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Please Mark Trackable Missing


ThePetersTrio
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I've been considering doing this for some time now and decided finally to just post this and see where it goes. Now we all know that our moderators have often thankless, busy jobs to do here and I certainly don't wish to add to their burdens but (isn't there always a but? :anicute: )...

 

So many people post their dismay that trackables they are seeking are no longer in the cache and when some investigation is done, those trackables often have been missing for months or years! It seems a lot of trackable owners or cache owners aren't aware they can mark them missing.

 

But our fair moderators can also mark them missing so here is my proposal...when you are out caching and come across a cache with missing trackables, post them to this thread (specifics to follow) and we can kindly ask our moderators to mark them missing.

 

In order to keep this as quick and orderly for our mods as possible, please only list one trackable at a time and ONLY in caches you have physically visited to verify the traveler is gone (and has been gone for more than 4 months). Please be sure to post the GC number of the cache and the TB number of the trackable:

 

Example:

 

TBXVBW - "Jan and the Percey Boys"

GC1NA4R - "Once Upon a Ferry (Revised)

 

Reported missing from cache 4/11/09

My visit to the cache 3/31/10

 

What do you all think of this idea? Too much work for the mods?

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Deciding that a coin or bug is missing requires some verification. I would hate to see every 'hey, this one wasn't here' sent to some poor mod leaving it to them to do the research.

 

You need to work with the bug/coin owner first. Provide them with the information that the bug wasn't in the cache and give the instructions on how to mark it as missing. Let them research who might have taken it or if it is truly missing.

Edited by BlueDeuce
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Deciding that a coin or bug is missing requires some verification. I would hate to see every 'hey, this one wasn't here' sent to some poor mod leaving it to them to do the research.

 

You need to work with the bug/coin owner first. Provide them with the information that the bug is missing and give the instructions on how to mark it as missing. Let them research who might have taken it or if it is truly missing.

 

I hear you - that is why I asked people to post the date the coin was reported missing AND they had to visit the cache to verify it.

 

I send messages to coin owners and cache owners about missing trackables all the time. 90% of the time, these messages are completely ignored.

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There is a process I recommend people follow when identifying bugs/coins that should to be marked as missing.

 

You need to to allow at least three months to pass once someone reports the bug is not in the cache. I also prefer at least two verifications from cachers, three is even better. It may be that one cacher simply missed seeing it at the bottom of the container.

 

If there has been adequate verification and enough time has passed, post a note on the bug notifying the bug owner of the situation. Also provide them instructions on how to mark it as missing.

 

This is something I post:

 

Unfortunately this Travel Bug has been verified as not being in the cache.

 

You can remove it from being listed in the cache and place it into an unknown location. This will keep people from making a trip to the cache for a Bug that isn't there.

 

On the Bug page, under Trackable Item Options is the option "Mark item Missing". Click Go.

 

You can always retrieve it back out at a later time if it is found or re-released. Thank you.

 

-----

 

Give the bug owner three/four weeks to respond. If nothing happens then contact the cache owner, again giving them instructions on how to move it out.

 

If there is also no response after three/four weeks you can contact your local reviewer or the TB Forum mod Eartha to mark it missing for you.

 

Always attempt to work with the bug and cache owner before requesting assistance from Groundspeak.

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BD - thanks for your post. That is what I have always tried to do in the past.

 

You need to to allow at least three months to pass once someone reports the bug is not in the cache. I also prefer at least two verifications from cachers, three is even better. It may be that one cacher simply missed seeing it at the bottom of the container.

 

Precisely why I suggested that anyone posting a trackable to be marked missing on this thread needs to have physically checked the cache themself.

 

I think most coiners posting in this section of the board fully knows how to properly search a cache for a geocoin. :anicute:

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Well, I think the mods might want an email rather than checking a thread. Perhaps you should ask if this is how they want it provided.

 

I sent Eartha an email about this coin shortly after I visited the cache but either it got lost in the system or she didn't do it for some reason, but I didn't hear anything back.

 

I figured a running topic could be a handy way for them to deal with them as they come up as my email didn't seem to do the trick.

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She probably was busy with the 50 other listings I sent her. :anicute: I send her a lot.

 

Sometimes it's a few weeks before she has time to get to them and I don't expect a reply.

 

Good point!! Yeah I really didn't expect a reply either - but now that a month has gone by and the coin is still listed there...I just assumed my mail got lost somewhere.

 

Eartha has always be very responsive to me in the past and she is awesome!! Like I said, I don't mean to add to their work load. I just thought this may by an easier way.

 

I have been known to be wrong before...I trust Eartha and FSM will chime in with their opinions eventually.

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If you want you can send them to me and I'll do the verification and work with the owners. If that doesn't do it I'll send it to Eartha.

 

Usually I run a PQ for TBs in an area and check every bug in every listed cache in a 50 mile radius so I do have some experience doing this. :anicute: An area out near Atlanta netted me some 200 missing bugs and coins.

Edited by BlueDeuce
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I just have to add my two cents worth. I too have sent emails and spoke to owners of caches that show bugs and coins that I have verified missing (in my area). Some of these have been missing for over a year and no one fixes them. There has to be a better way. I check my cache when someone posts that the bug or coin isn't there. then give it one month hoping some one just hasn't had time to log it, then I mark it as missing but not every one does that. I does become frustrating when you go looking for something that isn't there.

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I drop by my TB hotel about once a week to do a physical audit of the trackables listed. Why? IT'S MY CACHE.

 

If something is not there when it should be (after checking the actual logbook) - BAM - I mark it missing.

 

Regardless if it is missing or just not logged with a new cacher or into another cache in a timely manner, MARK THEM MISSING.

 

The next to log the coin or bug will grab it from the unknown into their inventories anyway - no harm no foul and it moves on from there.

 

If ALL CACHE owners were diligent enough to check on the plethora of caches that they own - we wouldn't have to be posting threads like this, now would we?

 

Having said that - When I visit a cache and find that a coin or bug is missing - I will mark it with a 'needs maintenance' log as well - stating in my own log what is not there. I have never gotten a response either, but at least I have put in the effort to get the coin or bug marked missing or out there traveling again.

 

~J

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I do currently have a list from one geocacher to mark about 50 in his area missing. I am getting to that soon. If you find one that is really missing, and not just gone for a few days, please feel free to send me a link to the TRACKABLE ITEM. That's all you need to send me, I don't need the cache name, unless it's one you had to research to find out, and I don't need you to fill in a lot of information, just the link, and that you confirmed somehow that it wasn't in the cache. I always check them to see how long they've been missing, and all I need is that one click link. Don't expect it immediately, but do know that it will be done. You know how it is when an email slips off your first page. You get back to it when you clean the inbox at the end of the day/week. :)

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... When I visit a cache and find that a coin or bug is missing - I will mark it with a 'needs maintenance' log as well - stating in my own log what is not there.

I only skim posts in the coin forum and certainly have missed a lot of what gets discussed here. That being said, this is the first time I have heard of a strategy of logging "Needs Maintenance" for a missing trackable. If my cache is damaged, is wet, is missing, or if the log is full ... That's a "Needs Maintenance" issue. But for a missing coin? That's not my maintenance issue. It's the coin owners responsibility. Blue Duce once posted a cache note (NOT Needs Maintenance) indicating a coin had been verified missing from one of my caches. I checked all the cache logs for confirmation and did mark it missing. I responded to simple communication. Why do you have to elevate that to "Needs Maint" over a missing coin? I would be tempted to just clear that and ignore you. And how many cache owners out there are not even aware how to clear that big red icon? I see quite a few of them. If the push continues to transfer the trackable owners responsibility to me, I really need the ability to lock my caches so trckables can not be logged into them. I just don't need the drama.

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... When I visit a cache and find that a coin or bug is missing - I will mark it with a 'needs maintenance' log as well - stating in my own log what is not there.

I only skim posts in the coin forum and certainly have missed a lot of what gets discussed here. That being said, this is the first time I have heard of a strategy of logging "Needs Maintenance" for a missing trackable. If my cache is damaged, is wet, is missing, or if the log is full ... That's a "Needs Maintenance" issue. But for a missing coin? That's not my maintenance issue. It's the coin owners responsibility. Blue Duce once posted a cache note (NOT Needs Maintenance) indicating a coin had been verified missing from one of my caches. I checked all the cache logs for confirmation and did mark it missing. I responded to simple communication. Why do you have to elevate that to "Needs Maint" over a missing coin? I would be tempted to just clear that and ignore you. And how many cache owners out there are not even aware how to clear that big red icon? I see quite a few of them. If the push continues to transfer the trackable owners responsibility to me, I really need the ability to lock my caches so trckables can not be logged into them. I just don't need the drama.

 

Yep, as much as I would like (and recommend) cache owners do traveler maintenance I do not think a NM log would be appropriate.

 

Edit: Although I'm a bit surprised I posted a note on the cache, I usually email the cache owner directly. Occasionally I'll post a note asking if the next visitor could verify if they see the bug in the cache or not. If I contacted you via the cache page that is not my normal procedure. I don't see the need to publicly address the issue with the CO. Private email works the best since it provides my personal email address in case the owner wants to discuss the situation.

 

I do however post a note on the bug page that I contacted the cache owner. It shows Groundspeak what I have done to address the issue as well as the time line.

Edited by BlueDeuce
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Duly noted. This leads me to wonder why Cache Owners have the capability of marking trackables missing & choose not to. Don't you think its the COs responsibility to ensure what's listed in their caches are actually there on some kind of regular basis?

 

Bug owners only see that their traveler is 'in a cache', and therefore starts the paradox and do nothing, assuming one day their traveler will somehow escape back out into the world.

 

Opinions will certainly vary, but if you are responsible for maintaining a cache, it is also your responsibility to ensure what's listed in your cache is actually there from time to time. Trackable audits should be a regular maintenance requirement.

 

I suppose if you don't want to worry about trackables, one could always place nothing but micros :)

 

~J

 

PS - No reason for hostility... this is a discussion.

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After following this discussion for the last couple of days, I checked my trackables and the caches that they were listed in to see which ones I should mark as missing. Sadly, I marked more missing than have moved over the past month, but at least cachers won't be searching for a geocoin ghost in a cache!

 

Thanks for this topic.

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....

Opinions will certainly vary, but if you are responsible for maintaining a cache, it is also your responsibility to ensure what's listed in your cache is actually there from time to time. Trackable audits should be a regular maintenance requirement.

....

While I disagree it's the cache owner's responsibility to check on travelers residing or not in one's caches it is easier for them to account for them when logs come in noting their absence. As such it is easier for the cache owner to act on it right from their computer than have to passit on to the coin/bug owner. A courtesy, yes, a responsibility.... eeeeerrrrrrrr, no! Just my 2cents worth.

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We regularly (once a month or so) check our own travelers to see what has happened to them and if they haven't moved we check the cache logs of the caches they are in to try to figure out what's going on. If they are held by a cacher and they had in their possession > 4 weeks we write that cacher to put it back in a cache. (Unfortunately we get very little responses in the latter case, but sometimes we do).

 

We have stopped sending out GeoCoins though as the ones we did send out all went missing, except 1, which saddens us greatly that fellow cachers steal our possessions from a cache to put in their own collection. All of our coins had a mission statement, etc included w/ them so it was pretty clear that they were activated coins w/ a mission, but apparently people still can't help themselves to steal our possessions.

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After confirming that a TB is definitely not in a cache, I've been posting it not only in my log but posting a note on the trackable's page as well, hoping the TB/coin owner will get an owner log for it or something while at least making it known to people not to waste their time going out specifically for travel bugs. As could be expected, nothing from that ever happens.

 

Would proper protocol instead be to simply send them along to you, Eartha?

Edited by starfishsaving
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We are having a serious problem here in Germany too. This practice of logging a coin out of a cache and hanging on to it (one cacher has had a coin of ours for 3 MONTHS!), or just grabbing it from the cache, and not logging it out (We put up a TB Hotel (VERY secure!) and with only two logged finds, someones coin has gone missing!). This practice REALLY pisses me off. I can not abide a thief!

 

My question is this- Is there ANY recourse in tracking down coin thieves? I would love to find the guy that has our coin and make it known to all his practices! Maybe get his account deleted, or limited untill we get the coin returned/ replaced...?

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It's a common topic.

 

Examples.

 

Coin/TB Maintenance, Is it a cache owner's job?

 

Cache Owners: Do you remove missing trackables, Regular maintenance or baby sitting for coin/bug owners?

 

I think the bottom line is that the bug/coin owner should be monitoring their traveler and not leave it to the cache owner.

I make note of missing trackables in my caches, give it a few months then mark them missing.

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Yeah, well, when I notice that my trackable hasn't moved in a while, I look at the logs. Then I ask the cache owner if he could have a look. Everytime I log, if there is a listing for a trackable that I didn't see, I write it into the logs. If I see it's been more than a month since it was logged on the trackable page, I write a note to the owner.

 

INSTEAD OF POINTING FINGERS AS TO WHO'S JOB IT IS, WE SHOULD ALL BE MORE ACTIVE IN THIS SPORT!

 

This happens to everyone. If we as a whole weren't so lazy, it would happen less and we would all be a bit better informed.

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Giving this thread a "bump" for those geocachers who haven't seen it yet!

 

During your holiday caching endeavors, if you find a geocache that has trackables listed online but they are physically missing from the cache, please consider writing two logs:

1) the "found it" log for the cache, and include a few words about trackables missing

2) a "writes note" log for the trackable(s) that are missing

 

NOTE: It could be that another cacher hasn't logged that he/she has moved the trackable, so please keep all notes cordial.

 

The reason I wanted to bump this thread is because of a THIS TRACKABLE listed in THIS CACHE. As you can see, the cache is one that is found by at least 10 people every year. The trackable has been missing since 2006, but there are only FIVE notes on the trackable's page: one for every year it has been missing.

 

If we all take a few extra minutes to do this, and encourage others to do the same, we might not be as disappointed by missing trackables as often. Happy caching, all!

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The owner is active, maybe they just don't know how to mark it as missing. Instructions along with notification will help.

 

 

Unfortunately this Travel Bug has been reported as not being in the cache.

 

You can remove it from being listed in the cache and place it into an unknown location. This will keep people from making a trip to the cache for a Bug that isn't there.

 

On the Bug page, under Trackable Item Options is the option "Mark item Missing". Click Go.

 

You can always retrieve it back out at a later time if it is found or re-released. Thank you.

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I do mark other users trackables missing that are not in my caches, but I also place my missing trackables in my caches (with a note telling that the trackable is missing on it's page) just for the icon, which is all that I have left. I really would not like anyone other than myself marking my trackable missing again. I don't know how other owners of missing trackables feel, but there are alot out there. :anitongue:

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Want i do is place a log on the cache page just to see if the next person could discover or move it long

 

read all the logs to see if a cacher said did not see coin in cache! then i work backwards and e-mail people to see if they have it picked up

 

most of the time i do not get e-mails back!

 

but just one time i do and i help them log it out

 

if that dose not help? i e-mail the owner and ask PLEASE can you check the cache and a BIG thanks

 

that helps too

 

i have a lot more with geocachers for months that still caches and not not move them.

 

has you can see very busy keeping an eye on them

 

all part of the game keeps me busy though the winter mouths

 

Labrador Wild Man

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Adding this reply from Eartha in case others have not read through the posts. Eartha, are you sure you don't mind doing this?

 

I do currently have a list from one geocacher to mark about 50 in his area missing. I am getting to that soon. If you find one that is really missing, and not just gone for a few days, please feel free to send me a link to the TRACKABLE ITEM. That's all you need to send me, I don't need the cache name, unless it's one you had to research to find out, and I don't need you to fill in a lot of information, just the link, and that you confirmed somehow that it wasn't in the cache. I always check them to see how long they've been missing, and all I need is that one click link. Don't expect it immediately, but do know that it will be done. You know how it is when an email slips off your first page. You get back to it when you clean the inbox at the end of the day/week. :anitongue:

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Let's not add any more work for the mods. They are contributing their time and efforts, it is not right to dump the world on them.

 

To verify a traveler is missing requires a live visit to the cache. Some may not see a traveler present and make that comment, others just don't bother looking for them. Let the cache owner make a maintenance visit and do the verify and posting.

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Actually, my initial post was to be an encouragement for those geocachers who aren't already doing so to please consider writing notes on missing trackables' pages.

 

Think of it: a trackable is missing from a well-visited geocache since mid-2006, and while that geocache has accumulated more than 100 logs since then (I counted), there are only FIVE notes on the trackable's page!

 

I agree that the moderators have their hands full. Given all the rants about missing geocoins and TBs, I believe this is a way for us to take some action, inform those who need to be informed, and try to alleviate some of the frustration for any geocacher who has ever been disappointed about missing trackables. It's not a cure-all, but it's a possible solution.

 

Blue Deuce, I like your wording and am going to send it on today, politely and in the spirit of "let's keep geocache inventories accurate." Not everyone is concerned about this, but I can rest easy (and quietly!) knowing that I've done all I can do.

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