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Share a letter prior to sending it -

Posted Thu January 25, 2007 5:15 pm, by Eunice L. written to PlanetFeedback

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Dear Planetfeedback,

Recently many of the commenters on planetfeedback have been giving great suggestions on rewording letters as well as correcting spelling and grammar mistakes.

Would it be possible to include an option for a consumer to post an unsent letter so that he or she may receive feedback on it before it is sent, and improve the quality of the letter? While this can be done on an account's personal blog, it is not immediately apparent to new users, nor does it get the same traffic as the shared letters.

Thank you,


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by JuliePie Posted Thu February 1, 2007 @ 2:03 PM

Excellent suggestion!!!

I'm thrilled to see someone who appreciates constructive criticism,
first of all. And you've written a great letter with a excellent
suggestion as a result.
Planetfeedback at its finest!


by Casmly Posted Tue January 30, 2007 @ 9:17 PM

are doing a terrific job! This site was created as a forum that
allows consumers to sound off on consumer issues. When used properly
this site is an awesome tool. Consumers write a letter to the company
in question hoping to receive a response back. Even if a response
isn't received, consumers have the ability to "get the word out" to
others about products and services they liked or disliked.

I believe that first time letter writers find this site, write their
letter, then choose to share the letter because they genuinely believe
they will receive nothing but praise and sympathy in regards to the
issue at hand. What they don't expect is to be blasted with comments
such as their child is a "brat", or apparently they don't know the
"true" meaning of Christmas etc. etc. Anything but constructive

Honestly, I think that this site would work more smoothly if the only
people that were allowed to comment on letters were those that
actually made constructive remarks. Remarks like shenanigans, your
child must be a "brat" etc. should have no place on here. If I read a
complaint that I feel is false, I choose to ignore it. Children have
"off" moments sometimes, does that mean they are all "brats"?

That said, I certainly don't believe that we should give those who
lend no constructive criticism yet another chance to beat the letter
writer down. They already experience plenty of that when posting
their letter for real.

by Juicy Jade Posted Mon January 29, 2007 @ 12:22 PM

To those of you with screen names other than your real name:
Remember to change your screen name to your real name before writing
the letter.
I go a letter in the mail including a coupon for a free can of Nestle
Good Start soy addressed to one Juicy Jade.


rofl by Courtney C Thu February 1, 2007 @ 3:17 AM

by Lee H. Posted Sat January 27, 2007 @ 9:15 AM

Good idea.

by PFBSUCKS Posted Fri January 26, 2007 @ 7:03 PM

ok correcting spelling in grammer? THAT is called Spell check. For a
good letter.. I think you need: All CORRECT details, and a FAIR
suggestion/compensation. Like, that lady that got mad at BK and wants
free meals for a year? give me a break.. THAT AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN (I
wrote it like that on purpose, so please, no grammer corrects on that)


I have no idea what you're saying. by calm Sat January 27, 2007 @ 2:45 AM

Okay Alley... n/t by Thirsty Thursday Starlight22203 Sat January 27, 2007 @ 10:48 AM

No, give US a break. by donno Sun January 28, 2007 @ 4:07 PM

You mean grammAr? by tickytack Mon January 29, 2007 @ 8:13 AM

Re: Share a letter prior to sending it - by The PlanetFeedback Team Fri January 26, 2007 @ 3:54 PM

by Jeffrey Posted Fri January 26, 2007 @ 4:28 PM

"Over the past couple of weeks, the community has made it clear they
think we don't respond quickly enough to suggestions (or anything else
for that matter). We're doing our best to correct that and the quick
response to this letter is an example of our efforts."


However, you need to understand that much of the recent criticism has
to do with the fact that it takes days to remove profanity, racist
remarks, sexually offensive remarks, and personal attacks. "We'll
look into it" or "I need to ask management" is not necessary when
someone has obviously made a racist or otherwise offensive remark. It
didn't need to take 24 hours to remove the racist comment that rhymes
with "trick" and Amanda's complaint about a sexually offensive remark
didn't need management approval. You get the complaint, you review
it, and if you find it violates the TOC, you remove it. THAT is the
complaint about speed.

"We've been roundly criticized for being too vague in our previous

I think the problem is that you're STILL being too vague. "we are not
considering this at this time" does not say WHY. Is it because you
think it's a dumb idea? Because you think there's a legal problem in
doing so? Because you don't have the IT resources right now to

You don't HAVE to give a reason, of course. It's your site. However,
if you're seeking ways to improve customer service in this regard, try
to include SOMETHING that's an explanation.

And "we are not considering" doesn't sound good. Not considering?
That means that you won't even think about it. Which means that
you're dismissing the request. The better wording would have been "We
have considered it and it's not on our immediate list of enhancements.
We can't say right now when it'll come up, however, because we simply
don't know when our resources will allow." See the difference?

"The reason we were able to turn this suggestion down so quickly is it
has come up before. And, when it did, we gave it a lot of serious
consideration before deciding not to implement it."

Why didn't you just say this. It sounds so much less dismissive.

"People don't share their letters on PFB in order to be told how to
write letters."

I agree. However, you clearly have 2 people that DO think that they'd
appreciate this feature. Actually more, if you read some the
comments. Of course, 3 or 4 or 5 is not enough to make it worthwhile
to add the feature.

"They don't share their letters to be told their complaint is all

You've just given the justification for removing commenting
altogether. However, I've found several people who have LEARNED from
the comments and written better letters. Which is why, I suppose, you
continue to allow comments.

You might as well just include a button that says "Me Too" instead of

"That means there's little likelihood that folks are gonna rush to
have their letters purposefully critiqued. "

It's a choice. As I said, unless you REQUIRE letters to pass through
a critique, most aren't going to use it. However, those that chose to
could benefit. The question remains: is it worth the programming time
for the handful of users that would take advantage of it. Likely no.

"As mentioned in another post, we are on a less than shoestring
budget. There is not a lot of money lying around at the current time
for programming improvements. Hopefully that will change at some
point. If we dont implement a suggestion, it has nothing to do with
the idea that we dont want suggestions or that we have a culture of
ignoring our users and everything to do with we dont have the
resources available to do so at the moment. It's as simple as that. We
don't like it any more than you do and almost all our efforts are
focused on changing that."

Then say that, for crying out loud. All I'm saying is that the
original response came off as dismissive simply because it was a
refusal to consider. "We considered and we don't have the money for
it" is fine. "We are not considering" is not.

See what I'm getting at.

As was pointed out, "no" isn't rude. However, "I won't even listen to
you" (which is what "we are not considering" sounds like) is.

Anyway, I think most of us agree that it would not be a well-used
feature and not worthy of the very limited resources. Has this been
the response, I think the "debate" would have looked a little
different ("I disagree, it will be used" maybe?).


by >Leanne< Posted Fri January 26, 2007 @ 5:21 PM

"They don't share their letters to be told their complaint is all

Is there a way then, that a brief description of what making a letter
public for comments will bring on for the letter writer? So many are
shocked I think when they see comments. Yes, it states it somewhat
but there is no simple fair warning or disclaimer (so to speak) about
the intensity of comments. Ok, that may also permit a free for all to
some degree by just the suggestion of it, but I would hope it could
further but briefly explain it within reason. Maybe I shouldn't
suggest it LOL. Probably suggested already I'm sure. Like
everything else :)


FWIW- by eloh Fri January 26, 2007 @ 4:54 PM

Tracy was exactly right by LadyMac Fri January 26, 2007 @ 5:00 PM

I couldn't agree with you more... by Thirsty Thursday Starlight22203 Fri January 26, 2007 @ 5:19 PM

I think by Courtney C Fri January 26, 2007 @ 5:27 PM

by >Leanne< Posted Fri January 26, 2007 @ 1:51 PM

I think this is a good idea, but the problem I see is how to make it
immediately available for comments. Most letters are seen in the top
20 once enough people have already hit them. This would not
automatically be in this category. This would have to go into a
separate area meant specifically for helping out letters by
commenters, similar to 15 minutes of fame. Like the positive letters
with the happy faces, many are never commented on so this would have
to be earmarked specifically to be out there just for that purpose.


That's the point - people who want traffic for the purpose of drafting could earmark their own letters, whether it's on the existing blog format or a new 'page' format. . by eloh Fri January 26, 2007 @ 3:45 PM

What are you trying to say? by Thirsty Thursday Starlight22203 Fri January 26, 2007 @ 4:37 PM

The biggest problem is getting traffic to look at the draft - by eloh Mon January 29, 2007 @ 1:01 PM
by A A Posted Fri January 26, 2007 @ 11:57 AM

That's a terrible idea. It would allow all of the scammers to 'shore
up' the inconsistencies in their letter before sending it.


Ooh AA excellent thought by RedheadWGlasses Fri January 26, 2007 @ 12:48 PM

But at the end of the day. . . by "The One and Only" MA Loper Fri January 26, 2007 @ 1:37 PM

But they can almost by >Leanne< Fri January 26, 2007 @ 1:59 PM

by SiouxFan Posted Fri January 26, 2007 @ 11:44 AM

That's a great idea!


by calm Posted Fri January 26, 2007 @ 10:40 AM

I hope PFB will reconsider this at some point in the future. I think
this is a very good idea.

Really it would only take something like the Suggestion Box, with
people posting their draft letters and then other people being able to
comment on those posts.

I agree that many people would not use it, but by having everything in
one place some people who wouldn't post their own letters might learn
something from the discussions about letters that have similar
strengths and/or weaknesses to theirs.


by Andrew Lenahan Posted Fri January 26, 2007 @ 10:19 AM

Sounds like a great idea to me, and it's a win-win situation: not only
would the letters get better, but the comments would get better as
well since they now have a chance to actually improve the letter.
Very interesting, and likely worth a try.


by Jeffrey Posted Fri January 26, 2007 @ 8:42 AM

This is an excellent suggestion. And I'm happy that Eunice is a
person that recognizes that having others HELP with letters is a
positive thing.

Unfortunately, if PF has this feature, it won't be used much. Unless
PF REQUIRED you to get at least 10 comments (or wait 5 days) before
sending a letter, most people (I think) would not use it. Too many
people like to dash off angry letters. And then, they never come back
to read the comments. Or, if they do, they get upset.

So, while I think PF's quick refusal response (odd, since they usually
just don't say anything about suggestions that aren't being
implemented -- I have to think the idea is upsetting to someone in PF
management) was a little too quick, I don't believe it'd be worth the
programming time given that it simply wouldn't be used much.

That said, how hard is it really to have a "draft" mode?


Damned if they do by LadyMac Fri January 26, 2007 @ 1:44 PM

I was impressed they responded so quickly by Courtney C Fri January 26, 2007 @ 2:00 PM

Oops by Courtney C Fri January 26, 2007 @ 2:01 PM

Again by LadyMac Fri January 26, 2007 @ 2:06 PM

I heard that! :P n/t by Courtney C Fri January 26, 2007 @ 2:42 PM

Responding... by Jeffrey Fri January 26, 2007 @ 3:06 PM

Oh! by Jeffrey Fri January 26, 2007 @ 3:11 PM

Query by LadyMac Fri January 26, 2007 @ 3:18 PM

Quickly by Jeffrey Fri January 26, 2007 @ 4:09 PM

by Courtney C Posted Fri January 26, 2007 @ 7:16 AM

Meow! Well, I thought it was a great suggestion anyway. :) As far as
spelling and grammar though, one idea might be to actually write your
letter in some type of word processor (Word, Works, etc) so that the
spellchecker can at least help with some of the mistakes and then
copy/paste it into the letter form. As far as quality, writing a
letter much as you would any business letter (i.e. no cussing, slang,
etc), including any pertinent details (location, date, time, names)
and not making outlandish demands will usually go very far in helping


Also... by Jeffrey Fri January 26, 2007 @ 8:38 AM

by The PlanetFeedback Team Posted Thu January 25, 2007 @ 10:56 PM

No, we are not considering this at this time, but thanks for the


I have a question by Refreshed Amanda Fri January 26, 2007 @ 12:04 PM

by RedheadWGlasses Posted Thu January 25, 2007 @ 9:35 PM

Great suggestion!


by Thirsty Thursday Starlight22203 Posted Thu January 25, 2007 @ 6:04 PM

Great suggestion. Can you post this in the suggestion box?



Thanks - the suggestion box didn't come to mind when I wrote the letter. by eloh Fri January 26, 2007 @ 12:43 PM

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