Return Policy Law

Occasionally, everyone needs to return something at some point for a refund, exchange or store credit. Merchants are required to accept returns in certain situations. Some states have laws governing the disclosure of refund and return policies. See below for summaries on each state’s laws regarding returning merchandise.

Federal Law

Most retailers allow returns if customers change their minds or receive unwanted gifts. While retailers put this as part of their business models because they see it is as a best business practice, they aren’t legally required to accept returns. However, retailers are required to accept returns of the sold good is defective or they otherwise break the sales contract.

In addition to being required to accept the return of defective items, federal law provides a “Cooling Off Rule” giving buyers 3 days to cancel purchases of $25 or more. Under this law, consumers have the right to cancel for a full refund extends until midnight of the third business day after the sale.

State Law

In addition to the above federal laws, many states have laws regarding refunds. Often, refund policies must be prominently displayed. Many states allow purchasers to rescind club memberships or other special sales contracts within a specific number of business days.

Other fees, such as restocking fees, must be made clear in the return policy. Regardless of whether the state requires the discloser of return policies, you should ask the retailer for their particular policy before making the purchase. Additionally, states may or may not apply their laws to online sales. Below are summaries of each state’s laws regarding returns.

Alabama

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Alaska

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Arizona

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Arkansas

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

California

Retailers must clearly display their return policy unless they offer a full cash refund, exchange, or store credit within 7 days of the purchase date. If a retailer does not clearly display its policy, it is required to accept full refunds within 30 days of purchase.

Colorado

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Connecticut

Each retailer can set its own return policy, which must be conspicuously disclosed at the time of the sale. If the policy isn’t properly disclosed, or if the retailer doesn’t have a refund policy, a buyer may return the goods for a refund.

Delaware

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Florida

Retailers that don’t offer refunds must clearly display this at the place of sale. If they do not meet this requirement, purchasers may return goods for a full refund within 20 days of the purchase date.

Georgia

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Hawaii

Retailers can set their own return policies, but they must be clearly disclosed at the time of purchase. If the policy isn’t properly disclosed, retailers must provide the refund.

Idaho

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Illinois

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Indiana

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Iowa

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Retailers must disclose if they don’t accept returns.

Kansas

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Kentucky

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Louisiana

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Maine

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Maryland

Retailers must post their return policy on the wall, on the receipt, or on the product. If the policy is not posted, the seller must accept returned items within a reasonable time.

Massachusetts

A retailer’s refund, return, or cancellation policy must be disclosed clearly and conspicuously to the purchaser before the transaction is completed. This can be done by means of a sign at the point of sale. Goods can be returned within a reasonable period of time if no return policy is disclosed.

Michigan

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Minnesota

A retailer must display written notice of its policy clearly and conspicuously in boldface type of a minimum size of 14 points. If the retailer fails this requirement, cash refunds are required of purchased acceptable for return.

Mississippi

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Missouri

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Montana

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Nebraska

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Nevada

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

New Hampshire

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

New Jersey

Retailers must post their refund policies conspicuously. Retailers without posted refund policies are liable to the purchaser, for up to 20 days from the purchase date, for a cash refund or credit.

New Mexico

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

New York

A store is required to post its refund policy. If it fails this requirement, the store must accept returns within 30 days of the purchase date.

North Carolina

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

North Dakota

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Ohio

A retailer is not required to have a refund policy. However, if it does have a policy, it must be clearly conspicuously posted. If a retailer does not have a refund policy posted, the purchaser is entitled to a refund.

Oklahoma

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Oregon

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Pennsylvania

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Rhode Island

Unless a customer has been clearly informed by a poster or other appropriate notice placed at the point of sale or at the store entrance that all sales are final and that goods are not returnable, a purchaser can return the item within 10 business days of the date of purchase.

South Carolina

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

South Dakota

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Tennessee

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Texas

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Utah

If the retailer has a non-refund, exchange, or credit policy, it must be clearly indicated by a sign posted at the point of display, point of sale, or the store entrance. If the seller fails in this requirement, the purchaser is entitled to a return.

Vermont

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Virginia

A seller must notify its customers of its return policy through a sign attached to the goods or placed in a conspicuous public area on the seller’s premises. A seller is exempt from this requirement if it provides a cash or credit refund within 20 days or more of purchase.

Washington

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

West Virginia

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Wisconsin

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Wyoming

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Getting Legal Help

If you need help to understand your rights as a consumer, or legal assistance with a return or refund, contact a consumer protection attorney.

Everything About Google Home

What is Google Home?

Google Home is the latest device launched by Google. It is a voice-activated speaker and doubles as a smart home control that serves as a personal assistant at home. It works similar to Amazon Echo, but with some handful of things capable of doing.

Is Google Home available in my country?

Google Home was launched in the United States since November 2016. Then in 2017, Canada and United Kingdom added to their list of countries where Google Home is available. So far, these 3 countries are the only place where Google Home is accessible. It will surely roll out across the globe and there will be more to come in the next few months.

Here are 8 awesome things you can do with Google Home.

  1. Your Home Companion

If you live in Google’s world, your life will get so much better and easier using Google Home. This device allows you to load tons of information or simply get your smartphones perform different actions using voice command.

  1. Stream Music

Google Home functions much better than the speakers you have at the end your desk. Using your Home device, you can stream Spotify, Play Music, and other Cast-enabled apps without even touching your phone. If you want to pause or restart your music, all you need is to simply tap the top your Home device and it will automatically pause or restart the music.

  1. Good replacement for your desktop speakers

If you do not have a good set of speakers at home, then this device could be a great replacement. With Google Cast now built directly into the Google Chrome browser, this simply means that you can easily use it on your next podcast or music station. Just simply click the cast button on your Home device.

  1. Make announcements

If you’re too lazy to go upstairs and tell each of your roommates that dinner is ready, you can simply use Home to broadcast any message you want to make. All you need is to simply broadcast a message and it will then be automatically read aloud in your house.

  1. Tracking your phone

If you’ve misplaced your phone at home, you can easily find it using your Home device. Thanks to the power of IFTTT integration, it made Home even more powerful. First, you need to verify your mobile number and jump through other steps to complete the setup. If you’ve misplaced your phone, all you need is to tell Home to find your phone and the device will then place a phone call.

  1. Control your lights

Change the colour of your lights, turn them on, and turn them off using Google Home’s voice control. If you have a Philips Hue bulbs, no IFTTT integration is needed since it can interface directly with Home.

  1. More than just a voice-control

Voice control isn’t the only option to do things with your Google Home. The top of this device also has some hidden commands. To awaken your Google Home, pause or un-pause a broadcast, all you need is to simply tap once. Sliding your finger to the side of the circle indicates the volume. Sometimes, touching it can be way faster than yelling them out with your voice.

  1. Shopping Companion

Putting Home in your kitchen will make compiling your shopping list easier using Google Assistant. Every time you want to add items to your shopping lists, all you need is to tell your Home and it will automatically be listed on your shopping lists without the hassle of using pen and paper.

Google Home is a smart speaker where you can do lots of amazing things. From getting the news, listening to music, streaming videos, and lots of plenty stuff, your life will get so much easier with Google Home. However, it can be so intimidating at first with so much going on it. This is why we have put together all the things you need to know about Google Home in one place. We hope that the above things about Google Home will help you deal and enjoy the device a lot better.

Bait and Switch Home Business Programs

Home business is becoming more and more popular nowadays. Along with its convenience of working from the comfort of your very own home, running your own home business has a number of rewards. Here are some of the popular home business ideas which might help you get started.

 

Freelancing – one of the easiest types of home business. Some of the skills which can be used in freelancing are writing, marketing, tax advisor, web design, and photography.

Virtual Assistant – VA provides a wide variety of virtual services for their clients. Among the services included are marketing, administrative and technical support from their home office.

Blogging – From fashion, travel, sports, health and more, blogging is also one of the easiest and most common types of working from home ideas. Blogging is a good way of gaining traffic to a website through the use of different social media sites.

Child day care – home childcare businesses offer long lasting and potentially lucrative business opportunity, especially for parents. You just first need to ensure that you comply with the state and local regulations when starting your own home childcare business.

Online Marketplace Store – selling products online is also the most popular way of home business. Once you have established your own network of consumers, you may consider starting your business on giant online stores such as Amazon, Etsy or eBay.

 

The DownSide

However, with all the convenience of being able to work at home, many try to lure people in running their own home business but came out as a fraud or scam. The term used is bait and switch.

Bait and switch is a form of marketing technique that advertises very attractive rate, price, term, item which is all meant to attract customers. When the person comes into this particular website, store or office and inquires about the advertised “bait”, the advertiser will then try to offer the person an even more expensive or different service or product which is actually the switch.

While bait and switch are most common to bigger industries with tangible retail items, home business programs are also no stranger to these bait and switch techniques. Let us take a look at some of the most common methods of this bait and switch so that you can make sure you are not unknowingly helping with this bait and switch scam.

Some of the common bait and switch marketing accidents

  • Using a competitor’s name in order to boost traffic to a particular product
  • Wording a particular campaign in ways that make it look and sound like you are selling something which you are actually not. Then using these tactics to trick consumers.
  • Using irrelevant keywords as parts of SEO bait and switch.

 

How to avoid getting lured into Bait and Switch or false advertisements?

First, one needs to research on the particular service, program or items being offered. Especially if a particular offer seems too good to be true. If a particular item or service is offered at a much lower rate, and similar items are more expensive, then it might also be a go signal to suspect that there is something wrong.

You can also file a report online against the accused company. All forms of bait and switch are considered illegal. And when proven true or more complaints are made against a particular website, then you can file a lawsuit against that particular website.

The best thing to do to avoid getting lured into these bait and switch techniques is educating one’s self. You need to be aware that many home businesses programs are now using unethical or illegal forms just to get their business operations. It is important to arm yourself with knowledge so that you won’t get lured into this so called bait and switch tactics.

Amazon Echo

Amazon’s Echo speaker, now in its second generation and with several versions, continues to expand its smart-home, digital-assistant, and music abilities. It is first a wireless speaker, but it’s capable of so much more. Using only your voice, you can play music, create to-do and shopping lists, search the Internet, get instant weather reports, shop online and control your smart-home products. All this while your smartphone stays safely in your pocket.

Alexa, who was named after the ancient library of Alexandria, is Amazon’s voice-controlled system. You can speak your desires to an Echo smart speaker and seem them fulfilled. At least, your simple desires, like dimming your lights or playing music. This guide will cover how it works, what is it capable of doing, where it falls short, privacy concerns, and how to choose the right Echo.

What sets this voice-controlled system apart from the first-generation voice assistants is its responsiveness. There is no activation button to push. Simply say the trigger word (either “Alexa,” “Echo,” “Amazon,” or “Computer”) followed by your command, and it will usually be completed. That is, as long as you have set everything up properly and are using the correct command sequence. Once you get used to the quirks, using Alexa becomes much more natural and responsive than phone-based voice assistants like Apple’s Siri. As a result, you’ll find yourself using your phone less frequently at home.

Who Should Get an Echo

First, realize that although Echo is a decent speaker itself, you can get a better sound, if music streaming is all you want to do. The reason to get an Echo is because you want the voice-controlled platform, making interacting with your speaker and other devices must easier. Voice control frees you from being tethered to your smartphone. If you thought the transition from using a remote for your TV and pressing smartphone buttons was life-changing, then letting Alexa control things will be even more satisfying.

Alexa is particularly useful for smart-home users. It allows you to control your Alexa-compatible devices without taking out your phone and launch the app. Note: Alexa does have an app, but is mostly for setup and configuration, or to add new abilities and view to-do and shopping lists. Most of the time, Amazon’s devices allow you to access Alexa’s useful features without having to interact with a screen at all. Without touching a thing, you can walk into a quiet room and ask for music, or walk into a dark room and ask for lights.

Beyond asking for music, you can have Alexa search Wikipedia, make quick cooking conversions, create a to-do list, or help with homework. A growing list of built-in capabilities and third-party skills means that your Alexa device keeps improving the longer you own it.

If you already have some Alexa-compatible devices or one of the three smart-home hubs (SmartThings, Wink, or Insteon), adding an Echo can make accessing that device more interesting and convenient.

However, do realize that Echo is not a comprehensive smart-home system. It will not replace the smart-home hub for programmed automations. Also, it won’t always be the most practical means of interacting with your other devices. Think of Echo as an additional interface for your smart home that provides functionality better than an app on your smartphone. This will then lead to you relying on Echo more and more. The new Zigbee-enabled Echo Plus and Alexa’s new “routines” feature can move the product closer to hub-level home automation, but is isn’t there yet.

How Does Alexa Work?

Amazon geniuses built a natural-language processing system that is extremely easy to interact with. If you ask a question or deliver a command, you usually only have to ask once. Part of its success is dependent on several very sensitive microphones built into all Echo devices. Alexa is always listening and ready to respond.

As noted previously, Echo devices stream your voice to the cloud when you ask it to do something. Your requests shop up in the app and you have the option to delete them if you don’t want to have a record. The default wake word is “Alexa, but you can change this to “Echo,” “Amazon,” or “Computer.”

Once you say the magic wake word, the microphone takes everything you say next. Your words are beamed up to Amazon’s cloud computers for quick analysis. If it’s a question it can answer, such as, “Alexa, what’s the weather in Los Angeles today?” an answer is given from the speaker in a female, slightly computery voice. If you want music, Alexa will search through the Amazon Music catalog or Amazon Prime Music for your request. It can also play TuneIn Internet radio stations, music from Pandora, iHeartRadio, and Spotify if you have subscriptions to those. You can request a joke, but be prepared to groan. If you request to turn off the light or adjust the thermostat, that will happen if you’ve asked correctly and have properly integrated that ability into the system.

Listening to music or adding something to your shopping list is as easy as asking Alexa.

The smart-home integrations are what most people are excited about with Echo. One of the key characteristics of a smart device is that is should make common tasks easier. Echo is for smart-home users who prefer to speak their desires rather than the tedious work of launching an app. The simplest integrations are with products Alexa can work with directly. These are found in the smart-home section of the app’s menu.

Initially, users were limited to one action per voice command. However, now you can string activities together into one command using grouping or routines. For instance, you can group smart lights together by room or area and turn them off with one command. Routines are custom activities you program that will combine smart devices (such as lights) with other tasks like playing your morning news briefing. Routines can also be scheduled to activate at a certain time. Unfortunately, at this time, music and playlists are not supported by routines.

You can also use the entire family of Amazon Echo speakers as an intercom system. If you have multiple Echos throughout your house, you can initiate walkie-talkie-style cats between them using a voice command. You will need to set this up first by given each of your devices a name and enabling the “drop-in” feature. You can also ask Echo to make phone calls by saying, “Alexa, call…” If you have a video-enabled Echo (Show and Spot), you can make video calls free.

Another feature of Echo is voice-controlled shopping. This feature is available only to Prime members and only on Prime-eligible products. There are other restrictions as well. For instance, you can’t order clothing, jewelry, or shoes by voice. To purchase something, ask Alexa to order that item. It will search for it, tell you the price and confirm with a four-digit security code that you already configured in the app. This prevents children and strangers from making unauthorized purchases. The purchase is then charged to your default payment method. Often, Amazon offers special deals exclusive to voice buyers. You can discover those by asking, “Alexa, what are today’s deals?”

What Can Alexa Skills Do?

In the Alexa world, a skill is like an app. It’s a small program you can add to your Echo to enable a new ability. At the time of writing, there are more than 15,000 skills in the menu of the Alexa app, with more launching each week. Once you add a skill to your Alexa account, it will work with all the Alexa devices in your home.

One of the most useful skills for the smart-home user is the IFTTT skill. IFTT stands for “If This Than That.” It is a website and app that allows you to link different devices and services in the cloud with what is called recipes.

Interacting with the Echo app allows you to manage Alexa’s skills and connected devices.

Some skills will allow you to purchase outside of Amazon. For instance, there is an Uber skill for ordering a ride, a skill for ordering flowers from 1-800-flowers, a Domino’s Pizza skill for ordering food, and more. Users can find skills for a variety of interests and hobbies. There are homework helper skills, traffic report skills, recipe skills, and smart-home skills. DrinkBoy skill allows you to search for drink recipes. Cricket Facts skills teaches you about cricket. There is unicorn trivia, daily affirmation, and even skills for “yo mama” jokes. There is no limit on the number of skills you can have. Just remember that you must remember the voice commands to make them work.

Alexa’s Limitations

Alexa is quite talented. But sometimes things don’t work exactly as you expect them to. For instance, you can create a shopping list by telling Alexa to add firecrackers or beer to your list, but you have to add them separately. So, instead of saying, “Alexa add firecrackers and beer to my shopping list,” you must say, “Alexa, add firecrackers to my shopping list. Alexa, add beer to my shopping list.” This process can become irritating if you’re creating a long list. Moreover, though Alexa creates a shopping list in its app for you to access when you’re in the store, you must use an IFTTT recipe to create a version of the list for sharing or printing.

Also, Alexa isn’t Google. The system knows a lot, but what it can’t answer far outweighs what it can. If your primary use for a smart speaker is to answer factual questions, your better option is Google Home.

Another consideration is the limited number of wake words. If you have multiple devices, using “Alexa” could activate multiple devices because of their far-field microphones. The wake word can be changed for each device, but then you have to remember which wake word belongs with which device.

Sometimes Alexa can’t hear your request due to playing music too loudly or background noise. However, the second-generation Echo is much better at hearing through music than the original version.

Is Your Echo Spying on You?

Like any website, Alexa collects information about how users interact with it. Amazon likens it to how websites use cookies to collect information on your browsing. It knows your music preferences, what you put on your shopping list, and what smart-home products are connected to your Echo. This is all based on what you told it to do. This information is used to market more products and services to you. However, using Alexa on a daily basis likely won’t result in more direct marketing from Amazon and certainly isn’t as intrusive as a web browser.

You needn’t worry about Echo’s always-on microphones.

Alexa can facilitate communication with third-party services, as mentioned above. Although you can utilize Capital One’s online banking services, Amazon cannot actually get access to the transactions taking place. In the case of Capital One, the bank says the system stays fully encrypted and the Alexa skill includes a user-created passcode to prevent unauthorized access.

The bottom line is that your Echo is always listening to you. The device hears everything you say within range of its very far-reaching microphones. But it is only listening for its wake word. Once it hears that, everything for the next few seconds after is viewed as a command or request and sent to Amazon’s cloud computers to find the appropriate response. You will know when Echo is paying attention because the circular blue light turns on when it hears the wake word. Echo is like a pet dog. It is always listening, but it only understands “walk,” “sit,” or “stay.” Everything else goes right over its head.

This is very similar to Apple’s Siri and some of Samsung’s smart TVs. They listen for key phrases to allow for searches or voice controls. Again, Echo kicks into gear only when it hears the wake word. That said, when Alexa hears a command and sends that command to the cloud, Amazon has just learned something about you. It may only be that you like broccoli. And if you said, “Alexa, where should I bury the body?” You won’t have the police banging down your door.

You need to decide how comfortable you are with Amazon collecting information. Your computer is already tracking everything you do online through cookies. Google knows everything you’ve ever searched. But remember, Amazon just wants to sell you stuff. As much stuff as they can. So, if you use a workout skill with your Echo, don’t be surprised to see emails from Amazon promoting yoga pants.

 

If you press the microphone button, you will disable Alexa’s listening capability. This will turn the LED light red.

Both the data collection and the always listening aspect can raise some privacy concerns. Should you tell guests Alexa is listening? Amazon doesn’t discriminate between users. Anyone within range can use the wake word and say a command. But everything you say to Alexa is noted in the app and then can be deleted. Amazon says that once it is deleted it is gone forever.

Amazon Echo vs. Echo Dot vs. Echo Plus

All Amazon Alexa devices offer the same basic Alexa functions. But they do differ enough that you can’t just substitute one for another or just go with the cheapest one.

If you want music without adding any speakers, the second-generation Echo offers a complete range of functions without the screen features of Show and Spot. It is good for kitchens, dens, offices, bedrooms, and other places where size and convenience are more important that audio performance. It has 360-dispersion speakers, so if you can put it in the center of the room, you will get sound in all four corners.

However, if you are a discerning listener, you might feel that the Echo speakers are a bit lacking. The bass is a little foggy and details can get lost. You can pair the Echo with your smartphone through Bluetooth for any music service Alexa doesn’t support, such as iTunes, but you can’t pair it with another speaker like Dot.

Echo devices can be used as a multi-room audio system like Sonos. You can create groups with multiple Echos and play the same music on all of them at once. However, you cannot make two Echos work as a stereo pair.

The Dot can wirelessly connect with a Bluetooth speaker.

For a lot less than a full-size Echo, the Echo Dot is a smart option. It can connect wirelessly to your choice of Bluetooth speaker or sound system. The Dot 2 is only about 1 ½ inches high and includes volume buttons instead of the turnable knob on the Echo. In this tiny package are all the Alexa controls and search features. It includes a speaker that’s good for hearing Alexa’s voice and talk radio. However, it isn’t enough to really enjoy music.

If you’re looking for smart-home controls, the Echo Plus will be your best choice. It’s larger than the current Echo. It’s main difference from the regular Echo is the inclusion of Zigbee, a wireless system for controlling smart-home devices.

The Echo Show appeals to those who want to video chat but don’t like the small screen on their phone. The Show as a built-in 7” display. And there is a small camera to use for selfies.

Like the Echo Show, the Echo Spot has a built-in camera and LCD screen displaying a clock, song lyrics, or videos. It allows video chats with other Spots, Shows, or the Alexa smartphone app. It’s about the size of a softball, making it perfect for a bedside clock. But its small size does limit what you’ll want to watch on it.

All You Need to Know About the Amazon TV Fire Stick

As we proceed with the technological advancements introduced every day in the 21st century, the drifting trends from cable TV to flat screens and set-top boxes etc. are very evident.

It was just recently when another new gadget was launched and it has been gaining interest since then. This device is none other than the new Amazon TV Fire Stick. Amazon is a leading e-commerce site which has secured the trust of its customer’s over time.

Keeping in mind the developing craze of web streaming of movies, series, videos etc. without any fear of viruses or data hacking, Amazon introduced the Prime membership which gave all such benefits.

Developing it furthermore, Amazon has now brought the Prime features to your television by launching the Amazon Fire Stick. This TV fire stick is a device which can be attached to your latest Television models having USB slots. It is a prominent source of media streaming in HD serving up to 1080p.

Features of the Amazon TV Fire Stick:

To understand better, following are some interesting and breath-taking features of the Amazon TV Fire Stick:

  • Access to Prime Account: The device allows you to watch unlimited movies from a wide collection of genres. A number of series, music, videos, infotainment, news and a lot more can be accessed on your television.
  • Trouble-Free Usage: Using this device is no rocket science. It is easy to use with given step by step procedure mentioned for installation. After installation, it involves simple regular options as on your phone.
  • Customizable Controls: The Amazon TV Fire Stick has a feature of customizing the controls as per the usage. This includes the parental control where you can restrict the usage of certain channels.
  • Swift: It is extremely swift and fast during the usage. It functions in fractions of seconds without causing any kind of delay.
  • Data Tracker: You can now keep a check on the data that you have consumed and even change the quality of the video as per your preference.
  • Voice Search Remote: This feature is the most outstanding and mind-blowing feature of the fire stick. The device comes with a remote which has a built-in mic on its top through which you can give a command by speaking and that very show or application will open on your T.V.

What Things Come in the Box?

The complete box of the Amazon T.V. Fire Stick comes with the following five items:

  1. The main Amazon T.V. Fire Stick.
  2. A remote control by Alexa with a voice command feature.
  3. The adaptor for charging the stick.
  4. For the remote control, two batteries of 2 AAA Amazon Basics.
  5. An HDMI data cable which can be used as an extender.

What Else You Require to Use Amazon TV Fire Stick?

To use your Amazon TV Fire Stick efficiently, you should be equipped with the following three things:

  1. An HD television set with HDMI port
  2. An active wireless internet source with a Wi-Fi speed of around 10 Mbps
  3. A functioning account on Amazon Prime.

A Step-By-Step Guide to Set-up Your Amazon TV Fire Stick

Follow the below-mentioned steps to set-up the Amazon T.V. Fire Stick to your television:

Step 1: Pairing Your Remote

Put in the two batteries in the remote and then bring the remote near the Amazon stick after plugging it into the TV. Press the Home button on the remote and hold for 10 seconds. Your remote will then get paired with your stick. After this step, you will be asked to Press the start button.

To help you understand the functionality of the button of the Alexa remote, check out the below diagram:

 

Step 2: Select Your Language Preference from the List

Choose your preferred language from the given list that will appear on the screen.

Step 3: Connect To the Internet

Connect to the available source of internet.

Step 4: Register Your TV Fire Stick on Amazon

If you have not created an account on Amazon, you are required to create an account by registering and submitting your details on Amazon.

Step 5: Save Your Wi-Fi Password to Amazon

Save the password required to connect with the internet to Amazon.

Step 6: Password Protection

Set the parental controls to your Amazon TV fire stick by setting a five-digit PIN as your password. Please note that this step is not compulsory and you can apply parental controls only if you require using this feature.

Step 7: Introduction Video

The next screen will display an introduction video that will guide you about using the Alexa Remote’s voice commands with your Amazon TV Fire Stick.

Step 8: Set Your Monthly Data Limit and Monitor it

You will next see the screen having the option to set your monthly data limit as per your plan. If you have an unlimited data plan, you can just skip the step to save your time.

Step 9: Pair Your Alexa Remote to Your Amazon TV Fire Stick

This is the final step that will complete the installation process. You need to pair your Alexa Remote to your Amazon TV Fire Stick remote application and you are all set to go.

What Price Do You Need to Pay for This Product?

The Amazon T.V. Fire Stick with the Alexa remote costs around 39.99$. It is definitely a very reasonable and affordable price for a product with such advanced features. Many other devices are also available for various infotainment purposes but with the recent introduction of this fire stick has given hard competition to all of them. The main reason being the distinctive feature of the voice recognition control remote makes it even more stupendous.

Pros and Cons:

Talking about a few benefits of the device, some Pros can be stated as:

  • Handy approach to Amazon Prime features
  • Smart and new voice control remote system
  • Integrated software on the home screen and applications by Alexa

Everything has its positive and negative aspect, and so this device has. Therefore some Cons of the device are as follows:

  • Voice search is a bit problematic while using third-party applications.
  • There is a 60 seconds frame playback on sports channels.

Let’s Have a Look at The Performance of The Amazon TV Fire Stick:

The stick comes with a quad-core processor which boosts up the power of the device. It is easy to use with fleet functioning and speedy loading of the videos.

The main attraction which has compelled buyers to purchase the product is nevertheless the voice feature which is used by pressing and holding the voice button on the remote and then speaking the command. It has turned out pretty functional and has increased the popularity and distinctiveness of the device.

Another main review was the accuracy of the commands given. The Alexa remote hardly misunderstood anything said via it. You can search the actor names, genre, movie names etc. using the voice control and get accurate results on the screen.

Overall, the product has got 4.4/5 star rating by the users and is considered as a worthy purchase.

Bait and Switch Home Business Programs

Home business is becoming more and more popular nowadays. Along with its convenience of working from the comfort of your very own home, running your own home business has a number of rewards. Here are some of the popular home business ideas which might help you get started.

 

Freelancing – one of the easiest types of home business. Some of the skills which can be used in freelancing are writing, marketing, tax advisor, web design, and photography.

Virtual Assistant – VA provides a wide variety of virtual services for their clients. Among the services included are marketing, administrative and technical support from their home office.

Blogging – From fashion, travel, sports, health and more, blogging is also one of the easiest and most common types of working from home ideas. Blogging is a good way of gaining traffic to a website through the use of different social media sites.

Child day care – home childcare businesses offer long lasting and potentially lucrative business opportunity, especially for parents. You just first need to ensure that you comply with the state and local regulations when starting your own home childcare business.

Online Marketplace Store – selling products online is also the most popular way of home business. Once you have established your own network of consumers, you may consider starting your business on giant online stores such as Amazon, Etsy or eBay.

 

The DownSide

However, with all the convenience of being able to work at home, many try to lure people in running their own home business but came out as a fraud or scam. The term used is bait and switch.

Bait and switch is a form of marketing technique that advertises very attractive rate, price, term, item which is all meant to attract customers. When the person comes into this particular website, store or office and inquires about the advertised “bait”, the advertiser will then try to offer the person an even more expensive or different service or product which is actually the switch.

While bait and switch are most common to bigger industries with tangible retail items, home business programs are also no stranger to these bait and switch techniques. Let us take a look at some of the most common methods of this bait and switch so that you can make sure you are not unknowingly helping with this bait and switch scam.

Some of the common bait and switch marketing accidents

  • Using a competitor’s name in order to boost traffic to a particular product
  • Wording a particular campaign in ways that make it look and sound like you are selling something which you are actually not. Then using these tactics to trick consumers.
  • Using irrelevant keywords as parts of SEO bait and switch.

 

How to avoid getting lured into Bait and Switch or false advertisements?

First, one needs to research on the particular service, program or items being offered. Especially if a particular offer seems too good to be true. If a particular item or service is offered at a much lower rate, and similar items are more expensive, then it might also be a go signal to suspect that there is something wrong.

You can also file a report online against the accused company. All forms of bait and switch are considered illegal. And when proven true or more complaints are made against a particular website, then you can file a lawsuit against that particular website.

The best thing to do to avoid getting lured into these bait and switch techniques is educating one’s self. You need to be aware that many home businesses programs are now using unethical or illegal forms just to get their business operations. It is important to arm yourself with knowledge so that you won’t get lured into this so called bait and switch tactics.

The Rise of Home Business in 2018

2017 has finally come to a close and all businesses are now preparing to start 2018 with a bang. With the markets going up and unemployment slowly going down, there are lots of positive things to expect this year. One of this is the rise of home businesses. In 2013, there are over 3 million home businesses registered in the UK alone. That is around 60% of all businesses in the United Kingdom. And while Britain’s homes are much alive with the sounds of business, the USA is also part of the growing home business owners.

The growth in the numbers of rising home businesses is increasing, raising over 1.1 million trades in the last 20 years. It has been reported that approximately 500,000 more home businesses existed in 2010. More and more business owners want to grow from home too, which is why the statistics are continuously rising even up until this year 2018.

According to recent polls conducted, over 40% of Americans now have some part of their jobs from the comfort of their own home. Both employees and employers get something from working remotely. And as technology continues to eat up this world, different collaboration software and chat programs are now making remote work more feasible for most white collar workers. Most employees love the flexibility and some researchers believed that unconventional work hours could actually help close the pay gap. Companies, on the other hand, permits remote work, as it will also help them able to cut down on their real estate costs and in order for them to retain and even attract employees.

 Most people are now choosing to run their own home-based business. Here are some of the advantages of choosing home business as your smart choice for the source of income. 

  • No Need to Commute. This is one of the most obvious reasons why lots of individuals choose home business: there is no commuting necessary. Imagine a day where you spent sitting in a car, a bus or at the subway while fighting your way to work. Home-based business owners don’t need to do all of that, for their commute is consists of just walking down a flight of stairs.
  • Lower overhead. If you are a home business owner, chances are you do not need to spend buying or renting business premises, thus, making your overhead lowers considerably. There will be no separate office to maintain or rent. This will help you save money on other miscellaneous such as utilities, licenses or taxes.
  • Advantages of income tax. Yes, you heard it right. When you run a home-based business, it will be a great way for you to recoup some of your business expenses. In some cases, you just need to reduce the income tax amount which you have to pay.
  • More quality time with the family. Operating a home business gives you more flexible time with your family, especially if you have children. When they grow up, you also might employ your sons or daughters in your business for it is completely legal to do so.

The rise of home business will continue not just this 2018 but also for the next years to come. If you’re planning on shifting from office-based to home-based, then this year might be the perfect year for you.

How Positive Thinking Can Be Sometimes Delusional

Positive thinking has been the buzzword for most of the world and optimists will have a hard time believing that how can this have a downside when the entire world considers it to be the most important thing.

I have written a lot of the need to focus on the good, but the articles carry a good amount of information on how to explore the weaknesses you have and what you would want to improve. This is because it is very important!

Being positive and thinking at the height of positivity is important but it has a flip side to it. The work scenario in my life has been far from perfect recently and even if I try to see the positive side of it all I cannot. Things make me want to say they are bad but I am juggling between wanting to be assertive and saying out the truth aloud. While working with equally positive minded people, it becomes difficult to raise any concern because others tend to take it as negative, which it is not. There’s a thin line between being honest and negative. I am simply trying to voice my concerns and not seem negative.

Negative people tend to whine and complain about the situation of things. However, honesty is simply telling everyone the state of things and how that information can be used to create a positive change. Being positive lends a shroud over the real state of social, spiritual and personal things and creates a false sense of perfection. If everything is okay, then there is no need to bring about any change. Looking at everything as perfect creates a sense of delusion. May be things are not in good condition at all, and we are actually compromising our values and requirements and potential to create that sense of perfection.

In order to evolve into something better, we have to acknowledge the areas which need improvement so that we can move forward. For instance, if someone is broke but keeps assuring himself that the finances are alright then there is hardly any chance of that person ever controlling their financial situation.

If someone always pretends to be healthy whereas all the signs are of a lazy person, then it is highly unlikely that the person will ever improve.

Similarly, in the case of a project if I don’t speak up of the drawbacks of the entire thing then chances are the project will fail miserably. Mediocrity should not be accepted but if you do and keep telling yourself that everything is fine then try to ask you the reason for the same.

People who are completely optimistic often avoid pointing out towards the true picture to avoid being labeled as negative. Life is not perfect, and even if you can make a fool of others, it is not possible to fool yourself.

Check out some myths about positivity and negativity:

  • Asking logical questions to improve the present situation cannot be considered negative
  • Being skeptical is good if you want to improve your surroundings
  • Being real is very different from being negative. The way you express it makes all the difference
  • Don’t be positive to hide the deplorable situation of things
  • Being extremely negative or positive is not good. A balance is highly required.

It is important to be honest and real. You should speak up when there is the necessity for it irrespective of how it makes you look. Being positive is important but may be not the best way always. Being real is more important than being positive for leading a successful life.

Why Do Many Mistake Honesty for Negativity?

Throughout their life, people struggle to understand why others are not able to deal with their honest answers or opinions, especially in the situations where honesty was asked for. Every time honest replies are considered as negative. This happens to most of us. And we are bound to think when did being honest become a bad thing?

Is it that people don’t know how to be honest anymore? Or is it that people can’t digest honesty when on the receiving end? There are many possibilities. With every human, the behavior and the reasons change. Let’s take a look at a few:

 

  1. People don’t know what to say:

More often than not, people just don’t realize when they crossed the fine line between honesty and negativity. When you ask for their honest opinions, they automatically take it as permission to criticize. They think being honest means speaking something critical or finding faults with stuff. They only know how to pick faults and then say “I was just being honest.” It’s their hideout. So in such a scenario, the receiver is not mistaking honesty for negativity, but the speaker is.

 

  1. Ego:

Mostly when you say something honestly, that borders on criticism or is not completely positive, people tend to take it on their egos. Nobody is usually ready to hear something bad about them. You tell someone that he/she is not perfect, their ego gets hurt. That is what most human beings make themselves into after growing up. They don’t have enough humbleness to accept that they could be wrong and what the other person is saying is acceptable.

 

  1. The relationship with the person:

Honesty could be well-received or ill-received, depending on who it is coming from. A friend needs to be honest and discuss the touchy subjects, even though you are not comfortable with it. It is still acceptable because you know your friend has good intentions. But coming from a formal relation like your peers, superiors or any other acquaintance; makes it hard to accept it at facevalue. Though it has been done in a healthy and respectful way, people don’t tend to trust on the feedbacks from anyone other than their close ones. They take it as an insult.

 

  1. How it has been conveyed:

Being honest does not mean you can say the truth by making fun of a person or bullying them. If not treated with respect, honesty can very easily become negativity. When thetruth is conveyed harshly, it is difficult for people to be open about it. For example, asking a fat person to take care of his/her health and lose weight for their personal benefit is acceptable honesty. But making fun of them or mentioning it every time could lead them to gain more weight. Human minds don’t like to hear certain things if they are not conveyed softly. Unnecessary persistence leads to negativity. Maybe there is a good point, but the way it is delivered becomes the deciding factor if it stays or is lost on you.

Seven Signs You’re Stuck In Permanent Adolescence

People grow up slowly, but that seems to be slowing down even more. However, since human beings tend to live longer than before, how does it matter if people are growing older more slowly?At present even at the age of 30 people can still stay as if they are 21. It seems to be a good idea to stay young as much as possible. However, there are many traits that adults with any amount of self-respect should leave behind.

Check out the seven signs that show you are still an adolescent:

  1. You don’t want to do your chores: Some millennials feel that washing even their own food bowl is too much of an effort and should not be done; forget all the pots and pans post-cooking. Doing your dishes is what grown-ups have to do.
  2. You expect the food in front of you instantly: Hunger can be terrible, but to start a tantrum if it is late? Some millennials even do that when they are delivered the food late by even 10 minutes.
  3. Pocket money from mummy and daddy: Today’s generation finds it tough to hang on to things, but a little pocket money from the parents is mighty helpful. They take it gratefully never refusing it.
  4. More trust in retro food: Since childhood, the millennial kids have been raised on packaged foods which are a huge boon when you have a lot of work. Spaghetti hoops and smiley faced potato chips are not only nostalgic, but they also save so much on cooking. Foil covered ones that come in baking trays are even better because it means no washing.
  5. Staying with your parents: Many do not seemvery keen on living with the parents, but the house rent and allied expenses force them to return to their homes and rejoin the folks they had left. It may be soul destroying, but the well-stocked larder and the laundry services are such a relief and can make you forget almost everything.
  6. Staying up late: Even if you live with your parents, you still have an office where you will need to give attendance. But the thought is quickly forgotten while flipping through Instagram and all the other social media sites. Staying up late and enjoying the social networking life is a good idea that reminds of the adolescent days. It feels good to hang on to the old habits and throw care to the winds.
  7. Falling in love repeatedly:Falling in love everyday happens to teenagers and those who still are supposedly in their teens. The mode changes though because earlier you would send notes to someone in your classroom or school bus. Now, you will send the same love notes to a colleague via office messenger or with the help of social media. Your frequency of falling in love and looking for the right person remains inexplicably the same.