How Can You Tell If It’s A “Bad” Yelp Review

It seems that sites like Yelp are getting more and more useful. 

Whenever I’m searching online for a ma and pa restaurant, I’m hit with these insane pairings — one review raves the other talks about roaches or bad customer service from a certain person.

Online consumer reviews are everywhere. But how do you know if the review you’re reading is real? Was it written by an unbiased, unpaid consumer? How can you be sure it wasn’t written by the business owner’s cousin or, maybe, her fiercest competitor?

Click the Picture below and review the both a bad and good review made by this so called customer. Fake picture above that could effect a variety of merchants. Be cautious and filter out the fake reviews.

Fake picture above that could effect a variety of merchants. Be cautious and filter out the fake reviews.
Yelp 101 Intermediate Class – How Can You Tell its Fake
  • Click their profile and check how many reviews they made. Review the ratings that person made for other companies and make your judgement. (You’ll sometimes find some that are extreme, only 5 star and 1 star ratings)
  • Double check if he/she”checked in” (most yelp reviewers check in with their smart phone, but this is a safety net)                
  • Friends, friends, and more friends. Check if they have friends!
  • Not having profile pictures can raise red flags all around
  • Sometimes it helps, but you can also check the amount of reviews a business has. But on the rarest occasions
Anymore tips? Post on the comments below!

5 Things We Overlook and Spend Too Much Money

As we strive to get out of debt and track our spending, we will still find it hard to let old habits die easily. While we may understand there are cuts we need to make in our budgets, it may be hard to let go of something that bring us comfort or at least the things we don’t think we can live without. It is these little things that we purchase that can really add up and prevent us from using our money to pay down debts. Getting sale items and grocery coupons are only 40% of the solution.

Here are 5 things you really pay too much for and make your wallet happier:

Bottled Water

Of course we must drink water each day to keep our health in check but there are much more savings-conscious ways to stay hydrating than picking up 3 or 4 pricey bottles of water from the convenience store each day. At more than $2 a pop for a bottle of H20, you can easily end up paying $40 a week or more during your average work week.

Recommendation: Invest in a filtration pitcher for your tap water and recycle those used plastic bottles for a quick refill. Another way is to get the 1 gallon of water and carry around. It’s not embarrassing to save water right? It also shows you go to the gym a lot.

Pre-Cut Groceries 
Sure it may save you some time and aggravation by picking up a fruit or veggie tray at the grocery store. But think about it this way, wouldn’t you rather learn how to cut your own food? You’ll have to cook eventually and learn how to all that. It’s definitely not healthy eating out and I really feel it’s great way to learn how cut simple vegetables, fruits and meat.

Recommendation: Obviously the recommendation will be to buy your own uncut foods. YOu can save a spending more than 50% off. To make it easier to grab and go and prevent waste, slice and wash what you bring home as soon as you get there and store them in air-tight, easily accessible containers or grab and go snack bags. It will make everything a lot easier. Trust me.

ATM Fees, Overdraft fees, etc
Whenever you use an ATM that is not associated with your bank, not only do you incur charges from the ATM sponsor, you also will get hit with fees from your own bank. I’m sure there’s a spread of the so called “overdraft fee” disease. We tend to realize how much is in our account or keep track of what we spend with our debit card.

Recommendation: Take the time to find out where your nearest bank is. If you need to burrow money from a friend, burrow it. It’s not worth it to see all the fees in your statement. I wish overdrafts fees can just disappear. Prevent your self from using your debit card as a credit card. That tends to happen to a lot of over drafters. Keeping track on your debit transaction on your smart phone or mini note pad helps tremendously. Don’t be the victim and always check your account. Spend wisely and always check the bank overdraft fee rules.

Movie Theater Experience

Not much beats experiencing a big action thriller on the big screen but with the ever increasing price of box office tickets and snacks, a family of four is looking at up to $40-$60 for one night out to the movies, not including dinner.

Recommendation: Save the big bucks and open an account at Netflix or Blockbuster. The cost of one movie night out can equal up to 6 months of an online membership. They’re older movies and recent new ones. Refrain from going out and just wait till the new movies comes out. They’re plenty shows to watch before it comes out. If you have a favorite movie, ask someone who owns costco membership, discounts at work, or living social/groupon. They can get discounts ranging $8 a movie ticket.

Credit Card Fees
As credit card rules keep changing, there are millions of account holders who are struggling to keep up with their debts and end up making late payments or missing entire payments on their credit card accounts each month. These late or missed payments can cost you not only in the short-term but also for years to come. $30 + fees plus additional charges for memberships, balance transfers, and other transactions can put your credit card debts in serious straits.

Recommendation: Setting up automatic payments each month can help reduce  or eliminate the amounts of fees you have to pay each month. You can also cancel cards that incur membership fees and keep your credit spending down to the bare minimum. Don’t be afraid about insufficient funds or overdraft fees. You’ll need to be cautious and make sure every month that there’s a specific balance you cannot spend on. Balance and set a standard on your accounts.

Technology, Good or Evil?

Before reading this blog, take a moment to visit our website Search for Newport Fun Tours. It’s a great place to rent bikes, boats, paddle boards, etc. One of our most popular coupons.

Today, I want to talk about the power of technology and our dependency on it. I moved into a new home with a few friends of mine, and because we didn’t call Cox, we’re suffering without the internet. Technology is like a drug, but we still reap some benefits from it. Think about modern technology today, and think about what sort of products you own. First things that come to my personal list are the following (this isn’t including whatever products my family owns):

  • iPhone 3G
  • PS 3
  • Wireless bluetooth speaker for the car
  • A 22″ 1080p television.

Now use your imaginations. Start taking some of these things away, and think about how you’d feel if you didn’t own these products. Start with your smart phone. If you own a smart phone, think about how many inconveniences arise because you no longer have all the apps they offer you. This includes google maps, pictures, internet, games, etc. Now let’s get rid of text messaging and HD televisions. What are you going to do with your life now? Finally, let’s take away the most convenient, dependent piece of technology known to man — the internet.

Want to know what I did/am doing without the internet at home? Yesterday I played some ball (which I don’t do frequently), watched a movie, read some of Ted Kennedy’s memoirs, and went out with some friends. If you ask me, I was pretty productive, except for the fact that I watched a movie (The Other Guys, in case you’re wondering, and yea it was a mediocre movie).

The fact is that we’ve grown dependent on technology, and it’s obvious. I can’t imagine living without my smart phone because of all the amenities it provides. I can’t live without being connected to all the friends I rarely ever see, but get to speak with over facebook. Ever since I got my tv a couple months ago (with PS 3, Netflix, blue ray capability), I feel like I ALWAYS have something to do or watch. I just finished Lost, and now I’m hunting through Netflix for other shows/movies to watch. Now I can’t imagine what it’d be like without it.

Anyway, the point I’m getting at isn’t that technology is evil. Contrary to hippie belief (LOL), TECHNOLOGY IS NOT EVIL. People complain about technology making us less productive, and it is, but it comes with certain amenities. Sure we have the ability to become lazy and complacent, but it also provides us with a world of knowledge. I read the news, learn from Wikipedia (Yes you DO learn from Wikipedia. Even if it has user editing capability, it’s still tightly monitored), and overall just intake valuable information I wouldn’t regularly be provided with. Personalities are shaped through the media and people learn from technology, some of it better than others though.

Recently, it’s been all over the radio and internet that Spongebob makes your children dumb (SURPRISE!!! LOL). Shows like that help contribute to make technology seem evil. There are also other shows/movies like Jersey Shore, Jack Ass, Twilight, or Ace Ventura that make us learn dumb things that we want to repeat. I guess overall, you just have to be smart enough to refuse to retain it for it’s lack of intellectual value, but instead temporarily enjoy the humor (I know I do because I am guilty of watching some of those, occasionally).

To refute my previous comments, there are other interesting shows/movies that provide intellectual information that would NEVER be seen had we not been provided with technology. This includes Planet Earth, Wild Boys (Yes the show with Steve-O and Chris Pontias), all those cooking shows, Anthony Bourdain, and many more. I’ve learned so much about animals, cooking, and traveling that the layman wouldn’t be presented with without the use of technology.

I’m sure you understand the point I’m getting at after ranting about all of this in my incredibly long blog. Technology is a GREAT thing, but should be used in moderation (kind of like alcohol.. Hahaha). If people use too much of anything, it usually turns out for the worst. Life is all about moderation anyway. Anyway, thanks for reading.

Shan Mahmood

P.S. I have learned a LOT from Wild Boys. Steve-O has learned a lot from his experiences also. If you get a chance to watch the show, take that moment. But watch with caution, that show gets kind of disturbing sometimes. Lol

NFL Season is now open

Before reading please try our coupon at Wing Stop located in Fullerton for a free side order with the purchase of any entree. It’s a great deal, one that you probably won’t find at groupon or any daily deals websites. So help a brother out, and scroll through the website to help us out please!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and no I don’t mean Christmas. I’m talking about the beginning of the NFL season. Although the holidays are great, it’s just a feeling that it doesn’t give you compared to the Football season. Every time the season is finished, my friends and I get incredibly amped and anxiety driven for the next one.  This season I’ll be participating in multiple fantasy leagues for the third or fourth consecutive year, and my strategy seems to be developing while the amount of competition involved in my leagues is increasing as well. When it comes to the league, trash talk is intense and infinite (I love it).

I’ve noticed that fantasy leagues have become strikingly popular. People that have never

My boy, starting QB Mark Sanchez, from my hometown.

watched football are starting to become heavily involved and excited about the upcoming year (men and women alike). If you ask me, there’s nothing like a bunch of rookies joining a fantasy league, it’s like free wins (LOL). How many of you have been a league where Randy Moss or Peyton Manning was drafted incredibly early? I love hearing about pick ups like those that just have me laughing hysterically (please don’t be offended if this is you… but still… come on. Hahahaha). Here are some of the busts, amazing sleeper picks, and studs for the week.

Bust(s) of the week: Dwayne Bowe, Jamaal Charles, Owen Daniels, and LeGarette Blount

Who would’ve thought the Chiefs would be destroyed by the Bills? I was absolutely shocked. Granted, maybe the Bills would be able to compete, but a blowout was unheard of. Not to forget that the Bills were one of worst rush defenses last year, so what happened to Jamaal Charles? It’s not that Charles did THAT bad, but he didn’t produce the 2009 Chris Johnson numbers that the professionals predicted. And if Jamaal Charles couldn’t produce, why did Dwayne Bowe struggle? He did pretty well during preseason. Finally, Tampa Bay was beat by Detroit. Everybody expected Blount to put up some numbers, but Suh shut him out. Is this the new coming of the Detroit Lions? Quite the amazing development if you ask me. Could the ex-Pro Bowler Owen Daniels put up numbers anymore? It seems as though the surgery on his ACL might have thrown off his game, best to hope for some more production in the future otherwise look to pick up Scott Chandler as a TE.

Sleeper(s)/Semi-Sleepers of the week: Cam Newton, Early Doucet, Jordy Nelson, Mike Tolbert, Cedric Benson, and Scott Chandler (???)

Number one sleeper of the week, Cam Newton

Cam Newton was probably the biggest surprise of them all. I personally expected Cam Newton to do well, but not 400 yards well. Newton is the first rookie to ever put up over 400 yards on the season opener. Early Doucet is now a legitimate weapon for Kevin Kolb, even outshining Larry Fitzgerald against Carolina. Jordy Nelson is a solid weapon for Aaron Rodgers, but as I like to tell my friends, the Quarterback often makes the receiver, the receiver doesn’t usually make the QB. Mike Tolbert, the wrecking ball for one of my favorite teams demolished the Vikings. Tolbert utilized Rivers ability creating 93 all-purpose yards, two receiving TD’s, and a rushing TD (incredible). Cedric Benson was a bust last year, but could he be compensating for all his criminal charges and for being a bust last year (Lol).Now the biggest surprise for me is Scott Chandler. Now I’d like to believe I know a lot about football, but I have NO idea who Scott Chandler is. He’s in the TE position and received 5 catches for 68 yards with two touchdowns. I’d say if you’re in need of a TE, pick up Chandler immediately (and hope it wasn’t a fluke).

Studs of the week: Drew Brees, Steve Smith, and Ray Rice.

Aaron Rodgers and Michael Vick performed as expected this year, but Drew Brees surpassed the two fantasy studs by throwing over 400 yards, and throwing a three touch downs (still surpassed by Cam Newton in yardage?!). Drew Brees is one of those QB’s I mentioned earlier that makes WR’s. With Marques Colston out for four weeks, expect Brees to continue doing damage on opposing defenses. Steve Smith was a stud. I guess without Delhomme throwing for the Panthers, there is a legitimate threat once again. Steve Smith received 8 catches for 178 yards and 2 TD’s (unbelievable that Newton could produce these kind of numbers as a rookie). If you’re in a PPR league, Ray Rice is back and axe murdering the Pittsburgh defense. With the chemistry flowing in Baltimore the way it is, expect Ray Rice and Boldin to see great numbers this year. As for TE’s, Chandler was the real remarkable TE of the week, everybody else either performed mediocre or up to par.

With the lockout severely affecting the season this year, it should come as a major surprise that some of these teams performed the way they did. Don’t make my mistake last year though. Don’t jump the gun on dropping any of your players just because they didn’t perform in week one, it was only an opener. Anyway, thanks for reading, keep your eye for more posts later this week.
Shan Mahmood

Tipping is Not Just a City in China

The restaurant scene is a battlefield between the customer and the employee. There are several different ways to serve a customer, efficiency and sociability are the two routes good servers take. Let me ask you a question though, do you only tip at restaurants? What about fast food places (IE Hawaiin fast food, sandwich shops, etc.) where they ask for a tip on the credit/debit receipt, but they didn’t serve you? Are you supposed to tip them? I sometimes don’t know, but what I do know is there is a restaurant I go to near work where I run into this predicament, I usually tip because I feel like they might expect it. Yes, I’m that guy.

Anyway, when it comes to tipping, there are different types of people at every restaurant. I worked at a couple restaurants previously, so I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum. You can define yourself, so by all means please don’t let me think I’m trying to analyze you. Allow me to express my perspective on the different types of tippers at restaurants:

The generous tipper – The generous tipper will often be very sympathetic towards servers at restaurants. As a matter of fact, servers are very often generous tippers towards other servers because they understand the ins and outs of the restaurant business. I have personally been a fairly generous tipper – although I was more generous as a server than I am now – but I have an ex-girlfriend who insisted on leaving charitable tips habitually, no matter the service. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but I also believe there’s a line you should draw sometimes. Don’t let me make up your mind for you though, if you’re generous and enjoy being generous, then stay generous.

The tightfisted tipper – The tightfisted tipper is the tipper that can tip well, but makes the server work for their tip. There can be different two different types of tightfisted tippers: the loud customer and the “I’ll take it off their tip” customer. The loud customer will be incredibly expressive of their opinions. These are the types of people that will complain to management for miniscule mistakes (granted, no matter who you are, sometimes you need to speak with management regardless for terrible service). Everybody working at restaurants despise these people.

As somebody with some experience with restaurants, let me explain the usual employee mindset when they encounter somebody like this.

First, the customer complains. The employee responds kindly with a warm smile (unless of course they’re not willing to take your crap, which can happen) or sarcastically. The employee proceeds to the kitchen where they can explain the issue with a lot of adjectives that describes the customer (LOL, I’m not lying about this one either). These adjectives usually range from something about your personality or the way you look. Regardless of how you act or talk to the server, they usually have something to say about you anyway, it’s the way of the server.

Finally, the server (or manager) will come back out to explain the solution they intend on taking, thus finally solving your problem. Contrary to popular belief, it is a rare occurrence for a server to spit in your food – I’ve never seen it anyway.

The evaluator – The next type of tipper is the evaluator. The evaluator often comes on some sort of point system that they created in their minds. Some people will start on a 5 – 10 point scale and dock points for mistakes. I personally do this with haircuts, but not restaurants although I do know a few individuals who are infamous for this type of tipping every time. Some evaluators are stricter than others, but regardless of how the server performs, they’ll find any way to reduce the tip. Other evaluators will start at 0 and add points for good service, some people might do this even if they aren’t aware that they’re doing so. The evaluator often leaves a regular tip between 12 – 15% usually, unless the service is noticeably good or bad.

The cheapskate – Finally, the infamous cheapskate is the last tipper to be examined. The cheapskate could be a cheapskate for one of two reasons: they’re broke or they’re cheap. Sometimes, being cheap has to be understandable, but other times there is no excuse for tipping so poorly.

Feel like ruining a server’s day more than it already is? Tip poorly. I find a one cent tip more offensive than no tip at all. I have received a tip of one penny, and I was insulted (although I understood). What happened was that I actually approached somebody from behind and began the sentence with, “How are you ladies doing tonight?” Turns out one of those “ladies” was a man with long hair and I only saw the back of his head. I can kind of understand why he’d tip me one cent… LOL.

Back to the story, a cheapskate usually comes off as a cheapskate. You can tell because they’ll order things like water with many lemons and sugar packets (their alternative for lemonade). Regardless of how good the server’s service really is, the tip will be poor.

In conclusion, if you ever work at a restaurant, you’ll learn that servers prejudge their customers. They’ll do so by stereotyping based on age, ethnicity, and attitude. Ask any server, and they’ll probably tell you how correct I am. So do you want good service? You can do one of a few things, either hint that you’re a good tipper by expressing it in your attitude, or be one of the few stereotypes that fits the criteria for somebody that tips well (often a middle aged individual on a date).

Anyway, if you’re in the area, try an Ameci’s coupon. They have great fettuccini alfredo, that go incredibly well with their breadsticks.

Thanks for reading,

Shan Mahmood

A Fresh Start: Coupons on Dates

Ladies and gentlemen,

It’s great to step into the blogging world. Somewhere where I can talk about semi controversial issues that frequently emanate in our daily lives. I’m here, not to vent, but rather express an opinion on matters that I come across. Today, my thought process was triggered when I stumbled upon an issue while working — using coupons on a date.

Considering is an online coupon website, I want to begin by reinforcing the credibility of this blog by mentioning that I’m not writing about couponing because I work for a coupon company. Instead, I bring up the topic because I discovered a Yahoo Answers question which happened to be, “Would I look cheap using a 2-for-1 coupon on a date?”

Now, whether you’re a man paying for a woman or vice versa, coupons can become a controversial issue. My question is why? I mentioned this to my coworkers and my boss, and it seems as though it has become considered taboo to use coupons on a date. Now I’ll admit, I would never use a coupon on a first date because I’m trying to create a first impression, but I might use coupons on a healthy, stable relationship. What’s your first thought that comes to mind when you read that? Cheapskate? Well allow me to retort.

You can take this into two perspectives: the male perspective and the female perspective. Allow me to start by talking about the female perspective. Ladies, the reason I would tell you to allow your man to utilize a coupon is because the more money he saves, the more money he has available for your relationship. If I have more money to spend, I have more money to spend on you. In the words of my boss, “tell her that your money will eventually be her money.” She’ll be wooed like you just took her to the moon and back in a hand crafted spaceship made of wood.

Men, I’m going to make this really easy for all of us. If you use coupons on dates, not only will you have more money for your lady, but you’ll have more money for yourself too. That means the money from the 15% off you’ve accrued on multiple date can be spent on Madden 2012 that you’ve been wanting to buy. I’ll give you two situations you don’t use coupons on a date.

1) If you’re Bill Gates. Honestly, if you can afford it, just pay for it! It’s that simple. I’m not making millions of dollars (yet :]), but when I do, I’ll stop using coupons!

2) First date. I MUST repeat myself. DO NOT USE A COUPON ON A FIRST DATE. Using a coupon on a first date would be like jumping in mud, chewing on raw onions and garlic, fumigating yourself with garbage, and then trying to go in for the kiss. You’re there to create a first impression (as I mentioned previously). Make it a good one.

Anyway, please share your opinions (we’ll delete any immature posts containing cussing or insulting). Try a Johnny Rockets coupon from our website next time you decide to go out too.

Thanks for reading and stay up,

Shan Mahmood