“Spice” Sends Hundreds To New York Area Hospitals

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(PCM) Experts have been warning people for quite some time about the dangers associated with the use of synthetic marijuana, otherwise known as “Spice”.  In just nine days, about 160 people have been seen at New York area hospitals having incredibly serious reactions to “spice” or “K2, also in the southern states of both Alabama and Mississippi there has been a notable rise in the number of synthetic marijuana-related hospital visits.

The New York State Health Commissioner reports to CNN that “Since the exact compounds contained in synthetic cannabinoid products change so frequently, it’s often impossible for users to know exactly what they are putting in their body.” There is often a range of symptoms that accompany reactions to using “spice” such as headaches, confusion, seizures and sometimes even loss of consciousness resulting in death.

Consumers are led to believe that “spice” is a legal plant-based material that is coated with chemicals that mimic the effect of marijuana.  Some of those so-called “safe” chemicals are the very same ones that are found in both insecticides and rat poison.

“Spice” is popular among teens because it is sold as natural product and often times marked as incense making it legal for them to purchase.

The post “Spice” Sends Hundreds To New York Area Hospitals also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Beware Of Cash For iPhones Scheme

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(PCM) We have all seen the ad’s on both television and on the internet offering customers the chance to trade-in their old iPhones for some cold hard cash. Many of the companies making these cash offers are not what they seem and are scamming customers out of hundreds of dollars when the send in their phones for trade.

One of the most popular phone trade-in companies is “Cash For iPhones” and they are currently under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission after receiving more than 900 complaints from customers who say that they have received far less cash for their trades than they were initially promised.

One customers says that she signed up on the site to trade in her iPhone 5c and was offered the amount of $131, however once she sent out her phone and the company had it in their possession the offer was then lowered to a measly $11. That is a huge difference!

The website states that customers have three days to file a dispute with the company if they disagree on the offer amount, however it took nearly three days for the customer to even be able to get a hold of anyone in customer service. Once she did, she was then told that by that time it was too late to file the dispute and that they had already recycled her phone.

Both Good Morning America and ABC News took matters into their own hands and conducted their own investigation into the company undercover. They submitted three phones and were told that they would be receiving $800 for the trade-in, however, yet again once the phones were in the companies possession the amount for the three phones was lowered to only $114.

Sounds like something fishy is definitely going to there!  The company is located in Sparks, Nevada and a full investigation is currently underway, but for the meantime, trader beware!

 

The post Beware Of Cash For iPhones Scheme also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Kraft Recalls Thousands Of Boxes Of Mac & Cheese Claiming They Could Contain Metal

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(PCM) Kraft Foods has issued a voluntary recall on approximate 242,000 case of it’s Kraft Macaroni & Cheese claiming that they could be contaminated with metal. The recall effect approximately 6.5 million boxes in total.

Specifically, the recall includes only the 7.25 ounce boxes of the original flavor which were shipped to stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, as well as some areas in the Caribbean and South Africa. The affected products have a use by date of September 18, 2015 thru October 11, 2015.

The company goes on to say that the potentially contaminated boxes have a C2 printed on the bottom and some boxes could have ended up in multi-packs that have varying codes. In a statement Kraft says “Consumers who purchased this product should not eat it”.

Thus far, eight customers have filed complaints about the product, but thankfully there are no reported injuries or illness at this time.

The post Kraft Recalls Thousands Of Boxes Of Mac & Cheese Claiming They Could Contain Metal also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Why I Will Never Shop At Cricket Wireless Again

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(PCM) It is not very often that I make the decision to share a personal story online, however I was so hurt and infuriated about the service I received during a recent visit to a Cricket Wireless store that I felt compelled to share and let them know that the type of service I received was completely and totally unacceptable.

Many of us have worked in retail over the years and we all know that customer returns can certainly be one of the bigger headaches that occur on a day to day basis. Most retail employees have surely heard every excuse in the book as to why a person needs to return a particular product.  Often times the employees hands are tied at being able to complete the return due to each stores specific policies, procedures, etc.

Here’s where I get to Cricket Wireless.  I did read online that the company offers a seven day return policy on all of their devices, which I was not aware of until after this incident, however I admit that I was trying to return the device on day eight.  I should have probably prefaced this by saying that we are currently dealing with a personal family emergency, as my mother-in-law is currently on her death bed and we have been extremely busy with around the clock care making sure she is as pain-free and comfortable as possible during her final days.  Hence, the reason that I was not able to get the phone back to the retail location for return any sooner.

One of my mother-in-law’s wishes when she was first hospitalized was to finally own a smart-phone, as she wanted to use it to check emails and make calls easily during her hospital stay.  My fiancee purchased the phone for his mother, as per her wishes,  and it was then that she tragically took a turn for the worst.  Hospice has been called in and she obviously has no use for the phone at this time.  Since it had only been purchased a few days prior to her health decline, we figured that the company would be fairly understanding about our reasons for wanting to make a product return.

I took the phone, still in the box, along with all the paperwork and receipt to the Cricket Wireless location at 3616 Kirkwood Highway in Wilmington, Delaware.  The dark-haired girl behind the counter, whose name I unfortunately can not recall,  took a look at the paper work and informed me of the store’s seven day return policy.  I explained the entire situation about my mother-in-law’s illness and the reason that the phone needed to be returned if possible. Although I did understand that we were unfortunately one day too late.

I saw the store employee send a text message out to who I am guessing was the store owner or manager and then finally make a phone call about the situation when she received no immediate response.  It was just myself and two other gentlemen in the store at this time.  I heard the employee telling the owner/manager my situation and then she hung up the phone. It was at this time that she shockingly looked at me and said verbatim “He said he doesn’t care”.

With the ordeal that my family has been going through these last few days, that was probably one of the most cold and cruel responses to come out of her mouth.  I was flabbergasted and said to her “He really said it like that?”  She said “yes, he doesn’t care”.  Even the other two gentlemen in the store were as absolutely shocked and horrified as I was about her response.

I mean, even if that was exactly what the owner/manager had said to her on the phone, there is a way to sugar coat things a bit when dealing with a customer who is currently in a fragile emotional state.  It was not so much that they could not take back and refund the phone, but it was the utter lack of common sense and decency when speaking to another individual. It was so cold and heartless. She could have easily said “I’m very sorry Miss, but my manger unfortunately told me I can not return the phone, as I can not break store policy”  or “I’m very sorry for your situation, but at this time there is nothing I can really do about assisting you with the return as the manger will not allow it”.

Anything, and I mean anything at all would have been better to hear that “I/He doesn’t care” at that given moment.  Cricket Wireless should be ashamed of themselves for not providing better customer service training and teaching their employees to show at least some shred of compassion towards their customers. I can say with certainly that Cricket Wireless has lost a customer for life and I will do everything in my power to make sure that other consumers know that this is how the company behaves and treats its’ clientele.

Shame on you Cricket Wireless, shame on you!

The post Why I Will Never Shop At Cricket Wireless Again also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Sponsored Post: Sears Serta Presidents Day Sale

A good night’s sleep is one of the most important things in life and currently Sears has the perfect answer for anyone looking to to improve the quality of their sleep and finally catch some more much needed zzz’s!

With the Sears Serta Presidents Day Sale you can save up to 60% off a brand new Serta mattress! You definitely can’t go wrong with that!

As we grow up and go through life’s many changes we begin to realize that having a safe and comfortable place to sleep is of great importance.  In our younger years, it was nothing to fall asleep in cars and on floors, but now that we have all gotten a bit older and began to focus on things like marriage and children having a comfortable bed to lay our head is a wonderful gift.

A good mattress can often be pricey, which is why this is the perfect time to visit Sears and take advantage of their amazing deal which offers up to 60% off a brand new Serta mattress.

This post has been sponsored by Sears, but concerns our own thoughts and opinions.

The post Sponsored Post: Sears Serta Presidents Day Sale also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

How To Find Long-Lasting Love

By: Elaine Taylor

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When anyone asks my dignified, stiff-upper-lipped husband, how a guy who’s been an investment banker in financial capitals of the world—London, Tokyo, Hong Kong, New York—ended up blissfully hitched to a broad from red-white-and-blue Texas, he deadpans in his clipped British accent, “We were channeled together by the spirit of Elaine’s dead lover.”

Hundred percent true; but not as effortlessly mystical as it sounds—even if you’re into that stuff.

I grew up in redneck, white-trash, blue-collar Texas, where a girl was a big fat nothing—less valuable than a good huntin’ dawg.

Terrified to wake up thirty years later and find they were right, I scratched out a role in the corporate testicle festival. By age 40, I earned fat, man-size paychecks. The price? A heart as tough as armadillo hide, and my “love life” a dispiriting trail of relationship roadkill.

Desperate for a peek at my future I consulted an astrologer-psychic who fanned out her Tarot cards, did her California woo-woo thing and assured me I would someday have the kind of love about which stories are written. “But,” she said, “not until you’re ready.”

Sheesh. How much readier could one woman be?

The psychic pointed me down the path of a 1-2-3 Get-Ready-for-Love Plan:

1. Write a Perfect Mate List: Let’s face it: if you’re “on-the-market” you have some form of that list running through your subconscious 24/7, right? And it works! My first iteration, decades earlier, was, “tall, dark and handsome.” Yep. Exactly what I got . . . and pretty much nothing more. This time I went beyond the kind of description found on a driver’s license. Honed and refined that list over multiple years. (Sadly, this was not an overnight process; but isn’t the possibility of a soul mate worth the time?)

2. Define what “love” will look like when it finds me: Seriously? How no-brainer is that? It will be, “Wonderful! Spectacular! I will be ecstatically happy!” Which, of course, was just another lazy variation on the driver’s license list. To my surprise I struggled with this—couldn’t figure out even how to start. Until Emily Dickinson inspired me: Heart, we will forget him! You and I, tonight! You may forget the warmth he gave, I will forget the light.

3. Unload the emotional baggage: No emotional baggage here! OK, OK . . . I was a Peterbilt truck with no side mirrors, hauling a semi-trailer of festering emotional manure that rocked along in my blind spot. Yeah, it probably couldn’t hurt to drop a load. After much mewling and twitchy dithering, I hunkered on my therapist’s sofa, unleashed a lifetime of repressed tears; and summoned the courage to face down all those hurts and betrayals—both those done to and by me. Over time, the volume diminished on the “you’ll never be good enough” sound track that had been hammered into my psyche.
Painful? Absolutely. Emancipating? Beyond words.

Over this years-long process I discovered three critical truths:

  • It is not possible to find long-lasting, deeply satisfying love unless you believe yourself worthy of it. I had to learn to love, and find contentment with, myself.
  • As a woman clawing her way in a man’s world I defined “emotional strength” as all sharp-edges and impenetrable boundaries. I had to relearn that tenderness and vulnerability are the DNA of true emotional strength. When the time came, I used that strength to love a dying man who had once broken my heart. A man who desperately needed to receive love, even as he could not return it.
  • I accepted and found peace with the fact that I might never share my life with the Perfect Mate. So what would I do with all the love my heart yearned to give? I stopped focusing on what I did not have . . . and sought a way to give what I could offer to those who needed it. I began to volunteer at a homeless shelter for families—the kind of place that, but for the grace of God, I might have needed to land in my early, below-the-poverty-level, single-parent years.

My journey through the Get-Ready-for-Love Plan was neither easy nor quick. But it was worth it for the lessons learned, for the woman I worked so hard to become, for the love and respect I feel for that woman.

As it turned out, my reward was exponentially greater. That dying man I loved fifteen years ago? Two years after his death the psychic told me he was sending my soul mate—a lover who would bring “warmth and light” for the rest of my life.

Seriously! She said it. And he did!

That soul mate, my husband, has been my Perfect Mate since 2001. Thankfully I was ready for love—I was ready for him  . . .  when he found me.

Elaine Taylor is a former IT headhunter and Contingent Workforce Management consultant to Fortune 500 companies. When she lived in San Francisco, she was involved with Raphael House, a shelter for homeless families, as a regular volunteer and as a member of the Board of Directors. She teaches Story Structure through OLLI at Duke University. KARMA, DECEPTION and a Pair of Red FERRARIS (May 5, 2015) is her only work of creative nonfiction. Currently she lives with her husband and two highly indulged Weimaraners in the Raleigh/Durham area of North Carolina.

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