When Companies Fail to Uphold Their Termination Policies: Tophatter & my story -

Several years ago I got involved with Tophatter.com. I hated every lasting minute of it but it was right after Etsy threw me out and told me my money wasn't good there. I bought a few things, tried to sell some stuff and eventually gave up on Tophatter because of the immature nature of the managers running the tophatter website. I gave up and didn't go back for over a year.

When I went back after getting a promotional coupon to use on a future purchase (which had a 3 day use window but wasn't included in the email) I got into an auction only to find out I had been muted & couldn't bid because of something I had done months before (except I never logged in during that time, and they verified that I had no log-ins during that time) - yet they'd muted me - and made it so I basically couldn't use their site to purchase as anything I typed was rejected. As such, I couldn't buy, and I couldn't sell. I paid my fees in 2013 and tried to cancel my account. I heard nothing from tophatter.com for over a year.

And then on January 15th 2015 I got an email for $10 off a future purchase (again with a very short expiration date which wasn't in the email). I clicked the coupon anyway and went to the page for my account. And lo-and-behold there's my account as if I had done NOTHING in 2013 when I paid off my fees and closed my account. Paypal says yes in 2013 I paid the same amount to Tophatter as they were showing again was sitting in my account overdue. Frustrated I paid again because I wanted out. I figured maybe I missed the actual cancelling the account in 2013. So I paid again and cancelled the account. I got an email from paypal saying I paid, but never a confirmation from Tophatter saying I paid. But nevertheless I was able to cancel my account on 1/15/15. Or so I thought.

Today 1/28/15 I get 3 emails from tophatter over the last week all with $ for future purchases coupons in them. Funny I don't have an account with them. I read the fine print "you receive this email because you're registered on tophatter.com" NO. I. Am. Not. Only that's not true. Click the link and am immediately taken back to a link showing I'm still registered with TH and that I have resubscribed to all the emails on their list.

So today 1/28/15 I'm re-screenshotting things. I'm changing my password to something completely random, and will be sending all of my screenshots, complaints and double payment receipts to the state attorney general in hopes something can be done about this company and their failure to remove me from their mailing list, their failure to terminate my account after three tries, and their horrible customer service.

Today I changed my pw, unsubscribed from emails - and then cancelled my account. Then I tried using the unsubscribe button on the email - if they cancelled my accoun it SHOULD have gone to a 404 page and not logged me into an account I just deleted.

But no it logged me back in - and then showed me as still subscribed to all their emails. ALL OF THEM - that I just unsubscribed to moments before and screenshotted it all - including the time stamps on the corner of my computer screen.

DO NOT under any circumstances get yourself involved with this company they'll just keep spamming you long after you've expressed interest in no longer dealing with them.

I will be calling the state AG tomorrow while I'm at work concerning the underhanded practices of this company.

Book Review: The Younger Gods by Michael R Underwood

Book to be reviewed: The Younger Gods
Author: Michael R Underwood
Date Finished: November 28 2014

I've had the immense pleasure of knowing the author personally, so I do my best to give all of his work at least some of my limited reading time.

I'd read the reviews on this after purchasing it and filed it away dreading the read. Mixed, indifferent reviews just had me not wanting to read this book. I'll admit it started out slow, nearly painful to read because of the lead character's personality, and speech patterns. But I'm not one to give up on a book without a fight to really try to get to the good part.

This is one of those awesome books where, if you're patient, you'll find yourself on one hell of a ride. I really needed to sleep, before a very long workweek, instead, I finished this book. The plot, storyline, characters, and constant flow of action were so engaging that I couldn't put it down until I'd finished it.

Mike, I do hope you've got more to this story up your sleeve.


Book Review: The Doorknob Society by MJ Fletcher

Title to be reviewed: The Doorknob Society
Author: MJ Fletcher

It would be very easy to give this book a lower star rating because of the somewhat irritating spelling & grammar errors. Except no matter how annoying the mistakes were, they simply didn't detract from the story. I figured if I can read most of my non-native English speaking friends posts and even some of the native speakers posts online everyday I can overlook some bad grammar and obvious spelling mistakes when the book is this good, with or without the mistakes. 

In fact I think the simple fact the author is self-published and the reviews are as good as they are, is a testament to just how much readers can and will overlook when the overall book is this freaking good. I've read some truly annoying writing (Fifty Shades) and honestly the blatant spelling/grammar issues here are so minor in comparison that it really is a non-issue if you can look past it. Pretend you got an ARC copy or the editor really needs to step up his/her game. 

As far as the genre goes - steampunk at it's finest. THIS is what a steampunk novel should be. This is more than just adding gears and calling it a day. What an amazing ride and I WILL be buying the rest of the series as soon as I have money to do so.

Date finished: January 7 2015

If you can ignore the grammar & spelling issues, which given independent publishing status, shouldn't be impossible, you should find this a worthwhile wonderful escape!

Book Review: Five by Ursula Archer

Title to be reviewed: Five
Author: Ursula Archer
Date Read: January 7 2015
Rating: 5 Stars
I'm not sure I've ever read a book that was the English adaptation of book originally written in another language and loved it this much. Usually translations leave a lot to be desired or you end up with a bunch of slang that just doesn't make the transition from original language to translation very well.

This book was different. I'm not a big mystery fan but this book drew me in from the very beginning. Maybe I identified with Beatrice or maybe I just needed a change of pace from my normal reads. This book was very well written, the translation flowed without too many hiccups (there were a few), and it was interesting to see a story set in a country I'm mostly unfamiliar with, which was Austria. I liked the interesting story line and the use of geocaching as a part of the plot. I did guess the killer before the end but I didn't see the end coming and so the author did a very good job.

I am curious to know if there are other books coming and if Beatrice & Florin's relationship progresses beyond the awkward stage it's at when the book concludes.

I will definitely be adding Ms Archer's books to my to-read list again in the future.

- Carrie-

Book Review: Gears of Brass Anthology by Jordan Elizabeth

I wanted to love it. I love steampunk. I didn't love this book. I tried and tried and tried. The short , stories were too short and didn't leave me feeling like they were finished at all. A few of the stories were good but could've been better. I admit I gave up after about half way. I just couldn't continue reading little nuggets that left me wondering why they stopped when and where they did.

Clockwork Dollhouse, Zeus' Fire, Clockwork Wolf, Lana's End were my favorites that I did read, but I wish they were all more well concluded - like Clockwork Dollhouse. 

I also wish the titles were a bit more varied and a bit more creative topic wise. 

A note on formatting - I read on a kindle fire hd - in black background white text. I hated having to stop reading and reset the text to black on white or sepia to see the author's name and next title in the sequence. This problem is one of the main reasons I stopped reading this title and gave up when I did. Having to repeatedly alter the book so I could see what I was reading, frustrated me. An extra page or even a simple chapter-type heading format 'author name - title" between titles would've gone a long way to making me want to keep reading even if the stories were horribly abruptly concluded.

Priority Mail FLAT RATE - Domestic and International - Retail & Com base (Updated 2014 prices)

Priority Mail FLAT RATE - Domestic and International - 2014 Prices (Retail & Com base)
By Carrie J Foster on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 12:44pm

Priority Mail 
Retail Flat rate

Flat rate Envelope (12-1/2" x 9-1/2" or smaller): $5.60
Legal flat rate envelope: $5.75
Padded Flat rate envelope: $5.95
Small Flat rate box: $5.80
Medium Flat rate Box: $12.35
Large Flat rate box - Domestic Address: $17.45
Large Flat rate box - APO/FPO/DPO address: $15.45 


Priority Mail 
Commercial Base flat rate (stamps.com, usps.com, endicia or paypal)

Flat rate Envelope (12-1/2" x 9-1/2" or smaller): $5.05
Legal flat rate envelope: $5.25
Padded Flat rate envelope $5.70
Small Flat rate box : $5.25
Medium Flat rate Box: $11.30
Large Flat rate box -Domestic Address: $15.80
Large Flat rate box - APO/FPO/DPO address: $13.80 

Priority Mail
Retail Flat Rate

Flat rate envelopes, padded flat rate envelope, legal flat rate envelope & small flat rate box (max weight 4lbs)
Canada: $20.55
All other countries: $24.75

Medium flat rate box (max weight 20lbs)
Canada: $42.25 
All Other countries: $61.75 

Large flat rate box (max weight 20lbs)
Canada: $55.75
All other countries: $80.50  

Priority Mail
Commercial Base Pricing (stamps.com/usps.com, endicia or paypal)

Flat rate envelopes, padded flat rate envelope, legal flat rate envelope & small flat rate box (max weight 4lbs)
Canada: $19.50
All other countries: $23.50 

Medium flat rate box (max weight 20lbs)
Canada: $40.15
All Other countries: $58.65 
Large flat rate box (max weight 20lbs)
Canada: $52.95
All other countries: $76.50 

USPS 1st Class Pkg Services International zones 6, 7, 8, 9 - Retail & Com Base prices (2014 Updated prices)

USPS 1st Class Pkg Services International zones 6, 7, 8, 9 - 2014 Retail & Com Base prices
By Carrie J Foster on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 12:45pm
These rates are for US to international zones 6, 7, 8 & 9- 2014 - USPS 1st Class Package Services - and are based on USPS RETAIL rates. 

Countries included in zones 6-9 are:
Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Anguilla, Antigua/Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Ascencion, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Beliz, Benin, Bermuda, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burma (Myanmar), Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Cayman Islands, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Columbia, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Cote  d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Cuba, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Equador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equitorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Falkland Islands, Fiji, French Guiana, French Polynesia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, North Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgystan, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Macao, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Martinique, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mongolia, Montserrat, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal,  Netherlands Antilles, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Pitcairn Island, Qatar, Reunion, Rwanda, St Christopher/Nevis, St Lucia, St Helena, St Vincent & Grenadines, Sao Tome & Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic (Syria), Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Tristan Da Cunha, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Turks & Caicos Islands, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Wallis & Futuna Islands, Western Samoa, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe 

Weight not over (oz)
1 - $6.55
2 - $6.55
3 - $9.15
4 - $9.15
5 - $12.15
6 - $12.15
7 - $12.15
8 - $12.15
12 - $14.30
16 - $16.25
20 - $18.20
24 - $20.15
28 - $22.10
32 - $24.05
36 - $26.00
40 - $27.95
44 - $29.90
48 - $31.85
52 - $33.80
56 - $35.75
60 - $37.70
64 - $39.65

International 1st class package services zones 6, 7, 8, 9 Commercial Base Pricing (paypal/stamps.com)

Weight not over (oz)
1 - $6.16
2 - $6.16
3 - $8.60
4 - $8.60
5 - $10.94
6 - $10.94
7 - $10.94
8 - $10.94
12 - $12.87
16 - $14.63
20 - $16.38
24 - $18.14
28 - $19.89
32 - $21.65
36 - $23.40
40 - $25.16
44 - $26.91
48 - $28.67
52 - $30.42
56 - $32.18
60 - $33.93
64 - $35.69