PM Limits for New Members too restrictive

BigC

Well-known Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2002
Messages
851
Recently I have been sent a Private Message by several new members, but when I reply to them I am advised that they have exceeded their PM limit so my message doesn't go through. That leaves me completely stuck in regard to contacting them, and they don't know that I have tried but failed. Stalemate/gridlock! :confused:

From what I can gather, new members don't get much of a limit until that have posted to the Forum, however, it seems to me that this is too restrictive and creates the problem described above.
 

mole999

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New users do have restrictions, one is that they should not be seeking help off of the forum to answer their questions. As they spend more time with us then the restrictions are relaxed.

The majority of contact should be in the visible forum, as we are all speaking Excel, and the forum is about sharing solutions to issues.

Some users don't clear their storage space allowed so that is a user issue
 

BigC

Well-known Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2002
Messages
851
New users do have restrictions, one is that they should not be seeking help off of the forum to answer their questions.

Really? Isn't that the primary purpose of a forum such as this? It is how I learned a lot of my Excel skills, and now that I am trying to give back to new users I'm hamstrung!
 

Joe4

MrExcel MVP, Junior Admin
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Really? Isn't that the primary purpose of a forum such as this? It is how I learned a lot of my Excel skills, and now that I am trying to give back to new users I'm hamstrung!
I fail to understand how not being able to PM members is hamstringing you.
Exactly what are you sending them via PM?
All questions should be posted to the public forums, as the rule states.

One of the reasons for this rule/policy is to help control Spam. Internet forums, such as this one, are often the target of Spammers. One method they sometimes use it to register, and then instead of posting Spam on the public forums, to Spam members via PM (which we, the Moderators, would never see).

Also, the policy is to discourage people who join the forum and instead of posting their questions to the Public Forum, they would PM their questions to certain members they identified (which most members do not like).

The purpose of this forum is to help people with Excel problems not just by answering their questions directly, but also by creating a searchable forum for the benefit of all, where people can find answers to questions by searching past questions. If questions were being answered via PM, that kind of defeats that purpose, and we would have no control over that, or people trying to charge for their services (which goes against the nature of having a free user forum).
 
Last edited:

FDibbins

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Feb 16, 2013
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6,723
This same policy is applied to a number of other forums I am on, so it is nothing new. As is the requirement that all (most?) discussions take place in the open forum, so that all members can learn and/or help from the questions posted - this can hardly happen if all discussion is private?
 

BigC

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Messages
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I fail to understand how not being able to PM members is hamstringing you.
Exactly what are you sending them via PM?
All questions should be posted to the public forums, as the rule states.

I am trying to respond to a PM sent to me by a new member to advise them along the lines that you guys have stated - but I can't because they have reached their PM limit. In addition, because they have not yet posted to the Forum thread about which they have a question I am unable to reply via that avenue.
My guess is that the new member who PM'd me doesn't know that I have tried to reply to their PM but can't.

I can do nothing to help this Forum member. That to me is like being hamstrung. :(

All questions should be posted to the public forums, as the rule states.
Based on what has been written in reply to my OP, it sounds like the PM functionality should be disabled as it provides the opportunity to contradict/avoid that rule, and so begs the question as to the purpose of PM.:confused:
 

Macropod

Retired Moderator
Joined
Aug 27, 2007
Messages
3,567
I am trying to respond to a PM sent to me ... but I can't because they have reached their PM limit. In addition, because they have not yet posted to the Forum thread about which they have a question I am unable to reply via that avenue.
My guess is that the new member who PM'd me doesn't know that I have tried to reply to their PM but can't.
Hopefully they'll interpret your non-response as being ignored - which is a message in itself - and they'll post where they should. FWIW, I've disabled PMs from members at large both here and on three other boards I moderate precisely because of the number of PMs I've received over the years asking for help instead of posting in the appropriate forum.
 

Joe4

MrExcel MVP, Junior Admin
Joined
Aug 1, 2002
Messages
58,374
Office Version
  1. 365
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I am trying to respond to a PM sent to me by a new member to advise them along the lines that you guys have stated - but I can't because they have reached their PM limit. In addition, because they have not yet posted to the Forum thread about which they have a question I am unable to reply via that avenue.
My guess is that the new member who PM'd me doesn't know that I have tried to reply to their PM but can't.

I can do nothing to help this Forum member. That to me is like being hamstrung. :(
If you have new members sending you PMs instead of posting to the board and you cannot respond back, you can Report that post (you can report PMs like you can any other thread). Then a Moderator can handle it by sending an email to the user (we have access to those), advising them of the rules.

Based on what has been written in reply to my OP, it sounds like the PM functionality should be disabled as it provides the opportunity to contradict/avoid that rule, and so begs the question as to the purpose of PM
We operate under the principle of trusting our users until they give us a reason not to!

PM's are really designed for the following purposes:
- General chit-chat. Maybe you noticed a user who lives in your neck of the woods, and you just want to reach out to them, or they seem to have an interest similar to yours and you want to shoot the breeze with them.
- Personal thank-yous.
- Sharing of sensitive information that cannot be should not be posted on the forums, like an email address or a password.
 

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