Thursday, December 11, 2008

Review -

I wanted to spread the word about this website.

Christmas is fast approaching, boys and girls. I know most of you aren't quite finished with your shopping, and what makes things even more difficult and stressful is when you aren't able to find that special movie or television series. If you use a search engine to quickly locate one, this website will show up in the search results.

At first glance, the site looks legitimate, with sales and specials, easy navigating, and a large inventory. To the unaware and sometimes unfortunate buyer, this website promises an inexpensive Christmas gift to your loved one. The entire "Murder, She Wrote" series for $60? What a steal.

My mother, a highly intelligent, good-hearted woman, nearly fell victim to this website about a week ago. She ordered my father "The Smothers Brothers" DVD collection, a rare find that even does not carry. Within 3 days, she received an email stating her order had been cancelled - the credit card was declined. She tried again, same response. I suggested she use her debit card, and it was also declined, the site stating that her account had been cancelled. Finally, she called her credit card company and discovered had charged her account and included a confirmation code. She called the store. They claimed there was no charge.

After going back and forth and even having the credit card company say to the store that there was in fact a charge (more denial), my mom called me, frustrated. I looked up this store review and after lots of digging, found several reviews that coincided with what happened with my mom.

Check out some of the reviews from this site:

"I am one of the hundreds of people ripped off by, AKA Garcia Media Group, AKA SXR.CA. On August 3rd, 2007, I placed an order with said company for a Wonder Years DVD box set (Order #24534). They immediately charged my credit card $71.98. I of course NEVER received the item... "

"Wish I'd come across your posting before making my boxed set purchase. Not only did I receive bogus DVDs (blank) but the my credit card number was used by a syndicate in Nigeria that began to make all sorts of charges. Luckily my bank picked up strange charges immediately and invalidated..."

And some more from the Pissed Consumer website:

"Company sells DVD's of TV shows; not sure if legit as I am having trouble canceling an order and getting my money back; company is ignoring my request for a refund so having to get my credit card company involved ... buyer bewareThere appears to be a lot of companies online selling similar items. I found this company after doing a search on Yahoo so I thought it would have been legit. I hope to prevent others from running into the kinds of problems I am having right now. Always research a company before buying on online! You can never be too safe!"

Once I found these reviews, along with a few more from, I forwarded the links to my mom. She immediately called her bank and the CC company and explained what she found. They immediately cancelled the charges for her. She also emailed TVDVDMania to cancel her order, if one was still in process. As discouraged as she was to not be able to give my dad the dvd sets, she is very relieved to have her money back in her account.

I dug around a little more on the site. Check out some of the replies to the FAQs TVDVDMania offers:

Do you offer Express shipping?
Unfortunately, we do not offer Overnight or Express Shipping as our DVD sets are custom ordered.

Um, custom ordered? If offers express shipping, along with several stores on ebay - both are considered 'custom' sites. Unless you are talking about taping over previously pirated dvds...then I could see the problem.

I have not received a response to my email and it has been 48 hours. Why?
99% of the time, our email's got trapped in your SPAM/BULK mail folder.
Please note that many e-mail accounts do not recognize our e-mail address and mark us as "Spam". Because of this our e-mails may be sent into your "Spam" or "Junk" box. We ask that you please check your "Spam"/"Junk" box to see if our reply has been placed there.
Also, please check to ensure that we are in your address book so that our e-mails are not blocked. Some known email accounts where this problem has occurred are: Yahoo, AOL, Gmail and Hotmail.

If you were a legitimate business, this problem would also be averted. I have yet to see and ebay emails in my spam folder. Oh, and at least there is some form of honesty on their "Terms & Conditions" page, which nobody ever reads...unless you're MsJudgemental!

My comments in bold:

It is understood by the customer that some of the DVDs sold by DVD Mania have been individually compiled from original film stock and public domain wholesaler sources. (Meaning that these are pirated copies.) These sources have an inconsistent level of preservation associated with them. In accordance the playback experienced may vary from movie to movie on any DVD collection purchased. (Meaning that 'it isn't our fault they don't play properly) Every effort has been given to maintain true DVD quality, but the customer understands and accepts that some level of imperfection is present in each film and that level of imperfection can vary significantly between films. This means the customer accepts that their may be "pauses" or "skips" present in the playback of any given film. We have made every effort to keep errors to a minimum, but they may still exist. The customer accepts this as part of their set, and as part of owning films directly converted from original film stock.

Look, Mania gurus, this shouldn't even be a PART of your disclaimer. You should be standing behind a 100% high quality product with a satisfaction guarantee. Specialized stores shouldn't be half-ass efforts.

And finally, a forum discussion thanks to

DO NOT purchase anything from this company. I can only hope this review shows in the Search Results section of yahoo and google. Review the store before you buy!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Product Review - South Beach Diet Pizzas

Oh, Kraft would think I've learned by now, after the invention of Velveeta, the condom lube products in Cool Whip, and your version of macaroni and cheese - powdered cheese with 5 gallons of butter? Hm.

Nope, I am still a glutton for punishment. I still bargain shop for Insta-meals and am determined to save an extra dollar while our economy plunges further into the depths of despair.

Kraft's South Beach Diet insta-pizzas caught my eye this past Sunday night, especially when I saw they were 15 cents cheaper than the average sodium-loaded Red Baron pizzas. To top it off, they make their pizzas with a wheat crust. I hurredly snatched 3 frozen boxes and chunked them in my cart, next to my always adored Lean Cuisine paninis.

Today's victim is the SB Grilled Chicken and Vegetable pizza with wheat crust. First, the image:

Following, the nutritional facts:

Calories :330
Calories from Fat: 90
Total Fat: 10g

Saturated Fat: 4g
Cholesterol: 25mg
Sodium: 620mg
Total Carbohydrate: 37g
Dietary Fiber: 10g
Sugars: 5g
Protein: 30g

And the review:

Every so often I have to serve my dog Cyrus a pill for some ailment or injury he obtained. This is always pure excitement and involves me chasing him around the house, crashing into the coffee table, falling down cursing and losing the pill (which was about $4 per tablet), then him feeling guilty and allowing me to jam the found pill down his throat. He ends up hawking it up, stuffing it in his jaw to avoid the taste, and later in the evening I can hear him smacking his lips in his attempts to remove the now jammed-in-the-gum pill from its location. The sound and sight is hilarious.

It's even more hilarious on a human, especially me. This pizza was dry beyond logical reasoning, especially with the high amount of sugar in it. There was no tomato sauce, and the spinach topping felt a little moldy. With the high amount of sodium in it, I drank a whole bottle of water in one sitting. The caloric content is reasonable, but as always, I supplement my meals with fruit and chips. I need the carbs to keep my internal engine going, so I could justify that.

The pizza's wheat crust was actually decent - flaky and crunchy, like pizzas should be. Of course, with all wheat breads, the texture will be a bit dryer than white, however I am used to that by now, having been consuming wheat bread for several years. I consider white bread a splurge.

I doubt I will buy this pizza again, and just go for spending an extra 10 cents on a Lean Cuisine or Healthy Choice for the next time. I do have 2 additional South Beach meals hiding in my abyss of a freezer, though.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Product Review - Secret Clinical Strength Deodorant

Ok ladies, this one is for you. Guys, prepare to laugh, and for my friends, here is some ammunition when you've run out of things to make fun of me about.

Around my circle of friends, I'm known as the 'delicate flower' of the group. I'm feminine, squeamish with gross topics that men find funny, and wear pink on a daily basis. I am your all around girly-girl. However, I also ride horses, play tennis and volleyball, and have been known to cut down trees and brush on some acreage my family owns a little up north.

While most women claim that women don't sweat, we 'glow', I simply roll my eyes and make a mental note to proclaim loudly, "Look! She's glowing!" while a woman is in childbirth or even walking around in the Southern part of my world's blistering heat. Texan women don't glow. We don't glisten. We don't have vapors. Heck, we don't even slightly perspire.

We sweat. As my mother recently commented: "We sweat like turkeys at a turkey barn who are being chased around the turkey pen by a guy named Albert with a hatchet similar in size to the one Daniel Boone used while fighting off the indians."

Yes, your very own Ms Judgemental is a perspiring bucket of body coolant, yet somehow extremely sexy woman. And I am darn proud of my sweatiness, thank you. However, while it is appropriate to sweat during a work out, as your body is cooling itself down and burning off the fats and starches you ate earlier (remember that bowl of pasta? No wonder you smell like garlic!), with the average human body containing around 2 million sweat glands. Here is a little excerpt I know my readers will find fascinating:

"There is also a difference in the chemical elements when we perspire. Perspiration that is produced through the Aprocrine glands, or in the armpit, will be thicker and perhaps have a yellowish color. This is because it contains fatty acids and proteins. It is this type of sweat under the arms, coupled with antiperspirants, which can turn clothing yellow. Notice when we apply deodorants it is only to the armpits, in order to counteract the smell of the Aprocrine sweat. Sweat is actually odorless, but when it starts to decompose and is attacked by bacteria, the smell can be unpleasant." (source:

The result: You stink. Your underarms stink. Body odor is not an alluring scent that will attract Prince Charming from miles away. And while I hate to admit it, sometimes my sweat is a bit 'undelicate'. (Hangs head in shame)

One afternoon I ventured out to the Big Box store for my every few months personal product supply stockup. After weaving in and out of aisles, I found myself standing in front of a 10 foot long, 5 foot wide section of sparkly plastic tubes and aerosol cans of deodorant. Vanilla Sunrise or Banana Origami? Clear? Solid? The possibilities were endless. In their attempt to confuse us even more with thousands of powder white to clear gooey scented sticks, deodorant companies have now come out with another fantastic product guaranteed to leave one frolicking in the forest with unicorns while wearing a dress made out of lavendar and jasmine. And sadly, no unicorns visited me in the forest, and my dress fell apart. (Lavendar doesn't glue well.) However, as bright colors always do, a yellow "New!" tag on a white box caught my eye:

Deodorant in a box? At the Big Box Store? For the price of $5.99? Hm, this could be interesting. Being unhappy with my current smelly stick and not feeling springtime fresh like it promised me, I threw the box in my cart and resumed my shopping. With words like "Clinically proven", "Doctor Endorsed", an extra dollar to spend, and shiny colors on the box, maybe it was worth a try.

The following day I got up, performed my womanly duties with soaps, creams, goos, gels, grunts and groans, and decided to give the stuff a try. I noticed absolutely nothing extraordinary during the day, despite lifting my arm to see if hydrangea and baby powder would pop out of my armpit glands. I did smell fresh and clean, however. Riding would be a good test that night.

I went riding. I sweat. My body ached with a strenuous workout. But the pits were still fresh and clean, even thought I had drops of sweat running down my back. Was this a fluke? Did I sweep that much on? I did notice a bit of white residue on my shirt, so I figured I had been overcompensating in the past with my 'unclinical' stick. I tested the product the following day, using less. I played volleyball after work that evening and still smelled fresh. No residue, either.

This was too good to be true! Sure, my hair was sticky, and I sweat as much as I normally do, but I didn't have the nasty feeling that I once felt with my regular product. I felt less stale, less disgusting when we went out to eat afterwards.

6 months later, I am still using the Clinical Strength stuff, using less than I once did with the regular sticks. No, I haven't seen a unicorn in the forest yet, but Texas has lost the battle with one stinky woman, who now smells powder fresh.