I've seen this happen on forums before, paranoia and vindictiveness ruins forums.
is what I'm talking about. I'm sure aopa25 is not Smaky, and I'm not either.
Personally I think it would be better to have a forum which doesn't recommend certain companies over others, especially accepting payment for it it turns the forum into a business, whether you like it or not, whether it makes profit or not it is still a business.
I've experienced Smaky's attitude in a thread recently, and as soon as I entered into constructive debate I got forum members telling me 'He's been banned for this before, report it'. I left the thread at this point making no further contribution. I would not say Smaky being obnoxious is a reason for banning him, after all he helped a lot of people on here with his superior knowledge of Selespeed. If the government of this country decided it would be best to 'switch certain people off' in real life I a pretty sure we would be living in a pretty terrible country.
If the legal issue (defamation) played a significant part in his ban fair enough, however I strongly suspect it was more to do with him showing up the authorised traders on this site, as the first person people ask for selespeed advice is, sorry was, Smaky. Not any of the authorised traders. Incidentally the last comment about another trader he made before being banned was on this very thread saying that a certain garage's technicians never fill him with confidence when he speaks to them. My non-Alfa mechanic (and good friend) said a similar thing to me about a dealership I use today, it was good advice and I was glad to have it as it led me to double-check everything I'd ordered. If the ban was for this as you seem to be insinuating bazza, I find that outrageous.
And no, we are not going to stop fair comment on traders simply because they have a presence on here. I don't believe Ian has any intention of doing that, and if it was done, I would very quickly stop being a mod on here.
I can categorically say I have never heard a bad word said about any of the authorised traders on here. Whether that is because they all have a 100% customer satisfaction rate, or because the forum is censored, I nor anyone else will ever know. All I am saying is I like this forum, I think it's great that it's here but I would never, never use solely this forum to judge the quality of one garage's work over another. For the very reason that the traders pay to be here.
From what I've seen of his posts, Smaky reminds me of "that bloke" we all know from the pub, who is great company, a decent geezer and everybody likes him... Until he gets too drunk.
From what I've seen, Smaky seems like a decent guy who doesn't hold back with his opinions and is rather obnoxious at time. Like many of my acquaintances actually... And my good friends.
Theres plenty of other people on the forum that know about alfa's. Infact i would bet a pretty penny all info you'll ever need is within the forum somewhere!
A lot of it will have Smaky's name next to it, too.
...he still deserves plenty of credit for the detailed and free advice he gives, even when the OPs location means there is no possibility of getting the job himself.
That is so true, do you really think that if he was concerned about everyone being a "competitor or a conspirator" he would be posting information online for anyone with a small repair business to use and claim as their own?
It will be good to see what other peoples point of views are tonight. I think this thread will be sitting at the top for a while!
I somehow don't think it will. Especially as it is now miles off-topic
I don't expect this post will be here in it's unedited form for long, as most of the posts after OperationAlfa's seem to have been edited by mods, not entirely without explanation but still...