VBulletin – Thoughts on user requested account deletion

We’ve all had it – an email from a user on our VBulletin forum asking for their account to be deleted.  Usually they also mention they can’t find the delete account link.

For a while this really bugged me for several reasons:

  • Why isn’t there a delete account option for the normal user to use?
  • Why must I, the system administrator take 5 minutes out of my (very) busy day to navigate to the site, login in to the admin panel, flick back over to their user’s email to find their username, see a username hasn’t been mentioned, and then search for their email address and hope for a user to be found, and then go about deleting the account?  This annoys me.
  • Deleting an account also marks all posts as guest posts or deletes them entirely.  This depends on what the user requested in their email.  Mostly I find people are requesting to delete their account because they’ve been handed their backside on a plate after getting into an argument (and losing) with one of the resident trolls.  This then leads to them requesting all posts be deleted along with their account.

    You may think this isn’t a big loss, but there’s been more than one occasion where one of the long time members and regular poster on the site decides they want to remove all their posts.  Sometimes this is thousands of posts.  Not only is this a loss of a fair chunk of the content of the site, but it’s breaking the flow of a good number of threads that that user has participated in.

So, after listing the reasons why I hate people requesting their account be deleted, I sit back and think about what is morally right and what I would want if I was the user and not the admin.

Should the posts be “owned” by the user who made them?  I’m not quite sure.  They must take responsibility for their posts and they’ll have to put up with a temp ban or even a perm ban if they step too far out of line.  However, the admin has to take responsibility too – Google will really penalise us if we step out of line with their advertising policy and even search engine guidelines.  One of my sites is 100% forum content.  So, when a long time member decides to (in my eyes) throw a hissy fit and take all their posts with them to /dev/null, this impacts various aspects of the site as mentioned.

I have thought about what goes through my head when I’m on a forum and making posts.

  • Mostly, I don’t care.  I usually always have control over each individual post and if I have posted something I later decide I don’t want to be there, I can edit it or delete it entirely.  Yes, usually this means editing the post and putting in something along the lines of “deleted.’ as the post text.
  • When I sign up to a forum I know what I’m getting into.  Once posted, you can never really take anything back.  Google never forgets.  In the shorter term, you’ll probably find some kind soul has quoted your post in their post so even if you do edit it, there’s a lovely big copy of what you posted for you (and the site) to refer back to in later days, weeks, and years to come.
  • I think of the site as being owned by the admin.  What right do I have to tell them to delete my account and my posts?  If they’re really kind they may do it, but generally I would expect to be ignored or told where to go.

So, after writing all that out, I’m still looking at an email in my inbox asking for an account to be deleted.  This time the user isn’t requesting all their posts be deleted, but I’m still left wondering do I ignore the email (hmm, not good), reply and say sorry I’m not doing that – it’s in the forum policy (debatable – is the policy morally/legally right?), or simply delete the account and reply with “done” and get it over and done with?

I’m probably going to reluctantly go with the last option and just delete the account.

If you run a largish forum you’ve probably run into this issue.  What are your thoughts?

Nationwide Building Society – the nightmare.

It’s easy to switch to Nationwide. And that’s a promise.”

(Quote from www.nationwide.co.uk)

Update 09/08/12: PIN for wife’s card finally arrives.  That now means everything has arrived!

Update 08/08/12: Replacement cheque books arrived.

Update 07/08/12: Replacement credit card received with correct spelling of surname and formatting of name.  More direct debits have also been appearing in the Nationwide account.

Update 06/08/12: The Nationwide manager contacted me today as promised.  We discussed each and every item on the list still not resolved.  He obviously did his research into the case and investigated each item and its progress, giving me dates of when it was actioned and dates of when I should see results.  Everything outstanding is in the post and I should receive this shortly.  I think we’re almost there.
Nationwide have also offered a goodwill gesture which I have happily accepted.  Another of their taglines is ‘On your side‘.  I’m starting to think that they are – but you just need to get through to the right person!

Update 04/08/12: Added more letters received to the table below and updated summary.

Update 03/08/12:  A Nationwide manager contacted me and said he will take ownership of this case/complaint and will ensure everything is resolved to my satisfaction.  Progress!  We agreed to wait to see what letters arrived on Friday and Saturday and have another update on Monday 06/08/12.
Just after the absolute nightmare computer glitch at the Ulster Bank, at the start of July, I started the switch to Nationwide. I wanted to have a nice clean start with a reputable organisation. I requested the following accounts to be set up over the phone:

  • Joint flexaccount for myself and my wife
  • Select Credit Card
  • Flexaccount for myself
  • Flexaccount for my wife

The process has been an absolute disaster, which I have attempted to document below. This is only a snapshot of the contact I have had with the Nationwide.

It does not include the multiple phone calls to try and get information corrected or new cards sent out, nor does it include several letters in the mail that had incorrect name/address that I binned because a replacement letter came.

I started compiling this list on the 2nd of August 2012 as accurately as I could. All dates in the table below are the dates specified on the letters/items received.

What next? I don’t know. I’m fed up. I just want my accounts to be set up and for me and my wife to get on with our lives and not have to constantly nag the Nationwide to put things right.

Right now, my direct debits are still coming out of my old bank account.

Anyway, the details are below.

Current state of applications (09/08/12)

  • Joint flexaccount for myself and my wife:
    • My debit card: Received 04/08/12, OK
    • My debit card PIN: Received, OK
    • Wife’s debit card: Received, OK
    • Wife’s debit card PIN: Received, OK
    • My chequebook: Received 08/08/12
    • Wife’s chequebook: Received 08/08/12
    • Address now correct on all accounts.
    • Direct debits transfer in progress – 
      Direct debit change notification email received from one of my suppliers 03/08/12.  Another received 04/08/12.  Progress is being made. 
    • Credit redirection letter given to my employer 07/08/12.
  • Select Credit Card
    • Received 07/08/12 – All ok
  • Flexaccount for myself
    • Card and PIN: Received, OK
  • Flexaccount for my wife
    • Card: Received, OK
    • PIN: Received 09/08/12

Notes

  • First Flexaccount (joint) application which we signed and sent back was ‘lost’ or delayed at some stage as when I was on the phone the agent said she would send out another.
  • No progress reports on switching progress of joint account. – which was promised on the website:Keep you informed throughout via text and provide a dedicated team to help with any questions.”

    I have not received a single text from Nationwide even though my mobile number has been provided at multiple points of the application process (at time of application on the phone, in the correction letter which was attached to the signed application, on my internet banking account which I added myself)

 

 

Date Account Description Error(s)
~06/07/12 Flexaccount – Me Application
(sign and return)
1. Surname spelt incorrectly.
2. Street missing from address
Application returned with cover letter explaining error.
~06/07/12 Flexaccount – Joint Application(sign and return) 1. My surname spelt incorrectly (while my wife’s is correct).
2. Street missing from address
Application returned with cover letter explaining error.
~08/07/12 Flexaccount – Wife Application(sign and return) 1. Wife’s surname spelt incorrectly.
2. Street missing from address
Application returned with cover letter explaining error.
10/07/12 Select Credit Card Welcome letter 1. Surname spelt incorrectly
2. Street missing from address
11/07/12 Select Credit Card Credit card enclosed 1. Surname spelt incorrectly
2. Street missing from address
11/07/12 Flexaccount – Me Debit card enclosed 1. Surname spelt incorrectly
2. Street missing from address
12/07/12 Select Credit Card Credit card PIN 1. Surname spelt incorrectly
2. Street missing from address
13/07/12 Flexaccount – Me Debit card PIN 1. Surname spelt incorrectly
2. Street missing from address
?/07/12 Flexaccount – Me Chequebook 1. Surname spelt incorrectly
2. Street missing from address
?/07/12 Flexaccount – Wife Chequebook 1. Surname spelt incorrectly
2. Street missing from address
18/07/12 Flexaccount – Me Welcome Letter 1. INCORRECT ADDRESS.  The address was for a building at the other end of the street.(Correct Surname)
18/07/12 Flexaccount – Me Replacement Debit Card 1. INCORRECT ADDRESS(Correct Surname)
?/07/12 Flexaccount – me Replacement chequebook 1. INCORRECT ADDRESS(Correct Surname)
19/07/12 Flexaccount – Me Telephone banking pass number 1. INCORRECT ADDRESS(Correct Surname)
2. INCORRECT POST CODE
19/07/12 Flexaccount – Wife Debit Card 1. Surname spelt incorrectly
2. Street missing from address
20/07/12 Flexaccount – Me Internet Banking pass number 1. INCORRECT ADDRESS(Correct Surname)
22/07/12 Flexaccount – Wife Replacement debit card (All correct)
?/07/12 Flexaccount – wife Replacement chequebook (All correct)
23/07/12 Flexaccount – Me Card Reader 1. INCORRECT ADDRESS(Correct Surname)
24/07/12 Flexaccount – wife Telephone banking pass number (All correct)
24/07/12 Flexaccount – Joint Overdraft agreement 1. My surname spelt incorrectly (while my wife’s is correct).
2. Street missing from address
26/07/12 Flexaccount – Joint Wife’s debit card 1. Street missing from address
26/07/12 Flexaccount – Joint My debit card 1. Surname spelt incorrectly
2. Street missing from address
28/07/12 Flexaccount – Wife Internet banking pass number (All Correct)
31/07/12 Response to complaint. Apparently all accounts now correct – we shall see. However, I still need replacement cards and chequebooks. (All Correct)
31/07/12 Flexaccount – Joint Wife’s debit card PIN (All correct)
31/07/12 Flexaccount – Joint My debit card PIN 1. Surname spelt incorrectly.
31/07/12 Select credit card Replacement credit card 1. Formatting changed on card embossing without my request, however surname is now correct.(MR P SYNOTT → PAUL SYNNOTT).Rang and requested it formatted back to MR P SYNNOTT and replacement card sent.
31/07/12 Flexaccount – Joint Cheque book received 1. My surname spelt incorrectly (while my wife’s is correct).
2. Street missing from address(Note: addressed to me)
31/07/12 Flexaccount – Joint Second cheque book received 1. My surname spelt incorrectly (while my wife’s is correct).
2. Street missing from address
3. ALSO SENT TO ME (surely one chequebook on the joint account should be addressed to my wife)
31/07/12 Flexaccount – Joint Your Current Account Transfer letter including templates to send to creditors and old bank (All OK)
31/07/12 Flexaccount – Joint Wife’s card reader (All OK)
31/07/12 Flexaccount – Unsure which Telephone banking pass number Not sure what this is because I’ve already got telephone banking set up! Pass number is different to what I’m already using.
01/08/12 Flexaccount – Joint (me) Replacement debit card All OK

Installing Windows onto Bootcamp partition: A Required CD/DVD drive device driver is missing

Here’s a weird one.  So, you’ve created your Windows 7 bootcamp USB device.  You’ve rebooted.  Now, Windows is going through the normal install prompts.  Everything seems peachy, right?

Nope.  If you’re like me, you’ll run into the fantastic ‘A required CD/DVD drive device driver is missing’ screen:

Right, so how do you fix this?  Simple:

  1. Click Cancel.
  2. Rip your USB flash drive out.
  3. Shove it into another USB port.
  4. Click Install again.  It’ll go through without a problem.

Make sense?  No, didn’t think so.  But, it works!

How to prevent .DS_Store file creation over network connections

Having recently purchased a Macbook Pro and using it on my internal network comprising of a Windows Server 2008 box and several Windows 7 clients, I noticed a whole bunch of trash files being created by the Mac.  Namely, all the .DS_Store files.

A quick google search later and the Apple support site explains how to stop this bad behaviour:

  1. Open Terminal.
  2. Execute this command:
    defaults write com.apple.desktopservices DSDontWriteNetworkStores true
  3. Either restart the computer or log out and back in to the user account.