Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Ethical Guidlines Questions

Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.

pricescope

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 31, 1999
Messages
8,266
:
Leonid, this brings up an excellent point.

You have done an excellent job of "policing" vendors and making sure they don't stray past the line in several areas of internet etiquette.

What about consumers? ...
I think it's fair. Although, the main idea idea of this forum is assisting consumers when buying diamonds, we should avoid unfairness and inflamatory from consumer side as well for the sake of the forum integrity.

I ask everybody to through your ideas and wording on this subject.

What is the border line between healthy criticism and open exchange of ideas in one hand and unfair hunting other members (no matter experts or consumers) in another one?

I also would like to ask your opinion on how we can differentiate sincere posting about buying experience and deliberate promotion or damaging of a company.[/u]
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
It is a tough line to walk. I personally think Pricescope does an excellent job of keeping everyone in line. When I say 'Pricescope'...I mean all of the forum members that contribute to the forums. We are not afraid to tell each other when someone feels a bound has been overstepped, or feelings have been hurt. There are times when we disagree with each other or snap back and forth...but in the end we are all here for one reason, to assist. I have spent a few minutes here and there on DT and I never felt good about that forum like I do about Pricescope.

I also feel that we have a group of extraordinary people here, consumers who go out of their way day after day to help newbies and people looking for assistance by imparting their newfound and exciting knowledge about diamonds and stones. We have the amazing industry experts who keep us informed of groundbreaking research and news in the industry. We have the vendors who take the time out of their busy selling/cutting/polishing/appraising day to help new consumers and/or give their 2 cents.

The mix is quite eclectic and very fun. There may be times when tempers flare or feelings get hurt or a thread gets out of hand--as is the way of life. I am sure I have aimed a few well placed barbs here or there in a particularly hot moment or have gotten them slung back at me--but I don't hold a grudge. I don't know which post Rich was referring to there in Leo's opening post..but yes we should all be careful on what we type, it's easy for us all to type something, hit 'save' and then regret it later. Our forum is precious, we have all seen the dirty laundry of DT's fall aired on Pscope many a time, a forum once built on great things eventually turned into being full of grudges and vendettas that permeated people's personal lives. I would hate to see that happen here because I think Pricescope is meant for better things.

 

fire&ice

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
7,828
Positive testimonials are helpful to consumers & vendors.

I like to see testimonials that are specific. For example, "X vendor was fast with answers to questions usually within x amount of time." "Vendor Y supplied this & that." "Vendor Q's diamond arrived in very special wrapping." This is more helpful than my object is perfect. It may indeed be; but, I feel some vendors & consumers are better fits. As a consumer, choosing a vendor with a more tailored fit can be obtained by gleaning *specific information* in a consumer testimony.

Negative perspectives can be tricker; as typically, two sides exist to every story. But, posting negative feeback is necessary to maintain the integrity of the forum. Again, this needs to be "specific" & sticking to the facts alone. "I received my stone & the specs were not as represented instead of xyz its rst." "Vendor X took 3 days to respond to my email." BUT... before posting such feedback, I believe the parties need to discuss their issues privately. Many complaints are simply miscommunicaton which could be handled amicable with a phone call. Consumers should be very careful before posting negative feedback as a stroke of your keyboard can have a very direct impact on someone's livelihood.

I do not think going on a crusade to ruin someone's reputation to prove a point is warrented or appropriate. Suppositions without specifics are also inappropriate. It is irresponsible for a consumer to call into question someone's integrity. One can post facts from personal experience; but, not draw broad conclusions from said facts.

On the flip side of promotion aspect, I will comment on a specific posted stone. I have stopped posting stones from all specific sites. I will post ".91 G VS2 for approx. $ from pricescope." I have mixed feelings about consumers posting stones from specific vendors websites. It is helpful to the consumer; but, it can cross that line.

We can turn the dials on this question & ask the vendors - "How should consumers behave ethically on this forum?"

All that said, I think you have a very active & helpful forum. People are as diverse as diamonds. My choice may not be someone else's choice; but, I think it's healthy to have different perspectives on diamond stuff.
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
----------------
On 6/8/2003 4:55:39 PM fire&ice wrote:

On the flip side of promotion aspect, I will comment on a specific posted stone. I have stopped posting stones from all specific sites. I will post ".91 G VS2 for approx. $ from pricescope." I have mixed feelings about consumers posting stones from specific vendors websites. It is helpful to the consumer; but, it can cross that line.
----------------


This is definitely something that comes up from time to time. I post alot of stones from WhiteFlash, GOG, SC, NiceIce etc. People sometimes ask me if I am affiliated etc. In truth, its just that they are the ones who are listed on Pscope's cut quality section, and I run a quick 2 second search there to find only HCA excellent performers. I honestly could care less about whether or not someone bought from one of the above companies, but suggestions are what give people ideas and/or help them to be more educated on where and what to shop for.

Posting a stone that is .91c G VS2 for $$ with no vendor or website or anything to me is like teasing a child with some candy but not giving them the money to buy. If I don't post a url for them to view the stone, along with most likely, Idealscope results, Bscope results etc...how are they going to SEE what I am trying to tell them (which is usually something along the lines of, boy that stone you are looking at is really crappy, for the same money, you could get THIS). For me it's not about promotion of a particular vendor, but rather promotion of the STONE itself and all the fun trappings and reports that come along with it. I don't promote a vendor as much as I try to promote their stones. The more information the vendors impart, the more likely I am to have found their site and want to recommend it to others.

Along the same lines is something like GOG's tutorial section. Sometimes I feel a little guilty sending people over to go look at the site from an education perspective, when in reality I am not trying to get them to buy a GOG stone, but rather let them know that Rhino has put together a really impressive site with alot of information...and it would behoove them to view the site if they want to learn more. Pscope's tutorial is great but nowhere near the breadth of information that Rhino's has.

Would be interesting to hear what the vendors have to say on this subject!! I also have gotten an email or two from vendors who felt left out from my postings. To me, as a consumer with no ties to the industry, I feel that is a little odd as I'm just saying what I think. I have NO POWER over anyone and my postings do not influence anyone to rush out and buy a particular stone. I am one voice amongst many here on the forum. I have my two cents. My opinion, what *I* would do. That doesn't equate to what anyone else would do, or should do, or won't do. You can take it or leave it, in the end you make your own educated decision. And whatever it is..for the most part..I think our forum is strong enough to take that decision and run with it, whatever it may be. I may not love Tiffany's diamonds or their markup, but when Kayla bought her wed ring there recently....it looked very beautiful and fits very well with her ACA ring. She made an educated decision and a purchase that you have to respect. Whether you agree or not!
 

Rank Amateur

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Messages
1,553
Unethical is when the administrator puts the title to HIS topic in BOLD print and all the topics of the little peons get plain typesetting.

What's next, make it a sticky so that is stays on top?

 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
HA HA good one RA!!!


I was curious after reading Leo's post here and am trying to find the original thread where Rich said what got Leo all interested. I can't find it. But boy have I been out of the loop on all the flamethrowing that has been going on around here!!! I only saw that one SC thread recently, but it seems there have been many others which I am dredging up in my surfing around the forums right now.

Can't we all just get along?!?!
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
Thanks CI...I read the thread, and now see where Leo is coming from on his original post. I was a little confused at first. Quite disturbing stuff.
 

AGBF

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 26, 2003
Messages
21,809
"I shall not today attempt to further define (pornography)...but I know it when I see it."
--Justice Potter Stewart in Jacobellis vs. Ohio, June 22, 1964

I tend to think that if everyone has free speech that the truth will come out. That said, untrue false speech for the purpose of defaming is illegal. I also have to adnit that the price for free speech on USENET forums is some ghastly stuff posted by trolls.

I think there's no perfect answer. Hope that was helpful ;-).


 

pricescope

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 31, 1999
Messages
8,266
Mara:
----------------
... When I say 'Pricescope'...I mean all of the forum members that contribute to the forums...
----------------
Thank you. Well said.

R/A.
----------------
Unethical is when the administrator puts the title to HIS topic in BOLD print and all the topics of the little peons get plain typesetting.
----------------
It sound perfectly fair to me 'cause I have the button to pin the posts and you don't


Thank you very much, everyone
 

fire&ice

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
7,828
----------------
Posting a stone that is .91c G VS2 for $$ with no vendor or website or anything to me is like teasing a child with some candy but not giving them the money to buy.
Ahh....I'm not teasing. I am challenging them to find it themselves. Any diamond spec has been from pricescope - they can find the vendor of choice.

Please keep in mind, I am in no way knocking what you do. I think it is a great service. I am only putting on the table....how fair do the vendors see this? I hope you keep on posting the diamonds. IMHO, it is a good service.
 

pqcollectibles

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 22, 2003
Messages
3,441
I am like Mara, except I bought on the Net. I refer people to a variety of Vendors. In some cases, they are vendors I spoke with prior to making my final purchase. Everyone I worked with was extremely polite, even friendly, and very helpful. Like F&I said, all comments about the buying experience are important. Not just, "I got my diamond and it was perfect!" Customer service, packaging, response times, etc., are all important pieces of info that need to be shared.

Members should be cautioned about tossing out inflamatory phrases or accusatory statements aimed at Members as well as Vendors.

Recently, a new member questioned the reliability of an internet diamond purchase, and a rookie Forum member with no personal internet buying experience made a left handed comment at anyone who would buy a diamond off the internet. People who have purchased using the Net were offended. That same member is buying locally for a mere *chuckles* $1000 premium above a similar internet purchase. We have people shopping here who have little more than the $1000 to start with. How did the "only $1000 more" statement strike them? Most of them feel bad enough to start with that they are spending soooo little when compared to the amounts they see other Forum Members considering.

It is a fine line to walk on comments that need to be heard and statements that cause problems. But, that goes for comments aimed, whether directly or indirectly, at Forum Members, the Internet Diamond buying process, and Vendors as well.

While a Moderator has the charge of keeping the Forum civil, people should read, reread, and read their posts again before posting. Ultimately, each member is responsible for their own posts, and once the words are "in print" their effect cannot be retracted. Consider as many ramifications as possible before putting anything into print.

Just my $0.02 worth


Thanks, Leonid, for allowing us the opportunity to have input in this area!
 

dragonsheart

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 7, 2003
Messages
20
think everyone was a good point here on pricescope forum. I have only been a member for a day or two and I was surprised on how well pricescope handles things and also how the people are here.
 

caratgirl

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2003
Messages
634
My personal pet peeve is when a specific person's vendor of choice is mentioned over and over again in many, many posts. An occasional 'bragging' right is fine, just not ad nauseum!

Also, I think that each vendor is perfectly capable of defending his honor on the forum without drag-out flaming responses from consumers that have purchased from them - merely pointing out that they have purchased from a particular vendor and have had no problems is adequate. Don't take it so personally, let the vendor respond, for heaven's sakes!

Having said that, I think that it is only lately that the bad behavior has escalated a bit, hopefully it is not a trend.

I have mentioned to Leonid before that I don't really like the fact that you can't tell at a glance whether someone's 'facts' that they are stating are derived from expert knowledge, or just many posts and a comfort with diamonds as a topic. He quite rightly mentioned that the vendors all post their web links at the bottom of a post, and consumers do not...so I stand corrected. However, I would caution extra care when answering a newbie's posts. They may very well think that they are being advised by a gemmologist, not a consumer.

Just my 2 cents.
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
I think it's also important to remember that one person saying 'vendor xyz is the best, here are stones from them' is only repetitious when viewed by permanent members of this forum. We get many newbies each day on Pricescope, I don't know how many times we get that basic 'what do I do with my $5k' question or 'what would you buy with $5k' question, if you read that question and responses over and over, yes it sounds repititious.

But newbies post 5 or so of those a day, and each new member who posted that question is hearing the answer for the first time. Hence it's not really being repititious as it is giving the new person who just read 2 random posts then decided to post their Q your experience, your opinion etc. It's repititious to us members who read most of the posts over and over.

When I first came to the forum, I learned alot by reading posts. Most of these posts are from consumers who went through the experience of buying recently. Many of the experts, vendors, trade people etc do not have the time to answer every question, especially those such as 'what should I buy with $5k' or 'what do you think of this stone'. When I first started posting, I got more responses from consumers than experts. However, the consumers posts were what I really took to heart...these are people who hang out here day in and day out and answer questions like mine! An expert piping in at some point to say, yes I agree, also went a long way.

 

optimized

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 28, 2002
Messages
306
Leonid,

Coming in a bit late to the thread, but I have a strong opinion on this topic...

I'm glad you decided to pose this question. Up until a short while ago I thought the forums had a remarkably efficient self-policing system in place, due in large part to the willingness of the vendors to provide their knowledge while admirably restraining what I imagine is a very powerful urge to promote their own wares. Sure, the forum guidelines are fairly clear about what constitutes acceptable behavior for vendors, but the willingness of so many to abide by them is a testament to the quality of the forums.

Likewise, the "non-professional" users have typically been a unique and enjoyable mix of newbie diamond shoppers coming here to learn about and enjoy the pursuit of diamonds, along with a healthy portion of amateur diamond enthusiasts eager to help and share their own growing knowledge and experiences with the rest of the community. Their enthusiasm and eagerness to learn and teach has been further proof of the value of the forums for the diamond shopper, as well as for those of us who have found this place a wonderful diversion from the "real world."

However, it seems that just recently a new phenomenon has occurred. My personal perception is that some of the newer threads that have appeared on the forums have been seeded with deliberately misleading or downright libelous smears toward some of the vendors on the site. At first it appeared as though it was just an honest case of apprehension about a particular dealer or a simple misunderstanding between consumers and dealers. But, as time passed and the apparent smears continued it began to appear to me personally as if personal axes were being ground without cause. Some of the things I've read recently have even caused me to begin to wonder whether there were deliberate efforts to harm the businesses of some of the vendors who have taken time to contribute to the forums, to the benefit of the consumer as well as to their own enterprises. I've even found myself wondering if a few specific "users" were actually professionals in disguise, trying to slur their competitors with innuendo or actual allegations of misdeeds. I hasten to add that I have no proof and I name no specific users, but the one(s) I refer to know of whom I speak. In my opinion, this sort of behavior is as reprehensible (if not more so) as any of the past self-promotion that may have taken place by the vendors, and I believe conduct guidelines for the non-professional users are appropriate as well.

Of course, the difficulty with this idea is in establishing guidelines and thresholds at which it will be clear that a user has crossed the line of propriety. There would be ample room for debate about specific threads and whether a post or posts were deliberately defamatory or simply forcefully made, but the trend I see forming makes me think the need for vigilance is increasing.

I think a couple of other contributors have brought up some good points in this thread, especially some of fire&ice's comments about the value of both good and bad feedback about vendors. I agree that negative feedback is a necessity for the forums lest this place turn into a big group hug about "the joy of vendors," but also think fire&ice's point about trying to resolve the matter privately first should be a prerequisite. In the case of the individual who prompted Richard to pose the question that in turn sparked this thread, I have it from a source I have no reason to distrust that he has never had personal contact with the vendor whose integrity he seems intent on calling into question. Never had the decency to talk with/question the dealer's policies personally, let alone actually bought something. I think this sort of behavior is inappropriate and is unfair to virtually everyone involved. While I don't like the idea of banning users without giving ample warning and due process, I also think there may come times when proactive steps will probably need to be taken if the sort of behavior that prompted this thread continues or grows. Whether there should be a system of warning/censure/expulsion in place will remain to be seen, but I think something will indeed need to be done if other instances like this occur.

But, I also tend to agree with Mara's view that restricting users to NOT pointing to specific stones or single-out specific vendors makes the quest for a diamond that much more difficult for the newbie poster. I try to keep from posting "promotional" messages in the forum about a specific vendor UNLESS the original poster specifically asks for feedback about a particular vendor or asks who I've had good experiences with, but I indeed do know that there are certain vendors I'm more likely than others to browse when presented with a question like "what can I get for $XXXX?" or "I'm looking for an X color, X clarity, ideal-cut diamond." I can see how some other fine vendors might feel excluded, but I can only do so much research about specific questions so sometimes the results of my search will necessarily have less depth than otherwise might be the case. I don't see this as too much of a problem though since the many helpful users in the forums tend to canvas a variety of vendors, and while a few vendors definitely enjoy a higher level of exposure than others, I think there is fairly good representation of most vendors in the forums.

I don't envy you the position you find yourself in at this unique and slightly bizarre juncture in the Pricescope saga, but I think you've proven to be very capable of striking the correct balance in the past, and I truly think you'll go to pains to preserve the uniquely welcoming atmosphere you've done such a great job of establishing here. This is the only forum I've seen on the web that I think provides the kind of service that the newbie can really rely on without reservations, and I think it will remain that way despite the new kinks. Pricescope is da bomb, yo!

-Tim
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
On 6/8/2003 6:36:38 PM fire&ice wrote:
----------------
Posting a stone that is .91c G VS2 for $$ with no vendor or website or anything to me is like teasing a child with some candy but not giving them the money to buy.

Ahh....I'm not teasing; I am challenging them to find it themselves; Any diamond spec has been from pricescope - they can find the vendor of choice;

----------------

While I agree that we know diamond specs can be found on Pscope quite easily, there have been many times when a consumer either a) can't find the info b) doesn't want to look or c) just is really confused (or maybe all three). So IMO, if I take the time to post a stone, I'll post the url too. That way Iam thorough in my assistance, and they can make the decision themselves to click-through and check it out. I am sure half of what I post goes un-clicked anyway, as people tend to see and read what they want to see/hear and draw their own conclusions anyhow.

Plus just from a personal side...It drives me nuts when someone posts a stone and doesn't say who or where they found it. Say consumer A is searching to buy and posts the stone asking for advice, but doesn't say the vendor or where they found it. I'm left to try to determine on my own the site or vendor in case there is more information left out of the telling (e.g. IdealScope or Bscope etc). There has been a time or two when someone posted a stone without a url asking for 'our opinion' and I find it's a SC or something...with much more info than has been posted in the opinion seeking post.

In an ideal world, the Pscope search would find the stones and then encode them each with their own unique url that hid who the vendor was and slap the data onto a Pscope template page...and then the surfer could view the stone, and all results and reports without knowing the vendor until they wanted more info or was ready to purchase. That would remove the whole 'but I sell that stone too, recommend me!' syndrome. But then again...also cuts off the consumer at the legs because they may decide that all the numbers look great on the stone but only find out who the vendor is at stage 11 of 12. Part of the research and the education on stone shopping IS the vendors and those who shine do so for a good reason. So then again, maybe this scenario is not ideal after all.

 

69gm

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 28, 2003
Messages
287
and one other point is that somebody like mara will help by actually finding another beauty on the same site someone was looking at anyway. and it may be a stone they either may not have seen or considered had she not helped by pointing it out. i think this helps more than it hurts.
 

urbanite

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 6, 2003
Messages
7
I must agree with optimized:

Dealing with a vendor privately before issuing a public complaint should be a requirement.

BTW, this forum is largely free of such problems, a tribute to Leonid's moderator skills. This forum has been a wonderful experience for me. I've just purchased a stone from GOG, and I credit people like Mara and PQ with giving me the good cut bug. (More later when it arrives.
)

The vendors that I have contacted from the site have proven themselves to be both knowledgeable and knowledge sharing. I understand that problems can occur, but before they are problems they are far more likely to be misunderstandings. Consumers owe an obligation to everyone in this forum to ensure that it is not a simple misunderstanding. That requires a phone call before a post.

Newbies like myself are confused rather than informed by posts that aim to discredit vendors without first attempting to reconcile. I say boot the post and poster. Let's keep this a nice place to be.
 

trichrome

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 9, 2002
Messages
397
I'll always try to show you the other side of the medal... that's what
I did with all my previous posts and this is what I will continue to do...
I have no affiliation with any vendors on this site.
However if someone contacts me, I will see no problem promoting
myself or people I do know.

Trichrome.
 

trichrome

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 9, 2002
Messages
397
Also,

from a personal point of view, I do not like to refer someone
on this forum to a stone in particular like
".95 D VS from GOG for x $"

This is too close to advertising.

I prefer to give general advices.

Trichrome.
 

aljdewey

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 25, 2002
Messages
9,144
Leonid: Excellent question.

A few thoughts:

Pricescope is here to be an informative place....and that does mean sharing disappointing experiences as well as positive experiences. Several times I've read from many posters "John Q. Vendor never returned my emails" or "I found him/her pushy". This information is as helpful as positive testimonials, and I've rarely objected to this kind of fair feedback......and find that most other readers here also don't object.

It's a completely different story, though, when someone is hell-bent on smashing a vendor at every opportunity, particularly when that individual hasn't taken appropriate steps to resolve an issue prior to blasting that vendor. That's been the ilk of several threads lately, and I think it's unfair to ALL involved (to newbies, regulars, vendors, etc.) to allow that type of contribution.

In my view, it's completely acceptable to say "John Smith never responded to my emails"....it's WAY out of line to say "John Smith never responded to my emails, which makes me wonder what he's hiding, and why doesn't he defend himself in a public forum. He must be lying about his merchandise."

I don't know if there's a specific set of "guidelines" you can set for this....over-regulating is usually a last-resort response. This forum's regular contributors know what is acceptable and what crosses the line. I'd say that these instances should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis....they aren't frequent enough to police, and it seems to be limited to a particularly vitrolic poster as of late.

I'd say that there are enough eyes/ears here to be self-policing. If one person gets their nose bent out of joint, but the majority doesn't object, probably no need to intervene. But....if such a large majority of the forum feels that a gross injustice is being perpetrated (as has been the case lately), or if the purpose of the post is to fuel a vendetta (instead of being a legitimate sharing of fair facts), that's the time to step in and shut the offender down. The poster in question has been objected to by at least a dozen regular contributors, and I think that is the best gauge of when something isn't working.

Regarding promotions. I really have to strongly agree with Mara on this one. I've found that most people here recommending vendors or stones do so in aggregate....they usually recommend several from several vendors, not just one. I believe that vendors should positively not promote themselves, but I see no reason to prevent non-vested parties from sharing what they feel is sound information. That's the point of this forum. Every vendor here knows that regulars typically recommend the same handful of vendor websites, and they also know WHY....it's strictly due to the wealth of information they provide. Armed with that knowledge, every vendor has the opportunity to beef up his/her website to provide the kind of information that appeals to cut-geeks or numbers-crunchers.

Lastly, Leonid, at the risk of jumping into the Leonid-lovefest.....
.....you really do excel at moderating the content here, and I think your judgment is sound. I think you know where the lines should be drawn, and I'm sure whatever you do with this will be a well-thought response.
 

pricescope

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 31, 1999
Messages
8,266
Wow! Great feedbacks - thank you all very much indeed!

I have much more confidence now that we'll be able to keep this forum from deterioration.
 
Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    What is White Gold?
    What is White Gold?
    Push Present: Engagement Ring Upgrade
    Push Present: Engagement Ring Upgrade
    20th Anniversary Upgrade
    20th Anniversary Upgrade

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.

New posts

Top