I agree Shane. It is one reason why that is one of the characteristics taught in my martial arts classes starting from my Tiger Tots (ages 3-6) all the way up through the Adult classes. There has been a severe lack of accountability over the past decade and a half.
I even began to see it permeate the Marine Corps when I was reactivated for the war in 2003. It was horrid to see the way some of the young Marines fresh out of boot camp were behaving ... and that was only 2 years after I got out of the military the first time in 2001.
The "What's-in-it-for-me" generation. Although, the more we think about it and want to blame the younger generation, how can they totally be at fault when we have the older generation as far up as Congress who are always looking to blame others for our issues. Or sports stars or music celebrities always blaming others for their issues.
It's straying a bit off topic, but I believe is still indicative of what you, Onli, and I were saying.
It truly is a shame that a simple disclaimer of "the opinions herein are that of the purchaser and in no way reflect the opinions of FX-Sabers or its administrators." It seemed years ago when I was first here, that's exactly what we all strove for ... or at least what I tried to push for was a no-BS account on the manufacturers.
It's why as Darth Vader (heck, even as Darth Raijlin before I wore the mantle) I tried to hold the manufacturers accountable. I went head to head with Alex (Ultrasabers) many times, even as his initial liaison, demanding accountability from him and the company due to the poor communication.
Also why I went head to head with JSS/Equinox (no not JudgeSaberSmith) with his bad business deals ... especially hard against him because of him being a Marine at that time on active duty. I went so far as to personally contact him back then and tell him I would be forwarding all the information to his commanding officer if he didn't do his best to rectify the issue. That apparenly worked because his responding scared-to-death email was enough to put into action him getting people their sabers.
Bottom line, back then I didn't care about "personal problems" in peoples' lives if they were passing them off as sabersmiths and taking orders. I didn't care if Alex was consistently busy and Todd was dropping the ball. I was always on the hook or in email telling them they needed to coordinate their communication better, because back then I saw THAT as the weak link in their business model. Alex seemed to begin some internal changes in the communication and I think after a slow evolution, that got better.
I didn't care if JSS/Equinox (Jeff if I remember correctly, it's been so long ago) had his junky wife up and leave him and he was put in a bad position between his personal life, the Marine Corps, and the sabers. At that time, he took peoples' money and owed them professional service.
Its why everytime I enter our martial arts studio, anything from my personal life is left at the door and I conduct myself in the highest professional matter, whether it be teaching American Kenpo, Gracie Jiu Jitsu, or whatever. Sometimes I think the manufacturers want to play both sides of the coin ...
Oh, this is a hobby. But no, I'm a sabersmith and selling my services. In my mind, you cannot separate the two. If you are in the business of taking money for orders from people, by proxy you become a professional and it is no longer a hobby. In my mind, if a smith wishes to remain a "hobbyist", you create your works on your own time frame and when they are done, sell them via the site here, ebay, etc. But if you are taking money for a product that is not already created in hand, in my opinion you are no longer a "hobbyist".
My point was back years ago, when we didn't have the wonderful active mods we have now, I wanted to create a non-partisan place where people could go to read reviews on the products. One reason why I encouraged the creation to Mike of the Sabersmith's Gallery to display their works.
Ironically and sadly, I miss having the mantle of Darth Vader every day. Granted I was, um ... heavy handed at times ... LOL ... but that was what Mike liked having ... a pit bull where he could yank the leesh when needed. ROFL ... It was wonderful to be a part of a great group of people in the Council, and I would have loved to get to know more of them closer before I stepped down because some of them had just stepped into their roles. The major reason why I stepped down was the issues involving the smith that has caused all the recent issues. I foresaw MANY problems that would occur in the future with the lack of checks-and-balances. The inability for members of the forum to give honestly earned negative feedback toward that smith .... those threads beginning to be deleted, not even moved to the Sarlacc Pit. I protested HIGHLY about the conflcit of interest between a Vendor with such a volatile feedback becoming an Administrator here. I remember the conversation with Mike like yesterday, where I was so opposed to it that I had to step down and not support it. LOL ... many of the mods can tell you they probably got tired of hearing the terms "back alley crack deal" ... LOL ....
Sadly, things unfolded in the long-term just like I foresaw. FORTUNATELY, the Council is full of great people who are here for the greater good of the community and are quick to respond to the needs of the community. I for one believe that overall, the site functions so much more effectively overall now with the active mods we have. compared to years ago when it was only like, oh ... five of us at most that were active. LOL ...
Hopefully in the end, the site can get back to the way it was ... a place where anyone knew they could come to get an honest review of anything fx-lightsaber related ... whether it be Hasbro, GUILD Member, Ultra, Hyperdyne, Advanced Light Weaponry, etc. I know that was one of the major things I found great when I joined in 2006 ... always checking people's opinions here before purchasing products!
Thanks again to our Moderators. A job much needed and severely under appreciated. People who are not thanked enough when things are going great .... and take unending complaints when things are not!