120 replies
Call it a moral, ethical, or whatever you want type of question. I'll refer to it as "rightness".

Here's the situation:
Let's say that person A is offering an article writing service in the Warrior Classified Ads section. Person B will be a competitor, offering a similar type of service at a lower price. Now, a potential customer, person C, (or even current customer) posts on person A's thread inquiring/reviewing about the service. Person B notices this thread and the comment/question made by person C.

So here's the question:

Is it "right" for person B to contact person C via pm to notify him/her about the cheaper service that he is offering?

Or, is it person B's responsibility to get his thread and business noticed by potential customers?

When I was in the situation of person B, I have always thought about contacting person C. However, I have never acted upon those thoughts.

Have you?
  • Profile picture of the author KyleLogue
    That's a tough question to answer. Let me use a question to answer a question though...

    Do you truly believe that your product is superior?

    If yes, wouldn't it be a great service to the customer to provide them with more value?

    Is it immoral to give a customer more help than they've been able to find?

    I honestly don't have an answer to the question, but in this forum I would definitely not step on anyones toes. Interesting topic though!
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  • Profile picture of the author scrofford
    With sales comes competition...ethically, I think it would be a crappy thing to do, but then in the offline world, this kind of thing happens. Personally, I wouldn't do that to someone. I would start my own classified thread...But not everyone is me.
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  • Profile picture of the author LilBlackDress
    Originally Posted by Mike Hlatky View Post

    Call it a moral, ethical, or whatever you want type of question. I'll refer to it as "rightness".

    Here's the situation:
    Let's say that person A is offering an article writing service in the Warrior Classified Ads section. Person B will be a competitor, offering a similar type of service at a lower price. Now, a potential customer, person C, (or even current customer) posts on person A's thread inquiring/reviewing about the service. Person B notices this thread and the comment/question made by person C.

    So here's the question:

    Is it "right" for person B to contact person C via pm to notify him/her about the cheaper service that he is offering?

    No....


    Or, is it person B's responsibility to get his thread and business noticed by potential customers?

    Yes...

    When I was in the situation of person B, I have always thought about contacting person C. However, I have never acted upon those thoughts.

    Have you?
    If someone has asked for advise or is struggling with sometlhing I do believe it is fine to contact them and offer help.

    If they have posted on another's paid thread that they are interested in purchasing that service, I do not feel it is right to contact them and say you have it cheaper. In fact I would guess this would be soliciting on the WF and probably against TOS...(just a guess).
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  • Profile picture of the author CurtisN
    I would never hire someone who PM'd me and said:

    "Hey, I saw you in so and so's WFH thread and I thought this was a great opportunity to promote my own services to you. I know it's a commercial message that's totally unsolicited, but it's not spam, right? Anyway, I'm cheaper than the other guy, so you should definitely forget person A and check my service out instead. Kthx. Regards! -randomguy"
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Hlatky
      Originally Posted by CurtisN View Post

      I would never hire someone who PM'd me and said:
      Originally Posted by CurtisN View Post


      "Hey, I saw you in so and so's WFH thread and I thought this was a great opportunity to promote my own services to you. I know it's a commercial message that's totally unsolicited, but it's not spam, right? Anyway, I'm cheaper than the other guy, so you should definitely forget person A and check my service out instead. Kthx. Regards! -randomguy"


      And what if I don't mention where I saw it from? Something like,

      "Hey,

      I saw you were interested in (service). I just wanted to let you know that I also provide (service) for (amount). I would love to let you try out my service for (free/cheaper price).

      Let me know if you are interested.

      Thanks
      Random Guy"

      You wouldn't want to try something, which you already want, out for a cheaper price? I'm not saying your opinion is wrong, just playing devil's advocate.
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      • Profile picture of the author CurtisN
        Originally Posted by Mike Hlatky View Post

        And what if I don't mention where I saw it from
        It probably wouldn't be too hard to guess

        You wouldn't want to try something, which you already want, out for a cheaper price? I'm not saying your opinion is wrong, just playing devil's advocate.
        Say I'm in line at Pizza Palace (not a real place...I think), reading to pay $15 for a medium gourmet pizza.

        If you walked up to me and said, "hey, I'm Bob from Bob's Pizza down the street, I have a similar gourmet pizza, also a medium, for only $11! Wanna check it out?" I don't know...seems pretty sketch to me, right?

        To be fair, it might depend on the service I was looking for. I guess if I was asking about a script installation service for instance and person A was charging an exorbitant fee, I would probably be happy that person B came along and offered to do it at a reasonable price.
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Hlatky
          Originally Posted by CurtisN View Post



          Say I'm in line at Pizza Palace (not a real place...I think)
          Since the beginning of time, you don't think anyone else has thought to name a pizza place that? :p

          pizza palace - Google Search

          Originally Posted by CurtisN View Post



          Say I'm in line at Pizza Palace (not a real place...I think), reading to pay $15 for a medium gourmet pizza.

          If you walked up to me and said, "hey, I'm Bob from Bob's Pizza down the street, I have a similar gourmet pizza, also a medium, for only $11! Wanna check it out?" I don't know...seems pretty sketch to me, right?

          To be fair, it might depend on the service I was looking for. I guess if I was asking about a script installation service for instance and person A was charging an exorbitant fee, I would probably be happy that person B came along and offered to do it at a reasonable price.
          I think that this is the case of it being difficult to relate the online world to the offline world. Sure, that probably rarely happens (even though I'm sure it does). That really isn't "right" because you are entering another person's place of business.

          But, just turn on the television.

          Apple commercials (with the Mac guy)
          Verizon/ATT
          Pepsi Max vs. Coke Zero
          Any Political Advertisement

          I find this a difficult decision so I came to seek the advice of other people. If someone were to approach you about a better offer, I don't think that they would go about bashing another person. It would be better to just talk about your own service than the competitor's service.
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          • Profile picture of the author TheLongRoad
            Originally Posted by Mike Hlatky View Post

            Since the beginning of time, you don't think anyone else has thought to name a pizza place that? :p
            Haha. There are about 10 of those in a 10 mile radius of my house. lol
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            • Profile picture of the author Jon Patrick
              I don't understand why it's necessary to post in support of someone who is posting repeatedly to prove "rightitude" - when the opinion expressed is conduct against the rules here. It's not helpful to take sides or form teams.

              Why would you try to explain what someone else is thinking or excuse rude behavior? This is a member who takes a position and then defends it to the death posting many times - and has done this same thing in many threads.
              If this was addressed to me, then I must have made the mistake of leaving room for confusion when I made my post. I wasn't posting in support or excusing the behavior of anyone. I was simply putting my two cents in regarding the topic at hand, while also trying to point out that, in some cases, you guys are arguing past each other (by arguing two different points, i.e., question number one and question number two, instead of the same point).

              If this wasn't addressed to me, then kindly disregard.
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        • Profile picture of the author Kay King
          You'd be fine right up until someone reported you for soliciting business by PM.

          Why wouldn't you simply post in the other seller's thread when someone asks a question there? You could post "I can do it for you cheaper - here's my ad". Think that would fly? Nope. You'd be slapped faster than a gnat.

          If you can't attract business when you have lower prices - you are doing something wrong. Your sales copy/offer/experience/reputation/promotion isn't competing well with the other seller. That's what you need to fix.

          You wouldn't want to try something, which you already want, out for a cheaper price? I'm not saying your opinion is wrong, just playing devil's advocate.
          I wouldn't be interested in hiring someone who thought I was too stupid to see what he was doing. If he's willing to cheat a competitor - could I trust that person with my niches/keywords? Could I trust a writer like that not to violate copyright?

          If I saw the activity as "smart business" I'd feel differently. To me it's a cheap trick so I have a negative view.



          kay
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      • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
        Originally Posted by Mike Hlatky View Post


        And what if I don't mention where I saw it from? Something like,

        "Hey,

        I saw you were interested in (service). I just wanted to let you know that I also provide (service) for (amount). I would love to let you try out my service for (free/cheaper price).

        Let me know if you are interested.

        Thanks
        Random Guy"

        You wouldn't want to try something, which you already want, out for a cheaper price? I'm not saying your opinion is wrong, just playing devil's advocate.
        Hmm, well - as someone mentioned above it can be viewed as spamming here on this forum.

        With that said, I am on the fence of if there is a way to gently tap someone you see is looking for a service to let them know - "hey, I see you were in need of x services. This is just a friendly note - I hope all goes well. But in the circumstance you find you might be looking for something different at a competitive rate please do send a message" or something of that nature, but needs refining a bit.

        I really think it would boil down to delivery. I wouldn't bash someone elses service if they were more money - as maybe the client likes the writing they get from them. Could be a lot of things.

        In the end it will boil down to reputations and how communications are handled.
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      • Profile picture of the author paulie888
        Originally Posted by Mike Hlatky View Post


        And what if I don't mention where I saw it from? Something like,

        "Hey,

        I saw you were interested in (service). I just wanted to let you know that I also provide (service) for (amount). I would love to let you try out my service for (free/cheaper price).

        Let me know if you are interested.

        Thanks
        Random Guy"

        You wouldn't want to try something, which you already want, out for a cheaper price? I'm not saying your opinion is wrong, just playing devil's advocate.
        While I don't think it specifically violates any terms, it'd just be a big turn-off for the majority of people. I have had PMs like that before, and I basically just ignore them - it makes them sound rather desperate and unprofessional, and it doesn't help that they typically use a "canned" copy and paste type PM either.
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        • Profile picture of the author Kay King
          What's YMMV and LLaP?
          your mileage may vary - live long and prosper?

          This isn't an ethical/moral/legal issue. If you think it's "right", that's OK. If a forum allows it and it's something you want to do, it's ok. If the forum doesn't allow it - it doesn't matter what you think.

          Let us know how it works out for you. Most who have tried it are awarded a new title just under their forum name.

          kay
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    • Profile picture of the author ejb2059
      Originally Posted by CurtisN View Post

      I would never hire someone who PM'd me and said:

      "Hey, I saw you in so and so's WFH thread and I thought this was a great opportunity to promote my own services to you. I know it's a commercial message that's totally unsolicited, but it's not spam, right? Anyway, I'm cheaper than the other guy, so you should definitely forget person A and check my service out instead. Kthx. Regards! -randomguy"
      I agree ...Clearly this person's demonstrating the level of their ethic / professionalism .. Someday, they will turn on you also

      I think the old expression "Once a cheater, always a cheater" can be applied to many different scenarios eh?
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  • Profile picture of the author Patrick
    I will NEVER do this..

    If you are GOOD enough, clients will come to you.
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  • Profile picture of the author DontWorryBeHappy
    I think a private PM is perfectly reasonable to send in competition. Especially as if you want best quality work your not going to necessarily choose the cheapest option anyway. All seems fair in this situation as quality will win out every time.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dave Rodman
    Banned
    It's not wrong at all. That's what you get when you market your services in an open forum.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Dave Rodman View Post

      It's not wrong at all. That's what you get when you market your services in an open forum.
      If that's correct, I'll eat my hat (I have a rice-paper one standing by, just to be on the safe side, you understand).

      Of course it's not "right".

      And surely it isn't allowed, either? Isn't it clearcut that this would be using the forum's PM system for spamming purposes?

      What IS "spamming", if it isn't "promoting your own business by sending people unsolicited messages", for heaven's sake?!

      Perhaps Paul will be kind enough to reply to this thread and clarify the point? :confused:
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      • Profile picture of the author GaryCooper
        Well lets say the shoe was on the other foot.

        if someone replies to the person with the "cheaper" price would it be wrong for the person with the higher priced service to contact the person who wants to buy the service via PM to say "while this is a cheaper service, you do get what you pay for.I can do a much better job etc etc. blah blah blah " and get the person to convert to using their higher priced better quality service...

        Now is that right?

        Neither one is fair cool or a matter of whether right or wrong.
        The person who makes a decision based on who PMs a better deal is most likely going to complain anyway, and windup trying the "other guy" who they originally wanted in the thread they inquired about.

        Just my opinion take it for what its worth:
        2cents
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        • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
          Banned
          Originally Posted by GaryCooper View Post

          Well lets say the shoe was on the other foot.
          I said I'd eat my hat, not my shoes. There are limits ...
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Grant
          Originally Posted by GaryCooper View Post

          Well lets say the shoe was on the other foot.

          if someone replies to the person with the "cheaper" price would it be wrong for the person with the higher priced service to contact the person who wants to buy the service via PM to say "while this is a cheaper service, you do get what you pay for.I can do a much better job etc etc. blah blah blah " and get the person to convert to using their higher priced better quality service...

          Now is that right?

          Neither one is fair cool or a matter of whether right or wrong.
          The person who makes a decision based on who PMs a better deal is most likely going to complain anyway, and windup trying the "other guy" who they originally wanted in the thread they inquired about.

          Just my opinion take it for what its worth:
          2cents
          I agree....
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Originally Posted by Mike Hlatky View Post

    Call it a moral, ethical, or whatever you want type of question. I'll refer to it as "rightness".

    Here's the situation:
    Let's say that person A is offering an article writing service in the Warrior Classified Ads section. Person B will be a competitor, offering a similar type of service at a lower price. Now, a potential customer, person C, (or even current customer) posts on person A's thread inquiring/reviewing about the service. Person B notices this thread and the comment/question made by person C.

    So here's the question:

    Is it "right" for person B to contact person C via pm to notify him/her about the cheaper service that he is offering?

    Or, is it person B's responsibility to get his thread and business noticed by potential customers?

    When I was in the situation of person B, I have always thought about contacting person C. However, I have never acted upon those thoughts.

    Have you?
    If person C contacts me via PM, I'm going to report it for spam, so they better be careful who they contact with their offer. I'm capable of looking at all the offers and choosing the one I want.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      People are in business to make money, plain and simple.
      If you get banned - you won't make much here. That's a simple truth. If the only goal is money any way you can get it - it's not much of a business.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike Grant
        Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

        If you get banned - you won't make much here. That's a simple truth. If the only goal is money any way you can get it - it's not much of a business.
        What's wrong with sending someone a PM if they've expressed interest in the type of service?

        I'm sure you've shopped at Walmart/Target while receiving coupons from their competitors for the same products, no?

        This isn't an uncommon practice.

        What about when you register a business in your state. Within two months your mailbox will be filled with things like credit cards, merchant accounts, business insurance, etc.
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        • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
          Banned
          Originally Posted by mgtarheels View Post

          What's wrong with sending someone a PM if they've expressed interest in the type of service?
          Try it and see what's wrong with it. The only advertising on this forum that is condoned is paid advertising and signature files, and unsolicited PMS are not paid advertising. They are spam and are reported as such.
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          • Profile picture of the author Mike Grant
            Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

            Try it and see what's wrong with it. The only advertising on this forum that is condoned is paid advertising and signature files, and unsolicited PMS are not paid advertising. They are spam and are reported as such.
            Are you able to point me to the sticky that explains how such a practice is not allowed? Looked here, WSO, and WFH and didn't see it but I could've simply missed it.
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            • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
              Banned
              Originally Posted by mgtarheels View Post

              Are you able to point me to the sticky that explains how such a practice is not allowed? Looked here, WSO, and WFH and didn't see it but I could've simply missed it.
              There probably isn't a written rule, but there is an unwritten rule.
              .... no spammy the warrior forum ....
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              • Profile picture of the author Mike Grant
                Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                There probably isn't a written rule, but there is an unwritten rule.
                .... no spammy the warrior forum ....
                I guess we disagree on whether or not it'd be spam, then.
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                • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                  Banned
                  Originally Posted by mgtarheels View Post

                  I guess we disagree on whether or not it'd be spam, then.
                  We don't have to agree. When I've reported PM spam, it's been dealt with by the admins.
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                  • Profile picture of the author Jeff Henshaw
                    What's wrong with sending someone a PM if they've expressed interest in the type of service?

                    I'm sure you've shopped at Walmart/Target while receiving coupons from their competitors for the same products, no?

                    This isn't an uncommon practice.
                    This is the Warrior forum, not 'Walmart/Target'. I for one do not want to be targeted with promotional emails in the form of PMs. I am a member of a small number of forums, which I consider to be the best in their class. Part of the reason that I remain a member of those forums is that I don't have to wade through spam. I can pick and choose what I read and/or reply to.

                    In the time that I have been a member of this forum, I have only received two unsolicited PMs promoting products/services, neither of which I reported, but I did reply to them, stating that I considered their messages as spam and that another time, I would report their actions. One sender did apologise. He did not realise that he was not 'doing the right thing'.

                    This forum is well moderated and although we might not agree with the moderations all of the time, well we accept them for the mutual good.

                    The bottom line for me is - whether written or unwritten in the rules - if free for all PMing of offers and pitches becomes the norm then this forum loses its reputation and credibility amongst the genuine online business community.

                    Just my thoughts,

                    Jeff.
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                    • Profile picture of the author Mike Grant
                      Originally Posted by Jeff Henshaw View Post

                      This is the Warrior forum, not 'Walmart/Target'. I for one do not want to be targeted with promotional emails in the form of PMs. I am a member of a small number of forums, which I consider to be the best in their class. Part of the reason that I remain a member of those forums is that I don't have to wade through spam. I can pick and choose what I read and/or reply to.

                      In the time that I have been a member of this forum, I have only received two unsolicited PMs promoting products/services, neither of which I reported, but I did reply to them, stating that I considered their messages as spam and that another time, I would report their actions. One sender did apologise. He did not realise that he was not 'doing the right thing'.

                      This forum is well moderated and although we might not agree with the moderations all of the time, well we accept them for the mutual good.

                      The bottom line for me is - whether written or unwritten in the rules - if free for all PMing of offers and pitches becomes the norm then this forum loses its reputation and credibility amongst the genuine online business community.

                      Just my thoughts,

                      Jeff.
                      I understand where you're coming from, and I feel the same way. I don't like the PMs, either. But does that make it morally and ethically wrong? As mentioned previously, the subject of the thread wasn't about if it is allowed but whether it is moral or ethical to engage in the practice.
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                      • Profile picture of the author Jeff Henshaw
                        I understand where you're coming from, and I feel the same way. I don't like the PMs, either. But does that make it morally and ethically wrong? As mentioned previously, the subject of the thread wasn't about if it is allowed but whether it is moral or ethical to engage in the practice.
                        Morality and ethics are 'in the eye of the beholder'. If you have a community (in this case a forum) then there have to be limits or boundaries that are frowned upon (or worse) if crossed. Otherwise it's a free for all and anarchy.

                        But does that make it morally and ethically wrong?
                        Opinion will be divided, but if you manage to get a definative answer to that question and ever decide to go into politics, PM me and I'll vote for you - no sales pitches in the PM though :rolleyes:

                        Jeff.
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                        • Profile picture of the author Mike Grant
                          Originally Posted by Jeff Henshaw View Post

                          Morality and ethics are 'in the eye of the beholder'. If you have a community (in this case a forum) then there have to be limits or boundaries that are frowned upon (or worse) if crossed. Otherwise it's a free for all and anarchy.

                          Opinion will be divided, but if you manage to get a definative answer to that question and ever decide to go into politics, PM me and I'll vote for you - no sales pitches in the PM though :rolleyes:

                          Jeff.
                          So why are you having a fit with me? I'm not the one that asked the question that isn't to your liking, I merely gave my opinion that many seem to disagree with.
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                          • Profile picture of the author Jeff Henshaw
                            Nothing personal.

                            This is a discussion forum.

                            Jeff.
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          • Profile picture of the author Kay King
            What's wrong with sending someone a PM if they've expressed interest in the type of service?

            I'm sure you've shopped at Walmart/Target while receiving coupons from their competitors for the same products, no?
            You often argue just to argue. Suzanne answers the first question.

            As to the second - no. I can read the ads of various retailers and compare their prices - but target employees don't stand outside walmart trying to redirect me to target...or vice versa. Should they try this - they would be escorted from the property.

            If I'm mailed coupons or offers by competing retailers - it's through the postal mail which allows such promotions. The WF does not allow promotion/sales by PM - so your argument falls flat.

            It's important because giving wrong answers to a question like this can cause problems for people who believe those answers.

            kay
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            • Profile picture of the author Kay King
              I think the clarification is clear from the number of people banned here over the years when they joined and tried to use the PMs to sell their links and products or ask for money/favors.

              There was a case of this recently and it wasn't a new member. Result was the same.
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            • Profile picture of the author Mike Grant
              Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

              You often argue just to argue. Suzanne answers the first question.

              As to the second - no. I can read the ads of various retailers and compare their prices - but target employees don't stand outside walmart trying to redirect me to target...or vice versa. Should they try this - they would be escorted from the property.

              If I'm mailed coupons or offers by competing retailers - it's through the postal mail which allows such promotions. The WF does not allow promotion/sales by PM - so your argument falls flat.

              It's important because giving wrong answers to a question like this can cause problems for people who believe those answers.

              kay
              Arguing just to argue? Pretty sure this thread's foundation is based on moral and ethical implications to start, and as such isn't a blanketed opinion.

              Your example doesn't work as provider B wasn't posting in the thread.

              This thread also isn't about whether or not it is allowed. It's about whether or not it is morally and or ethically "wrong" to engage in the practice.
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              • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                Banned
                Originally Posted by mgtarheels View Post

                This thread also isn't about whether or not it is allowed. It's about whether or not it is morally and or ethically "wrong" to engage in the practice.
                Doesn't matter whether the question includes whether or not it is allowed. That's what's great about a public forum. Anyone can answer as they please, and it certainly is a relevant point that if you are considering whether or not to start pm'ing your offer to people here, that you are likely to get banned.
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                • Profile picture of the author Mike Grant
                  Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                  Doesn't matter whether the question includes whether or not it is allowed. That's what's great about a public forum. Anyone can answer as they please, and it certainly is a relevant point that if you are considering whether or not to start pm'ing your offer to people here, that you are likely to get banned.
                  Just because it isn't allowed doesn't make it wrong to do, ie gay marriage, or crossing the MN border with a chicken/duck on your head. I'd understand your point if it was a question asking if it was allowed or not.
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                  • Profile picture of the author ELK
                    To mgtarheels -

                    To use your example of Walmart and coupons...

                    I receive all kinds of coupons in my mailbox - from Walmart and their competitors. But when I'm in Walmart, no one is catching me around the corners of the aisles giving me Kmart ads. That crosses the line

                    I think that's the difference here. When you are out in the free market area of the internet, it's fair game. When you are in a targeted forum and someone does an unsolicited PM, that is like hanging out in Walmart giving out Kmart ads.

                    It's just not a straight-forward respectful way to do business, IMO. Those who dare to live closer to the edge of acceptable actions may reap big rewards sometimes. Other times, they are going to take a big hit.

                    Just sayin', it's nothing I would risk doing.
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                    • Profile picture of the author Mike Grant
                      Originally Posted by ELK View Post

                      To mgtarheels -

                      To use your example of Walmart and coupons...

                      I receive all kinds of coupons in my mailbox - from Walmart and their competitors. But when I'm in Walmart, no one is catching me around the corners of the aisles giving me Kmart ads. That crosses the line

                      I think that's the difference here. When you are out in the free market area of the internet, it's fair game. When you are in a targeted forum and someone does an unsolicited PM, that is like hanging out in Walmart giving out Kmart ads.

                      It's just not a straight-forward respectful way to do business, IMO. Those who dare to live closer to the edge of acceptable actions may reap big rewards sometimes. Other times, they are going to take a big hit.

                      Just sayin', it's nothing I would risk doing.
                      Again, example B was not posting in A's thread. The example used a private message, not a public post in A's thread.
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                  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                    Banned
                    Originally Posted by mgtarheels View Post

                    Just because it isn't allowed doesn't make it wrong to do, ie gay marriage, or crossing the MN border with a chicken/duck on your head. I'd understand your point if it was a question asking if it was allowed or not.
                    Well, if you think spamming is ok to do and you're willing to risk getting banned for pm spam, by all means, go ahead.
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                    • Profile picture of the author Mike Grant
                      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                      Well, if you think spamming is ok to do and you're willing to risk getting banned for pm spam, by all means, go ahead.
                      Again, I guess we disagree about it being spam or not.
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                      • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                        Banned
                        Originally Posted by mgtarheels View Post

                        Again, I guess we disagree about it being spam or not.
                        and again ... when I hit the report button, you are not the one who receives the complaint.
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                        • Profile picture of the author Mike Grant
                          Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                          and again ... when I hit the report button, you are not the one who receives the complaint.
                          I don't think you're understanding where I'm coming from.
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                          • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                            Banned
                            Originally Posted by mgtarheels View Post

                            I don't think you're understanding where I'm coming from.
                            Of course I understand where you're coming from. You're trying to debate whether or not unsolicited pm's advertising your business is spam or not spam .... is unethical or ethical ... is right or wrong.

                            The fact is, I've seen pm spammers get banned, and I've seen them get warned, so it's apparent to me that it is not allowed here and not appreciated by many warriors, and not condoned by admins, and will have consequences that you may not be expecting.
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                            • Profile picture of the author Mike Grant
                              Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                              Of course I understand where you're coming from. You're trying to debate whether or not unsolicited pm's advertising your business is spam or not spam .... is unethical or ethical ... is right or wrong.

                              The fact is, I've seen pm spammers get banned, and I've seen them get warned, so it's apparent to me that it is not allowed here and not appreciated by many warriors, and not condoned by admins, and will have consequences that you may not be expecting.
                              It's illegal to cross MN with a chicken/duck on one's head but is it morally or ethically wrong to do?
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                              • Profile picture of the author TrekkieGrrrl
                                Originally Posted by mgtarheels View Post

                                It's illegal to cross MN with a chicken/duck on one's head but is it morally or ethically wrong to do?
                                It depends on how the chicken/duck feels about it......
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                              • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                                Banned
                                Originally Posted by mgtarheels View Post

                                It's illegal to cross MN with a chicken/duck on one's head but is it morally or ethically wrong to do?
                                Yeah ... spam is unethical. Using other people's resources, such as pms, email, blogs, etc for your own personal free advertisements is unethical, unwelcome, and a time consuming nuisance for those on the receiving end of it.
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                                • Profile picture of the author Mike Grant
                                  Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                                  Yeah ... spam is unethical. Using other people's resources, such as pms, email, blogs, etc for your own personal free advertisements is unethical, unwelcome, and a time consuming nuisance for those on the receiving end of it.
                                  Then you should remove your sig links.
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                                  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                                    Banned
                                    Originally Posted by mgtarheels View Post

                                    Then you should remove your sig links.
                                    No I shouldn't. It's allowed. It's condoned by management, therefore it isn't a nuisance. PMs spam is not allowed and not condoned by management. It's pretty simple.
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                                    • Profile picture of the author Mike Grant
                                      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                                      No I shouldn't. It's allowed. It's condoned by management, therefore it isn't a nuisance. PMs spam is not allowed and not condoned by management. It's pretty simple.
                                      I think you're confusing wrong as in illegal, and morally/ethically wrong. They're not the same.
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                                      • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                                        Banned
                                        Originally Posted by mgtarheels View Post

                                        I think you're confusing wrong as in illegal, and morally/ethically wrong. They're not the same.
                                        I'm not confused about anything. One is permission based advertising, and one is not. Apparently, you think it is just hunky dorry to send anyone any commercial message any time and anywhere you feel like it. I don't agree.
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                                        • Profile picture of the author Mike Grant
                                          Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                                          I'm not confused about anything. One is permission based advertising, and one is not. Apparently, you think it is just hunky dorry to send anyone any commercial message any time and anywhere you feel like it. I don't agree.
                                          That's not what I said.

                                          If something is against the rules, that makes it illegal. If something is illegal that does not make it morally or ethically wrong.
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                                          • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                                            Banned
                                            Originally Posted by mgtarheels View Post

                                            That's not what I said.

                                            If something is against the rules, that makes it illegal. If something is illegal that does not make it morally or ethically wrong.
                                            whatever. Just argument for the sake of argument, which is typical of your posts. If you condone spam, just say so instead of dancing around. I've already stated my opinion on the ethics of spam.
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                                            • Profile picture of the author Mike Grant
                                              Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                                              whatever. Just argument for the sake of argument, which is typical of your posts. If you condone spam, just say so instead of dancing around. I've already stated my opinion on the ethics of spam.
                                              I'm not arguing just to argue, just correcting you when you're incorrect.

                                              Not everything is black and white, which is why I didn't give a blanket statement on whether or not "spam (albeit subjective)" is wrong to me. In this scenario, I don't see anything wrong with it (which I've stated several times). In a different scenario, I could very well feel differently.
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                                              • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
                                                Originally Posted by mgtarheels View Post

                                                I'm not arguing just to argue, just correcting you when you're incorrect.

                                                Not everything is black and white, which is why I didn't give a blanket statement on whether or not "spam (albeit subjective)" is wrong to me. In this scenario, I don't see anything wrong with it (which I've stated several times). In a different scenario, I could very well feel differently.
                                                I see where you're coming from now. While some people think morals and ethics are set in stone, you are correct that each of us has their own interpretation of these things.

                                                Morals are the values that are inside a person.

                                                Ethics are just the generally accepted standard of a given community, society or industry.

                                                To me, it would be wrong on the basis of being frowned upon by the community, plus it just seems tacky to me. So it doesn't make sense to me in the business aspect because my reputation has value to me.

                                                I can't honestly say that it equates to a moral decision for me but on the basis of my definition of ethics, since it would violate the generally accepted standard of this community, then it would be unethical in my eyes.
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                                                • Profile picture of the author Mike Grant
                                                  Originally Posted by Tina Golden View Post

                                                  I see where you're coming from now. While some people think morals and ethics are set in stone, you are correct that each of us has their own interpretation of these things.

                                                  Morals are the values that are inside a person.

                                                  Ethics are just the generally accepted standard of a given community, society or industry.

                                                  To me, it would be wrong on the basis of being frowned upon by the community, plus it just seems tacky to me. So it doesn't make sense to me in the business aspect because my reputation has value to me.

                                                  I can't honestly say that it equates to a moral decision for me but on the basis of my definition of ethics, since it would violate the generally accepted standard of this community, then it would be unethical in my eyes.
                                                  Apologies if I didn't explain it thoroughly, my brain is fried today.
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                                            • Profile picture of the author TrekkieGrrrl
                                              Is it morally and ethically wrong to knowingly violate the rules and etiquette of a forum?

                                              Yes.

                                              If I invite you into my home and I ask that you take your shoes off before coming in and you don't, then that's wrong. Every step you take on my nice, brand new, cream-colored carpet with your sneakers is intentionally going against what I specifically asked you to do.

                                              Does it break any laws? No.

                                              But you are being rude and disrespectful and willfully disobedient.

                                              PMing to solicit business is a violation of the rules. IMHO, it's also a poor business practice in general.

                                              And that is JMHO. YMMV. And LLaP.
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                                              • Profile picture of the author Mike Grant
                                                Originally Posted by TrekkieGrrrl View Post

                                                Is it morally and ethically wrong to knowingly violate the rules and etiquette of a forum?

                                                Yes.

                                                If I invite you into my home and I ask that you take your shoes off before coming in and you don't, then that's wrong. Every step you take on my nice, brand new, cream-colored carpet with your sneakers is intentionally going against what I specifically asked you to do.

                                                Does it break any laws? No.

                                                But you are being rude and disrespectful and willfully disobedient.

                                                And that is JMHO. YMMV. And LLaP.
                                                What's YMMV and LLaP?
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                                                • Profile picture of the author TrekkieGrrrl
                                                  Originally Posted by mgtarheels View Post

                                                  What's YMMV and LLaP?
                                                  YYMV = Your Mileage May Vary

                                                  LLaP - Live Long and Prosper (Leonard Nimoy has started the #LLaP hashtag on Twitter. )
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                                                  • Profile picture of the author Mike Grant
                                                    Originally Posted by TrekkieGrrrl View Post

                                                    YYMV = Your Mileage May Vary

                                                    LLaP - Live Long and Prosper (Leonard Nimoy has started the #LLaP hashtag on Twitter. )
                                                    Ah, thank you.
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                                                    • Profile picture of the author ELK
                                                      Can I offer another way to look at this?

                                                      Whether it is allowed/not allowed, preferred, disliked, morally wrong, or morally on the fence....

                                                      It should be clear by now that sending unsolicited promo PMs is just bad form here. The rules of etiquette and considering personal boundaries is about making the other person feel comfortable in your presence.
                                                      Sending a PM crosses a more private boundary than posting something on an open forum thread.

                                                      Something being bad form ought to be enough for someone to consider not doing it. Whether it's morally OK, legal, and not proven to be against any specific regulation.
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                          • Profile picture of the author David Hood
                            Personally, if I was person C and person B contacted me in that manner, I would probably not want to deal with him. while business is business, we are an online community here, and the best thing you can do is earn a reputation for fair dealing and integrity. If I was Person B, and it was on a forum that I was very inactive on, I might do it. But I believe in building business relationships and in networking, its a small world and things always comeback around. I guess what I'm saying is if your active in an online community such as The Warrior Forum, Don't Crap Where You Sleep.
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                            • Profile picture of the author Dave Rodman
                              Banned
                              I'm surprised this thread is still going. Who cares if it's right or wrong? I thought Kay King kinda put it to rest when she mentioned that it's against forum rules. What's the point of engaging in hypotheticals.
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                      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
                        Banned
                        Originally Posted by mgtarheels View Post

                        I guess we disagree about it being spam or not.
                        Well, just so that we all understand what you think spam is, would you mind answering the question I asked on the previous page, please: What IS "spamming", if it isn't "promoting your own business by sending people unsolicited messages"?

                        I think many of us, here, are struggling to try to understand how someone can not think this is spamming.

                        You must have a very significantly different concept of spamming from the rest of us, it seems? So let's hear yours, and then maybe we'll understand where you're coming from - which I can't, at the moment.
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        • Profile picture of the author MerlynSanchez
          Your argument is faulty.

          Receiving coupons at YOUR house isn't the same as someone going to Walmart and passing out competitor's coupons. Try that and see if you don't get kicked out on your butt.

          Person A has paid for the post - it is THEIR place of business, their "Walmart" so to speak. Person C is going to their post to trawl for clients.

          Not to mention that it can get you reported for spamming.

          So, it's not ethical and can get you banned. Still a good idea?




          Originally Posted by mgtarheels View Post

          What's wrong with sending someone a PM if they've expressed interest in the type of service?

          I'm sure you've shopped at Walmart/Target while receiving coupons from their competitors for the same products, no?

          This isn't an uncommon practice.

          What about when you register a business in your state. Within two months your mailbox will be filled with things like credit cards, merchant accounts, business insurance, etc.
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          • Profile picture of the author Liam Hamer
            I think its wrong. I would never do it, and I would have a hard time respecting someone who approached me in that way. If you're good at what you do and go about your life and business in a respectable manner - good things will come to you. I firmly believe that
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          • Profile picture of the author Mike Grant
            Originally Posted by MerlynSanchez View Post

            Your argument is faulty.

            Receiving coupons at YOUR house isn't the same as someone going to Walmart and passing out competitor's coupons. Try that and see if you don't get kicked out on your butt.

            Person A has paid for the post - it is THEIR place of business, their "Walmart" so to speak. Person C is going to their post to trawl for clients.

            Not to mention that it can get you reported for spamming.

            So, it's not ethical and can get you banned. Still a good idea?
            B never did anything inside of A's thread. B sent a private message to C without A ever knowing.

            PM inbox = snail mail inbox. Again, B did not do it inside of A's thread (store).
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            • Profile picture of the author MerlynSanchez
              Originally Posted by mgtarheels View Post

              B never did anything inside of A's thread. B sent a private message to C without A ever knowing.

              PM inbox = snail mail inbox. Again, B did not do it inside of A's thread (store).
              B would never have known about the poster's interest if he hadn't gone to A's thread so your logic, is again, faulty.

              The positive thing about this post is that you learn a lot about people's ethics.
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              • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
                Originally Posted by MerlynSanchez View Post

                B would never have known about the poster's interest if he hadn't gone to A's thread so your logic, is again, faulty.

                The positive thing about this post is that you learn a lot about people's ethics.
                I don't see how we learned anything about mgtarheels' ethics in this thread. Just because he said he doesn't consider it wrong, doesn't mean that he would do it himself. He never stated that. He never said that it made good business sense, either. He just doesn't feel that it's a moralistic right or wrong situation. I think we (because I did the same at first) read more into his posts than what was there.
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                • Profile picture of the author MerlynSanchez
                  I wasn't specifically referring to him but rather that these types of discussions bring out a lot of different opinions and you learn where people stand.

                  However, approving of something, whether you do it or not, does reflect on you.

                  For example: If I think it's okay to steal then that is a clear reflection of my values and integrity. I may choose not to steal for any number of reasons but obviously I have no moral compunction against it.




                  Originally Posted by Tina Golden View Post

                  I don't see how we learned anything about mgtarheels' ethics in this thread. Just because he said he doesn't consider it wrong, doesn't mean that he would do it himself. He never stated that. He never said that it made good business sense, either. He just doesn't feel that it's a moralistic right or wrong situation. I think we (because I did the same at first) read more into his posts than what was there.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
      Originally Posted by mgtarheels View Post

      People are in business to make money, plain and simple.
      That may be so but if you're doing forum marketing, a large part of the goal should be relationship building. This doesn't seem like a very good way to about that, does it?

      Word gets around.
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    • Profile picture of the author donhx
      Originally Posted by mgtarheels View Post

      People are in business to make money, plain and simple.

      But people are not going to make much if they keep chopping prices. I'm ALWAYS suspicious of people who try to compete on price alone. I know they won't be around long because legitimate businesses need margin to continue to exist.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike Grant
        Originally Posted by donhx View Post

        But people are not going to make much if they keep chopping prices. I'm ALWAYS suspicious of people who try to compete on price alone. I know they won't be around long because legitimate businesses need margin to continue to exist.
        Price is Walmart's USP. "Always Low Prices".

        On a tangent, it drives me nuts that Walmart will not price match other local Walmarts.
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        • Profile picture of the author donhx
          Originally Posted by mgtarheels View Post

          Price is Walmart's USP. "Always Low Prices".

          On a tangent, it drives me nuts that Walmart will not price match other local Walmarts.

          Not sure of your point. Regardless of their "USP," WalMart has lots of margin to pay their huge bills and to open new stores.

          That's far different than some person trying to snipe a job via a PM by working for slave wages. Such people are bad for business... they kill the market--and they'll be gone tomorrow because the slave wages they are willing to accept are not sustainable.
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          • Profile picture of the author Mike Grant
            Originally Posted by donhx View Post

            Not sure of your point. Regardless of their "USP," WalMart has lots of margin to pay their huge bills and to open new stores.

            That's far different than some person trying to snipe a job via a PM by working for slave wages. Such people are bad for business... they kill the market--and they'll be gone tomorrow because the slave wages they are willing to accept are not sustainable.
            How do you know these people PMing aren't Indians, Filipinos, etc. or outsource the work to such people? Indians can live on $50 per month, and Filipinos live well on $300 per month.

            What you consider slave wages is not a universal concept.
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  • Profile picture of the author jaski6969
    Lilblackdress answer is spot on if it is an open thread and they are looking they are fair game but I would not hijack someones sales pitch karma n all that
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  • Profile picture of the author AnneE
    I would agree that it's wrong. If you wanted to call attention to how cheap your service is, then change your own service thread to the title "Cheapest X Service on WF".

    The example provided by someone above about you being in line for pizza at one place and someone else calling out, "I've got pizza for only $11 down the street and no line." Well first, I'd think to myself, "How good can that pizza be, if the owner or employee is down here begging for business instead of helping customers" and secondly there ARE business situations where that is NOT allowed.

    I belong to a group that runs a food booth as a fund-raiser each year at the Saugerties Garlic Festival. One rainy weekend when we had few customers, someone started calling out what we offered and that we were slashing prices. Someone came and politely told him that "barking" or soliciting was not allowed.

    It sounds like from what some folks above are saying if you PMed them, you might be told politely or rudely that what you were doing was not allowed.

    My own feeling is that you didn't do it, because you it didn't feel right to you. Good call.
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  • Profile picture of the author ELK
    I guess it still seems like the private message thing crosses a line.
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  • Profile picture of the author mikeevee
    Originally Posted by Mike Hlatky View Post

    Call it a moral, ethical, or whatever you want type of question. I'll refer to it as "rightness".

    Here's the situation:
    Let's say that person A is offering an article writing service in the Warrior Classified Ads section. Person B will be a competitor, offering a similar type of service at a lower price. Now, a potential customer, person C, (or even current customer) posts on person A's thread inquiring/reviewing about the service. Person B notices this thread and the comment/question made by person C.

    So here's the question:

    Is it "right" for person B to contact person C via pm to notify him/her about the cheaper service that he is offering?

    Or, is it person B's responsibility to get his thread and business noticed by potential customers?

    When I was in the situation of person B, I have always thought about contacting person C. However, I have never acted upon those thoughts.

    Have you?
    Interesting dilemna.

    In my opinion there is nothing wrong with it at all. Business does it all the time. Supermarket price wars, where one supermarket looks at the promotions of another and then undercuts them for example.

    In the real world you get ticker sellers hounding each other's patches where the tourists are. It can get a little unfriendly but to me it is not unethical.
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  • Profile picture of the author caseycase
    I can't think of any possible instance in which PM'ing someone to lowball a competitor here would be ok/ethical/allowed. I also can't imagine it being that effective, though, so it doesn't seem like much to worry about. When I have gotten those types of messages (and I have), I just ignore them.
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  • Profile picture of the author GarrieWilson
    It may not be spam.

    If you post asking about a script/sevice and someone answers you via PM that isn't spam.

    If they randomly send PM ads, that is spam.

    In this example, it would be spam though as it was directed to a specific person.

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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Worner


    Pop Corn? This is getting good.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ralph Moore
    The fact that you asked the question portends the answer.

    Uh, no. It's not right.
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  • Profile picture of the author Colin Palfrey
    If you are in any doubt that it is not the right thing to do, consider this.

    I am a writer and can probably do a better job of writing your WSO than you, in just 6 hours if I push. So...

    How about the next time you post a WSO, I quickly make one that offers the same thing, is slightly cheaper, and then I contact everyone in your thread that shows any interest in your product, offering mine instead?

    Does it still seem reasonable? Not to me, and I wouldn't do it!

    Forgetting the morality of the issue, we then move on to whether it fits in with the rules.

    Repeatedly I have heard that offering services via PM is counted as spam, and that was from Paul. Not aimed at me I should add, but I have seen him state this numerous times, so don't play dumb.

    Even offering free review copies is pushing your luck, so forget that argument.

    Taking advantage of the investments of another, through unethical means that also fly in the face of the rules and the spirit of the forum, will not win you many friends.

    Cheers,
    Colin Palfrey

    P.S. If you think an employee of Pizza hut could walk into Dominoes and start handing out fliers without getting into trouble, well you can probably get pills for that.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Grant
      Originally Posted by Colin Palfrey View Post

      If you are in any doubt that it is not the right thing to do, consider this.

      I am a writer and can probably do a better job of writing your WSO than you, in just 6 hours if I push. So...

      How about the next time you post a WSO, I quickly make one that offers the same thing, is slightly cheaper, and then I contact everyone in your thread that shows any interest in your product, offering mine instead?

      Does it still seem reasonable? Not to me, and I wouldn't do it!

      Forgetting the morality of the issue, we then move on to whether it fits in with the rules.

      Repeatedly I have heard that offering services via PM is counted as spam, and that was from Paul. Not aimed at me I should add, but I have seen him state this numerous times, so don't play dumb.

      Even offering free review copies is pushing your luck, so forget that argument.

      Taking advantage of the investments of another, through unethical means that also fly in the face of the rules and the spirit of the forum, will not win you many friends.

      Cheers,
      Colin Palfrey

      P.S. If you think an employee of Pizza hut could walk into Dominoes and start handing out fliers without getting into trouble, well you can probably get pills for that.
      An article writing service is not a product sold in a WSO. To compare, you'd have to have your own article writing service and PM people talking in his classified ads/WSO thread.

      While I wouldn't do it on a personal level, your example happens all the time in business. Car commercials, cell phone services, etc. Every aspect of business.
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      • Profile picture of the author Colin Palfrey
        Originally Posted by mgtarheels View Post

        An article writing service is not a product sold in a WSO. To compare, you'd have to have your own article writing service and PM people talking in his classified ads/WSO thread.
        That is exactly what this thread was about. Did you skip to the end and just start arguing?

        Is it the name of the sales space that you believe changes the rules? Whether writing ebooks or selling copies, a product is exchanged for cash.

        I can assure you that if I post a question on a WSO thread, then receive a PM telling me to buy a different WSO, I'm reporting it!

        Originally Posted by mgtarheels View Post

        While I wouldn't do it on a personal level, your example happens all the time in business. Car commercials, cell phone services, etc. Every aspect of business.
        I have never stood in any store and seen someone walk in and try and poach customers. Even in adverts it is illegal, or at least it is here.

        Cheers,
        Colin Palfrey
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    • Profile picture of the author Fun to Write
      In my opinion, Colin has answered the OP's question perfectly.

      As someone who DOES offer writing services here, I can assure you that I would never do this, because common sense tells me that when a client, or potential client, is posting inside of another person's Warrior for Hire thread, it means that they are mainly interested in that particular service provider.

      It counts for a lot when someone takes the time to post a comment or response, because most don't do it. Therefore, you can conclude that trying to offer a competitive service via PM - no matter how cheap or good - isn't going to come across well to a customer/person who has already established a relationship, or specific interest, in the original service provider.

      Basically - it's not good business practice.

      If anyone has trouble grasping this concept, then maybe they should find another way to earn a living.


      Originally Posted by Colin Palfrey View Post

      If you are in any doubt that it is not the right thing to do, consider this.

      I am a writer and can probably do a better job of writing your WSO than you, in just 6 hours if I push. So...

      How about the next time you post a WSO, I quickly make one that offers the same thing, is slightly cheaper, and then I contact everyone in your thread that shows any interest in your product, offering mine instead?

      Does it still seem reasonable? Not to me, and I wouldn't do it!

      Forgetting the morality of the issue, we then move on to whether it fits in with the rules.

      Repeatedly I have heard that offering services via PM is counted as spam, and that was from Paul. Not aimed at me I should add, but I have seen him state this numerous times, so don't play dumb.

      Even offering free review copies is pushing your luck, so forget that argument.

      Taking advantage of the investments of another, through unethical means that also fly in the face of the rules and the spirit of the forum, will not win you many friends.

      Cheers,
      Colin Palfrey

      P.S. If you think an employee of Pizza hut could walk into Dominoes and start handing out fliers without getting into trouble, well you can probably get pills for that.
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  • Profile picture of the author kianhowe
    Definitely not wrong. But may be somewhat unethical since we at warrior are a very tight community. But I'd still do it i guess lol
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  • Profile picture of the author Kezz
    I think Caliban Darklock already said this in another thread a little while ago, but

    If you have to ask then you probably shouldn't do it...

    Let's call this what it is shall we?

    This isn't a major corporation competing with another business giant.

    This is one person, a fellow Warrior, chasing their chance to make a living online and to build a quality life for themselves.

    They're either slaving away at writing themselves or dealing with finding and juggling writers capable of doing the work for them.

    And directly targeting someone who is inquiring about their service is not the same thing as a major corporate rivalry.

    That's quite probably contributing to making it that much harder for that person to pay their rent, buy their groceries, keep the power on and the internet hooked up.

    And that, especially between Warriors, is just not cool.

    Sure, we all need our own clients but there's plenty of room to do that without causing trouble for your fellow Warriors and fellow "little guy".

    On top of it not being cool, it's not a very good way to do business.

    For starters, how do you even know that person wants something cheaper?

    They might have gone to that writer specifically because they aren't cheaper, rather looking for a particular skill set or quality level.

    That's why you need to stand on your own merits, put forward your unique skill set and quality level, price it appropriately and let the right customers match themselves with you.

    That way you'll get clients that you'll have a much better working relationship with AND you'll sleep better at night.
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  • Profile picture of the author evazk
    Let all people do their business and you also do your business in that competitive market, competition is very important in business and you have to be competitive to survive..... but you shouldn't think of others, think of yourself, how you can offer best quality at cheaper price, this is very important in business.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jon Patrick
    It seems as if there is really more than one question being discussed here:

    1. Whether it's ethically questionable, in and of itself, to send an unsolicited message to someone who has expressed an interest in your competitor's service

    2. Whether it's ethically questionable to send such a message in the specific setting of a forum where doing so is prohibited by the owners, who are allowing you conditional access to said forum

    Mgtarheels seems to be working with question number one, looking at the question in the same way that you might ask whether gay marriage is immoral in and of itself (irrespective of whether or not it's illegal). The responses, however, seem to be centered around question number two, the answer to which is a clear yes.

    The second question is really the practical one, but as far as my opinion on the first, I believe that it is indeed ethically questionable to piggyback on someone else's work (their thread, which attracted the interest of a potential customer) in an attempt to take the reward for their work away from them.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by burningdrive View Post

      Mgtarheels seems to be working with question number one
      Maybe so ... but he also said that in his opinion this isn't spamming; and it certainly seems from the subsequent conversation that many of us are baffled by this.

      It may be that many of us think of "promoting your own business by sending people unsolicited messages" as spamming and he doesn't, in which case it would certainly be helpful, avoid ambiguity and talking-at-cross-purposes, and help us to appreciate where he's coming from, if he'd be kind enough to explain what he does think "spamming" means?
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      • Profile picture of the author MarcoJardel
        If you have complete disregard for your own pride, integrity and have very little conscience then it's absolutely fine.

        And on that note. It's not for me and shouldn't be for you.

        Someone could spend their last $20 on putting up a Warrior for hire thread... I have way too much of a conscience to take that work away from them.

        Put yourself into the position of a restaurant owner. Imagine you own a restaurant and you paid rent, staff bills, spend time and effort on the decor etc... Would it be fine if someone walked into your store with a mobile hot dog stand and undercut you? I think not.

        Someone has paid for that thread. They have put their time, effort and investment into the copy and graphics. Have respect for them as a fellow professional and stick to promoting your own threads.
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  • Profile picture of the author WriterNick
    i personally think is fine,
    but maybe is just my personal opinion.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rose Anderson
    Perhaps a better question to ask yourself, Mike:

    Is this really how I want to build a client base?

    Won't you be attracting the type of people that will dump you in a second if a cheaper writer comes along?

    Rose
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    • Profile picture of the author Liam Hamer
      Originally Posted by Rose Anderson View Post

      Perhaps a better question to ask yourself, Mike:

      Is this really how I want to build a client base?

      Won't you be attracting the type of people that will dump you in a second if a cheaper writer comes along?

      Rose
      That's an excellent point. Perhaps this isn't the best analogy, but in some ways I liken it to someone who 'approaches' someone else who they know is already married/attached. It's difficult to have respect for those kinds of people.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        I don't understand why it's necessary to post in support of someone who is posting repeatedly to prove "rightitude" - when the opinion expressed is conduct against the rules here. It's not helpful to take sides or form teams.

        Why would you try to explain what someone else is thinking or excuse rude behavior? This is a member who takes a position and then defends it to the death posting many times - and has done this same thing in many threads.

        There is no problem with anyone forming his own opinion and stating it. The problem is his disregard for how others think/feel on the issue and his insistance on only his position being right.

        When something is clearly against the rules here - and could cause new people problems if they don't realize it's not acceptable...justifying it isn't a good idea.

        kay
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  • Profile picture of the author Ric_Worthy
    Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

    What IS "spamming", if it isn't "promoting your own business by sending people unsolicited messages", for heaven's sake?!
    By this definition all advertising is "SPAM". I don't want ads breaking up the articles I'm reading in the newspaper or ads in my movie theatre where I paid for a movie not ads.

    my 2 bits: It's inappropriate to interfere with an on-going transaction between a client and a provider even if it is just at a beginning stage. However if someone has expressed an open request for information, it would be foolish not to respond with an offer.

    Now I have a twist? If you are a friend of 'client' and you are aware that Provider B is cheaper/better than Provider A, you'd tell him right?
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Ric_Worthy View Post

      I don't want ads breaking up the articles I'm reading in the newspaper or ads in my movie theatre where I paid for a movie not ads.
      With respect, Ric, this has absolutely nothing to do with the point Mgtarheels made, nor the one I made.

      I think you know perfectly well that those are not unsolicited messages sent to you as an individual by someone whose motivation for contacting you was to promote their business.

      There's a simple word for that, and it's "spam".
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Hlatky
    Well, I never expected this many responses :p

    Anyway, I think you have to look at it from two perspectives, both as the one receiving the message and the one sending the message.

    As the receiver of the message:
    Personally, I would welcome an offer of something that I was looking for at a cheaper price. However, I usually spend a good amount of time searching around for the best offer. I would probably take the time to look at the service the person was offering. I am guessing that the service isn't exactly what I was looking for, so I would just ignore the message. But, if the service was what I was looking for, I would take the person up on the offer. So, the message wouldn't bother me at all.

    As the sender:
    I think that if you were to pm someone about your service, you would have to be careful about who you pm with the offer. You can't just pm everyone that responds on the thread because someone will eventually report you and tell the original thread owner. When you do pm someone, you can't bash the other service. You must be polite and only offer a suggestion to your services. But, like I said in the original post, I have never done this, only thought about it. So, there is obviously something holding me back from sending the message.

    The sense of "rightness" :p

    Just my thoughts...........
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Mike Hlatky View Post

      [FONT=Verdana]As the sender:
      I think that if you were to pm someone about your service, you would have to be careful about who you pm with the offer. You can't just pm everyone that responds on the thread because someone will eventually report you and tell the original thread owner. When you do pm someone, you can't bash the other service. You must be polite and only offer a suggestion to your services. But, like I said in the original post, I have never done this, only thought about it. So, there is obviously something holding me back from sending the message.
      People receiving the email solicitation will not tell the other vendor. They will report it as spam to admins, and a couple of those and your account will probably be toast.
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  • Profile picture of the author mushget
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      you would have to be careful about who you pm with the offer. You can't just pm everyone that responds on the thread because someone will eventually report you and tell the original thread owner.
      If you know you have to be "careful about who you pm" to avoid being reported....do you really think the practice is a good one?

      If it's a purely helpful thing to do - why would you care if the "original thread owner" knows you are doing it?

      Clearly you know you have to sneak around a bit to do this - so why bother to ask about right/wrong of it? Just sayin....

      kay
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike Hlatky
        Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

        If you know you have to be "careful about who you pm" to avoid being reported....do you really think the practice is a good one?

        If it's a purely helpful thing to do - why would you care if the "original thread owner" knows you are doing it?

        Clearly you know you have to sneak around a bit to do this - so why bother to ask about right/wrong of it? Just sayin....

        kay
        I said this after reading through this thread. At the time of the original post I was unsure about how people would feel about this. Personally, I wouldn't mind having someone pm me that type of an offer.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Barker
    I say that nothing is wrong with this. This is a part of business.

    If person A wants to share the price, business proposal, etc.; they should be doing it in a private way anyway. For example: PM, email, or phone.

    If they broadcast what they are doing they are asking for someone to come in and challenge that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Zanti
    In some ways I am finding this to be one of the saddest threads that I've watched in awhile.

    Folks, it never has been and never will be, only about making money in business.

    What so many here are focused on is making money tomorrow, making the quick hit. If you are truly about growing and nurturing your business, you will find out that creating the energy that allows money to your business is about giving more in value than what you get in return. It's evident to me, and is only my opinion, that some of the posts here are from those who live a mindset of scarcity and not one of abundance. It's the scarcity mindset that says, well if I don't get caught then it's ok, it's only about making money and I'm going to get mine anyway I can.

    Come on people. It's not what this is all about. So many have gotten caught up in this competition thing. It's really not about competing with others for your piece of the pie. There is enough pie for everyone, it's about what you bring to the table, not what you do to someone else in order to get yours. If you keep playing that game you will find that it's a vicious cycle with no real winner.

    I posted this in a thread I created a week ago:
    I can only speak for myself, but there are both some veteran Warriors and some new ones that after witnessing how they engage with others here I would never buy any product from them, ever. Just based on how they treat people on this forum. For me it's just part of my integrity and ethics that I can't support someone economically who has so little care or concern about how they treat their fellow man or woman.
    Alexa and Kay, I've not taken the opportunity to ever say this to each of you, but I so enjoy the ways in which you each express yourselves. You both get "it," by "it" I mean, you truly understand what being in business is all about. I can also tell that there are some others who have posted in this thread also understand "it."

    I truly hope that some others who have posted here will learn to get "it."

    All to often, so many make this IM stuff so difficult when in reality it's very simple. If you do things in a certain way, you will make money, develop and grow your business, but that certain way is not doing whatever you can get away with to make money. The concept is simple as is the doing.

    Brian
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  • Profile picture of the author WD Mino
    Hmmm.
    Interesting question Mike.

    on one hand there is fair play this is business and if the service being offered is comparable it is the responsibility of one to let people know their service is just as good but at a fairer price. So in that I say there is nothing wrong with letting people know.
    Now the actual issue is it ok to send unsolicited commercial mail via pm to another member? NO
    There is however nothing wrong with starting a classified ad of their own and comparing person a with their service and pricing structure.

    PM'S receiving unsolicited commercial mailings end up banned in my observation that is not fair play that is what it is spam and in any sense that is not something one should do in order to gain clients.

    Nor is it really something one should do if they wish to present themselves in the light of being a professional competitor.
    Just my thought
    -Will
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  • Profile picture of the author ELK
    Zanti -

    Your point was so well made. Thanks for adding your thoughts. It is about a much bigger picture - an abundant picture. The scarcity thing is what makes people go after what's right in front of them, even if it may be wrong, because the base belief is "who knows when the next prospect will come along?"

    This mindset is easy to excuse and rationalize. (I've had this mindset before and didn't recognize it). When someone is openly willing to cross boundaries into questionable territory, it gives an aura of desperation and shadiness.

    If it seems questionable, pass it by. If you think OTHERS could see it is questionable, pass it by. There are plenty of opportunities out there. Nobody really needs to resort to invasive tactics that many clearly find objectionable (as many people have stated here).
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