got the full purchase price back. Shipping (both ways) was my responsibility, and that's not unreasonable. I even talked to them a bit on the phone; nice people!

Tip for consumers:
If buying a dipstick tube, ask about its length and see if you think it will work for your car.

3/23/22
Verified purchase

The Good: Other parts stores mostly seem to have the exact same parts; NAPA often has stuff they don't.

The Bad: Online order pricing. My recent order showed three different prices, depending on whether your believed the email from PayPal, the email from NAPA, or what PayPal showed when the dust had settled. All other businesses get this right, so I don't want to hear the excuses. Also, they often fail to send a "Your NAPA Order is Ready" email, no matter how long you wait. It's happened to me multiple times, so it's a real issue that needs to be fixed.

The Ugly: Sometimes the site is wrong about which parts will and won't fit your car. Attached photos show a tail-light socket they said wouldn't fit fitting perfectly, and they weren't offering any other option.

3/22/22
Verified purchase

I bought CDs from PenFed multiple times, because they offer great rates - sometimes the best in the nation. Some of their processes are a little bit old fashioned, but that's OK. What is NOT OK is secret transfer limits. That's right; they limit transferring YOUR money out; the employees know what the limit is, but are literally not allowed to share the info with customers! I was able to figure out that the secret transfer limit was $30,000 per month, resetting on the 13th of each month. Separately, they have not-secret limits; for me, the limit was $5000 per day. Depending on the amount of your CD, it can take a LONG time to get your money out of PenFed, unless you wire the money out. I would be giving a lower rating, but a helpful employee's good attitude makes me feel that 4 stars is the right score.

Tip for consumers:
Ask what the daily and monthly transfer limits are.

Products used:
3 and 5 year CDs

Service
Value
Quality
139 Views
3/22/22
Verified purchase
• Updated review

I bought CDs from PenFed multiple times, because they offer great rates - sometimes the best in the nation. Some of their processes are a little bit old fashioned, but that's OK. What is NOT OK is secret transfer limits. That's right; they limit transferring YOUR money out; the employees know what the limit is, but are literally not allowed to share the info with customers! I was able to figure out that the secret transfer limit was $30,000 per month, resetting on the 13th of each month. Separately, they have not-secret limits; for me, the limit was $5000 per day. Depending on the amount of your CD, it can take a LONG time to get your money out of PenFed, unless you wire the money out. I would be giving a lower rating, but a helpful employee's good attitude makes me feel that 4 stars is the right score.

Tip for consumers:
Ask them what the daily and monthly transfer-out limits are.

Products used:
3 and 5 year Certificates of Deposit

Service
Value
Quality
My Experience Has Been Good
2/23/22
Verified purchase
• Previous review

I have bought CDs from PenFed multiple times, because they offer great rates - sometimes the best in the nation. Overall my experience has been good. Some of their processes are a little bit old fashioned, but that's OK. I fully expect to continue to be a PenFed customer.

Products used:
3 and 5 year CDs.

Service
Value
Quality
4.1K Views
2/9/22

My wife and I were subscribers for several years. It's reputable and legit. On a "goodness scale", I would put them at 10 out of 10. Here's what impressed me the most: when I went to cancel (for reasons that have nothing to do with Naked Wines), it was SUPER easy, just clicking a spot on their site, and they were like "OK, we'll put your balance back your credit card", which they did. That's money I had already paid them, which you might be able to argue was money spent, but because they are GOOD and HONEST, there was no funny business or resistance at all. If my wife ever gets her pre-Covid taste buds back, we might just re-join.

P.s. Karen Birmingham wines are almost always exceptionally good!

Tip for consumers:
Try Karen Birmingham's wines.

Products used:
I subscribed for several years.

Service
Value
Shipping
Returns
Quality
2/1/22

UC Health's treatment of Leilani Lutali (do your own research) is indefensible, completely unscientific, and probably illegal. This CDC paper - https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/71/wr/mm7104e1.htm#contribAff - is all the evidence anyone should need, though there is no lack of confirmation from any number of other studies. Since UC Health has shown that they may abandon you to die when you need them the most, we have changed insurers, and I would encourage anyone to do the same.

Tip for consumers:
Research how UC Health treated Leilani Lutali.

1/28/22

ATI is a name I have known for decades, and I'm sure they please some of their customers some of the time. However, this is about my experience with their customer service. I needed a transmission controller for my 4L70E transmission. The 4L70E has different "flavors" that use different electrical connectors. So I wrote ATI, told them exactly which transmission I had, and asked which of their controllers would work for me, if any. This was the response: "Our references show that is [sic] is compatible with the 4L70E." Didn't say which of their controllers, and didn't inspire any confidence. Very poor.

Tip for consumers:
Ask their customer service a question or two BEFORE you buy, to see what kind of support you'll get AFTER you buy.

Products used:
I didn't.

Service
272 Views
1/27/22
Verified purchase

The Alpine CD player in my 1997 Viper refused to eject CDs anymore. Per instructions from Alpine, I turned to United Radio Service for a fix. (United Radio had me send it to 5705 Enterprise Parkway.) They tried hard to reproduce the problem, even letting it spend considerable time in a temperature chamber. Ultimately they were not able to find anything they could fix, but for effort, and for not charging me anything, I find this to be a commendable business.

Tip for consumers:
Call them for shipping instructions.

Products used:
Sent them my Alpine car stereo for repair.

1/26/22
Verified purchase

I have called Holley 3 or 4 times now, enough to form an opinion about their tech support folks. It's very good. Every time I have called, they have been friendly, helpful, and a pleasure to talk to. And as for their products, the Mid-Mount Accessory System that I bought was, by far, the best solution for my LS3 engine swap. Besides having the best design, it came with remarkably good instructions, and was as easy to install as I could have hoped. The more I deal with Holley, the more I like them.

Tip for consumers:
You might give their tech support folks a call before making a purchase. See what the experience is.

1/26/22

I wanted to give Edelbrock some of my money - they sell transmission controllers. I wrote to them and asked if they had a controller that worked for my transmission, and provided details. The first response was, basically, "email this other department within Edelbrock". Why couldn't they forward my request? Anyway, I emailed the other guys, and got this response:

TC #36212
It supports GM 4L60E, 4L70E, 4L75E, (up to 2010).

The response didn't answer my question. I'm not even sure if they meant that their controller would work or that it wouldn't. It did help me make a decision though!

Tip for consumers:
Before you buy, try floating a question to their tech folks. See what the quality of the response is.

1/21/22

I pre-ordered Alex Berenson's "Pandemia". At the time, Thrift Books was pricing it lower than Amazon, which was refreshing. I noticed that the book was released and people were discussing it for at least a week before I got my copy. There's no way for me to know if it's Thrift Books dragging their feet, or their supplier.

Tip for consumers:
Be patient!

Products used:
Pandemia, by Alex Berenson

Service
Value
Shipping
Quality
1/15/22

Their "Master Force Bio-Magnetic Therapy System" is classic pseudo-science, which means "sounds like science but is actually anything but". A local salesman claimed that the American Medical Association says it works. Not only could I not find any evidence that that's true, I found the opposite - every study I found concluded that magnets do nothing, except for a placebo effect. I encourage you to research it for yourself, think critically, and demand evidence.

Tip for consumers:
Check out the claims on this page: https://www.masterspas.com/hot-tub-features/bio-magnetic-therapy.

Then go see if there's any credible, scientific evidence to support those claims. Testimonials are not scientific evidence; they often are the result of the placebo effect.

1/7/22
Verified purchase

I want to publicly express my appreciation to the NYS Department Of Financial Services for their help with Banco Popular (a. K. a. Popular Bank). Banco Popular had already thumbed their noses at a complaint filed with the federal CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), but the complaint I filed with the NYSDFS got results - the Banco suddenly had a change of heart!

The reason I'm giving 4 instead of 5 stars is because the NYSDFS didn't confirm with me that the problem was resolved; they just closed the case after hearing the bank's response. It's better to "close the loop" and confirm with the original complainant that the problem was actually resolved.

Tip for consumers:
If you have a problem with a bank, this is a good place to get help.

Products used:
Help with an unfair business practice.

Ken Has Earned 36 Votes

Ken S.'s review of Discover earned a Well Said vote

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ken S.'s review of Summit Racing earned 4 Very Helpful votes

Ken S.'s review of Pentagon Federal Credit Union earned a Very Helpful vote

Ken S.'s review of Mbenzgram earned 6 Very Helpful votes

Ken hasn’t received any thanks yous.

Ken Has 1 Fan

earlr65
Earl R.
1 Review
1 Vote

Ken isn’t following anybody yet.

Empty.

Similar Reviewers on Sitejabber

ms1387
M S. reviewed FreeTaxUSA
5/9/22

Just got a bill for $700 more than I paid, IRS says due to error in filing. Always used turbo tax...

eleanorp87
5/3/22

T use this site. I was supposed to get $141 in federal return. I got $69. Any they said call irs...