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(Post Link) post #1 of 90 Old 05-09-07 Thread Starter
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Looky Looky Duplicate accounts and traders - Beware

Should we expose companies that are using this site to dupe members and passers by into buying their products?

Example: Mr A visits AO and posts on the board (Totally innocently) to ask for advice about certain companies products and services, Mr A's post is replied too in detail by Mr B that says he/she has used this particular company for some time and quotes names and work he had done and really recommends the product/service and gives pretty good reasons for spending their money with this particular company. (This all seems normal right?)

However, on the strength of Mr B's post Mr A parts with his money and gets his work done and/or buys the service/product. Mr A is now happy and that is all great!

Let me cut to it: We are not disputing the quality of work undertaken in this thread, we are disputing the way that one goes about getting work for their company. If a company has to do this to gain extra work then alarm bells are already sounding!!

I don't think it is honest and morally right for anybody to have a duplicate account pretending to be some one they are not but especially traders. We can prove traders have had many conversations with many members pretending to be happy customers, this has happened many times already and involves thousands of pounds not hundreds.

Our rules clearly state: Each member is allowed only (x1) login account. Registering with multiple accounts is forbidden and action will be taken, we also reserve the right to publish to the community who is using multiple logins.

It is always going to happen because some humans will go to the extreme to gain business, but this particular company is very well known within this market place so it is a bit of a concern and there will be some members out there demanding answers. The proof is already protected within AO but before we expose we wanted to involve you to gauge your feedback on how you would feel about companies trading like this just to get at your money.

What will exposing achieve? For one it will hopefully stop anyone that is thinking about doing this and secondly I believe if this was my money I would like to know I had been duped!

Regards,

Ian

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Re: Duplicate accounts and traders - Beware

Completely agree Ian. Deceitful business practices ought to be prevented from marring AOers experience of the site and community.

Name and shame!
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(Post Link) post #3 of 90 Old 05-09-07 Thread Starter
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Re: Duplicate accounts and traders - Beware

In case anyone would like to visit the forum rules, they can be found in the FAQ section here
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Re: Duplicate accounts and traders - Beware

Name and shame them!!!!!

But don't stop the genuine posts about good service or recommendations.
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Re: Duplicate accounts and traders - Beware

Ian, if you (+others?) think it's right then name and shame them.

This site, at present, is not advert funded, so they should not get away with doing so by posting as members Dishonest to the bone!
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Re: Duplicate accounts and traders - Beware

Name and shame!
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Re: Duplicate accounts and traders - Beware

Quote:
Originally Posted by EcosseOz View Post
Name and shame them!!!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul J View Post
Name and shame!
Hmm I've had my suspicions about a couple of threads just lately so this announcement by Ian doesn't come as a great surprise !!
(One particular member seemed to known an awful lot about a product he'd bought and was going to be a repeat buyer and got a bit upset/started name calling when I said I was going to go an alternative route with my future purchases )

Keep up the good work AO and hopefully we can all to our bit to help you keep the spammers out so... name and shame !!

Last edited by nomad; 05-09-07 at 16:32.
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Re: Duplicate accounts and traders - Beware

Hmm, good points, but it would be a shame to put people off sharing a good or bad experience with a product or service. After all one of the great things about AO is it's impartial Consumer advice, so we should be careful not to damage that element of contributions. Besides it keeps others on their toes.
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Re: Duplicate accounts and traders - Beware

I agree with Der Teufel, But I think it's fairly streight forward in that 'If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear'. If this is happening then the poster is obviousley in breach of the rules of AO and the trust of it's members. Name and Shame.
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Re: Duplicate accounts and traders - Beware

There are rules, if those rules are broken I see no reason why we should not be informed of the rule breaking and the rule breaker.

If we know we are not breaking the rules, this should not worry us one iota.
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Re: Duplicate accounts and traders - Beware

If your sure a rule has been broken and have proof then shop 'til you drop...
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Re: Duplicate accounts and traders - Beware

I agree, if you find unscrupulous people who try to trick people into buying their product then name and shame them.

To take it to extremes other car forums tend to go on out and out private investigator witchhunts to find rogue traders and lying tosspots.

Why should we be any different?

There's always a digital trail of breadcrumbs
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Re: Duplicate accounts and traders - Beware

Ian, just out of curiosity, how can you tell whether a member is working for that company or not?


There have been occasions when I have enthusiastically endorsed a company/product, and would do repeatedly if the subject came up again in another thread. How would you know I don't work for that company?


I fully agree that our members need to be protected against dishonest endorsements (if they have an interest in the company, it should be declared), but we also need to be careful that we know they are actually advertising, rather than just being over-zealous in their praise.


If you are sure about it (which I have no doubt you are, otherwise it would not have got this far), then I would say: "name, shame and update the posts to reflect their vested interest in the product"
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Re: Duplicate accounts and traders - Beware

If people are pretending to be satisfied customers, when in fact they're a seller of the product in question, then that seems to me to be a misrepresentation/fraud and the forum should not assist with that fraud.

So yes, they should be named.
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Re: Duplicate accounts and traders - Beware

i hate spam pop ups etc, if i want to buy, I approach, not the other way round....
name and shame
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Re: Duplicate accounts and traders - Beware

I would name and shame, but generally these people are providing a good service to Alfa car owners who are looking for help/advice/products.

What about a different level of site membership for businesss AOers, to allow them to continue posting/suggesting products, but they have to pay a higher membership fee to do so?

They're making money out of AO users, so it's only fair that they have to put something back in to the site.
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Re: Duplicate accounts and traders - Beware

Name and shame plus highlight it in the specific thread IMO. We must protect ourselves and our fellow members from being deliberately duped.

On the other hand, I am quite happy to see "up front" representatives responding to a request (as opposed to dubious adverting/trawling for suckers) and I also quite like to see companies coming on as themselves to hold Q&As etc.
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Re: Duplicate accounts and traders - Beware

Let's face it, we're all a buch of nosey buggers, so we're agreeing to the name and shame just so we can find out who it is

They run an interesting system on moneysavingexpert.com they allow financial advisors and the like to post on there, and give advice, but they have to have a bit in their signature stating their position.
Perhaps we could think of something similar? Mind you, maybe it wouldn't work so well in thjis circumstance, as their signature would just turn into another advert. Just thinking aloud...
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Re: Duplicate accounts and traders - Beware

Oh dear,I'm going to be on my own here but I think the guilty parties should be dealt with the same way as any other rule breaker. If a total ban is required or a temporary ban imposed it is not normally published for all to see on the forum(or is it?). Although this type of mis-demeanor is more serious than most I don't think it fair to tailor a punishment to fit the crime without some kind of warning first.
If name and shame is already stated in the rules as a possibility, then so be it go ahead.
 
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Re: Duplicate accounts and traders - Beware

If it's beyond doubt, I'd say name and shame. Being able to trust other peoples recommendations on here is pretty important, and if someone has taken advantage of that, then I think we should know who they are. It would help build a picture of whether we'd want to deal with them ourselves or not.

Very difficult to police, though - it's not uncommon for a new poster to come on here saying "I just bought my new car from <dealername> and they were fantastic - a great company staffed by lovely people" and then more or less disappear never to be seen again. Were they:

a) just so excited with their new Alfa that they thought they should tell us?
b) asked to tell us?
c) given a sweetener to tell us?

Who knows. If it's a) then fair enough. If it's c) then that (IMO) is bad form. If it's b) then it's a grey area. As I said, very difficult to police, but I take my hat off to you for trying.
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Re: Duplicate accounts and traders - Beware

Name and shame - I'm a nosey bugger!
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Re: Duplicate accounts and traders - Beware

I don't agree that members are being nosey in expecting to be told on this infringment. If the 'dealer' has set up a 2nd account, deliberatley to hide their identity, then members should be warned. As Ian's example is, no damage was done on this occasion. But that may not have been the case.

As Ian will be aware, my account (I have only one) is more than often accessed from my work PC. With that in mind I would not use my AO account to try and peddal my wares, so to speak That shouldn't change just because I decide to access from an other computer in an internet cafe, for instance. If I thought that there was a market for the services I provide on AO, I would honestly aproach Ian with a view to opening an other account for that purpose.

p.s. If this is a Witch Hunt can I get a pointy hat?

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Re: Duplicate accounts and traders - Beware

I always thoroughly endorse Bluebell Motor Company in Newton Aycliffe (as does Roswell & Mr.orange, to name but a few)..

A few times, however, I have logged on and posted from their premises, while waiting on wishbones, cambelts, oil & filter, clutch.. So Ian, if you think I'm a rouge trader - I'm not
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Re: Duplicate accounts and traders - Beware

Is there a smilie for 'opening a can of worms'?

It's one thing recommending a garage/product you've found useful on the forum - I've done that myself and also dissed the service I've got at another garage - but if someone opens a sham account just to 'recommend' themselves as a third party then I feel this is wrong. There's a lot of trust here and we really don't need charlatans spoiling the party.

Just delete their account......

........and then name them
 
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Re: Duplicate accounts and traders - Beware

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I don't agree that members are being nosey in expecting to be told on this infringment.
Sorry, forgot my smilie, I was only trying to be amusing.
But come on, admit it, you'd like to know who Ian is talking about, right?
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