Mary Ellen is a Happy Client

Written: October 16, 2017

I first met Mary Ellen Baker at the Portland WordPress Meetup group and we’ve kept in touch over the years, because on occasion she has clients that need something special to be coded on a web site. Mary’s recent web client was www.patriciacliff.com and they wanted to re-use a custom video on their Home page after doing a site remodel project. I was able to do the custom coding and get that video migrated into WordPress OK, and it even works on tablet and mobile devices.

In response Mary Ellen took the time to write me a thank you note, which I received in the mail today, so I wanted to share it with you.

Thank you letter, Mary Ellen Baker

Thank you letter

If you’re curious to see the newly remodeled web site, visit www.patriciacliff.com and watch that video.

www.patriciacliff.com

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Keeping your network updated

Written: October 5, 2017

In my home I use WiFi to connect my MacBook Pro to the Internet. Today I received an email from Netgear, the company that sold me the WiFi router, and they wanted me to update the firmware to the latest release for security reasons. Right away I took action, because I really want my WiFi network up to date and secure so that hackers cannot get into my network and disrupt my business or steal my identity.

Netgear eail

Netgear email

In my web browser I logged into the WiFi router, then went to the page where firmware updates are performed.

Netgear firmware

Netgear firmware

The whole process to update the firmware took maybe 3 minutes, and then I reset my WiFi router.

It’s a good feeling to be secure in my business, and I recommend that you take update notices from your WiFi router vendor as serious so that your business runs smoothly

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Poor Experience with LegalShield

Written: September 26, 2017

With all of the recent news of Equifax being hacked I still felt secure, because for the past several years I have been a member of LegalShield which provides a credit security auditing service called IDshield. Today I wanted to update my automated monthly payment from PayPal to a different credit card, so I went to login, that’s when the first problem showed up. My username and password weren’t accepted, so then I tried clicking the link for Forgot Your Password.

The form at Forgot Your Password didn’t accept my username, so now I was kind of stuck. The recourse was to phone their support line at 800 654 7757. On my first call the pre-recorded message ran for about 15 seconds, then went silent, then it disconnected me.

On the second phone call attempt I waited on hold for about 2 1/2 minutes, then was disconnected. My patience is starting to wear a bit thin at this point.

Finally, on the third phone call I did get a human to answer and they revealed that I had written down the wrong username, so once that was out of the way I could login to their web site just fine. I changed my automated monthly payment to a different credit card, then noticed that I had a dependent listed on the account, but several pieces of information were missing:

I dutifully filled out these four fields and clicked the Submit button, but was then met with an ugly error message:

Notice:ERROR: Update java.lang.StringIndexOutOfBoundsException: String index out of range: -2

Being a web developer I knew that this was a serious issue, because you never want a web visitor to fail at saving their fields. I noticed a Chat link on the web page, so clicked it and had the following conversation:

Legalshield chat

LegalShield[1:16 PM] Welcome to LegalShield!

LegalShield[1:16 PM] A Member Services Agent will be with you shortly.

Stephanie[1:16 PM] Good Afternoon. My name is Stephanie, how may I assist you?

Daniel J Payne[1:17 PM] When I try to update Dependent Information the form throws an error: Notice:ERROR: Update java.lang.StringIndexOutOfBoundsException: String index out of range: -2

Stephanie[1:18 PM] What information are you trying to update?

Daniel J Payne[1:19 PM] For my Dependent I tried to enter XXXX for the SS# last four digits, but it truncated it to XX instead. The error occurs when I enter a phone number: XXX XXX XXXX, and email: xxxx.xxxx@gmail.com

Stephanie[1:20 PM] I’m sorry about that, I can take care of updating that information for you. The SSN is correct because anytime the last 4 starts with a zero it will not show it so that is why you only see XX. Just one moment please while I update that information for you.

Stephanie[1:21 PM] Okay I have that information updated for you. Is there anything else I can assist you with?

Daniel J Payne[1:21 PM] The Dependent phone number doesn’t save properly, still throwing that error message.

Stephanie[1:22 PM] I have added that number to your plan for you, it won’t let a phone number be saved under the dependent information it has to be under the named member which is completed.

Daniel J Payne[1:23 PM] Very odd, seems like a broken form to me, not exactly feeling secure.

Stephanie[1:24 PM] I’m sorry about that but the website is secure it just won’t allow for a dependent phone number to be added. Is there anything else I can assist you with?

Daniel J Payne[1:24 PM] Can you please ask the web development team to remove the field for Dependent phone number?

Stephanie[1:24 PM] I will send that over for review, not a problem.

LegalShield[1:25 PM] Chat session ended.

 

Summary

The folks at Legalshield need to fix two things right away:

  1. Automated phone system – no more disconnects
  2. Dependent fields – if they request info, then they need to save it successfully, not throw error messages

 

PayPal competitor Popmoney is Here

Written: August 17, 2017

I have hundreds of web clients over the years and the vast majority of them simply write me a check when their monthly invoice arrives, however a few have ventured into using PayPal instead. Just today I received a text message from a digital marketing agency about my latest invoice, and they were paying me with something new called Popmoney.

I quickly went and did a Google search to find out if Popmoney was legitimate and then to further understand how it was different from PayPal. So Popmoney is a legitimate new company started several years ago and a wholly owned subsidiary of Fiserv, Inc. To receive my first payment from the client I had to:

Here’s the text exchange on my phone:

Popmoney text

Popmoney text

Setting up my account at Popmoney took a few minutes and was straightforward:

Popmoney activity

Popmoney activity

 

How is it different from PayPal? Well, with PayPal I receive a payment from a client, then I have to login to PayPal and then transfer that money into my Wells Fargo Bank account. With Popmoney the money is transferred directly from the client bank account to my bank account, so it never sits at Popmoney, which means that it is more efficient than PayPal is.

To send or request money with Popmoney there is a fee paid by the sender:

Popmoney fees

Popmoney fees

There are many competitors to PayPal, however this is the first time that a client has decided to pay me with Popmoney, so maybe it’s a growing trend or just another fad, let’s see what time tells us.

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