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Updated 10/21/2009 - Other Opinion and Rating Organizations

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Sacramento Bee - 1) Experiencing High Call Volume message. 2) Dropped call prior to hearing live voice. However, when manager was requested on next call, she courteously heard complaint and had Classified sales call me back within minutes! 2/6/02 3) Extremely lazy and slanted news and standards. Discourages third parties. Recommend boycott. 11/21/06. 4) Doesn't get back to caller regarding Toyota Prius Hybrid battery failures. Toyota is a major advertiser with the paper. 1/31/2010

Safeway Food & Drug - 1) Junk Mail 8/15/01

Sam's Club (Internet Services - Shopping Cart)- 1) Had trouble sending through a payment and used email to contact customer rather than call. 2) Called support, who dropped call transfer to billing voicemail. 3) Customer service is handled by outside contractor that uses different name and unknown to customer making customer think they have a wrong number. 4) Message time-out is too short to leave a reasonable message. 7/25/08

Samsung (ML-4600 Blazer Printer) - 1) Horrible service. Lost use of printer for almost 6 months. 8/15/02. 2) Spent half a day trying to install useless drivers. 3) Down another two months awaiting drivers for BOTH Win XP and Mac OS10.2 due out in late December or Early January 2003 as of last notice. (Guess I just won't print anything for 2 months). I am forced to buy another brand printer today. Samsung has proven itself useless (based on this experience, I avoided a samsung phone purchase. I wonder if stock holders are aware of this company's inadequacies? Updated 12/06/2002.

SBC (now AT&T) - 1) When illegal unsolicited faxes are sent to my home, unless you file harassment or they do a check on future phones, they can't contact the sender to tell them to stop 7/12/04

Seagate - Wouldn't honor a rebate for it's hard drive on the basis of an incorrect SKU number (given to them clipped from the box) This is a blatant and common attempt to steal money from its customers used by more and more corrupt companies. - Michael Murphy 1/28/05 Seagate is also in a suit that Cornice claims is an attempt to tie them up in litigation so as to put them out of business. Based on how Seagate handles its rebates, I wouldn't be surprised if Cornice is right. Seagate is also in a suit that has caused them to disable the quieting AAM feature in its drives. Sometimes when companies are losing money, they do crooked things, and this may be Seagate's case: see:,1759,1625453,00.asp See also:

Service Champions - 1) Junk Mail 10/21/09, 2) Mail appears to be personal until you open it to see the brochure in which Keven Cormerford addresses you, "Dear Friend." Of course it's still a BBB certified business. Ha! Ha! 10/21/09
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S&G Carpet and More Inc (Sacramento CA Area) -1) Junk Mail 4/3/08

Schwarzenegger, Arnold Inc (CA Governor 2005-2006Software Center) -1) Increasing spending on public education where the CA average is already over $10,000 per student per year. 2) Being a member of the Republican Party 3) Varying from socialism to fiscal conservatism with no apparent rhyme or reason.

Serif Inc (The Software Center - PagePlus Software) -1) Junk Mail 10/22/02, 2) 99 cent pricing. 3) $99.95 price with X thru it to imply that it used to be that price.
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Service Champions Heating and Air Conditioning Inc, Kevin Comerford, Rocklin CA -1) Junk Mail 2) Uses personal return address to disguise the fact that inside is advertising junk mail. As of 7/13/09
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The Shane Company - Now you have a friend in the diamond business - 1) Offering discounts because "they want to save you money" when in fact the main reason they offer discounts is most likely "to get your money." 8/19/04.

SHARP - You do survey with registration, you provide the stamp. Penny pinching company. 1/31/02

Shell Oil Company - Junk Mail 8/20/01

Sierra Shadows Dental Care - Junk Mail 10/15/01 ,

SIIG, Inc. - 1) No phone numbers on product packaging. 2) No phone number (other than fax) on web site. 3) Poorly worded system requirements on product package. 4) Had to look up company on web. Called non-toll free number and not offered an operator. Pressed "O" and got one who transferred me to technical support. 5) Auto message said they really valued my call, then placed me on 10 minute hold on my dime. 6) finally asked me to leave a message for a call back. This was all just to check on product compatibility prior to installation and opening package. I'm still waiting for a call back. 7) So I went to the web site and filled out a lengthy form email, (which many companies use to avoid you having a legal copy of the email.) 8) then it left a ticket number on the screen. When I tried to click on it, the page disappeared. This is one company that apparently has very serious communications problems. 10/1/03

SmartDisk Corporation (VST Corporation's Tri-Media Reader) - Does not keep drivers up to date, making product unusable. 2) web site sends users into an endless loop avoiding direct contact with tech support most likely to save money 3) web site has user answer a marketing survey in order to get a message to the webmaster. 12/8/02

SmithMicro - 1) 99 cent pricing (ArtRage Software 8/26/08) 2) Try's to sell very expensive "Download Protection" via Digital River 8/26/08 when it should automatically provide download software if you already have a license for it.

Sony Corporation - I love it when corporations demand honest workers, when they are anything but honest themselves. In that, Sony is typical. 1)On the packaging of their 17 in 1 Multi-Card reader/writer, they admit in single and double asterisks that they can not read and write 2 of the 17 cards. Therefore, it appears to really be a 15 in 1 Multi-Card reader/writer. Someone in development forgot to tell marketing which often gets a little carried away with the hype. 1/2/07

Southwest Airlines - 1) Overbooking Flights 2) Lost luggage (A& TV 9/12/04 e.

Sprint PCS-1) 99 cent pricing, 2) missing unstated benefits in long term wireless contracts. i.e. no blue tooth, no upgrade path to newer phones, fine print breaks assumed rebate offered in following months on phones,no service during free months because service isn't working properly or ready for consumers, not able to use as modem or PC only capabilities on some services, no camera abilities 3) broken salesman commitments. per Gerard Hicks, 3g specialist, Rocklin CA. 4) Extremely poor phone support with bad automation program. 11/2002, 5) Selling within the phone cue. 6) Billing is seldom right and is overcharging!!!! 7) When customers don't pay the overcharge amount (after Sprint representative agrees to remove it), Sprint charges a late fee for underpayment (Billing errors are a documented Sprint problem for over 10 years) 7) Took over 2 months to get email due to Sprint system short working. 8). emails have links written in exclusive Microsoft code where macs can't click on links and have them go to link, even to contact Sprint!!!!! This is very shortsighted showing a lack of programming skills. (It's one thing to maintain free services and have shortcomings but another to charge for services with so many short comings.
9). Customers have to log in to contact Sprint by email. (Guess Sprint is too flooded with complaints to allow easier access to it's support?) 10) Somebody ought to give Claire (the voice support technician) early retirement. A real human would be nice. 11)Sprint keeps extending contracts (by years) without customer's permission.
The world still waits for the first honest and efficient phone company.

Square Trade (Ebay's "not so square" dispute resolution service)-1) Auto charges your credit card even though you don't want it too. 2) Was never able to resolve my disputes and is therefore a fraud to my estimation. 3) Has monopoly on eBay dispute resolution. It is a service that should be free through all auction houses to remove illegitimate or error feedback. Square Trade is yet another online rip-off company. 4/30/05

Stanford Ranch Realty (Russ & Rory)-Junk Mail 10/15/01

Staples - Sold defective Cobra walkie talkies and would not accept returns over 14 days on all electronics. Even the stores are aware that there is a lot of electronic and can't afford to stand behind the products. 2) 14 day return policy 9/1/01, 3) Long rebate processing time (in hopes customer forgets all about it???) 4) Doesn't pay out on Staples sponsored rebates!!!! even after store management goes to bat for customer!??? 5) Rewards expire (1 year) 6) Ink cartridge incentives are now part of rewards and also expire in one year. 7) Complex reward scheme where purchases are posted much later, sometimes over a month out. Despite website, reward tracking is extremely complex for the end user. 8) Long hold time to reach rewards customer service. 9) Store staff could not update rewards account information. You have to go online. 8/4/08

Starbucks, Rocklin & Roseville, CA - 1) 99 cent pricing 2) Frequent restroom and eating area cleanliness and maintenance problems. Staff is in charge of restroom cleanliness. 3) Poor computer hookups for T-Mobile services that endanger foot traffic, and jeopardize computers. 4) Raising prices without having addressed these problems. 5) Terrible parking lot cleanliness with spilled coffee drinks attracting flies and bees. They blame property management which blames water reclamation problems. They need to go to the City Council, Health Department, etc. Don't wait for customers to act on your behalf. 9/12/04 6) Place is still unclean. Corporate expects the staff that serves you food to keep the restrooms clean and they are frequently very dirty for days on end. It's one thing to support 3rd world coffee growers, its another to have floors and restrooms like 3rd World countries. 2/25/06. 7) Brand new convection ovens ruin T-mobile Internet service at Starbucks that use them. After repeated complaints. to various levels of management, and of T-Mobile, over a three month period, service is not improved. Refunds can be requested by T-Mobile users. Of course one would think that food and cleanliness go hand in hand, but not at Starbucks where the Internet doesn't always work and certainly isn't free!

Starstream Cable, Rocklin CA- Local Cable Service going out of business) 1) LOCAL MONOPOLY 2) UNRELIABLE SERVICE. It may be their bandwidth vendors, it may be the constant movement of the customers connections, it may be the almost yearly replacements of your modem, it may just be a tech with an attitude - only the hairdresser knows for sure. In this "you're not in control" world of high tech, the alternatives to a local cable monopoly may be no better. Just don't bet your life on service at any specific point in time. 3) CABLE -TV - Turning up the volume on commercials is perhaps one of the rudest and most annoying things a station provider can do. 9/22/02 4) Called to inform cable went offline for a minute or so, then my cable TV was fine but internet service started dropping off by itself. Each time I called, it was like magic that it came back on. Then, when I hung up, it would go out again. Think someone was having a little fun??? 5) Numerous phone calls went unanswered on a Friday 12/20/2002 6) Service seems to go down while the prices go up. 7) Bandwidth is supposedly increasing as the internet gets slower and slower. 8) 99 Cent pricing. 9) Charging monthly for web mail, a service that is free with most internet providers. Again, when you've got a monopoly, you can do almost anything you want. Just keep the local powers that be happy. 12/24/0210) No 24 hour network monitoring or support. Cable Modem Service out again on 12/27/02. 10) Slow Service the whole month of February 2003 (would have been better off with a 14.4 modem some nights) Lost connection again on 3/3/03 numerous calls to answering service from customers and 11) answering services computers were down as well. Prices keep going up and promises of service "improvements" keep worsening the service. Time to sell out to Comcast???? Service again dropped off on 3/6 3:30. This company just can't seem to get it together even with a monopoly for their area. Service dropped again from at least 3/22 thru 3/23/03, then slower than molasses in winter. Another outage at prime-time on 4/21/03. Another at 7:30 a.m. 5/8/03 12) Service outages 3-4 days in a row 11/21-25/03 Interfering with eBay sales, home loan processes and real estate deals in Hawaii. Consistently unreliable service and no returned calls after 3 messages left with answering service. The way I post this is thru T-mobile at Starbucks. 11) Company contributed to Republican campaigns and then ran exclusive debates on the behalf of Republicans and Democrats without even inviting the third candidate. A resulting boycott may have contributed to their going out of business by selling out to Wave Communications. We look forward to better service and more objective public access. Good riddance.

Star Wars Fan Club - 1) 99 cent pricing. 2) Failure to establish subscription expiration date on requests for renewal. 12/6/04

State of California - 1) Corrupt political system. 2) Overly complex tax system resulting in overpayments. 3) Corrupt politicians 4) Rigged debates which exclude 3rd parties. 5) High Taxes 6) Over budget 7) Taxation without representation. 8) Corporate run State. 4/13/05

State of Hawaii - 1) Corrupt political system. 2) Overly complex tax system resulting in overpayments. 3) Corrupt politicians 4) Unavailable forms on the Internet 5) High taxes 6) Taxation without representation 7) Corporate and Developer run state. 8) During Tax season, their lines are always busy. This alone should be a a suitable offense since penalties can be accrued if taxes are not filed on time. 4/13/05

Subway Sandwiches - 1) junk mail. 2) Claims to have a low fat menu, but asterisks the fine print that it's if you don't have the cheese, mayo or other fat condiments in fine print. 3) 99 cent pricing. 8/28/02


Michael P. Murphy
DBA The Small Businessman -
Technical Site Coordinator and Registrant





S Listings (Cont.)


State Farm Insurance - 1) Homeowner's insurance. Junk Mail 8/29/01, Jerry Dizon (Rocklin CA) 9/6/01

Subway Sandwiches - 1) junk mail. 2) Claims to have a low fat menu, but asterisks the fine print that it's if you don't have the cheese, mayo or other fat condiments in fine print. 3) 99 cent pricing. 8/28/02

Sticky Brain (software for the Macintosh) - See Chronos L.C. Software

Sunset Oaks Adventist Church (Rocklin CA) - 1) Junk mail. 4/3/08

Sutter Hospital (Roseville CA) - 1) Spreading flu viruses. After hours, every visitor must go through and wait in the emergency waiting room full of flu victims before visiting patients throughout the hospital. 2) Phone cord was missing for at least three days so patients family could not call patient in room. 3) Magnet was missing for at least three days so window blinds could not be opened. 4) Patient was brought in with hacking cough next to hip replacement patient. 5/3/09
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Swiffer Wet jet - 1) Warnings were serious enough to warrant improvements in the device because readers might not read or remember having read the warnings which went as follows:

DO NOT place hands in cartridge housing. Sharp Hazard

DO NOT use rechargeable (nickel-cadmium) batteries. ...because rechargeable batteries might explode under fault conditions.

DO NOT USE Swiffer WetJet to clean up or absorb flammable or combustible materials

Now I'm getting a little worried, Its just a mop for pete's sake!

2) Mop failed during 2nd use leaking all over the place.


Symantec Software (Norton Utilities, Anti-Virus, System Works, etc.) - STILL ONE OF THE WORST CORPORATIONS IN AMERICA, ALWAYS OVER PROMISING AND UNDERDELIVERING, EVEN WITH IT'S NEW NORTON 360 PRODUCTS FOR THE WINTEL WORLD. FINALLY, THIS COMPANY IS GIVING UP ON THE MAC AND I SAY DON'T LET THE DOOR HIT THEM ON THE WAY OUT!!! (After removing the program that caused so much damage as its own worm or virus, I still have to contend with every time the system updates. THIS COMPANY HAS BEEN ESSENTIALLY STEALING FROM ITS CUSTOMERS FOR YEARS BY NOT HONORING ITS REBATES. IF YOU CAN'T TRUST THEM TO DO THAT, YOU CERTAINLY CAN'T TRUST THEM TO PROTECT YOUR COMPUTER. PERIOD - END OF STORY. This is one of what I call the "anti-christ" software companies. They come to us as a problem solver. Obviously, if all the problems were solved, they would be out of business. Often, this company's software will disrupt a perfectly good system if there is such a thing, hurting rather than helping the end user. 1) No easily accessible address or phone on their web site. (guess they just to too many complaints!) 2) so called award winning support can be a terrible online runaround - even when seeking answers before purchasing their products! Some solutions might have taken only a few seconds with a phone call. Symantec needs to realize that a customer's time is also money. Attitude seems to be that only Symantec's time is valuable and they are more than willing to waste the customer's time. 3) If you really want to screw up your computers watch Symantec bring your OS 10.2 crashing into oblivion. This is the damned software of all time. Damned if you do and damned if you don't. Should be a hundred paws. This company has never had its act together. Fortunately for it, neither have its competitors 4) 99 cent pricing, even on it's first time caller tech support calls 5) at $29.95 per incident. However, they have you dependent, so I suppose some folks just shrug and pay it. We are getting used to corporate abuse. 6) Software is upgraded without an obvious box revision making customers buy the wrong product for their needs. 7) Serious software flaws that cost customers hours and days of frustration are not openly exposed by the company (so that new buyers don't find out and wait to purchase a better product?) The customer has to dig for the damaging truth. And this is who we trust to protect our valuable information? 8) After using the Norton System Works, it took 2 work days as I watched this product destroy a Mac OS 10.2.2 system all by itself as I followed dyslexic instructions to the best of my high tech ability. The question is whether Symantec programs fight viruses and corruption or creates it? THIS IS STILL A PROBLEM AS OF 6/12/2004 AND SYMANTEC IS GETTING OUT OF THE MAC BUSINESS WITH AT LEAST 1 OF ITS PRODUCTS. 9) In faxing my refund application since they warrant it for 60 days, I noted that it may take them up to 2 months to send my my refund. I guess it doesn't take them 2 months to sell me the program. Perhaps they have more returns than sales and that 's why the return dept. is so backlogged. 10) Initialization took over 30 minutes and some things remain on my computer due to instructions that were incomplete and incorrect. 11) Doesn't perform on its rebates. Buyer best assumes that Symantec won't honor its rebate promotions. If he or she actually gets the rebate, they should consider themselves blessed!

This is the #1 havoc program of the year after Mac OS 10.2.2 itself. The same program on Windows XP is also inelegant and I am skeptical there as well. However, this is certainly no endorsement of the competing McAfee products either. Both companies have earned the right to go out of business. I would imagine some politics behind the scenes here at "we the consumer's" expense.Few companies have achieved more than one red paw. However, Symantec has accomplished it.12/11/2004

Here it is, 2009 and Norton 360 blows it again. 13) After, loading XP Service Pack 3 and having my PC working just great, I proceeded to load Norton 360 over 5 hours ago. It asked for a restart. The computer wouldn't restart to Windows and wouldn't go back to the last known working configuration and wouldn't do a "safe" restart either. In other words, it became unusable. 14) Of course there are no posted phone support numbers in the manual, so fortunately I had a Macintosh to go online and guess what? 15) Still no phone numbers, but there was a chat support 16) experiencing higher than usual service times. Actually, they should say when they have unusual low wait times. That would be closer to the truth. Unfortunately, the clock keeps on ticking and the worst virus I've experienced to date is Norton 360 itself. As I find the time to write this, I have now dropped from 131 in the cue to 67 in the cue. Gotta love this corporation! 2/20/2008 - Update - Norton could not fix the problem. I will have to try to reinstall windows now. I recommend that you DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT!!!
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*Opinions and information is for the sole use of The Small Businessman and is not intended for use by the media or for any other particular use other than by the site owner. Listed companies are in alphabetical order. This is intended to assist companies to improve their business processes and ethics only per subjective opinion of The Small Businessman, not to diminish their sales or sales prospects - simply to improve them.

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