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Guest Toni Rauch

We need a Better Business Bureau for our FSX purchases ...

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Hello all,I just paid for an aircraft that was at best freeware quality. There were no screenshots of the 2D cockpit. It looked like it was out of FS3 at best. I have asked this company for a refund. I'll let you know how it goes.As fellow simmers we need to create a database/review for all aircraft/scenery, etc., that are offered for purchase. We can't ask AVSIM to host this site as it would put them in the middle, which is no fun or place to be.It has to be run with integrity and good judgement so we can rely on it. We need to state OUR feeling on quality and state how we were handled by the company that sells the aircraft, scenery, etc..Can we do this? Who can do this? And who has additional ideas on what can keep us safe as fellow FSX'ers. Lets stick together on this. What do you think?

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IMHO, the Avsim forum is a pretty good resource for this... just search and ask fellow simmers for their opinion, or read the review if there is one, and you can avoid experiences like that.

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>And who has additional ideas>on what can keep us safe as fellow FSX'ers. Lets stick>together on this. What do you think?There's a very simple one, which I'm a strong believer of:Try-Before-Buy products...There's no better judge for a product, than you on your own machine, comparing against your own expectations.

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>Can we do this? Who can do this? And who has additional ideas>on what can keep us safe as fellow FSX'ers. Lets stick>together on this. What do you think?Gary,I think that is an absolutely excellent idea! Instead of having to search different forums, Google searches, check old, outdated reviews etc having a database of user ratings on things like, Email feedback and support, value for price, brief comments on aircraft, scenery, grudges, praise, first impressions (etc etc) would be fantastic for users. It could be a one stop, first stop, place to go and see what users are finding out, particularly for new users who havent yet learned what developers are not worth pursuing and also those that definitely are. Perhaps the database could display averaged ratings to weed out users who are never happy with anything but what a beaut source it could become. It could be brief, not pages long, but providing all the key info in one tabulated format and dynamically changing as more users input?AVSIM would most certainly seem to be the perfect venue and I wonder if this isn't something that might be considered?Great thought Gary, I completely agree with you.Paul

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Geof, I agree with that suggestion 100%. The reader product review forum is truly under utilized and would serve as the perfect venue for readers to communicate their assessments of any given product (in addition to the opinions one can find here and other forums on AVSIM). The benefit to the review forum is that it encapsulates reader's opinions in one location, narrowing the search for information on any given product or add-on. Reviews that state "this product is XXXX" would not be helpful of course.As to the OP's suggestion, believe me; the community over the last 11 years has considered that numerous times. In the final analysis, the issue comes down to two pragmatic questions - who is going to pay the retainer for the lawyer, and who is going to pay for litigation when a product producer sues for defamation and slander? Reader opinions are one thing, statements that are declarative are something else again.

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See my post above. We have been there and done that. The review forum suggestion is a good one and should be utilized for this purpose.

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Geof,The reader product review forum doesn't live up to its billing. There's one review - of a joystick.Take a few minutes and read the long, long list of requirements to post to that forum, and you'll realize why there are no reader product reviews there.To the OP (and anyone else considering a purchase from an add-on developer) ... unfortunately, you have to ask for community opinions BEFORE you buy a product. You'll usually get a good sense for whether it's worth the money. I've even bought some products ... just so there could be a "user review" on AVSIM for people to rely on.I also spend time on the developers forum to see what problems their current customers are complaining about ... but that's getting harder and harder as some lock their forums away until AFTER you purchase. And that right there is a dead giveaway.

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Tom,Fair enough mate. Although the suggestion was just a Database of user ratings, nothing particularly different from what user opinions on the forums already post, just abbreviated and quick to review. The same level of Forum moderation would surely still apply, just as it does now, so perhaps litigation would be no different from the forums themselves and I have certainly seen some strong user opinions in those?The other thing is that, often, reviews don't come out on what all users would like to see, or as quickly, or they are outdated so the database would provide a dynamic source of updated User information. If the current Reader reviews are under-utilized there must be a good reason so perhaps a new look at reviewing is in order? I don't understand all the ramifications or implementation issues, it just seemed like a great idea from Gary. Thanks for reading anyhow.Paul

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Yeah, I can definitely understand the sentiments.Even though opinions are protected speech (declarative or otherwise) ... someone still has to pay the suit when the offended party decides to sue, so I definitely understand Tom's reasons for wanting to do "quality control."

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How does a user review posted in a specific forum differ any from a user review posted in this forum? I don't see the reason for all the rules. Its just a message board.

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That's a good question, I usually just do a search on this forum to see what people are saying, or maybe google it. Could be because it's specified as a review forum and that indicates Avsim responsibility for the content?

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I did do a forum search for ""company name" customer service". The search yielded 1 hit which was uninformative. After that I felt pretty puffy and sprung for the aircraft.

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At this point I agree with you. That is by far the best quality control around. In the future I will be buying from companies that offer this advantage.It's too easy to hide poor quality in screen shots. I questioned a retractable gear airplane WITHOUT 3 green lights but thought it was a bad screen shot. I was wrong.Live and learn.

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This is the first I have heard of this forum. I have lurked around these halls for years under different names but have never noticed this forum. I did notice that there were only seven reviews for 2007. I think I'll be waiting a long time for a review on this baby!I really think this is a move by the company to pick up some extra Christmas money, which is fine, as long as it isn't mine!! NOT!

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I can see a review by numbers, say 1 thru 5 with 5 being excellent. I would first state a disclaimer saying blah, blah. blah...Customer Service: 1-5Outside model: 1-5Virtual Cockpit: 1-5 or not includedInstrument Panel 2D: 1-5Would you buy from this company again: 1-5Would you buy this airplane AGAIN: 1-5ETC, ETCDifferent specific questions for scenery, utilities, etc. How can you get sued over numbers?

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Gary,I hate using this comparison, but eBay has a similar rating system, 1-5 for rating sellers for different parameters and all opinions would clearly be user's personal opinions. Again, as long as outrageous comments are removed, as per the current forum situation, it would be a fantastic aid to all FS folk.Paul

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I just wish we had this in real aviation. Well we do, if you have money to spend on an attorney.If you ever want an education as to that, subscribe to "Aviation Consumer", and have your "bubble" burst about the real thing rather quickly. Read as you learn that your "favorite" plane is described as the maintenance "dog" that it is (example, Beech Duke, Piper Malibu, the list goes on).It often makes FS look great in comparison.Otherwise, it is known as "Caveat Emptor", and despite the real meaning of that, just do your homework first and look for 30-day money back guarantees and such. We don't need a BBB, just educated consumers who buy from trusted developers who provide money-back returns. :)There's enough information out there, and it does not take long to find it either.Otherwise, opinions are like noses; everyone has one, just like me! ;) Regards,http://www.dreamfleet2000.com/gfx/images/F...R_FORUM_LOU.jpg

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>Geof,>>The reader product review forum doesn't live up to its>billing. There's one review - of a joystick.>That is not true. I did a review of ImagineSim KMSY for FS9. I put quite a lot of time into it too. For me, the only thing I feel competent to review is scenery, and the truth is I don't buy that much payware scenery -- I really like to support the freeware authors and I love their stuff! I could review UT USA or UTX or GEX, or FSG mesh, but I think every one understands what these do and I couldn't add much to the common knowledge.I did add a post to the AVSIM review of Hawaii Dillingham X which I spent some time on a particular aspect (soaring) of that scenery.The problem with the user reviews is you have to host your own screenshots or other graphics and I don't have a good way to do that. without graphics it is hard to do a good review.scott s..

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Although the idea of a 'one-stop review' forum area is excellent, there is one problem that no-one has spotted yet, which may be very difficult to handle.....On this forum I believe that there have been numerous threads started by developers using phoney usernames to try and attract interest in their products anonimously (or their 'plants'). Things like " Has anyone tried the XXXX yet? - It looks really good....." followed by a few suspiciously deleriously happy customers comments, and then dissatisfied user comments etc. These often evolve into flame wars and are eventually locked by the moderators.Although genuine comments/reviews are always helpful to potential buyers, how can you reasonably rely on the integrity of the poster as being truly impartial in all cases?Toni.

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That's a really good point, I think. It's a lot of work to write a cohesive review, not the least of it is getting permissions to say things on-line as well as doing background research and following the rules of publication, which are there to ensure fairness, both to the reader, but also for the developers and the reviewers. The rules for the main forum threads are more relaxed than some other parts of the forum. While Avsim encourages healthy debate, the speech isn't free. People like Tom have to work hard to make sure that as many people follow the main current of Avsim as possible. Still, I am a little surprised that people will write "mini reviews" in the main FSX forum, but won't add onto the Readers' Reviews forum as much, or that threads based on these "mini reviews" don't go there. Or rather, I was mildly surprised, but reading this thread clarifies things, especially what Tom was saying, and just now what Toni wrote. Jeff ShylukAssistant Managing EditorSenior Staff ReviewerAVSIM

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I just read the rules for posting to the Review forum and can see why there aren

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Scott,You are (of course) correct. Sorry for the misinformation. My profile settings at AVSIM were only showing me posts for the last 30 days.Cheers,Kevin

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