Update on this. Thanks to Piotr K(probably a manager) from Groupon support! I got full refund. The issue was resolved after I asked to speak with a manager.

This is not an IT thing but I just have to warn people somehow.

In February 2016 I bought 4 vouchers at Groupon for SpaWorld admissions(Centerville, VA). $25 each. That time they had a promotional value 1 voucher = 1 admission. Regular price for the admission is $40. So, I thought it was a deal and bought 4 of them. We usually go there with my wife in the winter when it’s cold outside, so I thought it was good for us to have 2 admissions each. Long story short, I had no time to go there and those vouchers had expired.

Vouchers

Groupon assures you that the value you pay for those vouchers will never expire. That idea made me think that my money are safe in there.

Can you trust this?

Of course I read the Fine Print to make sure that I was Ok and I would be able to use those vouchers in future for their services. The Fine Print had no limitations on the way paid amount could be used at the merchant. I came to the SpaWorld and asked them to use my vouchers. They told me that vouchers can only be used toward admissions. I showed them the Fine Print which didn’t have that limitations. They refused to honor the Fine Print, the showed me latest edition which has a phrase: Valid only for option purchased. they added this recently. I told them that my vouchers have different Fine Print with no limitation, but they didn’t want to listen and I had to pay for services with card/cash. I decided that I need to discuss this with Groupon, I sent them a message from their site describing the problem. They told me this:

Groupon's reply

I offered the support representative to get into my situation:

They sent me to their FAQ again… And I decided to print my vouchers to show them the difference between the old Fine Print and the new one…and I was shocked. I saw that the Fine Print for my old vouchers has changed also. And now it reads:

Which makes me a complete idiot that can’t read the Fine Print. But for me it’s clear, they went to their database and changed the Fine Print for all previous vouchers. I went to my mailbox and discovered that my old email with vouchers was also updated to the latest Fine Print with limitations. This is interesting… you may think that Groupon would help its customers? Now you know this is not true. They got your money after that they don’t care about you any more. I don’t know who updated the Fine Print Groupon or SpaWorld… but I know for sure this happened after I contacted Groupon support.

The conclusion: Whatever you buy on internet be sure to save every receipt or voucher as it is. Save it as PDF file on your computer and print for your records. You can’t trust nobody. They can change their site anytime.. and you’ll be looking like a complete idiot trying to prove you are right.

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This April was full of new insights and work. BBST Bug Advocacy course wasn’t that tough as BBST Foundations, but it was still very insightful!

The most enjoyable part of the course was my work with fellow students, it was challenging due to our different time zones. The second inspiring thing was our work on unconfirmed issues in OpenOffice bug tracker. That was a good challenge, it was hard to find an issue to work with, because few of them had a chance to be reproducible.

With trembling heart I’m waiting for the results and I hope I’ve passed the final exam. πŸ™‚

Course is available at AST website here

Material for the course available here and anyone who’s interested can watch lectures and slides for free.

Update from 5/14/2016: I’ve completed the course! Hooray! Have just got a confirmation πŸ™‚ Now I’m waiting for my certificate to arrive.

Finally my certificate has arrived!

DKilishek

Thanks to AST and my instructors!

This is how Groupon helps their merchants to rip off customers! Beware!

Friday 13 is the day when you can expect anything… but I didn’t. It was my ordinary day, I was working at my computer… it was quiet around and I felt comfortable… until I noticed a weird message on my phone’s locked screen. It said: “Dlya polucheniya parolya, napishite na e-mail: helpicloud3@gmail.com” that was in Russian but written with English letters and it meant “To get your password send an e-mail to helpicloud3@gmail.com”. I was pretty surprised to see such message. I don’t usually share my Apple ID email address. But I definitely knew that my Apple ID was hacked. So, I went to http://ifrogot.apple.com and resetted my password immediately. After that I decided to give it a try and see what would happen if I send an e-mail there. And I received this reply:

File_000

Which meant:

Your device is locked. To unlock your device send 1500 rubles on Beeline account # then attach your receipt and we’ll unlock your phone in two hours.
You can pay online with your credit card (Visa/MasterCard) URL
You have 12 hours to pay. After that your device will be erased (all the information, media and photos) without password recovery(which we’ve set up).

That looked threatening…

So, how does this scam works?

A hacker gets access to your Apple ID account (I this case I don’t actually know how did they do that and where I exposed my Apple ID). With that account information they sign in into your iCloud. After that, they switch your iPhone to the Lost mode using Find Your iPhone feature. And they add a Lost iPhone message, which you can see on your phone’s locked screen. So, actually there’s nothing serious happened yet, but they hope you’d be threatened and would act rather than think first.

What to do if this happened to you?

First of all – Stay CALM! Nothing bad happened yet! Just try to unlock your iPhone from the locked screen. In my case I could do that. Then change your Apple ID password ASAP using http://iforgot.apple.com (this requires you to have an access to the e-mail address you use for your Apple ID – there is one possible problem here, but I’ll talk about it later in this article.) Get into your Apple ID account and sign out your Apple ID from all other browsers. To do that you need to use Sign Out Of All Browsers option on the iCloud Settings page.

File_001

After that change your password once again. To be 100% sure nobody else can change it ever since.

How to avoid such scams?

  • Try to keep your Apple ID in secret. This can help you to avoid hackers. Keep them unaware of your Apple ID. (I was hacked because I exposed my Apple ID somewhere, I’m sure about that)
  • Use another e-mail service address (e.g. Gmail, Yahoo and so on) for your Apple ID, as I mentioned above, if you’ve got your Apple ID from iCloud you may get into the situation when your recover e-mail is not available for you to receive a new password since it’s hacked. Because a hacker gets access to both your Apple ID and recovery e-mail at the same time. You definitely don’t want to be in the situation like that. (I have my Apple ID registered with Gmail address this definitely saved me.)
  • Use a long and strong password. At least eight characters or more. Lower case and uppercase letters, numbers and special characters. Avoid simple words and dates.
  • Set up the Two-step verification for your Apple ID. You can do that from your Apple ID settings here: https://appleid.apple.com (I could’ve done that earlier to secure my Apple ID.) This is highly recommended security feature.

Keep your Apple ID safe!

This is how Groupon helps their merchants to rip off customers! Beware!

This is how Groupon helps their merchants to rip off customers! Beware!

This weekend, I discovered an e-mail from the Codeschool in my Promotions mail box, it said: Free weekend at the Codeschool. So, I decided to take this opportunity and refresh my SQL skills. I took two courses and passed them successfully.

Here are my completion badges:

codeschool-badges

Thanks to the Codeschool.com for this opportunity. I must say, those two courses were the best I’ve ever taken so far.

Direct links to those courses:

The TrySQL course and The Sequel to SQL course

This is how Groupon helps their merchants to rip off customers! Beware!

This is how Groupon helps their merchants to rip off customers! Beware!

VB_Post

Today, after updating my Ubuntu 14.04.4 with a new kernel I found myself unable to run my VirtualBox guest machine. But, I wasn’t scared, since I did this many times before… To my surprise this time wasn’t the same… the command VirtualBox offered, this time threw an error!

That’s what I tried to do, and what was suggested by VirtualBox:

$ sudo /sbin/rcvboxdrv setup

The command prompt returned me:

Bad argument setup

Really?!?! I did this like hundred times before! What’s happened?!

So, I went to google it, and that is what I found:

I had to type this command to update my new kernel with VirtualBox modules:

$ sudo /usr/lib/virtualbox/vboxdrv.sh setup

And this did the trick for me!

Come on Oracle, this is a great product… I know it’s open source.. but change your error message, please! Your suggestion is a little outdated!

P.S. Thanks to askubuntu.com for the solution!

This is how Groupon helps their merchants to rip off customers! Beware!

Hi everybody!

This is a new interesting post from Michael Bolton on his blog at developsense.com!

Over the last year James Bach and I have been refining our ideas about the relationships between testing and tools in Rapid Software Testing. The result is this paper. It’s not a short piece, because it’s not a light subject.

automation

This is an interesting subject, definitely worth reading. Thanks Michael!

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Great news! My BBST Foundations completion certificate has arrived! πŸ™‚ I’m feeling proud πŸ™‚

Thanks to AST, my instructors and fellow participants! That was I great month with BBST Foundations and I think I won’t forget it. It was fun and challenging! Hooray!

BBSTFoundationsCert

I’m very glad that my name is posted on the BBST Foundations graduates web page. Click Here

So, what’s coming up next? I think I should try the next course: BBST Bug Advocacy, it starts in the Spring 2016.

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