Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Review: Capital One | Spark Business Banking

08 Aug 2017

Bad Customer Service: Capital One's Spark Business Banking |

I recently started a small side-business, filed the incorporation paperwork and looked at business banking options. One of the options that came up was Capital One’s Spark Business Banking.

I filled out all the questions, uploaded the documents they asked for… and never heard back from them again. No email. No phone call. And when I sign into the website, just a message that they have reviewed the documents and will be in touch. But apparently that does not include calling potential customers, or putting a notice on the website after you sign in.

It’s been over a month now, and I need to deposit a check, so I called the number on the website (844-88-SPARK) and talked to someone who was very bubbly, but did not actually listen to what I explained. I told her twice that it had been over a month since I uploaded the required documents, but had not heard from them – to which she responded "How long has it been since you submitted the documents?"

Ultimately, she explained that since they had not heard from me in over a month, that they "closed the account" (an account that wasn’t even opened,) and that I would have to re-apply.

Bad customer service, as usual. If Capital One’s Spark Business Banking can’t be trusted to call me when there’s an issue OPENING an account, how can they be trusted with my money?

Review: Capital One's Spark Business Banking | DaveTavres.comReview: Capital One's Spark Business Banking |

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AVOID Skadate! – Lack of tech support

25 Jun 2017

AVOID Skadate! – Lack of tech supportSkadate – AVOID THEM!

Sadly, I started a website using the Skadate software, and it has been a nightmare from day 1.

LOTS of people have complained about Skadate. I’m not the first. BUT, the most people I can steer AWAY from Skadate, the better. They operate under the name "Skalfa LLC" as well.

One of the *ONLY* redeeming things about Skadate / Skalfa, was the customer community forum. There were THOUSANDS of entries with hundreds and hundreds of solutions to the countless problems Skadate has… and today, when I’m trying to figure out and solve a problem with the software, they’ve REMOVED the forum!!!!

SKADATE REVIEW / SKALFA REVIEWSI only found out because their "Pre-sales" live chat person told me that it was taken down, but they are putting it back "on Monday." I HIGHLY doubt they’ll have it back up on Monday – and I suspect they will have removed all of the useful history. BUT, let’s say that they DO bring it back up, and all of the existing information is there… WHY did they take it down in the first place? They could have left it up, but disabled the ability to add new comments, so that CUSTOMERS could still make use of the information while they retool it. (For REAL software development companies, THAT is how they do it!)

Again – BEWARE of Skadate / Skalfa!

Trust me, this is just the latest in a DOZEN issues I’ve gone crazy over. I’ve just never written about them – but going forward, I’m going to share EVERYTHING they say, in the hopes that other SUCKERS like me don’t fall for their sales pitch.

Here’s the full transcript of my chat session with them tonight:

Chat transcript

Sabrina – Sat, 06/24/17 11:43:16 pm America/Los_Angeles
Hi! Do you want to start a dating website with iOS & Android? I’m here to help.

Client – 11:43:16 pm
Where’s the URL for the community support forum?

Sabrina- 11:43:46 pm
Are you a SkaDate Customer?

Client – 11:43:51 pm
I use to find other customers on the forum who had answered questions…

11:44:10 pm
I already submitted a ticket to "support", but the answer might already be in the community forum.

Sabrina – 11:44:43 pm
May I please have your name and email?

Client – 11:44:50 pm
Dave Tavres –

Sabrina – 11:45:08 pm
Thank you! Hold on please

Client – 11:50:02 pm
? Hello?

I just want the URL for the community forum

Sabrina – 11:51:28 pm
Dave, I was told that the Forum will be activated on Monday.

Client – 11:51:43 pm
Huh? It’s been up for a few YEARS

Sabrina – 11:52:39 pm
Yes, they upgraded the Client Area but no Forum yet.

Client – 11:52:52 pm
Fine – where is the OLD forum?

I just want to search for existing solutions.

Sabrina – 11:53:59 pm
I understand but it is disabled now. You will have the access to Forum on Monday

Client – 11:54:29 pm
!!!!!! WHY DO YOU GUYS SUCK SO MUCH?! You don’t have 24/7 tech support, and now you TAKE AWAY access to the only USEFUL information?!

Can you have someone answer my support ticket NOW then?

Sabrina – 11:55:25 pm
I’m a pre-sales operator. I do not have access to customers accounts. You will need to wait til Monday when support team is back to work.

Client – 11:55:37 pm
Yeah… figures.

Duration: 12m 36s

Chat started on:

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Posted in Business, Customer Service, Marketing, Reviews, Software, Technology


My favorite radio shows (May 2015)

10 May 2015

My favorite radio shows (May 2015)Here are my favorite radio shows (as of May 2015), with my BIG favorites at the top, then not in any big order:

  • / This is only a test – a few San Francisco geek (one hipster… PLEASE Will, get rid of the beard!) with GREAT experience in the technology world, having worked at computer and game magazines. These guys talk about video games, software, mobile devices, websites, movies, music, live shows, quadcopters, travel, food and just tons of stuff. It’s a long show, but I love every minute of it – even the Apple fanboi stuff!
  • FreakonomicsRadio – An economics view of “The hidden side of everything”. They talk about and break down many interesting things about life and money and interesting stuff, into measurable units to try to understand those things better.
  • Planet Money – Fantastic shows about things related to money and how that stuff affects our lives. A really great show, well produced, interesting topics.
  • StartUp – Former This American Life producer starts his own network, and this show started as a weekly documentary on how he raised money and put together a team. This is now focused on other startup businesses.
  • Adam Savage: Still Untitled – From, this is a great show with Adam Savage (from MythBusters) talking about technology, science, model making, movies and props. I love Adam :)
  • Reply All – A show about the internet. Not always well-formatted, but it’s short and usually fun info about popular (or little known) things on the internet.
  • Serial – The super-popular show that brought back the ‘weekly serial radio show’. Season 1 knocked it out of the park with a real-life whodunit murder case.
  • Peculiar Podcast – Seattle. If you’re from (or lived in) Seattle in the 90s, you know who Pat Cashman and Lisa Foster are. This is their new digital radio show. Fun, light and wonderful :)
  • This Week in Google – Leo Laporte’s Google show. Long and pretty good. They know a lot and cover a lot.
  • Here’s the Thing – Really interesting interviews with big names by none other than Alec Baldwin! He interrupts a bit too much, but the show works. At the very least, look for past shows and pick the people you find interested. There’s some great surprises here.
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Posted in Blogging, Business, Podcasting, Reviews, Reviews, Technology


Kaiser has the worst customer service

31 Dec 2014

Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente has given the most frustrating and disappointing service I’ve ever received. And that includes phone and cable companies.

I’m a single male, 38-40 years old, with past medical history of diverticulitis, but otherwise no issues. I’m not one of those people who run to the doctor because I have the sniffles or a stomach ache. I don’t go see the doctor because I bumped my elbow and it still hurts after a day. I DO go to the doctor when there’s something wrong. Something that won’t take care of itself or that can be treated with OTC medications. In order words, I’m pretty much exactly what the medical industry loves – someone who pays for services that I don’t use.

Well, I’ve had Kaiser for over 2 years now and the three times I’ve wanted, or had, to contact them, have all been incredibly frustrating, angering and disappointing. So much so that I changed my coverage to a better option that my company offers. Good riddance Kaiser Permanente!

Kaiser has the worst customer serviceA few of the things that are frustrating is their phone service. When you call because you’re in distress and want to see a doctor, they dump you from one person to another, who each asks for your record number, apparently knowing nothing of what you just told the previous person. For being such a large corporation who has spent so much on software and technology, they apparently still don’t put notes on your record to make it easier for the patient calling in during times of need.

Once you do finally get ‘approved’ to make an appointment (the ‘emergency phone nurse’ has deemed you ‘not an emergency’), the person who makes the appointment doesn’t listen or care what your issue is – they either give you a date and time (sometimes weeks in the future) or they tell you to go to Urgent Care. But, good luck trying to find out how long the wait at Urgent Care is! They will transfer you from one person to another (again) saying “Urgent Care isn’t picking up” or “I can give you the number to the operator and you can try them.” Basically, they don’t care and they just want you off of THEIR call.

Good riddance Kaiser PermanenteTwo years ago when I was afraid I had broken my finger because the swelling and pain hadn’t gone down after several days, I couldn’t get an appointment to see my primary care doctor for almost a month. Instead, they kept urging me to go to Urgent Care.

Last year when I had a flare-up of the diverticulitis, I did go to Urgent Care and was treated in a reasonable amount of time – thankfully it was 3am on a Tuesday morning and there was hardly anyone else waiting. But getting out became one of the worst healthcare experiences I’ve ever had with any medical issue. I was in terrible abdominal discomfort and pain and they sent me to their famous pharmacy – where there was a 3.5 hour wait for my prescription – which they did NOT call ahead for to save me time or frustration. Another example of poor planning and lack of patient care or concern. Seriously – how hard is it for a nurse to send over a request for a prescription so it can be waiting (or at least take less time) by the time you get there? Every other non-Kaiser doctor I’ve had in the past 10 years calls ahead or submits the request to RiteAid for me. Yet Kaiser can’t do it to their OWN pharmacy?

Dump KaiserHonestly, I picked Kaiser Permanente for two reasons: they’re huge and have been around for many years; they were the most expensive option on my list of available providers. Yes, as a single person it’s fair “inexpensive” to get healthcare coverage and the price difference was minimal, so I thought ‘the most expensive must be the best’ – I was wrong.

If you want fast-food-style customer service in your health services, go Kaiser. If you want to see YOUR doctor when you need to see him/her and don’t want to just be a “medical record number”, go with ANYONE ELSE. I’m so happy to be done with Kaiser and I’m looking forward to telling anyone that will listen to avoid Kaiser Permanente if at all possible.

Here are just a few more websites that support my claims of sub-par healthcare:   Yelp

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