Thompson Reviews

Family Friendly Reviews

Amazon Does Not Allow Negative Reviews of Amazon

Amazon sends plenty of emails asking for reviews. But if you happen to put something which questions Amazon policy in your review? Forget it. It won’t be posted.

Here’s a recent example. I purchased a set of toner cartridges for a Brother MFC9340 from Office World in Oct 2017. The set included one each of magenta, cyan and yellow and two of the black cartridge.

After using the set for less than four months, the black cartridge started printing light on the left side of the page. I felt it was useful to post THIS review on Amazon:

February 3, 2018

Black cartridge lasted less than four months on light duty.

These were purchased Oct 8, 2017. The first black cartridge started printing light / faded on the left side after less than four months. This is on a printer which does light home duty. Cleaning the unit with an alcohol pad (even though there was little residue) did not fix it. The printer admin shows that this cartridge has about 60-70% life left in it. I put in the second black toner cartridge, and it immediately printed full black on the left side of the page.

So … cheap cartridge? Not sure. Amazon has an issue with sellers cropping up and selling a batch of items, and then when you go back shortly after your order, you’re told “This item is no longer available.” This needs to be fixed, and there needs to be better quality control about ensuring that if a vendor sells something, they should be held accountable for it.

What recourse is given to your customer, Amazon, if you allow sellers to show up and then disappear shortly after they sell items?

This is what I got back from Amazon within a few minutes:

Your review could not be posted.

Thanks for submitting a customer review on Amazon. Your review could not be posted to the website in its current form. While we appreciate your time and comments, reviews must adhere to the following guidelines:

We encourage you to revise your review and submit it again. A few common issues to keep in mind:

Your review should focus on specific features of the product and your experience with it. Feedback on the seller or your shipment experience should be provided at
We do not allow profane or obscene content. This applies to adult products too.
Advertisements, promotional material or repeated posts that make the same point excessively are considered spam.
Please do not include URLs external to Amazon or personally identifiable content in your review.

So … the review DID focus on specific features of the product and my experience with it. I was letting potential customers of OFfice World know of my experience with a particular product. I detailed the issue WITH the product.

But … DO NOT EVER QUESTION AMAZON. That must be a no-no.

Even if there is a problem with this issue.

I purchased air filters from a vendor, specifically 16×20 filters. I received 14×20 filters a few days later. I immediately went to check my order and saw that I had indeed ordered the correct size, so I processed a return request with Amazon. I then immediately went back and tried to order the correct size again. Guess what? Less than 5 days after ordering the product from a supplier, it was listed as “no longer available.” “We don’t know when or if this product will be available again.”

It gets old, Amazon. You should do something about your suppliers dropping out so quickly.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

Coerver Soccer Coaching Method DVDs

UPDATED 2013 March
Note: The Coerver School has made many new improvements to their instructional videos. They also have regional training sessions that you can join. Follow the links listed below to find more information.

Anyone who is serious about soccer has likely heard of the Coerver Coaching Method for player development.  In the 1970s, Wiel Coerver began to develop a different approach to soccer training.  Up to that point, many people believed that you were either born a great soccer player or you were not.  After studying countless hours of film, Wiel Coerver determined that there were fundamental principles and moves which could be taught to other players.  This DVD series is a new release of the best of the Coerver Training material.  For the full review, read on.
[Read the rest of this entry…]

Android App: Out of Milk

This application seems to be suited for people who want a very simple listing of items that need to be purchased or a basic “to do” list.  What I did not like about the app is that it doesn’t have any way to organize shopping lists by stores or locations.  I don’t know that many people who do all of their shopping at one store, no matter how big it is.

If the creators add some functionality, the app shows promise.


Kodak Playsport Zx3 Battery Charge Issues

UPDATED August 25, 2011:  If you have a Zx3 with the charging issue, read through the article, but  be sure to see the notes at the VERY bottom about how you MAY be able to work around the problem if you are out of warranty.

UPDATED August 24, 2011:  Beth LaPierre, Chief Listening Office at Kodak, was responsive to my comments about our experience with the Zx3 and worked with me to find an agreeable solution.  After shipping back camera #4, we will be receiving the newer model Zx5 with its own one year warranty.  I believe that is a fair handling of our issue.  Still, there was no “official” word from Kodak that this is as widespread of a problem as the hits on this site would indicate.  Just in August, there have been over 740 hits on THIS article alone.  I still believe it would be a chance to Kodak to turn lemons into lemonade for everyone (including overall consumer relations) to possibly issue a recall or at least make public their acknowledgment of this issue.

UPDATED August 12, 2011: The charging issue has cropped up again, this time on the FOURTH camera in a year.  That means that, under the warranty,  we will have needed at least five Zx3 units to make it through twelve months.  The problem started a couple of weeks ago, but I’ve been too busy to sit down and begin contacting Kodak about it again.  It gets a bit discouraging to have to do this over and over for a simple consumer product.  Does anyone have any experience with the newer Kodak Zx5?

UPDATED April 18, 2011: See notes at the bottom to read an update on this from other users experience charging issues with this model. We’ve gotten a surprising number of hits from Google and other search engines from people searching for terms like this:

  • kodak playsport charging light doesn’t come on
  • playsport zx3 does not charge (or won’t charge)
  • kodak playsport troubleshoot charge
  • kodak playsport battery not charging
  • kodak playsport charging problem
  • kodak playsport stopped working after charging
  • my kodak camera will not charge

These are all individual search terms people put in search engines just in the month of April.  Houston, we have a problem.  Kodak, will you acknowledge it?

UPDATE FROM MARCH 2011: After having the third camera for half a year, the problem started happening again.  In speaking with a tech support rep through chat, he indicated that this was a firmware issue (!!!???).  Firmware?  He had me to pull the battery out and the memory card and try plugging the charger into the camera.  The camera wouldn’t charge or come on.  I got it to flicker for just a fraction of a second by adjusting the charging cable where it enters the camera.  That was it.

Again, this rep would not answer a direct question as to whether or not this is a known issue with these cameras. The recourse was to send in the camera for RMA/replacement while it is still under warranty.  I’m thinking, “So are you going to send me another defective unit which will have the same problem???”

Kodak needs to fix this problem and redesign the charging port to be tighter, stay tighter, not loosen up over common, every day usage and KEEP CHARGING the camera like it is supposed to.  Otherwise, they are telling consumers that they are out of luck dealing with Kodak.  (What DO you do when the warranty runs out on what might be termed a shoddy product?)  Kodak, time to weigh in.



I thought it might be helpful to someone else to post the results of a recent CHAT session with Kodak “support.”  The issue is that the supposedly waterproof camera Kodak makes wasn’t charging the battery after only a few days of use.  While I have mixed feelings at this point about the camera and Kodak’s “support,” I must say that Best Buy was very easy to deal with on the returns.  Items marked in RED indicate an inordinate amount of wait time for a response from the Kodak “support” representative. [Read the rest of this entry…]

Draw and Write Through History

Carylee Gressman has developed some really neat books for homeschoolers or parents who wish to further their child’s art education. Her method uses the natural progression of history and includes simple step-by-step drawings which most children will find easy enough to follow. I hesitate to give an age limit on this, as some children’s motor skills are more advanced than others at various ages. [Read the rest of this entry…]

The Runaway Jury, Grisham

John Grisham is a well known fiction author whose specialty is riveting mysteries, usually involving some aspect of the legal profession.  The Runaway Jury has much to be said for the storytelling part, but there are issues as with most Grisham novels.  This review is written as a bit of an open letter to John Grisham as well as to our readers.

[Read the rest of this entry…]

Professional Xen Virtualization, von Hagen

For the computer professional who has considered consolidating server load using any of the popular server virtualization technologies available, William von Hagen’s book is a must read.  We give the book a solid review in the full article.

[Read the rest of this entry…]

A Review of Whitelisting Technology for Spam Prevention

As someone who has been involved in Internet technology for over a decade, I have seen a lot of different tools which are effective in making life online easier.  Everyone who has e-mail is aware that spam is a major problem.  How to control it is a question which industry heavyweights are grappling with daily.  There is, however, a simple and effective way to curb the spam in your inbox.  The cost can be free to inexpensive depending upon whether you run your own mail server or pay someone else to manage your e-mail.

[Read the rest of this entry…]

A Review of Oakley Thump 256MB MP3 Sunglasses

Oakley ThumpThe Oakley Thump is touted as a lightweight, durable set of sunglasses with a great added feature: the MP3 player.  After wearing these sunglasses with their polarized lenses, that flip up when not needed, I have several opinions.

[Read the rest of this entry…]

Dusty Mole Private Eye, Davoll

Barbara Davoll is an author best known for her Christopher Churchmouse series.  However, she has written other works.  One of the lesser known series is the Molehole Mysteries.  We review the first book in the collection, Dusty Mole Private Eye.

[Read the rest of this entry…]