Review: WooThemes Extension & Support

Recently, I was looking for ways to sell books and ebooks on a website. When looking at ways to set this up I discovered a WordPress plugin called Woocommerce and decided to install it. However, whilst the plugin is free, it didn’t allow for purchases by weight. So, I went to WooThemes (the developer of Woocommerce) to see if they had anything to solve the problem and found an extension (Australia Post Shipping Method) which, when installed, uses Australia Post API to fetch up-to-date shipping prices. The extension was not free. It cost me $49.00, which I was happy to pay.

But…

It didn’t work!

It would fetch the correct prices if the order contained one paperback book, but would not adjust the shipping fee if multiple of the same book were purchased – 2 books or 200 books; the shipping fee remained the same as it would have been for one book. Also, if a paperback and an ebook were added to the cart, then an error message would be returned instead of a shipping fee for the paperback book.

Naturally, this was not correct. I returned to WooThemes and submitted a support ticket. I’m not a demanding person and I know these things take time, so I was prepared to wait for the help I needed. Besides, there was no urgency.

A week later I received an email confirming that there seemed to be a problem and the issue would be forwarded to one of their developers to have a look at. Two days later another email turned up saying it would be checked to determine if a fix was needed. I continued to wait patiently.

Another week passed and I returned to WooThemes as I hadn’t heard anything and was getting a bit concerned. When I logged into the account and checked on the progress of the support ticket, I discovered it had been closed, but I hadn’t actually received any help.

My patience ran out at this stage. No help had been offered. The extension doesn’t work. It is useless to me. I have paid for the extension and expect more from them than that.

I sent another email. This time I was more demanding. This time I said that if I wasn’t going to receive the help I required to get the extension working properly then I wanted a refund. No response has come back to me in over 8 days. They were happy to take my money, but not so happy to help me get the thing working. I am not happy with their extension or their support.

I do not recommend anyone purchase anything from WooThemes. It doesn’t ‘just work’. And the support is non-existent.

I have since found a free plugin called AWD Weight/Country Shipping, which is simple to use and works like a charm. I wish I’d found it BEFORE throwing $49.00 down the toilet.

Edited on 1 November 2012: Just wanted to say that I didn’t actually ask for a refund, I requested a credit towards another extension called Table Rate Shipping, which reportedly worked out the shipping fee using the total weight in the cart at the time. I have no idea if this extension would have worked or not, but the extension costs $99.00. As I was willing to fork out another $50 it shows I was serious and sincere, in my opinion. However, still no reply and at this stage I wouldn’t spend another cent with them because I simply don’t trust them now.

Edited again on 15 November 2012: Still no reply. I guess that tell me everything we all need to know. Support doesn’t exist over at WooThemes, so be wary of purchasing anything.

Edited on 15 December 2012: Never heard back from them.

DVD Review: Rosewood Lane

Rosewood Lane is a horror/thriller movie starring Rose McGowan and Daniel Ross Owens.

The synopsis reads: Radio talk show therapist Sonny Blake moves back to her childhood home on seemingly idyllic Rosewood Lane after her alcoholic father dies. But upon arrival in the old neighbourhood, Sonny discovers her neighbours are terrified of the local paperboy. She thinks this is ridiculous, until she encounters the boy himself. It turns out that he is a cunning and dangerous sociopath, one who may have gruesomely killed her father… and others. When the boy starts to call Sonny’s radio show and recite eerie nursery rhymes, an unnerving game of cat and mouse begins, one where Sonny starts to doubt her own sanity.

Firstly, why do people insist on going outside when they know there’s a killer on the lose? It’s annoying, but I guess if they didn’t do it then there wouldn’t be a movie as no one would get murdered.

Apart from the obvious where that is concerned, this movie was quite good. It was entertaining. It had some moments when you think your own heart will strangle you. And it had tension. What I also liked was the ‘tease’ of information. If you sit and think about it afterwards, the movie does tie up all the loose ends, but when it actually finishes, you feel a bit ‘up in the air’ and some people may even feel a bit confused. There are clues throughout the movie which tie in perfectly with the ending. It was quite well done really.

Rose McGowan did a great job with her role. She was convincing…even though her character was a bit frustrating at times. I certainly wouldn’t do the things she did, in the same situation, but maybe I’m a coward.

Daniel Ross Owens was brilliant. His character was creepy, which is perfect for this type of movie.

Definitely worth watching, and a sequel could easily be in the future.

Preloved Books For Sale

I love books! Over the years I’ve bought, given away and donated hundreds of them. Yet still I have piles of books everywhere and I’m still buying more. A friend once said to me that life is too short to reread the same books over and over again, and there are so many books to acquire why would you really want to. I can see the logic in this, even though I do have books that I do reread simply because I love the characters and the world they live in and want to visit them again. But books take up room and when you have an obsession with them, there comes a time to clear out the old and make room for the new.

With this in mind, I have added a Preloved Books section to this website. I’m selling the books within Australia only, at reasonable prices. The postage is higher than the book price, but the more you buy the cheaper the postage becomes (on a per book basis).

At present, the list is small, but I will add more books over coming weeks so be sure to come back often and check out the new additions. I have created a Preloved Books FAQ page to answer some of the questions I think you may ask. If you still have questions then please feel free to Contact me.

The books will be listed in categories – reader age and genre. You will also be able to search using tags, which will be an author list.

Payments are accepted through PayPal. Remember, you don’t need a PayPal account to use a credit card. Alternatively, you can contact me to organise a bank deposit. If you live nearby you can also organise local pickup and pay no shipping fees.

What are you waiting for? Go snag a book bargain! 😀

DVD Review: Hunger Games

Recently, while on holiday, we came across The Hunger Games DVD in a quaint little shop. It was quite cheap and we couldn’t pass on the opportunity to buy it.

Of course, I have heard and seen The Hunger Games book but, to date, had too many other books on my reading list to be bothered with it.

The official synopsis reads: Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the Capitol of the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. A twisted punishment for a past uprising and an ongoing government intimidation tactic, the Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which “Tributes” must fight with one another until one survivor remains. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen volunteers in her younger sister’s place to enter the games, and is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy when she’s pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives. If she’s ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

I enjoyed this movie. It had a bit of everything – action, drama, love. It was a bit strange in parts too. However, overall, I felt everything fitted together nicely. I believe the premise of the story goes a long way as well. This is a story that promotes hope and humanity, even in the direst of situations. It shows that we do not have to let out standards slide or our integrity waiver just because things are harder than we expect … and just because most of the people around us have done so.

Naturally, I cannot compare the DVD with the book, but I was more than happy with the DVD. I certainly will be watching the next instalment when it is released.

DVD Review: Battleship

Battleship DVDWe recently sat down and watched Battleship starring Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgard, Rihanna and Liam Neeson. It is described as “an epic action-adventure that unfolds across the seas, in the skies and over land as our planet fights for survival against a superior force”.

When it first started I thought we had the wrong DVD in the case. However, the cast were right so we really didn’t know what was going on. The set up resembled a cross between a comedy and a romance story, but we were expecting action so I started to get restless. It took FOREVER to really get started. In all honesty, if the first 40 or so minutes were cut right back to less than 10 minutes it would have been much better.

Thankfully, I persevered long enough and when the action did start, it was brilliant! The effects were amazing. The storyline wasn’t perfect, but action movies are all about seeing explosions and hearing things being ripped about, not drawn out dialogue that no-one cares about. I wasn’t disappointed in that regard.

Primarily, I’d consider this movie propaganda. The main character started out as a useless, no-hoper and the movie is saying “join the Navy and we’ll straighten you out”. Propaganda or not, it was a entertaining movie and worth watching, but isn’t the kind of movie that I’d return to over and over again.