This post is #2 in a series. Click here for the previous post, Getting My Groupon On.
On the heels of my successful initial Groupon order of the GoodFood weekly meal prep kit, I ventured back into the world of discounts and deals to find my next one. With the swift help of the Groupon customer service department, I am able to log into my online account once again, and so I spent a little (who am I kidding? A lot) of time perusing the deals available.
The app is pretty easy to use (for more on the app, see my first post), but I find the website has more to offer. There seems to be a plethora of choice online, however, there is one caveat: the US only deals are mixed in with the Canada only or North America-wide deals. So, you may see something that looks great, only to find it is not available to you. Further to that, I mentioned in my first post that I didn't appreciate USD pricing when I am very clearly purchasing within Canada, but at least the app tells you right away which currency the pricing is in, whereas when you're online you only find the currency once you click on the item to be taken to the description page. Not cool.
The same hotel, listed as US$100 per night on the app, no currency listed on web.
Take a look at the hotel in Niagara Falls, Ontario (Canada). Since I am looking at a hotel in Canada, and I am accessing the site from Canada, I would assume that if there is no different currency listed that I am purchasing in CAD. What is even worse about this particular example is how far down I have to go to find the fine print that informs me that I am, in fact, paying in USD. I most likely wouldn't find out until I looked at my credit card statement. I am not okay with that.
For the sake of research, I was considering purchasing an item I knew would not ship to Canada, but clearer heads prevailed. I did not really want to have to deal with any run around today, so I am going to leave that for another time (perhaps). I did, however, Google the question, but I didn't find any real answer, even three pages in. So I looked through the FAQs on groupon.com, again, no real answer. So I sent an email to customer service to see what they had to say. Customer service is probably going to hate me soon.
The closest answer to my question. This seems to be telling me I better read ALL the fine print before I buy anything.
I send the question to customer service.
I got an answer from customer service the next day - not a good answer, but an answer nonetheless. Basically the same thing I learned from FAQ - Buyer Beware. So I will remind anyone using Groupon to READ THE FINE PRINT. All of it, before you make a purchase.
I will mention that their FAQ section is pretty easy to navigate, and as you type in your query, the suggested topics that pop up are pretty relevant. It is also helpful that it is really easy to send them an email if you can't find what you're looking for. I am finding more and more online companies these days are either doing away with the ability to send an email (WHY?) or making it really difficult to even find a contact email for them. In other words, you have to have the fortitude and ability to jump through numerous hoops and really, really want it. I prefer email because I am not the quickest typist (online chat), and I also prefer to have as much information as possible upfront before I start asking questions, or answering them, for that matter.
And so, I didn't actually purchase anything today because I got so hung up on the issue of shipping. Stay tuned for the next installment, I promise I'll spend some money!
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Click here for my review of GoodFood.
#1 - Getting my Groupon On
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I’ve been spending some time perusing Groupon lately, and there are some pretty interesting things to buy and places to see listed. I haven’t used Groupon in quite a while because the last time I used it I had a bit of an issue. Not with Groupon, mind you, but with Urthbox. The short version is that I bought the deal through Groupon, but when I signed up at urthbox.com they did not honor the discount code and charged me full price. It took quite a few angry emails to get any action from them, and in the end all I received was credit to my account, not a full refund.
And so, I thought maybe I would give it another chance and do a Groupon series. I’ll buy some stuff, order some services, see some Ontario attractions, and let you know how smoothly it all goes, from start to finish.
My first real issue is occurring as I'm trying to write this post. I have always used the app, and it's one of those things where you sign up, click the 'remember me' box, and don't really give it a second thought. Right now I'm attempting to get my password reset because I'd like to log in from my laptop but don't remember my password. I have (so far, the night is young) sent seven password reset requests, both from my laptop and from the app.
A definite snag. I'm not sure where they're sending the reset email, because it's not showing up in my inbox or my spam. I even added them to my address book. Still nothing. After an hour and I lost count of how many requests, I sent Groupon a direct request. Fingers crossed.
Let's move on.
The first Groupon I decided to get is one I’ve been eyeballing for a few days: goodfood.com. It’s a meal prep subscription box. I love cooking & I have a real soft spot for subscription boxes. There’s just something fun about getting a mystery box of goodies delivered to your door. If I had the funds, I think I’d be up to my ears in subscription boxes!
The discount looks pretty good: $69 for a $140 box. Yes, it says $150 for the regular price, but I selected that one on the website and it was listed at $140. Even at regular price, on its face, it looks like a fair trade for four family meals. So enough fresh ingredients to feed four hungry mouths. I say on its face because I haven’t seen the portion sizes yet, so I’ll have to reserve judgement. Anyone trying to eat real food knows that $140 does not go very far nowadays, so I’m curious to see what kind of bang I get for my buck. I'll do a full review on the actual box once it arrives.
After I purchased my Groupon, but before I redeemed my voucher, I visited the goodfood.com website to confirm that I am actually getting a special deal. In other words, I don’t see the point of purchasing a voucher from Groupon and taking those extra steps if all I’m getting is the standard ‘new customer’ discount available to anyone direct from the site. You do get a discount directly from the site with your first order, but it’s $30 off, so your first week costs $110 instead of $140. I paid Groupon $69, and a strange (but wonderful) thing happened. When I entered my Groupon code, I received a discount of $150! So it looks like I have a credit of $10 towards next week. Bonus. (This must be because the Groupon stated $69 for $150)
New customer discount vs Groupon discount
The goodfood.com website is easy enough to navigate. Although I do have an option to switch out 2 meals, I decided to go with what they chose for us. I also got to choose my delivery day, which is nice, and a bit unusual. Most subscription boxes show up whenever they decide, especially with fresh food. Understandable, they’re grouping orders to each location to save time and cut down in costs. Goodfood.com did, however, give me the choice, and I went with Tuesdays because if I decide to stay with them awhile I figured it made sense to account for holidays and family stuff on weekends.
As with all subscription services available at a discounted price (on any site, not just Groupon), I did have to enter my credit card information. However, the website is upfront... you’re entering your card number right above the disclaimer that clearly, in regular sized font, tells you that you are signing up for a service that will charge your card $140 every week unless you say otherwise.
So, other than the password thing, it was pretty smooth sailing. I found something I liked on their main page (within the app), I purchased it, immediately received an email, and was signed up with the service with no issues with my discount code. Now I am on my way to some yummy meals next week.
**UPDATE** Groupon customer service got back to me very quickly. Although it doesn't explain why I couldn't get a password reset through the app, it seems that I was attempting a reset with groupon.ca, while my account and purchases have been with groupon.com. (groupon.ca is for residents of Quebec) So top marks for customer service so far.
A word about navigating the Groupon app; Even when I enter a specific city in the search bar, it shows me a whole lot of attractions and events that are not all that close. For example, I live in Oshawa, and when I enter that, I am also getting fun things to do in Downtown Toronto, which is an hour drive. I can tell you right now that I am not interested in driving for two hours just to have dinner or learn to salsa. An easier way to hone in on your actual area is to use the map feature (which you can find in the upper right hand corner on the app) and only things in that specific area will show up across the bottom of your screen. Now you can just scroll through them and see what is actually available in your area.
Finally, a pet peeve for all us Canadians... pricing in USD. Wagjag is famous for it, and that is largely why I don't really even look through their offers anymore. Groupon is pretty good, most things are priced in CAD, but it is disappointing to see what you think is a great deal and then see that the price is say, US$72 for a concert in Toronto. With the current exchange rate, it isn't really a good deal anymore because it's actually costing me just over $91, and that doesn't take into account the exchange fees my credit card will charge. I wish they'd do away with that and just show pricing in the currency of the country that I'm shopping in.
So that is it for my inaugural Groupon post. I'll give you an update on how quickly my password situation is resolved, and expect a new post either Tuesday or Wednesday when I review my GoodFood box. Stay tuned to see what I buy next!
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I find myself suddenly addicted to Pinterest. Don't get me wrong, I signed up long ago, but never actually got into it. I took a second look at it recently, after doing the memento mori entry. So many of the Google results gave me Pinterest as the source, and so I found myself spending quite a lot of my evening perusing people's boards. There is so much to look through that a person could get lost for weeks! Since then, I've dedicated quite a few hours to building up my own boards.
Pinterest is a fantastic tool when you use it correctly. Its a cornucopia of ideas sorted by topic where a person can go back again and again to enjoy the fruits of their internet labors. You can find anything from fashion to cars to tattoos to home decor and everything in between. Whatever you're interested in, I guarantee you will find a board (or many) dedicated to the topic.
You have the ability to follow a person (like me, click here and you can follow me, sonpec) to see all their public pins, a board (like my Books I Love) to see what's pinned to that topic, or even a general theme, like women's fashion. Your home page then lists the newest pins from these areas, along with some boards or pins which fit in with your interests.
You can pin stuff directly from your internet searches, from other pins or upload from your computer. I especially appreciate that you can also have private boards which do not show up on your main feed or in any search. I created one just for family photos that I have stored in my email until now. These can only be viewed by me or someone I invite by email. You can also allow other people to pin to your public boards the same way. Say, for example, you've started a board for your high school. You can invite your friends to pin to that board also, so it's more of a community board, which is such a great idea. Anyone can see it (as long as you haven't made it private), but only those you authorize can post pins.
When you pin directly from the net, a description and the URL will be automatically generated. Unless you're pinning from Google or some other search-type sites, then you'll be prompted for a description before you can save. A great example is: you're at beyondtherack.com and you see a stunning vintage Dior bag. Pin it, and you get the website, the name and the price, usually. A handy tool if you're thinking about saving it for later (after you've slept on that $2500 price tag). Anyone following your board may see it and want to buy it - they just click the link in your pin and they're taken right there!
This site is perfect for people like me who have a hoarder living inside them. I love collecting things. I can't do it in real life, I don't have the funds or space in my home to collect all the things I would like, but I can do it here, reorganizing as the fancy strikes. Board titles, topics, themes and descriptions can all be easily changed and pins moved with the 'edit' button. Today that picture of a tree is in a board titled 'greenery' - tomorrow it's moved to 'haunted forests'. Instead of a folder on my desktop containing all the great pics of Maynard I find on the web, I can now simply pin them to a board on Pinterest and share them with the world.
My one gripe is that it can be difficult at times to track down the source of the photo if you're searching for more information about it. One pin I tried to track took me through the boards of six different people before I gave up. The pin will tell you if it's been pinned from someone else, and give you a link to that person. Then you have to figure out which board it's on (not always easy), then search through that board for that pin. Click it, and you may be starting the process all over because that person pinned from another board. I understand it would be too much to list the whole pin flow-chart (if you will) as some pics have been pinned numerous times, but it makes life a little difficult when researching a specific pin. On the other hand, it may be a first pin, but there's no real information. Say, they pinned it from Google two years ago and just wrote 'great car' in the description. Good luck finding out what type of car or who originally uploaded it to the web. Some people give an amazing amount of detail in their descriptions, some a line or two, and some none at all. I truly enjoy the ones where people have taken the time to give the background info - especially in the cases of antique photos or historical people and places.
So I think this is a fantastic time-waster, sorter of ideas, hoarding therapy and research tool all wrapped into one. I wish I'd started to actually use it when I first signed up, but I'm glad I've re-discovered it now!
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Once upon a time, if there was a TV show you wanted to keep up to date with, you had to know when it was on and be in front of a TV at that time to enjoy it. Then came TiVo, PVRs and now we have the option to watch shows on demand with our service provider, through things like Netflix, online or downloading. With all this choice and with so many great shows out there, it is getting pretty difficult to keep track of everything you want to watch, and what you've already seen.
Enter the 4-star rated iTV Shows app by Antoine Gamond available to download for $2.99. I actually got this app for free through another app, but I would say that even at $3, this app is well worth it if you like to keep track of your shows.
Once you add the shows that you're currently watching, the app will sort them into categories: 'This Week' and 'Next Week' tell you how many days until your show airs next, with the day, time and channel.
The 'Upcoming' category lets you know when shows past next week will be on. Since we're at the end of August, this category will be full to bursting, as we see a lot of new shows returning in September.
The 'To Be Announced' category lists your shows that are returning without a specific air date. You'll notice in the top right-hand corner of some shows there's a little red triangle that reads 'up to date' - that means you've seen all the episodes for that show so far. If you're missing any episodes, you'll notice that there's nothing there.
The last (and saddest) category is 'Ended'. I love that they've added this category, because sometimes you're wondering why you haven't seen your show in a while, and when you look it up you find out that it ended unceremoniously 3 weeks ago. This category is also great for those of us who hear about great shows, download some episodes, like it, then can't find any more. The minute you add the show, you'll know whether it goes past season one.
If you click on any of the shows, you'll get a page where all the episodes are listed with the name and air date categorized within the seasons. This page is where you can list an episode as watched by touching the check mark.
All of these categories are within the 'My Shows' tab, and that's the first thing you'll see once you open the app. If you touch 'To Watch' you'll get a listing of all the shows that don't have the little red triangle along with info of how many episodes you still have to watch. If you touch any of these shows, you'll be taken to the first episode you haven't watched. It'll give you a little info and you can leave or read comments about that episode by tapping the notepad and like it by tapping the heart. You can also share on social media from this screen.
Next along the bottom is 'Calendar' and it gives you a week's worth of shows. If you tap on one of them, it will take you to a brief (although not very-well written) synopsis of that episode.
The next two are 'Genius' and 'Statistics'. Genius is great as once you've set up an account with them (takes less than a minute) you'll get recommendations based on what you're watching now, what's trending and new show premieres. This is a great way to find new shows that you're not watching but would probably enjoy. I know I found a few this way. Unfortunately, you can't click on them for more info. Or maybe you can, I haven't been able to, clicking on the plus adds it to your shows. The stats tab gives you just that - your stats, interesting, but most of us probably wouldn't use it much.
You can also add friends and see what they're watching. Deleting a show is pretty easy once you figure it out (I had to google it), and although there is lots to explore, there is no help or FAQ page in sight. You can find info readily available on the web, as this app has become pretty popular for good reason.
All in all a great app that I use every day. It's well made, easy to navigate and has loads of great info. There could be a few small tweaks made (quick summary of shows in genius, FAQ or instructions added) but on the whole, iTV Shows 3 well deserves the 4 stars it has received. It would probably be higher if people understood that this is not an app which enables you to watch the shows, only track them, and that it does well.
Hi! I'm Sonja and I'm glad you're here! I'm happy to share some recipes and gardening tips with you while I let you know about great (or not so great) products, services, and media I encounter.
Any & all of my posts may contain ads and/or affiliate links.
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