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Supplier reviews not welcome on ADIforums.com

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There has been a noticeable increase in the bashing of various industry suppliers. This is a forum to share knowledge, not review suppliers. There are other sites where you can review companies and express one sided opinions. This is not one of those sites. Please keep your supplier (and for that matter competitor) discussions polite. Posts that do not follow this recommendation will be removed. Repeated bashing will result in account deletion.

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Guy,

I think the idea of sharing knowledge should include truthful commentary on suppliers. I agree that if it gets to the point of competitors sniping at each other, that's over the line. But factual discussion of supplier experiences seems fair to me, particularly if the supplier is invited to give their side of the story.

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I agree with Jedd Haas. There are many great threads on here but some of the most useful may be a bad experience with a supplier. I know we have steered clear of a few companies because of bad reviews and are glad for the information. In the same way that many of the suppliers who post here receive well deserved praise, I think it is valuable to know what companies are not treating people right.

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As someone who's new to the industry and has been pricing out equipment for a while, I'd like to see supplier reviews. One bad supplier could theoretically run multiple members out of business.

It's a booming industry and naturally it's going to bring the swindlers and unethical businessmen in. It's no different than shady construction companies chasing hail storms across the midwest.

If there is a place that reviews distillery suppliers, I'd appreciate if someone could post the link!

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Truth is truth, deletion of a post should only happen if there is false statement, that when pressed can not be proven. Please keep this Fourm open for the purpose of sharing ALL information dealing with our sector. Being PC will cause stiffeld views from members and allow harm to those these posts are supposed to be helping an educating.

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I have to agree with the folks above which is to allow critiquing of suppliers for the best interest of the community as a whole. Keeps the suppliers honest and striving to serve the industry in the best manner possible. If a supplier has issue with a bad review, they should also be able to address that bad review on the same forum. Just my two cents.

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Guy, is there a liability issue here?

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As a supplier to the industry, I depend heavily on the positive feedback of my customers, if Negative feedback were removed, then the positive becomes meaningless.

not that I want to see others bashed, I think there ought to be place for a truthful recounting of ones experience. If my company has failed someone, it ought to show up, if for no other reason than to also give voice to what was done to fix the situation.

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I agree. A well done post about a supplier good or bad is useful information. If the vendors want to comment they are free to tell their story. As long as it stays professional I see no problem with it.

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an addition to my earlier post, I do think however there should be rules how one goes about such a thing.

My suggestions would go as follows:

1. You have to have had an actual financial transaction with the supplier.

2. Limit your review to defects in product or service.

3. don't make it personal.

4. facts only, no judgements.

5. replies to a review thread should be limited to others who have dealt with this same company, and response by a company rep, so balance is not lost in the noise.

6. Reviews should be limited to a dedicated thread, not thrown into a larger conversation.

I think this review process could be helpful, a person or company's true quality doesn't show up when everything goes right, but how they deal when everything goes wrong.

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First of all by saying vendors can respond you're assuming they have the time/interest to spend their days monitoring these forums. The fact is a lot of suppliers sell into more than just our industry. How many industry forums should they be forced to monitor? How long should potentially false information be allowed to stay posted? Every one of us has had a bad experience or two, and when you talk to suppliers they too can tell you of bad experiences with customers. Should they start posting reviews of customers here too?

If you want to review a business please do it elsewhere.

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So what else can't be talked about?

Distillery classes?

Profesional personal recommendations?

Preferred products?

We should probably get a complete list of what is allowed so we can comply.

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First of all by saying vendors can respond you're assuming they have the time/interest to spend their days monitoring these forums. The fact is a lot of suppliers sell into more than just our industry. How many industry forums should they be forced to monitor? How long should potentially false information be allowed to stay posted? Every one of us has had a bad experience or two, and when you talk to suppliers they too can tell you of bad experiences with customers. Should they start posting reviews of customers here too?

If you want to review a business please do it elsewhere.

I'm curious if this is a decision made by American Distilling Institute, or just one moderator of their forums?

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I have to say that this is extremely disappointing, and you are taking away a valuable resource from us. I recently had a very negative and even dangerous business transaction with a copper still maker. I emailed Bill Owen after the experience and sent a truthful and fair account of what happened. He responded that he would remove this small manufacturer from the ADI directory. A few days later he let me know that he was unable to remove the supplier from ADI 2014 Directory. Now you have removed my post on this forum, which was nearly the same as the email I sent to Bill.

I feel strongly that if I had heard feedback from others who had experienced anything like what I did with this supplier, I would have picked another supplier and saved myself MONTHS of headache and financial loss.

What other forums are professional members of the distilling community interacting on? I may need to find these so I can get honest information so that I can run my business in a knowledgeable manner.

There is a real difference between senseless bashing and honest representation of a bad experience with a vendor.

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Bashing is not the same as reviewing. I would hope that users of the ADI forums can continue reviewing their experiences with various suppliers/manufacturers with both positive and negative sentiments, without posts being removed. I could understand a case where outright bashing would warrant post-removal (and an opportunity for the op to re-word their posting). Much beyond that and this forum risks castration.

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At the risk of being a broken record I have to second the sentiments of just about everyone on this thread. As a startup (who actually hopes to begin starting up later this year) this site has been an invaluable resource. I understand that there need to be rules and guidelines to maintain order and civility but to me, blindly forbidding supplier reviews flies directly in the face of the stated purpose of- "sharing knowledge"- ADI Forums. Knowledge is power and, in business, power is money. It's a bit disappointing that ADI forums would deprive it's users of potentially very powerful knowledge.

Furthermore, I'd just like to add that, I find it more than a little offensive that 1. you use the term "one sided review" indicating that we're somehow incapable of being objective in our reviews of experiences with suppliers. And, 2. Insinuating that we're somehow incapable of discerning honest reviews from BS. Just my two cents but like ASD said, "I disagree with this decision. but i have no ownership of these forums."

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I personally find the good and bad experiences helpful. Sharing experience and knowledge in this "commercial" forum should include who has been helpful and who has not. Let's face it, one of the best ways to get new customers is to do a great job with old customers and have them post their positive experience. And vice versa.

As a startup, funds are limited, I want to make sure I am using the best people I can.

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As a relatively small and "CRAFT" industry, this is a difference from other commercial efforts.

In my other businesses, I would check a companies D&B rating, Chamber of Commerce standing, references from the vendor, etc...and the sketchy operators would be weeded out, usually based on their history or credit history.

In this business where the vendors are somewhat limited, there are few legacy vendors, the distilleries are somewhat isolated and startup resources are limited, references and contracts seem to be more "word of mouth." Word of mouth, is generally a bad way to do business, but needs to be accurate and verifiable.

Again, in my other endeavors, one of the responsibilities of the professional organizations would be to insert themselves into these disputes by offering to be the mediator. If we, the organization, believe there is a questionable vendor operating among the membership, perhaps we should contact the vendor and work for a resolution.

This could easily just be a form letter (email) inviting the company reviewed (good or bad review) to the forum, giving them a chance to reply.

This would do several things that keep all parties honest. 1. It airs the possibility of a good or bad vendor. 2. It prevents a member from taking one sided revenge (defaming) on a potentially good vendor who made a mistake. 3. It gives the vendor a chance to reply/resolve the issue. 4. It promotes the organization as a force for better business.

Sending a form letter to a reviewed company, is far easier than vetting all companies who want to participate in the industry.

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As a brand new distiller at a distillery just starting up I will repeat what has been said above and voice my concern about not being able to hear reviews of suppliers from others in the industry. We don't have months to waste on suppliers who produce faulty and dangerous products. I'm sure no one wants to miss important information on these suppliers that could lead to potentially dangerous situations both financially and physically. It would be UNHEALTHY for the industry not to have this resource, especially since, I don't know about you but I'm pretty busy and only really have time to check this forum and the distiller's guild forum for my state. If reviews were posted on some random site or other "review" forum not clearly attached to here it would most likely be missed by a lot of people.

As above, I disagree with this decision but hold no ownership in this forum

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What's with the censorship of info? I'm one of the people getting taken for a ride by this vendor, and was hoping to find some support in this community. There are lots of vendors who are on this forum pushing there wares, but reviews are suddenly not allowed? No one was bashing anybody, actually quite politely(considering the circumstances) stating the facts of a vendor who is scamming customers. I've got a 1/2 years income out to a vendor who is blowing smoke up my ass and is way past the contracted ship date, and your gonna try to say I can't talk about it on this forum? I bet you would sure feal different if it was your $, and your set back in business!!! There has been plenty of vendor debating and customer reviews here before, what's with this? Im totally disappointed in the forum. There is multiple people stepping forward with the same experience, a vendor literally taking people's $, and shipping no product, and here's where the administrator decides there's no product reviews anymore? Total F'n BS. Hey Guy, you buddies with StillCraft or something? What gives?

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+1 on all the voices calling for this to remain an open forum (with professionalism as the only censor). Are positive reviews still allowed? What about mediocre ones? Where's the line?

"Yes, I like the design of product X very much, the installation was ok and I'd like to comment on how well it has worked for me but am prohibited by this forum's rules" <-- is this where we're headed?

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I think I understand the impetus behind the decision, and I sympathize with the position of the moderators.

Having said that, one of my hopes for this forum is to see it grow to a professional forum in the same grain as ProBrewer.com. I think that any moves to regulate posts regarding bad experiences with vendors is a mistake with regards to the metamorphosis of the forum. I hope that this will not trigger a migration to a less regulated forum (I detest forums that devolve into flaming contests) where such valuable information can be traded.

If a vendor is too lazy (or busy) to troll the forum and address client concerns then I protest the idea that the moderators and hosts do this on their behalf, unless they are being paid to do so. I think that opinions based on experience are the lifeblood of this forum, and the ruling here is far too vague. When my idea or product is challenged, then I can defend it, or be called out.

If we, as clients, cannot comment publicly on our experiences or opinions, then why don't we go ahead and disallow vendor offers as well? No more "hey, give me a call, I sell XXXX and I can help you out," because if we can't say "hey, give the dude who helped me out a call," then neither can they!

This is a slippery slope. I beg you to reconsider.

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Alternatively I have read a lot of negative reviews about St, Pats of Texas. In particular there are serious complaints on Probrewer.com. Subsequently I was very reluctant to purchase anything from them. However there prices seemed good so I gave them a try on small things. After a few good experiences I eventually decided to buy some serious equipment from them and to date have been 100% satisfied with their products and service.

I've got to wonder how much business a company loses because of isolated customer experiences being portrayed as if they are the norm.

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Roger...exactly why a vendor needs the chance to defend or fix a bad transaction.

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