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Commercial cache guideline


Zilvervloot
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I could not find anything appropriate on this forum to this topic so I opened a new thread.

 

The geocache is presumed to be commercial if the finder is required to go inside a business, interact with employees, and/or purchase a product or service, or if the cache listing has overtones of advertising, marketing, or promotion.

 

Additionally, links to businesses, commercial advertisers, charities, political or social agendas, or the inclusion of their associated logos are not permitted on cache descriptions without prior permission from Groundspeak.

That is the rule.

 

It is forbidden to have the name of a business in the cache description.

That’s crystal clear

 

But is it allowed to refer to a commercial business in a note (or a Found-log, DNF, etc.)?

 

I ask this question since one of my caches was some time ago denied.

A magazine interviewed me and made a nice article about geocaching in general. Inspired by the cooperation, I made a nice multi-cache through the historic center of Amsterdam. We agreed upon a small contest; the one who wrote the best log could win a bike provided by this magazine. And, as soon as my cache was publicized, they would link it at their website/blog/etc.

 

My initial hurdle in the approval process was that I left the name of the magazine in the cache description. It’s clear why my cache was denied. This was a typical referral to a commercial business.

So I deleted everything that referred to the magazine from the description and added a note explaining the bike-contest. My cache was also denied. Sure in the note was the name of the magazine. But I always believed that everything written down in a log/note/etc. is not subjected to a guideline (perhaps good taste).

 

I do think my local reviewers are exceptionally good. They know when to be strict and when to be loose in applying the guidelines and they did refer me to the appeals@geocaching.com for a second, final opinion. But, in the end I did not have the desire to publish the cache anymore, I withdrew it. Maybe I will publish it someday at one of the competitor-geocache-sites, maybe not. I kept the bike for my selves.

 

So the question is, is it allowed to make commercial referrals in a note or log?

 

Zilvervloot.

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I have yet to see Groundspeak delete a log because someone mentioned "Wal-Mart" or "Starbucks" when logging an LPC.

 

That said, you seem to be trying to circumvent the system. Geocaches are not supposed to have "overtones of advertising" or something like that. You can place a cache outside of a business but not promote the business. Just by having geocachers that close I'm sure you'll get some of them to go inside, even without telling them anything about the business. That's the most advertising you're allowed to do with a geocache. Leave the rest out. We're inundated with advertising everywhere else. Geocaching is supposed to be a light, fun activity, not a platform for your commercial agenda.

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It is one thing to have a random cacher mention commercial "stuff" in a log after finding the cache and quite another for the cache owner to do so. Especially in reference to the same cache. Maybe a fine line but I'd say it got crossed.

 

However, as mentioned above - TPTB at HQ have the final say on all things commercial.

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<snip>

It is forbidden to have the name of a business in the cache description.

That’s crystal clear

<snip>

 

Crystal clear? I see the name of a business in cache listings all the time. The manner in which the business is mentioned and the context is what matters.

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Just say something like, "After April 1 the finder with the best log will win a prize." You've stated your mission, announced what's going on, and avoided any advertising. Cachers who just want to find your cache without the distraction of the contest will be able to do so.

 

Once it's published the magazine then can advertise the contest (maybe show a copy of the cache description) and link to the caches page. All the advertising is done by a different site.

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I recommend you write to contact@geocaching.com

I second this.

As the cache/magazine will be promoting caching Groundspeak may give permission to use the name in a cache listing.

 

This is what I was thinking. Under the circumstances they might be willing to give a waiver for this cache. But you have to ask the powers that be.

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The fact remains, that note or no note, magazine name or no magazine name- the genie is out of the bottle and your cache is "commercial" in nature regardless of the text that appears anywhere on that page or in the logs because of the contest. The cache is tied to the contest and the contest to the cache. The magazine owners would probably have to work out something with Groundspeak before you could get it published.

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The city of The Colony, TX Visitor's Bureau posted 20 caches last year that all promoted local businesses and even encouraged you to visit some of the proprietors. They were not shy about it. Every one was published and it was a big hit.

 

Unfortunately he can't use past approvals as precident.

I know of a series of Boy Scout caches that promote the Boy Scout values with each one of the places caches. There is gain for Scouts in they are promoting their agenda and organization there too (in a round about way).

 

I would make a case for it as best as you can. Maybe illustrating how it helps the community as a whole. But that is just an idea.

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Lol.. I just randomly picked a few business names to search for. 36 caches have Walmart in the title, 15 mcdonalds, and 26 Home Depots.

Clearly these said caches were given an exception from GS?

Clearly, some (but not all) of said caches are many years old and are grandfathered.

 

Clearly, it is possible to edit a cache title post-publication.

 

Clearly, exceptions can be made.

 

Clearly, there are more than 1.2 million active caches that do NOT have business names in their title.

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Welcome to Dick Witham Ford - Vw

Dick Witham Ford - Vw, a Ford dealer in Waterloo, Iowa offers new Ford Cars, Trucks, SUVs and Crossovers online at www.dickwitham.net. Search for all new 2010 and 2011 Ford, including E-Series, Edge, Escape, Escape Hybrid, Expedition, Explorer, F-150, F-250 Super Duty, F-350 Super Duty, F-450 Super Duty, Fiesta, Flex, Focus Coupe, Focus Sedan, Fusion, Mustang, Ranger, Sport Trac, Taurus, Transit Connect. Find your dream car from our Ford showroom of cars, trucks, SUVs and Crossovers or search our new Ford inventory to see what is on our lot, get new car pricing and free Ford price quotes. View our used car inventory, including our Certified pre-owned Ford vehicles.

 

Stopped by the local Dick Witham Ford Dealership before heading out to the cache.

 

Help me out here, are we talking about blatant advertising or mentioning a local business name as being commercial?

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As someone who recently had a wonderful (IMHO) cache denied because the historic building in which I was hiding a cache was converted to a retail establishment, I say don't even bother. My cache description had no mention of the store name, no purchase was necessary, no employee interaction necessary, and non-commercial (it was centered on a Zombie movie theme and was in an historic theater for which I had gone to great length to get the owners' consent). The guidelines clearly allow for exceptions - but it was blindly rejected. We tried to create something beyond the blinkie on a street sign and hide-a-key under a bench - something fun, educational (the cache was linked to historic theater site and gave a history of the theater and the old town section where it was located) and geared for the family (the cache was an ammo box filled with over 100 toys and trinkets). Still, even after an appeal, it was rejected......the day after I was FTF on a cache placed under a dining table at a restaurant!!!! Sometimes I don't know what I hate more - hypocrisy or beuracracy. Sour grapes? You bet! So much so I am about to just give up on our cache-a-day streak, resign as our geocache merit badge counsler and archive and post all our caches (past and future) to other caching sites. Remember - these are "guidelines" which in their own words allow for exceptions. We are not engaged in open heart surgery or even an Olympic sport. This was intended to be a fun hobby for the whole family. Why destroy it and alienate its members by being so inflexible to the point of insulting members who support it through time, money and effort (paid memberships, creating caches, buying materials and going through all the effort of maintenance and placement)?

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Lol.. I just randomly picked a few business names to search for. 36 caches have Walmart in the title, 15 mcdonalds, and 26 Home Depots.

Clearly these said caches were given an exception from GS?

Clearly, some (but not all) of said caches are many years old and are grandfathered.

 

Clearly, it is possible to edit a cache title post-publication.

 

Clearly, exceptions can be made.

 

Clearly, there are more than 1.2 million active caches that do NOT have business names in their title.

Those are all valid points. So, what does GS do about the cache titles that were possibly edited post publication?

Edited by TerraViators
Link to comment

Lol.. I just randomly picked a few business names to search for. 36 caches have Walmart in the title, 15 mcdonalds, and 26 Home Depots.

Clearly these said caches were given an exception from GS?

Clearly, some (but not all) of said caches are many years old and are grandfathered.

 

Clearly, it is possible to edit a cache title post-publication.

 

Clearly, exceptions can be made.

 

Clearly, there are more than 1.2 million active caches that do NOT have business names in their title.

Those are all valid points. So, what does GS do about the cache titles that were possibly edited post publication?

 

My guess is that the reviewer would disable it and ask the owner to bring their cache back to guideline compliance.

Link to comment

As someone who recently had a wonderful (IMHO) cache denied because the historic building in which I was hiding a cache was converted to a retail establishment, I say don't even bother. My cache description had no mention of the store name, no purchase was necessary, no employee interaction necessary, and non-commercial (it was centered on a Zombie movie theme and was in an historic theater for which I had gone to great length to get the owners' consent). The guidelines clearly allow for exceptions - but it was blindly rejected. We tried to create something beyond the blinkie on a street sign and hide-a-key under a bench - something fun, educational (the cache was linked to historic theater site and gave a history of the theater and the old town section where it was located) and geared for the family (the cache was an ammo box filled with over 100 toys and trinkets). Still, even after an appeal, it was rejected......the day after I was FTF on a cache placed under a dining table at a restaurant!!!! Sometimes I don't know what I hate more - hypocrisy or beuracracy. Sour grapes? You bet! So much so I am about to just give up on our cache-a-day streak, resign as our geocache merit badge counsler and archive and post all our caches (past and future) to other caching sites. Remember - these are "guidelines" which in their own words allow for exceptions. We are not engaged in open heart surgery or even an Olympic sport. This was intended to be a fun hobby for the whole family. Why destroy it and alienate its members by being so inflexible to the point of insulting members who support it through time, money and effort (paid memberships, creating caches, buying materials and going through all the effort of maintenance and placement)?

 

There's more to this story than what you're telling, I'm sure.

Link to comment

Lol.. I just randomly picked a few business names to search for. 36 caches have Walmart in the title, 15 mcdonalds, and 26 Home Depots.

Clearly these said caches were given an exception from GS?

Clearly, some (but not all) of said caches are many years old and are grandfathered.

 

Clearly, it is possible to edit a cache title post-publication.

 

Clearly, exceptions can be made.

 

Clearly, there are more than 1.2 million active caches that do NOT have business names in their title.

Those are all valid points. So, what does GS do about the cache titles that were possibly edited post publication?

 

My guess is that the reviewer would disable it and ask the owner to bring their cache back to guideline compliance.

If only they would change Needs Archive to Needs Reviewer Attention, then people could report these caches. -_-

Link to comment

As someone who recently had a wonderful (IMHO) cache denied because the historic building in which I was hiding a cache was converted to a retail establishment, I say don't even bother. My cache description had no mention of the store name, no purchase was necessary, no employee interaction necessary, and non-commercial (it was centered on a Zombie movie theme and was in an historic theater for which I had gone to great length to get the owners' consent). The guidelines clearly allow for exceptions - but it was blindly rejected. We tried to create something beyond the blinkie on a street sign and hide-a-key under a bench - something fun, educational (the cache was linked to historic theater site and gave a history of the theater and the old town section where it was located) and geared for the family (the cache was an ammo box filled with over 100 toys and trinkets). Still, even after an appeal, it was rejected......the day after I was FTF on a cache placed under a dining table at a restaurant!!!! Sometimes I don't know what I hate more - hypocrisy or beuracracy. Sour grapes? You bet! So much so I am about to just give up on our cache-a-day streak, resign as our geocache merit badge counsler and archive and post all our caches (past and future) to other caching sites. Remember - these are "guidelines" which in their own words allow for exceptions. We are not engaged in open heart surgery or even an Olympic sport. This was intended to be a fun hobby for the whole family. Why destroy it and alienate its members by being so inflexible to the point of insulting members who support it through time, money and effort (paid memberships, creating caches, buying materials and going through all the effort of maintenance and placement)?

 

There's more to this story than what you're telling, I'm sure.

 

Really? What do you want to know? OK - I admit, I re-wrote the cache description about 5 or so times to eliminate as much commercial aspects as possible. The orginal description did say something like "Just go in and ask a friendly Zombie for the cache and they will point you to it." - but I deleted that when I learned employee interaction is also a "no no". Other than that, you got it. Oh, and by the way....the retail store is a small hole in the wall that markets to ultramarathoners (people who race in 50 and 100 mile footraces). That is how I got to know about the location. I think the potential consumers pale by comparison to the caches located at the three closest malls. Here are the reviewer posts so there is nothing more to the story:

 

February 11 by caccbag (456 found)

 

I give up

 

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February 11 by Sandy (5 found)

 

This cache has been referred to Appeals. You will hear from Groundspeak shortly.

 

View Log

February 11 by caccbag (456 found)

 

Thanks Krypton and Nomex:

 

I have rewritten the cache description yet again. The cache will be in plain site so no employee interaction is necessary. But there is no way I can hide an ammo box or other standard size cache around this old theater where it would not be muggled within a day. Inside the theater is the only option and it fits the old horror theme of the cache. Per your suggestion I have appealed and hope it can be published. Otherwise I might as well stop making creative and fun caches and only plant blinkies, hide-a-keys and 35mm containers on street signs and benches.

 

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February 11 by Nomex

 

Hi caccbag,

 

I am one of the other Volunteer Reviewers for Northern California, and I'm afraid that I'll have to agree with Krypton's review of your Listing. The following part of your Description is pretty much a show stopper:

 

quote:

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Simply go inside and ask one of the friendly zombies if you can have access to the zombie supply box ...

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

From the Guidelines:

 

quote:

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

The geocache is presumed to be commercial if the finder is required to go inside a business,...

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

That pretty much spells out the limits of what a Volunteer Reviewer can Publish. Beyond that, it's up to Groundspeak whether to allow such Listings on the site or not.

 

Please contact Appeals as Krypton has outlined below. They will be in contact with either Krypton or myself, when the Listing is ready to Publish.

 

Thanks for your patience,

Nomex

Northern California Volunteer Reviewer

 

View Log

February 10 by caccbag (456 found)

 

Original Cache Location:N 37° 25.558 W 122° 08.665

 

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February 10 by caccbag (456 found)

 

"Since you're not answering my question, I cannot publish your cache. At this point you should select an appeal option if you wish to pursue this cache placement. "

 

What question? I"ll answer any question, but I don't see one.

 

Yes, please see if other volunteers will review this and if they would allow this. It does seem unfair that this one can't be published - yesterday alone I found one on the door frame of a Cannery business in San Francisco, and another I had to enter an arcade to log a virtual; and today made a FTF by getting a cache placed on the underside of a restuarant's sidewalk table. There are caches in downtown San Francisco in the courtyard of businesses; in hotels; Levi Strauss square; in Bechtel Plaza; at the Ferry Building shops; a multi that takes one through shops on the street; a multi/puzzle that requires going to the Hillsdale mall; etc. And, the one I mentioned that is in a restaurant in Woodside. There must be thousands of caches that expressly state that the "business owner has granted us permission to place this cache here".

 

I changed the listing a bit to take emphasis off the business and instead put it on the history of the theater in hope that helps. There never was, and still isn't, any mention of the business name or their products in the cache listing.

 

Thank you

 

View / Edit Logs / Images Upload an Image for this Log

February 10 by Krypton

 

Hi caccbag

 

Since you're not answering my question, I cannot publish your cache. At this point you should select an appeal option if you wish to pursue this cache placement.

 

If you would like for me to bring your cache up for discussion among all the other volunteer cache reviewers in our private forum, leave a reviewer note here on your cache page asking me to do that. I will post your cache and allow two or three days for discussion and voting.

 

If you would like to appeal the denial of your cache directly to Groundspeak, (visit link)

 

Of course, you may also choose to hide the cache at another location or to simply archive your listing.

 

Please post a reviewer note when you have addressed this and enable the listing so it will be visible to the reviewers for further review.

 

Additionally, please note that in 30 days, if this review is not complete and I've not heard from you, I will be forced to archive it. Don't let your cache get archived for non-communication.

 

Thanks for your cooperation!

Krypton

Northern California Groundspeak Volunteer Cache Reviewer

 

Manage your cache listing (visit link)

 

View Log

February 10 by caccbag (456 found)

 

Original Cache Location:N 37° 25.558 W 122° 08.665

 

View / Edit Logs / Images Upload an Image for this Log

February 10 by caccbag (456 found)

 

Huh?! This is not a commercial cache - in fact I had to convince the owners to let me use their place. There are caches everywhere connected to businesses, under restaurant tables (I got a FTF on one of those this morning), in a company's courtyard, on the side of their buildings and inside businesses. I actually got this idea from : GCG874 where people go inside a restaurant and ask the hostess to access a cache. My listing expressly states that no purchase is necessary. The whole reason I used this place is due to the history of the old theater and the tie-in with the word "Zombie". I swear, it is getting harder and harder to place caches that are fun or have a theme - soon the only caches will be a blinkie on a street post.

 

Please tell me what I need to do to seek an exemption since it says they will be granted from Groundspeak.

 

Thank you

 

View / Edit Logs / Images Upload an Image for this Log

February 10 by Krypton

 

Hi caccbag

 

Groundspeak provides a cache listing service and the expectation is that cache pages will be about the cache, with perhaps a bit of information about the history or features of the location.

 

I have reviewed your geocache submission for listing on the website. I'm writing to ask you to relocate your cache out of the business, interaction with employees or caches inside of businesses ar4e considered commercial caches and are not permitted.

 

Knowledge Books Guidelines 3.1.4.2 (visit link)

 

Please post a reviewer note when you have addressed this and enable the listing so it will be visible to the reviewers for further review.

 

Additionally, please note that in 30 days, if this review is not complete and I've not heard from you, I will be forced to archive it. Don't let your cache get archived for non-communication.

 

Thanks for your cooperation!

Krypton

Northern California Groundspeak Volunteer Cache Reviewer

 

Manage your cache listing (visit link)

 

View Log

Link to comment

As someone who recently had a wonderful (IMHO) cache denied because the historic building in which I was hiding a cache was converted to a retail establishment, I say don't even bother. My cache description had no mention of the store name, no purchase was necessary, no employee interaction necessary, and non-commercial (it was centered on a Zombie movie theme and was in an historic theater for which I had gone to great length to get the owners' consent). The guidelines clearly allow for exceptions - but it was blindly rejected. We tried to create something beyond the blinkie on a street sign and hide-a-key under a bench - something fun, educational (the cache was linked to historic theater site and gave a history of the theater and the old town section where it was located) and geared for the family (the cache was an ammo box filled with over 100 toys and trinkets). Still, even after an appeal, it was rejected......the day after I was FTF on a cache placed under a dining table at a restaurant!!!! Sometimes I don't know what I hate more - hypocrisy or beuracracy. Sour grapes? You bet! So much so I am about to just give up on our cache-a-day streak, resign as our geocache merit badge counsler and archive and post all our caches (past and future) to other caching sites. Remember - these are "guidelines" which in their own words allow for exceptions. We are not engaged in open heart surgery or even an Olympic sport. This was intended to be a fun hobby for the whole family. Why destroy it and alienate its members by being so inflexible to the point of insulting members who support it through time, money and effort (paid memberships, creating caches, buying materials and going through all the effort of maintenance and placement)?

 

There's more to this story than what you're telling, I'm sure.

 

Really? What do you want to know? OK - I admit, I re-wrote the cache description about 5 or so times to eliminate as much commercial aspects as possible. The orginal description did say something like "Just go in and ask a friendly Zombie for the cache and they will point you to it." - but I deleted that when I learned employee interaction is also a "no no". Other than that, you got it. And that was before a second reviewer saw it and the appeal.

 

BTW - the guidelines clearly state both that it is only a "general rule" and that it applies to those caches "presumed" to be commercial. Doesn't seem general - seems immovable - despite the fact that a presumption is just that - a presumption, and as such it can be overcome by facts (unless the "general" "guidelines" are applied with an unreasonable inflexability).

 

Oh, and by the way....the retail store is a small hole in the wall that markets to ultramarathoners (people who race in 50 and 100 mile footraces). That is how I got to know about the location. I think the potential consumers pale by comparison to the caches located at the three closest malls. Here are the reviewer posts so there is nothing more to the story:

 

February 11 by caccbag (456 found)

 

I give up

 

View / Edit Logs / Images Upload an Image for this Log

February 11 by Sandy (5 found)

 

This cache has been referred to Appeals. You will hear from Groundspeak shortly.

 

View Log

February 11 by caccbag (456 found)

 

Thanks Krypton and Nomex:

 

I have rewritten the cache description yet again. The cache will be in plain site so no employee interaction is necessary. But there is no way I can hide an ammo box or other standard size cache around this old theater where it would not be muggled within a day. Inside the theater is the only option and it fits the old horror theme of the cache. Per your suggestion I have appealed and hope it can be published. Otherwise I might as well stop making creative and fun caches and only plant blinkies, hide-a-keys and 35mm containers on street signs and benches.

 

View / Edit Logs / Images Upload an Image for this Log

February 11 by Nomex

 

Hi caccbag,

 

I am one of the other Volunteer Reviewers for Northern California, and I'm afraid that I'll have to agree with Krypton's review of your Listing. The following part of your Description is pretty much a show stopper:

 

quote:

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Simply go inside and ask one of the friendly zombies if you can have access to the zombie supply box ...

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

From the Guidelines:

 

quote:

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

The geocache is presumed to be commercial if the finder is required to go inside a business,...

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

That pretty much spells out the limits of what a Volunteer Reviewer can Publish. Beyond that, it's up to Groundspeak whether to allow such Listings on the site or not.

 

Please contact Appeals as Krypton has outlined below. They will be in contact with either Krypton or myself, when the Listing is ready to Publish.

 

Thanks for your patience,

Nomex

Northern California Volunteer Reviewer

 

View Log

February 10 by caccbag (456 found)

 

Original Cache Location:N 37° 25.558 W 122° 08.665

 

View / Edit Logs / Images Upload an Image for this Log

February 10 by caccbag (456 found)

 

"Since you're not answering my question, I cannot publish your cache. At this point you should select an appeal option if you wish to pursue this cache placement. "

 

What question? I"ll answer any question, but I don't see one.

 

Yes, please see if other volunteers will review this and if they would allow this. It does seem unfair that this one can't be published - yesterday alone I found one on the door frame of a Cannery business in San Francisco, and another I had to enter an arcade to log a virtual; and today made a FTF by getting a cache placed on the underside of a restuarant's sidewalk table. There are caches in downtown San Francisco in the courtyard of businesses; in hotels; Levi Strauss square; in Bechtel Plaza; at the Ferry Building shops; a multi that takes one through shops on the street; a multi/puzzle that requires going to the Hillsdale mall; etc. And, the one I mentioned that is in a restaurant in Woodside. There must be thousands of caches that expressly state that the "business owner has granted us permission to place this cache here".

 

I changed the listing a bit to take emphasis off the business and instead put it on the history of the theater in hope that helps. There never was, and still isn't, any mention of the business name or their products in the cache listing.

 

Thank you

 

View / Edit Logs / Images Upload an Image for this Log

February 10 by Krypton

 

Hi caccbag

 

Since you're not answering my question, I cannot publish your cache. At this point you should select an appeal option if you wish to pursue this cache placement.

 

If you would like for me to bring your cache up for discussion among all the other volunteer cache reviewers in our private forum, leave a reviewer note here on your cache page asking me to do that. I will post your cache and allow two or three days for discussion and voting.

 

If you would like to appeal the denial of your cache directly to Groundspeak, (visit link)

 

Of course, you may also choose to hide the cache at another location or to simply archive your listing.

 

Please post a reviewer note when you have addressed this and enable the listing so it will be visible to the reviewers for further review.

 

Additionally, please note that in 30 days, if this review is not complete and I've not heard from you, I will be forced to archive it. Don't let your cache get archived for non-communication.

 

Thanks for your cooperation!

Krypton

Northern California Groundspeak Volunteer Cache Reviewer

 

Manage your cache listing (visit link)

 

View Log

February 10 by caccbag (456 found)

 

Original Cache Location:N 37° 25.558 W 122° 08.665

 

View / Edit Logs / Images Upload an Image for this Log

February 10 by caccbag (456 found)

 

Huh?! This is not a commercial cache - in fact I had to convince the owners to let me use their place. There are caches everywhere connected to businesses, under restaurant tables (I got a FTF on one of those this morning), in a company's courtyard, on the side of their buildings and inside businesses. I actually got this idea from : GCG874 where people go inside a restaurant and ask the hostess to access a cache. My listing expressly states that no purchase is necessary. The whole reason I used this place is due to the history of the old theater and the tie-in with the word "Zombie". I swear, it is getting harder and harder to place caches that are fun or have a theme - soon the only caches will be a blinkie on a street post.

 

Please tell me what I need to do to seek an exemption since it says they will be granted from Groundspeak.

 

Thank you

 

View / Edit Logs / Images Upload an Image for this Log

February 10 by Krypton

 

Hi caccbag

 

Groundspeak provides a cache listing service and the expectation is that cache pages will be about the cache, with perhaps a bit of information about the history or features of the location.

 

I have reviewed your geocache submission for listing on the website. I'm writing to ask you to relocate your cache out of the business, interaction with employees or caches inside of businesses ar4e considered commercial caches and are not permitted.

 

Knowledge Books Guidelines 3.1.4.2 (visit link)

 

Please post a reviewer note when you have addressed this and enable the listing so it will be visible to the reviewers for further review.

 

Additionally, please note that in 30 days, if this review is not complete and I've not heard from you, I will be forced to archive it. Don't let your cache get archived for non-communication.

 

Thanks for your cooperation!

Krypton

Northern California Groundspeak Volunteer Cache Reviewer

 

Manage your cache listing (visit link)

 

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I published the Zombie cache on two other sites. Yes I know they have a combined readership that is 1% of geocaching, but I decided it was more important to create and publish a fun and educational cache that families can enjoy rather than just going out and sprinkle 12 more park bench blinkies so people can add to their overall cache count. I also hid another pretty unique one today and after receiving the news of the appeal result didn't even bother submitting it. Again, it is tough to be a paying member and going out of my way and wallet to create and hide creative caches that only benefit geocaching.com and its members when geocaching.com refuses to reciprocate with even a reasonable flexibility of their guidelines. This is not a lone example. I lost my mother to breast cancer and created a pink ribbon cache in her memory that neither asked for donations nor even linked to a breast cancer fundraising site (it was linked to info on the disease) - it was refused as being "commercial" - as related to a charity. So I rewrote everything just to get it publsihed. Then last week I tried to publish a cahe that was 8 feet too close to another cache (when planting it, I had my gps in hand and walked around until it showed I was 0.1 miles away, yet when I posted the coords it showed I was 8 feet too close. I could have lied and just added 8 feet but I did not) - that too was denied. This "family hobby" is having the fun run out of it. I have decided I will still offer our troop a geocaching merit badge - but don't look for it on geocaching.com There is no way I would allow a bunch of kids to go through the effort of creating a cache only to have it denied as linked to a cause (such as Boy Scouts....wait that is allowed....but not breast cancer research....consistent application of guidelines?)

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I published the Zombie cache on two other sites. Yes I know they have a combined readership that is 1% of geocaching, but I decided it was more important to create and publish a fun and educational cache that families can enjoy rather than just going out and sprinkle 12 more park bench blinkies so people can add to their overall cache count.

This is a false dichotomy. There are tens of thousands of fun and educational caches out there that do not require interaction with employees.

Again, it is tough to be a paying member and going out of my way and wallet to create and hide creative caches that only benefit geocaching.com and its members when geocaching.com refuses to reciprocate with even a reasonable flexibility of their guidelines.

Your Premium Member status entitles you to access certain Web site functionality. It does not give you any form of advantage over other members when it comes to the guidelines. Specifically, it does not entitle you to negotiate exceptions. All cache placers have the same rights in this respect, and it's a Good Thing™.

I lost my mother to breast cancer and created a pink ribbon cache in her memory that neither asked for donations nor even linked to a breast cancer fundraising site (it was linked to info on the disease) - it was refused as being "commercial" - as related to a charity. So I rewrote everything just to get it publsihed.

I'm sorry for your loss. I'm glad that you took the time to change your cache description so that you could honour your mother's memory while enabling Geocaching to be the main focus of your cache page. So I don't see what the problem is here any more. (If you want to write "anything you want" on a page on the Internet, go to Facebook or Twitter. Far more people will see it there, too.)

Then last week I tried to publish a cahe that was 8 feet too close to another cache (when planting it, I had my gps in hand and walked around until it showed I was 0.1 miles away, yet when I posted the coords it showed I was 8 feet too close. I could have lied and just added 8 feet but I did not) - that too was denied.

0.1 miles is a minimum, and the accuracy of your GPSr is worse than 8 feet. I wonder if you go out to buy a $3.20 hamburger with exactly $3.20 in your pocket? If you get a speeding ticket for being 3mph over the limit, do you think the cop should automatically be lenient, even if there are no extenuating circumstances? If so, what is the meaning of the limit?

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They are "guidelines" with - not hard rules, and the guidelines themselves state only that it is a "presumption", meaning it can be overcome by facts and that exceptions are allowed. Plus, this is a game - flexability should be an element, I doubt you are so inflexable in real life as you make out to be in your post. Plus the inconsistent application is bothersome - you seem to have no issue with the other commercial caches they publish (and these are not grandfathered in, they are recent) which seem to violate your written in stone rule. Plus, I for one do see a mere 8 foot deviation after a gps unit read 0.1 foot; or losing a parent to a disease; or, creating a cache in an historic theater as "extenuating" circumstances...or at least facts that should be considered in deciding whether or not to be reasonable with members.

 

What I state is my belief - that an organization that publishes suggested guidelines for a game that is intended to be a family fun activity and is supported by people who volunteer the time and money to promote that by building/hiding/maintaining caches should show flexability and reasonableness rather than alienate those who help support and create that very organization.

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I am curious. I understood that the normal appeals process would not work for commercial caches. I thought the procedure if that clause was invoked and changes could not be made to satisfy the guidelines was to contact Groundspeak through the contact address and ask for a wavier. Did you do this? Am I wrong?

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They are "guidelines" with - not hard rules, and the guidelines themselves state only that it is a "presumption", meaning it can be overcome by facts and that exceptions are allowed. Plus, this is a game - flexability should be an element, I doubt you are so inflexable in real life as you make out to be in your post. Plus the inconsistent application is bothersome - you seem to have no issue with the other commercial caches they publish (and these are not grandfathered in, they are recent) which seem to violate your written in stone rule. Plus, I for one do see a mere 8 foot deviation after a gps unit read 0.1 foot; or losing a parent to a disease; or, creating a cache in an historic theater as "extenuating" circumstances...or at least facts that should be considered in deciding whether or not to be reasonable with members.

 

What I state is my belief - that an organization that publishes suggested guidelines for a game that is intended to be a family fun activity and is supported by people who volunteer the time and money to promote that by building/hiding/maintaining caches should show flexability and reasonableness rather than alienate those who help support and create that very organization.

 

Fact of the matter is that there are 1.2 million active caches and probably another half million or so that were once active. That means an awful lot of people are getting their caches published with minimal or no problems. Many of these caches are creative and/or educational.

 

The guidelines are flexible to an extent. That is why they are sprinkled with "may nots" rather than "shall nots". But nobody has a right to assume that he is special and the guidelines don't apply to him. If you know your cache might be crossing a line, run it by the reviewer before hiding it. If he says no, then appeal, or move on and alter your hide to bring it into compliance the way many thousands of other cache owners have done.

 

If you keep bumping up against the guidelines, maybe the problem is you and not the guidelines. With over 300 hides, I've had exactly 1 cache ever questioned by a reviewer. I'm not special. I simply read the guidelines and don't place caches with the assumption that I am entitled to any exceptions. And I'm not alone as evidenced by all of the caches out there.

Edited by briansnat
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I have never had a cache denied, and I feel all my caches are educational and most are not run of the mill caches. You have to read and interpret the guidelines like a reviewer. It sounds like you have some cool ideas and are very excited to hide caches. Don't let the first few bumps stop that.

 

Your zombie cache sound pretty awesome except that it takes me into a money making business. I know I don't have to talk to an employee or anything but that doesn't keep them from trying to sell me something. You could take that zombie cache and make it where you just have to gather information from the old theater marque or something and then have the final elsewhere. Yes there are some old caches that were published before the commercial guidelines and probably others where the CO mislead the reviewer. If you see one like that feel free to post a NA log.

 

8 feet seems a little strict, but was there no place 8 feet away to hide your cache. I've been hit by being to close once on a puzzle cache. I had to rewrite the whole puzzle. Was I frustrated? Sure. Was it my reviewers fault? Not in the least.

 

I've seen several instances on these forums where a pink ribbon type cache was denied. That falls under the no agenda guideline. I think almost everyone agrees that fighting cacner is a good agenda, but it is an agenda and Groundspeak does not ever want to decide what's a good aganda and what is not. So they banned all agendas on cache pages.

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Fact is with 1.2 million active caches it is also getting harder to create and place interesting and creative and educational locations that do not cross one of the guidelines. This is especially true in a city like Palo Alto. Look it up on the GC map - rabid cache territory. Even the Zombie one I proposed would have been 0.1 miles away on 2 different directions from 2 different caches and 0.2 from another. And I never once said we were more special than other cachers. In fact the opposite, I believe all cachers do desrve reasonableness and flexability in the guidelines - especially when the guidelines themselves purport to state that they are only "generally" applied, that they are but "presumptions" and "exceptions" can be requested. It wasn't even so much the reviewers that upset me - they did what they were told to do by GS. But GS said exceptions could be made and that it is merely a presumption - so we followed the procedure. And when I followed the procedure and explained why the presumption was wrong and why an exception could be made by their own guidelines the response was they can't because the cache goes against the presumption of the guidline (yes, I know that is why we appealed per the guidelines). While we don't have 300+ hides out there, we do have almost 100. So I know it can be done - but that doesn't mean that GS should make it harder to do or that they should alienate those that actually make up the GS community. Without people like us that actually hide all these caches, geocaching wouldn't exist. An organization, any organization, should not be so extremely fundalmentalist and deaf to its members to the point it alienates them. Maybe what happened to us doesn't alienate you. But it alienated us.

 

The 8 foot one - this is what happeend: I found this hotel owned by a former SuperBowl coach (for whom we already have anotehr cache placed near his former high school). I wanted to put something small (it was only a blinkie, but it was all I had on me at the time) on the hotel's sign. Garmin showed it was way to close to anotehr cache. So I walked and walked around the hotel until I hit 0.1 miles away. That took me to the furthest corner, outside the driveway to the rear entrance of the parking garage. But OK, it was there. I marked the waypoint on the garmin. When I got home I went to log it. I checked and it showed I was 8 feet too close. Don't know why the Garmin said 0.1 at the time and GC said 8 feet less but it did. So I was very upfront and explained this in the cache listing when it was submitted. I could have lied and moved the inputted coords 8 feet away (would have been within a reasonable zone of a cache search radius) but I don't lie on our cache submissions. It was denied. I was irritated, but OK - it is disabled and being moved this weekend acrss the street. Loses the connection a bit I believe, but OK.

 

Breast cancer....agenda? You don't think agendas are allowed? How many Girls Scout and Boy Scout caches have you found (GS even helped establish a geocaching merit badge....for which I am a counsler at our troop)? How many placed at sites of religious importance? Little league caches? How many at memorials for armed forces? I will admit that breast cancer research has an agenda....but let's not pretend many caches that are still being published everyday do not reflect an agenda of a charity, religion or organization.

 

Hypocrisy is worse than bureaucracy. Combined they have the effct of alienating and inflaming. And again, this is a "hobby". It is not reckless driving being prohibited as likened by someone; it is not an Olympic sport (heck it isn't even a high school sport). It is not brain surgey. It is not even Scrabble. It is an activity, as stated on Geocaching's own website, that is a "game" intended to be "enjoyed" by people with a "sense of community" and they recommend "Bring friends and family with you; sharing the experience can be very rewarding." Not making reasonable concessions to members that are trying to publish caches promoting the above listed values and goals seems self-defeating to me.

 

But this all started when the first cacher asked about getting a waiver from the commercial guidelines so I listed my experience. Most here seem OK with GS' unwavering decision, they good for them. I am not so I am not moving the cache. I am complying with GC's rules, I have archived it and it is up on alternate caching sites - which will probably be where all our future caches will go and I doubt I will renew my paid membership in the future. I will keep using GC as the whole reason I started caching was a way to get my kids away from tv and video games an spend time together with me in the outdoors. But pay a governing board that turns a deaf ear to members? No, can't see doing that.

Edited by caccbag
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If you follow the guidelines and communicate with your reviewer, it isn't difficult to get a cache published.

 

If you ignore the guidelines and expect special treatment for no reason, it's difficult to get a cache published.

 

The reviewers are reasonable about the commercial and agenda guidelines. They recognize, rightly, that placing a cache near/at a church doesn't constitute an agenda. Placing a cache that tells people they ought to go to church does constitute an agenda. Similarly, placing a cache near a business is a different matter than placing a cache inside a business - particularly when you must interact with that business's employees to get the cache.

 

As I suspected, cacabag's story isn't one of injustice, it's one of entitlement and willful disregard for community standards.

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If you follow the guidelines and communicate with your reviewer, it isn't difficult to get a cache published.

 

If you ignore the guidelines and expect special treatment for no reason, it's difficult to get a cache published.

 

The reviewers are reasonable about the commercial and agenda guidelines. They recognize, rightly, that placing a cache near/at a church doesn't constitute an agenda. Placing a cache that tells people they ought to go to church does constitute an agenda. Similarly, placing a cache near a business is a different matter than placing a cache inside a business - particularly when you must interact with that business's employees to get the cache.

 

As I suspected, cacabag's story isn't one of injustice, it's one of entitlement and willful disregard for community standards.

 

Glad your suspecions were proven correct (in your mind). It is obvious GS can do no wrong in your eyes. I did everything you claim I should have done. I communicated with the reviewers, I eliminated all aspects of comemrcial tone and employee interaction, I used the proper channels and I supplied the reasons. GS is ignoring their own guidelines that state it is only a presumption that can be overcome. Of course, you seem to have no issue with them publishing a cache two days ago that is a hide-a-key on a restaurant's table (coords show it right at the restuarant and the cache description even states "Please be thoughtful to anyone who may be having a bite where you think it might be.". Or one 30 minutes away that require one to enter a restuarant and ask the hostess for access to the cache. Or the multis that take place in our two largest shopping malls; or another multi taht takes cachers to Starbucks and otehr coffee business around town. But, I'm the one that wants special treatment? No, since you appear not to have read or incapable of understanding what I wrote, I will repeat: what I was seeking is fair, consistent and reasonable treatment, not inflexable and unreasonable application of guidelines in what is only a hobby. I also said I was not upset with the reviewers, but with GS itself. Next time please read before you reply.

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If you follow the guidelines and communicate with your reviewer, it isn't difficult to get a cache published.

 

If you ignore the guidelines and expect special treatment for no reason, it's difficult to get a cache published.

 

The reviewers are reasonable about the commercial and agenda guidelines. They recognize, rightly, that placing a cache near/at a church doesn't constitute an agenda. Placing a cache that tells people they ought to go to church does constitute an agenda. Similarly, placing a cache near a business is a different matter than placing a cache inside a business - particularly when you must interact with that business's employees to get the cache.

 

As I suspected, cacabag's story isn't one of injustice, it's one of entitlement and willful disregard for community standards.

 

Glad your suspecions were proven correct (in your mind). It is obvious GS can do no wrong in your eyes. I did everything you claim I should have done. I communicated with the reviewers, I eliminated all aspects of comemrcial tone and employee interaction, I used the proper channels and I supplied the reasons. GS is ignoring their own guidelines that state it is only a presumption that can be overcome. Of course, you seem to have no issue with them publishing a cache two days ago that is a hide-a-key on a restaurant's table (coords show it right at the restuarant and the cache description even states "Please be thoughtful to anyone who may be having a bite where you think it might be.". Or one 30 minutes away that require one to enter a restuarant and ask the hostess for access to the cache. Or the multis that take place in our two largest shopping malls; or another multi taht takes cachers to Starbucks and otehr coffee business around town. But, I'm the one that wants special treatment? No, since you appear not to have read or incapable of understanding what I wrote, I will repeat: what I was seeking is fair, consistent and reasonable treatment, not inflexable and unreasonable application of guidelines in what is only a hobby. I also said I was not upset with the reviewers, but with GS itself. Next time please read before you reply.

 

Whether or not there is an issue with other cache placements is irrelevant. If you read the guidelines, you will notice that "the past publication of a similar geocache in and of itself is not a valid justification for the publication of a new geocache." If you think a cache violates the guidelines, you can use the appropriate channels to report it - but you can't use it as an excuse to publish your own monkey-see-monkey-do cache that also violates the guidelines.

 

Your claims of unreasonable and "inflexable" application of the guidelines are negated by your examples of caches where leeway has been granted - clearly, there is some flexibility, or else these examples wouldn't exist.

 

I'm not surprised that you were unable to get an exception - when you submit a cache for publication, you had to tick off a box claiming that you have read and understand the guidelines. Since your entire argument is clearly addressed in the third and fourth paragraphs of the guidelines, your credibility is, at best, highly questionable.

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By thier very nature - excemptions to anybody's guidelines should be rare if the guideline is to have any meaning whatsoever.

 

I've been around long enough to know the exceptions are made all the time but should never be expected.

 

I know that I would not be comfortable going into a business just to get a cache - I would feel obligated to look amd buy someting. That I alone would feel that way makes it commercial.

 

Not every place needs a cache.

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By thier very nature - excemptions to anybody's guidelines should be rare if the guideline is to have any meaning whatsoever.

 

I've been around long enough to know the exceptions are made all the time but should never be expected.

 

I know that I would not be comfortable going into a business just to get a cache - I would feel obligated to look amd buy someting. That I alone would feel that way makes it commercial.

 

Not every place needs a cache.

 

OK - I agree with you. Not every place needs a cache. But this place is an historic movie theater. It has a retail establishment in the revamped section. The cache is a zombie theme played off of old movies, theaters, etc. It has information on the history of the historic part of town and the theater and is linked to website about historic theaters. The owners are personal friends and even then it took some eduaction on geocaching to get them to agree to place it there. They know they are prohibited from engaging with geocachers or trying to sell them stuff and I trust them at their word. Plus....the store is for equipment and supplies for ultramarathoners (people who run 50, 100, 200 mile footraces)....no disrespect but I doubt there are many in the geocaching community that would be a target audience for such a shop. The fear of any commercal pressure is minimal at best. The reason the idea came to me is the shop goes by the name of ZombieRunners and I thought "perfect!" a zombie word in the old historic theater.

 

I am not saying do away with all rules or guidelines. I am not saying we alone deserve to be excused. I am saying that Groundspeak themselves needs to recognize that their own guidelines are only "generally" applied (it says that) and that exceptions are allowed within the rule if the "presumption" can be overcome. Yet, rather than saying "the facts you stated don't overcome the presumption" - it is rejecetd because it goes against the guidelines. This was the decision on the exception:

 

"Thank you for your email and the chance to address your appeal. Essentially the information that the cache reviewers have provided about our updated guidelines is correct. While there may be some older cachers that require cachers to go inside commercial properties, we need to apply current guidelines to your new cache submission. We will not be able to make an exception for this cache. I am sorry, but hope you will be able to find another way to place the cache."

 

We never said the reviewers were incorrect. We were seeking an exception from Groundspeak per their stated procedure. we were seeking to show that the presumption had been overcome. But what happened nullifies any bona fide appeal process since the result is predetermined (You can appeal for an exception if the cache goes against the guidelines but it will be denied because it goes against the guidelines). That coupled with the fact caches are allowed to be placed everyday (not what GS quoted as being a need to apply teh current guidelines) at "our favorite neighborhood pastry shop" or "we ate here and thought the view was fantastic" or "go to this Starbucks and the price of their latte is XYZ and fill in the 122.14.XYZ to get to the next coffee house" or "don't disturb the diners as you get the micro under the restaurant table"., etc. The type of potential sales pressure at these caches is greater than having a family go into an ultramarathon shop to get an ammo can filled with toys and trinkets (and every trackable was a Zombie related one, FTF prizes were Zombie patches and bracelets, etc.). We probably invested somewhere between $50 and $100 on this cache....now it goes to waste. I admit it - it will be wasted on the alternate sites as their members are a tiny fraction of geocaching.com. But those few can enjoy the special cache we created. We did not place it in a McDonalds or at the local used car shop or in a mall (like many taht exist around here and are published to this day). We placed it in an historic building that happened to have a retail shop aimed at probably 0.00000000001% of the community.

 

And, just as information, here was the proposed cache wording:

 

WHEN ZOMBIES ATTACK! (also titled: Having an Old Friend for Dinner)

 

PLOT SUMMARY:

The Undead terrorize geocachers in historic Palo Alto.

OPENING SCENE:

(Voice of Announcer): It is of great fear that we must report Zombies are roaming the streets. You may not be safe in your own home - as Zombies are everywhere. How do you protect yourself?

 

Know these simple guidelines:

 

1) Zombies move slow.....but they keep moving no matter what.

2) Zombies enjoy a snack or two....usually it is someone you know (the snack that is....or the Zombie....worse case is when it is both).

3) Zombies can easily be detected if you are downwind from them.

4) Never give a Zombie a helping hand or a piece of your mind....it only makes them stronger (and probably hurts you).

5) To distract a Zombie...toss one of your friends in front of it and run!

 

THE LOCATION:

This cache is hidden in an historic theatre on California Avenue in Palo Alto. Originally named for a small community, Mayfield, which was later annexed to Palo Alto, this theater was originally a simple Spanish Mission style structure, but was given a plain Moderne facade and marquee in the Fifties. The last chain to operate it was Renaissance Rialto. Today the marquee is a well known fixture on southern California Avenue - bringing back memories of Saturday horror movie matinees.

 

Closed in the late 1980s, the building is now reopened for the public. The marquee still reads Fine Arts in neon, and the original facade still exists in part behind the Fifties era fascia. It is sure to bring back memories of those who watched Zombies and other monsters in old movies of the past in this theater.

 

Hours to access the cache are: Tue-Fri 11am-6pm; Sat 12pm-5pm; Sun 10am-2pm

 

STORYLINE:

Simply go inside and seek out the zombie supply box (an ammo box for the undead). It is in plain view. There is no purchase necessary and the owners have agreed to allow this cache to rest in peace in their location. But please be respectful of the location, employees and the patrons. Please look around and you will see the framework of the old theatre and how some old theatre chairs are still there. The old wood theatre floor is still intact and the stage is the rear stock room area.

 

MOVIE RATING:

Bring the mini-cachers as this cache is really full of fun goodies and is intended as a true family cache. We brought back to life about half of the goodies we have ever recovered from caches around the world....thus even the cache contents themselves have been given a second chance to walk the earth. Please leave something if you take something and be sure to sign the Log Book Of The Undead.

 

SPECIAL EFFECTS:

For the First-to-Find a California Zombie Hunter patch or Zombie Hunter bracelet or many other undead, horror things to choose from. This is wheelchair accessible.

 

Sorry....we believe the guidelines were simply unreasonably applied and no true appeal process was even granted. The result was predetermined. We never started a thread on this nor posted any "call to boycott GS" or such. This was originally a response to someone asking about commercial caches and exceptions. We believe that as members of the geocaching community, we are obligated to critique what we see as unfair and to openly offer suggestions in ways to improve the hobby of geocaching for all. Some people believe that Groundspeak is beyond question, and any critique is blasphemy. We don't and we believe that by adopting a more reasonable and flexible interpretation of this family hobby and applying them in a more consistent manner, the end result will be more fun and creative caches.

Edited by caccbag
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By thier very nature - excemptions to anybody's guidelines should be rare if the guideline is to have any meaning whatsoever.

 

I've been around long enough to know the exceptions are made all the time but should never be expected.

 

I know that I would not be comfortable going into a business just to get a cache - I would feel obligated to look amd buy someting. That I alone would feel that way makes it commercial.

 

Not every place needs a cache.

 

.... The reason the idea came to me is the shop goes by the name of ZombieRunners and I thought "perfect!" a zombie word in the old historic theater....

 

 

I think I spot a huge problem right there - the store name is practically in the cache title and that is a no-no.

 

Do not assume that your appeal was pre-determined - I have seen exceptions made to the commercial guideline - yours was simply denied. Sorry but again - I think exceptions should be quite rare - not near automatic.

Edited by StarBrand
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Some people believe that Groundspeak is beyond question, and any critique is blasphemy.

 

This is just hyperbole. You are not presenting a valid critique. You are simply complaining because Groundspeak didn't give you special treatment. Your story demonstrates an inappropriate sense of entitlement and a willful disregard for the guidelines. I don't think you should be surprised that Groundspeak would dismiss you when your behaviour is completely dismissive of Groundspeak, its representatives, and the geocaching community.

 

Perhaps if you demonstrated even a basic awareness of the guidelines, you'd get a little more sympathy and flexibility. As it stands, it appears that you completely disregarded the guidelines when you created this cache. Given the considerable amount of time, money, and effort you claim you've put into it, it seems bizarre that you didn't consult a reviewer before putting the cache in place and trying to have it published. Tossing $150 into a geocache that clearly violates the guidelines without running it by a reviewer was simply foolish, and it is simply ridiculous for you to expect sympathy on that count.

Edited by narcissa
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I once had a cache held up because I mentioned a company name when giving parking directions (i.e. Parking for the little league fields is in the Focus on the Family parking lot). The cache was on the far corner of the property nowhere near the buildings or any employee interaction. It was denied for being commercial so I changed it. A couple of years later another cache was placed nearby. Know what it was called? Focus on the Family. <_<

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By thier very nature - excemptions to anybody's guidelines should be rare if the guideline is to have any meaning whatsoever.

 

I've been around long enough to know the exceptions are made all the time but should never be expected.

 

I know that I would not be comfortable going into a business just to get a cache - I would feel obligated to look amd buy someting. That I alone would feel that way makes it commercial.

 

Not every place needs a cache.

Excellent summary. Wish I could be so concise ;) There are two more point that I will make.

 

Guidelines change. At one time there was no presumption that going into a store and interacting with employees was commercial. Many caches hidden like this. This was a way a regular or large size cache could be hidden in an urban area and because these are hard to "muggle" they made great travel bug hotels. Under the old guidelines it was enough to state that no purchase was necessary. Most of the time this worked out just find - although there were always a few who said they felt uncomfortable going into a store and asking for the cache without buying something. But there were a few cases where the store employees didn't get the message. People would come in to look for the cache and employee would give them the hard sell. When it happened the reviewers had to archive the cache. Groundspeak and the reviewers decided to change the guideline to include the presumption that going inside and interacting with employees was commercial. I'm sure they understood that some good, fun, caches would be denied now. That is the nature of the guidelines. Often a few problem caches have resulted in guidelines that limit what others can do. There is always a trade-off.

 

Having a cool interesting location for a cache is not a reason for granting exceptions. Virtual caches had precisely this guideline. They would not be published unless they brought you to a "wow" location. I understand you have found a location that was an old movie theater that was a location for a movie about zombies and the this location is now a retail store. I certainly appreciate when a cacher find a interesting location like this and places a cache there. But I would expect that this cache meets the same guidelines as any other cache. I would not want there to be one set of guidelines for "wow" caches and another for park bench blinkies or whatever you think is less deserving. The reviewers certainly don't want to be in the position of deciding which caches are "wow" again.

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I've always understood the guideline to mean the cache name, description, cache page pictures, background picture, etc. I've never understood it to also include notes and find logs. However, you have introduced something thats a little bit of both. A note logged by the cache owner. Since you are the cache owner, I can see why they'd take issue with a note that you posted on the cache page with the magazine in it.

 

Maybe the guideline should be reworded to prohibit notes of a commercial nature that are posted by the cache owner. Until then, I can see the loophole you've worked yourself in to and I don't see anything wrong with that.

Edited by simpjkee
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Wow! Nothing from the OP, in the OP, says anything about having to go inside the theater (which is required to find the cache) except the quoted guidelines in which the first line is: The geocache is presumed to be commercial if the finder is required to go inside a business

 

How could the OP not see why it was rejected? All this business of the OP writing the commercial note on the cache page is the least of the problems.

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Some people believe that Groundspeak is beyond question, and any critique is blasphemy.

 

This is just hyperbole. You are not presenting a valid critique. You are simply complaining because Groundspeak didn't give you special treatment. Your story demonstrates an inappropriate sense of entitlement and a willful disregard for the guidelines. I don't think you should be surprised that Groundspeak would dismiss you when your behaviour is completely dismissive of Groundspeak, its representatives, and the geocaching community.

 

Perhaps if you demonstrated even a basic awareness of the guidelines, you'd get a little more sympathy and flexibility. As it stands, it appears that you completely disregarded the guidelines when you created this cache. Given the considerable amount of time, money, and effort you claim you've put into it, it seems bizarre that you didn't consult a reviewer before putting the cache in place and trying to have it published. Tossing $150 into a geocache that clearly violates the guidelines without running it by a reviewer was simply foolish, and it is simply ridiculous for you to expect sympathy on that count.

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Please try and use more ad hominem attacks instead of reason and fact. I just don't see enough in your posts. I will repeat for the 3rd time for you (please find someone to read this to you) I DO NOT WANT SPECIAL TREATMENT. I WANT FAIR AND REASONABLE APPLICATION OF THE RULES FOR ALL. ALL (THAT MEANS MORE THAN ME...EVEN INCLUDES YOU). Nearly 100 caches published I think does show some a "basic understanding of the guidelines"....what I posted here shows a "basic understanding of the guidelines" - I followed the guidelines and I went up the appeal ladder which was rejected for the very reason it was presented - that a cache may appear to be presumed commercial but appeal if reasons can be presented otherwise. READ the guidelines before you preach them, maybe it is not me that lacks a basic understanding. Granted, I am not a multi-platnium earthcacher like some but I do my best not to start off insulting and attacking anyone that critiques Groundspeak.

 

And your post clearly demonstrates that what I wrote is anything but hyperbole - it shows you feel that GS is beyond critique and just because I offer a critique, I must be seeking special treatment and that I must lacka ny basic understanding. How dare I question your religion! I do apologize for offering an opinion that differs from yoru own or your demigod GS. I am sorry you were exposed to a differing opinion. Hopefully you will recover.

Edited by caccbag
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Wow! Nothing from the OP, in the OP, says anything about having to go inside the theater (which is required to find the cache) except the quoted guidelines in which the first line is: The geocache is presumed to be commercial if the finder is required to go inside a business

 

How could the OP not see why it was rejected? All this business of the OP writing the commercial note on the cache page is the least of the problems.

 

Please do not confuse teh original poster's questions with my issues. They are not the same. Best as I can tell, he was not seeking an exemption to have a cache placed in a business.

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By thier very nature - excemptions to anybody's guidelines should be rare if the guideline is to have any meaning whatsoever.

 

I've been around long enough to know the exceptions are made all the time but should never be expected.

 

I know that I would not be comfortable going into a business just to get a cache - I would feel obligated to look amd buy someting. That I alone would feel that way makes it commercial.

 

Not every place needs a cache.

 

.... The reason the idea came to me is the shop goes by the name of ZombieRunners and I thought "perfect!" a zombie word in the old historic theater....

 

 

I think I spot a huge problem right there - the store name is practically in the cache title and that is a no-no.

 

Do not assume that your appeal was pre-determined - I have seen exceptions made to the commercial guideline - yours was simply denied. Sorry but again - I think exceptions should be quite rare - not near automatic.

 

I do believe the appeal was predetermined because teh reason it was rejected was that the cache violated a guideline which is why there is supposed to be an appeal. And the fact the store ZombieRunner contains teh word Zombie to me is not even close to having teh name. If I said "Zombie" to anyone - who would jump to teh fact it meant a running store? Yet, I see many caches that contain references to "Starbucks" or local businesses nearby or on which is planted the cache. Plus, there are many caches that use the link between a name (business, building, park, town, etc.) in the cache name. Simply put, the store name was not in the cache at all. Plus, most importantly, in all 3 reviewers notes and GS's own denial, that was never mentioned as an issue.

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it shows you feel that GS is beyond critique

 

No I don't. I think they were correct in this particular situation. I don't hesitate to criticize Groundspeak when they make poor decisions. In this case, the decision they made was absolutely correct. The cache was blatantly commercial and did not deserve secondary consideration for any reason.

Edited by narcissa
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it shows you feel that GS is beyond critique

 

No I don't. I think they were correct in this particular situation. I don't hesitate to criticize Groundspeak when they make poor decisions. In this case, the decision they made was absolutely correct. The cache was blatantly commercial and did not deserve secondary consideration for any reason.

 

Where? - please share with me one single example of you criticizing Groundspeak. One. Unless that means I am seeking special treatment.

 

And per their own guideliens, even if presumed commercial, there is (claimed) an appeal process to get an exemption. Blatant? No, I do not believe you feel that - you say it because I called you on the many errors in your "argument of insults".

Edited by caccbag
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Yet, I see many caches that contain references to "Starbucks" or local businesses nearby or on which is planted the cache.

 

When you see caches that violate the guidelines, report them to a reviewer. Trying to use them as an excuse for violating the guidelines yourself won't work - the issue of precedent is clearly addressed in the guidelines. Remember, when you try to publish a cache, you must agree that you've read and understood the guidelines. By demonstrating that you haven't in such a manner, you're really damaging your credibility. Why should Groundspeak give you any further consideration if you haven't even made it past the first four paragraphs of the guidelines?

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