Tablet PC Review is, as you might expect, a web site devoted to covering the field of Tablet PCs. It’s a useful place to go to for news and reviews of Tablets and Tablet PCs.
As well as the news and reviews section of the site, there’s also a large and extensive set of user forums with over 20,000 registered members. Since there’s a user forum devoted to discussion of Samsung’s Tablets, and since I am interested in learning more about people’s experience with the Samsung Series 7 Slate PC, I thought that I would get registered on the forums and get involved in the discussions.
So, a week ago, on the 18th October, I registered. I got the activation email from the forums to complete the registration process, and activated my membership account. I signed in, and browsed around.
Imagine my astonishment when, on Thursday, I attempted to sign in and instead of seeing the list of forums, I found myself staring at this:
You have been banned for the following reason:
dumb spammer DID YOU THINK YOU WOULD GET AWAY???
Date the ban will be lifted: Never
Er, excuse me – I am not, and never have been, a Spammer. Indeed, I have not even posted one single message to your forums… Clearly there’s been some mistake. So I sent a polite message to forum support explaining that there’s been some sort of error, and my account has been flagged as spam.
Yesterday I sent another polite message to Forum support asking for the mistake to be corrected.
If I try to log on, I still get the Spam message, and I see that I am now no longer listed as a member. I suppose that I can still browse the forums of interest anonymously, but it is much more convenient to be registered, and to be able to raise questions.
I know I’m old-fashioned, but, even with the internet, I still do rather expect to receive the common courtesy of a reply, and I tend to get frustrated when I perceive that I’m simply talking to a brick wall.
Update 27 October 2011: I sent a direct email about this to Jamison Cush, site editor of TabletPCReview. He immediately forwarded it on to his community manager who manages the forums. I received a swift reply from him, apologising for the mistake – there was apparently a significant Spam attack when I registered, and I had got caught up in it – and I have now been reinstated. The brick wall may have been a failure of the “Contact us” channels. Sometimes it’s useful when you can walk around the wall and communicate directly with real people.