TravelTech: Renewed My GolfLogix Subscription, THEN They Implemented A New, Substandard Version … I’m Outta Here!


GolfLogix Application For iPhone

Suite 100A
15685 N. Greenway-Hayden Loop
Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
Phone: 877-977-0162
Fax: 480-287-8749
Email: info@golflogix.com
Price: $$$$
I used to love my GolfLogix app, then they charged my credit card $20, shortly thereafter implementing a new version that absolutely sucks!

I am canceling my “Champion Membership” after they ruined the app with their “new” version. I wrote to them, telling them about my disappointment: 

“Your new interface sucks. The font is so small I can barely see it and I can’t seem to bypass the club (yardage) tracking option, making me scroll through the numbers (instead of simply entering yardage) on the old version. Who in their infinite wisdom implemented this piece of #%$@? Bring back the old interface or I’m out of here!

To which they replied: 

“Dear Valued Member, Thank you for your inquiry. Unfortunately that feature was not included in the new streamlined GolfLogix App. We working to return that feature. Again we apologize for any inconvenience and hope you enjoy the New GolfLogix App.”

They did not address my concerns, sending me a “boilerplate” response with misspelled words. They don’t care, implementing a new version before it was fully functional, so I’m moving on and canceling my subscription.

CombatCritic Gives GolfLogix 2 Bombs Out Of 10 … More Bombs Are Better!
Two Bombs Equates To

Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp – Elite ’14/’15/’16

Tabelog – Official Judge (Bronze)

Zomato – #1 Ranked Foodie

View my food journey on Zomato!



… And Don’t Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube


Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!


Title: TravelTech: Renewed My GolfLogix Subscription, THEN They Implemented A New, Substandard Version … I’m Outta Here!

Key Words: GolfLogix, golf, logix, logic, logics, app, application, iPhone, iStore, iTunes, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, product, service, review, Yelp, Zomato

Translation for Civilians: Tango-Uniform =  “Tits Up” 


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South Korean Company + Chinese Product + Filipino Tech Support = Huge Waste Of My Time And Money


Electronics Review: Samsung SL-M2885FW/XAA Wireless Monochrome Printer with Scanner, Copier and Fax

Samsung Electronics America 
Corporate Office
Address: 3351 Michelson Dr, Irvine, CA 92612
Phone: (800) 726-7864
I usually do not post non-travel related reviews on this blog, – although if the printer worked, I could theoretically print at home from anywhere in the World – but I had to let you know about this lousy product right away.

I will not waste much time on this review as Samsung has already wasted far too much of my time with their poor printer software and incompetent off-shore, outsources technical support (which takes jobs from Americans of course, but that is another story),

I purchased a Samsung SL-M2885FW/XAA Wireless Monochrome Printer with Scanner, Copier and Fax on Amazon.com on Thursday, March 17, 2016 and even though it was supposed to arrive in 10 days, USPS delivered it on Sunday, March 20th. Great start, right? Well, it was all downhill from there!


I spent over 6 hours trying to install the printer software, wasting an entire evening and another afternoon, but after over an hour on the phone with Samsung Tech Support and after trying every possible solution myself, their representative in the Philippines told me they could not help me, making an excuse that it was my router:

“Our printer does not operate on 2.5 GHz, only 2.4 GHz. You have to contact your Internet provider. There is nothing more I can do.”

I explained that my Internet provider only provides the modem, that the router is mine, and that it is in-fact operating at 2.4 GHz, but she insisted that I must contact my Internet provider. She obviously did not have a clue, so I told her I would return the printer to Amazon.com, to which she replied, “that is certainly an option”. Wrong answer!

Samsung and The Samsung SL-M2885FW/XAA Wireless Monochrome Printer with Scanner, Copier and Fax Get 1 Bomb Out Of 10 And A Spot On CombatCritic’s Wall Of Shame … More Bombs Are Better!


One Bomb Equates To:

Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp – Elite ’14/’15/’16

TripAdvisor – Top Contributor

Tabelog – Official Judge (Bronze)

Zomato – #1 Ranked Foodie

View my food journey on Zomato!



… And Don’t Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube


Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!


Title: Japanese Company + Chinese Product + Filipino Tech Support = A Huge Waste Of My Time And Money

Key Words: Samsung, printer, all-in-one, scanner, fax, laser, CombatCritic, TravelValue, value, product, review, Yelp, Amazon.com, Samsung.com, wall of shame, shame, technical, support, China, Korea

Translation for Civilians: FUBAR = “Fucked Up Beyond All Repair”

TravelTech: The Misfit Flash Is A "Flash" In The Pan, Don’t Waste Your Money


Misfit Flash 
Fitness Monitor
Sold by Amazon.com
$25.97 Plus Tax

Being a gym rat, avid golfer and frequent traveler, fitness is important even while on the road. With aerobic machines rarely available while on vacation, a fitness monitor provides a quick and easy way to ensure I get enough exercise, at a glance, so I bought the Misfit Flash through Amazon.com.


When the Flash synced with the Misfit app, it seemed to work well enough. The “points” (steps) were sometimes off (low) and sleep stopped tracking if I awoke after 5am, even if you go back to sleep, but for $30 it was acceptable until it stopped syncing altogether. The instructions that came with the Flash were totally inadequate and their website provides little, if any, technical information or support (for example, they do not bother telling you how to change the battery).

Even though I had the Flash for a little over 30 days, 32 to be exact, Amazon at first refused to allow me to return it. The device worked OK in the beginning, but recently only synced intermittently with the Misfit app. I had bought one for my wife a few days after getting mine (because it seemed to work OK at first), but her’s did not sync for weeks and then would not even pair with the Misfit app via Bluetooth. 

I contacted Misfit on numerous occasions (February 4th, 6th, 27th, 28th and March 2nd to be exact) about a fix, but they either refused to respond or sent me the same lame cut and paste instructions that are available on their website. They dragged their feet long enough that I was 2 days out of warranty by the time I got around to contacting Amazon about a return. Fortunately, my wife’s Flash, also bought through Amazon, was within the 30-day return policy, but I thought that I was apparently out of luck.

I ended up returning my Flash in the same box I was returning my wife’s in, even if I would not receive a refund, contacting Amazon (not an easy thing to do by the way) and letting them know of my dismay. Low and behold, I received an email the very next day telling me that they were processing a refund for my former Flash in addition to my wife’s. Maybe their motto, “We’re Building Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company”, is true after all! 

The Misfit Flash is junk and Misfit obviously doesn’t care about their customers, so do not waste your money.

CombatCritic Gives the Misfit Flash (and Amazon.com’s published return policy) 1 Bomb Out Of 10 and a spot on my Wall of Shame … More Bombs Are Better!

One Bomb Equates To:

Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp – Elite ’14/’15/’16

TripAdvisor – Top Contributor

Tabelog – Official Judge (Bronze)

Zomato – #1 Ranked Foodie

View my food journey on Zomato!



… And Don’t Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube


Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!


Title: TravelTech: The Misfit Flash Is A “Flash” In The Pan, Don’t Waste Your Money

Key Words: Misfit Flash, Misfit, flash, wearable, activity, tracker, monitor, fitness, sleep, Amazon, Amazon.com, technology, tech, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, product, review, Yelp

Translation for Civilians: FUBAR = “Fucked Up Beyond All Repair”

Lawrence, Kansas: Burger Princess … Home of the "Whimper"


Burger King
1107 W. 6th Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Phone: (785) 371-3184
Website: bk.com
What is the world coming to? This review will be short and not so sweet.


Question: What’s small, flat, cold and cost $16?

Answer: #1 and #2 Burger King Value Meals
I remember when Whoppers were “whoppers”, reasonably priced and cooked to order. Now they “nuke” the meat and a Whopper is more like a “Whimper”, half the size of what you used to get. The value meal fries should be the baby’s menu and a slice of American cheese is an extra 80 cents.
Maybe they should change the name to Burger Princess to reflect their portion sizes … never again!

CombatCritic Gives Burger King 2 Bombs Out of 10 … More Bombs Are Better!

Two Bombs Equates To

Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp – Elite ’14/’15/’16

TripAdvisor – Top Contributor

Tabelog – Official Judge (Bronze)

Zomato – #1 Ranked Foodie

View my food journey on Zomato!



… And Don’t Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube


Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!

Title: Burger Princess … Home of the Whimper!

Key Words: Burger King, burger, king, whopper, home of the whopper, bk.com, fries, Coke, Lawrence, Kansas, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, product, restaurant, menu review, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Zomato

Translation for Civilians: Tango-Uniform = “Tits Up” 

TravelTech: This Pill Probably Won’t Cure Your Putting Woes


The Pill Golf Single Shot Training Aid
by The Pill Golf
Available on Amazon.com
Although small and lightweight enough to easily carry while traveling, $13+ for one “ball” seems a bit excessive. It is likely made in China and probably costs less than $1.00 to manufacture, so a 1300% mark-up is pushing it based on what you get. 
Under the best conditions (a flat putting or hitting surface), the product’s design does not readily indicate where you are aiming, requiring frequent repositioning if you are aiming at a specific spot such as a golf hole. If it does what they claim it does, it will indicate whether or not you applied a square clubface to the ball at impact, but if you plan on aiming at a hole on a putting green with any break whatsoever, good luck!
I find the product useful for ensuring that the clubface is square at impact, but the lack of paper instructions (there are training videos on their website, thepillgolf, but they are commercials disguised as aids) and excessive markup make it a poor value. In the $3.95 to $5.95 range, I would rate it in the 8-10 “Bomb” range (4-5 Stars), but at nearly $13 for just one …
CombatCritic Gives The Pill Golf Single Shot Training Aid 5 Bombs Out Of 10 (Rounded Up To “3 Stars”)


Five Bombs Equates To:

Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp – Elite ’14/’15/’16

TripAdvisor – Top Contributor

Tabelog – Official Judge (Bronze)

Zomato – #1 Ranked Foodie

View my food journey on Zomato!



… And Don’t Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube


Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!



Title:  TravelTech: This Pill Probably Won’t Cure Your Putting Woes

Key Words: The Pill, Golf, Shot, Training, Aid, Pill, Golf, Surlyn, ball, putt, chip, shot, club, Amazon.com, amazon, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, product, review

Translation for Civilians: Charlie-Mike = “Continue Mission”

See "The Miracle at Medjugorje" As It Happens … 533,000 Views So Far


The MOST WATCHED video on YouTube (533,000+ views and counting) documenting the Miracle at Medjugorje: 

Medjugorje, along with Lourdes in France and Fatima in Portugal, is one of the three major Catholic pilgrimage sites where miracles have been reported with apparitions of the Virgin Mary appearing to locals over the years.

Lourdes, France
See the sacred liquid miraculously appear from the Medjugorje Christ statue as devoted followers soak the liquid into handkerchiefs to take home and heal afflicted loved ones.

Many believe, some do not … decide for yourself after watching “The Miracle at Medjugorje”.


Read Other Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp – Elite ’14/’15/’16

TripAdvisor – Top Contributor

Tabelog – Official Judge (Bronze)

Zomato – #1 Ranked Foodie

View my food journey on Zomato!



… And Don’t Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube


Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!


Title: See “The Miracle at Medjugorje” As It Happens … 533,000 Views So Far

Key Words: Miracle at Medjugorje, miracle, Medjugorje, Catholic, church, apparition, Virgin Mary, virgin, Mary, Fatima, Lourdes, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, product, restaurant, menu review, Yelp, TripAdvisor

TravelTech: Faulty Products And Poor Customer Service … SimpliSafe Or Simpli Crap?


SimpliSafe, Inc.
294 Washington Street, Floor 9
Boston, MA 02108
Phone: (888) 957-4675
Website: SimpliSafe.com

If you are like me, an avid traveler that may be gone for long periods of time, a good, dependable, affordable home security system you can operate from anywhere in the world seems to good to be true. Well, in SimpliSafe’s case, it is too good to be true, so do not believe their misleading advertisements or celebrity endorsements from the likes of Kim Komando and Dave Ramsey. Here is my recent experience with SimpliSafe …

Sensors that do not work or emit false alarms, slow response to middle-of-the-night (false) alarms, and poor or no response to customer concerns and questions are just a few of the reasons we are cancelling our SimpliSafe monitoring and requesting a full refund. Based on SimpiSafe’s history of poor customer service, I expect to be ignored or hassled every step of the way,

I bought the system after hearing rave reviews about SimpliSafe on The Kim Komando Show and The Dave Ramsey Show, two radio celebrities that I thought were credible and honest. The reasons we committed to spending $400+ for a system and $300 a year on monitoring were:

1) Kim Komando’s/Dave Ramsey’s recommendations2) No contracts2) 100% wireless, cellular system3) Easy to set-up4) Mobile (cell phone) control and alerts5) Power outage protection6) Portability7) Pet friendly8) Not One, But Three Risk–Free Guarantees:– 60-Day Money Back Guarantee– Three Year Product Warranty– 100% Satisfaction Guarantee


customer-support@simplisafe.com
1-888-957-4675
Purchase Information:
E-mail Address:
Billing Address:
LAWRENCE, KS 66044
Shipping Address:
LAWRENCE, KS 66044
Order Total: $403.52
Order Summary:
Order Confirmation #: WP9XXXXX
Order Subtotal:  $448.36
10% Off Your System: -$44.84
——
Total for this Order:  $403.52

Order details: 

1 x 24/7 Professional Alarm Monitoring (SimpliSafe2) – $24.99
Model: SSEDSM2

  • Activation code: Y5KW-KETU
  • Service Plan: 24/7 Interactive Alarm Monitoring + Alerts
1 x Refurbished Security System: 18 Components – $423.37
Model: SSCS1-R

  • Base Station: 1
  • Wireless Keypad: 1
  • Keychain Remotes: 2
  • Motion Sensors: 3
  • Entry Sensors: 6
  • Panic Buttons: 1
  • Auxiliary Sirens: 1
  • Window Decals: 2
  • Water Sensors: 1
  • Smoke Detectors: 1
  • Freeze Sensors: 1

Burglar Alarm Monitoring Permit Information!

Instructions:  Please check with your local authorities to verify whether or not an alarm permit is required. It is the responsibility of the subscriber to obtain and maintain a valid alarm permit, if required by your local jurisdiction. Failure to do so can result in no police response and/or monetary fines. If there is, or you need some help, we’d love it if you could give us a call at 888 957 4675 to let us know!

Fire Alarm Monitoring Permit Information!

Instructions:  Please check with your local authorities to verify whether or not an alarm permit is required. It is the responsibility of the subscriber to obtain and maintain a valid alarm permit, if required by your local jurisdiction. Failure to do so can result in no police response and/or monetary fines. If there is, or you need some help, we’d love it if you could give us a call at 888 957 4675 to let us know!
The system worked OK for a less than two weeks, then we started having false alarms on our motion sensors in the middle of the night, waking us to the shrill sound of the alarm and not knowing if an intruder was in our home. This happened on four occasions and response times from the monitoring center varied from 30 seconds to over four (4) minutes.

A lot can happen in four minutes during a home invasion and we found SimpliSafe’s alarm monitoring center’s response times to be sporadic. In the four minutes it took for an operator to call us after one middle-of-the-night false alarm (fortunately), intruders could have rushed upstairs, kicked in our bedroom door, robbed us at gunpoint, sexually assaulted my wife, shot us in the head, and been on their way … all before SimplisSafe called us to see if we even needed them to call the police! It would have been much easier and safer to Simpli pick up the phone and call 911 ourselves, so why do we need to pay $24.99 per month for “monitoring”? I asked the young lady on the phone why it took so long to call and she said that there were “too many calls for the number of people working”, a sad excuse if it were in fact a home invasion.

Their customer service call center is only open between 8am and 5pm, but if you need help, forget contacting SimpliSafe via email because they are nearly completely unresponsive. When I was finally able to talk to a customer service representative, they had me reduce the sensitivity of the motion sensors because the forced air heat was apparently setting them off (we have no pets or ghosts in our home). “The heater is setting them off?”, I asked, something we had never heard of or experienced having owned several alarm systems from reputable companies (ADT, Guardian, etc) over the years. It is not much fun being awoken from a deep sleep, four times over a period of several weeks no less, because of a motion sensor that cannot tell the difference between an intruder and forced air heat. I wonder what kind of affect pets would have on SimpliSafe’s “Pet-Friendly Motion Detector” that “doesn’t detect small pets”?

Since we installed the system and activated it on September 17th, 2015, we have had five false alarms and eight sensor errors (cut and pasted directly from our SimpliSafe “Event Log”:

09/18/2015 5:13am Alarm: Motion Sensor “Living Room (Front)” 

09/20/2015 2:10am Alarm: Motion Sensor “Living Room (Back)” 

10/10/2015 7:28am Error: Panic Button “Bedroom Panic” 

10/12/2015 12:28pm Error: Panic Button “Bedroom Panic” 

10/20/2015 3:27pm Error: Entry Sensor “Elisa Room Window” 

10/29/2015 12:19am Alarm: Motion Sensor “Kitchen” 

12/13/2015 3:42am Alarm: Water Sensor “Basement” 

12/31/2015 5:32am Alarm: Motion Sensor “Living Room (Back)” 

01/09/2016 1:19pm Error: Flood Sensor “Basement” 

01/15/2016 2:19pm Error: Flood Sensor “Basement Water Sensor” 

01/19/2016 7:18am Error: Flood Sensor “Basement Water Sensor” 

01/28/2016 7:18pm Error: Flood Sensor “Basement Water Sensor” 

01/30/2016 8:17pm Error: Flood Sensor “Basement Water Sensor”

They sent a replacement water sensor on December 18th, 2015 after the original one failed (see above), but it was like pulling teeth to get them to respond or cooperate. We had several back and forth emails asking me if the “sensors were in contact with water” (obviously not or I would not have been complaining) or after admitting that the sensor was bad, I was asked for our “delivery address” (“the same address as the monitoring we pay for that is in your system”, I responded). C’mon folks, use your brains!

They sent the replacement water sensor via snail mail and I received it on January 8th, 2016. One day later, the “new” sensor began to “error” and became unresponsive. It seemed to resolve itself after a couple hours, so I let it go, but repeated errors led me to contact customer service via email again on January 28th, 2016. 

“This is the 3rd time the “new” sensor (replacement for the original that was sending false alarms) that you sent us has had problems “not responding”. Here’s the message I just received from the system: 

no-reply@simplisafe.com / no subject / Sensor error: Flood Sensor 13C2Y “Basement Water Sensor”  is not responding at 1104 New York Street on 1-28-16 at 7:18pm 

What’s the problem now? This is getting ridiculous. How can our home and basement be protected if your sensors don’t work?

Please let me know what SimpliSafe is going to do about it.

Thanks”

It was ignored, so I sent another email on January 30th, 2016:

“I’m tired of false alarms, equipment that doesn’t work, and lack of professionalism/responses from customer/tech support. Delays in contacting or being contacted by emergency dispatch cause great concern in event of a “real” emergency. Unless there is an immediate response and our concerns addressed, I would like to cancel our monitoring and get a refund for your faulty equipment.

Thank you.”

Rather than addressing the problem or our concerns, I received the following unprofessional response the same day:

“From: customer-support@simplisafe.com Date: January 30, 2016 at 8:50:51 AM CST

 Subject: I’m tired of false alarms …

Hello,

We apologize for the inconvenience that you are experiencing. Please understand we have many customers that need our assistance. Also, if you would like to cancel your subscription you’d need to call in to us. We can not go through with such an action with out your direct consent on the telephone. Thank you. 

If you have any other questions, please let us know.

Best,

Ishaya”

I assumed that someone would get back to me, but after hearing nothing more by February 1st, 2016, I sent the following email:

“Yes, I have questions. Read the email I sent to Customer Support on 1/28 highlighted in yellow below.

As far as your company’s advertising is concerned … Your company makes a lot of great claims about your products, customer service, and “guarantees”, but you don’t even respond to customer concerns. Our water sensor has been malfunctioning for over two weeks … 

This is the replacement sensor you sent us after the original failed (see your Dec 17, 2015 email). Why don’t you respond to our concerns? You are not doing your best as stated in your 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE.

If I am not contacted and this issue resolved NOT LATER THAN Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016, I am cancelling our monitoring and will request a full refund. We have had far too many problems with your “RISK FREE”, “SATISFACTION GUARANTEED” products in the short time we have been customers.

Thank you.”

It is now Thursday, February 4th, 2016 and I have not been contacted by SimpliSafe, so I am following through with my promise … I am cancelling our monitoring and SimpliSafe is losing a customer. I am also contacting the Massachusetts Attorney General and the Eastern Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont Better Business Bureau (where SimplisSafe has 30 complaints on-file) to file complaints. Kim Komando and Dave Ramsey will also be contacted to let them know what I think of their SimpliSafe (endorsements) recommendations.

You can read my reviews of SimpliSafe on my blog: http://www.CombatCritic.com, Yelp, and the Eastern Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont Better Business Bureau website.

UPDATE: After filing complaints with the Greater Boston BBB and Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, representatives from SimpliSafe finally contacted me with a solution. I was sent a replacement water sensor post haste and it, being the third such sensor we have tried, seems to be working so far. They also threw in 2 months ($49.98) of free monitoring for our troubles. 

Although better than nothing, this company has problems that need to be addressed before a life is lost due to their equipment malfunctions, poor customer service response, and delayed emergency center 911 support due to “lack of personnel”.

CombatCritic Gives SimpliSafe 1 Bomb Out Of 10 and a spot on my ” WALL OF SHAME”
One Bomb Equates To:

Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp – Elite ’14/’15/’16

TripAdvisor – Top Contributor

Tabelog – Official Judge (Bronze)

Zomato – #1 Ranked Foodie

View my food journey on Zomato!



… And Don’t Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube


Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!


Title: TravelTech: Faulty Products And Poor Customer Service … SimpliSafe Or Simpli Crap?

Key Words: SimpliSafe. simpli, safe, simply, alarm, system, home, security, protection, Dave Ramsey, Kim Komando, Boston, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, product, review, Yelp, http://www.komando.com, http://www.daveramsey.com

Translation for Civilians: FUBAR = “Fucked Up Beyond All Repair”

TravelTech: Overpriced + Poor Design + No Instructions = Not A Great Value


Golf Putting Alignment Mirror Training Aid – Practice Your Putting Alignment Tool
by B&T Golf
Available on Amazon.com


Although small and lightweight enough to easily carry while traveling, $29+ for this product seems excessive. It is likely made in China and probably costs less than $5 to manufacture, so a 600% mark-up is pushing it based on its somewhat flimsy and flawed product. 


A reflective surface with red and black lines (and logo) mounted on a very thin plastic base, it comes with a protective cover but no instructions. There are four holes in the rear which I assume are used to anchor it on the green with tees and/or limit your backstroke based on distance required for a putt … I assume … and you know what happens when you “ASSUME”: you make an ASS of U and ME. The holes are too big for golf tees, so even with two tees anchoring the mirror it moves if touched (nearly impossible based on its purpose), requiring frequent repositioning if you are aiming at a golf hole.


I find the product useful for alignment and ensuring that eyes are positioned over the ball, but the design flaws, lack of instructions (paper or web-based – there is no B&T Golf Products website that I could find), and excessive markup make it a poor value. In the $9.95 to $12.95 range, I would rate it in the 8-10 “Bomb” range (4-5 Stars), but at nearly $30 …

CombatCritic Gives The B&T Putting Alignment Mirror 5 Bombs Out Of 10 (Rounded Up To “3 Stars”)


Five Bombs Equates To:

Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp – Elite ’14/’15/’16

TripAdvisor – Top Contributor

Tabelog – Official Judge (Bronze)

Zomato – #1 Ranked Foodie

View my food journey on Zomato!



… And Don’t Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube


Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!

Title:  TravelTech: Overpriced + Poor Design + No Instructions = Not A Great Value

Key Words: Golf Putting Alignment Mirror, mirror, training, aid, practice, putting, alignment, tool, B&T Golf, B&T, golf, Amazon.com, amazon, China, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, product, review

Translation for Civilians: Charlie-Mike = “Continue Mission”

Lawrence, Kansas: Price Increases And Poor Service (Literally) Left A Bad Taste In Our Mouths


Zen Zero
811 Massachusetts Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Phone: (785) 832-0001
Website: zen-zero.com
Prices: $$$$

Unfortunately, Zen Zero is owned by the same group that poorly manages Genovese (and La Parilla), a very sad excuse for an Italian restaurant a couple blocks down the street on Massachusetts. I hesitate to spend our money at Zen Zero only because of the unpleasant experiences we have had at Genovese, but there are not many options when it comes to decent, reasonably priced restaurants in Lawrence, so we bit my tongues and returned after a long layoff.

Zen Zero’s decor is modern, yet cozy with hints of Asian influence in select pieces of art on the walls, warm Earth-tone colors and an open kitchen emitting exotic sounds, smells, and flames as chefs prepare meals in view of customers. As you can see from the photo below, the lighting is much brighter than I remember, ruining the ambience we used to enjoy beside hurting my light sensitive eyes.

Our server arrived with a customary basket of Asian rice chips, light and crunchy, which are tasty but an accompanying sauce to dip in would have been nice, but seemed as though she did not seem overly eager to be there or serve us.

Sunday night used to be Zen Zero night in our house where draught beer is on special for $3.00 a (American) pint. They do not have a huge selection of drafts, a pale ale, a wheat, and a seasonal (e.g. Oktoberfest, Irish Red). I ordered the Irish Red (normally $4.50), two total over the entire meal. My wife had water.

The Fried Pork Momos (now $4.99) come with four dumplings and two sauces, a mildly spicy red tomato chutney and an almost white sauce that reminded me of very well-blended hummus. The Fried Chicken Spring Rolls (now $4.29) come with a sweet and spicy sauce infused with chili peppers. They were savory and crunchy, containing ground, seasoned chicken and, beside the small portion, they were also good. But having lived in McLeod Ganj, India for two months last year, a Tibetan colony and home of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, I ate Tibetan food three times a day, every day. An order of momos there consists of eight, double the number at Zen Zero, they are much better, and only cost $2.50, one-quarter the price at Zen Zero.

Meeting with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama – McLeod Ganj, India (December 8, 2014)

My wife ordered a vegetarian dish, Phad Phak Ruam Mitr ($7.99), a mixed vegetable stir-fry with broccoli, onions, garlic, carrots, bell peppers, snow peas, Napa cabbage, scallions, baby corn and tofu and served with Jasmine rice. It was light and not too spicy for an Italian not used to eating hot and spicy foods (penne arrabiata is as hot as it gets in Italian cuisine). The vegetables were fresh and crisp, and the sauce light yet complex enough to satiate the palate, but it left a strange aftertaste unlike when she has had it in the past. She could barely eat it and the server did not bother asking how our meal was or if there was a problem with the dish, bringing a to-go container and making us box it up ourselves.

I love curry and Zen Zero’s Massaman curry (now $8.29, $10.28 with beef), a coconut curry from Southern Thailand with potatoes peanuts (no pork option), was as good a I remember. Having ordered my curry with the customary beef (an extra $2.99), the curry was rich and well seasoned. A thick red curry, Massaman comes with tofu or meat (other than pork – $1.99 to $3.99 extra charge for meat or seafood) with potatoes and peanuts in a huge bowl served with Jasmine rice. Not overly abundant in the beef department, I was not too disappointed because the thick curry sauce was nearly as good as the best I have ever eaten (the best was a similar curry at a small Vietnamese restaurant in Palos Verdes, California back in the late 1970s).

Our appetizers took quite a while to arrive and our entrees took even longer. I watched my wife’s Phad Phak Ruam Mitr sit on the counter for at least ten minutes until my curry was finally ready, all the while our server was too busy talking on her cell phone to bring us our food and we had to wait even longer after my curry was finally ready.

When we had finished, I gave our server a coupon we had received (2nd dinner half-off with purchase of an entree and two drinks), she told me she did not think we could use it. I asked, “Why?”, and she told me “You have to order two drinks to get the deal”. To which I replied, “We did, I had two beers” (and a couple appetizers to boot) to which she responded, “I’ll have to check with my manager to see if it’s OK”. Really? I should not have been surprised because Zen Zero is owned by the same group that owns Genovese where we had a similar incident a while back (they also refused to honor a coupon). I find myself wondering why the owners bother printing coupons if they are just going to have their servers hassle customers who try to use them.

Zen Zero had become a staple in our house and we may likely be returning in the future even though they have raised their prices rather significantly in the past year and the service was not nearly as good as it used to be. Good restaurants are not abundant in Lawrence, particularly downtown, but Zen Zero is a welcome option, albeit a bit pricier than in the past.

I gave Zen Zero 9 Bombs Out Of 10 in a past review, but with deductions for their price increases, the delays in receiving our appetizers and entrees, the weird aftertaste in the Phad Phak Ruam Mitr, and being hassled by the server for using a coupon …

CombatCritic Now Gives Zen Zero 6 Bombs Out Of 10 … Bombs Are Good!




Six Bombs Equates To:
“Good To Go”

Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp – Elite ’14/’15/’16

TripAdvisor – Top Contributor

Tabelog – Official Judge (Bronze)

Zomato – #1 Ranked Foodie

View my food journey on Zomato!



… And Don’t Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube


Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!

Zen Zero Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Zen ZeroZen Zero

Title: Lawrence, Kansas: Price Increases And Poor Service (Literally) Left A Bad Taste In Our Mouths

Key Words: travel, value, product, restaurant, menu review, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Zomato, zen zero, zen, zero, Lawrence, Kansas, Massachusetts, Thai, Nepalese, Japanese, 66044, CombatCritic, TravelValue


Translation for Civilians: G2G = “Good To Go”

Lawrence, Kansas: Overrated, Overpriced, and Underwhelming, A Bakery That Sells Burnt Bread?


1900 Barker Bakery And Cafe
1900 Barker Avenue
Lawrence, KS 66046
Phone: (785) 424-7609
Website: 1900barker.com
Prices: $$$$

Only bread, pastries, maybe some quiche, and coffees/teas available here, no real food, so think “European” style cafe, not the American variety where you can find a sandwich, soup, or more on the menu.
I thought the other popular bakeries in town were expensive – if you live in Lawrence, you know which two I am thinking about – until I stopped by 1900 Barker this morning.
I had heard they were a bit pricey, but that is an understatement! I paid $9 ($8.50+tax) for a loaf of (burnt) apple and raisin wheat bread, the most I have spent in my life in any of the 41 countries I have visited, including Switzerland, for a loaf of bread. Seems rather excessive to me.

It also seems as if everyone is giving 1900 Barker 5/5 Stars, jumping on the bandwagon for a new business off the beaten path. I think 5 Stars (Yelp, TripAdvisor, Zomato, TABELog) are given out willy-nilly by far too many reviewers, but my ratings are based on “value”, hence the name of this blog: “TravelValue”, what you get in terms of quality, service and price. So based on their absurd prices alone, I cannot give them more than 4 Bombs (2 Stars), especially when I take into account that the bread was burnt, even more so on the bottom than the top.

I hope they succeed, I really do. I hate for any business to fail (with a couple of exceptions in Lawrence, but that’s another review or two), particularly when they have large sums invested in a venture (the place used to be a run down laundromat). However, after the novelty wears off, people will require more value for their dollar. So, unless they bring their prices back down to Earth and stop burning the bread, I unfortunately do not see this venture being a long-term success.


CombatCritic Gives 1900 Barker Bakery And Cafe 4 Bombs Out Of 10 … More Bombs Are Better!

Four Bombs Equates To:

Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp – Elite ’14/’15/’16

TripAdvisor – Top Contributor

Tabelog – Official Judge (Bronze)

Zomato – #1 Ranked Foodie

View my food journey on Zomato!



… And Don’t Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube


Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!

Title: Overrated, Overpriced, and Underwhelming: This Bakery Sells Burnt Bread

Key Words: 1900 Barker Bakery And Cafe, 1900, Barker, bakery, cafe, bread, coffee, pastries, Lawrence, Kansas, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, product, restaurant, menu review, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Zomato

Translation for Civilians: BOHICA = “Bend Over, Here It Comes Again!”

Inexpensive Portable In-Home Putting Green Not Bad For The Price


Grassroots Par Three Putting Green
by B&T Golf
$32 on Amazon.com 

The Grassroots Par Three Putting Green is a portable putting green small and lightweight enough to take with you on your next trip, golf or otherwise.

Made of thin, green outdoor carpet with a tapered foam ramp leading up to the three holes at one end, the green is 9 feet long and about three feet wide at each end. It is tapered in the middle, why I am not sure, and around 2.5 feet wide, making it look something like an actual putting green which I assume was the reason for the design.
The “green” lies flat out of the box, but is thin enough to magnify any underlying imperfections in the floor you put it on. I placed it on an oriental rug and it rolls true until the thin, green outdoor carpet bunches up when the green is jarred or stepped on too abruptly.
The holes are deep enough to catch a golf ball with the center cup being about 1″ deep and the two outer cups at about 1/2″ in depth. There are also two deep bunkers (1″ deep) behind the holes to catch errant shots, but some balls roll over, through or between them and off across the room.
For the price, it works well enough and as advertised. I do not imagine it lasting for several years due to the thinness of the carpet. If it were double the thickness, it would likely roll truer on diverse surfaces, last longer and not bunch up quite so easily. I believe a base with a material that clings to carpet and hard floors, possibly something like rubber, would enhance the product immensely as well as adding to durability, even in the $50-$60 range.

The only other thing missing is a storage or carry bag for when you want it out of the way or to take on trips. A simple, nylon bag with a handle and drawstring would cost next to nothing to manufacture and would enhance the product significantly.

CombatCritic Gives Grassroots Par Three Putting Green 6 Bombs Out Of 10 … More Bombs Are Better!







Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp – Elite ’14/’15/’16

TripAdvisor – Top Contributor

Tabelog – Official Judge (Bronze)

Zomato – #1 Ranked Foodie

View my food journey on Zomato!



… And Don’t Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube


Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!


Title: Inexpensive In-Home Putting Green Not BAd For The Price

Key Words: Grassroots Par Three Putting Green, grassroots, par, three, putting, green, putt, putter, B&T, Golf, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, product, review, Amazon.com, Amazon

Translation for Civilians: 

TravelTech: Mohu Leaf50 – Poor Product – Best Buy And Mohu Refuse To Honor Warranty


Mohu
2720 Discovery Drive, 
Raleigh, N.C. 27616
Phone: 1-855-446-6648
Website: GoMohu.com
Email: support@gomohu.com
Prices: $$$$  Quality: @@@@

Mohu Leaf 50 Amplified Digital Indoor TV Antenna


Maybe you like to travel in your motor home, RV, 5th Wheel, or camper and watch TV along the way. A portable, amplified antenna with a range of 50 miles would come in handy in many locations around the U.S., eliminating the need for an expensive satellite dish. Enter the Mohu Leaf50, just the thing you need and only $70, what a bargain … WRONG!

The Mohu Leaf50 is advertised as a small, portable amplified multi-directional antenna that gets great reception with a range of 50 miles. I beg to differ.

After paying $70+tax for this piece of plastic the size of a laptop screen, 10 feet of coaxial cable and connectors, and a USB that plugs into your TV, I have had nothing but problems. Watch the video below for proof.

We are less than 40 miles from all broadcast towers in Kansas City and Topeka, well within the “50 mile” radius of the Mohu Leaf50, but reception is poor, sporadic and frustrating even though the terrain between us and the towers in relatively flat.


Having bought the Leaf50 at Best Buy, Best Buy and Mohu refused to refund my money even though even though I am only 5 months into the one-year warranty. Mohu also requires me to pay shipping if the product is defective, which it is.

The Leaf 50 Indoor HDTV Antenna by Mohu does not work as advertised. Ten feet of coaxial cable connects to a piece of plastic the size of a laptop computer screen and it is supposed to get “great” reception with a “range of 50 miles”. We are not on the road, but live in Lawrence, Kansas and it is a straight shot (flat) to Kansas City and Topeka with transmission towers 35-40 miles away (see FCC photos below) and the signals fade out constantly, a real irritation.

I bought the Leaf 50 at Best Buy in August because of the reviews and figured that being an amplified, multi-directional antenna with a 50 mile radius, 35-40 miles of flat Midwest terrain should be a breeze. That dog won’t hunt Mohu!

It worked “OK” for a couple months with intermittent but tolerable cut-outs, but when winter started to set-in, the cut outs became more frequent and longer on all channels. We have a few trees around the house so you would think that with the leaves being gone reception would get better, but it got worse, a lot worse.

FCC Transmission Tower Locator Screenshot Based On Our Location

I took the Mohu Leaf 50 back to Best Buy in December, but they would not honor Mohu’s 1-year warranty, telling me “sorry, it’s outside our 15-day return policy, you’ll have to deal with Mohu”. That is exactly the reason why this was the only thing I had purchased at Best Buy in seven years, their lousy return policy, and it will be the last thing I ever buy at Best Buy! There are too many web-based retailers out there to have to shop at a store that cares so little about their customers.

TV Reception Maps – Transmission Tower Locator Website
$70 plus tax for this cheap piece of plastic and co-axial cable is absurd and I cannot recommend that you buy one unless you are very close to the transmitters. Even though the FCC online digital reception map indicates that Fox (WDAF – 35 miles), CBS (KCTV – 35.7 miles), and ABC (KMBC – 39.3 miles) are all in the “green” (strongest) signal category, the constant loss of signal and reception is an aggravation I can live without. What a waste of $75. Our $7 rabbit ears get better reception than the Mohu Leaf 50.

As directed by Best Buy, I contacted Mohu on January 11th, asking for a refund.  Here was their response:

“Dear Combatcritic,

We would like to acknowledge that we have received your request and a ticket has been created with Ticket ID – xx360.  A representative will be reviewing your request on and will send you a personal response. This usually happens within 24 hours.   

Please remember should you need troubleshooting assistance or if you would like to know what channels you should receive at your location you will need to send us your complete address so we can provide you with the most accurate assistance on the first contact.  Should you need to provide us with any additional information such as your address, order number, etc. simply visit your inbox and reply to the email confirmation.  

You may also be able to find immediate help using the links below.

Sincerely, 

Mohu Sales and Service

Business Hours: Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm EST”

I sent them my address that same day as requested, but after ten days (January 21st) I still have not been contacted by a Mohu Representative. So much for doing what they promise.

Here is the warranty and return verbiage from the Mohu website: 

“Mohu Warranty and Returns

Warranty Details
Mohu warrants our products against defects in materials or workmanship for a period of one (1) year from the date of purchase. During this period, the products will be replaced or repaired at no charge. This warranty does not cover damage due to acts of nature, commercial use, accident, misuse, abuse, or negligence. This warranty is valid only in the USA and Canada.

There are no implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purchase except to the extent that implied warranties of either sort are required by applicable law, in such case, each warranty is limited in duration to the one year.

Return Procedure
If you cannot locate your packing slip, please contact us via our Contact Us page http://www.gomohu.com/contact/ or by phone at our toll-free number 1-855-4GOMOHU (919-896-7696, 8am-5pm EST, M-F) about items you would like to return. Include your name, order number and approximate date of purchase for faster service. 

Customer is responsible for all return shipping charges. 

Items should be returned to the following address: 

Mohu, Inc.Attn: Return Department2720 Discovery Drive,Raleigh, NC 27616 

Returns sent to any other address will not be accepted.”

I sent Mohu Customer Support the following message on January 17th:

“I disconnected the amplifier as your website suggests, but our reception only got worse. I have a strong signal on most channels, just like the FCC website (and yours) says I should based on our location and that of the towers. Here’s a video showing the problems: 

As you can see from the FCC website’s data and our TV’s signal strength indicator, the signal is very strong, but the picture fades in and out. Please let me know how to troubleshoot because I am not paying shipping to return your defective product. If we cannot fix this quickly, I’ll take the $70 loss and publish my review for Moho and Best Buy based on my experience.

I have moved the antenna everywhere in the room based on the limitations of the cables provided and nothing has helped. I also unplugged the amplifier from the TV because Mohu said the amplifier could be faulty, but I had pretty much the same reception with the amplifier disengaged. 

Mohu finally contacted me and they refuse to fix the problem or stand behind their product:

I apologize the below reply was not received, unfortunately this antenna will not work for your needs. 

Unfortunately the reception at ground level is weaker than shown of the FCC due to hills between you and the broadcast towers.  

At ground level the signal strength for most of the transmitters are in the low 30 decibel range which is typically too weak for the antenna to receive. To improve reception or have signals similar to the FCC database the antenna needs to be elevated. You should try the Leaf 50 antenna on the second floor or in the attic, you can use an extension coax cable after the amplifier to the TV less than 20 feet. 

The Sky 60 antenna is the only Mohu antenna that can be mounted on the roof for the best signal reception as well as connect more than 1 TV through a splitter. This antenna is also the best option for customers interested in recording the TV shows. 

Please let me know if you have any additional questions. 

Sincerely, 

MichelleMohu Sales and Service855-446-6648″

Oddly enough, contrary to Michele’s claim that my “antenna will not work”, Mohu’s very own website claims that the Mohu Leaf50 is in-fact recommended for my location (note zip code for Lawrence, Kansas and the date in the screenshots below), adding that it will receive “25 channels”:


So why does Mohu now claim that I have the wrong antenna? Here was my response to Michelle:

“Then why does your website recommend the Leaf50 for Lawrence, Kansas residents (66044) like me, falsely advertising 25 channels received? 

Your company has some serious integrity problems, false advertising included, and I will report you to the FCC as well as the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office.   

I will eat the $75 I wasted on your product, take it with me to the firing range, and use it for target practice with my 9mm Beretta, posting the video on my popular YouTube channel with a link to my review of Mohu on my highly rated blog: http://www.combatcritic.com/2016/01/traveltech-mohu-leaf50-antenna-with-50.html. Can you say “viral” video? Sure you can! 

Good luck with your lousy products and deceptive business practices. What goes around, comes around Mohu!”

I have already lost $75 on this product and I am not about to waste another minute dealing with this unscrupulous company. Their product is defective, not my fault, so why should I pay for shipping or another antenna? Most reputable companies cover shipping and send pre-paid return labels when their products go “tits-up”. I guess that tells us what kind of company we are dealing with at Mohu. Their warranty is a joke and, well, I am not exactly laughing about their product.

Excuse me while I go buy a real antenna from a reputable company … and it WILL NOT be Best Buy.

CombatCritic Gives Mohu, The Mohu Leaf50, and Best Buy 1 Bomb Out Of 10 And A Spot On My ‘WALL OF SHAME” … More Bombs Are Better!


One Bomb Equates To:
Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp – Elite ’14/’15/’16

TripAdvisor – Top Contributor

Tabelog – Official Judge (Bronze)

Zomato – #1 Ranked Foodie

View my food journey on Zomato!



… And Don’t Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube


Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!


Title: TravelTech: Mohu Leaf50 – Poor Product – Best Buy And Mohu Refuse To Honor Warranty

Key Words: Mohu Leaf50, Mohu, leaf, 50, amplified, HDTV, HD, multi-directional, antenna, TV, best, buy, junk, false advertising, Best Buy, travel, value, product, technology, tech, review

Translation for Civilians: FUBAR = “Fucked-Up Beyond All Repair”

Garbage … I Will Never Waste My Money On Apple Products Again


Review: Apple 60W MagSafe Power Adapter (for MacBook and 13‐inch MacBook Pro)
If you like to travel as much as I do, a computer is a necessity in your home away from home and I take mine wherever in the world I go. Having heard wonderful things, propaganda, about Apple products, I took the leap less than two years ago by purchasing a Macbook Pro, then an iPhone 5C. What a mistake!

Just shy of warranty expiration, my Mac’s OS went TANGO UNIFORM (military speak for hard‐broke), causing me to spend countless hours on the phone with support, wiping my hard drive clean, reinstalling the OS, and recovering everything from backup … several times. Then my 6 month old iPhone died while on vacation in Puerto Rico, stranding us in an unfamiliar area while using Google Maps to navigate the island, losing my ability to take vacation photos/video and unable to contact relatives back home over the holidays.

Most recently, my MagSafe power adapter’s (plastic) “L” connector head broke off. After removing it with a pair of pliers, I super‐glued it back on, allowing me to charge my computer for a couple weeks, but now it will not charge at all. Having paid close to $3500 for three Apple products (including my wife’s computer), I would expect better quality, but what should I expect from overpriced products Made in China? I was shocked to see that Apple wants $79 for a replacement MagSafe adapter. Where else would you pay $80 for a power cord other than Apple? Nowhere! Based on the reviews this product has garnered, it is a piece of $80 junk just like the rest of Apple’s products, I can see that my problem is fairly common. I will buy a new adapter from another supplier for just $30 and I will never buy another Apple product again.

CombatCritic Gives Apple, Inc. and their MagSafe 60W Power Adapter A Dismal 1 Bomb Out Of 10 … More Bombs Are Better!









Read More Reviews By CombatCritic On Yelp And TripAdvisor … And Don’t Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube

Title: Garbage … I Will Never Waste My Money On Apple Products Again

Key Words: Apple, macbook, pro, MagSafe, power, adapter, 60W, MacIntosh, computer, iPhone, 5C, Mac, phone, product, broken, review, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, tech