Casey Parris, known on YouTube as RockstarFlipper, publishes videos about his eBay business. He buys clothing and other things at Goodwill, yard sales, pawn shops, etc. and then sells them on eBay for a profit. He appears to be good at selling things on eBay. He famously drives a BMW i8 sportscar, an automobile that costs around $150,000. According to his videos, he drives this high-performance, luxury vehicle to yard sales and Goodwill, in pursuit of his treasures to sell on eBay. Continue reading Sprint vs. RockstarFlipper
On December 22, I signed up for DirecTv Now, the new streaming TV service offered by AT&T. I signed up for the “Go Big” package, normally $70 per month, but currently $35 per month for as long as I keep my DirecTv Now account. I also paid $5 extra a month for HBO. My monthly total was $40. The package also came with a 7-day free trial.
When you sign up, it presents you with different options. If you agree to pay for three months upfront, they will send you a free Apple TV. I chose this option because if I decided to keep it after the 7-day free trial, I most likely be keeping it well beyond three months.
That was a huge mistake.
The DirecTv Now service is terrible. The picture quality is awful. It’s heavily pixelated, and it always buffers. Switching from one channel to another is time-consuming. It takes far longer than it should, far longer than it does on similar streaming services. The buffering at times makes whatever you’re watching truly unwatchable. It reminded me of watching Netflix six years ago on DSL.
They should change the name from DirecTv Now to DirecTv QP1502. That’s the error you constantly get while trying to watch content.
The channel lineup is also terrible. I’ve never heard of some of the channels they include. Justice Network? What’s that? They also don’t provide ABC or NBC, even though they claim to on their website.
DirecTv Now also doesn’t include any on demand features. If you want to watch a show, you have to watch it when the network streams it. Having a DirecTV Now account doesn’t allow you to sign into network apps to watch on demand content there like you can if you are a DirecTv, Dish, or cable subscriber.
DirecTv Now is also a bandwidth hog. After using it for a few days, our cable Internet provider contacted us to inform us we’ve already used 70% of our monthly data. I can only imagine what would happen if we watched DirecTv Now for a full month.
Taking all this into consideration, I decided to cancel my DirecTv Now account. I thought that since I was still on the 7-day free trial, I was covered. It turns out I was not. After logging into DirecTv Now and going through the process of canceling my account, I was informed that my account would remain active until April 1st. I then noticed that they had already charged my credit card the $120 for the three months. They weren’t supposed to do that. According to their website, I wouldn’t be billed until after the free trial. It says so in the fine print.
The Apple TV they promised I would receive for signing up for three months would not be sent our for another two to three weeks. I assumed that was because I was still under the 7-day trial. No, it turns out they’re just slow and they don’t care about customer satisfaction.
I contacted DirecTv Now customer support. They said because I already paid for three months, there was nothing they could do. I told them that I didn’t know I was charged the $120. I explained I thought my credit card would not be charged until after the 7-day free trial because that’s what it said on their website. They said that the 7-day free trial was added to the end of my subscription. That’s why my subscription doesn’t end after exactly three months. It’s active until April 1st.
They also said DirecTv Now does not issue refunds.
I don’t understand how what DirecTv Now is doing is even legal. They are selling a service that’s buggy and doesn’t work correctly and they have a no-refund policy. I also didn’t understand how my 7-day free trial would be tacked on to the backend of my three-month subscription. How can that even be considered a trial?
I will be contacting my bank and disputing the $120 charge. I will also be contacting the Maryland Attorney General. If enough people do this, maybe AT&T, will be forced to change their ways.
I made a decision last night that when I see a fake NFL jersey on eBay, I will report it to eBay. That’s right, I’ve become a snitch.
I have an email alert set up with eBay so that when someone posts a Nike Elite NFL jersey in my size, I get an immediate email alerting me to this fact. I got one of these emails like night. I looked at it and immediately knew it was a counterfeit jersey. I have a real Nike Elite NFL jersey. I bought it from the NFL Shop. I know what a real Nike Elite NFL jersey looks like.
It wasn’t even a good counterfeit jersey. So I reported it.
I use to have a negative view on snitching. I never wanted to be thought of as a snitch. The older I get, the more I just don’t care. I don’t care what people think of me, especially people who are not in my life in a meaningful way. I care what my wife thinks about me. I care what my brother and his wife think about me. I care what my wife’s family thinks about me.
That’s about it.
If you don’t want me to snitch on you, whether it’s on eBay or anywhere else, then don’t do bad shit in front of me. If you decide to do something immoral or unethical in my presence and you’re worried that I may tell someone what you did, it’s a valid concern to have. I will snitch on you.
You can count on it.
Self proclaimed “Godzilla of Feminists” Brianna Wu is being accused of fraud by an anonymous Patreon supporter. The basis of the accusation is connected to the stated purpose of the Patreon goal. Here is what Wu posted on Patreon:
Here’s where you come in: If you appreciate what I do, please chip in so I can hire some help with the Women in Tech advocacy I do. I need someone to help me with the medial parts of dealing with my attackers so I can focus on my work, making and shipping games. I imagine we’ll also have them work on women in tech advocacy.
Wu’s Patreon supporters collectively give $2,184.70 each month. This helps with paying for the full-time employment of a person named Natalie O’Brien.
This is what the anonymous Patreon supporter wrote on Medium:
In various publications, Brianna has mentioned a woman named Natalie O’Brien. She has claimed that Natalie O’Brien is a pregnant woman who she hired as an administrator. I now believe that Natalie O’Brien may not exist and that Brianna Wu has simply pocketed the money for herself.
In my humble opinion, complaining about possible fraud on Patreon is a lot like swimming in the Atlantic Ocean and then complaining about getting wet. Fraud is always a real possibility with Patreon because there are no mechanisms in place to make sure money is actually going to the stated purpose.
Fraud becomes even more of a possibility because it’s connected to Brianna Wu. This is not be the first time Wu has been accused of not telling the truth.
My advice to anyone wanting to give to a cause and they want to make sure the money is going to that cause, stay clear of Patreon. Look instead for organizations who’ve been vetted by the IRS as bona fide non-profits. These organizations must file reports with the IRS every year that show how much money they take in and how they use the money. These reports are made available to the public.
By all means give money to people on Patreon if it makes you feel good. Just don’t expect any kind of verification or proof. That’s not what Patreon does.