Update: Corporate Corner/Group Buy Section is Now Removed. And New Rules for Vendors.

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Will Prowse

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Hello everyone! I have removed the "Corporate Corner" and "Group Buy" sections. I created these groups to allow businesses to post as they wish, for self-promotion or otherwise. I thought it was a good idea at first, but it has created a few problems:

Problem #1: Vendors use this website to state that their product is "approved by diysolarforum.com". This is not true. This forum does not have a list of approved products, and never will. This has led people to blame me for issues that they have with vendors on this website. I have stated "this section is to be used at your own risk" multiple times, but this does not seem to help. I do not like this negative association for the forum, or I.

Problem #2: We do not allow affiliate links or self-promotion on the forum. But many vendors are responding to members in other areas (outside of the corporate corner, without breaking the current rules), and posting their links in the signature of their response. This completely defeats the purpose of the corporate section. One can easily post as they wish anywhere, and promote their links in the signature of their response.

Problem #3: Michael Caro. A group buy incident that has caused grief for many. He collected payments from forum members for a "group buy". Turns out, quite a few people purchased these cells. Peoples cells arrived that were not packaged properly, or did not receive anything at all. I have received multiple messages and emails for months about this, and some forum members felt that the forum itself, was to blame. I do not want this to occur again.

Problem #4: The corporate corner and group buy sections do not see much activity. And when they do, there are issues. Quite a few reports in recent times had to do with the aggression created over the Michael Caro incident. This is not fun to enforce, and I would prefer not dealing with it at all.

I do understand that some members and mods told me that we should keep these sections up. But I am taking them down. This is my decision, and I take full responsibility if anyone is angry about this. I am sorry that you are mad, but I do not want these sections on the forum any longer.

Next, I am adding new rules for all vendors that use this website. These rules are active now:
  1. Vendors cannot post links to their website/store/blog post in the signature section of their posts. This applies to affiliate links, and non affiliate links. They can post a logo for their profile picture.
  2. Every vendor needs to state their position in the company in the "subtitle" section of their profile. This will help forum members understand if you are an engineer, a marketer, or the owner of the company.
  3. Vendors cannot post self-promotion content or material in posts or in their profile. This includes prices, deals or marketing material. If they need to reference a specific product without promoting themselves (posting a link to a manual or wiring diagram), that is fine.
If you see these rules broken, please use the "report button" under the post to let me know. I will then message the vendor stating the new rules.

Vendors can still post here on the forum, but they cannot promote themselves in any way. If they wish to help customers with an issue they are having (such as signature solar discussing the ground/neutral bonding issue on the Growatt 5000ES), that is 100% ok! And I encourage it. Those threads have been a big help to many, and I never felt like they were promoting themselves.

I am sorry if this causes issues, but I am not budging on this decision. This will also free up a lot of stress for myself and the other mods. Keep in mind that we volunteer our time here, because we love electronics and DIY solar projects. The exchange of information on this site is fantastic, and it will always be free for everyone.
 
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