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Author Topic: Being contacted by PM  (Read 2169 times)
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This hasn't been a problem until recently, but for some reason I have had several direct requests for help via PM over the past week or so.

I don't want to disable PMs completely, but I'm not interested in having members contact me directly for help and I don't want the hassle of responding to each one, even if it's just to say "I'm not going to help you". So far I have just ignored these messages and I guess the people contacting me will get the hint eventually, but I'd welcome a way to discourage them from sending the PMs in the first place. So far the only options I can see would put text in a signature under each post, or in the profile to the left of each post. Are there any other options? Ideally, I'd like to put a message somewhere that would only be seen by somebody composing a PM, to tell them what sort of PM I'm willing to respond to.
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I only provide help via the forum - please do not contact me for private consultancy.

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Welcome to Moderator's World.

Are they requests for help (versus spam)?
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Known problem, if you are helpful some assume you have plenty of time.

1) Often I respond by saying that when they post the same question on the forum there are many more people to help and that they will get faster and better answers.
2) Unless the issue is interesting I feel free to take (much) time before responding ("Sorry, no time") just like normal e-mail.

What I find a bit annoying is that they often do not provide any link or so and they sometimes assume you still know their "project" while you see dozens ...







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Rob Tillaart

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Known problem, if you are helpful some assume you have plenty of time.

1) Often I respond by saying that when they post the same question on the forum there are many more people to help and that they will get faster and better answers.
2) Unless the issue is interesting I feel free to take (much) time before responding ("Sorry, no time") just like normal e-mail.

What I find a bit annoying is that they often do not provide any link or so and they sometimes assume you still know their "project" while you see dozens ...

That is about how I handle it. If they don't provide links to their posting I won't even bother to respond.

Lefty









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Yes, they are genuine requests for help - some following up on forum posts, and some out of the blue.

I don't consider these as abusive or inappropriate (although it's presumptuous), it's simply that I'm not willing to offer help on that basis and find the extra noise in my mailbox irritating.
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The really annoying PMs are the ones from members with zero posts - they've just decided that they're not going to post on the forum, and that you're going to be their personal helpline.

Edit: Or, worse, just click on "Report to moderator". Grrr.
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I mostly ignore them. I hate PMs with a passion but occasionally converse with members using them. Normally I try to get any personal discussion moved to real email and help requests to the forum.

_____
Rob
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The really annoying PMs are the ones from members with zero posts - they've just decided that they're not going to post on the forum, and that you're going to be their personal helpline.
They are ashamed to show the world they have a problem.

(ooops, this was supposed to have been a PM smiley-wink)
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They tend to come in batches, nothing for months and then lots for a short spell. I always try to get them to post something. Other times it is a request to intervene in a thread that has already got lots or replies.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2012, 05:48:04 am by Grumpy_Mike » Logged

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I think I'll have to make another boilerplate to deal with that, which happens a couple of times a week.

I try to point out that it helps everyone for the problem, and solution, to be publicly discussed. If they want to they can make a post and then PM me with a link to it, if they particularly want me to look at it. I have to say though, that when people do that, there are usually a lot of very helpful responses already made (while I'm asleep) which just proves how much more useful the forum is than trying to solve problems on a one-to-one basis.
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Please post technical questions on the forum - not to me by personal message. Thanks a lot.

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Having said that, this is one of the most helpful forums I have seen (and I don't just say that because I contribute to it). In quite a few other forums, if you post a message politely requesting help, either:

  • You are totally ignored.
  • You are abused for being a moron.
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Please post technical questions on the forum - not to me by personal message. Thanks a lot.

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I've seen signatures that are along the lines of 'Do not PM me a question unless you are prepared to pay for consultancy'.

A doctor and a lawyer were talking at a party. Their conversation was constantly interrupted by people describing their ailments and asking the doctor for free medical advice. After an hour of this, the exasperated doctor asked the lawyer, "What do you do to stop people from asking you for legal advice when you're out of the office?"
 
"I give it to them," replied the lawyer, "and then I send them a bill." The doctor was shocked, but agreed to give it a try. The next day, still feeling slightly guilty, the doctor prepared the bills. When he went to place them in his mailbox, he found a bill from the lawyer.
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 smiley
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I've seen signatures that are along the lines of 'Do not PM me a question unless you are prepared to pay for consultancy'.
Great idea :-)
Best regards
Jantje
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Do not PM me a question unless you are prepared to pay for consultancy.
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Quote
I've seen signatures that are along the lines of 'Do not PM me a question unless you are prepared to pay for consultancy'.
PM stands for Pay Me ? 
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Rob Tillaart

Nederlandse sectie - http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/board,77.0.html -
(Please do not PM for private consultancy)

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