Friday, April 10, 2015

VAPERANT: Winning and losing

The vaping community is one of the most supportive communities I have ever come across. This is a unique community in that we have addicts supporting addicts getting away from their addictions. Some are making a living doing it. Some are doing it out of passion.

On the E-Cigarette Forums, there are a lot of contests. I've won several. On Facebook, there are tons of contest. I've never won and do not know anyone (personally) that has. There is a streaming video/broadcast website called Vapers.TV and giveaways are often offered up in the programs there. I've won several.

I've also ordered from several of the companies I've won products from. Even in ordering, the people I have dealt with are generous to a fault often offering free samples, additional and unadvertised discounts, or even free merchandise.

So when I encounter anyone trying to take advantage of the open, generous group of people, my hackles rise.

Hackle raisers:

  • If you're only there for the contest and have nothing to contribute, leave. Tell us about your vaping experience or ask questions that might provide answers to everyone. Share (positive) anecdotes.
  • If all you can do is whine that you've never won anything and you're broke and really need to win that juice/mod/battery/hat/t-shirt, give it a rest. Budget a bit better. Take a side job. Sitting on the internet whining is helping no one.
  • If you win, do not complain about shipping time or lack of tracking information. If you never receive what you won, you're not out anything... maybe mention it once - a gentle reminder, not a demand or nerve grating whine - and leave it be.
  • Yeah, sure, entering contests is fun. Flooding people's email addresses and Facebook feeds is not. At least not to the people reeling from the spam overdose you're dishing out. Yeah, for about a week, I filled people's Facebook feeds, then saw how obnoxious it was and stopped... I even apologized. Some are setting up groups with the sole intention of gathering usernames and email addresses to increase their odds of winning by spamming people. Stop.
  • Theft is not OK. In this community, there is no such thing as need because, from what I've observed, if you're honestly broke and about to go back to cigarettes, someone will help you out. Lying and stealing to get another mod or more juice when you have a mod and juice is just wrong. Don't do it.
But it's not just the consumers. Vendors and reviewers and forum moderators are guilty of trespasses, too:

  • Profanity. I know it's a natural part of the language in this day and age, but does every review have to have an epithet spewed forth every other word? Yes, I know that the m****r f*****g RDA is a b***h to build, and that it hits like a m****r f*****g freight train, and that the juice tastes like a**, but there are other ways to say the same thing. I'm not suggesting that you become a prudish school marm... I am suggesting it be toned down. And, I know I can refuse to watch those reviews, however, I'm an information junkie and I watch a lot of YouTube for reviews and tutorials and news. Being foulmouthed is likely not going to increase the number of subscribers you have.
  • If an order is placed, printing a shipping label to get a tracking number and then letting the box sit in your shop or warehouse for a week is inexcusable. When the order is placed and funds accepted, the merchandise is no longer truly yours and you should get it out of there as soon as possible! Failing to fulfill orders in a timely fashion will lose you future business no matter how good your prices are or how great your juice's taste. I would rather vape convenience store junk than stare at the same USPS tracking notification for a week.
  • When you sponsor a contest, follow through. More than once, I've won a contest and never received the merchandise. Once, the company went under between the time the contest started and the time it ended, but the operator of the contest never bothered to tell anyone what was going on. I have a useless gift certificate! Once, a bottle of juice never arrived. It might have been the best juice I ever vaped and I might have become a loyal and faithful customer. I might have referred other people to them both personally and and through reviews here. After waiting more than eight weeks including one followup, I doubt I'll ever buy from that company no matter how good the juice tastes. I know I can't refer other's to the individual. I can't review what I don't have.
  • Vaping gets enough grief without being associated with illicit drugs. I know marijuana is legal in Colorado and Washington. That's two out of 50 states and ALL the states are trying to crack down on vaping. Colorado and Washington vapers, please do the other 48 states a favor and disconnect drugs and vaping. I'm tired of having smokers call my mod an electric crack pipe...
Call me prudish. Call me cynical. Regardless of what you call me, I can't help but think that the vaping community will continue to be a great place and will only get better if people just, well, behave.