Rules for Conversations/Private Messages

Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by AfricaHunting.com, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    After AH member tap's post Beware AH PMs it has prompted me to add a new rule forbidding the use of AH's PM system for unsolicited Conversation/Private Message (PM) to promote, sell or offer anything to members. If you are reported to be soliciting members through the Conversation/PM system you will be banned. It is impossible for me to enforce this new rule without the participation of members who report those who may be using the PM system against the rules.

    I am doing this for two reasons, first I do not want AH members to be pestered through the PM system, I wouldn't appreciate that and I am sure that you feel the same way. The second reason is that it opens the door for unscrupulous activity to occur which I do not want the members to be exposed to.

    Any offering should be exposed to public scrutiny and is required to adhere to the rules of posting. There are public forum sections on AH for offerings of any kind and there are rules for their posting that are there for a reason, mostly to require the poster to be more transparent.

    Thanks again Tony (tap) for bringing this problem to light and I hope that other members will feel free to let me know about any issue or concern that they encounter on AH.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
  2. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    Good move Jerome...

    My best always.
  3. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    +1!
  4. mikejones

    mikejones AH Member

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    Hi all,

    I was about to buy a hunt that was posted on the forum and some other outfitter PM'ed me with a lower price , as i did my research on the new offer i eventually took the cheaper deal from the PM offer saving me 3k usd so i must say in this case it was a good PM :) This is allowed yes ?

    I was the buyer so my options were open and i guess it was nice of the other outfitter to rather PM me the offer than "breaking down the original offer that was posted and start some price war in the thread "

    cheer Mike Jones


    from Holland
  5. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    I see how come you think this was a good PM if you saved $3,000 as long as everything goes as planned.

    I really don't like that members are being solicited in the shadows. The reason that I made this new rule is to create more transparency. I do not want AH to be used by sharks lurking in the background. I don't know who these outfitters or agents are and if they are not willing to put themselves out front it makes me skeptical of their motives or intentions as to why.

    I have thought long about this issue before deciding what to do and how to handle it and I kept coming back to the same conclusion. If the outfitter or agent has a legitimate deal that is upright it should be posted in the public section otherwise it gives an open door to those who may not have such legitimate businesses or deals to come in to AH and solicit the members.

    The outfitter who sent you the PM with the better deal should have posted it independently on its own thread according to the posting rules, not started a bidding war on the thread for the other offer. Any good legitimate outfitter or agent should have no problem putting out their great deal on the forum and by doing so those deals are out their for public scrutiny.

    I have said it before but I want to say it again, everybody should do their due diligence when purchasing a hunt whether it is direct from an outfitter, through an agent or someone who has glossy ads in big magazines and a big booth at the hunting shows.

    Up until today the rules allowed this so I am not passing judgement on everyone who has done this in the past however from this day forward I hope that the members will report anyone who is doing this and I will give some leeway for people to get to know the new rules.
  6. mikejones

    mikejones AH Member

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    Yes my hunt that i saved 3k usd on went well and couldn't have asked for a better hunt , because of this i could afford more trophies :)

    I did however ask the outfitter why didn't he just post his counter offer on a new thread his reply was

    " most Outfitters know each other on here personally, and if he countered with the same offer on a different thread it would be too obvious and still a kind of a price war going on "

    He just said here are my details outfitter number with references if i check out come hunt with me and save 3 k usd, after all i thought its my money im the buyer to fish around and hunt where i feel comfortable.

    Anyway i was just mentioning my experience. The rule doesn't affect me anyway.

    regards Mike Jones

    from Holland
  7. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Mike Glad that worked out for you. I can see where J is coming from I myself have sent out PM's to members but to the best of my knowledge never to out do another outfitter or agent just remind them of an offer I already have listed on Great Deals if they were looking for that type of animal or unless they had a thread asking about an animal but to be safe I will not be sending anymore reminders out last thing I want is to be booted off this great site. Bob :thumb:
  8. Cliffy

    Cliffy AH Elite

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    Like BobP I feel this is WAY too good of a site to be banned from and I can see where you are coming from with the new rule. When something can be abused it will be by some. Although I am not a broker nor do I represent anyone, how do you feel about PM messages that only suggest someone look at this outfitter or that outfitter if they are looking for suggestions on whom to hunt with? Quite honestly I have suggested this a couple of times by PM not wanting to cause umbrage with anyone here on the forum, as I enjoy everyone's friendship here way too much to want to cause any harm to any "relationship" I may have here. This is the best forum on the net by far. It has some of the nicest members of any forum on the net by far. The members by and large are way above most other forums in courtesy and patience with the "less knowledgeable". It is the only forum where I feel I can spend moments every day and actually enjoy myself and not have to wade through piles of less than complimentary prognostications. I too, do not want to ruffle anyone's feathers at any time so I will refrain from even suggesting someone look at this guy or that guy until I hear from you. As it must be 6PM somewhere around the world, I raise a glass to you for this great site!
  9. Upton O. Good

    Upton O. Good AH Veteran

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    Good rule change, well done.
  10. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    To answer your question sending a PM message with the name and link of a hunting outfit to someone looking for suggestions is fine. I completely understand why you want to have a private conversation for the reasons you mentioned and that is what the PM system is there for. I only have a problem when members are being "sold" something they never asked for.
  11. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I like Cliffy have or receive no benefits from any information passed on to fellow members, we are only trying to be of assistance to our member(s).

    I guess no more steering members to old post links by PM'S

    Pointing out our member PH's (that i remember) for the countries a person is looking to go with, for them to look at or research. Some of the above posters have been mentioned in these PM by the way for members to look into or check with.

    steering members to the outfitters section and the PH or PH's they are looking for or inquired about. For there checking.

    And passing on information about PH's i have hunted with and where to find the forum posts that i have made on the PH.
  12. mikejones

    mikejones AH Member

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    Yes i agree with Jerome a line must be drawn somewhere..

    In my case i was looking for a hunt so when i was sent the PM it was an interesting offer and better deal so i took it and all went well.

    I agree that, if i was not looking for any hunts and i get 10 PM's about hunts then this is not welcome to any of us.

    After all scams come in all ways and forms from family members or AH members , its up to us the money holders how we proceed and where we pay our monies to. We don't have any " insurance policy" against scammers on here if we lost our money by even using one of the best outfitters on here at the end of the day our money is lost and wont see it again ...

    regards Mike Jones

    from Holland
  13. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Any offers or help I have recieved by PM's were ask for by me in a post or to help me out.I am sure there are some who may use it in not a good way but I would not make to much out of this.I think some of the pm offers have stopped bidding wars and what have kept the site as friendly as it is.When I ask for info or pricing and I get it in a PM it is a true offer not one just betting out a posted one.I think it helps me out as when some offers get posted in public I think some try to not step on others toes.Most of the outfitters keep it friendly on here and all public offers could change that I think.One or two people getting a PM they did not like should not change what most are happy with as it is.Just my thoughts but either way this is one of the best sites I have ever found.
  14. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    And that's what is so great about AH, members are so helpful in so many ways and generous with their time and advice!


    James this is not about hunters sharing their advice or information with other hunters it is about businesses or individuals using the PM system to sell something that the person receiving it never asked for.
  15. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    i sort of agree with billc. i have only ever had 2 not asked for solicitations, one saw i hunted boar, and the other i had hunted zambia. the one asked if i would be interested in a boar hunt he was offering , and the other if there were any other zambian trophies i wanted. the boar hunter i thanked and said no, and i asked the one offering zambian species if maybe he wanted some nice ones as i could maybe help...never heard from them again. i dont know if it is making things a bit complicated..
  16. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Bill, that's okay, because as you said you asked for it. The problem is that I have received emails from members who have been sent PMs for hunts that are essentially deals being offered that they never asked for. If you are asking questions or looking for something than that's fine. I think I have not explained myself very well on this point, but I hope that Everyone understands that this is about abusing the PM system not about giving advices or information, answering peoples questions or requests...
  17. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Jerome,I understand what you are saying just alot of gray area on this subject I guess.If someone can give me a deal and help I want to get the info.Maybe they can not offer alot of them so they dont want it to be to public.I just dont want to scare good outfitters for making good offers.Or anyone offering help to be scared to do so because they think they could be banned.When the word banned comes up in does make some scared to offer help not knowing if someone will take it wrong.I am not worried about how you will handle it just worried some may take it wrong and not make offers or help.I think it may mainly make new members unsure on what they can offer or say.I really do think the site and members weed out the bad quickly and you have done a great job with the site.
  18. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Members are always welcome to ask if they are unsure, but honestly I don't think that it will be an issue.
  19. rphguy

    rphguy AH Enthusiast

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    when I joined and mentioned I was looking at going for the first time, I really expected to get a lot of PMs and some salesmanship. I actually only received PMs from 3 PHs. They were brief and definitely not pushy at all.

    I've seen that this place is for gentlemen hunters.
    I am not so na?e as to think that every person is a gentleman 100% of the time, but it has been my experience thus far.

    This is a great site that was/is very helpful to anyone planning their first trip or even regular trips.

    I think it comes down to "unsolicited and repetitive" PMs badgering or begging members and/or underhanded and sneaky stealing of potential clients.

    I certainly saw nothing wrong with the 3 guys that PM'd me and booked with one of them and all was well. If they had badgered me or etc. I wouldn't have booked with them anyway.

    I agree with the no "un-asked for" solicitation policy. Good idea. I think it is proper on a gentlemen hunters' forum.

    Kudos,

    Jerry
  20. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Mike it is not typical for anyone to receive totally unsolicited PM's. That would be found out quite quickly. Someone would complain and the perpetrator would get the grand boot in the behind. I usually warn people once, try and redirect them about issues and if they do not learn then there will be a big consequence.

    The more probable PM scenario is more like yours.
    Someone waits in the wings, reads a public offer on AH, sees who inquires about it and swoops in through a PM and low balls the offer. The offer is never made public it just subverts the outfitter who publicly posted his offer and also cheats the members, in my view, by not making the offer available to everyone.

    I call this "mining" . The shadow offer never sees the light of day and the shadow operator waits to use someone else's creativity and time to build interest and then takes the customer. At no time contributing to the community.

    The other one is "creaming". Like Tap did, express an interest in a "high end" or expensive hunt or in some way disclose a willingness to spend. This attracts certain types of attention and persistence. Hence, Taps warning. He lived it and shared the result.

    If a hunter member jumps on AH and posts a request for suggestions or offers. That just begs replies in the thread and the PM network.
    Fine, everyone should jump in and go for broke. You get what you asked for in my opinion.
    I actually wonder if this kind of post is just lazy.

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