Custom iPhone Wallet from RedBubble

RedBubble iPhone Wallet: It’s beautiful! It’s Useless!

The iPhone Wallet from Redbubble

Update 5/28: The Support Team and I have exchanged several emails. I am still convinced none of them were real people, but help bots that chose the most appropriate responses from a queue of options available to them. So frustrating! Anyway, they assured me that they are sending me a replacement that is much improved. We shall see. I’ll update this review again once the new iPhone wallet arrives. I explained in detail that the problem was not  the printing but the construction of the product.

Update 6/4: Well, the new iPhone wallet came in today and it is equally beautiful. And equally useless. Just as I suspected, my entire string of emails were carried out with bots using a set script for communication. The new one is exactly like the old one, with the exception that they made the printing a little more vivid. However, as I stated multiple times in each email correspondence, the issue is not with the image.

The issue is the strip of sticky stuff meant to secure the phone to the wallet. I’m done with the iPhone wallets at Redbubble. I can’t recommend anyone buy one of those products.

So Disappointed!

Nothing like disappointment to rouse me out of a blogging hiatus. I had so looked forward to getting my custom self-designed iPhone wallet but was thoroughly unhappy with the product after a few hours of use.

Usually when I am not impressed with a product, I just put it aside and forget about it. I rarely leave negative reviews.

However, this particular item begs for this review.

The depth of my disappointment grew with time.

Give it a chance

I recently got a new iPhone and thought it would be a great opportunity to get one of those folder-cases with my Water Priestess drawing on it. I have a lot of my photography and art loaded to RedBubble.com and they’re available in a lot of different products, phone cases being just one of many. I knew the drawing would be beautiful on it.

So I edited the image to make it sit just right on the case and ordered it. Couldn’t wait for it to come in. This was something I’d wanted for a while but didn’t want to buy one for the old phone, knowing I’d need a new one in the near-enough future.

When the mail arrived with my package. I opened it.

First reaction. Love at first sight.

“It’s Beautiful!”

Second reaction. Took a closer look.

“It looks kind of cheap.” The construction left a lot to be desired. All the beauty was definitely skin deep. On the outside.

But it was gorgeous, right? For a little while the glow of beauty masked the utter uselessness of the product.

My beautiful new iPhone wallet from RedBubble. The love waned quickly.
My beautiful new iPhone wallet from RedBubble. The love waned quickly.

 

My biggest complaint.

There is one flaw with this cell phone folder that makes all else (pro or con) pale in comparison. The only thing holding your phone in there is a strip of sticky stuff.

Inside view of the iPhone wallet from RedBubble.
Fabric is the really thin stuff that wears and tears quickly. Sticky strip doesn’t hold the phone if it’s slightly warm (from stashing in pocket, riding in car without AC, any number of other ordinary situations that cause the phone to get warmer than chilly.)

This sticky stuff doesn’t hold well once the phone gets warm… say from carrying it in your back pocket. Or leaving it out on a warm day, not even in direct sunlight (which is probably a bad idea anytime).

I took it out while at the market to set up my Square reader and connect the app. My phone flew out of the folder, flipped a few summersaults before hitting the pavement. Of course the glass cracked.

Beauty only soothes so many flaws. There is no amount of it that can make me overlook the utter uselessness of this product.

Adding fuel to fire

So I contacted Support through the website. On the main page options if you’re dissatistifed are exchange, store credit, or refund. Refund is nowhere to be found once you go to the Support page. I sent a message, explaining why I was unhappy and that I wanted a refund. I was clear that the way it looked on the outside was fine, but my problem was with the interior design of the product.

Guess what? Of course I get a near immediate response. They said they’d send my complaint to the printer right away. Is the printer responsible for interior design and refunds? Hmmm. Sounded suspiciously like a bot-reply to me. So I emailed back to ‘Ashley’ to clarify that the printing was not the issue, but the inside design.

Another bot-reply in response that really didn’t seem like it understood the message I’d sent and chose what it thought would be the nearest best response from the automated responses in queue.

What a way to further infuriate someone already angry! A real person on the other end of the line, capable of responses not scripted, would have been a nice touch.

We shall see how this plays out and I’ll update this post with the resolution, if one ever surfaces.

Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

Not everything sold at RedBubble is crap. The tote bag, coffee mugs, posters and the stickers seem to be of good quality. I can’t vouch for the other items but I can totally recommend you avoid the iPhone wallets. Since I can’t afford to buy each of the other items to test them, I think it’s best to err on the side of caution.

I’m taking all of my work down from RedBubble , except the items I’ve listed above, before someone else orders something of such poor quality and associates that experience with me, rather than RedBubble.

Can you vouch for a product from RedBubble?

Have any of you ordered anything from RedBubble you thought was worth the cost? Tell me which item it was and I’ll leave that one standing too. The rest of mine are being cleared from the deck as soon as I have time to get back online long enough to do it.

A set of Rada kitchen knives and cutlery.

Product Review: Rada Kitchen Knives and Cutlery

The best thing about Rada knives – well, I can’t say that. ONE of the best things about these knives is that they’re made in the U.S.A. The other best thing is that they’re terrific. Read on to find out why I think so. Of the set, I only have the paring knife, apple peeler/potato peeler, and the serrated – the first three from the bottom. So I’m basing my review of the brand on my use and experience with three of the blades in this set.

Pros

We got the three that I mentioned as a wedding gift in 2013. I’ve only just now had to ask Rob to sharpen the edge on the paring knife. The other two are still performing as well as they did out of the box.

The blades are thin yet sturdy. They hold an edge for an incredibly long time. They hold a very fine edge so the knife is super-sharp.

They’re made in the USA. It’s hard to find affordable products that work well that are also made here. I can often find great quality but can’t afford it, so I’m happy when I find a product that meets both expectations.

Affordability

The whole set pictured above is $41.99 right now at Amazon. They’re very closely matched in price at Wal-Mart and I’ve seen the same brand for sale at The Huntsville Pantry for those of you local to Huntsville, AR.

Cons

You shouldn’t put these in the dishwasher. The handles oxidize if you do and it makes them ugly but it doesn’t seem to affect their performance. I ran my through the dishwasher before I realized this. I think the handles are made of aluminum and the dishwasher detergent reacts with the metal.


Read my other product reviews.

Product Review: A Quiet Computer Mouse by Mossy Oak

Mossy Oak Mouse Product Review
The image links to the Amazon page.

My old mouse recently died and I had to get another. The next time we went to Walmart I picked up one of the least expensive ones I could find. It was around $10 and I thought that’s not too bad. At this point, I didn’t have any other requirements in mind, except that it had to be wireless. I didn’t know I’d want a quiet computer mouse.

Terrible Noisy Mouse

Well, I hated it. The clicks were so noisy that if I were trying to write or work on the computer in bed while Rob was asleep it would have kept him awake. The thing constantly shifted into sleep mode if I hadn’t moved it within the previous minute, or however long the alloted waking period was. So I had to constantly wake it up. Not only that, I just hated the clicking noises.

Quiet Computer Mouse

The next time we went to town I tried all the mice on the shelf to see how loud the clicks were, and ended up with this Mossy Oak mouse.

The price is a lot less at Walmart. It’s more than double at Amazon, so unless you have a gift card to spend I’d check with your local stores first. At Amazon it runs around $36. It was $15.88 at Walmart, at the time I wrote this post, but shipping isn’t available for that item so you can’t mail order it. Therefore, the photo is linked to the Amazon option.

There are other features, such as the scroll wheel and a DPI button, and a bunch of other things I don’t really use. I’m not sure what the DPI switchable is for, or why there are “breathing effect” lights for the scroll. The only thing I cared about was that it was 1.) quiet and 2.) wireless.

If you’re looking for a quiet computer mouse, and don’t mind the camo pattern, this is a great pick.


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Product Review: STABILicers Ice Cleats make Slippery Slopes a Cinch!

When it gets icy here, just walking down the back steps is a feat, but making my rounds to feed the critters is the whole circus. Ice cleats to the rescue.

Biding time to try out the ice cleats

So since it hasn’t gotten icy since they arrived in the mail, I haven’t had a chance to try them out. Until yesterday. We only got a little bit of sleet and ice and snow yesterday. Maybe 1/2 an inch total. But that makes the rocks and smooth surfaces pretty slick.

I was worried that I’d need *enough* ice to grip with the cleats. I was wrong. They worked fantastic even on a little bit of ice coating. I didn’t slip one time. Ice cleats are the bomb.

Ice cleats side view.
They strap on easily and don’t move around.

 

Other Low-Tech Solutions

I’ve done other things in the past to combat the acrobats on my way up or down the hills in my feeding route.

Ash

Scattering ash from the woodstove on the path helps a lot and recycles something that otherwise just piles up outside the house.

The drawback to that is that it takes many days of carrying the bucket of ash along with the buckets of feed. And if it’s icy, I’m also carrying a jug of warm water for Turbo and the chickens.

Hay

Another solution is to make a trail from hay and walk on that. Which works pretty good, but the chickens that aren’t in the pen just scratch it all around, so that’s not a good solution here.

Salt

This works, but drains off when it melts and has to be reapplied. However, the salt does have an environmental effect and I’m not sure its a good long-term solution. I’m also not sure how safe the store bought ice-melt is long-term either. We still use one or the other of these on the back steps so no one slips when they’re not wearing ice cleats, but I don’t want to make my whole route paved in salt.

Where to Buy

Anyway, I love the ice cleats. They have lots of models available and you can buy them most places that sell shoes (at least out here where it tends to get icy in winter). I bought mine online at Amazon.

There are several options and price ranges for ice cleats. I went all out and got the STABILicers for around $40. The price varies according to size and style. I can’t vouch for the other models, but these are the ones I plan to always have handy during winter.

Ice cleats top view.
They strap onto the toe and around ankle.
Bottom view of ice cleats showing the "cleats".
Bottom view showing the “cleats”. They’re not pointy, but remind me of the grippers on octopus tentacles. Don’t ask how I know what octopus grippers look like…or how they might feel, lol, because I don’t know. But this is what they remind me of.

See all of my product reviews.