How members at AVSIM are treated

Hello everyone,

I am here to announce that AVSIM has decided to ban me from their forums. I am here to protect my interests, interests of the simmers and defend myself from attacks on AVSIM, since they didn’t allow me to do that after the attack. Call it publish bashing.

Please note that this is a very long letter, so take a cup of coffee or something and make yourself cozy, if you wish to read it!

The announcement, as posted on 12.02.2012 by Stephen Wilcox, aka Spiritflyer:

http://forum.avsim.net/topic/399849-kosta-banned-by-avsim/

Now, my dear fellow simmers, while I do respect that AVSIM wants to put out THEIR side of the story, and as it always is, each story has two sides. Otherwise this fiasco wouldn’t end up where it did.

It makes me everything but happy to have to post a thing like this. I usually like spending my time posting useful things, posts about my knowledge of the sim and my guides, help people who care about our hobby.

I will not dispute that some of the things Stephen wrote are true. The course of events is generally correct. The statement about my behaviour and deteriorating states is at best ridiculous. I am sad to say, after many years of positive contributions, I have been feeling left out lately, especially after the events that conspired in August/September 2012. But we’ll come to that.

As Stephen carefully pointed out, I have made quite a lot of friends on AVSIM, which I will reluctantly, but forcibly lose (maybe not all, but probably quite a big chunk). I have been a positive contributor since 2003 I believe, and all this time, I have been doing nothing else but helping users and trying to learn as much as possible about our hobby. I was never even thinking about moderating or even stepping into an administrator position. It was only some time about April 2012 or about when I asked Tom if he could give me moderating abilities, solely only because I wanted to move threads where they belong – this was the only kind of responsibility I was looking for, I never formulated it any other way. The reason was to make forums a clearer place, again, for people to easily find what they are looking for. It is also because of my high involvement on the main forums, like FSX Forum, Hardware Forums, why I wanted just to be able to move the posts around (it was mainly hardware posts from FSX forum to the Hardware forum) is to give a little back what I got from AVSIM (and yes, I also supported AVSIM financially with €50 when they got hacked). Finally, Tom has decided to give me an Administrator position – I never really asked for that, as I said, I wanted only the above. But technically apparently, it wasn’t possible any other way.

First I was appointed Hardware Mod, and this led to me putting together the first FSX Tweaking Guide. I was actually consulting many other members via PM about this, what they would think this guide should contain. I will not name names here, but there were at least a dozen people. It was never my intention to discredit anyone, the only reason why I ever wanted to put such document together was due to repetitive posts on forums for the same problems. It was basically giving people a one stop shop for frequently asked questions. At first, it was meant to be a simple question – answer post on AVSIM. As I wrote it, I figured I can’t just leave out parts of it, so it transpired into a FSX tweaking guide. Even before my guide, I was already quite known on AVSIM to know a lot about FSX and the inner workings, being very close to Jesus when he was doing his stuff, working close with Pete on the g3d.dll error (testings)… so people were already coming to me for solutions, at that time also via PM and Email, and I usually tried to help everyone. This was the reason for the guide, it made my job, helping people, easier.

Did the admin position hit my head? Yeah, it did a bit. It’s the first time I got such position on the forums, and I haven’t been able to carry myself fully with it. However, beside moving the posts around to their respective forums and sorting stuff out, taking care of reports, there wasn’t very much administering on my side. Here and there I managed to blurt out on posts I moderated, but that was it. What I never wished for myself is that I wasn’t being seen as a member of the community any more, but rather someone higher – and I wasn’t able to contribute to the forums as I have been used to. This led to a bit of a confusion, me not being able to keep apart the Administrator position and my user helping scheme. Prior to taking my “position”, this was also fully unclear to me. And this explanation came from administrators themselves later on – they told me I have to be careful what I write and can’t just say anything, as I am now a representative of AVSIM. Alright, I tried my best here. It didn’t work out and I wasn’t really pissed when I lost the position.

But what Stephen said here, and I quote: “The harder he became, the more members resisted and the more authority he was granted to enforce his methods of moderation.”

…is just a ridiculous and just a made up lie to discredit me. I was never given “more authority”. Nothing changed in my status of managing. I was still doing the same stuff. This statement has no other use but to put bad taste about me in other users mouths, while the whole time, I never, NEVER attacked AVSIM openly, unlike what they did to me right now. In the end, there were couple of disgruntled users, in which I ended up in a fight, but you could count them on one hand.

Quote: “Srdan seemed to have a gift for finding the wrong way to say something to members that he was moderating.”

And that happened originally couple of times only, as I already said. But I wasn’t alone here, somewhere in the summer there was also another mod who did some stupidity and we just all shushed about it. But the fact is, when Tom, or Chase, or Stephen “do” something like that, nobody really cared, things went hush-hush and that was it. But when I did, not much different than their moderating – and yep, I learned from the best – then it is called gift for finding the wrong way. Stephen is here again turning things against me, hanging himself on petty little lies.

It is also a fact that their moderating is often seen as very sharp, condescending and rude. It was not only once that I had a user PM me why Chase was so sharp, or why Tom had “that voice”…

Before I became a mod/admin, I was only the outsider and never understood the inner workings of AVSIM administrators. After couple of months, I got this bitter taste in my mouth. Maybe cultural things, but my mom has taught me to be polite and nice to people. I have always been a bit arrogant, that is in my nature, but telling me that I have missing human interaction skills? Get a grip, Stephen! – in my real life, I am in a position to judge those, and they are definitely neither missing nor wrong. I have soon realized that AVSIM is basically sort of a militant operation with lots of two-faced administrators – which I would in normal situation never attack like this, but after that announcement, I have no other choice. At one moment, they will be nice to you, all polite, and the next moment you are out. I was not the only user to whom this has happened. But I am probably the only one who will have something to say about it.

Quote: “There were no halfway measures with Srdan, so he became a hyperactive agent of motion throughout any forums that caught his interest.”

And yet again, the great Stephen Wilcox, the Minister, manages to turn a simple truth into a ridiculous lie. He was always good with words, something I was always bad at actually. Here’s why: Stephen himself put a thread into FSX forum, which still stands, that all hardware posts will be either removed or moved. At one point, I even asked him if I should really remove hardware related threads, I was actually coming to him for the advice! Yet he told me to be harsh and remove the hardware threads. But when I stepped in and started moving every thread that had anything with hardware into appropriate forum (call me crazy, but I think moving is better than deleting), I am being called a hyperactive agent. This is how people get treated on AVSIM.

The fact is, apparently, where it all comes down: AVSIM was troubled with me because I was becoming too involved with the forums, more and more people getting to know me etc. I got a message from Stephen at one point, (an excerpt) about my “overbearing presence in the forums”.

Following Stephen’s post further, he now accuses me about stealing other people’s tweaks: again, a bold and very ridiculous statement. Let me just ask one question: did I ever name the tweaks my own or did I ever discredit those who found the initial tweaks? Actually, at the end of my guide, you will find a big thank you note in red to all colleagues and friends. Together, we used to test (that would be in a big part me, and of course others, sorry for not naming now) and find out (that would be in the biggest part Jesus, and of course others) the new tweaks.

Quote: “Over the course of the next short while he accumulated the various pieces most of us hardware and software orientated people had collected and stowed in files, favorites links and buried in old forum threads hither and yon.”

I bet Stephen has been secretly looking in my computer and saw exactly what I was doing. I have been learning. Learning so I can set up my system to the best possibility there is, later on pass my knowledge to the less knowledgable and also help others! I was testing the configurations, tweaks over 3 generations of computers, seeing how they behave. I spent days testing, re-testing and writing up and seeing other results, then again setting other configuration up and re-testing. In the end, after reading all Nick’s suggestions, Jesus’s stuff, my own, the whole collected experience of the FSX tweaking, I decided to put it all down, for everyone else, to easily set their FSX to run as best as it can on today’s computer. What I found, with the SB systems and the tweaks I tested to no end, that there is a key to which tweaks to use and which not. I never *ever* implied I did anything more.

It hurts me BADLY to be this blatantly accused around my own work. What Stephen/AVSIM obviously doesn’t realize is that this IS my own work (beside the fact that I asked couple of users what they might think would be the best to put in, and I thank you for your opinions).

In the end, it was me who put 1 and 1 together for the specific configuration, it was me who tested the configuration hours and hours to no obvious end, it was me who wrote it all down with all the links hosted and explained. It was me who wrote a guide that was simple enough for my mum to understand. Did I learn it all on AVSIM? For one part yes, but also in other places, from other people, google, other forums – did anyone else, at that point, do the kind of a work I did? Not that I know of. And the guide was welcomed with open hands by lots of people.

AVSIM got pissed apparently, when I decided to move my own work to my own website. I have EVERY right to take my work with me wherever I wish to.

And now, let’s get on with accusations:

Quote: “The end had to come, and it went something like this: Srdan decided to support people in the guide on helping their FSX software to run in P3D.”

Alright, if I’m to understand this correctly, we are talking EULA here. The most hated topic on AVSIM, ever.

First of all, it was not in the guide. The guide was solely a guide to make FSX and P3D run well; tweaking and hardware, nothing else.

There is also a compatibility list post, in which I rudimentarily explained how to port a scenery or aircraft into P3D, BUT… I also say, and I quote:

“Furthermore, be aware that the product publisher might have issued an EULA preventing a product from a licensed usage in P3D.” and “The developer can say no, but that also doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. Just that you should not do it and probably would be unwise to post screenshots of doing it.”

It is a warning to the users, and legitimate one. Everyone should decide what they do. It is not my place to tell users what to do.

What I did, was discussing with everyone else, openly on AVSIM forums, about porting add-ons to P3D, before these discussions got canned by the management. Indeed, I also wrote a comparison review of P3D vs FSX, for users to see differences in performance. I used specific add-ons, like NGX, FB KPHX, UTX, UK2000, Aerosoft… the sole intention was to show if users were thinking of going P3D, how will it perform – better, worse… The post was initially posted in P3D forum section of AVSIM. Not a long later, we got a message from UTX makers, that UTX is not allowed to be used in P3D, and that we should remove it. So I removed the UTX comparisons and got instructed by Tom to remove the post. Furthermore, together with the comparison review, I also, together with Ben, opened a place on my blog for a list of add-ons which are or are not compatible with P3D. That didn’t sit well with AVSIM either. So I moved it away from AVSIM.

The kicker though is, just couple of weeks later, AVSIM decided to make it’s very own compatibility list, which was visible directly on the main site. So, when I asked why was I expelled for my list, but now AVSIM has it’s own list, the answer was simply because the Board has decided so. I felt mocked.

Now, here comes the reason why all my “rights” were removed: I opened a blog and posted my comparison review, my guide and add-on-compatibility list on my blog. I was kicked off the team, because as an AVSIM member, I can’t even host an outside site with my stuff. OK with me. I rather bring the information out to the people, rather than be an AVSIM administrator. Call me stupid, if you want. And Stephen got one thing almost right here:

Quote: “Srdan still wanted to put it in his guide (BLOG!!), and Tom said no, Srdan went ahead and did it anyway and put “His” guide on his own domain, and Tom fired him. All members of the AVSIM senior staff agreed 100%.“

So Tom wanted to prevent me to have a place of my own – how monopolistic of him.
I find so cute how Stephen wants to pretend it is “our” guide. Where does he get those ideas?? Did he help me write it? Did he spend countless hours together with me loading and reloading FSX to no apparent end, making hundreds of notes? Too bad I threw them away, would be a nice proof, it was all handwritten… Call some of the tweaks ours, if you want, as we reached them with our joint forces, but all together, as I put it into the guide, what tweaks I took, how well they all worked together, and not mixing the “wrong” tweaks, that is solely my work.

So yeah, I lost my administrator position, only so that I can bring the valid and correct information out to the people (and that without breaking the said EULAs).

Moving on:

Quote: “He still hangs out here, answers the enquirers the same way, still tells everyone to go to his blog which still helps people break their EULA.”

Why wouldn’t I hang out there? It is a place I used to call home for a long time. It was for a long time the ONLY forum I participated. I answered the inquirers with helpful answers, as many have already confirmed. If I was able to answer, I would, and if I thought link to my blog was of benefit, I would link there. Where is harm in that? And to say “I tell everyone” – that is again just bunch of crap. I only told it there, where it was applicable. I would never tell an ATI user to go and use it, I would never tell it to someone with a weaker computer, so I stand by my opinion, saying that I only advised it where appropriate.

A word on EULA:
I have noticed quite a many posts in the thread about me not respecting rules of AVSIM, and going against EULA. Where do you have this from, people? Do you simply believe what you are told?

Concerning me breaking EULA on my site: hardly. The only thing in breach of the EULA currently inside, is the performance comparison of NGX in both simulators. This *was* only for demonstration purposes, I don’t use NGX in P3D. I also have no content on my blog that “helps people break their EULA”. Some developers are OK with users porting to P3D, and that’s a fact because I contacted some personally (they even encouraged me to post screenshots, as it is a good advertisment for them!!). In the end, EULA is the thing between the user and the developer, and neither me, nor AVSIM, nor anyone else, but the two, have anything to say what is and what is not a breach of EULA.

Quote: “He is thereby still doing the things he got fired for and are drawing members out of AVSIM to his blog with impunity.”

Yet again ridiculous. When I got “fired”, I was told that as a representative of AVSIM (mod/admin), I can’t be seen doing that. I was fired for wanting to host my findings, that btw. other users only appreciated, but that was as I was an administrator.
How Tom formulated it, to me it ment that after becoming a normal user, I have every right to post on my blog whatever I wish. Although, I did respect wishes of Flight1/UTX makers not to put UTX in there, as they asked directly.

Quote: “After several months of this conduct and being warned repeatedly by senior staff,”

I got three warnings (if this pertains to my blog):

1) to remove the blog from my signature
2) to remove the “avsim” word from my email address
3) not to poach through PM

I obeyed all warnings.

There have been no direct warnings of me “not to put a link to my blog when replying to the user”. There have been superficial warnings of me poaching users, while at the same time, I didn’t see the linking to my blog as poaching, as other posters also suggested my guide if performance was questioned.

Together with this situation, I got accused of using AVSIM to promote my blog and poaching users for my blog. While promotion wasn’t my direct intention, it is what happened (like it did with any other forum out there). Stephen said the most hits probably originated from AVSIM – at first, this was true – it was the only place I was really active at, at that moment!! But as I pushed my blog further, across other forums too, AVSIM became just a small part of it – and that happened really quickly. So, could I have had done it without AVSIM? Without a doubt, it would have only take a month or two longer.
And this is apparently where admins got hurt. I can understand – first I gave you something, then I took it away. Well, tough luck – you played the cards wrong with me.

But to explain: the blog’s intention was NEVER to poach users. The intention was to be independent; something AVSIM has no idea about what it means. Independence and democracy have no or very little meaning there. There is no freedom of speech. I am a member of more forums than AVSIM, and the blog was intended for everyone, not only AVSIM users. I recently even thought about translating it into German, as I have been active in German forums too. The fact is however, AVSIM got pissed when I moved it to my blog, and when I wanted to post a link on AVSIM. My explanation and reason were simple: maintaining one guide is enough, but AVSIM wanted an up to date version on their site. So they didn’t want to link but they wanted a complete guide, which was impossible and very difficult to port from WordPress to AVSIM, due to different formatting. I only asked them to maintain the link, but that was unacceptable.

AVSIM apparently doesn’t understand the meaning of the word community and interlinking over internet.

They told me they will host my guide on AVSIM directly. But, let’s for the moment turn this story around: why would AVSIM enjoy the hits from other websites if my guide was hosted there in the first place?

Quote: “I officially wrote Srdan asking/ordering him to stop this activity, especially the poaching of our members. He agreed, but did and changed nothing.”

Again, you mask what really happened, tell it in your own words, and call it a day.
As I already said, the only two things I remember being warned about was the signature, email and poaching (PM). All these activities stopped. But still, other users were recommending my guide and this is obviously where you got pissed. So if others were linking, I didn’t see any reason to *not* post a link to my blog, exactly like others are doing. But no one ever told me that I can’t post links to my guide, at least I don’t remember.

Quote: “Of course Srdan was not pleased. At first his comments to Paul were almost brotherly. One day last week he let loose and didn’t bother mincing words or pretending common cause or comradely rivalry. He was vicious and direct.“

Oh that is just s***load of you know what! And you know it! I wrote in a thread about the problem I had and was investigating, and what Paul wrote was dismissive and basically telling me to piss off with my problem, because others know better. The best thing is though, after I got pawned, the cause of the problem came up, and in the end, also the solution to the problem. And the cause was repeatable on other systems. Yes, I did seem a little harsh in my reply (which was btw. hidden), but I also did not know that Paul’s mother died.

On that note: Paul, I’m very sorry I was harsh to you on that day, had I known the circumstances, I would have probably gone another route. My condolences, since I can’t post at AVSIM anymore.

In all honesty, I couldn’t care less not being a hardware moderator any more, as I already previously pointed out, I was glad I was out of the woods with that one. You apparently thought I missed that and wanted the position back. This whole time you fail to realize what it is that I am attempting. If that didn’t come over until now, it never will.

What does bother me however, is that you are blatantly and by force attempting to replace my guide with Paul’s.
To be clear about one thing: I had *nothing* to do with the new AVSIM FSX Guide, except that Paul took some parts from my posts on AVSIM and/or my guide (also credited me in it). It’s complete Paul’s work, he compiled it the way he deemed necessary.
That’s it basically.

On with the story…

Quote: “Yesterday Kosta again began to directly pull people out of AVSIM with the same old line. He was warned by Chase who was mocked for his effort.”

Again, I was never “pulling” people. Stephen, do you really hold me for that stupid that you think that I would open up a BLOG to pull the people out of AVSIM? Eg. poaching users…? Iif I had any such intentions, I would open up a forum or something. I feel like a parrot: the blog is here to make an independent place for my work for everyone and nothing else. If people decide to follow it, ask me a question or something, what is wrong with that? It is apparent that YOU are afraid for AVSIM. And that is really poor, given AVSIM’s position and status. You should actually be proud that you have individuals like me, wanting to share the sources and help users. In the end, that is what Internet is about – and this is what I wrote to Chase. Did I mock him? Sure, a bit, since I really got pissed and knew I was about to lose my account in any case. What you have been doing to me the last 4-5 months is nothing compared to how I mocked Chase in my last email.

You see, I had two exits out of this situation: either becoming inactive on the forums, subsequently maybe hurting my reputation when someone asked for help, and I didn’t answer or going the “hard” way, trying to fight my way out. But… neither of the two would have given me what I was trying to achieve – helping more people in a more efficient way.

Quote excerpt from the Email I wrote to Chase today morning:

“AVSIM apparently wants to close itself to the likes of me, and my only explanation is that you don’t want me helping out and contributing, although I’ve been hugely helpful in the last 10 years. And not only that I personally am linking to my site, only sometimes, only on some threads where people run into big trouble (and I minimized my “linking” as of late greatly), but also coming from another sites, other people are recommending my tweaking approach. So, will you now also delete their posts?“

From the current announcement thread discussion:

I did notice someone suggested that AVSIM should sit with me in couple of days and talked to me: please be noted that I wrote to Stephen to meet on Teamspeak to talk things out. First request went unanswered – 06.11.2012. 2nd Email went out to Chase, asking the same thing, on 10.11.2012, only to get the reply that Chase will email him; still no reply until 19.11.2012, when I asked the 3rd time, finally to get a positive answer. So no one should tell me I didn’t attempt to make contact. Only after couple of weeks, after I asked once more, did I get a reply that he would be glad to discuss things and set things straight. Since then, we had Christmas time in between and that is a time where I virtually work, eat and sleep, until approximately end of January. I now I was getting around to stuff, and now this.

I was never past talking. I *wanted* to resolve the issue, but now, sorry to say, it’s just too late. Damage on the side of AVSIM has been done and this is my defense against it.

Quote: „Meanwhile Srdan is not welcome to be a part of the future AVSIM, nor is his guide welcomed to be hosted, posted or linked to from here. We have a better guide in place that will be updated as needed.”

I figured as much that this will happen. And you know what? I care. I really do. But not about you Stephen or AVSIM, for simply writing this up and taking almost 4 hours of my time to defend myself. I care about the users, I will keep the blog up, I will keep the work up, but not for you. For all other simmers who care about my work.

I’ve seen too many good people come and go because how AVSIM handled them. And like most of them, I’m guilty of helping people. And this is apparently not what Tom & Co want: I feel like AVSIM is into making money and selling stuff. Years ago, AVSIM was a different place, a meeting place for simmers. Now it has become a commercial conglomerate with interests about itself and not the people. You will find numerous other websites on the internet about flight simulators, which contain the posts just about that – helping people and discussing relevant stuff. And these places, although way less users than on AVSIM, have much higher quality of relevant discussion.

What did hurt me was that I thought I was part of AVSIM – in the end, I feel like I was wanted solely for my guide as of late (especially since Stephen was appointed Forums Manager), while was still hosted at AVSIM, but as soon as I pulled it off, the friendship was off too.

To all my friends, simmers, I will still be around, so feel free to contact me via my blog, that is right now the easiest way.

Also, I have found the Flightsim.com to be a very good site, much more friendly, as I have been spending some time there for the last couple of months. The friendliness, warmth, feel of being welcome, even way before than I was banned from AVSIM were overwhelming. What these guys have is what AVSIM has unfortunately lost a long time ago. They concentrate on important stuff, flight simulation and aviation, and not politics, large egoes, the site or financial gain. I look forward to seeing everyone over there!

Also, there is a new kid on the block, iFlySimX.com, I still don’t know much about them, but I’ll be also helping these guys out!

651 Responses to How members at AVSIM are treated

  1. Ray says:

    I’ve been a member of AvSim for 13 years and have helped a lot on the Radar Contact Forum. I’ve just finished a 120 hour ban. My ‘offence’ was to ask in ‘Letters to the Editor’ why JSkorna has been banned. A couple of others were also curious. Within a couple of hours Jim had posted a reply and then locked and removed the thread. I wrote a PM to him asking why you would post a reply and then very soon after lock and remove it making it impossible for people to read your reply. I questioned his judgement on doing that. He never replied to me and I found I was banned for 120hrs. Tonight I had to ‘sign’ an agreement that I wouldn’t break the T&Cs again. I’m still struggling to understand what I did wrong but trolling seems the closest.
    First time I’ve ever been disciplined on a forum. Maybe it was the 2 donations that prevented me being thrown off completely. I look at the place now through very different eyes. They’ll get no more money from me.

  2. a says:

    same thing happened to me, had an issue with Aerosoft, w3as not happy with how they handled my request for a refund, had my private conversation with Aerosoft support pasted online by fabien something, when i complained to avsim that he did this, they banned me without warning or a chance to ask why! AVSIM suck up to big companies, they allow a customer support rep to post a customer conversation on their forums then I get banned for asking them to take it down! As it happens PAYPAL ruled in my favour and I got the refund back. AVSIM and Aerosoft are pathetic. AVSIM never gave me any reason for banning me and in fact it was my conversation with aerosoft which got published in a forum and i got banned! AVSIM sucks!

  3. Ian Shaw says:

    First they presented a page where to sign in but did not provide a place to register.. The next time I discovered that the main page did have a place to register, but in their wisdom they did not see the fallacy. After I registered, IK wanted to log in and my attempt was refused! Well, incompetence is just that and usually is paired with arrogance..Secondly, they insulted me , a prospective customer, saying in bold red that “here is no freedom of speech, for this is a privately owned website.” It seems that the owners feel that they are doing me a favour for letting me see their precious website. I have news for them: it is I who am doing them a favour for even considering buying anything from them, when there are lots of other companies who offer similar products. Flight simulation has a rather small market and they will not stay in business if they alienate customers. with incompetence and arrogance. They can just deregister me now, for I shall never even look at their website.
    i

    • FreeQuest says:

      i sometimes visit anonymously but very rarely …. I get my stuff From Just Flight heck the community at the Org Store for XPX is for more friendly. Sadly when I first started flight simming and had finally go internet AVSIM was a far more friendly place … now not anymore ):

  4. Geralt says:

    How is Avsim now that Tom isn’t running things, is it much different? Organizational culture can change quite radically when leadership changes hands, I wonder who is running things now.

  5. Mark Rudd says:

    Nothing changes while Jim Young is running the ship. Many have left in the last few weeks simply due to his over the top moderating. He banned somebody because they brought up an old thread that had wrong information. Disgraceful. The place is an advertising joke.

  6. Pete Richards says:

    I got banned by Tom a few years ago for simply going public against a developer who ripped me off! The developer said I was a liar and never purchased a product from them yet I had the invoice and credit card statement to prove I had! Tom took the garbage the developer feed him hook line and sinker and said he didn’t want people like me on avsim. I emailed to copies of my invoice and bank statement to prove the developer was full of BS! But he replied and said the ban stands. WTF! Oh yeah and the developer was FSD International

    • neal perkuhn says:

      I don’t buy anything from FSD International used to buy from their website and visit their forums but trying to get a key reissued from them was a real pain in the arse they never bothered to answer my support emails. So I posted on their forums lets just say the did give me my download but it left a bad taste in my mouth happy to see they are pretty much dead in the FS world.

  7. Kosta says:

    He was never able to jump over his own shadow, indeed.

  8. Dave Davidson says:

    Good to hear from Mark Rudd that people have left. I only go there to check the 747-v2 announcements and to check up on UGCX from FS2Crew. I like Bryan and he’s one of the good people on that forum. As much as PMDG’s corner is one of the most toxic on there, I do want to get the 747v2 so I don’t post, just check up for dates etc

    • DDA says:

      My experience exactly. I stay in read-only mode and just check for announcements.
      PMDG makes great products, however their AVSIM forums are terrible. There is an obnoxious, insulting and arrogant RTFM atmosphere prevailing, paired with police mentality.

  9. budlake says:

    I got banned from avsim, apparently for life, although like a lot of others posting on this forum I do not really know why. I do know however that a certain gentleman moderating the FSLabs A320 took exception to me pointing out that the release of that a/c at that time was already two years late when people were being told of further delays. The reason, I was told, was that I was being disrepectful but I disputed that and continue to dispute. I told the offending gentleman that he was in no position to make such a judgement and I stick by that statement.

    That certain gentleman, who now seems to be the foremost spokesman for the PMDG 747v2 on the Avsim PMDG forum, is Kyle Rogers who is probably better known on that forum as Scandinavian13.

    A posting by Mr Randazzo on 1st October told us that the a/c was in the process of being handed over to the Beta team for Beta testing, however we have just learnt that it has not actually gone to beta yet. Three weeks after the fact.

    That in itself is not a problem but what is a problem is that courtesy and respect for customers at the very least should have had someone tell avid PMDG followers that a delay has been incured.

    It strikes me as hypocrical that I should be banned from avsim reputedly because I was being disrespectful yet the person that made that allegation against me and had the power to affect the ban, is himself being disrespectful by not saying anything on the PMDG forum in the hope that perhaps knowbody would be the wiser. When that fact was discovered and announced Scandinavia13 merely brushed the isue aside!

    Hypocrisy? I certainly think so!
    Mike

  10. pour says:

    PMDG bunch of hypocrite, special Mr Randazzo.They don’t like it when you telling the truth.

  11. klm says:

    To Robert S. Randazzo, as well as all of PMDG,

    First, I want to tell you I very much respect and appreciate the work you do for the flight simulation community. The quality and attention to detail in your products is bar none the best in all of flight simulation, and this is not limited to aircraft add-ons, but scenery add-ons and texture add-ons and whatever add-ons may exist. I hope you will read this comment hearing my tone that I am not at all trying to be abusive or disrespectful, but with every ounce of kindness in me, attempting to make my voice heard.

    But I do have a grievance, and I hope you will be humble enough to honestly consider what I am saying and also refrain from banning me for anything I say here. If I do get banned, however, for what I say here, then I will be satisfied having this be my final comment, but I hope you will read this all before banning me. But if you hear the amount of concern and respect in my voice, this should not be a problem. In fact, I hope you will take this as a representation of how much I do care about this company, in that I would say what I am about to say. I understand this comment might be controversial. My goal is not to start a controversy, but to make you all at PMDG, as well as everyone who reads the forums, aware about an issue that arose in the comments recently.

    I am commenting to talk about the vitriolic comments made by Robert S. Randazzo on this forum a couple days ago. I was banned for a comment I made several days before, regarding the possibility about PMDG lying about moving to beta testing. Perhaps my comment was in bad taste, and for that, I do apologize. However, Rob proceeded to make a comment responding to some of the things that were said in the forum. I understand that he was likely saying much of what he said in a heat-of-the-moment annoyance or anger. However, he explicitly called some customers “ignorant” and, by quoting Abraham Lincoln regarding fools, implicitly (but not so implicitly) called these customers “fools.”

    I worked in customer service for two years. There are several things I learned about the nature of customer service that I would like to apply to this situation:

    1. First, it is as obvious as anything that any company deals with idiotic customers. Everyone knows this.

    2. Second, despite this obvious fact, one of the most important facts about customer service is that no company should ever make such an obvious fact explicit about their customers to their customers. Even though a company may deal with many idiotic customers, it is one of the worst moves, as it relates to good customer service, to explicitly say to some of the customers that some of them are idiots, even if it is 100% true.

    3. Given the first and the second points, it is never, under any circumstances, ever acceptable for an employee of a company, let alone the CEO and Founder of a company, to insult any customer(s), or make a public statement insulting the customer(s), for any reason, even if that employee is 100% correct in saying what he is saying.

    4. Fourth, many customers abstain from buying products not because the quality is bad, but because the company’s customer service is poor or rude. Rob making the comments he did is an extremely good way to lose customers. There is no justification any company can give to a statement containing insults to customers that will make the statement not rude. Therefore, there is absolutely no justification Rob and any of you at PMDG will be able to give me, or any other customers, to change the fact that what Rob said was extremely rude. And it would be a very good idea to be wary of this fact, because arguably, PMDG will lose more than the customers will if the customers do not buy the product. The Boeing 747, as awesome and exciting as it is, it still just a game. Therefore, if a customer does not buy it, for them, it is not a big deal; they will survive. However, if a customer does not buy it, for PMDG, it can be a bigger deal; PMDG will lose part of its income, and money is far more necessary for survival than a game.

    5. This point might get me banned, if I have not already for the comments I have made. Rob quoted Abraham Lincoln about how opening one’s mouth proves a fool to be a fool. However, that quote implies that certain customers are “fools,” when such a quotation would be a foolish quote on the part of PMDG because of the lack of consideration of its implications. Indeed, it is even hypocritical. It is extremely foolish for a company to call customers “foolish” to their faces. Indeed, Lincoln’s quote applies online, but so do good customer service rules.

    6. One of the hardest things for a company to do is to adhere to the statement, “The customer is always right.” One of the most difficult things to do in customer service is to do what the customer asks or to be kind to a customer, even when you know the customer is 100% wrong. With that, let me walk you through the conclusion I made about tech testing. In the test testing post, there was a statement that what determines when the product moves “from tech testing to beta testing, and from beta testing to release” is the product itself. From this statement alone, it can be inferred that the progression of testing goes from the tech testing stage to the beta testing stage to release, and that when one stage ends, it moves on to the next. Indeed, this is how many things are tested. In addition, a beta tester said that they do not have the product, and that it was “still in tech testing.” From this, one would also logically reach the conclusion that in order for the product to enter beta testing, tech testing must finish. Some customers have not been following PMDG since the NGX, and most people do not have time to scroll through hundreds of pages worth of threads and tens of thousands of threads to learn about how you test your products. As a result, it is a completely unfair expectation that you expect customers to know that tech testing is two and a half years long, since many people have not been following you until recently, and given the two quotes that I have stated, it would be a perfectly logical conclusion to assume that tech testing must finish before beta testing can start as it seemed that they were two consecutive stages in one testing cycle. As the CEO and face of a company, you are to politely educate your customers, without calling them fools and idiots.

    7. Given all I have said, perhaps the most important point of good customer service is this: Customer service is not about being right; it is about being kind to your customers, even when they are 100% wrong. Obviously you strive for both, but being kind takes priority over being right 100% of the time. The moment that being right takes precedent over being nice is the moment when everything else you say or do ceases to matter, because it was not done with kindness and love. This applies not only in the world of business, but also in life in general.

    Rob, you, as the CEO of PMDG, should be ashamed of your comments. It is one thing if a lesser employee says something bad or gives bad customer service. However, you, as the CEO, Founder, and face of PMDG, are held to a much higher standard of customer service. Part of the job of a CEO is to be the highest and greatest example of what every one of your employees should look like and strive to be like in their jobs, and that includes customer service. If a subordinate says something bad, it mostly does not affect the company. However, if the CEO of a company says or does something bad, it tarnishes the name of the company and affects everyone else in the company for being associated with a bad name.

    In addition, if you do lose customers from your comments, I hope you realize that the income that was lost due to the loss of customers will not only affect your income, but that of everyone else that works for PMDG as well. The best thing you can do to remedy this situation is to take down your comments. While some people may have supported you for saying what you did, that does not make what you said right. In my customer service job, if I had called my customers “ignorant” or “fools,” I would have lost my job right away, even if I was completely correct. Thus, while what you said may have been factually completely right, it was completely wrong to say. I do think you were being overly petty about what happened. At least for me, PMDG’s reputation, or at least the regard at which I hold you and your company, has dropped slightly due to your vitriolic and insensitive comments.

    I do honestly hope you will take what I have said sincerely. I want you to know that I am not attempting to be mean or abusive. No one is perfect, and even CEOs make mistakes, in which case I think it is good for someone to call such mistakes out, even if that “someone” is a customer. It is not for the purpose of breaking the person down but for ultimately building that person up and making them a better person through it. I hope for nothing but the best for PMDG, as I have been buying your products since the days of Flight Simulator 2004, and have been left breathless at everything you have created. We often cannot see where we went wrong on our own, and that is why other people are so important. Therefore, I hope you will see this not as an attack on PMDG, but as a direct but very gentle rebuke, for the purpose of showing where you went wrong. I am only saying these things because I do care enough about you to say something about it.

    Sincerely,

    Nathan Sumarsono

  12. budlake says:

    Nathan, that is an amazing post and it is very nearly 100% correct; good customer service is a very important part of any successful business.
    In my recent post I quoted an incident that got me banned from avsim, part of that incident evolved from my saying exactly the same thing against FSLabs and their A320. I went straight to Aerosoft and have never been back to FSLabs since – because of their attitude and the way they insulted and denigrated me.
    I was a very keen and loyal customer who was very excited by the FSL A320 but when Mr Rodgers did exactly what the book on good customer relations says not to do they lost a good customer.
    Mike

  13. budlake says:

    Nathan,
    I had not read the article on the PMDG forum before making my earlier comment but have done so since and I am disgusted by it, to the point where I have issued a PMDG support ticket as follows:

    I am disgusted by Mr Randazzo’s recent comment on the 747v3 forum! It is totally out of order to lambast and denigrate customers in the manner that he did in that tirade!
    It has been my view that the forum on the new ‘Queen’ has been very well supported by future and past loyal customers but Mr Randazzo crosses a line in his clear demonstration of contempt for his loyal customers. Those customers are not only Mr Randazzo’s bread and butter but also that of his staff so not only does he do a massive injustice to his customers but also those that help him produce the products that we have all been loyal to.
    I have PMDG 737NGX, B747, MD11 and the B777 and I was very excited about the prospect of being the proud owner of “The Queen” v3 but I now have doubts!
    He derides the author of a post on the forum by saying he is ignorant for not knowing the inner machinations of the virtual aircraft production process as it is within PMDG but the principle reason for his alleged ‘ignorance’ is that we the ‘lowly’ public, as he would have it, are not informed! If he wants us to be more educated then he should consider giving us more information. Unfortunately, I fear that it may now be too late for a lot of his loyal following! I for one have started to have doubts. If PMDG cannot have more respect for its customers whether they have bought all the products in the past or are just window shopping for their first one it should matter not we all deserve respect! If it cannot respect its customers then PMDG does not deserve any customers!

    I am unable to comment directly to the PMDG forum as I am, presumably, still banned by avsim so that was the only alternate option.

    Mike

    • neal perkuhn says:

      Was thinking of getting the DC-6 for XPX from PMDG I don’t think so I loath AVSIM mob and Well would prefer good customer service I stopped buying stuff from FSD because of how they act.

      So no won’t ever buy from PMDG as no matter how good their stuff is.

  14. Mark Rudd says:

    Sad to say, Avsim and PMDG have everyone by the you know what. You can’t access PMDG support unless through Avsim which is a joke.

    As above, Jim Young controls Avsim how he sees fit. He also has the hide to say he’s sorry for offending some with his posts. Yet he will block a thread after he has had his say. Nice one Jim.

    Also be careful guys of Jim Bourke. Another sneaky person. He will go into your profile, look for anything and report it to Jim. If he doesn’t agree on what you say, he’ll mention something in a post, like your ‘bashing’ a product etc and will let Jim Young know. Then you’re banned.

    Nothing will ever change as long as Jim Young runs the Avsim ship. Nothing. Maybe an online petition might get some people aware perhaps. Perhaps. I doubt it.

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