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  1. #1
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    manufacturers boards.

    I sure many of you have read the boards pertaining to your particular bike or one you might be looking for, so I'm curious of your opinion, if you have one.

    What do you think when a person from a particular company gets on and starts posting, answering questions? Do you think it's appropriate? But more importantly, given that they choose to do this, should they have an obligation that if someone poses a question to them that might reveal a flaw in their bike or business practices, that they should be able to ignore the question? Should they only answer questions that reflect positively in their favor at all times?

    Sure, they can do as they wish, but one wonders if they choose to be selective in what questions they answer, readers WILL see this pattern and it in itself will raise suspicion on the credibility of the person representing the company--and the companies motives.

    I personally consider a representative who chooses to post info on a bike and answer only questions that reflect positive on the company as SPAM. It's not honestly benefiting the concerns of the consumers and it's only using the forum to subtly push their goods. IMO, if you choose to jump in the fray, be prepared to be grilled.

  2. #2
    contains quinine
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    i believe that any employee luking or posting in the forums is looking to subtley push their products. some will answer the easy questions, others will answer all the questions raised. in the end it's up to the consumer to decide if that employee's posts, or lack of posts in regards to some subjects, make a difference when the consumer spends his/her dollar.

    the first question i would ask myself is: are they acting as a representative of the company, or acting independently. For instance, if that employee posts that they will honor a different warranty than offered by the company, what happens?
    Last edited by Debaser; 03-24-2004 at 10:31 AM.
    Take the long cut, we'll get there eventually.

  3. #3
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    clarkcriswald

    Quote Originally Posted by lidarman
    I sure many of you have read the boards pertaining to your particular bike or one you might be looking for, so I'm curious of your opinion, if you have one.

    What do you think when a person from a particular company gets on and starts posting, answering questions? Do you think it's appropriate? But more importantly, given that they choose to do this, should they have an obligation that if someone poses a question to them that might reveal a flaw in their bike or business practices, that they should be able to ignore the question? Should they only answer questions that reflect positively in their favor at all times?

    Sure, they can do as they wish, but one wonders if they choose to be selective in what questions they answer, readers WILL see this pattern and it in itself will raise suspicion on the credibility of the person representing the company--and the companies motives.

    I personally consider a representative who chooses to post info on a bike and answer only questions that reflect positive on the company as SPAM. It's not honestly benefiting the concerns of the consumers and it's only using the forum to subtly push their goods. IMO, if you choose to jump in the fray, be prepared to be grilled.

    It can be a double edged sword for the maufacturer to post replys on these boards. Ellsworth threads a short time ago highlighted that fact. But all builders will make errors. It could be a quality control issue or an actual design flaw. Just because you have great software for CAD/CAM dosen't mean you'll build dependable bikes. You need the engineering background or lots of real world experience to effectively leverage those tools. It is how they respond to these eventual errors that tells the most about the builders' personality. If they become defensive and outright lie, then it is well known.

    When builders, like Titus did with the Loco problem awhile back, clear up the issue at hand, it will build a better reputation.

    It's not if a problem occurs, it's how a person/company addresses issues when they arise that determines, for me anyway, whether or not I'll purchase their product.

    If all they ever do is respond to positive feedback and duck the negative, well that speaks for itself. Some of the best engineers I now understand their weaknesses and aren't afraid of seeking more knowledge and they welcome constructive feedback.

  4. #4
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    Well, it depends...

    There's a couple of different ways to look at this. If someone posts looking for technical info on a particular frame and someone within the company obliges with a reply, I see nothing wrong with that. In fact Calvin at Park Tools has become somewhat of a fixture over on the "Tools" board but rarely do I see him post unless he is summoned by someone seeking information. And no, his replies don't always lead him to a sale. If a guy goes and posts unsolicited information about his product, then that's Spam pure and simple.
    As far as responding to unvavorable posts, yes I think the company rep. owes it to his customer to respond to ALL posts, to do otherwise would reflect poorly on them IMO. If it were me, I'd stay the heck away from here. Product support issuses can be handled another way, phone, e-mail LBS. If someone has exhausted all of those means and hasn't found satisfaction, chances are they're posting here as a last resort and aim to harm the reputation of the company, whether justified or not (see Elsworth soap opera).
    My .02

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by lidarman
    I sure many of you have read the boards pertaining to your particular bike or one you might be looking for, so I'm curious of your opinion, if you have one.

    What do you think when a person from a particular company gets on and starts posting, answering questions? Do you think it's appropriate? But more importantly, given that they choose to do this, should they have an obligation that if someone poses a question to them that might reveal a flaw in their bike or business practices, that they should be able to ignore the question? Should they only answer questions that reflect positively in their favor at all times?

    Sure, they can do as they wish, but one wonders if they choose to be selective in what questions they answer, readers WILL see this pattern and it in itself will raise suspicion on the credibility of the person representing the company--and the companies motives.

    I personally consider a representative who chooses to post info on a bike and answer only questions that reflect positive on the company as SPAM. It's not honestly benefiting the concerns of the consumers and it's only using the forum to subtly push their goods. IMO, if you choose to jump in the fray, be prepared to be grilled.
    I was under the impression that one reason for the Manufacturer Boards was to give people a potential line to company reps for info/advice and vice-versa. I could be wrong, though.

    I can't speak for others, but if I were to read a post from a company rep about a product, I would filter any info provided through the knowledge that that person has an interest in promoting the goods and services of his/her employer. It just seems like common sense to me, and is nobody's responsibility but my own.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by lidarman
    I personally consider a representative who chooses to post info on a bike and answer only questions that reflect positive on the company as SPAM. It's not honestly benefiting the concerns of the consumers and it's only using the forum to subtly push their goods. IMO, if you choose to jump in the fray, be prepared to be grilled.
    I could up the post count on the (bike company with an owner who is a lying sack of ****) forum but it's beaten to death at this point.

    This new dude is beginning to flounder though.

  7. #7
    E~Pluribus Unum
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    I could up the post count on the (bike company with an owner who is a lying sack of ****) forum but it's beaten to death at this point.

    This new dude is beginning to flounder though.

    I was getting ready to reintroduce a little game to that thread, modified of course to incorporate typical Ellsworth floundering.

  8. #8
    JmZ
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    Another point to ponder

    What happens when the company person doesn't actually know the answer.

    Doubtful that Joe from the mail-room will be giving his thoughts on frame design, but it is a possibility, and should the company take a grilling for Joe's failings?

    I know that Joe shouldn't be representing the company if he just works in the mail room, but should the company's rep take a beating because of what he says. ( I realize this is a much different senario than when the head honcho posts here - as it should be.)

    So should those that represent a company here tell us what they do there? Should only 'authorized' people speak for the company? I don't know, and it will probably be different depending on what company it is...

    JmZ
    JmZ

    From one flat land to another.

    Advocate as if your ride depends on it...

  9. #9
    Rolling
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    Quote Originally Posted by JmZ
    What happens when the company person doesn't actually know the answer.

    Doubtful that Joe from the mail-room will be giving his thoughts on frame design, but it is a possibility, and should the company take a grilling for Joe's failings?

    I know that Joe shouldn't be representing the company if he just works in the mail room, but should the company's rep take a beating because of what he says. ( I realize this is a much different senario than when the head honcho posts here - as it should be.)

    So should those that represent a company here tell us what they do there? Should only 'authorized' people speak for the company? I don't know, and it will probably be different depending on what company it is...

    JmZ
    That's exactly it. If Joe decided to jump in under the guise that "I'm representing the company" they that is exactly how us readers are gonna respond to it. I work for a govt agency and if I talk the to media about some science, I am suppose to have proper media interface people to prime me before I speak my mind since what I say is a reflection on the agency.

    And the head honcho thing is part of it. That is why cronies are put to the task since they can be a scape goat when things go wrong.

  10. #10
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    Exactly, might work for a small company...but not a large one.

    Quote Originally Posted by lidarman
    That's exactly it. If Joe decided to jump in under the guise that "I'm representing the company" they that is exactly how us readers are gonna respond to it. I work for a govt agency and if I talk the to media about some science, I am suppose to have proper media interface people to prime me before I speak my mind since what I say is a reflection on the agency.

    And the head honcho thing is part of it. That is why cronies are put to the task since they can be a scape goat when things go wrong.
    The lawyers would be all over the "representative." In most companies it is grounds for dismissal to comment on a board as a representative for the company. In fact, I know of someone who used to do that on another board and who was fired from his company. Darn nice fellow, too. While it is great the a person would be out there helping he could put the company at great risk. For example, if someone tells him about a potential problem with the product and he ignores it, the company could be liable.

  11. #11
    Are you talking to me?
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    Very good questions and points so far.

    I was also under the impression that the MFG boards were there to build a direct line of contact with the companies. Now that I have given it some thought, there is a very real liability issue there.

    If a person is going to show themselves as a rep for a particular company, then that rep needs to be answering ALL questions asked of them. (within reason)
    gfy

  12. #12
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    i thought the manufacturer boards were merely a place for folks with the same bikes to go to chat about how great they are or get some downhome advice about setup, issues, etc. anyone from the company that decided to stop by and give a hand is merely a bonus.
    Take the long cut, we'll get there eventually.

  13. #13
    Jed Peters
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disaster
    The lawyers would be all over the "representative." In most companies it is grounds for dismissal to comment on a board as a representative for the company. In fact, I know of someone who used to do that on another board and who was fired from his company. Darn nice fellow, too. While it is great the a person would be out there helping he could put the company at great risk. For example, if someone tells him about a potential problem with the product and he ignores it, the company could be liable.
    That's hilarious.

    No, the lawyers would not be all over the "representative".

  14. #14
    Stabbitha
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    I think this thread may be overthought...

    It seems like people feel like the industry is like big brother. Knowing a few people who work at a suspension company, a magazine and a few other parts manufacturers, they are just people.

    It really isn't like they are watching out for the companies best interest all the time with a sharp eye and ear...they are just guys who like to ride and talk about bikes. Their jobs don't pay high salaries, they don't have to watch what they say lest they bad mouth someone and get fired on a whim. They love their jobs, usually (not always) believe they are doing something in the best interest of the bike shop and the consumer.

    I hear a lot of talk like the companies are out to stick the rider and it just isn't the case. If you are a crazy son of a bucket or throw a tantrem, you won't get far with me at my shop. If you are polite and reasonable you'll get whatever you want short of a free bike. Same goes for some dude at a bike company. Even BIG parts companies only have a handful of employees who would post on a message board...not many companies have thousands and thousands of employees. One place that comes to mind can count all of its employees on two hands...and it is a name you'd ALL Recognize.

    I don't disclose where I work or live so that I'm not associated with a business...so I don't run as much of a risk of hurting someone I work for or, am friends with, etc. Obviously, I don't care too much, or I wouldn't post at all.

    This place is a death trap thanks to lots of people who post too much or w/o enough info or try to make opinion fact....just like real life. Lots of people want to be the first to find a problem with anything, lots of folks want to squawk about their bike rahter than ride it...just like real life.

    Its an interesting forum, frequently disgusting, frequently entertaining....I think it is saved entirely by the people who try to offer insight without being whiny or obnoxious. I don't know why on earth an industry guy would ever waste his time trying to post here. You'd be labeled as spam (in this thread, this already happened) and never be taken seriously.
    I AM HERE TO IRRITATE YOU SO THAT YOU POST MORE AND STAY OFF YOUR BIKE.

  15. #15
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    Forums are good for consumerism

    Competition, customer service (even in the form of a post) and information derived from the interntet all will drive the industry forward on the consumers behalf. Capitalist Darwinism works great for the consumer.
    Seven years ago this board was much more for the layman than it often now is. There used to be a guy who posted by the name of Wookie that could offer insite on how basic suspension systems work. He was considered one of the mtbr.com gods of the time. Then there was another poster by the name of Bog. I thought his input was the s$it! Now we have posters that can post theoretical disertations about things I can't even begin to understand.
    Over the years I've noticed that much of the information posted is far more suported by evidence or threory rather than just basic bike "know how" as was in the past. Information is one of this sites greatest elements.
    It's a forum, let em all post, we'll figure it out.

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