With Input from the community, I have made some big changes to the feedback system, in an effort to bring back the ability for buyers to leave negative feedback while also being fair to sellers and avoid abuse of the feedback system.
See post #34 for this.
Original post follows below...
Hi Pinside! As things are settling down with the new server migration (I'm still working on the achievements feature), I'm back to working on some of the stuff I was doing before the outage.
Today, I wanted to give you all a heads up about a feature I have removed. It's not everyday that I remove a feature but in this case it just wasn't working out and after thinking about it for a few months I made the decision to remove it.
So let me explain.
On Pinside we have a feedback system which allows for Pinsiders to leave feedback about a sale. When you close a for sale ad successfully, you are asked to enter the name of the Pinsider who bought your game and then they will get sent a link where feedback about the transaction can be left. I call this "ad-related feedback".
But then folks asked me if they could also vouch for someone without a sale taking place. That's how our (unsolicited) recommendations feature came to be: a way to leave a recommendation about someone. Example: I could tell folks that, say, Pinsider Gizza is a trustworthy seller. And then people would think: "hey, Robin thinks this guy Gizza is great. I trust Robin, so then Gizza must be legit as well!" ~ that's the idea.
But then at some point, after I got some requests for it, I added the option to also leave a "negative recommendation". Those words are a contradiction in itself, but the idea was that warnings could be placed against bad sellers. Uhm, right. I should have known this would go south, but I always like the idea of our community providing protection against bad sellers and so the feature was added at some point, a few years ago.
This was the beginning of *a lot* of PMs hitting my inbox. Obviously, most Pinsiders were not too pleased receiving unsolicited negative feedback on their profile pages, sometimes coming from people they claim they didn't even know. Accusations of fraud, jealous competitors and whatnot. Long stories of what the other party did or didn't do. Complete copy-paste's of PM conversations that I was asked to read and then base a decision on. Heck, even some legal threats to Pinside were made. Frankly, all of these cases are way too difficult to judge from where I'm sitting. Who's right? Who's wrong? It takes a lot of time and in the end, one person will not be happy with the outcome.
..And so I have removed the option to leave negative recommendations. I also removed all negative recommendations that have been placed thus far. I always hate to remove content, but it was the only option.
Just to be clear: it IS still possible to leave either positive or negative ad-related feedback (when you're invited to leave it, AFTER a sale). It's also still possible to leave a positive recommendation (unsolicited), although the subject Pinsider will get the option to remove this in case it contains details they don't want disclosed. And of course there's always the forum where you can share your stories of bad transactions
Some may not agree with this decision and I can understand that. I would love to hear any ideas. Heck we could have an anonymous jury deciding over disputes. I dunno. Anything that doesn't involve me being the judge of failed transactions.