Niantic could really use a new system for issues being resolved
There are currently 5 I’m aware of:
-Wayfarer chat support
-The modify/remove stop or gym page
-The Google Doc for abuse:
That’s too messy and gets confusing for all parties.
1) In-game support should only be for in-game stuff or surfing related to that game. In the situation that someone uses it for the wrong reason, forward their issue to the correct people.
In-game support should only be for in-game stuff like reimbursements, bugs, abuse, et cetera. Something related to a stop or gym that could impact the other games that use that wayspot, needs to be handled by Wayfarer.
2) Wayfarer chat isn’t actually a chat and you are only given 3 options for a reason to use it while unrelated reasons have to choose one. If we are to use that, we should have more options. But this should also be for Wayfarer only and the chat option should be available regardless of access to Wayfarer (such as suspended accounts).
Wayfarer support chat should only be for wayfarer. Whether it be fixing lost upgrades, wayfarer abuse, or appealing a punishment, it all needs to be Wayfarer-related. I would say appeals of all types go here as well. We get the 1 monthly appeal, but for rejected edits, we can use that system. Many edits are made without the ability to give context as to why. This causes incorrect decisions to be made as reviewers have no clue which is correct. I think it’s a waste of our time to vote on a change when we’ve no clue if it’s accurate. If it gets rejected, then that person has to try again. From what I’ve seen, most edits are good and have a reason they’re being submitted.
3) All forums can be messy. Discussions are open to any, even if it has nothing to do with them. I can go comment on something from Malaysia if I wanted to. It’s difficult to monitor let alone keep track of and often times others derail the discussion. Appeals should be between the player and Niantic only.
The forums should not have appeals. Appeals are similar to in-game support and should only be between the appealer and Niantic. It’s none of my business about an appeal for something that is nowhere near me. The discussion format can cause issues as I’ve seen.
If you look at forums of gaming companies, like the folks that make Diablo, they use them for community discussions. Anything specific like issues would be a ticket to their GMs.
4) This page was designed for property or business owners really. Modification is limited to moving it but not fixing a photo. Staff sends us there but we can’t give accurate options. Each time I’ve used it to fix a photo, I was worried sobering would skim through it and remove the location instead.
The modify/remove page should be designed to find the option to say exactly what you are doing. Are we a player fixing something or a concerned citizen? It only gives options for removal reasons. Currently we are sent there for photo changes. There is nothing on that page about photo edits.
5) Honestly, I don’t even know if that’s google doc has an impact at this point. We get no reply and there’s no confirmation that our submission goes anywhere. I’d just get rid of it.
I noticed that there are many tickets via the modify/removal option as I would open 2 but they’d be minutes apart. However, the ticket numbers varied by hundreds of other tickets between mine. If we have multiple issues, it would be helpful if one Niantic person reviewed. Too many people involved in one issue leads to mistakes and differences of how to resolve the issue.
The Social Services Departments have caseworkers. They also have a “one and done” process. They take the next call in the queue, or in this case, ticket, they work it until they can’t, they pend for more information, they process until they can come to a close of the issue.
An example is my issue. It is going to take:
—21 title edits
—9 description edits
—9 photo edits
—3 duplicates removed
—3 location edits
—Appeals for most of these as we cannot provide context to why we are making edits so wayfinders have no clue why they are voting on something.
This seems like a lot, but it’s all one small residential neighborhood that had upgrades over the summer.
So far in this process:
—All title edits still in queue; 1 or 2 may have been rejected
—All description edits still in queue; 1 was rejected
—8 of the photos were approved and 1 rejected. 1 of the 8 didn’t appear and staff misunderstood the situation and deleted all of the approved photos that were successfully made as the main wayspot photo. Now 2 are approved but missing. 1 was rejected twice (but was already live and the main photo) and another is missing again.
—1 duplicate was removed and 2 pending review of the geotagged videos submitted as proof of being duplicated wayspots in another location
—1 location edit completed, 1 in queue, and 1 rejected
If there was a way to present this to 1 person, they could review, request more info, and go from there. I did attempt it in a DM, but due to the ticket queue, it’s difficult for them to focus on this issue until it’s done. And the current system is to wait for wayfinders to vote on complete title changes when they’ve zero context. If rejected, I have to appeal here.
Even a direct email or scheduled live chat would help significantly. This way you can focus on one issue at a time, resolve it, close it, and move on to the next ticket.
You do have a team that works hard trying to get though each issue, but when they are divided up, it causes confusion. I was instructed, for the photo issues, to use the modify/remove website. I did that, and the staff member was confused and deleted the wrong photos.
When working as a case worker, if I got a call from a client, but I saw another was in the case too, I’d inquire with them their status, share with them the new info to order break their process, or I’d ask what their plan was before I also processed so we didn’t cause issues. What’s that saying, “too many cooks in the kitchen”?
Because of that, I had to get help to deal with the photo tickets so I can focus on the other stuff.
I know you’re always looking for ways to improve for everyone’s benefit, and I think this could help. Tickets from Diablo’s creators or calls from clients to social services are handled similarly. You may not get the same worker, but there are detailed notes of the previous interaction as to not cause problems or confusion.
Thank you for all you do!
Quick info: If we're talking about the same Google form...it's no longer working (https://community.wayfarer.nianticlabs.com/discussion/comment/148232/#Comment_148232)
1. You should use in-game support to ask anything more relevant to the game.
2. That support chat is active and actually quite fast, yeah. But I'd agree that given the current state of the support chat, reporting things via it would be time consuming since you have to post one by one. Note that support chat will be typically inaccessible if the player got "banned" in any games.
3. Given the current state of this forum, I'd agree that appeals in general should've been requested to support chat (especially some appeals in this forum may have been 'forgotten' by the team unless bumped), but again read no. #2.
4. Idk, this is the worst thing by design. The form must be filled by the property owner/manager yet the staffs keep telling players to use that form?
5. The form is no longer active.
I forgot to add to 1) that if asked there about non game issues, it’s forwarded to the correct area and the player would be contacted via email.
2) And you can’t appeal a ban that way. If you try ban appeal for games, they get confused as they don’t typically deal with wayfarer. But honestly, it’s stupid to ban someone on wayfarer for something in one game. What I’d they were banned in GO but they barely played it while they are hardcore in ingress? They say to “make a new account” but this doesn’t restore access and the Ingress account is tied to the closed wayfarer. You’d have to make a new Ingress account or not link the GO account to the Ingress one.
Having a dialogue would be ideal for appeals.
3) I’m not a fan of forums at all. Some people jump in where they’re not needed seemingly to intentionally derail topics.
4) I actually use the form when told to. Staff sends an automated reply upon submitting about proof of ownership but they disregard that in their “human” reply. It should be redesigned or one made just for us while this one goes to property owners.
5) It really needs to be removed then. I used it recently (within a month’s time) for apparently no reason.
I dug it up. Still works. Added it to the OP but here it is again.
after all, i have never been happy with any channel to contact Niantic, besides via this forum.
Sorry, that was TLDR; I only read the top bit.
Because Wayfarer/Lightship doesn't respond to our bugs, we need as many ways to reach them as possible, hoping that we draw the lucky lotto with one of the ways we try. Shotgun Method meets Russian Roulette Method.
If Wayfarer/Lightship wants to improve their process - it's up to them to decide how to proceed. The IT industry has PLENTY of methods and help pages for this - if a company cares to try.
TLDR, but because bug tracking and fixing is so random and erratic, we need as many ways to enter the stream as possible - hoping to hit that magic lottery number.
First, Niantic has to WANT to change, or nothing will happen except what we already have.
Second, If Niantic wants to streamline their process, there are plenty of IT help desk and project management tools, tips, and documentation out there. They won't take advice from us unpaid contract workers. (We tend to get an opinion of ourselves that is far greater than Niantic's opinion of us.)
There are some who respect us, not many. My partner had a ticket in to edit a photo in a poke stop as it’s missing, and the helpful team member deleted the stop. This is why we don’t want to work with multiple staff members. They do the wrong thing and don’t communicate.