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Trekkin' and birdin'

Sudden slew of non-answers

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We've noticed a trend that is a bit frustrating for us as EC owners. We have had many people log our ECs and never send an answer. We have a "three strikes" kind of sequence of emails we send to obtain responses. Some people do get back to us. Others may not, and once it's apparent they don't intend to do so, the log is finally deleted, with a note that they are free to relog once the tasks are completed. We understand if maybe one part couldn't be done for this or that reason, but at least try.

 

We've had one come back today after the third strike, complaining about our "severe attitude" and that if people want to log things they didn't do, that's their problem. At about strike two, we point out that answering the questions *is* the logging requirement and it's unfair to those who did take the time to do the tasks and record their findings. There was the suggestion of swearing and hostility in this response, which was the first one from this cacher since our initial communication.

 

What is everyone else doing? We realize some of this might be a smartphone thing, and to be honest, it's making it less than fun to create these things and monitor them anymore. We've been dealing with it quite a lot. Ideas?

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How long are you giving with your three strikes thing?

 

I know on vacation I was able to occasionally log caches on my phone long and painful process and I like to keep them in order as I dip my coin through them. However, I was not always able to send answers for virtuals and earth caches right then and there. In a couple instances I sent my answers at the end of the vacation about a week later.

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I haven't had to delete a log in some time....until this month. If I do not get an email with answers once a find was made typically don't even give a thought until after several days go by. Once several days go by I check out a finders profile and decide to delete or remind with emails based on lots of factors like their newness to the game, have they done ECs before, are they traveling...usually there is no response to emails so the deletion follows. One this week sent no email and looking at his profile he had over 60 traditional finds and three ECs finds to his credit. I deleted his log after a few days...he e-mailed me and called me an a** for deleting his log. I forwarded his email to the Frog...haven't heard back from them about it. Why should we be subjected to name-calling for following the rules of the game?

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How long are you giving with your three strikes thing?

 

I know on vacation I was able to occasionally log caches on my phone long and painful process and I like to keep them in order as I dip my coin through them. However, I was not always able to send answers for virtuals and earth caches right then and there. In a couple instances I sent my answers at the end of the vacation about a week later.

Then you shouldn't be logging the finds until you have the time to complete the process. If a person gets a log deleted they can always relog it correctly at a later date and free up the time and hassle a Virt owner goes though to verify the requirements have been fulfilled.

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Then you shouldn't be logging the finds until you have the time to complete the process. If a person gets a log deleted they can always relog it correctly at a later date and free up the time and hassle a Virt owner goes though to verify the requirements have been fulfilled.

 

I agree completely.

 

I, too, have been hit by a few people logging my EarthCaches and not sending answers when they log the find. In such cases, I give it about a day and send an email asking them for the answers. If I get no response from them within a day or two, I delete the find.

 

The way I look at it, if you've got the time to log the find, you've got the time to send in the answers. At the very least you can explain why the answers will come later, such as when you're on vacation, for example....

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We cut people some slack, knowing they might be in and out of internet service. The sequence of emails usually spans a week to ten days, depending on our own lives. I agree that if there's time to log, there's time to send answers, but we understand folks roll different ways and accept that. It's really been a fairly time consuming thing this summer, with one EC in particular. I'm not in any hurry to create any more, given this change in the logging practices we've been seeing. We do try and get people to explore and think, and I don't know if they come expecting a quick "find the answer on the sign" kind of EC and hope to slip through, or what the thinking has been for some.

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Typically I do it at the same time. In that particular case I didn't and noted in my log the issues I was having with Internet that was comparable to the slowest dual up possible. I want my caches logged in order due to my coin. Coming back to an earthcache after the fact screws that up. Luckily I had a couple cache owners that realized the literal hour I waited for the page to load those night and rendered other parts of the site inaccessible would stall my answers because they actually read my logs at that time indicating issues. Sorry I couldn't meet the instaneous requirement on vacation.

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I will give a lot of latitude with this, but at some point I need to get an answer. I have even allowed a month in one circumstance (which was explained well by the cacher) but in the end it really isn't an issue for 99.44% of the logs that I encounter. I think I have gotten 2 like that in all seven of my ECs, total.

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Well, I haven't hidden (if that's the right word) an EarthCache yet. (It's the problem with getting verifiable permission...) But, as the owner of a webcam cache, I can tell you all about 'entitlement'. "I was there. I deserve a find." "But, you have not filled the requirements."

And that's the problem you are running into: Entitlement. EarthCaches, Webcams and Virtuals have logging requirements (since there is no log to sign.) If one does not fulifll the requirements, the 'find' is not valid.

My advice is to use a certain leeway. If they gave it a good try, but the answers are wrong, then they tried! I give a week's warning. "I was there, so I deserve the find, even though I never tried what you are asking for" gets a week's warning. If you swear at me, or insult me for that, you get reported to Groundspeak. If you want to keep your finds in order, I'll remind you that you can post a note, and change it to a find once you've met the requirements. If you are on vacation, and you cannot log the proper answers for another week, I'll keep track. And, once a year, I review all finds to make sure no one cheated with that.

I did not log any finds on the recent trip, until I got home. My sister's mouse was broken, and I don't have the patience for the mouse pad. Took a few says, but I logged the 62 finds, including 11 EarthCaches! And had a great time! (Anyone in Minnesota want to know a great place for an EarthCache???)

I see 'entitlement' becoming a major problem. I'd allow a week or two, with a warning. After that, delete finds that do not fill the requirements.

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I've been getting it frequently for over a year now. Seems to be mostly a cell phone thing. I can almost always tell by the log itself. "Found it/TFTC" means I won't be getting answers. I tell them in my write-up that they have 3 days after logging to send me the answers. I always give them more than that, then I send them a reminder. If I don't hear anything back after at least another 3 days, I delete the log.

 

This has happened dozens of times now, and only ONCE have I gotten a response back from a cacher, who said "Oops, I forgot to get the answers while I was there".

 

Haven't gotten any complaints yet about my deletions. Not inclined to take them lying down if I do.

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Harry Dolphin, Since I know you were caching in our neck of the woods (having discovered and logged our cruddiest EC!), I'll bite. Where do you suggest an EC in MN? There have been a couple really nice ones that the owner chose to archive in the past few months, so I'm wondering if it was one of those places. One in particular I wouldn't mind trying to recreate somehow (knowing that it has to be somewhat different than the original), but this lack of logging stuff has us kind of holding back from developing any new ones at the moment.

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There is a thread in the feedback forum asking for a mandatory 30 day leeway to log earthcaches and virtuals. I doubt that it is going anywhere but I probably would archive most of mine if that were the norm. There is no way that I could keep track of the caches - although I suppose my wife could design some kind of spreadsheet.

 

In any event, there does seem to be a feeling of entitlement - people wanting to log to keep their finds in order without considering the needs of a CO or alternate methods. But I have not had that much of a problem with it. The most persistent was someone who logged one of my earthcaches four times without meeting the logging requirements - of course it might have been hard to do since the site was inaccessible at the time and there was no indication he was anywhere near.

 

So for the most part I am easy. Make some kind of effort and you are good to go. Make no effort . . .

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Sorry I couldn't meet the instaneous requirement on vacation.

 

I don't know what's so hard about not logging unless you can send in the required answers at the same time? If you can't do that, don't do EarthCaches.

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For me I take advantage of field notes. I can input a field note into my iphone and it will maintain the order that I made my finds. I usually don't log a cache on vacation, but wait until I am home and then I will search all that have LRs and get those approved before I do my logging. I feel it is necessary to maintain my cache history as accurately as possible, but that means I get all my homework done before I start logging rather than after. It just requires you to be organized.

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We used to send a request for answers after about a week and then another one after another week and then finally deleted the logs. However, we've seen that if people don't respond to the first email, they also won't respond to the second mail (based on a very small sample of i think 3 or 4).

 

We changed our scheme to two-strike: after one/two weeks we send out a first friendly email explaining what an Earthcache is and that there are logging requirements, which really are a requirement. If no response follows after another two/three weeks we'll delete the log and send another email with basically the same text as the first email and explain that because of not fulfilling requirements and the lack of response the log is deleted. Ending with an invitation to send us the answers and relog the EC as find again.

 

Our experience so far is the one/two weeks we wait before we send out the first mail usually is enough to receive the required answers. We had one or two cachers contacting us after the first email and just one response after the log deletion. Have to add though we only have 5 earthcaches at the moment and none sees a lot of visitors. Despite that, i think we have deleted 4 or 5 logs so far.

 

Mr. Terratin

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On this point - do you think that a small button - or some other feature would be a good idea for ECs - e.g. a "verfied find" or something like that - so a cacher can post a found and get a smiley - but the CO can "verify" or "approve" at a later date.

 

This would still catch those ECs where perhaps the CO has gone AWOL and no longer approves - so the cacher is not hindered. But for us who watch our logs and caches - we can get way of tracking who we have approved and who we haven't.

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It seems we have been relatively fortunate, so far we have had one 'found it' with no answers - that log was deleted after contacting the logger and receiving no reply.

 

Another logger sent the answers after we contacted them.

 

We currently have a 'found it' dated 3rd July with no answers and we will contact at the end of July as we think its a holiday find - the answers to our questions can be found on site, so if they have internet access to log a find, why not send the answers?

 

Generally speaking we will wait about a calender month before sending the reminder.

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I want my caches logged in order due to my coin.

 

What you could do is log a note directly after your visit and then edit the log after having sent the answers and change the type to found it.

In this manner the order (also within a day) will be kept.

Some owners of Earth caches, however, object also against this procedure as they say that it is hard from them to not lose the overview as they

are not notified if a log type is changed. (That's however a weakness of Groundspeak's system).

 

Cezanne

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I want my caches logged in order due to my coin.

 

What you could do is log a note directly after your visit and then edit the log after having sent the answers and change the type to found it.

In this manner the order (also within a day) will be kept.

Some owners of Earth caches, however, object also against this procedure as they say that it is hard from them to not lose the overview as they

are not notified if a log type is changed. (That's however a weakness of Groundspeak's system).

 

Cezanne

 

I rarely do earth caches anymore unless I know the cache owner due to fact that when traveling I have difficulty finding them without the photo of yourself logging requirements. So I don't particularly worry about it. But in that case that's how I addressed it at that time. Thoroughly logged my find and noted the situation and sent the answers as soon as I was able to.

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I figure that if you have the time to log the 'find', then you should have the time to send me the required answers to the questions.

I usually give the logger a few days, and then send them a gentle reminder. Usually that lights a fire in the appropriate place, and they complete the tasks. If not, I delete, and send another note that they can re-log once the tasks have been completed.

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I find it best to send the reminder email within a day or two of when they log the cache. At times when I get too busy and I don't send the reminder email until a week later, I almost always get a response that they don't have the answers any more. It seems the sooner they are reminded, the better the chances of getting an answer.

 

I always appreciate it when someone sends their answer and logs their cache at the same time (doesn't matter in which order). That way I get both emails at once and I don't have to go searching to match them up. I try to do that when I am logging EarthCaches too.

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It is very rare for me to not receive the answers to the questions. Once it was a local cacher that didnt send the info, so I just waited till the next event and asked for the answers in person. Another time I received no email after a week or so, so I sent a reminder to the cacher. No response to my email after another week, so I was going to delete their log, when I noticed that they had added a photo to their found it log. It was a unique photo (not a copy of someone elses from the gallery) so I just let it go.

 

Would others leave a found it log that had a photo but no answers ever sent?

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.Would others leave a found it log that had a photo but no answers ever sent?

 

I'd be inclined to say no, I would not. The point of an EarthCache is for someone to learn a lesson while there at the site. If they do not answer the questions, it just shows they were there but didn't attempt to learn a thing.

 

The questions are part of the logging tasks so if you do not do them, then you haven't earned the right to claim a find on it.

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.Would others leave a found it log that had a photo but no answers ever sent?

 

I'd be inclined to say no, I would not. The point of an EarthCache is for someone to learn a lesson while there at the site. If they do not answer the questions, it just shows they were there but didn't attempt to learn a thing.

 

The questions are part of the logging tasks so if you do not do them, then you haven't earned the right to claim a find on it.

Agreed. Moreover, as a photograph isn't allowed as a logging requirement for Ecs, the photo is nice but by no means a substitute for fulfilling the requirements.

 

Mr. Terratin

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thanks for the reminder. a couple folks logged one of my Earthcaches on their way to geowoodstock and I was going to give them some time considering they were on a road trip. well I forgot about it and they still have not sent an e-mail. so I just sent them a reminder about it. hope they wrote everything down! lol

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I have not had many issues. I do very specifically say in the logging requirements that they have 7 days to send answers after logging or I will delete. I get a lot of visits to a few of them that are in downtown Baltimore and never had a problem.

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