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is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and how?

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

Gypsy|1295397113|2826191 said:
This isn't the first post that has called into question PS's slogan of being a "consumer advocacy site". I think it's a valid question.

Do I think that PS has a whole is a consumer advocacy site. Yes, despite the fact that it makes a profit. Because I know that PS would be nothing without it's members. The knot is still fun without members (and I stopped posting on there many months before my wedding because the forums were mean and nasty). The members on this site are what keep it 'honest'. Do I think PS is at risk for losing the right to call itself a consumer advocacy site? Yes, in fact with it's recent actions against an non-advertising vendor I was sure that this place was going to turn into a shill site.

But the members spoke up and provided a check to the actions of the owners. And the owners apologized (grudgingly, but still). And that, right there, is why I still post here and still think this is a consumer advocacy site, though since it has come up again and again, perhaps the title should be reconsidered.
Hi Gypsy. :wavey:

I'm confused; Your post has 3 paragraphs.
Is there something missing between paragraphs 2 and 3?
The third seems to continue a thought that was not started.
 

yssie

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

Matata|1295397095|2826190 said:
So would you're issue be resolved if, instead of "consumer advocate site" the banner said something like "consumer education site"?

Jackpot.
 

scepture

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

This topic started out with some good questions but has quickly digressed to name calling and terrible manners. This is an open forum so you can certainly post what you will. However, if you feel this site is misleading (or has somehow changed to your detriment) then I would suggest from both a business and a personal standpoint that you start your own forum. If it is true that so many people feel as strongly about this as you do there will surely be a demand for such an 'unbiased' site.

This forum, much like many others, takes time and money to maintain. Just because the site (and its owners/investors) make money does not diminish the fact that PS is one of the best sites for a wide range of diamond information. Equally, because this site is privately owned, they owe you nor no one else a full disclosure of their possible profits or balance sheet. I do not claim to be as well versed as you claim to be in your wide knowledge of other 'consumer forums', but I would imagine that the web director/host of those sites would be reluctant to tell you how much they spend or make from their venture.

The one real point I think you have is your contention that the logo, including the words "Consumer Advocate Site", is misleading due to the possible profit structure of PS. I agree that this could be classified as something that is not exactly 'full disclosure'. However, aside from the words, in my very little (in comparison to you 5 yr ppl!) time here I and others have found this site to be extremely beneficial.

I hope you find some of the answers given by other PS'ers satisfactory as I think that may be the best you can get given your tone.
 

LALove

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

Gypsy|1295397214|2826193 said:
Matata|1295397095|2826190 said:
So would you're issue be resolved if, instead of "consumer advocate site" the banner said something like "consumer education site"?
I like this idea. And feel it might be more accurate for the new PS.

I don't think that advocacy is tied to non-profit. Most advocates in our country are critics, news reporters and... lawyers. All of whom get paid to be advocates.
I agree. It would be more accurate.
 

Gypsy

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

kenny|1295397461|2826196 said:
Gypsy|1295397113|2826191 said:
This isn't the first post that has called into question PS's slogan of being a "consumer advocacy site". I think it's a valid question.

Do I think that PS has a whole is a consumer advocacy site. Yes, despite the fact that it makes a profit. Because I know that PS would be nothing without it's members. The knot is still fun without members (and I stopped posting on there many months before my wedding because the forums were mean and nasty). The members on this site are what keep it 'honest'. Do I think PS is at risk for losing the right to call itself a consumer advocacy site? Yes, in fact with it's recent actions against an non-advertising vendor I was sure that this place was going to turn into a shill site.

But the members spoke up and provided a check to the actions of the owners. And the owners apologized (grudgingly, but still). And that, right there, is why I still post here and still think this is a consumer advocacy site, though since it has come up again and again, perhaps the title should be reconsidered.
Hi Gypsy. :wavey:
Your post has 3 paragraphs.
Is there something missing between paragraphs 2 and 3?
The third seems to continue a thought that was not started.

Nope. Just taking liberties with grammar, punctuation, and the english language in general. :wavey:

That post should read:

Do I think that PS has a whole is a consumer advocacy site? Yes, despite the fact that it makes a profit. That is because I know that PS would be nothing without it's non-profit members. Theknot is still fun without members (and I stopped posting on there many months before my wedding because the forums were mean and nasty) and informative and would still make lots of money without it's members. That is not the case with PS, at least in my opinion.

The non-profit members on this site are what keep it 'honest'. Do I think PS has been at risk for losing the right to call itself a consumer advocacy site? Yes, in fact with it's recent actions against an non-advertising vendor I was sure that this place was going to turn into a shill site. But the members spoke up and provided a check to the actions of the owners. And the owners apologized (grudgingly, but still). And that, right there, is why I still post here and still think this is a consumer advocacy site. Because we PSers advocate. In that instance we were advocating for OUR right to recommend a vendor we felt was being unfairly targetted by the ownership of this forum. And we were advocating for our 'right' to understand WHY, if we cannot recommend a vendor, this is so. Because we felt the vendor was being unfairly targetted, and that WE were being unfairly censored as a result, we spoke up... at length and affected a tangible change. It was very rewarding.

However, the fact that the slogan "Consumer Advocacy" has been question a number of times, and because I do see the other side of the issue, perhaps the title should be reconsidered and something like what Matata suggested be considered.
 

Lula

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

Definition of Consumer Advocacy from your reliable and unbiased internet source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumer_advocacy

Note highlights in bold:
The aim of consumer organizations may be to establish and to attempt to enforce consumer rights. Effective work has also been done, however, simply by using the threat of bad publicity to keep companies' focus on the consumers' point of view.[citation needed]
Consumer organizations may attempt to serve consumer interests by relatively direct actions such as creating and/or disseminating market information, and prohibiting specific acts or practices,or by promoting competitive forces in the markets which directly or indirectly affect consumers (such as transport, electricity, communications, etc.).[citation needed]
 

LALove

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

Gypsy- can you say what happened? I've seen whatever this situation is (was) mentioned a couple times and I'm curious what happened (and how it was handled)..
 

JustSaying

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

HopeDream|1295396910|2826189 said:
I think at PS we do advocate (lobby for) for the consumption of diamonds, the expansion of diamond education, and that consumers should get the best deal they can find given the information available. If someone has a bad experience with a vendor, and posts about it here, PS members will support the consumer and demand an appropriate response from the vendor.

I hope you find the information you're looking for!
Lovely. Read my response to Yssie. The problem isn't as much with individual posters or even vendors making posts, although the groupthink that inevitably occurs w/ mob mentality does pose another issue. The real problem is with the OBVIOUS way that this site is promoted as a consumer advocacy site while many of you have acknowledged it's a very lucrative FOR PROFIT site.

You honestly think that these two things can co-exist w/ each other? so why is does something like the Congressional Budget Office or charity review sites, or ANY real independent research companies exist? why is impartiality important on the foundational level of any community that's designed to do any type of consumer advocacy or independent education research? You guys are are throwing around the word "consumer advocacy" like saying "I love you" to random friends on FB. But Real consumer advocacy REQUIRES impartiality.. aka NO conflict of interest.

That's my premise, which leads to my clear conclusion. I try my best to base my views and conclusions on simple deductive and inductive reasoning/logic.

Most of the people on this site who are familiar w/ it readily admitted in this very post that this site is a FOR PROFIT site, which presents a conflict of interest. in my mind.

If there's conflict of interest then you can't be impartial
If you can't be impartial you can't run a consumer advocacy site.

therefore, if there's a conflict of interest --> you can't run a consumer advocacy site
Contra-positive: If you run a consumer advocacy site --> you must be impartial --> and if you are impartial --> there's no conflict of interest.

with that said, there are individuals on this site who are in fact consumer ADVOCATES, but simply having a lot of individuals who are consumer advocates does not mean that group as a whole is a consumer ADVOCACY group as a WHOLE.

Again, this way of thinking, by DEFINITION (not insults) is not logical, and a fallacy... this one in particular is the fallacy of composition which is defined in two ways

1) From the fact that a whole group has a certain characteristic, it is concluded that all/most/some of the parts must have it as well: EXAMPLE: "Last year Gruber and Barman, L.L.P made more money last year than any other law firm in the country. Thus, it follows that Stan, who is a lawyer in the firm, made more money than any other lawyer in the country last year."

2) From the fact that one/most/all individuals in a group have a certain characteristic, it is concluded that the whole group must have this characteristic: EXAMPLE: "All of the players on the Clippers are good, so the Clippers must be good."
OR "Some of the members of this site are consumer advocates, so that this means that this site must be a consumer advocacy website."

So yes, SOME/MOST consumers on this site are Consumer ADVOCATES. But to attribute that characteristic to the ENTIRE site is not warranted, nor has it be proven to be the truth.
 

JustSaying

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

Matata|1295397095|2826190 said:
So would you're issue be resolved if, instead of "consumer advocate site" the banner said something like "consumer education site"?

YES! very much so! I would really have NOTHING else to say.

But I don't think that will ever happen, because the investors who make a lucrative income are doing so because this site is promoted ALL over the net as THE PREMIER and CONSUMER ADVOCATE Website. When I first came here I did so assuming that it was a real consumer advocacy site that was for and run by members. I know for a fact that I am not the only one. Call it what it is, that wont take away from the posts by informative posters.
 

suchende

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

Some vendors, B&M and online, are willing to deal with the very, very difficult PS shopper. We want ASET. We want a gazillion pics. And heaven help you if a prong is crooked. A few vendors give PSers what they really want, and they get huge praise and accolades here. Some vendors pay to get play on PS, to no avail. Mark Broumand gets shot down, as does Leon Mege's service. It's like going on a luxury car forum and being like, ZOMG WHY DOES NO ONE EVER TALK ABOUT KIA!! CONSPIRACY!!
 

diamondseeker2006

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

If Garry is one of the owners, he does not sell diamonds on this site, so no conflict of interest there. I have never seen either Garry or Andrey promote or recommend ANY vendor! In fact, Garry argues with some of them from time to time! :naughty:

Also, the advertising vendors are not allowed to promote their own stones. So the only ones recommending vendors are those who have bought from the vendors and want to recommend them, or we know by reputation others that we recommend.

People generally come on this site because they are wanting to purchase a diamond. Those of us who have walked that road share what we learned with others and hopefully save them time and money, not to mention that they get a superior diamond. That seems like consumer advocacy to me.
 

Gypsy

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

LALove|1295398639|2826220 said:
Gypsy- can you say what happened? I've seen whatever this situation is (was) mentioned a couple times and I'm curious what happened (and how it was handled)..
Hmm. Well. I'll report myself and let the moderators decide if this is okay to post as it does violate policy by discussing moderator actions.

A vendor was questioned about their referral bonus policy. There was some confusion about whether or not the policy as stated violated forum rules against recompense to members and whether the policy as stated might encouraging shilling. As this is a sensitive issue for the forum the owners made a very swift decision-- apparently without considering all the facts, at least as the members saw it, and banned the vendor and any mention of them. This punishment was deemed harsh in relation to the facts and the reputation of the vendor (and because it punished the members, not just the vendor). In the course of the discussion that ensued it came to light that the owners interpreted certain things differently than the members thought they should be interpretted. The members brought these facts and interpretations to the attention of the owners. The resolution was the deletion of that thread, and an amelioration of the 'punishment' to the vendor since there was no evidence of shilling, only of a badly written policy... which was revised. PS kind of apologized to the members. Actually PS apologized only for the time it took to respond to the member's valid concerns, but the actions by the owners were seen as a white flag of sorts and everyone is trying to recover their good will. It's still a raw wound though, with lingering issues, so it's handled with some care.

DS: I have seen Gary promote advertising vendors over non-advertising ones. I pointed out the conflict of interest to him. And he apologized.
 

Lula

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

Ah, but the "truth" cannot be proven. Karl Popper, statistician extraordinaire, said that a hypothesis cannot be conclusively affirmed, but can be conclusively negated (1959).

The OP is hoisted by his own petard.

ETA: responding to this part of the OP's last post:
So yes, SOME/MOST consumers on this site are Consumer ADVOCATES. But to attribute that characteristic to the ENTIRE site is not warranted, nor has it be proven to be the truth.
 

LALove

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

Thanks Gypsy! That first line made me chuckle- reminds me of my DS who will sneak a cookie before dinner and then tell on himself LOL

Well, I'm glad that it got resolved. I can understand taking action for violation of rules- though banning seems harsh, especially before clarification. Kind of rubs me the wrong way that the thread was deleted though... Why delete it..

ETA- what's the policy on discussing moderator actions?
 

Gypsy

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

Well, considering the post was, in some people's opinions, libel as it had the owners accusing the vendor of wrong doing that was not proven, I think PS did the right thing in deleting it, instead of leaving it up... and creating a larger liability for themselves.

We are not allowed to discuss moderator actions. https://www.pricescope.com/content/forum-policies Policy 7(d). And THIS post, discussing the policies is also banned (7E). Please don't qoute me. As this will need to be deleted by the moderators as it discusses both moderator actions and policy. So... I've done a double whammy.
 

JustSaying

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

Matata|1295395014|2826156 said:
JustSaying|1295394175|2826141 said:
I can't answer your question about the amount of PROFIT this site makes. Your question makes you sound as though you believe that non-profits either should not make money above operating costs or you believe it is illegal/unethical for them to do so. Non-profits are legally allowed to make PROFITS. They are prohibited from distributing those profits in ways that for-profit orgs can. Non-profit revenue must be used to further the organization's mission. So your question should be "how are PS profits used/distributed?" if you are trying to make a solid case that PS is not a proper or legal consumer advocacy site.
Great point! in my mind I assumed that I had made that position clear with my questions, but I see now that I did not. I am functioning on few hours of sleep due to work and research. What you wrote in a more concise manner is exactly my point. Thank you wording it in a much more clear manner. Everyone here should read those words.

at the core of this is also the discussion of what consumer advocacy groups do. Which I actually delved into in the post that was deleted overnight. Most consumer advocacy actually have campaigns (better food labeling, banning GM foods, better testing procedures) now I do think that there's a small campaign here on PS that's not really defined as a campaign (getting ASET pic, HCA, Ideal scope) I actually think that should be something that should be expanded and more defined. Just like banning conflict diamonds (not even attempting to compare the relative importance of these issues to each other) started out as a peace/hippie think. That movement was dismissed FOR SO LONG, and look it now. I still have a lot of problems w/ the Kimberly Process, but at least people are more aware now. Many more demand answers now. look at most vendor sites, somwhere somehow they address the issue. That campaign has forced many vendors to give their position on conflict diamonds, or at least make one up ;-) why not have a solid campaign to force them to use better technology. Make it the standard. Demand it. Cut up monopolies as much as you can. That's what a consumer advocate does.

I don't want to get everyone riled up, but if I have to quote Rage Against the Machine (who would likely hate to be quoted on this site) I will! "It has to start somewhere It has to start sometime. What better place than here, what better time than now?"

lets actually have a solid campaign, start something that might lead to something bigger that will not change the way that quality diamonds are put on the market, which will actually help all consumers.

Now go enjoy the http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0kJLW2EwMg hahahahahaha, who knew diamonds were such srs bizness?
 

JustSaying

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

Lula|1295400066|2826250 said:
Ah, but the "truth" cannot be proven. Karl Popper, statistician extraordinaire, said that a hypothesis cannot be conclusively affirmed, but can be conclusively negated (1959).

The OP is hoisted by his own petard.

ETA: responding to this part of the OP's last post:
So yes, SOME/MOST consumers on this site are Consumer ADVOCATES. But to attribute that characteristic to the ENTIRE site is not warranted, nor has it be proven to be the truth.
haha that would be the fallacy of exclusivity/absence of evidence. I did not say "because it's not proven to be the truth, it must be false" if I had you would have a point, but I would never be so irrational ;-)

I am giving a premise and drawing a contrapositive. Not the inverse or the converse. There's a difference.

I'm going to go for a run now, this was very informative.
 

LALove

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

Oh ok I understand why it was removed..
 

Gypsy

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

LALove|1295401023|2826266 said:
Oh ok I understand why it was removed..
:wavey: =)

ETA: Thank you for your edit LA love. I appreciate it. 8)
 

LALove

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

Gypsy|1295401161|2826267 said:
LALove|1295401023|2826266 said:
Oh ok I understand why it was removed..
:wavey: =)

ETA: Thank you for your edit LA love. I appreciate it. 8)
No problem! :D
 

kenny

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

JS, I will not argue with you that PS should either remove the terms CONSUMER ADVOCATE SITE from their header or at the very least qualify it by linking it, in a very obvious way, to an explanation of their mission and revenue stream.

FWIW, here is some strong evidence that PS is not a shill site for their paying vendors.
Recently it was brought to everyone's attention that a prominent inclusion mysteriously did not appear in a pic of a diamond of a paying PS vendor. (long story, read the link to the 2-page thread)

Even if the allegation is ultimately determined to be false, the fact that the thread was not deleted and I, the whistle blower, was not banned (again) is what I call transparency and I must salute PS admin for this.
It is easy to take pot shots at PS since they are the elephant in it's field, but I believe, know, from personal experience they really work hard to run a clean ship - especially the current team.
Don't get me started on the last one. :blackeye:

[URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/what-am-i-missing-too-good-to-be-true.154486/']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/what-am-i-missing-too-good-to-be-true.154486/[/URL]
 

diamondseeker2006

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

Gypsy, thanks! I have rethought that statement and have seen favor shown toward some vendors over others in technical threads in the past.
 

suchende

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

Gypsy|1295400606|2826260 said:
Well, considering the post was, in some people's opinions, libel as it had the owners accusing the vendor of wrong doing that was not proven, I think PS did the right thing in deleting it, instead of leaving it up... and creating a larger liability for themselves.

We are not allowed to discuss moderator actions. https://www.pricescope.com/content/forum-policies Policy 7(d). And THIS post, discussing the policies is also banned (7E). Please don't qoute me. As this will need to be deleted by the moderators as it discusses both moderator actions and policy. So... I've done a double whammy.
wow. alright i will defend the content of PS to the end (even if certain vendors pay to play, the cream floats to the top and the dreck sinks to the bottom, you can't make PS posters say nice things about bad vendors) but the policies are more oppressive than any other message board I know of.
 

Matata

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

I need to edit myself, rather than "consumer education site" I propose that a new statement be created that says "consumer education advocacy site" because someone can always challenge through Socratic method that we are providing "education" but I think it's pretty clear that we really really really do advocate that consumers educate themselves, through the resources available here and beyond prior to making a gem purchase.
 

D&T

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

JustSaying said:
D&T|1295393498|2826132 said:
Lula|1295393109|2826124 said:
I'm sorry you don't like my analogies; it's been years since I took a college debate course. But thank you for the wikipedia link. I consider wikipedia one of the most reliable and unbiased sources on the web.

I don't understand what you are so angry about.
All I have to say at this point is, it's a free country; start your own dang consumer advocacy site if you don't like this one.


yes, and please tell me how you plan to fund those, moderate, and if it expands, and too large for you to upkeep, how you plan to pay your employee, overhead costs and also put food on your table?
you are saying that Garry H, of Holloway Diamonds and owner of this site, needs this site to keep food on the table?

I don't care about the basic overhead cost. That's all fine and good. Again, use your basic reading comprehension skills that i'm sure you attained at some point in life to read what I wrote. I asked if this site makes a PROFIT. In order to make a profit one has to make MORE money than what's needed to cover basic overhead need to pay employees a living wage, provide benefits, and pay for the day to day management of the site. Is there additional money made? Consumer Advocacy sites are NOT for profit sites. Please re-read the questions I asked in my FIRST post, not a single person has actually answered them.

sorry, I scanned through your post while at work, so obviously I missed some of your key points resulting in a lack of comprehension :rolleyes: ...

You asked "Is there additional money made?" sure there is, I would hope that this site does not operate in the red. As for Non-profit - "guess what" I highly doubt their books at the end of the year Nets zero! as you mentioned in another post

"I can post numerous ones that are just as effective, allow advertising or whatever else to generate ENOUGH income to run the site, but that's it"

Do you honestly beleive that? Have you seen their books? its a foolish strategy to limit your resources for constant/rising costs so there is "profits" or additional money made, how its allocated differs.



I simply refer people to vendors I have experienced with and know of their quality. There are vendors I refer more often than not, due to availability of items, workmanship, prices, and tools that they have.

You can donate your money to non-profits organization and in exchange you get a banner ad that promotes the business that the donation comes from just like your nameless Non profit consumer advocacy site, so how is it really any different than a for profit organization that sell a place on their site for banner ads? naturally consumer will ask questions about them, buy from them and they get paid from the consumer purchasing their goods.
 

diamondringlover

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

I never post in these type of threads, but I swear it seems like we had a discussion like this awhile back :confused:
 

Matata

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

diamondrnglover|1295404094|2826318 said:
I never post in these type of threads, but I swear it seems like we had a discussion like this awhile back :confused:
Yep, deja vuvuvuvuvuvuvuvvu the issue of conflict of interest and repressive policies. This thread is refreshing in that it makes me feel as though we are the subject of a college research paper rather than the demon of on-line forums.
 

AprilBaby

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

"I know for a fact that MANY people reading this very thread are AFRAID to post what they are actually thinking. I know that for a fact, many of you old timers have said it in private or from other usernames."


You only have 13 posts so you must be someone we all know. How do you know this for a fact and who are you really? What is YOUR other username and why are YOU afraid to use it?
 

hlmr

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

AprilBaby|1295406273|2826344 said:
"I know for a fact that MANY people reading this very thread are AFRAID to post what they are actually thinking. I know that for a fact, many of you old timers have said it in private or from other usernames."


You only have 13 posts so you must be someone we all know. How do you know this for a fact and who are you really? What is YOUR other username and why are YOU afraid to use it?

:appl: :appl: :appl: :appl: :appl: :appl: :appl:
 

scepture

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

AprilBaby|1295406273|2826344 said:
"I know for a fact that MANY people reading this very thread are AFRAID to post what they are actually thinking. I know that for a fact, many of you old timers have said it in private or from other usernames."


You only have 13 posts so you must be someone we all know. How do you know this for a fact and who are you really? What is YOUR other username and why are YOU afraid to use it?
:appl: :?: :appl: :?: :appl: :?: :appl: :?: :appl: :?: :appl:
 
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Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

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