Reviews

Reviews of businesses can help people learn about their strengths and weaknesses and could even cause change.

Monday, November 21, 2016 6:36 AM HST - Posted by Jason

Reviews

This is my reviews page where I will review businesses, companies and agencies that I have visited and discovered. They will be as complete as possible and highlight the good and the bad things.

I used to post reviews on Yelp, but they removed several of them and I felt like it is a poor place for me to continue posting. The point of a review is to inform people and sometimes inspire change and improvement. There are many ways to accomplish this though.

Please consider reviewing businesses and companies that you learn about and have experience with because others could benefit. Also, please consider starting a blog for reviews or post them in your regular blog instead of using a company like Yelp that could censor you like they did to me.

May 11, 2018 11:45 PM HST - Posted by Jason

Public Storage - Miami, Florida

Public Storage

4 Stars


I used this storage company for four months (between December 26 and April 25) and I had a good experience. The staff was very nice and professional. They even waived a late fee for me one time.

One employee smoked cigarettes in front of the store, but he only worked on the weekends. Also, they do not prorate, so even though I knew I was leaving on April 25, I had to pay for the entire month of April. The price was affordable though.

The storage hours were good for me because the facility opened at 6 a.m. and closed at 9 p.m. The location was good because it was only a couple of blocks from the Miami Metrorail and bus station in Coconut Grove. It was also close to lots of other things.

Their bathroom was usually open after hours and they had a drinking fountain with good water. The elevators were convenient, but one of them had some issues. There weren’t too many people coming in and out and people rarely walked past my unit and the management only did once.

If or when I return to Coconut Grove for an extended period of time, I will definitely consider using this storage company again.

2851 SW 31st Ave.
Miami, FL 33133
305-443-0791

May 3, 2018 5:43 PM PST - Posted by Jason

Starbucks - El Cajon, California

Starbucks

0 Stars


The barista named Robbie served me and I asked him what he had to drink that was organic. He suggested a few things that weren’t organic and didn’t seem to know. He talked in circles for a few minutes and it was uncomfortable. He seemed like he was gay and wanted to talk to me, but I just wanted my drink.

The place was crowded, so I found the only seat available and it was across from three Arabs. I like Arabs and I was married to one for 10 years. However, these guys were rude to me and started a fight. One of them stuck their cell phone camera in my face and when I asked them not to they got upset and one of them jumped up and said he wanted to fight me outside and ran outside. They used profanity and were jerks, so I left.

I won’t return to this location. It was definitely one of the worst Starbuckses that I have ever been to and I grew up down the street and used to visit Parkway Plaza shopping mall (which is nearby) all of the time when I was younger and lived in El Cajon. Things have definitely changed.

Address:
380 Broadway
El Cajon, California 92021
619-447-4607

March 4, 2018 11:10 PM EST - Posted by Jason

Walmart - Miami, Florida


5 Stars


I have visited this Walmart several times and it is good. However, the last time I visited the employees went over and above what was expected.

I take the metro train a dozen stops to get there, but I accidentally took the orange line instead of the green line and went a little too far and to the airport. Therefore, I had to take the orange line back one stop and then take the green line a little further to get there. Unfortunately, they had closed the returns line at 10 p.m. and I arrived about 15 minutes past 10 p.m.

When I explained my situation to the man behind the desk, he listened and was sympathetic. He said he just closed the register and I said I would be happy with a gift card and he had an employee process my returns and they put about $21 on a gift card for me.

I was thankful that they did this because I used the money to buy things while I was there. It also saved me the hassle of having to bring my returns back another day.

Thanks, Walmart.

Address:
3200 NW 79th St.
Miami, Florida 33147
305-913-8439

March 4, 2018 11:10 PM EST - Posted by Jason

Starbucks - Miami, Florida


5 Stars


This Starbucks location is very good. Most of their employees are nice and friendly and they have personally helped me twice.

After recharging my Starbucks card, I left it in the store and they set it aside for me. When I returned several days later, it was there and they gave it to me. I had transferred the balance to a gift card, but I was happy that they hung onto my gold card for me, so I would not have to order another one.

Yesterday I left my coffee mug and single-cup, coffee brewer in the bathroom because I intended on washing them. When I realized it, I called them about 20 minutes after closing and they answered. The employee that answered was nice enough to find it for me, put my name on it and secure it until I was able to return tonight and get it. I am stoked because it saved me $10-$15 and a trip to the store to repurchase those things.

This location opens early and can get very busy between about 7 a.m. and 10 a.m., but they work fast and lots of people flow in and out. They have a spacious indoor and outdoor seating area and both areas have strong WiFi and a nice atmosphere except after hours when a very strange security guard works outside, but that is not their fault.

Thanks. I’ll be back.

Address:
2550 S. Bayshore Dr. Ste. 101
Coconut Grove, Florida 33133
305-858-4539

January 4, 2018 10:46 PM EST - Posted by Jason

GoDaddy Review

GoDaddy

1 Star


I have used GoDaddy’s services for many years, but they have gotten worse and worse.

GoDaddy began as my Internet domain name registrar. I have registered dozens of names with them because they have affordable prices. Also, when I began buying a hosting reseller plan from them it made it easy to point the nameservers to my server and maintain them.

The first sign that GoDaddy was going downhill was when they stopped offering email support. I rarely use a phone and do not carry a cell phone, so forcing me to use the phone to call their customer support was not good. They also have inconsistent chat support, so that wasn’t really an option.

GoDaddy stopped seeding the Internet with discount coupon codes, so I stopped getting discounted hosting. In the past there used to be a different coupon online every month, so it would reduce the cost of my hosting plan by at least 10%. However, as of a few years ago they became impossible to find.

GoDaddy’s most recent offense is when they moved my websites to a different server without telling me. This caused some big problems at a bad time because I was not able to immediately fix everything they messed up.

For some reason they moved my websites and all of their associated files to a different server without telling me, so when things stopped working like they did before I figured it out and approached them. They acted like it was normal and like they had a bunch of clients that they did that to and it was no big deal. They even acted like everything was working fine when it wasn’t. It showed me how clueless they were and how they did not examine the web pages before or after they moved them.

Specifically, php includes were enabled and utilized on the old server and they do not work on the new one. This caused me to have to fix all of the pages that were using them. Fortunately, I did not have thousands of pages that used them like before, but I only had about 10. However, i still had to do several hours of work and testing to make things run properly again and they did not really care or offer any solutions. They disabled my .htaccess file that was guiding the previous site and said they did not know why it was giving us a 403 error now.

I am disappointed with the way that GoDaddy has changed. They are charging more for less and they are even screwing up established websites.

October 21, 2017 3:16 AM HST - Posted by Jason

Starbucks Review

Starbucks

2 Stars


When I need electricity and WiFi, I often visit Starbucks. However, there are some good and bad things about the cafe chain.

In Honolulu, there is no competition except McDonalds for Starbucks after business hours. One of their stores stays open until 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and several other stores do not close until 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. Some locations open as early as 4 a.m.

Here are some things that I like and do not like about Starbucks.


Likes

- Some locations give you free hot and cold water and even cups. I bring my own hot and cold water cups though. The cold water is triple-filtered, so it tastes great. The hot water is filtered as well.

- They have clean bathrooms with a mirror and warm water.

- They are open earlier and later than others.

- Free napkins.


Dislikes

- Stores don’t brew organic coffee even though they sell bags of it online.

- It is always cold inside despite how late or early it is. They can never change the temperature.

- Some locations lock their WiFi after business hours.

- The one organic, whole bean coffee (Yukon blend) that stores sometimes sell tastes like brake fluid.

- Their employees routinely dust around customers with open drinks.

- Stores often close their bathroom during the last 30 hours of operation to clean it.


On a typical trip to Starbucks, I think I get my money’s worth. I usually buy organic chocolate and peanut butter cups ($2.30) or organic coconut and vanilla or chocolate cookies ($3). I have also tried the organic pea chips, organic chocolate milk and organic fruit chews. The average cost for me is under $3, so I don’t know how they make much money. I think they make money from more expensive drinks with sweeteners.

Starbucks has a rewards program, but it takes much longer to get a free item than it used to. I used to get a free item every dozen or so purchases, but now it takes about three times as long. They changed how it works about a year ago.

When I visit Starbucks I charge my devices and use the Internet. I bring an iPad, Kindle and sometimes a netbook and other devices. With my order, I get a large paper cup of hot water and brew my own organic coffee and organic tea. I typically get one or two cups of hot water and I get cold drinking water too. Therefore, I think if I count all of the things that I get when I visit Starbucks it is equitable to my meager sub-$3 payment. I could buy the same item elsewhere and get nothing for free with it.

I hope that Starbucks makes improvements because they don’t seem like they are going away. Selling healthy organic meals would be great. They could also brew organic coffee like their organic Serena blend. If they would dust the store before they open and after they close it would reduce airborne allergens while people are there.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016 PM HST - Posted by Jason

Walmart - Kahului, Maui, Hawaii

Walmart

2 Stars


This Walmart is not open 24 hours, but they close at 11 p.m.

There are a few products that I routinely buy here like alcohol wipes and Brita filter water bottles. I also buy organic Rockstar drinks sometimes.

The McDonalds does not have WiFi Internet. Also, there are frequently people smoking cigarettes in front of the store.

There is a blind corner as you turn into the parking lot because there is a hedge next to a stop sign. When I ride a bike, it can be very dangerous. Cars do not stop and they roll through the stop sign at various speeds and they typically look the opposite way (left) while they roll and turn right. Someone may get killed there one day if they do not trim the hedge or if the police do not enforce the law.

There is no bike rack and I either have to lock my bike to a pole or to the shopping cart rack. However, people frequently smoke cigarettes by the rack and sometimes the sprinklers turn on and drench everything. If they were smart, they would time the sprinklers to come on around 3 a.m. when it is the coldest part of the day because there is the least amount of evaporation.

I bought a 7-speed, Schwinn beach cruiser and it has worked pretty well. However, Neal at Maui Cyclery and the guy at the other bike shop across the street from them have said many negative things about the bike.

I bought a Nextbook tablet and used it for awhile and returned it and they did not ask any questions. It was not in perfect condition too.

I will return to this Walmart from time to time. However, I wish they would make a few improvements. For instance, they sold out of the $1 flip flops and I would like to buy a pair to wear in the gym shower. They have been out of them for weeks, but they have more expensive ones.

Address:
101 Pakaula St.
Kahului, HI 96732
Phone:
(808) 871-7820

Wednesday, December 7, 2016 PM HST - Posted by Jason

Safeway - Kahului, Maui, Hawaii

Safeway

2 Stars


This Safeway is open 24 hours, but they do not have WiFi Internet or a place to sit and drink coffee like some of them do.

Although they are expensive, Safeway sells many organic products now. They sell things like chips, cheese, bananas, salad, yogurt (although there is only one and it is flavored), cereal, granola, bread, ice cream, pasta sauce, oranges, etc. Typically I can find most of the things that they sell a little cheaper elsewhere. However, when they put organic food on sale it is fairly competitive.

Sometimes there is a very long line and there is no self checkout lane like some of them offer. Also, they sometimes run out of a product and do not get it back in.

They sell organic beer and organic vodka, but they do not have organic wine. Also, they disallow alcohol sales after 11 p.m.

There is no bike rack, so I ave to lock my bike to the shopping cart rack in front of the store. There are often people lingering around in front of the store and some of them think that they are tough. Many of them look homeless and some of them sell drugs. Some of them are very nice too.

It appears that the police and the property owners allow the homeless people to sleep around there at night. Therefore, about a half a dozen homeless people can be found in front of the store or nearby. They do not bother people that I know of though.

Their men’s bathroom was out of toilet paper when I used it. It seemed a little dirty, but it is open all night.

I have been to nicer grocery stores and nicer Safeway stores. However, this one isn’t too bad. The people that work at night are not exceptionally nice, but the people that work during the day are friendly.

Address:
170 E. Kamehameha Ave.
Kahului, HI 96732
Phone:
(808) 877-3377

Wednesday, December 7, 2016 PM HST - Posted by Jason

GoDaddy

GoDaddy

3 Stars


I have used GoDaddy’s services for over a decade. When I first used them, they were only my domain registrar and I eventually reserved dozens of domain names with them. They were relatively inexpensive and I wanted to keep all of my domains with one registrar for ease of use.

Eventually I used GoDaddy for my domain hosting and paid them a fee to use one of their web servers. The server that I have been using is shared and it is a Linux server. It seems to have good uptime, but not 100%. It allows me to FTP files and it is $9.99/month (it used to be $8.99/month) for 250 GB of space and virtually unmetered bandwidth, which is plenty of space for my websites and my backups.

GoDaddy used to offer email support, but they stopped supporting customers by email a year or two ago. This makes it much more difficult for me to get questions answered. However, they usually respond on Twitter and they offer phone support.

GoDaddy used to have coupons online for hosting discounts. In fact, each month that I wanted to pay for my hosting (and sometimes I paid for a year at once) I could find a discount coupon. However, I could not find them for the last year or two, so I stopped looking.

GoDaddy offers chat support and it is helpful and prompt, but sometimes you have to wait in line before an agent can help you. Sometimes they do not know the answer too.

I like GoDaddy and I would recommend them, but they have their flaws and their service has become a little more expensive and inconvenient. However, I am still using their regisrar service and hosting service because I don’t want to move everything and they are still competitive.

Address:
14455 N. Hayden Rd. Ste. 226
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Phone:
(480) 505-8877

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 12:29 PM HST - Posted by Jason

Target - Kahului, Maui, Hawaii

Target

0 Stars


This Target is disgusting because the employees smoke a few feet upwind from the bike rack. Nearly every time that I arrive, an employee or multiple employees are smoking cigarettes on me and I hate it. They are belligerent and don’t care. I wonder if they like smoking toxic chemicals on babies or old ladies the most.

Everything here is high priced. The Walmart down the street has cheaper prices. I bought a Schwinn bike rack from this store and it broke after a few weeks. It was professionally installed too.

This Target carries a couple of organic products that I may buy, but most of their food is crap. If I need anything else, I will buy it elsewhere. Furthermore, they are so cheap that their organic food has removed the natural oil (and presumably sold it) and added canola oil. I hate canola oil and I won’t eat it. I think this was a cheap and pathetic move.

It is bad enough that hundreds of cars pollute on me while I ride my bike to Target. It makes me very upset when their employees smoke on me and they are lucky that I do not respond in kind. Not to mention, I contacted Target on Twitter and they replied and acted like they would take care of the problem and they did not.

Flies will land on you in their eating area. If you like flies and that is your thing, then have it. Their Starbucks is clueless. Teeny bopper types will point cell phone cameras at you, so get ready for that too.

Target in Kahului is an epic fail and I would stay away.

Address:
100 Hookele St.
Kahului, HI 96732
Phone:
(808) 359-2829

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 10:50 AM HST - Posted by Jason

CostCo - Kahului, Maui, Hawaii

CostCo

3 Stars


The CostCo store in Kahului is pretty typical, but they lack some organic food that I found in Honolulu.

Organic bananas, organic pistachios, organic almonds and organic cashews have disappeared. They also do not have some of the other organic products that Honolulu’s CostCo carried. However, they have Late July organic blue chips and although you must buy a large bag, they are good.

On my handful of visits to this store, I have had good experiences. The lines have not been too long and the bathroom has been clean. Their organic dried peaches and organic bread are affordable.

The parking lot is a zoo and it becomes crowded on weekends, but that is pretty typical. They sell all sorts of clothes, food, electronics, cleaners and other things like their other stores. Sometimes you have to buy a lot of one product though.

I do not like how I must decide between $20 or $60 cash back when I use my ATM debit card to make a purchase. Why can’t I withdraw $40? Why can’t I withdraw $21? At Safeway, for instance, I can make a purchase with my debit card and get odd amounts.

Why can’t I use one of my debit cards like a credit card at CostCo? It would save me money because one debit card charges me .50 cents when I use it and the other gives me 1% cash back when I use it like a credit card.

I ate in CostCo’s outside eating area and it was okay. Even though cars were nearby, I didn’t smell them and it was probably because of the glass wall.

Although I may not return until December, I will be back and buy some things because they are affordable and I have a free membership. If I had to buy my membership, I probably wouldn’t bother because it would barely pay for itself by buying small amounts of organic food.

Address:
540 Haleakala Hwy
Kahului, HI 96732
Phone:
(808) 877-5241

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 10:50 AM HST - Posted by Jason

Tamura’s Fine Wine and Liquors - Kahului, Maui, Hawaii



Tamura’s Fine Wine and Liquors


4 Stars


I have been inside this liquor store a few times and it has a good selection of local and international beer, alcohol and wine.

Since I do not eat or drink anything that is not organic, I appreciate the organic vodka, organic beer and organic tequila that they sell. I have never drank organic tequila, but it is on my bucket list. They have two imported varieties from Mexico and one is dark and one is light.

It is difficult to find organic beer, but they sell the imported, organic beer from England that Safeway and Whole Foods sell. It costs about 10% less too.

I will return to this liquor store because they have some good things, the people are nice and helpful and the price is right.

Address:
199 Dairy Rd
Kahului, HI 96732
Phone:
(808) 873-8000

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 10:50 AM HST - Posted by Jason

Denny’s - Kahului, Maui, Hawaii

Denny’s

1 Star


I have been to several Denny’s restaurants around the country and this one has some issues.

First, there are a few good things, so I will mention them. The water is filtered and it seems to taste fine (hot and cold). The service is good and a couple of the servers are friendly (e.g. Pono).

This Denny’s has several electrical outlets that they let customers use while they sit at a booth and order food. It is open 24 hours and their bathroom is fairly clean.

The cook unashamedly smokes cigarettes a few feet from the door, which is disgusting and illegal. It is always cold inside, which may be nice on a hot afternoon, but at 1 a.m. it feels too cold. Also, the WiFi Internet is not working and did not work a few days ago. Don’t come here if you are relying on getting online.

There is no bike rack and the stained carpets smell and look absolutely horrible. If you sit outside for a few minutes and you are not vigilant, you will likely be bitten by mosquitoes. They bit me on the leg twice.

I never want to return to this Denny’s and it is difficult to stay away because I enjoy staying up all night and it is the only place in Kahului that is open 24 hours every day. Nonetheless, the smelly carpets give me an upset stomach and I won’t eat anything on their menu because it is not organic. I vowed to stay away from here for good until they fixed the carpets, but I returned one final time to review it.

Address:
430 Kele St
Kahului, HI 96732
Phone:
(808) 873-5550