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I can see that almost any thread could be hi-jacked to deal with pricing so it should be discouraged so that a meaningful conversation can take place on the subject at hand. However, a forum like this should lend a hand to create a more effecient market. I think much too much time is spent by people trying to make sure they are not being ripped off by a few dollars. It would be better if this forum had a section that deals primarily with pricing. My 2 cents...
 

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You're probably better offing PM'ing one of the moderators if you have specific thoughts on this. Discussions of this sort sometimes degrade into an argument with the moderators, which is frowned upon to put it mildly! I haven't read the Forum Rules lately to see if the rationale behind this rule is discussed.


Also realize that the hardware, bandwidth, etc. for this forum is paid for by our friends at AV Science who are also A/V dealers, etc. I think it would be awkward at the least for them to say "we don't sell that product or anything that competes with it, so feel free to discuss pricing" vs. "we sell something that competes with that so no pricing talk..." Makes sense to have a blanket policy.


I say, live with it, and enjoy everything else the Forum has to offer. Remember, you can always PM individuals to ask for pricing or vendor advice.
 

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Since this policy became regularly enforced, I've gone from never having sent or received a PM in this entire forum ever, to having had to email all my sent and received PM's twice (and soon a third time) in just over a month's time to clear the quota we're given for such things. I think that amounts to some 200 or more messages sent & received.


It's not really that big a deal in practice. And if anything maybe it increases some of the contact I have with individuals that I wouldn't have had otherwise, except in public. So in a twisted sense, the policy has been somewhat helpful.


The unfortunate thing is that in addition to pricing, sometimes quite a few other discussions take place offline, too, just out of convenience, and what's unfortunate is that those parts of the discussion then end up nowhere others can really benefit from them.


This thread will get closed by a moderator. I'm pretty certain of that. But I do hope it doesn't get deleted, but instead remains around just to give others a little guidance in how to deal with the policy in place (the PM'ing thing). I've noticed several PM's I've sent in response to inquiries I couldn't answer in public have gone unread, and I'm sure it's just because the person getting them doesn't quite know they're there, being unfamiliar with the forum software... :)


Maybe the moderators could adjust the default settings for new users so that a popup message on PM's happens and emails get sent, et. al. At least I don't think that is the current default!
 

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I understand the dilemma moderators are facing. They are trying to help fund the operation of this forum through increased AVS sales. However, I don't think it's realistic to expect a surge in sales simply by denying access to competitor's pricing information (E.g., the removal of the AVS image gallery). Moreover, the harm to the free flow of ideas created by, in my opinion, overly-restrictive rules is substantial.


The problem is that this forum isn't neutral. Meaning, the interests of one retailer (AV Science) trumps that of others. Perhaps a reasonable concept given their investment.... However, in order for a forum to be truely free and hence beneficial to its audience, it needs non-partisan representation.


Thus, I hope these rules get struck down soon as well. While I appreciate AVS's efforts, I don't feel that their latests policies are in the best interest of the online community.
 

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I really wonder if censoring the price information has helped AVS or the other Forum sponsors at all. If one of the sponsors carried an item I wanted to buy, I definitely favored them if their price was at all competitive. If I wanted something none of the Forum sponsors carried, then it seems to me the question becomes moot: I was certainly not going to buy a less desirable substitute just because a sponsor stocked it.


Meanwhile, at least part of the goodwill AVS has earned by sponsoring this and the TiVo Community Forum has been lost by the new censorship policy. People are still going to search out the best price; only difference is now they will have to spend a little more time and trouble to do it.
 

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Part of the problem, I know, is that often in the past a price discussion has overwhelmed a forum. It does get to be a bit tedious when you come for information, and have to wade through 30 threads about pricing... especially when 27 of those are duplications because someone couldn't be bothered to read through the topics on the first 2 pages of a forum.


I think there could be a better balance to this problem than the current solution. However I'm at a loss as to what that might best be.
 

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Doug,


I think a solution would be to clamp down on membership registration. Meaning, I remember a time when First and Last Names were required on these forums. Now, we have a whole new crop of aliases that tend to degrade discussions. If we could filter out these anonymous users, I think the quality of the discussions will improve.


Another solution would be to create a pricing-specific section of the forum. Moderators could then just move pricing threads directly into this section and delete posts heavily-related to pricing in existing threads.


All much better solutions than the status quo...


I also think Steuert hit part of the problem on the head with respect to good will. AVS has deservedly earned a great deal of good will in the HT community for their services. I'm concerned that this will all evaporate in the future though if things continue as they have.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Don Black
They are trying to help fund the operation of this forum through increased AVS sales...


However, I don't think it's realistic to expect a surge in sales simply by denying access to competitor's pricing information...


The problem is that this forum isn't neutral. Meaning, the interests of one retailer (AV Science) trumps that of others...
AV Science does NOT sell plasmas.
 

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Not a great place anymore for new members looking for a great price on there first Plasma TV yet it's ok for them to post about the new DVD player by Bravo @ $199.00. I bet that site sold a least 100+ DVD Players this week.
 

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Membership is FREE here. I can't understand how people can complain about something that is FREE.


For pricing info, you have places like pricewatch and streetprices to look at.
 

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You tell that to all the members here who got a great deal on the new 50" Fujitus a couple months ago when it first came out. Deals like that will no longer be allowed. So if anyone knows of a great price on a the new Sony 42" KE-42XBR900 Plasma TV? Remember, don't post it here :(
 

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QQQ: You're wrong. A quick scan of the AVS Power Buys section confirms that they do. Regardless, I don't see your point.


nospam_online: I would rather that the moderators consider these suggestions and not complaints. Our goal is the same: to improve the forum.
 

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Don:


That post is from 7/15/02, almost a year ago. I could certainly be wrong but I recently (about one week ago) had direct conversations with them and was told that they do not sell plasmas. But they may very well deal with closeouts now and then, I don't know.


My point was exatly what it was, that I don't think they sell plasmas.
 

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AVS advertisers *do* sell plasmas. And that is who the policy is designed to protect. I don't agree with the policy, but I do understand why they have it.


Mark
 

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Agreed Mark, that was my point, though I didn't go into it. I think the policy is primarily for their sponsors (which of course benefits AVS).
 

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Pricewatch and streetprices are not even close to the quality of pricing information that some members of this forum have - and that's a fact.
 

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These threads are like the energizer bunny. Each time they pop up, everyone makes the same arguments and they keep going and going and going and...


Most people don't like the ban but no argument no matter how well presented and no amount of complaining is going to change it. This thread will either die out if we have finally gotten tired of discussing the issue or it will keep going until the moderators close it like always.
 

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I disagree. Constructive criticism always has a place. And clearly a change does need to be made. Because even with the harsh policies that are in place right now, AVS still struggles to support this board. Hence the closing of the image galleries.
 

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Where did I say that constructive criticism doesn't have a place or that people should't say what they think? I simply stated what will happen to the thread. If you think this thread will change the policy, I'd be happy to bet you a brand spanking new Fujitsu 50" TV it won't :).
 
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