‘Where’s my review?’ – reasons for hiding comments

    Lockme users’ reviews are essential for the algorithm to work properly. That’s why the comments are so important for us, especially when they’re honest, guided by conscience and consistent with regulations. If your comment didn’t appear on the website, we invite you to read the article explaining what might have caused this.

    ‘Lockme deleted my comment, although it was an honest opinion!’

    ‘I gave 7/10 and they blocked me from reviewing.’

    ‘Lockme deletes reviews at the request of the owners.’

    We’ve been receiving such comments and viewed from the perspective of a service user – they are understandable. However, this perspective is one component of a broader picture which, as a service where all market participants come together, we have to analyse in detail every time. Often it is not possible for us to provide a full description of a situation – for example because we are bound by the secrecy of correspondence – which makes it even more difficult for others to verify However, we can assure you that all decisions have justified reasons. The methodology that we use doesn’t leave any room for personal interpretations, and in this article we want to present some details on how we apply it. There is always a specific reason why a comment does not appear on the website. So here we invite you to read a list of the ten most common reasons that could have led to this. In this text, we also include examples of typical situations in which a comment cannot be published.

    It is crucial to remember that reviews are not deleted from the website. The exception is deleting the account at the request of the user after which, in accordance with GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), all of his/her contributions are removed. Every review is available for inspection and moderation, which allows us to explain why it’s not visible at the moment and what you can do to change that.

    1. The Lockme account is not properly paired with the Facebook account (applies only to Poland)

    We are aware that some users are reluctant to pair their Facebook account with the account on our website. For this reason, we particularly appreciate users who comply with regulations and connect the profiles in order to share their experience in the review. Still, it may happen that these two accounts are not properly paired. A valid link to the account, which can be modified anytime on the ‘edit profile’ page, usually looks like this: http://facebook.com/name.surname or /other.phrase. The account will be blocked if the provided link:

    • is broken;
    • leads to a disabled profile (often happens to people who change their surname, personal details or nick manually);
    • leads to the profile of a public figure or a person who is not the author of the review;
    • doesn’t include the elements required by regulations (real name, surname, and a photo that allow for identification);
    • leads to a source other than Facebook;
    • includes some other text that is not a link to a Facebook account, for instance an e-mail address or name and surname.

    In that case, the moderator hides all of the reviews written by this user (if there are any) until the account has been correctly linked. To restore the option of reviewing, the user should correctly pair the accounts (for example, by adding a valid link on the ‘edit profile’ page -> URL Facebook address) and letting us know by e-mail at [email protected] All of the archived reviews as well as the option to rate the rooms will then be reactivated. Many people do not use this option – meanwhile an incorrect link to the Facebook profile accounts for the vast majority of all cases and it only takes a moment to fix it.

    2. The Lockme account is not connected to the Facebook account at all (applies only to Poland)

    We already know that the difficulty in pairing the accounts often results from accidental linking error. Yet, there are also cases when the user enters incorrect data in place of the URL, for example in the form of text. This is frequently the case when the opinion about the visited room is critical. The lower the rating, the more unwilling we are to reveal our name. That’s not the point of the ranking – especially since anonymous comments cannot be published in accordance with the regulations Filling in the URL address with phrases like ‘wonttell’, ‘dontwantto’, ‘bvvbbvadhfvgskfyaeyfg’ or ‘boobs’ won’t make the moderator accept it. Even the most genuine opinion cannot be posted when it’s against the regulations. We really appreciate the creativity of the authors, but we don’t know every situation and every user personally, so we need to follow our solid methodology in such situations. However, if the user decides to give a proper link to their profile, he/she needs to perform the steps given in point 1, which are pairing the account and writing us an e-mail.

    3. Lack of response to the notification or the e-mail

     

    Sometimes the moderator notices some inaccuracy that should be consulted with the author of the comment, so a message is sent to this particular user. A lack of response forces the moderator to suspend the process, which causes a delay in the publication of the review.

    Do you need an example? The user writes a positive review, praising some aspects of the scenario and recommending the room in general. But he or she gives 1/10 by accident. In that case, the moderator may contact this user in order to check whether it’s correct or the slider was mistakenly moved (relates to the previous system of rating). The comment is waiting for approval until the response is received. And waiting. And the response never comes.

    Another example includes the case where the user doesn’t respond to the moderator’s notification. Although there will be a lot of modifications to this in the near future, currently, if there is no response to the notification within 7 days, the comment is hidden until a response is received by e-mail. Some changes in the system are already under way. As a result of these modifications, the comments that don’t concern any ‘sticking points’ will no longer be hidden. Before it happens, however, we should take into account that it’s the main reason that the review is hidden and that it’s done by the system itself.

    Anyway, just write us to find out at which stage of the procedure your review is currently on.

    4. The review is factually incorrect.

    When it comes to the issue of notifications, it should be mentioned that they are used to analyse and explain the course of events described in a particular review. The introduction of a new system has reduced the number of such cases, but it still may happen that in order to fairly judge a certain case, the moderator will need to ask both parties about the necessary details. Let’s use another example.

    The user gave a negative opinion about a room, claiming that it was run-down, the puzzles were illogical, and the whole event was a disaster. If the room really leaves much to be desired, such an opinion is reasonable. But, the circumstances changed as we found out that the group wanted an 80% discount. Their reasoning for such a price was a solid (influential) Lockme account, but the owner didn’t agree to that (and we don’t accept such practices either). In the review, there’s no mention of the discount that couldn’t be given. That’s why, after the explanation from both parties, the decision was made that the review was against regulations and had to be hidden.

    It’s just one of the possibilities. Another is that the group would destroy something and refuse to face the financial consequences, would be drunk or even wouldn’t show up at all, and still would leave their opinion. Our system of notifications works perfectly in such cases. It enables us to communicate with both parties of the dispute, which usually present quite contrasting views, and check whether the review is in compliance with the regulations. There are two sides to every story, and although the vast majority of ambiguities can be resolved without our involvement, there are some matters that need to be clarified.

    5. The review refers to a visit from over 90 days ago (applies only to Poland)

    To be clear – in accordance with the appendix to the Polish regulations, the user has 90 days to review the visited room. This restriction results from the rapid development of the escape rooms industry and continuing modifications to scenarios, so a review posted several years after the visit would be irrelevant. This solution has been worked out as a result of discussions. We are also considering the possibility to rate older rooms with limitations (the rating would be displayed on the website, but it wouldn’t be included in the ranking). However, as of now, the 90-day period is still valid and should be taken into account.

    6. The review is unreliable

    According to regulations, an opinion has to be reliable in such a way that the reader can draw appropriate conclusions about the reviewed room. This doesn’t mean that it must be an essay, but it should have some cognitive value to be accepted by the moderator. Some examples of unreliable opinions include: ‘I recommend this room’, ‘OK’, ‘.’, ‘Kamil was great’, ‘10/10’. If the content of the review is copied and repeatedly used in reference to other rooms, or it is placed as a full-fledged comment, such a review is considered unreliable as well.

    7. The author of the review is the owner’s friend

    This is about restricting the review, not hiding it, but it has to be mentioned on our list. According to regulations, a person related to the owner can rate rooms, but the ‘strength’ of such a review is decreased in the city in which the owner is running his/her business. Some people may roll their eyes at this moment, but this solution is a compromise worked out after long consultations, which was implemented after years of running the service and after heated, sometimes publicly discussed situations, in which friends of the owners gave them positive opinions, while giving the competition negative ones. We understand that this is a rare occurrence, but the rules must be the same for everyone and be based on fixed principles – otherwise they wouldn’t be called regulations :) The moderator can’t decide how close the relationship is between a given person and the owner, so everyone who is somehow related to the owner falls under the same points of the regulations.

    8. The author of the review is the Game Master

    The Game Master is an employee of the escape room who services the clients and is subject to certain guidelines. Due to the employment relationship, the Game Master can’t review any of the escape rooms because it would be unfair, especially to the competition in the city. If the person is no longer an employee, the ability to review the visited rooms is restored, but restricted to the city he or she worked in. But, the rooms that were visited while he or she was employed in the escape room can’t be rated by this person.

    If you have started working in the escape room, please contact us. In that case, we mark your previous reviews as archival and add the Game Master badge to the profile. If you contact us once you leave the job, we will restore all of the comments but leave the badge. You can also do it yourself in the profile section.

    9. The review about the free-of-charge test game

    Sometimes several groups visit a room for a test run before it is opened – all in order to catch possible errors in the puzzles, to determine the optimal time to go through or to evaluate the overall flow of the game. There’s nothing wrong with that. So the question is, why can’t the members of these groups rate the tested rooms? As is often the case during testing – things don’t work, and the game itself may differ from the one that will ultimately be available to the public. It would be unfair to give such ratings, especially in cases where something actually doesn’t work during testing, and the user takes this into account in the final rating. The fact that the test game is free of charge affects the objectivity of the review.

    10. The review is hidden until it’s clarified

    Sometimes the review needs to be clarified by one of the parties. If the review includes any disputable points, the moderator may hide it until a proper explanation is provided. This doesn’t mean that it will be hidden forever. There are plenty of comments on our website that were restored after the resolution of the case. This applies to both positive and negative opinions. The moderator has the power to implement such a procedure, but uses it only as a last resort. We care for the transparency of notifications, which is why every discussion concerning a particular opinion along with the history of applied changes (introduced with the modifications to the ranking) is available for each user.

     

    We hope this article will clarify the issue of the rating and notification system, as well as the system for managing opinions. Please remember that if you believe a comment has been hidden, you can always contact us. We will be glad to help you. A quick verification is usually sufficient to restore the account or user.

    Recently, we have introduced changes to the algorithm to eliminate inappropriate behaviour. It is worth mentioning that soon notifications will be treated differently (depending on the reasons). Since a reliable ranking is made up of opinions and ratings that are honest and based on actual experiences, the rules must be respected without exception. In general, all of the changes are suggested by owners or users.

    We don’t want players to avoid giving ratings other than 10, and in the case of bad experiences to nevertheless share their opinions, because this is also valuable information. As was mentioned at the beginning of this article, the reviews fuel the work of the algorithm.

     

    Below, we present the most important information that should make contact and recognition easier:

    Main e-mail address: [email protected]

    E-mail address for notifications: [email protected]

    Regulations of the platform including guidelines for reviewing: https://lock.me/en/regulations

    [This article will be updated according to the changes made, as applied. The status of the article as of: 22.02.2022]

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