April 5, 2001


I'm well aware that what I'm about to say in this weeks piece is going to ruffle some feathers, so I've donned my infamous 'CRABASS' ballcap and you can just dismiss this as the crazy ravings of a glue-sniffing old man.

There's been two instances now on the POLAR LIGHTS bulletin board that have taken place and personally, bother me.

Both concern what appears to be a flagrant disregard for Members feelings, but actually could be a problem of overwhelmness.

The first instance was the 'Tom Lowe Meet and Greet', and the second instance is the 'How many dang boxes DOES the Chrome Robby the Robot come in'.

On Friday, March 9, 2001, Tom Lowe came on the BB and asked if the members had any questions. By the afternoon of the same Friday, there were close to six pages worth of questions, and Tom told everyone he'd print out all the pages, look them over over the weekend and come back with some answers.

Monday morning the question portion was closed...Tuesday, Wednesday went by and nothing was heard.

Thursday came and went and still the members at large didn't hear a peep. Wasn't til Friday morning that it was announced that a list full of jotted notes were passed to a staff member and they'd be typed up on the board... which they were that afternoon.

But the part that made me uneasy was the length of time that passed with silence. Sure, Tom Lowe is a busy man, but for the reply the board ended up getting, I could have written them up on toilet paper while taking a late Sunday afternoon dump! Five minutes top!!

Again, it wasn't so much the end result from Tom that bothered me. I pretty much expected a rather vague response to come back and there were a few things that I found of interest.

What bothered me was the five days that went by without someone thinking, "Hey, the members are waiting on something, let's at least tell them we haven't forgotten um!"

Consideration. Simple respect.

Instead, silence. On a board that is 'suppose' to represent a Company's pipeline to their consumer base.

The second instance opens up on Tuesday, March 13th, when a member asks the PL staff what is up with the rumors of different boxes for the newly released Chrome version of their Robby the Robot kit.

Two days go by before a response is made by the staff, which informed the board that the person in the know is '...out sick today' and will be asked upon their return.

Between March 15th and March 30th, the original poster of the question repeatedly brings the topic thread to the top of the message index, patiently waiting for a definitive answer from a Company Rep.

It's now April 5th as I type this and either the 'guy in the know' is still out sick, in which case, again, common courtesy dictates that SOME feedback should be provided... or there's a larger problem here!

Let's face it... the company has to have a Production department!! Finding out the needed information for this Member/Consumer can't be all that difficult. Can't one walk past three cubicles and find out the information without HAVING to wait for some sick guy to come back to work??!

Takes what?? Five minutes?

Hell, one could do it while coming back from a bathroom break or coffee refill!

But today the thread is now buried deep down under masses of mindless off-topic blatherings, so it seems the original poster has given up hope of ever getting a response.

There's even two similar threads discussing the same kit and asking the same questions, and they too haven't received any in-house reply.

And maybe... just maybe THIS should be sounding alarms!

The PL BB's primary role is to provide a conduit between manufacturer and consumer on products they release.

But when questions addressing this specific purpose are raised, they go ignored. They quickly get washed up on the beach and every 20 seconds another mundane, pointless, off topic, dribble is posted.

The valid questions/concerns get washed over and quickly sink further and further in the sand.

Many people have raised concerns. Valid threads deteriorating into joke fests, new arrivals being ridiculed... a few never returning.

Many more have offered solutions.

The 'Modeling Forum' BB was started in order to divert many of the blathering, off topic messages, but no one listens.

So the moderators have to wade through post after pointless posts, making sure everyone is behaving themselves in an otherwise busy work day. Work Days that really don't provide that much opportunity to do so.

So pertinent questions slip by.

...and the main objective of this bulletin board is no longer being fulfilled.

...and sadly, the ignorance continues to grow...

Happy Modeling - Buc (April 01')  Archives