And never, ever respond to the Green Text accusations.

While I have said it before, I will say it again: the Customer Service Forum is a near-invaluable resource for World of Warcraft players. It’s likely that any policy-related question you can think of has been asked and answered there, and if it hasn’t, the people who lurk there will know enough to give you a very educated response in lieu of a genuine Blue reply. Many of the ‘regulars’ have been there for a significant amount of time – I’ve been lurking since its inception two years ago.

Unfortunately, I’ve been saddened – almost sickened – lately by the attitude of several ‘regulars’ on the Customer Service Forum. Too many are eager to jump on an innocent question with guns a-blazing, attempting to strike down the poster in any way possible. It’s almost as if ad hominem has become the norm rather than the taboo, without even waiting for an argument before beginning to attack the poster. This new trend has led me to compile the following list of

NOT to be a Jerk on the CSF

1.) Read the original post thoroughly. Then, read it again. You might have missed something – it happens to everybody, even you. Especially if you’re refreshing the page every other minute for new posts. Make sure to consider all aspects of the post. It’s easy to single out one issue presented and focus on it alone, but if you can aid further, then do so. If you’re posting on the CSF, you’re posting to help. If you’re going to help, it’s best that you do as much as you possibly can.

2.) Read through all the responses posted so far. Obviously this doesn’t apply if it’s a new post with no replies, but if it’s a conversation in progress, then pay attention to what’s been said. If everything you were going to say has already been said, there’s not much point in responding yourself. Only post if you have something more – and on-topic – to say.

3.) Remember this rule: Do not make public accusations. Just like the CSF is not a method to bypass the ticketing system, or a place to call out players who are violating the rules, do not accuse the poster of doing anything against the Terms of Use. Yes, the story might be suspect, and maybe it sounds like he’s lying through his teeth, but it’s not our place to call him a liar and a cheat. Focus on the questions he asked and answer them as best you can without bias.

4.) When typing your post, remember the name of the forum: Customer Service. While it’s a misnomer, it does represent the correct attitude for assisting the other players. Visualize yourself as a customer service employee who’s there to help the patrons of their establishment. Write everything with the attitude of wanting to help. If what you’ve written sounds like something a person could call your manager over to complain about, it’s time to rewrite.

5.) If the OP admits to breaking a facet of the Terms of Use, even without realizing, answer his questions first before politely informing him of his blunder. For example, if he wants to know how he can find out if his unwarranted temporary ban for foul language is up, let him know how to do so first. At the end of the post is where you can respectfully – and briefly – educate him on the policies.

6.) Smilies help. 🙂  ( Don’t 🙂 go 🙂 overboard 🙂 though. 🙂 🙂 ) If you treat the poster politely, they are more likely to respond in kind, making for a much more pleasant discussion – even on the most volitile of issues.

7.) Read over what you write before you post it. Then, after you’ve posted it, reread the post within the context of the conversation. Now is the best time to notice any mistakes and edit your post before most other people will see it.

8.) Watch the thread for responses. If you ended up being the only person willing to help the OP, and then went on vacation for a week, they might never get an answer to their followup question.

9.) See rule number 3.

10.) Always keep in mind that the Blue response will trump yours. If you think the Blue answer is wrong, only call them on it if you have documented evidence (other Blue forum posts count, something a GM told you a year ago in game does not) to show. This is out of courtesy for the real Blizzard employees, but also to help clarify a confusing issue. If a policy has changed, this is when you’ll find out about it.

In the end, you know you’ve done it right when you see your post quoted with Blue text underneath saying, “Quoted for Truth”. ^.^



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