What exactly are the standards for scammy crap on askme? April 23, 2007 11:15 PM   Subscribe

How is it that this askme is kosher? [details inside]
posted by twiggy to Etiquette/Policy at 11:15 PM (76 comments total)

I understand that jessamyn has already replied so obviously one admin is giving the benefit of the doubt here and doesn't see this as terribly unseemly... but come on, he expects a store to take a loss on a product because it was marked wrong, even though he completed the transaction and paid for it.. and now wants to know if he can sue?

This is an obvious rat. And if it's not an obvious rat, then how about his dubious AskMe History which includes such gems as "get me an invite code to a bittorrent site for pirating music, i'll give you a code for a bittorrent site for pirating TV", "I'm feeling guilty about trying to get food stamps, but convince me that it's OK", "my honors thesis is due soon and I didn't prepare well enough, help do my homework" and "is the extra $10/month I pay for faster internet not worth it because while I'm pirating tons of crap it makes other stuff slow?"

On their own, each one could be given the benefit of the doubt, but in concert I believe they combine to create a profile of exactly the sort of stuff that the time/effort of a giving community (i.e. askme) shouldn't be distracted with.
posted by twiggy at 11:15 PM on April 23, 2007


I agree (really, seriously I agree). We need to witness the brutal might of the ban hammer here. If nothing else, just to make an example of this "user".

I'm serious! Hell, I'm on my 46th account for far lesser crimes...
posted by wool sock at 11:25 PM on April 23, 2007


OMG, KILL THE TROLL!!! ROFL!!
posted by wool sock at 11:27 PM on April 23, 2007


It's kosher because a shochet oversaw the rendering of that question.
posted by Falconetti at 11:39 PM on April 23, 2007 [3 favorites]


I'm not sure I agree. Your rendition of the posting history is slightly skewed.

The "get me a code" yes, but I don't see the objection to the guy trying to work out if he's eligible for foodstamps, given that there's no attempt to make himself seem eligible in the question. The honors thesis was with regards to getting kids to fill out a questionnaire - he's trying to get a larger sample group from which to get data with which to do his work. He's not trying to get someone else to do the work. And for the "teh internets is slow", why do you assume all torrents == illegal copyright violation? Given the first example, it's probably a reasonable assumption, but there's still reasonable doubt.

And with regards the question that raised these fears, whilst the amount he wants to claim and the desire to sue are perhaps not exactly top-quality AskMe food, the principle behind the question (does Michigan state law prevent erroneous sale at stickered price due to human error, or some such) may prove beneficial. If he'd said he'd bought a $10,000 home entertainment system which was stickered at $5,000, would you view that as worthier due to the greater monetary value of the goods involved?
posted by djgh at 11:56 PM on April 23, 2007


"seem eligible" - i.e. not trying to portray his income etc as something it's not in order to qualify
posted by djgh at 11:58 PM on April 23, 2007


It's a fair question because the answer isn't obvious, as indicated by the broad range of responses people give, and people pointing out that the laws probably vary geographically. The poster probably just put people off with his "can I sue them pretty pretty please?" tone.

I found this really neat stainless steel kitchen rubbish bin, with a sticker on it that said $8.95 in a store once, and took it to the counter. It scanned at $99 - the clerk said that it looked like the sticker had fallen off another item onto the can, and that goods that were reduced this much usually had the barcode crossed out, to indicate they were "clearance". Fair enough. You win some, you lose some.
posted by Jimbob at 12:08 AM on April 24, 2007


Hey, I've gotten items for the price marked on the shelf and on the package, less than what the barcode scanner rang it up for. All it took was pointing to the price sticker and taking the manager-type to look at the marked price on the shelf. I did however say "wait, something's wrong" before I paid; I also watched them rush to start correcting the price tags on the items before I was through checking out. (They're more likely to be nice if the store's not too busy at the time, but it also helps to not be the only customer so they have some kind of audience.)
posted by davy at 12:14 AM on April 24, 2007


And anyway, if two admins answer a question, even if all they're saying is "I think you're being strange," it's got to be a "kosher" question in their judgment -- or else it'd get deleted. So, like, this is a l4m3 callout, d00d.
posted by davy at 12:17 AM on April 24, 2007


The question is fine. The asker is an asshole, but that's never been against the guidelines.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 12:20 AM on April 24, 2007 [4 favorites]


I hate to be all capitalist and stuff, but if you are getting paid worth your time, then the $1-$20 mistake is not worth bothering about. A hundred or two dollars for ten minutes -- okay, call them up, but eventually that instinct becomes unpleasant.
posted by wool sock at 12:23 AM on April 24, 2007


The question is fine. The asker is an asshole, but that's never been against the guidelines.

And...

I don't see the objection to the guy trying to work out if he's eligible for foodstamps, given that there's no attempt to make himself seem eligible in the question

Furthermore, if this guy's really on foodstamps, then $28 is a big deal.
posted by Brittanie at 1:17 AM on April 24, 2007


But don't get me wrong. There's nothing I love more than when a MeFite makes a tiny misstep and then we all trot out their posting history in the grey so as to crucify them.
posted by Brittanie at 1:17 AM on April 24, 2007


To be fair, I think the asker is a she, not a he.
posted by stovenator at 1:21 AM on April 24, 2007


If someone is on foodstamps, yes, $28 is a big deal... but apparently not a big enough deal to prevent the poster paying it anyway.

When I was denied foodstamps (because of being in school. I was told I needed to have a job at least 20 hours a week to be eligible. I said, wtf? If I was working 20 hours a week, I wouldn't ephing well need foodstamps, would I?), there would've been no way in hell I would've even considered buying something as frivolous as that except for that price glitch. If I gotten to the register and was charged full price, I would have said no thanks and left empty-handed, my $30 saved for another four weeks' worth of oatmeal, spaghetti, ramen, and mac 'n cheese.

This doesn't jive.
posted by po at 2:32 AM on April 24, 2007


For folks who don't live in Michigan and didn't feel like reading state code, some background: Michigan has a consumer protection law which penalizes a store 10x of the difference between the visible price of an item and the price the consumer is charged for an item on a barcode scanner. The law was enacted when bar coding inventory caught on in a big way and was seen as a potential way to defraud customers through hidden markups. Making the penalty ten times the difference is intended to prevent fraud by stores deliberately nickle-and-diming their customers, few of whom are going to fight a few cents of overcharge.

So if you see an item marked $2, and the store demands $3, you're owed $11 (the overcharge, plus ten times the overcharge as a penalty). In most chain stores, you do this by reading your receipt before you leave the store and head for the customer service counter.

The OP is claiming that since the item was marked $2, and he was charged $30, he's owed ten times $28 plus $28, which can buy a hefty handful of lotto tickets.
posted by ardgedee at 3:35 AM on April 24, 2007



The OP is claiming that since the item was marked $2, and he was charged $30, he's owed ten times $28 plus $28, which can buy a hefty handful of lotto tickets.


But in the thread it's pointed out that the max you can claim (maybe they're wrong?) is $5.

The question in itself isn't scammy and is fine for metafilter. They would have probably got far more sympathy from that one "consumer" website.
posted by drezdn at 5:52 AM on April 24, 2007


It's a fine question. Michigan has a pretty serious consumer protection law. The OP is trying to figure out if it applies to his siutation. If you don't like the OPs attitude, you are welcome not to answer his question and I feel that some of the replies are already borderline JudgeMe as it is.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:07 AM on April 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


Good lord, what is wrong with people? If you don't like the question, move on to another one. Some people here are techies and post tech-type questions. Others are the push-the-envelope sort and post those kinds of questions. This person falls into the latter category. I don't like pushing-the-envelope questions so I move on, can't you do the same?

Also, a question should be evaluated based on the merits of that question. I could understand trotting out a member's posting history if their question was "DinnerPartyConversationFilter: a friend and I were arguing about the best preparation methods for human flesh. I said fricassee but he insists on braising. Who is right?" And previous questions included suggestions for which knives would be best to pierce human flesh and suggestions for disposing human bones. In that case, you could say "ok, this guy is up to no good" but in this case, just move on!

Is it just me or does it seem like people are going overboard these days with the whole "should this question be allowed" theme?
posted by necessitas at 6:19 AM on April 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


On their own, each one could be given the benefit of the doubt, but in concert I believe they combine to create a profile of exactly the sort of stuff that the time/effort of a giving community (i.e. askme) shouldn't be distracted with.

There is no sign outside of AskMe that says "your attitude must be this correct to post here". Someone asks questions you think are unseemly? Don't answer them. That is how you remain undistracted by them. If enough people come to the same conclusion, useful answers trickle away.

We don't require a portfolio for membership, and we don't do quarterly reviews. If each question could be given the benefit of the doubt, give each one the benefit of the doubt.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:35 AM on April 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


The asker sounds like someone without a lot of money, not someone who's trying to rip the world off. Although there are obviously people who don't see a difference there.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:37 AM on April 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


In retail we had a super-secret code word for the type of customer represented by the likes of gilsonal: jerk.

Her sense of entitlement is slightly sickening. "I deserve"? Puhhhlease!

If she really feels so antsy about taking up a pet cause, she should go work on the Darfur problem or something.
posted by sourwookie at 6:48 AM on April 24, 2007


The OP's perspective is pretty selfish, and the whole thing isn't getting much of anywhere. But I find the idea that one must be rescued from this kind for ethical reasons simply bizarre.

If you want to go after posters that propose breaking the law fo selfish reasons, go for it . . . just search for bittorrent, etc., and have at it. Then circle back and worry about the ones who may actually be vindicating a statutory right. Or at least deal with them on the merits.

P.S. But if we have a cumulative scorekeeping system, I'm all for having a three strikes approach to MetaTalk diversions.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 7:01 AM on April 24, 2007


Damn those humanities grad students and their bittorrenting and usage of social services designed to help people with low incomes! What are they doing to help society? Attending conferences on "metanarratives"?
posted by geoff. at 7:41 AM on April 24, 2007


You actually think that question should be deleted? Good lord. And while we're poking around AskMe histories, you've been overly judgmental in the past. Please stop dragging AskMe's you don't like into MeTa; you're 0 for 2 and that should be telling you something.
posted by mediareport at 7:44 AM on April 24, 2007


po, at some point I really want to hear your life story, somehow. 100+ hour workweeks? Food stamps? Living in a barn? Your life sounds quite interesting.
posted by Deathalicious at 8:03 AM on April 24, 2007


you're 0 for 2 and that should be telling you something

That's right, every good batter knows you gotta hit your way out of a slump. Swing for the fences!
posted by breezeway at 8:10 AM on April 24, 2007


Yeah, I probably shouldn't have responded the way I did. It just frustrates me to no end when I see people trying to take advantage of everyone and everything they legally can so that they can get theirs, screw everyone else. Such a debilitating attitude.
posted by chundo at 8:24 AM on April 24, 2007


I should point out, since it wasn't clear enough apparently, that a motivation for my post is the sheer volume that AskMe has seen lately. It's a ton, and if the influx of questions keeps increasing, the quality of AskMe will decrease.

Since the wait time has already been extended to two weeks, the next logical step toward keeping questions on the first page of AskMe long enough to yield useful answers is to weed out the crappy questions. I believe this one was crappy because it was a selfishly motivated question from someone who flat out admits they want to completely rip off a store (come on, $1.99 vs. $29.99 is a far cry from $24.99 vs $29.99 - something the poster could have reasonably argued was not an obvious mistake instead of him just trying to take advantage and rip someone off)...

Plenty of other semi-shady questions like that have been terminated with prejudice. I was curious why this one wasn't. There seems to be agreement, even from most of those who say "well it's interesting anyway because of Michigan's law" that the poster is trying to pull a fast one and never for a minute believed the item was actually $1.99.
posted by twiggy at 8:51 AM on April 24, 2007


...a motivation for my post is the sheer volume that AskMe has seen lately...

Since the wait time has already been extended to two weeks...


It's back to one week as of recently, and we may be seeing a bit of an adjustment from that (though I haven't seen numbers).
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:59 AM on April 24, 2007


It's back to one week as of recently

Yes it is! Hurray hurrah huzzah!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:01 AM on April 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


So twiggy, the test is selfish motivation? Or is that the crowd derides the motivation as selfish? I can't figure out which is more disturbing, the original poster's selfishness or the complete failure of most respondents -- including a number who want the post yanked -- to answer the poster's legal question about a law the application of which is a little confusing . . . and the failure of those respondents to bother looking at the law (which does not require fault by the store, which provides for a minimum of 250 damages and attorney's fees, etc.) rather than piling on with their own one-sided moralizing.

It is an interesting result, though, that so many say they would not take advantage of a legal right established for them. Kind of refreshing.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 9:13 AM on April 24, 2007


twiggy writes "he expects a store to take a loss on a product because it was marked wrong, even though he completed the transaction and paid for it.. and now wants to know if he can sue?"

I'm guessing you aren't old enough to remember when stores had price tags on everything? I don't know the specifics of the law locally but there is something, all stores seem to have a liability statement next to the scanners saying remedies for mis scanned items are limited to the first item. It's a response to a very real pricing concern that arose when bar codes replaced price tags.

twiggy writes "I believe this one was crappy because it was a selfishly motivated question"

When are questions ever altruistic?
posted by Mitheral at 9:14 AM on April 24, 2007


some of the replies are already borderline JudgeMe as it is.

Ooh, what a great idea. We could have a JudgeMe where the plaintiff gets a 500-word statement, then the defendant gets a 500-word rebuttal. Then the entire MeFi community-as-jury heaps upon their opinions. The final decision and restitution would be taken on by the three-judge panel of mathowie, jessamyn and cortex. This will be so much fun!
posted by slogger at 9:18 AM on April 24, 2007


I want to sell all my belongings and give all the money to the poor. Big or small bills?

I'm donating an organ to my sister- my heart. What kind of stuff should I pack for the hospital?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:19 AM on April 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


There seems to be agreement, even from most of those who say "well it's interesting anyway because of Michigan's law" that the poster is trying to pull a fast one and never for a minute believed the item was actually $1.99.

Whether or not the person has immoral/illegal intent is irrelevant to whether the question is acceptable on AskMe. The poster is not asking for help in breaking the law. The question was asking what the law was. Just because the poster is (possibly) a jerk, doesn't mean that the question isn't answerable without telling a criminal how to break the law.
posted by 23skidoo at 9:26 AM on April 24, 2007


TPS, I am poor. Please send a cashier's check if it's not too much trouble. Please also send any cool video games or mountain bike parts you may have.
posted by Mister_A at 9:28 AM on April 24, 2007


Just because the poster is (possibly) a jerk, doesn't mean that the question isn't answerable without telling a criminal how to break the law.

"The law" is usually created to guard against the worst case for any given offense (i.e. a store habitually deceiving its customers for profit), and is expected to be tempered by some degree of common sense and goodwill, not to mention taking into account the original problem the law was supposed to solve. Lawmakers' intent is a key factor in court cases where the interpretation of a law such as this is challenged.

I think it's an acceptable answer to say "that's not what this law is meant for, and you're a jerk for trying to use it that way." It may not be the nicest way to put it, but it's a valid answer to the question. One might argue that by trying to use it in this literal manner, he is in fact breaking the law by going against the intent of the lawmakers.

I hate that we've come to citing laws as justification for selfish, anti-social behavior. Just because a law says you can try it doesn't make it a good thing to do.
posted by chundo at 9:50 AM on April 24, 2007


I think it's an acceptable answer to say "that's not what this law is meant for, and you're a jerk for trying to use it that way." It may not be the nicest way to put it, but it's a valid answer to the question.

No, it absolutely is not a "valid answer" to the question. It's a valid comment on the question, but that is not the point of AskMetafilter. It seems that some of you CAN NOT SHUT UP. Just shut up! Unless you know what you're talking about! Your clueless judgements are not needed!

There need to be some pop-up boxes anytime someone tries to post an answer on AskMeta

::click Post::
"Do you know what you're talkin about, or are you just talking out of your ass?"
::click A::
"Really? Because it kinda sounds like you're just using the question as a chance to judge and HURF DURF HURF DURF. Are you certain your answer actually answers the question that is posted?"
::click Yes::
"You better be sure, muthafucka, or we'll pop a cap in yo' ass."
::click Pop Away!::
::answer posted::
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:00 AM on April 24, 2007 [6 favorites]


chundo,

It's cool to look at the intent of the law (though increasingly irrelevant under modern principles of statutory interpretation). But I have postulated that the law is meant to provide consumers with a remedy regardless of whether they could show, or know, the basis for the store's mistake, and that this potential injustice is designed to give abundant incentive to get labeling right -- to correct for those host of circumstances in which they have a contrary incentive. Indeed, that coincides with how the law is written. What's your contrary evidence?

Anyway, do you genuinely think this good-faith disagreement between us, and our agreement about what the poster should actually do, is a reason to yank the post?
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 10:02 AM on April 24, 2007


Use this test: imagine the question rewritten by a member asking the question as reasonably as possible and boiled down to the essentials. "Are there consumer protection laws in Michigan that allow a consumer to recover the difference between the marked and charged prices on a retail item? What about penalties?" If that question is permissible, then your complaint is not about the question, but about the poster's attitude. Solution: don't answer the question. If the question itself is problematic, then sure, post here.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 10:08 AM on April 24, 2007


New rule! Only one MetaTalk post every 100 years.
posted by Mister_A at 10:19 AM on April 24, 2007


Twiggy, you forgot to write [NOT KOSHERIST]
posted by Mister_A at 10:20 AM on April 24, 2007


23skidoo writes: Whether or not the person has immoral/illegal intent is irrelevant to whether the question is acceptable on AskMe.

That doesn't align with what I've seen, and I'm glad. Questions have been removed from AskMe when people ask how to obtain pirated software, for help cheating on their homework, etc etc...

I believe they were removed because "immoral / illegal intent" is not acceptable on AskMe... but maybe I'm mistaken.
posted by twiggy at 10:21 AM on April 24, 2007


It's a supremely stupid fucking question. It should've been deleted, or, even better, people should stop wasting their time with it.
posted by quarter waters and a bag of chips at 10:26 AM on April 24, 2007


"I believe they were removed because "immoral / illegal intent" is not acceptable on AskMe... but maybe I'm mistaken."

Twiggy, you are mistaken on so many levels, having pointed the self-righteous prat blame in entirely the wrong direction. Take a long, critical re-read of the original questions and your comments purporting to answer it. At some point, and this is only the most gentle of suggestions, you might consider reading the law on which you're finger-pointing so vociferously. Since the poster is asking about the application of a law that gives him/her/it the right to potentially bring a case to collect civil damages assuming he/she/it can prove to the court's satisfaction that he/she/it was the victim of an illegal overcharge as described in that law, where are you reading illegality here?

Further, I think the sheer breadth of absolutely uninformed, incorrect, just wildly wrong answers (just like yours!) is a sign that this is perhaps a perfectly valid question giving potentially many other people information about a legal right they didn't know they had. Which is mostly a good thing.
posted by bunnycup at 10:38 AM on April 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


The question is kosher, the responses are reasonable, and the poster is an asshat.
posted by brain_drain at 10:44 AM on April 24, 2007


I had no idea that Michigan had such strong consumer protection laws. Bunnycup, have the UCC and consumer protection laws ever contradicted each other? Does one trump the other?
posted by geoff. at 10:45 AM on April 24, 2007


bunnycup: You're not making sense.

a) my reference to questions having been removed for immoral / illegal intent was not about the question re: michigan law on price tags.

b) immoral / illegal are sometimes two different things. Not too many people disagree about the immorality of trying to use a loophole in a law to ostensibly scam a business that obviously made a mistake rather than trying to mislead him. He says IN HIS QUESTION: "but before I drag this out, I wonder, do I have grounds for suing?" - meaning he's not just looking to understand michigan law, he's looking to sue a company out of greed because they didn't give him a $30 product at $2.

He also says "Its really only a few bucks, but the manager was so rude I'd kind of like to follow through just to teach him some manners."

You quoted my post about previous questions having been removed for immoral/illegal intent, and then say I'm mistaken. So I say to you: "uh.. what?"
posted by twiggy at 10:47 AM on April 24, 2007


Not to digress into a theoretical legal discussion not on point to the question but loosely related to the MeTa...

The "UCC" is a model form code, a sample developed by legal academics and professionals (anyone else have that big blue Farnsworth on Contracts book?). Each state has (or has chosen not to, in certain circumstances) adopted the model law written by these academics, a different but similar law, or a wholly different version. If I were to attempt to "enforce" or void a contract clause based on a UCC clause here in my jurisdiction, my argument would not be that the UCC calls for a particular result but that NY state law does so. Whether a state's consumer protection laws contradict that same state's civil contract laws and which prevails would simply be a matter of state law in the jurisdiction; the poster's question here cannot be answered by what the "contracts law" on point might direct, because consumer protection laws are typically extra-contractual (i.e. adding terms to the deal above and beyond what the parties did or could contract for - for example certain state laws adopt the UCC suggesting voiding any contractual waiver of physical injury tort damages for a breach of warranty).
posted by bunnycup at 10:55 AM on April 24, 2007


twiggy, in this instance, bunnycup is right. If "revenge" is offered by the law, then it doesn't matter what the poster's motivation was; it only matters what the law says. Which is what he's asking- is the law on my side, or not?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:57 AM on April 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Twiggy, I'm sorry that your inability to read a law before you comment on it is a symptom of either (a) larger problems with grasping written language, or (b) deliberte rhetorical stupidity.

I'll sum up my prior thoughts to you in a few simple words: This is IMO a legitimate question with a series of justifications for its continued existence. Finger-pointing about it because you disagree with the consumer's moral approach is exactly the sort of stuff that the time/effort of a giving community (i.e. askme) shouldn't be distracted with.
posted by bunnycup at 10:58 AM on April 24, 2007


"Not too many people disagree about the immorality of trying to use a loophole in a law to ostensibly scam a business that obviously made a mistake rather than trying to mislead him."

Well, Twiggy, again, the legislatures of several states (at least Michigan and Massachusetts state laws on point have been quoted in the AskMe) disagree with you to the extent that they have enacted state laws, presumably voted on by a majority of the state legislators, that permit and encourage consumers to collect extra money from a business that obviously made a mistake rather than trying to mislead him.

Again, had you read either law and/or exhibited slightly less obstuse stubbornness, you would realize this.
posted by bunnycup at 11:03 AM on April 24, 2007


Twiggy, there is a difference between a "immoral/illegal intent" and perfectly fine questions that get your panties in a bunch. One is objective and the other is subjective. When someone blatantly asks for help with an illegal or immoral action, then we can objectively conclude that they have immoral/illegal intent. We've been over this time and time again:

Naughty:
Help ME sell my organs on the black market. I wold be a great candidate so bonus points for obtaining top dollar.

Nice:
I've heard about people selling their organs on the black market and it raised my curiosity. Does this go on regularly in the US or only in other countries? How would someone even find out about such a black market? Have any of you heard first hand stories of people selling their organs on the black market?

The askers intent might be the same in both examples, but we can apply the objectivity test to only one.

Now, going through an askers history allows you to apply the subjectivity test, but the objectivity test fails in this circumstance. You can't even make the assumption that the asker has immoral or illegal intent, you CAN make the assumption that the asker is the scammy sort, but this would be just an assumption.

As it stands the question was nothing more than: I had X experience, can I take Y action? No grey areas here, no indication of illegal or immoral intent, just a simple question.

Just to keep things in perspective, you can not compare questions that indicate immoral/illegal intent to this question because you initially indicated that your beef with this question stems not from judgment of this question's merit, but from your opinion that the asker is a rat, and if not an obvious rat, you offer the askers history. Looking through the askers history, I don't see anything wrong with any of the questions. Come to think of it, I don't even think they are pushing-the-envelope questions. Not a single one implies illegal or immoral intent. The history paints the picture of a poor student who: planned poorly for a thesis paper and wanted help figuring out how to salvage the situation; got possibly misguided advice from her mother about foodstamps which didn't seem kosher even to her but she figured she'd get outside opinions; wanted opinions on whether she was paying too much for internet service based on the quality of service (and running torrents could mean anything, even downloading something like open office, any assumptions about what she was downloading are simply assumptions); felt she was mistreated and wanted to find out what sort of recourse she had as a consumer. This is not a rat. This might not be the sort of person you like, but that is personal preference. Personal preferences aren't objective.
posted by necessitas at 11:13 AM on April 24, 2007


twiggy you are overreacting. And gilsonal is a girl. Her name is Allison. It says it right on her profile page in the upper left corner.

If you had been pissed off by a company wouldn't you be trying to figure out how to go about getting whatever grivance that you had with them taken care of? That's all she's trying to do.
posted by bigmusic at 11:15 AM on April 24, 2007


a motivation for my post is the sheer volume that AskMe has seen lately. It's a ton, and if the influx of questions keeps increasing, the quality of AskMe will decrease.

I would love to see the proof of this assertion, particularly since tkolar's stats seem to demonstrate that questions are getting just as many answers as they were a couple of years ago. I realize that says very little about the quality of those answers, however I would venture to say that the more people use AskMe, the greater pool of potential knowledge exists to plumb. *shrug* Who knows if that's actually the case, but it makes just as much sense as "the quality of AskMe will decrease", and is equally as difficult to prove.

As for the question at hand, it's fine. Poorly expressed, perhaps.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:25 AM on April 24, 2007


"It's a fine question. Michigan has a pretty serious consumer protection law. The OP is trying to figure out if it applies to his siutation. If you don't like the OPs attitude, you are welcome not to answer his question and I feel that some of the replies are already borderline JudgeMe as it is."

Were I an admin with The Power To Delete I'd've been all over that thread with a machete several times already. But then it's been pointed out that there are no clear-cut and consistent criteria for deletion, that "the rule is whimsy," so there ya go: Mefi's adminitrinity are far more liberal in this context than Yours Truly, or perhaps they have a duller sense of smell.

By the way, I think Kirth Gerson's answer shows his Mom raised him right. Welcome to Metafilter, n00b!
posted by davy at 11:26 AM on April 24, 2007


By the way, to quote myself, "[M]ore people should be willing to risk looking like loony idiots by standing up for themselves. The alternative is a society full of cowards who take whatever shit The Man hands them and insult everybody who shows more gorm than they've got."
posted by davy at 11:31 AM on April 24, 2007


Amen, davy, amen.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:32 AM on April 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


I have postulated that the law is meant to provide consumers with a remedy regardless of whether they could show, or know, the basis for the store's mistake, and that this ... is designed to give abundant incentive to get labeling right -- to correct for those host of circumstances in which they have a contrary incentive.

This is how those laws read to me, and it's how I remember the MA one being described when it was enacted. It is the intent of the law that merchants be penalized for misleading price tags, just as they are penalized for false advertising. Whether the price tag is misleading because of nefarious intent, or because of incompetence, is irrelevant to the law, as it should be. If the law said, "Honest errors are exempt," then even deliberate misrepresentations would become "honest mistakes." The idea is to get merchants to be diligent in pricing practices. That way, little Jimmy distracting you by whining for a candy bar when the item is scanned is not going to mean you pay more than you wanted to.

davy, my mom says she doesn't like you anymore. You remind her of Silent Cal.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:34 AM on April 24, 2007


23skidoo writes: Whether or not the person has immoral/illegal intent is irrelevant to whether the question is acceptable on AskMe.

That doesn't align with what I've seen, and I'm glad. Questions have been removed from AskMe when people ask how to obtain pirated software, for help cheating on their homework, etc etc...

I believe they were removed because "immoral / illegal intent" is not acceptable on AskMe... but maybe I'm mistaken.


The examples you mention aren't instances where questions were removed because of intent, the examples you mention are instances where people ask for ways to break the law. "How can I get pirated software? I really want some." is a completely different question than "Is obtaining pirated software illegal? I really want some." "How can I get other people to do my homework? I don't want to do it." is a different question than "Is getting other people to do my homework something that will get me expelled from my college? I don't want to do my homework."

In both sets of questions, the person states their desire to do something illegal. Only in the first example is someone asking for help in something questionable. The other one is just asking for information about laws.

The person asked about laws with regards to Michigan price labels, not how to break the law.
posted by 23skidoo at 11:53 AM on April 24, 2007


Indeed, if anything, the asker was asking what the law was, and how to enforce it. How that becomes "illegal" is beyond me.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:17 PM on April 24, 2007


Questions have been removed from AskMe when people ask how to obtain pirated software, for help cheating on their homework, etc etc...

I believe they were removed because "immoral / illegal intent" is not acceptable on AskMe... but maybe I'm mistaken.


I believe that they were removed for esthetic reasons, i.e., mathowie doen't want askme to become a warez or helpmewithmyhomework site because that would be boring.

I may be mistaken, but I don't think so.
posted by timeistight at 12:23 PM on April 24, 2007


Well, in Twiggy's opinion enforcing the law is tantamount to stealing. Which I guess is "illegal"?
posted by bunnycup at 12:27 PM on April 24, 2007


Hey you know who else wanted to get merchandise for less than the usual retail price? You know? Do ya? Do ya? Do ya?

This person.
posted by Mister_A at 12:46 PM on April 24, 2007


Clyde -

I didn't say I thought the question should be pulled. I'm really just venting over here since I didn't think it appropriate over there.

TPS -

The first question was "Who's right?", a distinct question from "Can I legally sue them?", and my response addressed the former.
posted by chundo at 1:33 PM on April 24, 2007


...and my response addressed the former.

No, it didn't. The first question is not "Who's right?" in the morally-correct sense. In context: "I think I deserve to be able to buy it for that price, but they say since it is due to human error, it doesn't qualify under the law. Who's right?" The question obviously and clearly contemplates the simply question of whether a mislabeled price caused by human error qualifies under the consumer protection laws in Michigan. No moral judgment needed.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:36 PM on April 24, 2007


Right.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:29 PM on April 24, 2007


That's the first time I've seen 'gorm' without the '-less', so this thread has been good for something, at least.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:55 PM on April 24, 2007


po, at some point I really want to hear your life story, somehow. 100+ hour workweeks? Food stamps? Living in a barn? Your life sounds quite interesting.
posted by Deathalicious


I'm going to take this as a sign that I've been too self-aggrandizing (and unsolicitedly forthcoming) in my postings. ;)

Perhaps some day I'll wake up and answer somebody's AskMe with my entire history, and then post a MeTa railing against the injustice done to me when everybody fails to acknowledge what an amazing, hardworking person I am.

Ooh, I'm snarky when I'm exhausted.
posted by po at 5:07 PM on April 24, 2007


0 for 2, twiggy. 0 for 2.

Just stop it.
posted by mediareport at 6:11 PM on April 24, 2007


Hey staros, I misheard.
posted by davy at 11:46 PM on April 24, 2007


Er, staVros. I also mistype.
posted by davy at 11:56 PM on April 24, 2007


"We have cameras."
posted by zoinks at 1:52 AM on April 25, 2007


Where exactly in the FilterVerse can you say, "Hey, I think person X is acting kind of shady. Just saying."

Every MeTa callout results in a discussion of whether the MeTa callout should have taken place. What if you just want to say, "Hey, I find this question inappropriate. I'm not going to say that in the question thread, because it's not an answer."
posted by roll truck roll at 12:49 PM on April 25, 2007


What if you just want to say, "Hey, I find this question inappropriate. I'm not going to say that in the question thread, because it's not an answer."

See that little exclamation point to the left of OP's name, time and date? Yeah, that's what it is for.
posted by necessitas at 4:36 PM on April 25, 2007


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