kens375

Ken S.

5
Level 5 Contributor
Loveland, CO

Contributor Level

Total Points
6,983

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.

52 Reviews by Ken

Masterspas.com
13 Views
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.

12/24/21

Having decided to put a little money in cryptocurrency, I took advantage of a special incentive offer Gemini was making and signed up. On the first day, I had a question about how to fund my account. It took them several days to answer. The gist of the reply was that I could only fund the account via wire transfer - not by ACH. Well, by then it was too late to qualify for the incentive. I raised this with their customer support, and without argument, they agreed. I got the incentive, but more importantly, I got proof that Gemini is a good company that does the right thing.

Tip for consumers:
When you first fund your account, you can only do so by wire transfer.

Service
Value
4.1K Views
12/24/21

THANK YOU to everyone before me who posted an honest review of your negative experience with CARiD. I didn't even have to finalize my order to have one. After reading reviews, I decided to find out of CARiD really had the 5 Holley Mid-Mount Accessory Drive Systems they claimed to have in stock. So I started a chat session and asked for confirmation. The answer was "We have 2 pcs in stock." Then I asked "you have it in your (CARiD) stock, and it will actually ship today if I order soon?" The answer was "We ship this from the manufacturer." So the first answer was a lie - CARiD *did not* have 2 pcs in stock. And neither did Holley - I checked.

Tip for consumers:
Don't trust the "in stock" number that they show. At the very least, have a chat or call and confirm.

Service
caridc
Carid C. – CARiD Rep

Dear Ken,

Thank you for your feedback!

We are extremely sorry to know about the negative experience you had.

In effort to provide our valued clients with the most up-to-date and accurate information, CARiD is continuously implementing real-time updates to our online superstore. We work directly with the manufacturers and we do understand that due to the immediate nature of some changes - aligning the databases might take some time. Still, we are constantly working on improving our listing and fixing all inaccuracies if found.

We would appreciate an opportunity to look deeper into the issue and facilitate the resolution process for you. CARiD team is doing its best in order to provide each and every client with top-notch customer service during these challenging times for our country and the whole world.

Please, email me directly at mila.pa@carid.com with your order details and I will assist you further as well as offer compensation for the inconveniences caused.

Looking forward to your response!

Sincerely,
Consumer Relations Department at CARiD.com.

11/30/21
Verified purchase

Publicly sharing what I wrote in response to their survey questions:

I was very surprised to find out how hard it was to assemble the right collection of Flaming River parts to end up with a collapsible steering column for a 1966 Mustang. It's literally impossible to do without calling your tech support. Imagine my surprise when Brett (x129) told me NOT to order the '65-'66 steering column FR2000MU1LC and to order the '67-'70 column FR2000MU2LC instead. And that was only the beginning of a LONG conversation, with both of us trying to figure it out.

Even with a parts list in hand (thanks to Brett), ordering was no picnic. For starters, the recommended steering column FR2000MU2LC cannot be ordered on your site (though the more-expensive powder-coated version can). I ended up ordering about half the stuff from Summit and about half directly from you. That's absurd. When I placed the order on your site, on the final step, I got an error screen instead of "order complete". Not good.

Tip for consumers:
Do your own homework - I pointed out some issues with their sales suggestions, and they changed what they were recommending!

Service
Value
120 Views
11/9/21
Verified purchase

... two, actually. Because 2% cash back, unlimited, on all purchases, with no categories to keep track of and no real hoops to jump through, is as good a deal as you will find anywhere. The only thing I would ding them on is that they haven't always taken my side in disputes with merchants. I VERY rarely have a dispute with a merchant, but when I do, it's legit, and I expect my credit card company to at lest be neutral and side with who's right.

Tip for consumers:
You can get multiple cards, and use one only for your recurring monthly bills. It saves you a lot of trouble when your credit card number gets stolen and you have to get a new card.

Products used:
2% cash-back credit card.

CDW
1.8K 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.

583 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.

353 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

I had a 5-year CD with Popular Direct, maturity date 9-13-2021. I received no notification that it was maturing. Popular automatically renewed it for another 5 years, at about half of the previous interest rate. As soon as I caught this - a result of filling out the FAFSA (this money will soon be needed to pay for my kid's college) - I contacted Popular in writing to request the cancellation of the CD. They said they would allow withdrawal, but with a nearly $880(!) penalty. Today I called Popular to see if I could reason with them; the only new information to emerge was a claim that Popular mailed me notification in August 2021. I received no such notification. Popular again said that to withdraw the funds, the penalty would be nearly $880. This may be legal; it may be embedded in the fine print somewhere that the CD automatically renews. But to not notify me that it's renewing, to go silent and just hope that people forget to withdraw their money, and to renew the CD for 5 years at half of the previous rate, again with no notification? That's obviously wrong.

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

Products used:
5-year Certificate Of Deposit.

Service
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

Ken Has Earned 23 Votes

Ken S.'s review of Discover earned 2 Very Helpful votes

Ken S.'s review of Marriott earned 3 Very Helpful 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 Stellar Info earned a Very Helpful vote

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

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

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

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

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

samt599
Sam T. reviewed CARiD
1/18/22

I have never put in a review of any kind before. I think they are kind of meaningless. However, I...

ninah258
Nina H. reviewed CARiD
1/17/22

Was called by delivery late Friday afternoon, but didn't have service and didn't hear VM till...