questionshow much should the company be involved in the…

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I like it when they answer questions, it shows that they are supporting their product and are interested in customer service. There was one deal on a dog bed I wanted Christmas before last at Designer Living that sold out right away (they weren't braced for deals.woot traffic), the rep came on and said they were working on getting more, and then posted when more were available so those of us that missed the first wave could go and get one on the second wave. There were also some issues with their website links that they got fixed promptly in response to deals.woot comments. But they shouldn't use the comments section to continue with the sales pitch.

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I see what you see. Tattle on the "testimonials" and let the mods sort it out.

Companies need to realize that direct interaction with consumers via social media is a double-edged sword. Come across the wrong way, too aggressive, too inept, too spammy, and you do more harm than good.

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Answering questions...Yes. Steering in another direction to something that will work for whatever a commenter needed...Yes. Anything else to do with products...NO. This includes the mini infomercial included in the comments from that sponsored deal.

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I can't help by lol @ that entire comments section. I think that is better then the woot off.

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I think sponsors should be required to be part of the threads but need to be wary of over promotion.

As for the seedy comments, I'd say it's awful and they should be tattled on. I'd hope the mods have some basic tools, like IP address of the poster, do help sort through the crap. But unfortunately fake reviews are now part of the internet. It's why sites like newegg and amazon have the verified buyer tag. As consumers we need to take other peoples unqualified comments with a grain of salt and do our own due diligence, as the creator of this thread did by checking on how long the posters had been a member.

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Yes, it's getting weird in this particular case, but I do think that the sponsor has a great deal to add. The best place that I can point you is Wine.woot. The winemaker (or cheesemaker, or candymaker) will pop in more often than not. They can both answer some of the more erudite questions the wine.woot community has (specifics about the grapes, blending, fermentation, and aging) and the more basic ones for mortals like me (why should I buy your wine, and why is this a good deal).

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Wow looks like its all been cleaned up now.

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@wilfbrim: I don't think the wines over on wine dot woot are sponsored; at least not in the sense of sponsored deals. They are usually acquisitions of limited quantities by the staff of wine dot woot (and I love wine woot offs). Just when I think there are too many California wines, something from Italy or Spain or Washington or any number of other places shows up.

It's very helpful when the winemakers show up to comment. I've actually tried wines that I might not have, otherwise, because of comments from a winemaker. Wine.woot's [Winery] tag on quality posts will always attract my attention. I'm not sure how Wine David even manages, but he's one of my favorite staff members (since he provides such a wide ranging choice of wines).

Nearly time for a new one to pop up, too, since the little coaster things look close to selling out. :-D

{Kudos to the invisible hand for cleaning up the problem, whoever you were.}

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@mschauber: Luckily, such fake reviews are often easily spotted because the author is not very good at sounding like a real reviewer. If they want to seem like they are real reviewers they need to sound more personal (my kids love this thing) and include a downside or two with the host of upsides. Of course, there may be a huge number of really good fake reviews that have me completely fooled. But positive reviews don't actually sway me anyway. It's parallel experience or directly addressing some doubt I may have. "This underwater camera took some great shots on my last vacation, even though the water was pretty murky". "I was worried whether my 17" laptop would fit in this case, but it fit well and I love all the pockets on the front". "I was surprised how easy this was to install."

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@tsfisch: I think your question on this was initiated by my initial post regarding this product. You questioned the authenticity of my response and alleged that I was somehow associated with this company. You were wrong and I told you so. My answer was not duplicitous, deceitful or fraudulent. I have been a member of woot since 2010, purchased almost 70 items and been an active member of the community. I am a retired school administrator who is raising a large family and I enjoy purchasing items online…therefore, Woot! If you look at my previous posts, you will notice that I frequently copy and paste the stats for an item that is of interest to me. I do that so others who may be interested while reading the comments have some additional information to use in deciding whether or not to go to the website. I find this helpful when others do it, especially with computer equipment, but also with measurements, colors, etc.

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@tsfisch: cindihoward is cool, she's one of us. the others, well they all got cleaned up and the vendor is apologizing for his staff's testimonials. hmpphh caught in the act

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@moondrake: I totally agree. Reading between the lines is as important, if not more important, than the actual words. A completely glowing review that includes a ton of details that show experience and working knowledge of an item may sway me. But simply saying something was great or their great grandmother could even use it, does nothing.

I also have a pet peeve about people reviewing the store or shipping with an item and nothing about the item itself. Too many people do that. I like Amazon's separate packaging review option, I just wish they would make that part of the public review process and expand it to shipping experience. Give people an outlet for their rants.

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@jumbowoot: I don't know what FTW! means, sorry. I hope it is good. I really look up to you oh, coupon dealer!

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@cindihoward: Your join date is showing up as today (at least for me), which may have caused some confusion. I knew you were active here, though, and checked your previous activity to ensure I wasn't dreaming that up. Just thought I'd share that bit of info.

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@w00tgurl: Yeah, one for the consumer... Hopefully they will learn and not do it again, but I doubt it...

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@misuhsipee: It still says 11/23/2010 for me but my square color changed from 69 to 1 woot. Hope that will get fixed...usually does when something happens like that. I'm sure I'm not the only one. Have a great day!

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@jumbowoot: Oh, thank you. Could you do me a favor and find out why my square color changed and my woots dropped from 69 to 1? Thanks!

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It wasn't @cindihoward that had the fake testimonials. The deal sponsor posted something like 10 posts in a row, then immediately afterwards there were two brand new users posting about how awesome sponsor's product is!!!!! It was blatant shilling by the sponsor.

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@jumbowoot: Mine does this literally all the time. Color will drop, woots will drop, etc etc. Then I'll go back to my normal color and woot count. Also, when I post in Woot threads my color triangle will switch to purple, while remaining gray on DW.

I thought it was Woot just trying to make me crazy, lol

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@90mcg112: You are showing up as just joining today for me.

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I also doubted @cindihoward because of the join date that showed up...but I thought twice with all the issues today and of course the purple triangle. I'm glad Woot has been watchful of this particular issue even with everything else going on!

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@cindihoward: The date thing is something we've been having trouble with for a LOOONNNGG time. It definitely can cause issues :)
(It might seem pretty insignificant, but join date is the first thing (but not the only thing) I look at when I'm trying to figure out how trustworthy someone is, or trying to figure out how much merit I should give whatever it is they're saying. I'd also imagine it's probably what a lot of other people look at too)

Just to give you an idea of how long it's been: when I posted this question, it had already been an issue for a long time

@shrdlu I know you were interested in that too, any idea what's going on with the whole "join date" saga?

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@moondrake: This. I think their participation should be limited to answering questions about the product, or similar.

Their deal being on the site means it's already been advertised, they don't need to continue peddling it in the comments section, too.

It does say "comments" not "sales pitches."

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Agree with all who said "Answer questions".

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@drchops: I've given up on it all. I just bought something from Home dot woot, more than thirty minutes ago, and I still haven't received an email. Before they "updated" their service emails, it all seemed to work just fine. I had that last thing from JW for the spring cleaning, and it was burning a hole in my pocket, so I bought a cup.

I've just sent an email off to service at woot, and got a response back within minutes. If anyone else is wondering about email confirmations for purchases, they're experiencing technical difficulties. Something like that.

I wish they'd just go back to whatever they used to do, which seemed to work just fine.

Anyway, as I'd said, I've given up.

Cf Diseconomies of Scale (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diseconomy_of_scale).

[Edit: In other news, I recognized @cindihoward's username. I recognize most of them, if I've seen them around more than once or twice. Downvoting is evil, and there's no takebacks.]

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@cindihoward: No, your initial response sounded suspicious but you replied and I believed you (you also have a history here).

There were a number of reviews that were clearly shills, and have been removed.

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@cindihoward: I had no idea jumbowoot was a real entity. that posts! I thought it was just a convenient name, like winewoot or hoomewoot, to give out stuff @jumbowoot are you one, or a few people?

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@richardhod: JW is a nice, gentlemanly sort, and is indeed one person. He's also long ago gone home (Dallas is on Central, and it's after 8PM there).