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cteresa said

Etiquette for companies editing their tea info?

Is there any particular rules, or just desirable behaviour for companies editing their own tea info?

This is about a particular company which has been annoying me for months. They have quite a lot of teas on steepster, 158 listed today right now, most of them if not all added by users (I know I added a few myself originally!). In the last year, that company now has an american site and a couple users (one of them named the company´s name) go and edit the tea information removing the descriptions and including just a badly formatted, that is not clickable ~

h t t p : / / w w w .companyname.com/us/tea-shop/teavariety.html

Now this is useless to me! I want to be able to see the description right here on steepster, plus even if I do copy and paste for the link, it always fails for me, don´t know if by IP detection or because when I visit the site I try to go to their european version. This is extremely annoying. Come on, I get they want to sell their tea, but that stupid editing is useless since not clickable, it is removing information from people which might be interested in the tea and will likely will not google it to find out if it´s a citrus flavoured black tea or a japanese green tea and, oh this is petty, it is making steepster users like me who edit tea info and would likely review those teas annoyed and less likely to buy those.

22 Replies
Sil select said

I’d prefer to keep as much information IN steepster in case a tea is discontinued or something like that. It’s nice to be able to see the details without having to go look for it on the internet.

This! I have run into this a couple of times already when I want to find information on a tea that is no longer available. The info is no longer on the tea site, but i still expect it to be here. Just because a tea is available now doesn’t mean it always will be. And when that tea is discontinued, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t people out there who still have it. Sorry for the rant :(

cteresa said

I know! Particularly when link does not work, or they can delete it any time. I find this editing out of useful information by steepsterites really annoying,

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Angrboda said

I’m the idiot who actually tried clicking your mock-up link there… Ahem.

I completely agree with you, though.

If all I see is a link to the company’s page with the tea in question, I have to be EXTREMELY curious before I’ll even bother trying to click it. I’ll just assume that the tea was entered into the database by a person who was doing it in a hurry and move on.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one, I tried clicking it too!

Angrboda said

And she even said these links were un-clickable…

cteresa said

sorry guys! I picked up a random link for example (because even copy paste does not work for me, I suspect because of cookies being incompatible with the us mirror), but the forum post is much smarter than the field for tea info. Tea info text field does not automatically add the < a href html bits, or perhaps even strips it, while forum posts and taste notes seem to be clever and add the html code for the link when something begins with h t t p . I strongly suspect that is intentional so not to have sellers spam tea info with links to their site.

So yeah, am pissed off. And forgot to say that while that site is sort of official, the US mirror is not the only one and that tea is resold by lots of other resalers, so I do object to having a link to just their website (or the US mirror of their website) because that is far from being the only place where you can those teas!

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Uniquity said

I haven’t noticed it yet, but that would definitely annoy me. I think of the Steepster tea descriptions as more useful than company ones most often – especially if it’s for a tea I only have a sample of or something like that and I am looking for a proper description.

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Nicole said

I’d say the ultimate in letting one’s displeasure be known is to tell the company directly how they are hurting their potential business and then vote with your pocketbook by not buying their teas any longer. It seems silly for any company to remove information on their teas. If they’ve changed the ingredients or the description on their site, I don’t mind if they update their tea description here and if they want to add a link, it doesn’t bother me.

If the link is the only information, I’m going to write them off, though.

That said, I do with more companies would have the “Buy Online” buttons that show up with some companies in my shopping list. I think I remember a thread awhile back that mentioned that they can’t edit that on their own, though?

cteresa said

The buy online button would only work for teas which have just one supplier and no redistributors. For big companies where it can be sold in many places, not sure it is even fair if the link is to the main blender – in the case mentioned the link they are trying to put is to their american site, from which I would never buy, since I would buy from their european site or from a regular physical store which carries it.

Nicole said

I see your point. I guess I am not used to being able to get the same teas in several different places from more than one distributor. I have nowhere I can buy any of the teas I drink locally except for one store that carries a limited amount of Harney & Sons and one other that carries a small selection of Mariage Freres. Oh, and of course, Shang Tea’s local shop but I don’t think they have any redistributors. :) The tea room I go to carries what I’m sure are blends they get from other companies, but they rename and package them as their own.

I was thinking of smaller companies, like New Mexico Tea Co, Whispering Pines, Della Terra or Butiki. Some of these do have Buy Online buttons in the shopping list.

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Babble said

As a side note, another company I’ve noticed completely removed their descriptions to teas that are no longer available. Granted, the teas are no longer there, so there is not a link, but still.. I wish they would leave the description in.

Kiaharii said

Especially since some people may have those laying around

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AJ said

That would aggravate me to no end, especially since I’m one of those people who spends MOST of their time on Steepster (when not typing reviews), trolling the database and cleaning it up.

So if I came across an entry like this, I would march right onto their website, re-find all the proper tea information and description, and plunk it back into the database. If the link they left works, wonderful. I’ll leave it at the bottom. If it doesn’t, I will strip it right off the page and carry on.

I think it’s wonderful when tea companies get involved in Steepster—and maintain their tea companies’ entries in the database. They can offer more to the description, usually, than a customer can. And obviously they want to make it easy to access their website and find teas—especially since not all of the teas have a “Buy Here” link. So I can understand them putting a link at the bottom.

And I assume removing the original description is to provide incentive to copy-paste the link to find out more about the tea. But Steepster isn’t their own person advertisement agency. We’re a collective of unaffiliated tea knowledge and reviews, and that kind of behaviour is silly (and from the above posts, ultimately useless), and frankly, annoying.

cteresa said

I also edit entries a lot, and troll database now and then compiling wishfull shopping lists and all. I have noticed your name on edits before, hi!

But this is somewhat frustrating because there are teas I remember editing before which had just one link and adding info from the site and then a few months later kaboom there goes a edit by the company to put a (non-working!) link. I could contact the company, except I don´t know how! i can not find their user page and could only send them a message if they followed me back. Going to their site and sending an e-mail, I do not know how many people work for them but there are some odds whoever receives those emails might well have no clue what even steepster is!

AJ said

Ahahah, I didn’t think I’d done THAT much editing.

Unless the company is VERY small/family owned, the representatives may just likely be a very passionate retail employee of the company. But I don’t think so in this case—because Passionate Retail Employees, to me, would seem like the person most likely to try and stuff as much information into the description as possible, instead of taking a Sales/Incentive approach and trying to draw people away from Steepster onto the company’s website. It seems more like this person is an office-type/branding worker.

Unfortunately, yeah. It might be hard to get into contact with someone/the proper person. You might have to play some message-tag. Look at who they’re following, and see if any of those people are following you. Message and see if they’d be willing to message the company-rep in question.

Otherwise, send them an email anyways, and hope that the company isn’t so large that they can’t just ask around the office about whether or not someone has heard of this “Steepster” and has been “helpfully” updating their database for them.

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Janefan said

I"m sure these co’s don’t set out to annoy the users, but maybe they don’t spend much time on here so they don’t understand how Steepster is used. Or, the are engaging is misguided attempts to dirve traffic to their own sites (but failing because the links don’t even work.)

Maybe someone (the overlords?) should put together some tips and guidelines on how tea companies/vendors can best use the features of Steepster to connect with their customers (and earn new ones.)?

Janefan said

PS – glad I’m not the only one who edits entries! I searched the DB for a bunch of common typos and misspellings a couple months ago and fixed them, because that’s my pet peeve. :-)

cteresa said

I try to fix db entries, though I got philosophical problems (the accents! while correct it can really mess up searches. And if tea is a french name and official translation which do I use?), though I think there are some problems not really fixable by us users, like same company being spelled differently by different users and then ending up with redundant teas.

But do you think a tea-info-librarianship thread or something would be useful? or a way to try to coordinate efforts, for dunno, something useful?

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Angrboda said

I’m finding myself with a bizarre interest in who this company might be. Not that it really matters any to me other than I’m frightfully curious…

cteresa said

LOL, you edited some of their tea info yourself. I will send you a message!

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Ag select said

Heh, I’m kind of curious as to which company this is, too.

Every so often, I’ll go on a bit of a “fix things!” spree and on occasion, I’ll wind up tidying up Steepster tea database entries. I can see how it’d be frustrating if you do this on a regular basis and the company undoes all of your work. :-/

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