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The A-Team

Mandatory email validation

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My suggestion is that a new account's primary email address be required to be validated before the account can view cache coordinates, log a cache, or hide a cache, both through the website and the API. I also propose that email validation be required periodically in case a user's previously-validated primary email address becomes non-functional in some way (ie. no longer monitored, closed, spam filter now blocking "noreply" emails, etc.).

 

Currently, someone can have an account with a non-functional or completely bogus email address, but still view, find, log, and hide caches. This leads to the following problems:

-As mentioned in this discussion, there are many cases where a new user places and submits a cache, but it has some kind of guideline violation that prevents it from being published. Without a working email address, reviewer notes will likely go completely unnoticed and the cache will languish and never be published, leading to geo-trash.

 

-If a new user submits a cache and has it published, the owner won't be receiving log emails, so any maintenance issues will be missed and the cache will eventually fall into disrepair. I've personally seen many examples of this scenario in my region.

 

-The user cannot be contacted in any way. If a cache owner or trackable owner wants to contact the user regarding a cache log, trackable log, or any other concern, it's impossible to do so. I've attempted to contact many finders of my caches to get more information regarding DNF or NM logs, but rarely hear back. I suspect they don't have a working email address.

 

Not many suggestions in this forum are being implemented these days, but invalid email addresses are causing real problems, so I hope this suggestion is at least considered for implementation.

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You do have to validate your email address for a new account to see caches. They do make you revalidate if they see some amount of bounced emails to your address (newsletter, etc). Have for many years.

 

See http://www.geocaching.com/v

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You do have to validate your email address for a new account to see caches.

Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I've seen scenarios where this didn't seem to be the case, but I just tried creating a new account and couldn't log in without validating the email address. I wonder if this wasn't always the case or if there's a way around it (ie. Facebook login, API)?

 

They do make you revalidate if they see some amount of bounced emails to your address (newsletter, etc).

Do you happen to know how many bounces it takes? I know of one cache owner that seemed not to be receiving any "noreply" emails, but was still posting the occasional note on a cache, so they must have been able to keep logging in.

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I've seen profiles where there is no way to contact. Instead of the Send Message or visible email it said something to the effect of This Account is not verified and will not allow the sending of messages to said user. Now possibly that is some delay from the email being verified and it showing on the profile...But is does happen is some form.

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Do you happen to know how many bounces it takes? I know of one cache owner that seemed not to be receiving any "noreply" emails, but was still posting the occasional note on a cache, so they must have been able to keep logging in.

Not sure - It might be more time based than an actual hard count but I do know that it happens. The account goes into limbo until the email address is re-verified or changed.

 

Also - the emails may have been just getting filtered somewhere along the line (isp, corporate server, pc firewall, etc)

Edited by StarBrand

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...the emails may have been just getting filtered somewhere along the line (isp, corporate server, pc firewall, etc)

That's sort of what I was trying to get at with my periodic-validation proposal. In a case like that quoted above, the email would look to the Groundspeak servers as if it's being successfully delivered to the end user, but it isn't. If users were required to re-validate annually (or whatever period), they would then discover that they've been missing emails. Without the re-validation, both the user and the website remain blissfully unaware that there's a problem.

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You do have to validate your email address for a new account to see caches. They do make you revalidate if they see some amount of bounced emails to your address (newsletter, etc). Have for many years.

 

See http://www.geocaching.com/v

 

It's my understanding that as of a few months ago, one can create an account with the phone app, never visit the website and never validate an email address. That account is ready for use.

 

See these,

 

http://www.geocaching.com/profile/?guid=8e7e9716-64af-4d9a-ab1e-949591d1d6d2 32 finds, never visited the website.

http://www.geocaching.com/profile/?guid=f2f7ad4a-ab78-444d-95a7-b05664068425 21 finds, never visited the website.

 

I had a third example of an account that was created yesterday, and found five caches, but it was validated today.

 

Also see my thread, Quasi Cachers.

 

I absolutely agree that no one should be allowed to see my cache listings and my cache coordinates until they take the time to at least create a proper account and validate contact information. Because of this, I have converted all but my most remote caches to PMO. It is not something that I wanted to do but felt that it was necessary to protect them from today's "Instant Geocacher".

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I agree with this suggestion.

 

And, maybe, it could be implemented a kind of "needs maintenance" log for geocachers :laughing: or, in other words, a "this email address may need validation" in which, someone who has difficulties to contact another cacher, or suspects it has a fake or non validated emails address, could issue a signal to the database that the email address needs to be validated. Of course, the system would catch only the first email address validation request and issue a "email validation request already registered" for the others.

 

And, of course, stop to give away database information to whom has not a geocaching account as it seems to be the case in the "Quasi Cachers" post.

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... one can create an account with the phone app, never visit the website and never validate an email address. That account is ready for use.

 

 

That was the most recent functionality 'update' to the ANDROID app, despite more than a few actual problems that still need fixing.

 

I was appalled.

 

But naturally someone who just spent $10 on the app should be able to use it immediately! Who knows, maybe they will also cough up the $30 for the PM before they get home.

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In principle I agree with the idea of validating email addresses but given the number of emails it's easily possible to end up receiving, especially if notifications are used or the individual owns caches or travel bugs, it's easy to see how a spam filter would come to regard anything tagged [GEO] as spam and filter it out. Now you've got a valid email address but anything from the geocaching site gets deleted without even being read.

 

An obvious solution is to add the appropriate addresses to a whitelist but I suspect a lot of folks lack the technical expertise and/or inclination to do such a thing, especially if they own an easy cache in a popular location and would rather not get bucketloads of emails, none of which say anything more than "TFTC".

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How about a reverse-passive-background validation strategy?

 

If they don't already do this, they should encode a recipient email address into a custom URL for something embedded into the newsletter. Everyone who opens the newsletter and loads its content will send the unique hit back to the Groundspeak servers.

 

Only those who do not validate by opening the newsletter will receive the request-for-validation email.

 

Meanwhile, on topic, I disagree with any free un-email-validated app having access to coordinate data. But not enough to PMO my caches.

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An obvious solution is to add the appropriate addresses to a whitelist but I suspect a lot of folks lack the technical expertise and/or inclination to do such a thing, especially if they own an easy cache in a popular location and would rather not get bucketloads of emails, none of which say anything more than "TFTC".

In a number of cases, I think the user never even realizes they're not receiving emails. Noticing the presence of something is a lot easier than noticing the lack of something. Is it that the emails aren't getting through, or is it that there just aren't any emails to receive in the first place? I can recall a few COs posting in the forums and being surprised to find out that they should be receiving emails for every log on their caches. They were blissfully unaware that their email system wasn't correctly configured. A re-validation would bring the problem to their attention.

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I have been prompted to Validate my account 4 times now, all in the same day. What gives? I do it and next time I go in I am prompted to do it again. Its getting real old.

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I have been prompted to Validate my account 4 times now, all in the same day. What gives? I do it and next time I go in I am prompted to do it again. Its getting real old.

You should probably email contact@geocaching.com, because it sounds like there's some kind of problem with your account. They can look at the account from their end to see if they can see what's causing the problem.

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Will do, it just started doing it today. We aren't new, we have been here sine May 2012 and have over 300 caches.

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An obvious solution is to add the appropriate addresses to a whitelist but I suspect a lot of folks lack the technical expertise and/or inclination to do such a thing, especially if they own an easy cache in a popular location and would rather not get bucketloads of emails, none of which say anything more than "TFTC".

In a number of cases, I think the user never even realizes they're not receiving emails. Noticing the presence of something is a lot easier than noticing the lack of something. Is it that the emails aren't getting through, or is it that there just aren't any emails to receive in the first place? I can recall a few COs posting in the forums and being surprised to find out that they should be receiving emails for every log on their caches. They were blissfully unaware that their email system wasn't correctly configured. A re-validation would bring the problem to their attention.

 

Sure, it's easy to just not notice something not appearing even if it used to be a regular thing. That said an email validation would only work if the email requesting validation got through, and if the user wasn't expecting it they wouldn't know if it hadn't arrived.

 

Perhaps if a reviewer archiving someone's cache for non-maintenance triggered a requirement to verify an email address that would help, as it could potentially be because a CO hadn't received NM logs by email. Likewise before placing a cache an email address would need to be verified (even if someone had just paid a whopping $10 for a mobile app).

 

Aside from that if someone is hunting caches but not placing any I don't suppose it really matters if the site has a valid email address for them.

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... one can create an account with the phone app, never visit the website and never validate an email address. That account is ready for use.

 

 

That was the most recent functionality 'update' to the ANDROID app, despite more than a few actual problems that still need fixing.

 

I was appalled.

 

But naturally someone who just spent $10 on the app should be able to use it immediately! Who knows, maybe they will also cough up the $30 for the PM before they get home.

 

Are you telling me that those newfangled phones can't receive and reply to an email?

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An obvious solution is to add the appropriate addresses to a whitelist but I suspect a lot of folks lack the technical expertise and/or inclination to do such a thing, especially if they own an easy cache in a popular location and would rather not get bucketloads of emails, none of which say anything more than "TFTC".

In a number of cases, I think the user never even realizes they're not receiving emails. Noticing the presence of something is a lot easier than noticing the lack of something. Is it that the emails aren't getting through, or is it that there just aren't any emails to receive in the first place? I can recall a few COs posting in the forums and being surprised to find out that they should be receiving emails for every log on their caches. They were blissfully unaware that their email system wasn't correctly configured. A re-validation would bring the problem to their attention.

 

Sure, it's easy to just not notice something not appearing even if it used to be a regular thing. That said an email validation would only work if the email requesting validation got through, and if the user wasn't expecting it they wouldn't know if it hadn't arrived.

 

Perhaps if a reviewer archiving someone's cache for non-maintenance triggered a requirement to verify an email address that would help, as it could potentially be because a CO hadn't received NM logs by email. Likewise before placing a cache an email address would need to be verified (even if someone had just paid a whopping $10 for a mobile app).

 

Aside from that if someone is hunting caches but not placing any I don't suppose it really matters if the site has a valid email address for them.

 

Sorry, but when the new player writes in his log that he took my cache home with him, or that he found a better place to hide it nearby, I want to be able to email him. I have emailed new players that were making obvious mistakes and the result is that years later, they are vital parts of our local caching community. I think that communication is a vital part of this game. Heck, there are thousands of websites that won't let you in until you verify your account through email. If I need to do it to read a news story on a certain site, why shouldn't I need to do it before going out and hunting other people's property.

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That said an email validation would only work if the email requesting validation got through, and if the user wasn't expecting it they wouldn't know if it hadn't arrived.

If their account was unusable until they validated, then at least they'd see the problem when/if they attempt to do something on the site or in a mobile app. If it doesn't already, the "validation required" message on the site could mention that the user should check spam filter/folders.

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Sorry, but when the new player writes in his log that he took my cache home with him, or that he found a better place to hide it nearby, I want to be able to email him. I have emailed new players that were making obvious mistakes and the result is that years later, they are vital parts of our local caching community. I think that communication is a vital part of this game. Heck, there are thousands of websites that won't let you in until you verify your account through email. If I need to do it to read a news story on a certain site, why shouldn't I need to do it before going out and hunting other people's property.

 

Good point, I hadn't considered that side of things.

 

I don't buy the reasoning behind "registration creep" - just because a thousand other sites won't let me do anything until I give them an email (and then set a filter to delete anything from the site if I find it uninteresting). If anything the endless need to register for everything just reinforces a mindset that it's just another site that wants a list of confirmed email addresses to sell on.

 

Your point about wanting to contact a cacher if they've done something inappropriate is a good one though. In light of that it would be worth making it clear on the registration page why an email address is needed and why it needs to be kept up to date. Since a smartphone has internet access and it seems most people use them for either twitface or email it doesn't seem unreasonable to require new users of smartphone apps to also register a valid email address before being given the coordinates for anything.

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Sorry, but when the new player writes in his log that he took my cache home with him, or that he found a better place to hide it nearby, I want to be able to email him. I have emailed new players that were making obvious mistakes and the result is that years later, they are vital parts of our local caching community. I think that communication is a vital part of this game. Heck, there are thousands of websites that won't let you in until you verify your account through email. If I need to do it to read a news story on a certain site, why shouldn't I need to do it before going out and hunting other people's property.

 

Good point, I hadn't considered that side of things.

 

I don't buy the reasoning behind "registration creep" - just because a thousand other sites won't let me do anything until I give them an email (and then set a filter to delete anything from the site if I find it uninteresting). If anything the endless need to register for everything just reinforces a mindset that it's just another site that wants a list of confirmed email addresses to sell on.

 

Your point about wanting to contact a cacher if they've done something inappropriate is a good one though. In light of that it would be worth making it clear on the registration page why an email address is needed and why it needs to be kept up to date. Since a smartphone has internet access and it seems most people use them for either twitface or email it doesn't seem unreasonable to require new users of smartphone apps to also register a valid email address before being given the coordinates for anything.

 

I understand what you call "registration creep", and I think that it is ridiculous that I have to create a "free" account and submit my email address, just to read a news story. Of course, the main goal of getting my address is for marketing purposes. With all the Spam, almost a million Yahoo accounts compromised, and otherwise legitimate companies resorting to Spam to market themselves, it's understandable that people are reluctant to submit an email.

 

In our case, however, we are playing an interactive game with physical game piece that belong to other members. I think that it is essential that the web site be able to contact their players and if that contact info is not provided, you don't get to play. Just that simple.

 

BTW, I work for the largest truck rental agency in North America and it is amazing when at least once a day, someone comes in and wants to rent a $50K moving truck but doesn't want to give me their phone number and email address because of "privacy issues". Unless they do so, they don't get to play either.

Edited by Don_J

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I understand what you call "registration creep", and I think that it is ridiculous that I have to create a "free" account and submit my email address, just to read a news story. Of course, the main goal of getting my address is for marketing purposes. With all the Spam, almost a million Yahoo accounts compromised, and otherwise legitimate companies resorting to Spam to market themselves, it's understandable that people are reluctant to submit an email.

 

What I like to do, since I use my own domains for email, is to give companies an email address that has their company name in it. It often surprises people when I tell them my email is yourcompanyname@mydomain rather than myname_randomnumbers@hotmail.com or some such. What it means for me is that all such emails go into a generic dump folder where I can filter them based on anything I'm expecting, and it also means if someone sells on my email I know who did it.

 

If I get annoyed with people who have sold my email I can show my displeasure - one particular company had an email address (theirco@mydomain) and I started getting all sorts of scams and spams to that address. So for a time I forwarded each and every one to sales@theirco with a note saying how annoyed I was that they had sold my email to yet another spammer. Before long I got a profuse apology from some director or other - it turned out their email address list had been hacked.

 

In our case, however, we are playing an interactive game with physical game piece that belong to other members. I think that it is essential that the web site be able to contact their players and if that contact info is not provided, you don't get to play. Just that simple.

 

I'd just take a more simple approach still and say that to play the game you have to be contactable. The interactive game with physical game pieces that belong to other people is all well and good but to me it seems daft to get too precious about a sandwich box voluntarily left under a dead tree - it's not like it's worth anything and ultimately if the value of the cache is a concern then it shouldn't really be placed. I say much the same about travel bugs, they really need to be thought of as the equivalent of folding a $10 bill into a paper aeroplane and throwing it from a high building just to see where it ends up.

 

BTW, I work for the largest truck rental agency in North America and it is amazing when at least once a day, someone comes in and wants to rent a $50K moving truck but doesn't want to give me their phone number and email address because of "privacy issues". Unless they do so, they don't get to play either.

 

Curious... for all I am conscious of privacy issues there comes a point when I have to accept that if I want to do business with someone they need to know who I really am. It seems almost like ordering something for delivery and then refusing to provide a delivery address... I wonder how many of the people who refuse that information submit that and much more as status updates on twitface.

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I just came across this today with a noob (7 caches found) who made a comment about the micro being very small (duh). Tried to email them but this is their over 1 month old profile:

 

Member Since:Wednesday, 20 February 2013

 

Last Visit:Never

 

Status:Not Validated Member

 

E-Mail Address:The "send message" feature is disabled because this email address has not been validated by the user.

 

I think an account over one month old should have been validated by now!!

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The last two fake loggers on my other 2/3rds "5" hide had "never" as their last visit and were also unvalidated, yet they're able to log in and cheat "find" a cache.

Groundspeak would like us to notify the cacher as to why we're deleting their find, but with no way to contact them...

 

- Yes, I'd like to see all accounts validated before they're allowed to look for other people's property.

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The last two fake loggers on my other 2/3rds "5" hide had "never" as their last visit and were also unvalidated, yet they're able to log in and cheat "find" a cache.

Groundspeak would like us to notify the cacher as to why we're deleting their find, but with no way to contact them...

...and they presumably won't be receiving the log-deletion emails, so they won't even realize their logs have been deleted unless they notice their find count drop or notice the cache shows up as unfound again.

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Add me to the list of people who think email validation should be mandatory. COs need to be able to contact people finding their caches and Reviewers need to be able to contact people hiding caches.

 

Latest example I saw was a newbie logging a Find on a Multi after only finding stage 1. Pretty sure that is simple ignorance not attempted cheating, but you can't enlighten a person you can't contact.

 

I wonder how many of these non-validated people even known the website exists? How many of them heard of geocaching, correctly assumed "there's an app for that", and have no idea where the magical cache listings in their phone come from?

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Are you telling me that those newfangled phones can't receive and reply to an email?

 

Of course they can! :lol:

 

But the owner of the phone has to use it for that for it to work. ;)

 

I *MUST* have a GMail account in order to have my Android phone work properly.

 

I don't HAVE to check my GMail if I don't want to.

I could send Groundspeak a different address if I wanted to, and never check that one either.

 

I'd bet there are hundreds or even thousands of users who said 'madesomethingup@whatchamacallit.com' was their email address. :(

 

It's good that new users must sign up for a new account here, and it's time to make that sign-up process actually mean something.

 

We are sorry, but it seems you haven't properly validated your account email address.

Before actually using this site, we need to verify that you are able to see and respond to messages sent from us and other users of the site.

Please take a few moments to respond to the email you should have received from us, so we will know you have used a valid address.

Thank You!

 

So much for using the preview to check for speeling mistakes. :mad:

Edited by AZcachemeister

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Add me to the list of people who think email validation should be mandatory. COs need to be able to contact people finding their caches and Reviewers need to be able to contact people hiding caches.

 

Latest example I saw was a newbie logging a Find on a Multi after only finding stage 1. Pretty sure that is simple ignorance not attempted cheating, but you can't enlighten a person you can't contact.

 

I wonder how many of these non-validated people even known the website exists? How many of them heard of geocaching, correctly assumed "there's an app for that", and have no idea where the magical cache listings in their phone come from?

 

There have been cases where you can tell the smartphone finder has no clue they are uploading these logs to a website for all to see; when they type odd words and phrases as their find log. Three that pop into my head that have come up the past couple years were where one user logged all their finds with "batman", another with "big dog woof woof", and another with "myntz" (a popular breath mint). In case you were bored with Tftc yet. :lol:

 

I believe email validation is, and always has been mandatory. They just need to plug a little hole here that very few people find. Exclusive to smartphone caching of course.

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Add me to the list of people who think email validation should be mandatory. COs need to be able to contact people finding their caches and Reviewers need to be able to contact people hiding caches.

 

Latest example I saw was a newbie logging a Find on a Multi after only finding stage 1. Pretty sure that is simple ignorance not attempted cheating, but you can't enlighten a person you can't contact.

 

I wonder how many of these non-validated people even known the website exists? How many of them heard of geocaching, correctly assumed "there's an app for that", and have no idea where the magical cache listings in their phone come from?

 

There have been cases where you can tell the smartphone finder has no clue they are uploading these logs to a website for all to see; when they type odd words and phrases as their find log. Three that pop into my head that have come up the past couple years were where one user logged all their finds with "batman", another with "big dog woof woof", and another with "myntz" (a popular breath mint). In case you were bored with Tftc yet. :lol:

 

I believe email validation is, and always has been mandatory. They just need to plug a little hole here that very few people find. Exclusive to smartphone caching of course.

 

So, you think that it is a bug? Maybe we should start a topic in the bug forum and see where it goes? If anything, they may confirm that it is intentional. It's been a long time since I joined, but I'm pretty sure that I had to validate before I could see cache pages. Of course, that could simply be a false memory.

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Add me to the list of people who think email validation should be mandatory. COs need to be able to contact people finding their caches and Reviewers need to be able to contact people hiding caches.

 

Latest example I saw was a newbie logging a Find on a Multi after only finding stage 1. Pretty sure that is simple ignorance not attempted cheating, but you can't enlighten a person you can't contact.

 

I wonder how many of these non-validated people even known the website exists? How many of them heard of geocaching, correctly assumed "there's an app for that", and have no idea where the magical cache listings in their phone come from?

 

There have been cases where you can tell the smartphone finder has no clue they are uploading these logs to a website for all to see; when they type odd words and phrases as their find log. Three that pop into my head that have come up the past couple years were where one user logged all their finds with "batman", another with "big dog woof woof", and another with "myntz" (a popular breath mint). In case you were bored with Tftc yet. :lol:

 

I believe email validation is, and always has been mandatory. They just need to plug a little hole here that very few people find. Exclusive to smartphone caching of course.

 

So, you think that it is a bug? Maybe we should start a topic in the bug forum and see where it goes? If anything, they may confirm that it is intentional. It's been a long time since I joined, but I'm pretty sure that I had to validate before I could see cache pages. Of course, that could simply be a false memory.

 

Sorry, I don't check in here too often. Yes, I think it's a bug!! Did you know when the Iphone app first came out, people discovered you could log the locked locationless caches with it? Now that there was a bug. :blink:

 

You definitely DID NOT need an account to see the cache coordinates in 2003 when I joined, and I'm pretty sure 2005 when you joined. I've long since forgotten, but my fuzzy memory tells me they turned that function on anywhere from about 2006-2008??

 

I'm quite sure you always had to validate the account via email.

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Bump. Yep, this is happening. Yesterday, I received a tfc log for one of my caches. Yes, tfc, they forgot the 2nd t. And on a cache with over 20 favorite points, I might add. I enjoy getting such awesome logs :laughing: Anyway, the account that posted this tfc log is not validated, and has never visited the website. It's enough to make you want to drop PMO status on all your caches. Or move them to Garmin. Just kidding, I wouldn't do either. :blink: But they really should look into this.

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Bump. Yep, this is happening. Yesterday, I received a tfc log for one of my caches. Yes, tfc, they forgot the 2nd t. And on a cache with over 20 favorite points, I might add. I enjoy getting such awesome logs :laughing: Anyway, the account that posted this tfc log is not validated, and has never visited the website. It's enough to make you want to drop PMO status on all your caches. Or move them to Garmin. Just kidding, I wouldn't do either. :blink: But they really should look into this.

 

That experience rates right up there with the carpet bomber loggers. They pick up ONE cache in an area, then log every one. I have a string of 9 within a 1 mile stretch, all fairly easy to find. One cacher found the first one, but logged ALL of them. I know, because I check my caches quarterly if possible, maximum of 4 months between visits. Then, when I delete the 'non-finder' logs, I'm the bad guy? Then, when I try to contact them about why I did it, the e-mail goes to a bit-bucket bogus e-mail account, and it becomes an open war on twitface.

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There's another related problem I'm starting to see locally: cache owners who aren't receiving email from the website. Usually this is due to a spam filter and the person needs to "whitelist" the geocaching.com email addresses.

 

As an addendum to my previously discussed requests, I suggest that someone who submits a cache for publication receive a confirmation email. The hider must click this link to confirm that their email is correctly configured to receive emails from the website before the cache is sent to the reviewer.

 

If not this, then at least the periodic mandatory revalidation I mentioned earlier in this discussion. We MUST be able to contact other cachers, whether they're finders or even more importantly as hiders. Whatever it takes, these problems need to be rectified soon, because it just keeps getting worse with more and more people using the mobile apps without validating.

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There's another related problem I'm starting to see locally: cache owners who aren't receiving email from the website. Usually this is due to a spam filter and the person needs to "whitelist" the geocaching.com email addresses.

 

As an addendum to my previously discussed requests, I suggest that someone who submits a cache for publication receive a confirmation email. The hider must click this link to confirm that their email is correctly configured to receive emails from the website before the cache is sent to the reviewer.

 

If not this, then at least the periodic mandatory revalidation I mentioned earlier in this discussion. We MUST be able to contact other cachers, whether they're finders or even more importantly as hiders. Whatever it takes, these problems need to be rectified soon, because it just keeps getting worse with more and more people using the mobile apps without validating.

 

+1,000,000

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There's another related problem I'm starting to see locally: cache owners who aren't receiving email from the website. Usually this is due to a spam filter and the person needs to "whitelist" the geocaching.com email addresses.

 

As an addendum to my previously discussed requests, I suggest that someone who submits a cache for publication receive a confirmation email. The hider must click this link to confirm that their email is correctly configured to receive emails from the website before the cache is sent to the reviewer.

 

If not this, then at least the periodic mandatory revalidation I mentioned earlier in this discussion. We MUST be able to contact other cachers, whether they're finders or even more importantly as hiders. Whatever it takes, these problems need to be rectified soon, because it just keeps getting worse with more and more people using the mobile apps without validating.

 

I'd suggest both. Not only that but the mobile apps need to update the user profile to show when they last connected.

 

If cache finders can't be reached by email I can see how it might be annoying but ultimately there's nothing to stop people just deleting emails from Groundspeak unread. If people have hidden caches I think it's fair to say that a condition of listing is that they accept and read email from Groundspeak.

 

The mobile app not updating the "last connected" time is also an issue - a while back I found a cache that needed a bit of TLC. I checked the owner and they hadn't logged in for nearly twelve months, so I logged NA rather than NM because it seemed almost certain they wouldn't be around to look after their cache. Within two hours they had archived it. I was surprised by that so looked at their profile and found they were still active, but their profile still said they hadn't logged in for a year.

 

At present it seems like the mobile app hasn't really been thought through in terms of how it interacts with the site as a whole. It's all well and good having another way to find caches but I'd have thought it would have connected with the existing infrastructure a little better.

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You do have to validate your email address for a new account to see caches. They do make you revalidate if they see some amount of bounced emails to your address (newsletter, etc). Have for many years.

 

See http://www.geocaching.com/v

That is true in the world of computers but not the smartphone/tablet world. You can get an account and password and disregard the validate mail and go happily caching along forever without have to worry about those pesky emails. This has become a great bone of contention here and some co's want to contact a logger and can't. You can not log in to the website from a computer but there is an evergrowing group of cachers who never use one.

 

Just to test it I created a phony account and logged a cache (one of mine) from my iPad and that account is still valuadated.

Edited by Walts Hunting

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My suggestion is that an account that hasn't verified their email address be allowed to search for caches, find them physically, but not log the find until their email is verified. I have just deleted several logs on a few of our hides, waiting to see what happens.

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As an alternative, if Groundspeak can't require mandatory email validation for some reason, then perhaps they could create another level of listing visibility, between "premium member only" and "visible to everyone". The idea would be to allow cache owners to choose between "premium member only", "validated member only", and "visible to everyone".

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My suggestion is that an account that hasn't verified their email address be allowed to search for caches, find them physically, but not log the find until their email is verified. I have just deleted several logs on a few of our hides, waiting to see what happens.

 

I don't think you should be doing this. It's a violation of the guidelines and oversteps the bounds of your responsibilities as a cache owner. If someone found your cache and signed the log, they are entitled to log the find. It matters not that you don't approve of their style of logging or that they have not validated their email address. Even if they never visit the site and never know the difference, it's not your call.

 

Besides, if they stick around for awhile and become "proper" Geocachers they will eventually check their stats and it's not fair that you deleted some of their finds when they were just starting out.

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... I have just deleted several logs on a few of our hides, waiting to see what happens.

 

Nothing will happen as they don't have their email verified and, thus, they won't receive the log deletion notification.

Unless they check the finds count and start investigating..

Please notice; they only do what they're allowed to do. It's Groundspeak that's in fault by allowing this situations (*) and not the persons that use the App.

 

(*) access to the geocache database to persons that are not accountable for what they may cause to the geocache/container's status.

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I thought it wasn't possible anymore to find geocaches without validating an e-mail address after lots of people complaining. But now another one of my coins has gone missing and the last cacher who logged the cache is again a young boy (profile pic shows a young teenager) without a validated e-mail address, who became a member 2 days ago. So I guess this still isn't fixed.

 

It so frustrating, since I've seen this before with several other trackables around the country: taken by kids who download the app, who find one cache, take out everything and don't find any other caches afterwards. It is impossible to contact them to explain anything (if you even bother doing so).

 

Now I've posted a note on the cache page hoping someone knows this boy (he used his real name) so he might be found.

Last time this happened to this coin (yes this happened before to the same coin 2 months ago!), the cache owner searched his home town, even asking at the supermarket if someone knew the guy. He even phoned people with the same last name he found in the phonebook. No kidding, I was impressed by all his actions. He felt responsible for something leaving his geocache without being logged. I thought my coin was gone at that time, but in the end he found the guy and he got the coin back and so it ended up in the cache again (without ever being logged).

 

Please change this mess! We will not make any more traditional caches, since I don't want this to happen with one of our caches, because I would feel guilty as well when coins disappear. And we already know enough cachers who won't send out any trackables anymore. But all these problems are so unnecessary. Beginners should get a good explanation (test?) before they are able to find a cache. And it should be impossible to get an account without an e-mail address.

I understand that (for some reason I don't understand) Groundspeak wants a low barrier/no barrier so everybody is able to get to know geocaching. But if trackables and caches disappear because there is really no need to learn the basics of the game before starting "to play", this game is losing a lot of its attractiveness.

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The powers say this issue is beng heavily discussed. They are well aware of the problem. If you make your caches premium those accounts won't find it since all they get is the intro app or even if they get the full app they won't see them. This logging issue has spurred the increase in premium caches.

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For the record, I just encountered this problem too. I needed to contact a new member, but couldn't because the email address was not validated.

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My coin is on the road again!

 

After I posted a note on the cache page if someone knew the not-validated, just one find, cacher, the cache owner searched for the name at the local soccer club. He found the boy and phoned him. This boy thought he could swap something in the cache and didn't know anything about trackables. It was too complicated for this boy to complete his profile or to learn to log trackables, so the CO made sure the boy dropped the coin back in the cache.

Amazing what fellow geocachers are willing to do to make sure my coin (or trackables in general) won't get lost!

 

But please, it shouldn't be necessary to post at local supermarkets, to check out soccer clubs etc., to get in touch with these intro-app-non-validated-email "geocachers" to correct mistakes!

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at least the periodic mandatory revalidation I mentioned earlier in this discussion. We MUST be able to contact other cachers, whether they're finders or even more importantly as hiders.

A "validated email" tells a company that an email address wasn't just a randomly typed thing, not that the intended recipient will read it, and it absolutely does not guarantee a reply. But "revalidation" will cause many Groundspeak members to lose access, because they just plain never get email from GS for various reasons.

 

Considering how well the PM messaging system works :ph34r:, relying on "email" may not be the answer. Can GS add a mini Private Message box into the App? Or make a message pop up when using the App: "Reply to [so-and-so] to continue access to this App".

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at least the periodic mandatory revalidation I mentioned earlier in this discussion. We MUST be able to contact other cachers, whether they're finders or even more importantly as hiders.

A "validated email" tells a company that an email address wasn't just a randomly typed thing, not that the intended recipient will read it, and it absolutely does not guarantee a reply. But "revalidation" will cause many Groundspeak members to lose access, because they just plain never get email from GS for various reasons.

 

Considering how well the PM messaging system works :ph34r:, relying on "email" may not be the answer. Can GS add a mini Private Message box into the App? Or make a message pop up when using the App: "Reply to [so-and-so] to continue access to this App".

 

Maybe users of the site or the app could have their own inbox for private messages rather than relying on email. Anyone who didn't have a validated email address could then get a periodic message requiring them to confirm some trivial aspect of it (along the lines of a captcha validation) to continue access. Sooner or later it would get irritating and they would either validate an email address or stop using the app.

 

I wouldn't want replying to a PM to be mandatory because otherwise you'd end up with a situation where people would either have to keep endlessly going back and forth, or the system would have to try and figure out which messages needed a reply and which didn't.

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But "revalidation" will cause many Groundspeak members to lose access, because they just plain never get email from GS for various reasons.

I don't see this as a bad thing. If a member can't be bothered to click a link in an email or take a few minutes to properly configure their email, how can we trust them to take the time to properly rehide a cache or maintain their hides? I'd prefer to have that member blocked from viewing cache listings or submitting new hides until they have working email communication, because other cachers need to be able to contact them. Whether they actually read or respond to those emails is another matter and outside of the scope of this discussion, but at least they wouldn't be able to cache anonymously as they can currently.

 

Revalidation would also help with cache owners who don't even realize they're missing log emails. I'm running into more and more of these locally, and they're becoming a real problem. If they went to log into the site to log some finds and found that they were blocked because they hadn't validated their email address, they would then know that there's a problem and could take the steps to rectify it. Otherwise, they may be blissfully unaware for a long period of time, while their cache with reported problems languishes.

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But "revalidation" will cause many Groundspeak members to lose access, because they just plain never get email from GS for various reasons.

I don't see this as a bad thing. If a member can't be bothered to click a link in an email or take a few minutes to properly configure their email, how can we trust them to take the time to properly rehide a cache or maintain their hides? I'd prefer to have that member blocked from viewing cache listings or submitting new hides until they have working email communication, because other cachers need to be able to contact them.

Groundspeak will first have to fix the PM system. If they did, most of this issue would go away.

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But "revalidation" will cause many Groundspeak members to lose access, because they just plain never get email from GS for various reasons.

I don't see this as a bad thing. If a member can't be bothered to click a link in an email or take a few minutes to properly configure their email, how can we trust them to take the time to properly rehide a cache or maintain their hides?

 

It isn't always the members' fault. Remember that Comcast blocks email from Groundspeak to many users because GS gets too many bounce backs. (check out this thread: http://forums.Ground...howtopic=314431 )

 

They had it fixed for about a month earlier this year, but until GS figures out how to cull the bad addresses to stay below the Comcast threshold, this will remain a problem.

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