Home » Annoyances » The problem with Etsy’s forums

The problem with Etsy’s forums

Months ago I was perma-muted, meaning I can no longer respond to any forum posts nor can I create new ones. It’s kind of a long story, but essentially the problem stemmed from me trying to help someone who was violating some rule or another. Apparently that wasn’t allowed. Either way, I may not be able to write anything there, but I can still lurk and read, and sometimes there’s some good drama. Lately though? Lately, it’s become more and more vanilla, and it’s infuriating.

For example, take the standard “never received my item” thread. Many times a day it seems, someone’s customer is coming to the forums to complain that they bought an item, paid for it, and never got it. Which is a very valid complaint, don’t get me wrong. But inevitably, the first few pages of responses are “oh my gosh I’m so sorry that happened to you”. Never mind that the customer didn’t read the shop’s processing times, or ordered from Taiwan, or simply that the shop is buried under 8 feet of snow and can’t get to the post office. Some customers even acknowledge these things, state that the shop has contacted them about whatever the issue is, and they are still complaining. They still get that response; that “oh dear how awful for you we’re so, so sorry“.

Or on the other side of things, the shop owners that complain about negative feedback. It doesn’t even have to be really negative; just four stars instead of five is enough to set some people off. Guess what response they get? “Oh my gosh how absolutely terrible your shop is just precious”. These shop owners come to a public forum, complain about what idiots their customers are (yes, some even call them idiots), and they get coddled? If someone reminds them that their comments are public and their buyer could very well come to the forum and read what they’ve written? Those posters risk being deleted and they risk being muted. Even perma-muted.

I’m sorry, what? Why is the only thing you can post in response to anyone this sappy, sweet, inauthentic garbage? You know what I would say? I would remind the customer that it is their responsibility to read the description and processing times of a listing, and if they don’t want to do that, they more or less lose the right to complain about the product. I would remind the seller that their customers generally don’t read the description and processing times of a listing, and to have a little compassion before coming to a public forum to name-call. Why is our response to any perceived injustice, no matter how real or imagined, “oh my gosh how awful for you”? Why are we not allowed to point out the essential fact of our existence, that we are all human and sometimes we make mistakes???? Moreover, why do we automatically side with the person who posts such dribble, without knowing what actually happened? Hasn’t anyone heard that there are three sides to every story?

I’m sorry, but I’m not really sorry. I needed to vent. Sometimes, people mess up, and it’s not a bad thing. It’s how we learn to be better. It’s not “disparaging” people to say that they messed up, but Etsy thinks it is. So we end up with a forum that’s essentially useless, because all anyone can post (and retain the ability to post anything at all) is inauthentic crap.


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