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little-leggs

Trackable Inventory incorrect - who responsibility is it

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I've contacted the reviewer , for our local area , I've contacted Ground speak , direct , ?

advised to post a thread on here , to share my thoughts . 

This is a bug bear of mine too ...
I'd like to start by coming in from the side and  not like a bull in a china shop , as we all see things differently , what upsets me may be fine to others and vice versa . so before you all start shooting  me down in flames ,  we all have different priority and this in turn will affect how we perceive how the game should be played .  
I think the new Auto , system  to mark TB's as missing , will mess things up in stead of making it better .
I have drawn a blank , as to how this can be done , and by who .
my thought are leaning towards a flag log , like , needs maintenance / needs archiving , just for TB's , 
If you visit a cache and there is a TB listed in the inventory , ( I for one ) will look for it , other don't or aren't interested in TB's so possible didn't even notice there was one listed , and my log will reflect this , ( listed TB not found in the cache today ) , and then if this sort of log had been left before my visit , I'd think its gone .
time to post the ( TB / inventory / needs attention ) this would be sent to the C.O , the T.O , and the reviewer who covers the area which the cache is located in . 

hope fully the C.O , will do a maintenance visit , and if the TB is there , they can over ride the  ( listed TB not found in the cache today ) same way they would if it was a needs maintenance log for a wet  log , or damaged cache container .
if the C.O's no longer playing the game , the reviewer , can do their bit , same as they do for a ( Temporary disabled cache ) or ( needs archiving cache ) they will send out a stock log , 
the inventory has been reported as being incorrect and needs to be verified as ( X,Y,Z - TB has been flagged as NOT being in the cache )  giving the C.O a time limit to go and ( do cache maintenance )  and report back if no response by the allotted time the said TB will be marked as missing / unknown location 

this is just my thought , 

Edited by little-leggs

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I've learned to treat trackables like a happy accident. If they are in a cache when I visit, I get a pleasant surprise. Expecting a TB to be in a cache because the inventory says there is (was) lead to disappointment way more often than not, so I just don't bother. Like I said, if there is one there when I visit, it comes as a complete and pleasant surprise. 

 

The TB/coin owners are the ones who should be marking trackables missing if they are not in the caches they show in. A cache owner has this ability if the trackable shows in their cache, but they are not obligated to keep the cache inventory correct. Some CO's will mark trackables missing, many will not. It's a courtesy gesture from a CO when they mark trackables missing. A cache owner should never be put in the position that cachers think the CO's are responsible because their cache inventory is incorrect. Nor should cachers log something against the cache (such as a NM or NA) because the trackable inventory is off. Cache owners do not have to babysit someone else's trackable, even if it resides in their cache (or the system says it does, anyway). I know there are those that believe that anything on the cache page falls under the umbrella of a cache owners responsibility but CO's have no say in whether that inventory box belongs on the page. It's there automatically and there are many cache owners who would love the option to remove it entirely. 

There is a long thread that detailed creating an automated system that could be used by any cacher to mark trackables missing, but Groundspeak hasn't chosen to implement it. I doubt they ever will or provide a better tool than the one we have now. The system, as it stands, SHOULD work but it clearly doesn't. I doubt we'll see trackables rise back to the level of popularity they once were, so the incentive to put time and effort into a better tool just isn't there for a dying side-game.

Edited by Crow-T-Robot
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We find more not-in-inventory trackables in caches than notice trackables missing from caches, for about a year now.   :)   Improper logging even with long-time players.

 Groundspeak has an automated system that will mark caches missing when certain criteria is/isn't met (probably an algorithm).  It has been used at least once that I'm aware of, and many were happy to see it.  IIRC, it isn't actually "automatic", but someone at HQ kicks it in when things get ugly again.  Should be a way to tell, but never really made clear when they'd feel the need to start it up again.

A TO is responsible for their trackables.    Sure, a CO can mark 'em missing as well, but why should there be a "time frame" for them to look for someone else's property that's normally "just passing through..." ?    They're responsible for their cache, and at maintenance should check.  

I'll give an example...   Years ago a TO emailed, saying they believed a trackable belonging to them might be in one of our caches but wasn't in inventory. They wanted me to check on it - a trackable that wasn't even listed in inventory. Sheesh...  I emailed back and said "I realize you may be a bit upset if your trackable's missing, but the cache you're referring is a most-of-the-day paddle-to.  I'd be happy to look when I do maintenance, but I'm not spending an entire day just to see if your toy is in a container that's otherwise fine.  Have a nice day."  He mailed back, saying he reported me to Groundspeak.   Not sure if he was bluffing or not, but never heard from HQ.  Checked when I did maintenance, mailed the TO, and never got a reply.

You have an issue with a trackable, mail the TO.   Creating a "TB needs attention" action is like the obnoxious people who place an NM on caches because they didn't see it .... 

 

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1 hour ago, Crow-T-Robot said:

The TB/coin owners are the ones who should be marking trackables missing if they are not in the caches they show in. A cache owner has this ability if the trackable shows in their cache, but they are not obligated to keep the cache inventory correct. Some CO's will mark trackables missing, many will not. It's a courtesy gesture from a CO when they mark trackables missing. A cache owner should never be put in the position that cachers think the CO's are responsible because their cache inventory is incorrect. Nor should cachers log something against the cache (such as a NM or NA) because the trackable inventory is off. Cache owners do not have to babysit someone else's trackable, even if it resides in their cache (or the system says it does, anyway). I know there are those that believe that anything on the cache page falls under the umbrella of a cache owners responsibility but CO's have no say in whether that inventory box belongs on the page. It's there automatically and there are many cache owners who would love the option to remove it entirely. 

 

The part about chilling, that part's good.  If you find a TB in a cache, cool.  If you don't, then move on. No complaining that the TB Owner or Cache Owner isn't cleaning up the mess.  These things don't get logged correctly.  The TB Owner sees all manner of this, including no proper logs for years at a time, with no assistance from TPTB, and grief from all sides.  Leave him alone.

The most frustrating thing about how it's expected that the TB Owner is required to promptly mark their own TB missing, is that the people who insist on this, also insist that the TB Owner has no say in how his TB is logged. I buy a TB, I place it and log it properly, it is forevermore logged incorrectly or not at all, everyone else except the TB Owner is free to mess around with it as they like, and I catch all the grief after it's stolen. You (well, pretty much everyone, including TPTB) are allowed to insist that it's up to me to mark it missing (or, as you mentioned, the Cache Owner). Stop that. Groundspeak needs to stop that! If it's fine for nobody to do it right, then that includes the TB Owner. He's pretty much the only one who loses in this scam.

 

 

 

Edited by kunarion
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6 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

I'll give an example...   Years ago a TO emailed, saying they believed a trackable belonging to them might be in one of our caches but wasn't in inventory. They wanted me to check on it - a trackable that wasn't even listed in inventory. Sheesh...  I emailed back and said "I realize you may be a bit upset if your trackable's missing, but the cache you're referring is a most-of-the-day paddle-to.  I'd be happy to look when I do maintenance, but I'm not spending an entire day just to see if your toy is in a container that's otherwise fine.  Have a nice day."  He mailed back, saying he reported me to Groundspeak.   Not sure if he was bluffing or not, but never heard from HQ.  Checked when I did maintenance, mailed the TO, and never got a reply.

 

That's very funny!

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As a trackable owner, it can be very difficult to tell what is going on with your trackable.  Unless someone specifically indicates in the trackable's log that it was not found in the expected cache, the trackable owner does not know that it is missing.  Even then, it could just be a matter of timing.

A log on the cache page like 'there was no trackable in this cache' really doesn't tell anyone anything.  The trackable owner doesnt see it, and doesnt know that you were actually talking about their trackable and not some other one you might have been expecting.  The cache owner doesn't really know if this is just a temporary situation as someone may have just picked it up and not yet logged it.  And sometimes even a finder just misses or doesn't recognize the trackable among the other contents of the cache.

So the only real way to know, is to ask the cache owner to check and see if your suspected missing trackable is there.  (or try TB Rescue on project-gc).  While the cache owner is not obliged to do this, or to keep the inventory up to date, it certainly can help to figure out if your trackable is truly missing or not so that it can be handled from there (such as mark as missing by either the TO or the CO).

 

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On 4/28/2018 at 10:17 AM, Crow-T-Robot said:

A cache owner has this ability if the trackable shows in their cache, but they are not obligated to keep the cache inventory correct.

I don't think that's an accurate statement anymore.  Maintaining an accurate inventory of trackables is now listed as one of the responsibilities of cache owners in the Help Center article about cache maintenance.

(Not trying to start a debate, just wanted to make sure you were aware of the change.)

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On 30/04/2018 at 6:14 PM, hzoi said:

I don't think that's an accurate statement anymore.  Maintaining an accurate inventory of trackables is now listed as one of the responsibilities of cache owners in the Help Center article about cache maintenance.

(Not trying to start a debate, just wanted to make sure you were aware of the change.)

there it is , in black and white , but its not happening 
hence the ( thoughts ) that , some form of FLAG may be useful , 
to inform others that the inventory in not correct , same as if you were reporting an issue with a cache , wet log , full log , damaged container , hide no longer fits the hint 
sourly its all part of being a cache owner , 

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just a thought ....
when was the last time you all checked your inventory's ?
or checked on your own TB's to see where they are , are they listed as being in  a cache , or held by a free app user who's only cached on the day they found your TB and has never logged in since 
what did you do ,

did you mark your TB as missing 

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20 minutes ago, little-leggs said:

held by a free app user who's only cached on the day they found your TB and has never logged in since 

This has happened more than once or twice.  I cringe whenever I get a log that says "Our first Travel Bug"

Yeah, they get marked missing after a while, after trying to contact the holder.  

 

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I've just done a full run of my caches and got rid of all the TB ghosts. Its the first time I've done it ever, and cleared about 15 TBs out of the system. I agree with keeping the inventory up to date, but I don't agree that CO's should be expected to drop everything to go and check an otherwise fine cache just because some idiot hasn't logged a TB properly. If a log comes through saying there is no TB in the cache, then I will mark it as missing. I wouldn't want to see loads of veteran caches archived just because of TB ghosts caused by one day family app cachers. 

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1 minute ago, NanCycle said:

This has happened more than once or twice.  I cringe whenever I get a log that says "Our first Travel Bug"

Yeah, they get marked missing after a while, after trying to contact the holder.  

 

sounds oh so familiar  .....  

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2 minutes ago, The Magna Defender said:

I've just done a full run of my caches and got rid of all the TB ghosts. Its the first time I've done it ever, and cleared about 15 TBs out of the system. I agree with keeping the inventory up to date, but I don't agree that CO's should be expected to drop everything to go and check an otherwise fine cache just because some idiot hasn't logged a TB properly. If a log comes through saying there is no TB in the cache, then I will mark it as missing. I wouldn't want to see loads of veteran caches archived just because of TB ghosts caused by one day family app cachers. 

likes you views 

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57 minutes ago, little-leggs said:

or held by a free app user who's only cached on the day they found your TB and has never logged in since 
what did you do ,

did you mark your TB as missing 

Usually, I mark them missing, but I have one that a one-find cacher took in 2005, not marked as missing.  Sentimentality, I guess.  

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18 hours ago, little-leggs said:

hence the ( thoughts ) that , some form of FLAG may be useful , 
to inform others that the inventory in not correct , same as if you were reporting an issue with a cache , wet log , full log , damaged container , hide no longer fits the hint 

There is "some form of FLAG may be useful." It is a "Needs Maintenance" log. And as you suggest, it is the "same as if you were reporting an issue with a cache , wet log , full log , damaged container , hide no longer fits the hint." I have used it and most cache owners have responded. Its been discussed before on this forum, and although it is just a simple tool, for some reason there are some who have taken offense to the idea. 

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2 hours ago, Team Christiansen said:

There is "some form of FLAG may be useful." It is a "Needs Maintenance" log. And as you suggest, it is the "same as if you were reporting an issue with a cache , wet log , full log , damaged container , hide no longer fits the hint." I have used it and most cache owners have responded. Its been discussed before on this forum, and although it is just a simple tool, for some reason there are some who have taken offense to the idea. 

Of course there are.    A trackable that "might" be missing has nothing to do with the condition of the cache.  I feel this was another add-on trackable idea by the site that didn't seem to be well thought out (another was collectible/not collectible...).

I liken this behavior to people who'll leave an NM because there wasn't a pencil in a cache.   Sheesh...

By placing that NM on an otherwise healthy cache requires the CO to now do maintenance when possible, on a cache that could be a year or better between maintenance visits otherwise (we have two like that).  For quite a few COs this means an entire day or longer...to check on some guys My Little Pony laminated paper proxy that's possibly just incorrectly logged like many. 

Not all caches are 1.5/1.5...

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7 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

Of course there are.    A trackable that "might" be missing has nothing to do with the condition of the cache.  I feel this was another add-on trackable idea by the site that didn't seem to be well thought out (another was collectible/not collectible...).

I liken this behavior to people who'll leave an NM because there wasn't a pencil in a cache.   Sheesh...

By placing that NM on an otherwise healthy cache requires the CO to now do maintenance when possible, on a cache that could be a year or better between maintenance visits otherwise (we have two like that).  For quite a few COs this means an entire day or longer...to check on some guys My Little Pony laminated paper proxy that's possibly just incorrectly logged like many. 

Not all caches are 1.5/1.5...

Hence the need for a flag , and for cacher's to say what they see , if a TB's not there say so , if this become a theam , mentioned by more than one cacher over a couple of visits , then mark it as missing ? 
if it does get put back in the game its a bonus , and can be simply log back in at any point 

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Just now, little-leggs said:

Hence the need for a flag , and for cacher's to say what they see , if a TB's not there say so , if this become a theam , mentioned by more than one cacher over a couple of visits , then mark it as missing ? 
if it does get put back in the game its a bonus , and can be simply log back in at any point 

Eight people go to a cache after I FTF it.  I took a trackable while there.   Eight people leave an incorrect "flag".     Hmmm...

 - Sounds like a solution looking for a problem to me...

It's really easy to  just go see if the trackables missing when you do maintenance.  No need for notices, flags, fog horns, or anything extra.   :)

We've gone to our own ammo cans well over a dozen times (at maintenance, and numerous "no trackable" logs) to find tags missing their "toy" attachment and geocoins mixed with swag or "stuck" to things.  Cachers in a hurry, not really taking the time to be sure.   We've also headed out to find trackables there that didn't have any actions on them saying they were in the cache.  When we see they're not there, we mark it missing after an email to the TO.

Your idea, similar to a thread from '11, is probably the reason we now have the automated mark-missing system working intermittently.

 

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1 hour ago, cerberus1 said:

Eight people go to a cache after I FTF it.  I took a trackable while there.   Eight people leave an incorrect "flag".     Hmmm...

 - Sounds like a solution looking for a problem to me...

It's really easy to  just go see if the trackables missing when you do maintenance.  No need for notices, flags, fog horns, or anything extra.   :)

We've gone to our own ammo cans well over a dozen times (at maintenance, and numerous "no trackable" logs) to find tags missing their "toy" attachment and geocoins mixed with swag or "stuck" to things.  Cachers in a hurry, not really taking the time to be sure.   We've also headed out to find trackables there that didn't have any actions on them saying they were in the cache.  When we see they're not there, we mark it missing after an email to the TO.

Your idea, similar to a thread from '11, is probably the reason we now have the automated mark-missing system working intermittently.

 

L'd like to thing you mentioned in your paper log that you had taken the listed trackable ...... no need for the other seven to worry ....... say what you see , or write ( in the paper log ) what you'e done 

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1 hour ago, cerberus1 said:

- Sounds like a solution looking for a problem to me...

we have to be sensible about this , its not an automatic decision  to mark a TB as missing / unknown location , you have to read back through the past logs , to see if its been mentioned , has it been picked up , has any one else written its not in the cache , what 's written in the paper log . 

 

this is just an idea , how can we make the game we play better , working around the carnage left by others 

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If a cacher sees that a TB is listed in a cache's inventory, but is not actually in the cache, then they can go to the TB page and post a Write Note log to tell the TO that their TB is missing.  If the TO doesn't care to mark the trackable as missing, then why should the CO be responsible for that.

Some CO's will get annoyed enough that they'll replace their larger caches with micros.

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Whose responsibility is it if a TB is not where it should be ?

Well, if you mean 'who is to blame', then it's the responsibility of the unknowing newbie, careless cacher , thief or muggle who took it and didn't log it.

If you mean 'who should sort it out', then no-one has  to. Groundspeak can hardly visit the cache to check the accuracy of the inventory, nor can the reviewers.  The cache owner owns the cache, and has no control over what is or is not  placed in their box from day to day, a C.O. can't be expected to visit every time a TB (allegedly) lands in their box and is not spotted there by a subsequent finder. As others here have said, some folk may log trackables days after picking them up.

The trackable is the property of the trackable owner (obvious, I know !) If they care to read the logs for the cache their TB is supposed to be in, its up to them to take action if they want to. Their property, so ultimately their choice. When I do routine maintenance on my caches I check the inventory, and will mark missing those AWOL and pick up any physically present but unlogged. I see it as a courtesy to the owner and a tidying up of the cache listing, but not something for which I am responsible.

When I find a cache which has TBs virtually present but not actually in place, I will mention it in my log, and post a note on the TB page too. If the TB owner is long gone from caching it will be a brief note, if they are a relative beginner I will explain how they can mark the thing missing, or point out any clues in the cache logs which may indicate who picked the thing up and forgot to log it. My favourite missing TB conundrum was when I found a micro a few years back which allegedly contained 2 TBs , which had me at first wondering if I'd found a throwdown and searching for a proper pot . Got home, did my logs, checked the TB pages, only to find both had recently been dropped by a couple , neither were inactive or inexperienced cachers, and one of the dropped TBs was actually a tattoo on the man's leg ... so glad I didn't find that in the cache :ph34r:. Had fun with that 'not found in the listed cache today' note !

So, I try my best to keep TB inventories of caches I find/own as accurate as possible, but that's not because as a finder or setter of caches I feel any responsibility  to do so, but just as (I hope) a careful cacher who likes to help keep things right for the caching community. Missing TBs in caches I find are a mild let down, but after a nice walk in the countryside and finding a cache big enough to hold a TB, any trackable is only the cherry on the icing on the cake, and if it's missing I don't stress over it. Life is untidy, people don't always follow the rules, people often dont even realise there are rules ...

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6 hours ago, noncentric said:

Some CO's will get annoyed enough that they'll replace their larger caches with micros

I just don't understand the angst here.

Cachers have messaged me to mark as missing. For those caches close and convenient enough, I check first then mark as missing. For those farther away and less convenient, I will simply take them at their word and mark as missing. Why get annoyed?

Similarly, when the shoe is on the other foot, I have messaged both TOs and COs to mark as missing. For those who bother to respond, they have always been positive responding with thanks. I have sent many such messages and have yet to get a response that seems to be annoyed from either TOs or COs.

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59 minutes ago, Team Christiansen said:

I just don't understand the angst here.

Cachers have messaged me to mark as missing. For those caches close and convenient enough, I check first then mark as missing. For those farther away and less convenient, I will simply take them at their word and mark as missing. Why get annoyed?

Similarly, when the shoe is on the other foot, I have messaged both TOs and COs to mark as missing. For those who bother to respond, they have always been positive responding with thanks. I have sent many such messages and have yet to get a response that seems to be annoyed from either TOs or COs.

Yes, they've "messaged" you, not flagged your cache as needing maintenance over issues with trackable inventory.  They haven't burdened the Reviewers with checking on caches that have inventory issues, posting logs on said caches, and then checking back on those caches to 'fix' the inventory if the CO/TO hasn't already.

And you have "messaged" the TO/CO. Some replied and some didn't. Just because you didn't receive an annoyed response doesn't mean that those non-responders were not annoyed.  The ones that are annoyed are probably not going to respond ("another cacher complaining about TB's...delete"), so not getting a response of annoyance does not mean there isn't any.

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We like to keep logs as accurate as possible.  This includes trackables.

Marking a trackable missing because "someone messaged me" (to me) isn't an accurate accounting.  People say they checked thoroughly, but many times now we've found that's just not so.   

I simply would like my caches to have an accurate log.  Maybe the TO would like that as well...

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