Giza Support Center

Frequently Asked Questions

Check The F.A.Q. First!

Access Issues

Issue #1

Seriously, this fixes 95% of Everything: If you don't try this, and contact support, we're going to know you didn't, and just be asking you to do exactly this.
Verify you're logged in: If you are, your username will be at top right.
Try 2 Other Browsers: If you can access everything in one browser (chrome, firefox, safari) but not another, it's something in your browser–possibly an ad blocker.
Try an Incognito Window: If it's happening regardless of browser: open an incognito/private window from your browser. That bypasses browser add-ons like ad blockers. If it works that way, it's a browser add-on, which you'll need to locate and tame.

Our Support Procedure: If you're a member, but can't access member material, we'll verify your membership status and log in as you to access the content, using the same browser as you. If we can log in with the same browser as you and access the material, and we can verify other members are accessing the material, then we've verified it's local to your system and is neither a problem with your account or the content itself. We'll then refer you back to the steps under "95% of issues solved by this". Ultimately, if you can't complete those steps, because you don't feel 'technical enough', you'll need a local tech-savvy person to help you. We can't provide remote support for your device or its browsers.

  1. If you know your password and can log in, visit your account page to change your password.
  2. If you don't know it, visit the log-in page, and click to reset the password.  You will receive a link by email (to the email address with which you registered) to reset your password.

The email looks like this (check your SPAM/BULK mail filters if you can't find it):

reset

The process is simple: click Forgot Password, and it emails you a link. Click the link and enter the new password you'd like to use. That becomes your new password.

Remember: Choose a strong password - at least 10 characters, and a mix of upper case, lower, numbers, and symbols like (#). 

Also remember your password, or use a secure password manager like LastPass. You'll need it to return to the website and log in.

Still confused? Here's an example.
 
Our Support Procedure: If you're unable to perform a password reset, because you don't know your username, we'll ask you to use your email address on file as your username (works either way). If it's because you're not getting the 'reset' email, we'll ask you to check your spam and bulk-mail folders. The email is automated, and we don't know your password. If we can verify other users are receiving the email and are able to re-set passwords, then we've verified it's local to your system or email, and you'll need a local tech-savvy person to help you perform a reset.

Visit http://downforeveryoneorjustme.com/gizadeathstar.com

And/or Visit https://www.uptrends.com/tools/uptime

You can also open the site from a different connection, device, and browser here to confirm it's browser, device, or connection specific.

If these sites verify that gizadeathstar.com is up for everyone else, but it's down for you, then there's good and bad news. The good news is the site is still here. The bad news is that the issue is localized to your connection or device. Try a different device, then a different connection.

Try turning off your ad blocker. Since live google broadcasts have embedded ads, it is possible you are being blocked from the page. If that doesn't work, try opening an "incognito/private" browser window, and logging in that way. That stops plugins from loading on most systems. If that doesn't work, try switching browsers. If that doesn't work, try switching devices. As long as there are any other users access the vidchat, and you can still access OTHER member content, it's specific to you and not to your user account or the system.

You click to access a vidchat or video dialogue, and get the "members only" message. Here's the likely issue.

  1. Verify you are logged in (if you see your username at the top right, you are logged in). Member content is not accessible UNTIL you log in.
  2. Verify you are in fact a (paid) member. Expired memberships or free subscriberships can't access member content. If you don't know when you last paid, check your paypal, bank, or credit card statement.
  3. Try switching browsers. If you can access content in one browser (chrome, firefox, safari) but not another, it's something in your browser. Possible an ad blocker.

E.g. I got a 503 error when I tried to log in - Service Temporarily Unavailable That can be an "ip ban". There's a setting in place to keep your login from being shared with 6 buddies, etc. So the system looks at ip addresses to try to determine if there's abuse. If it thinks there is, it implements a temporary ban - usually not more than 12 hours. If you think you've gotten this msg in error, please go to our support page and let us know, so we can check the ip logs. It's not our intention to incorrectly serve this message to anyone; with an automated system, it can be mistaken.

E.g. The site is slow.

To test giza’s site speed, to see if it’s on Giza’s end or your ISP or PC, you can visit this page. Assuming the site loads in 7 seconds or less on that page, it means the site itself is delivering appropriate speeds, allowing you to look at your ISP or local PC for a possible cause. 

To test your internet latency and speed (both scores can affect your experience on some parts of the web, depending on the routes taken by your ISP), visit speedtest.net. High latency is common on satellite connections or 3G/4G routers (e.g. Mifi). Broadband speeds are roughly something above 1.75mbps. Running 3 tests and getting an average for latency and speed can give you a clear picture of how your connection is doing.

If everything is testing well, but the site is still inaccessible or slow, it’s likely an issue with servers through which internet traffic is routed and the issue will likely pass – try again in 10min or so.

Account Issues

Accounts cannot be deleted. You can stop using your account at any time. If you're a paid member, you can cancel your membership to downgrade, at end of your billing cycle, to free subscriber. However, to protect the integrity of the site and the community, access logs are kept for our records, and comments are NOT deleted upon request. You are, however, free to update your profile information (altering or removing your bio, display name, etc).

.g. How Do I Renew My Annual Membership?

Renewal is automatic. Once you subscribe, the subscription automatically continues renewing at whatever frequency you've chosen (monthly, annual, etc).

How do I cancel (paying) membership?

If you're paying through Paypal (even if by credit card), you can cancel directly in Paypal (here's an example), or else use this page.

If you're paying through Credit Card (not through paypal), use this page.

Note: Memberships are self-managed, self-cancelled. Giza doesn't initiate or cancel memberships. The user does this.

If there was a notice of cancellation of membership, but you did not intend to cancel, it is most likely an issue with the payment or payment processor (e.g. paypal).

While we have no access to your paypal account to resolve it on that end, make sure your payment methods in paypal are current and *verified* - contact paypal support if you have trouble.

Note: your cancellation isn't instantaneous - you are still a member until the end of your term - i.e. the anniversary of your last payment. At the end of the term, your access will be automatically downgraded. Once cancellation is initiated, this is unavoidable. However, you can simply wait until the end of the term and then re-upgrade, using the member registration page.

E.g. How do I modify my photo/avatar that shows up with my comments? Visit gravatar.com and set up an account associated with the same e-mail address you've used as a member. Keep in mind, we can't support issues with gravatar.com, but that's how it's done. If the e-mail addresses match, you should see an updated avatar after a few minutes.

You can change your display name. (e.g. what shows in the community and comments) (account > member settings)

You can change your first and last name. (though it is recommended you don't, because we might have trouble supporting you with billing issues if it's not the name on your credit card)

You cannot change your username. (used to log in)

e.g. How do I change my monthly Membership to annual recurring.

Cancel your monthly membership before the next monthly renewal date. Then upgrade to the annual membership.

e.g. How do I change my Paypal membership to Credit Card without Paypal?

Cancel your current Paypal-based membership before the next renewal date. Then upgrade using the Credit Card option.

If you are paying thru Paypal, even with a credit card, you must log in to Paypal and do it there.

If you are paying by credit card, but NOT through Paypal,  [go here].

Comment Issues

It has likely been held for moderation or could have been incorrectly marked SPAM.

THE EXACT REASON: The short answer is that we don't know.  It isn't necessarily a swear word. Comment moderation is a very complex and not entirely accurate algorithm. It takes its best guess. There's no way you and I can know the specific reason a comment is filtered. Maybe you used a word that sounded to the algorithms like a particular pharmaceudical that people spam forums with, or you used the word "gambling" in a way an algorithm thinks might be a pitch for online gambling sites. The system necessarily uses adaptive, fuzzy logic, so there's no way to tell which rule was triggered. It's not just a simple set of rules, which could easily be defeated by spammers.

THE SOLUTION: There's no solution, per se. If your comment is held for moderation, wait for Dr. Farrell to approve it. He checks routinely. If your comment or post is immediately filtered as "inappropriate", and it doesn't contain anything you think should trigger that, you can try posting again in a few minutes. If it contains a borderline word like "viagra", you can try omitting that. There's no procedure to white list certain words or phrases or certain users. The filter is either on for everyone or off for everyone. If we turn it off, you're going to see a lot more spam and profanity.

WAS IT MARKED SPAM: SPAM protection is automated and uses complex algorithms to operate. It necessarily lacks perfect accuracy. For any number of reasons, comments are sometimes flagged by the system for approval by Dr. Farrell. If your comment "disappears", it was flagged and is waiting for his approval. Flagging legitimate comments is rare, but does sometimes happen. Technical support has no information to provide on why this occurs with any individual comment. Assuming the comment meets the terms of service criteria, it should be approved the next time Dr. Farrell logs in to look at the comment queue. Be patient and, if your comment doesn't appear in a few days, feel free to ask Dr. Farrell about it.

SECURITY IS A TRADEOFF: We can't demand "stronger lock on all the doors - just none of the doors that I prefer to use!" To secure the site, some people might have to wait a day until we get to approve that day's round of moderated comments.

COMMENTS ARE FREE: Keep in mind, comments are a free feature. They're not part of paid membership, as evidenced by the fact they're open to everyone who registers at no charge. We don't guarantee that anyone is entitled to comment without ever having a comment moderated, and we don't promise to provide a reason for moderation. The whole reason we use an electronic system for moderation flagging is that it's too opaque for us to operate manually across thousands of comments. If your comment goes to moderation, we appreicate your patience, and it will most likely be approved in the next round of comment approvals, which usually happens in a day or so.

Check to see that community posts show up on your wall but not in the general community. In that case, it means that you have a comment (not a community post) flagged as SPAM. It may not BE a SPAM comment, but it's flagged as such. That usually happens when an automated system used by the majority of websites (e.g. Akismet). We do not control that - it is based on complex algorithms used by 3rd party security tools (the equivalent of an antivirus signature for website comments).

  •  Why does it happen? We don't know in any given case. Something about the comment itself could have triggered the flag, or it could be a comment on a completely different website than ours was marked SPAM by someone, and that might cause some comments to be marked as SPAM on other websites. We don't know the reason, and have no answer to give you.
  • How can it be resolved? Simple. Send us a support ticket and ask us to see if you have a comment sitting in the SPAM comments, and ask us to resolve it. Or if you're communicating with Dr. Farrell, since he manages comments, ask him to look. If we mark the comment "not spam", and then approve the comment, it should make future community posts show on the community wall again. It won't do anything retroactively for previous wall posts you've made.

Email Issues

E.g. I am getting e-mail updates for blog posts, even though I no longer wish to receive them.

Subscriptions to Giza's syndication feed are handled directly by Google. To unsubscribe or adjust settings, you can look at the bottom of a previous e-mail from google that contains Giza content, or the next one you receive, and click the unsubscribe link.

E.g. I am not getting e-mail updates for blog posts, even though I subscribed.

Giza doesn't actually control any e-mail subscriptions. They are solely user managed and done through Google.

Google E-mail Updates: If you signed up with the NEWS FEED icon and receive updates via Google, those subscriptions are self-managed and we have no control over or access to them. Ultimately, if you've signed up, and are not receiving updates, there's not a lot we can do, since we have no access to google's servers. Keep in mind, Google will update the news syndication [feed] at varying times, based on its own formula, so e-mail subscriptions may arrive after a day or more in some cases. Subscriptions to Giza's syndication feed are handled directly by Google and users manage their own settings with Google.

If you have clicked on the [feed]  and verified it's being updated within a day or two with new posts, and you are still not getting them, you can try unsubscribing via the link at the bottom of the last e-mail you received from Google, and resubscribing (via Google) by clicking "News Feed" at the top of the site and choosing the e-mail subscription. If that doesn't help, you can check your e-mail spam filters or subscribe with an alternate e-mail address, which many excellent e-mail services provide, including [gmail], or use a different monitoring service altogether, such as WatchThatPage, FollowThatPage, ChangeDetection.

In any case, beyond the simple binary of being subscribed or not, Giza has no access to Google servers nor any means of interceding between any Google subscriber (to Giza) and Google itself. Google provides any e-mail updates, so any such support would need to come from Google.

E.g. I reported a support issue on Facebook or by direct e-mail to Dr. Farrell or the support team. It hasn’t been addressed yet.

We offer support through the ticket system on this page, but not via Facebook or regular e-mail. Dr. Farrell does not handle support.

Please resubmit your support issue via the support form after checking this FAQ for the answer.

Payment Issues

E.g. The membership fee seems high - can you lower it?

If you imagine the modest stipend that would normally compensate a speaker for a live presentation (that's how he makes a living - contrary to popular belief, the actual books don't pay very much), plus customized research and writing, (hint: it's only a tiny fraction of what Babylon's Banksters are paying academic economists to prop up their policies on derivatives), and then spread that out, the resulting fee is quite reasonable. After all, members receive lots of custom content (videos, white papers, apocryphal chapters, etc.) as well as live events (call-in shows, webinars, townhall meetings, etc.) - and a lot more is planned.

There are also some technical costs to operating a members only area. But we're not trying to gouge anyone. We'll keep weighing the cost/value proposition, going forward - and we're still in the fairly new stages. If we find a way to make fees more accessible later, we'll definitely revisit.

E.g. Can I get a refund? Regrettably, we cannot issue refunds for any reason. It's a decision we made to help keep management and overhead costs low. However, you can cancel at any time, and not be billed further.

E.g. I'm having issues with my Paypal account; can you help?

Regrettably, we can't support paypal issues. Paypal support must do that.
We also can't support paypal login issues - we don't have any direct access to your Paypal account.

E.g. How do I view the status of my Paypal recurring payments, to make sure my subscription with Giza stays active? The following is verbatim from Paypal Support. Here’s how to view the status of your subscriptions: 1. Log into your PayPal account. 2. Click "Profile" near the top of the page. 3. Click "My money." 4. Click "Update" beside "My preapproved payments." You can view the status of your subscription under "Status."  If you have any additional questions or would like to speak directly with Customer Solutions, we can be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-888-221-1161.

How do I reactivate my suspended recurring payment in Paypal? The following is verbatim from Paypal Support. Here's how to reactivate a subscription or recurring payment: 1. Log in to your PayPal account. 2. Click "Profile." 3. Click "Update" next to "My preapproved payments" on the "My Money" tab. 4. Select the merchant whose agreement you want to reactivate and click "Reactivate." If you have any additional questions or would like to speak directly with Customer Solutions, we can be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-888-221-1161. Note: according to Paypal merchant support, since you have your own Paypal account as a Paypal user, Giza Death Star cannot reactive your recurring payment for you. In the case of a Paypal account holder, it must be reactivated by the Paypal account holder. Any Paypal rep that tells you otherwise is giving you incorrect information.

SKIPPED PAYMENTS: are usually a time-out communicating between Paypal servers and your bank/credit card company servers. The system retries again in 5 days, and it usually goes through the second time. If not, it will try once more, five days later.

SUSPENDED: usually means Paypal couldn't get money via your Paypal account payment sources - either insufficient balance, or out of date or inaccurate bank/credit card info (e.g. expiration dates), or a mismatch in the contact/phone info that Paypal has vs. what your credit card company has on file. The result is suspended payments (and a membership that will expire at the end of the term). See the 'how do I reactivate" question below or, if there's confusion as to what's wrong in the Paypal account, the user must contact Paypal support directly. Giza has no access to your financial account with Paypal or your Bank.

CANCELLED: usually means the user voluntarily cancelled a membership, and it will expire at end of term.

E.g. I don't trust digital payments and want to pay with paper check or cash.

Cash and paper checks are not in our future, since this is an online, digital venue like Netflix rather than a physical brick and mortar location like the local Theater. Online service, therefore online payment.

This provides an extra layer of security, since you control your own subscription and payments, rather than us employing and charging for the labor-intensive process of human tellers to process manual payments and turn accounts off/on manually.

Sometimes we like to joke and say that the analogue version of an online premium content platform is called "a book store", and Dr. Farrell already contributes heavily to that if you'd like to visit one.

Video/Audio Issues

Member Dialogues from 2015 through the present have mp3's are attached to the post.

News & Views podcasts also have mp3's.

Member Vidchats do not have mp3's and that is NOT currently planned for the future - due to the sheer size of those files and resources needed to host them.

There is usually some delay (24-36hrs) in getting the video converted to mp3. Please understand that this is done by an actual human being, and takes time.

If it is not up in 4 days from the time of the video going live, please contact support via the support ticket system. If it has been less, please be patient.

E.g. Can I download videos?

Since Giza videos are hosted by YouTube, and that would violate their terms of service, we can't provide a way to do that. It doesn't mean there aren't ways to 'rip' YouTube videos, but they are risky and potentially not legal. Keep in mind, most of the software tools for doing such a thing are infested with spyware and malware.

Rather than e-mail blast every Giza member with reminders (many don't want or need them), we created a mechanism for Giza members to remind themselves of Giza events.

1. If you use google calendar, you can add any events on the Giza calendar to your own calendar, and specify reminders as often as you like.

2. You can do the same with iCal on a mac, and there is Outlook calendar integration as well.

3. If you don't use any of these, you can manually configure whatever calendar you use to keep your doctor appointments, whether it's paper or some mechanism in your head, to remind you. Google calendar is, of course, the most efficient tool in many ways, especially if you've upgraded to using gMail.

4. There are, of course, other calendar alternatives: [example] [example]. Look for one with reminders, and you're golden.

5. There are also just pure reminders with things like "Remember the Milk".

However you choose to track your own events and appointments, we felt it better not to put everyone in a single box. Cheers!

f you click through on the video to Google Plus or Youtube, you will NOT be able to use the chat feature on that browser tab. Chat is only available on the Member Vidchat page on the web site. Use the red play button on the video, but don’t click through to Google Plus or Youtube.

E.g. recorded vidchats don't play well but youtube.com videos do.

First, be sure to compare *very long* videos (more than an hour), since it takes a different amount of resources to load up and play those vs. short ones. Youtube lets you search by length of video to identify movie-length videos, which is what the vidchat recordings are. Make sure you're not having trouble with super-length youtube videos in general.

Second, Giza isn't actually hosting any videos at all, so the location of the issue won't be the website. The videos are all hosted on youtube.com and uploaded directly from the vidchat platform. There are only 2 parts to that system. Giza simply provides a member page where the youtube video is fully accessible.

Third, it may be that the original video chat had technical/latency issues that were actually recorded into the video, in which case it's understandable that the video suffers in quality. That can't be repaired except by either a) the broadcaster servicing any latency/packet loss issues on the broadband connection doing the broadcasting, which is outside Giza's scope, or b) changing receiving platforms (which we're actually working on).

e.g. There is delay or buffering in live vidchats.

All live broadcasts have some slight delay, just like with TV. Each person will have a different length of delay depending on their own connection and browser cache. Clearing browser cache or switching browser will often speed it up. 

Identify whether all/most users are experiencing the same problem, or it's user-specific (specific to your own experience). If the latter, then it's likely your pc or connection.

E.g. This Video May Be Inappropriate (YouTube). This occurs when viewing some videos on YouTube if you have "Safety Mode" enabled in your YouTube settings. You can always watch the video on GizaDeathStar.com or else disable Safety Mode. Safety Mode allows a computer algorithm to filter videos for moral reasons (we're not sure what theory of morality the system uses) and for age-appropriateness (same), like parental controls. This is very common, occurs with things like paintball videos too, and is not something we can control. Over time, it's our hope the YouTube algorithms will improve to be more accurate in what they block, according to YouTube's intentions in this regard.

i.e. everything else on the page is visible, but not the video.

Check to see if the padlock in the address bar is showing fully secure. If not, and the video doesn't show, this is the solution:

Dr. Farrell has embedded the insecure (http://) version of the video and merely needs to update the post so that the embed is secure (https://). Be sure to let him know.

Meanwhile, you can usually click that padlock and tell your browser to display the insecure video content.

Open a Support Ticket

Contact Support Team

Step 1

Do the Basics

  • Check the F.A.Q.

    Someone likely had the same issue solved.

  • Try 2 Other Browsers

    e.g. Chrome, Firefox, Safari.

  • Try a Private/Incognito Window

    That bypasses browser add-ons like ad blockers. If that works, you'll need to locate and tame the browser add-on.

  • Try 1 Other Device

    e.g. tablet, phone, laptop, spouse's computer.

  • Gather Details

    Be specific & detailed as possible on error messages or payment info.

Step 2

Open a Ticket

Please don't send an e-mail.

For your privacy and for support accuracy/efficiency, a ticket ties your request to the specific affected account. We cannot support your account through an e-mail request or without a support ticket.

Who Handles What?

Is it the Support Team or Dr. Farrell?

Support Team

  • Website Issue
  • Account/Payment Issue
  • Website Feature Suggestions

Dr. Farrell

  • Topic Ideas
  • News Items
  • Content Suggestions
  • Where is X Post?
  • What did you mean by Y?

Frustrated? Seriously, This Fixes 95% of Everything:

If you don't try this, and contact support, we're going to know you didn't, and just be asking you to do exactly this.

  • Verify you're logged in

    If you are, your username will be at top right.

  • Try 2 Other Browsers

    If you can access everything in one browser (chrome, firefox, safari) but not another, it's something in your browser–possibly an ad blocker.

  • Try an Incognito Window

    If it's happening regardless of browser: open an incognito/private window from your browser. That bypasses browser add-ons like ad blockers. If it works that way, it's a browser add-on, which you'll need to locate and tame.