11 Replies Latest reply on Feb 26, 2014 6:07 PM by Zeph

    Curiouser and curiouser

    Zeph

      Yesterday I posted (I thought) a well-crafted and detailed review of the Nook HD+ on the B&N website; I spent a lot of time formatting it, listed pros & cons, discussed major points.

       

      Today when I logged in I found the review returned to me, stripped of formatting, with a message from B&N stating that the review had been de-posted because it contained "inappropriate language".

       

      This made me blink, so I carefully re-read my review, three times, and I can find no "inappropriate language" in it.  There are no 4-letter anglo-saxonisms, nor any profanity or vulgarity in any language that I'm familiar with.  There are no off-color phrases; no sexual, racial, or ethnic innuendo or double entendres; no suggestive phrases.  I have not tried to sell anything, nor included any commercial links, or price lists for any products.  It's not even a negative review.

       

      The message stated that I could rewrite the review, and they would consider it for reposting, but since they haven't indicated which, if any, words of phrases they found "inappropriate", I have no idea what to change.  I'd be happy to rewrite to make it "appropriate", but how can I do that without SOME information as to exactly what they found wrong with it?

       

      There was also no indication of whom I should contact to inquire further as to the reason for the review being pulled:  no contact link, name, email, or phone number.

       

      So, I contacted online B&N customer support, and was told via chat, "not my department".  Said chatter gave me an 800 number to call, and what turned out to be a non-existent menu selection to make when I called it.  I picked what sounded like the most reasonable choice, and found myself talking to Nook technical support.

       

      Not their department, either.  They transferred me to B&N "Digital Voice" phone customer support.  The person who answered had no clue as to what my issue was, but gave me an email contact at B&N, for "ReviewModeration".  Well, I emailed them, and attached a copy of my review, and am awaiting their verdict on what offence I inadvertently committed.

       

      I don't know how this will turn out, but if B&N is set on emulating the sort of customer support Amazon evidences on their website, they're off to a great start.

       

      Oy.

       

       

        • Re: Curiouser and curiouser
          Doug_Pardee

          You'll find many threads here complaining about the unusability of the B&N review system, including its arbitrary (and unexplained and irreversible) rejection of some reviews. It appears that there's nothing to be done about it, except not to waste time writing reviews here. I haven't written a review on B&N in two years.

           

            • Re: Curiouser and curiouser
              keriflur
              Did you use the word Price? If so, exclude that and resubmit.
                • Re: Curiouser and curiouser
                  Zeph

                  keriflur wrote:
                  Did you use the word Price? If so, exclude that and resubmit.

                  LOL.  Are you serious? 

                   

                  Yes, I did use the word "price", once.  In context:

                   

                  "If you want a large-screen reader, full color, and excellent resolution -- then get the HD+

                    -- you're probably not going to find better for the price."

                   

                  I didn't quote any prices, and the only vague reference I made was complimentary towards their product.  Would they seriously reject the review for that?

                   

                  Guess I'll give it a try -- haven't had a response to the email that their phone support assured would deal with the issue within 24 hours (it's been 3 days).

              • Re: Curiouser and curiouser
                Zeph

                Well, no response to my email to the B&N "Report Moderator".  So, I took the review, eliminated the words "price", "free", and several others which a militant 'bot might conceivably connect with commerce.

                 

                Reposted the review, and promptly got the message "Your review has not been posted; you have already reviewed this product."

                 

                ROTFL! 

                 

                Well, of course I have, but this rather avoids the fact that B&N removed that review, so I have no review of the product posted.

                 

                But,  I guess that's that: they don't get a review from a reasonably satisfied user.  Business must be good.

                  • Re: Curiouser and curiouser

                    Zeph wrote:

                    Well, no response to my email to the B&N "Report Moderator".  So, I took the review, eliminated the words "price", "free", and several others which a militant 'bot might conceivably connect with commerce.

                     

                    Reposted the review, and promptly got the message "Your review has not been posted; you have already reviewed this product."

                     

                    ROTFL! 

                     

                    Well, of course I have, but this rather avoids the fact that B&N removed that review, so I have no review of the product posted.

                     

                    But,  I guess that's that: they don't get a review from a reasonably satisfied user.  Business must be good.


                    Your review is in a sort of "Limbo" where it cannot be edited or deleted, and it hasn't really been posted, either.  I believe that you were advised to contact the Administrator (BN_AlexG) via Private Message (PM).  If you did so, you should expect a reply within a couple of days.  If you did something different, don't be surprised if nothing happens. 

                     

                    The Administrator can "unlock" your review so that you can delete it, or edit it.  The best way to contact the Administrator is via PM. 

                      • Re: Curiouser and curiouser
                        Zeph

                        deesy58 wrote:

                        Your review is in a sort of "Limbo" where it cannot be edited or deleted, and it hasn't really been posted, either.  I believe that you were advised to contact the Administrator (BN_AlexG) via Private Message (PM).  If you did so, you should expect a reply within a couple of days.  If you did something different, don't be surprised if nothing happens. 

                         

                        The Administrator can "unlock" your review so that you can delete it, or edit it.  The best way to contact the Administrator is via PM. 


                        Yes, I was advised to contact the Administrator via PM.  And I posted a reply to the effect that the "button" I need to send a PM doesn't seem to appear anywhere on my B&N page.

                         

                        I'd happily PM the Administrator if I could; but I can't.  So I attempted the only other avenue that seemed open to me, as I said I was going to.

                         

                        And BTW, I'm not surprised that nothing happened.  To date, since I've owned this unit, pretty much nothing has happened as a result of any of my inquiries, so I certainly wasn't expecting anything different to occur in this case.

                         

                        I am just amused by the ridiculous, self-limiting (for B&N) inefficiency of the whole situation:

                         

                        1) They solicit reviews of their products;

                         

                        2) they maintain a secret list of verboten words which are not obviously "inappropriate", but which they refuse to share with the people they ask to write reviews;

                         

                        3) they reject a review for containing one or more of these mystery words, and invite the reviewer to edit the review, but they still don't tell him what words caused the offense;

                         

                        4) they provide no easy or obvious contact option by which the reviewer could request more specific information;

                         

                        5) when other availble channels of contact are pursued, everyone professes ignorance and/or impotence and passes the buck:  from "help" to chat to voicemail to phone contact to phone contact in other departments, and finally to email;

                         

                        6) email contact, including a copy of the original review and a description of the situation, garners no response;

                         

                        7) reviewer is advised -- in a casual discussion forum -- to contact a pseudonymous "Administrator" using an (apparently) non-existent web feature;

                         

                        8) reviewer attempts the one remaining apparent option:  to fix and repost the review, only to find that he can't repost, due to the original being in limbo, due to the original -- and still mysterious -- "inappropriate language" charge, details of which still haven't been specified.

                         

                        Lather, rinse, repeat.

                         

                        It's really rather charmingly Kafkaesque, in a microcosmic sort of way.  :smileyfrustrated:

                          • Re: Curiouser and curiouser

                            Near the top of the page that lists the threads that you can access in any of the fora you should see your screen (pen) name, a colon, the words "Logout," "My Profile" and "Help."  Right next to the "Help" legend you should see the image of a small envelope.  Click on it.  You should then see additional menu options, including "Inbox," "Sent Messages," "Friends," "Ignored Users," and "Compose New Message."  Click on "Compose New Message."

                             

                            Enter the recipient's pen (screen) name in the "Send to" window, in this case, BN_AlexG.  Enter a subject for the Private Message, and enter the text for the message body.  When you click on the "Send Message" button, the message will be sent to the addressee, and to nobody else.

                             

                            I hope this helps. 

                      • Re: Curiouser and curiouser
                        Zeph

                        Heard back from Alex a few days ago, and he did post my original review of the HD+ -- conplete with whatever offending word/words/phrases the B&N 'bot snagged it for.  The word "price" has been left in, BTW.

                         

                        Alex confessed to being mystified as to why the review was flagged; nor was he able to meet my request for a list of words/phrases which are allegedly out of compliance with the B&N website's standards for exellence.

                         

                        This is exactly like the Amazon fora, in which posts are routinely deleted, and posters occasionally banned, for alleged violations which are never named, much less detailed, and for which no specific guidelines are to be found, if indeed any such exist.

                         

                        Ah, this brave new world of the internet!

                         

                        It would have driven Kafka to new heights of creativity.  Or perhaps to suicide ...  :smileyfrustrated:

                          • Re: Curiouser and curiouser
                            keriflur

                            Zeph wrote:

                            This is exactly like the Amazon fora, in which posts are routinely deleted, and posters occasionally banned, for alleged violations which are never named, much less detailed, and for which no specific guidelines are to be found, if indeed any such exist.


                            To be fair, there ARE specific guidelines for this forum, and I've never seen anyone disappear without good reason (though, also to be fair, the rest of the forum is not told why the person is gone, but generally they've behaved in a way that makes the reason clear).

                              • Re: Curiouser and curiouser
                                Zeph

                                keriflur wrote:

                                To be fair, there ARE specific guidelines for this forum, and I've never seen anyone disappear without good reason (though, also to be fair, the rest of the forum is not told why the person is gone, but generally they've behaved in a way that makes the reason clear).


                                Oh sure, they're as sepcific as the Amazon guidelines, in that they forbid "unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, sexually explicit, profane, hateful, racially, ethnically, or otherwise objectionable material of any kind."

                                 

                                But, like Amazon, they fail to explicitly define -- even upon direct request -- what constitutes "otherwise objectionable", which leaves them an awful lot of wiggle-room.  Such as blocking a review for using unspecificed forbidden words like "price".

                                 

                                And, just like Amazon, when I inquired of the appropriate authorities as to why my post had been blocked. I was met with a unspecific response, and a statement that no better guidelines could be provided because the authority in question was also ignorant about what those guidelines might be.

                                 

                                In any event, the stakes aren't sufficiently dire for me to be upset about this.  I'm just amused (and bemused), and decided to share. :smileywink:

                            • Re: Curiouser and curiouser
                              Zeph

                              Well... hell.  I just had another review rejected, this one of a book.  Once again the rejection is for "inappropriate language" (none there, that I can see), and once again there is an invitation to edit the review and resubmit.

                               

                              And once again, when I edit the review, there is NO WAY TO RESUBMIT IT.  Attempts to do so result in a message telling me that I have "already reviewed" the product.

                               

                              Sheesh, this review didn't even contain the word "price".  I've written hundreds of reviews for other sites, more than 70 for Amazon alone, and of all those one was sent back to me for editing, which I did, and it was posted later the same day.  In 2 months on the B&N site I've already had 3 reviews rejected, for no apparent reason.

                               

                              Is it indeed the case that every time a review requires editing, it is necessary to make a direct personal appeal to a B&N moderator to effect the editing/re-posting?  Because if it is, then I guess I won't be writing very many reviews here.  I don't have time to play hide-and-seek with the dictionary and B&N staff.