Where does the VCA go from here (Positive Thread)!!!

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BlknBlu

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A lot more communication from our new leadership. No hiding in secrecy. National votes instead of changing positions at the top behind closed doors.

Bruce
 

ViperTony

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Keep this discussion and others going please. I promise it will not be censored, moved to the ****ing suggestion box, or edited unless it violates a posting policy such as name calling. And if a post is removed for a valid posting policy violation, you will be notified with the reason. If that doesn't happen please let me know ASAP.

The Suggestion Box is going to suffer a miserable and painful death,
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I promise you that.

For way too long these discussions were not allowed for the "benefit of the club" and it's fair to say that backfired hasn't it? Keep it going.

As for vendor posting on the forums. Last summer, after almost 2 years of arguing, we changed the vendor posting policies from restricted to non-restricted. At one point, the site sponsors weren't allowed to post their pricing, product availability, logo, contact information in the general forum threads. They were restricted to posting that information in the Supplier Section. Why? Something to do about too much spam on the forums. <- bull****. I'm going to say it was because one vendor, JonB - PartsRack, was prolific (not spamming) in helping users here find good deals on various parts and services and may have, at times, violated some posting policy along the way. So, in order to punish one vendor, all vendors were inadvertently punished.

I know factually that our long-time site sponsors didn't like the restrictions. Some have stopped posting technical help altogether in the general forums because they couldn't respond with a simple post about how many GenII water pumps they had in stock for $xxx.xx in a "How to fix my water pump" thread. True, while it may have silenced one vendor it alienated many others. And the vendors did try to follow the new rules and worked within those guidelines some more begrudgingly than others. But for lack of a better explanation, it sucked for them and for us.

We argued about changing the vendor posting policies back to what they used to be. Helpful. I spoke with several vendors and they all agreed that they could police themselves, an honor system if you will, and promised not to flood the forums with spam posts trying to outbid each on pricing. After long debate, the policies were changed last summer.

- They can post product, pricing information in the general forums.
- They can respond to threads with product information, pricing and availability.
- They can use their corporate logo for their avatar.
- They can add their contact information in their signatures.

When this change occurred (which was never publicized and I don't know why) I was warned that it would open the site back up to the alleged spam attacks that caused the changes in the first place. It's been over a year and no spam. The Site Sponsors stayed true to their word which was never an issue anyway.

Looking back on this one particular event: The changes occurred because one vendor was an "issue". We can't have these fire, ready, aim changes without open discussion and input from the actual club members.

As for non-paying vendors posting on the forums, that is your call, the membership/site users/sponsors. I do know that paying site sponsors took issue in the past with non-site sponsors posting links to their sites enjoying "free" advertising while the paying site sponsors did the same but had to pay. It wasn't fair to the paying site sponsors to allow, essentially, competitors to post here freely. For example, Formica House Dodge, a paying site sponsor, has a GenV for sale ad on the site. Later, Guido Used Auto Sales posts a link to their ebay ad selling their GenV. Directly competing with Formica, Guido's ad thread is pulled.

But when a member/user comes across a good deal on ebay and wants to post a link to it in order to help the community (not necessarily to advertise something that may compete with a site sponsor) it gets pulled. This needs to be revisited.

With the Viper aftermarket being so minuscule I believe we need every reputable vendor out there that can help us maintain our Vipers on this site helping. But we need to find a fair way to make that happen.

This topic is one of many discussions that will be had on this site. Policies must not simply change but evolve in a fair manner.
 

BlknBlu

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I have no problem with the current control on the website. It needs to be laid out somewhere so that banning and censorship will be seen coming and not a shock to everyone. Control is what keeps this group more professional.

Bruce
 

STUGOTS

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the "Owner" title I feel should also be brought back (with a Vin Check of course)
 

MoparMap

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MoparMap, I don't think it is so much about the value of the VPA, but how it was developed by insiders that stand to benefit financially. Where I worked, we were required to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. This appears to be more of an opportunistic infection, or worse.

I can understand that the club and VPA are a little too intertwined for several people's liking, but that's why I'm trying to suggest a way to keep it around while still splitting it from the club. If they became just another vendor that had no ties with the club (aside from maybe requiring a membership or something to buy from them), then they and the club would have fully independent financials. Each would be responsible for their own money and could do with it as they please. It wouldn't be any different than a vendor that offers a discount to club members like many do today. If they have the tooling and parts and an inside line to Chrysler I don't see why it shouldn't be taken advantage of as long as it's properly managed.
 

AZTVR

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Regardless, I really don't see why people would want VPA disbanded. They are a dealer that offer Viper parts at really good prices, why would you want to lose that as an owner who might need them in the future? If the financials are a continued issue, I don't see a reason you couldn't split it off from the club, but require a club membership to be able to order from them or something so that there's still a benefit to having a membership. That way they could also always list their best discount prices on applicable parts. They could still sponsor the club for events like VOI or zone rendezvous like any other vendor. Their money would be theirs to spend however they see fit. The club would only get money through memberships and maybe raffles and anything donated to it by any vendor, but this would all be on record so people can see the cashflow.

I, personally do not like that VPA is set up by the club (which I feel like I am part owner) to be in direct competition with long term vendors. There is no way to separate the appearance of conflict of interest when the VCA can ban or limit the activities of those vendors. The vendors on many car forums tend to be trusted sources of technical information which is why I came to this forum in the first place, and why I stay. Preventing vendors from providing tech help is just counter to what the forums are used for, IMHO.

The small discounts that VPA provides over the discounts provided by online CJD dealers are not necessary for my enjoyment of my car. No other club that I know of sells commercially available parts at discounts to its members. The only good reason is that it subsidizes paying for storage of valuable stuff that would have been otherwise scrapped.
 

Janni

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Well - THERE'S some common sense!

Thank you, Tony.

Keep this discussion and others going please. I promise it will not be censored, moved to the ****ing suggestion box, or edited unless it violates a posting policy such as name calling. And if a post is removed for a valid posting policy violation, you will be notified with the reason. If that doesn't happen please let me know ASAP.

The Suggestion Box is going to suffer a miserable and painful death,
You must be registered for see images
I promise you that.

For way too long these discussions were not allowed for the "benefit of the club" and it's fair to say that backfired hasn't it? Keep it going.

As for vendor posting on the forums. Last summer, after almost 2 years of arguing, we changed the vendor posting policies from restricted to non-restricted. At one point, the site sponsors weren't allowed to post their pricing, product availability, logo, contact information in the general forum threads. They were restricted to posting that information in the Supplier Section. Why? Something to do about too much spam on the forums. <- bull****. I'm going to say it was because one vendor, JonB - PartsRack, was prolific (not spamming) in helping users here find good deals on various parts and services and may have, at times, violated some posting policy along the way. So, in order to punish one vendor, all vendors were inadvertently punished.

I know factually that our long-time site sponsors didn't like the restrictions. Some have stopped posting technical help altogether in the general forums because they couldn't respond with a simple post about how many GenII water pumps they had in stock for $xxx.xx in a "How to fix my water pump" thread. True, while it may have silenced one vendor it alienated many others. And the vendors did try to follow the new rules and worked within those guidelines some more begrudgingly than others. But for lack of a better explanation, it sucked for them and for us.

We argued about changing the vendor posting policies back to what they used to be. Helpful. I spoke with several vendors and they all agreed that they could police themselves, an honor system if you will, and promised not to flood the forums with spam posts trying to outbid each on pricing. After long debate, the policies were changed last summer.

- They can post product, pricing information in the general forums.
- They can respond to threads with product information, pricing and availability.
- They can use their corporate logo for their avatar.
- They can add their contact information in their signatures.

When this change occurred (which was never publicized and I don't know why) I was warned that it would open the site back up to the alleged spam attacks that caused the changes in the first place. It's been over a year and no spam. The Site Sponsors stayed true to their word which was never an issue anyway.

Looking back on this one particular event: The changes occurred because one vendor was an "issue". We can't have these fire, ready, aim changes without open discussion and input from the actual club members.

As for non-paying vendors posting on the forums, that is your call, the membership/site users/sponsors. I do know that paying site sponsors took issue in the past with non-site sponsors posting links to their sites enjoying "free" advertising while the paying site sponsors did the same but had to pay. It wasn't fair to the paying site sponsors to allow, essentially, competitors to post here freely. For example, Formica House Dodge, a paying site sponsor, has a GenV for sale ad on the site. Later, Guido Used Auto Sales posts a link to their ebay ad selling their GenV. Directly competing with Formica, Guido's ad thread is pulled.

But when a member/user comes across a good deal on ebay and wants to post a link to it in order to help the community (not necessarily to advertise something that may compete with a site sponsor) it gets pulled. This needs to be revisited.

With the Viper aftermarket being so minuscule I believe we need every reputable vendor out there that can help us maintain our Vipers on this site helping. But we need to find a fair way to make that happen.

This topic is one of many discussions that will be had on this site. Policies must not simply change but evolve in a fair manner.
 

eucharistos

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Keep this discussion and others going please. I promise it will not be censored, moved to the ****ing suggestion box, or edited unless it violates a posting policy such as name calling. And if a post is removed for a valid posting policy violation, you will be notified with the reason. If that doesn't happen please let me know ASAP.

......

good post V Tony, agree 95% (probably higher if we were talking face to face and clarification could be had)
 

ViperTony

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Well - THERE'S some common sense!

Thank you, Tony.

And I will state that, when the first vendor policy changes were made, I supported them. It seemed to make sense at the time but it became obvious very quickly that everyone was being punished, inadvertently, because of one maybe two noisy apples. We make mistakes, mistakes will happen. But these mistakes can be minimized with more input and discussion. I know we'll have more input, discussion here in due time. Know that the entire board has heard all of you. And we are working, together, to right this ship. We're separating fact from fiction. I'm confident that very soon the board and officers will begin addressing with you the very fluid events that have occurred recently and perhaps in the past.

I wish I could post more but based on the NDA and confidentiality agreements I and others have signed I will become suspended should I share something to be deemed as "confidential". As much as this gets my underwear stuck in a pucker vortex I cannot allow myself to fall into this trap and be removed from the board. I will not be able to help if I'm suspended. But rest assured we're on this. Have patience.

I am, sadly, operating in a trust but verify mode for the time being until trust is regained. I've advised my zone presidents to do the same even with me. Until such time as we can demonstrate we're again credible with the content of our communications consider me full of ****. It's ok, I won't take it personally.
 

sun diego

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If it is once again an SRT related forum, it is understandable that swear words aren't allowed. The current, much looser moderated system allows for more fun, transparency and criticism. An example is Kratedisease. He has been trolling on here for a long time, just within the rules. The new looseness allows us to call a troll a troll, and not have to put up with his stupidity. Historically, this was one of the more spirited forums. A Viper buyer is a lot edgier than, say, a Prius buyer.
 
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johniew398

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A lot more communication from our new leadership. No hiding in secrecy. National votes instead of changing positions at the top behind closed doors.

Bruce

I agree Bruce especially about no hiding in secrecy.

And then a few posts down someone says they can't say anything that is confidential or they will be suspended or banned for life.


It's like they are running some organization that has national security secrets or intellectual property that has to be protected.

 

Kala

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That's awesome Tony, Thanks for saying what you can!



My take on all this:
We used to have such a good time here. The VCA forums used to bash trolls into the ground...:firedev:



Lanceromance comes to mind... :bonker: We made Jalponik for having a sense of humor, and calling a spade a spade... Not for being screwed up...

VCA used to be a place where you could get information from really qualified vendors and owners. Most of the stuff I see posted now... so much of it's not worth spending time reading.

Bring back "owner" tag... as things heal, more will join again. Sadly trust has to be earned these days. At least if there was a verified owner posting something you could have some trust in what was written.

Suggestion box - goes the way of the dinosaurs...

Transparency...

Nothing ever seems to go back to the "old days" but like Euchi says "spirited, informative, fun, clean...." I think a lot of people would appreciate something like that again.

This really was the best car club in the World. It can be that again.
 

FrankBarba

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If they became just another vendor that had no ties with the club (aside from maybe requiring a membership or something to buy from them), then they and the club would have fully independent financials. Each would be responsible for their own money and could do with it as they please. It wouldn't be any different than a vendor that offers a discount to club members like many do today. If they have the tooling and parts and an inside line to Chrysler I don't see why it shouldn't be taken advantage of as long as it's properly managed.


VPA came about from using our funds to fund their business. They did not use their own money. VPA purchased tooling & other items. Please show me where our club money was not used. Sell the VPA and give that money back to the State Clubs. I'm sure that JonB did not use Club Funds to Start Parts Rack.
 

Gustfront

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I can understand that the club and VPA are a little too intertwined for several people's liking, but that's why I'm trying to suggest a way to keep it around while still splitting it from the club. If they became just another vendor that had no ties with the club (aside from maybe requiring a membership or something to buy from them), then they and the club would have fully independent financials. Each would be responsible for their own money and could do with it as they please. It wouldn't be any different than a vendor that offers a discount to club members like many do today. If they have the tooling and parts and an inside line to Chrysler I don't see why it shouldn't be taken advantage of as long as it's properly managed.

Hmmm, so long as it isn't anyone that lives in Kanses that manages it. Best just to sell it.
 

AFL in NJ

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I'd like to see five levels on the forum:


Supporting Vendor
Vendor
VCA Member
Owner
Enthusiast

and there should be different levels of conduct and posting abilities for each. For instance, a supporting vendor should be able to post not only prices, but tech help. A Vendor should be able to provide technical assistance and how-to articles, but should not be able to post prices nor links to their site. A VCA Member should have more rights to post (even links to ebay) than an owner or enthusiast.

I am more concerned that the paid roles associated with the VCA and VPA aren't tendered or put out for bid on defined length contracts. I thanked Chris and Mary Marshall for all their effort to make VOI 11 happen, however, at some point the board needs to transition to a process where there is transparency in whom is paid what, to do a defined set of tasks. I don't believe that it makes logical sense to have so much control in anyone's hands. For instance, if the VCA had streaming music on the website and elected/nominated me, it'd be 99% eighties hair bands and light metal.....which I know isn't everyone's cup of tea. Viper Magazine, VPA and VOI need to be run separately with directional oversight by the VCA board.

I believe that the new board also needs to reach out to some of the member who were run out of the VCA and off the forum and invite them back.

Regards,
Aaron
 

MoparMap

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VPA came about from using our funds to fund their business. They did not use their own money. VPA purchased tooling & other items. Please show me where our club money was not used. Sell the VPA and give that money back to the State Clubs. I'm sure that JonB did not use Club Funds to Start Parts Rack.

I understand that VPA was set up using club money, but what I'm getting at is how to handle things now. What's done is done, there's no way to change that. I'm suggesting that the current setup be changed to make them independent of each other since VPA is capable of supporting itself pretty well now that it's established. There's no reason to sell VPA and lose another vendor if the management structure and financials can be separated from the club.

It's not a whole different than if PartsRack or Woodhouse or someone had some internal struggles. Would you rather them close their doors and lose that resource as an owner or hope they pull through and gets things straightened out? I get that club funds were used for VPA, so it's a little different than a complete outside vendor shutting down, but in the end it's still one of the few places were you can buy Viper parts at reasonable prices.
 

Gustfront

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I saw this posted in a different thread. Didn't seem like it was getting any views there, so I'll ask it here,

"In light the on going issues, i am curious who has moderatror and admin privileges on this website right now?

And who operates the VCA Staff user ID?"
 

sun diego

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Viper Tony, great post. I would suggest non supporting vendors be allowed, say 5 or 10 posts with links, then moderated. That way they can see if there is good traffic from the site, rather than "Give us money, then see if it works".
 

GTLaser

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Mix up the DOB and officers with all ages.... don't see any younger minds at work in office.
 

TrackAire

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There is talk about splitting up the VCA and the VPA into two distinct different entities. I really think we need to find out what we actually have in the VPA in terms of value. How can the membership make any educated decisions without knowing actual facts. Some of the key information missing would be:

1. How much did the VPA pay Chrysler for the parts/molds that they received?

2. Did Chrysler supply any type of list or inventory of the parts the VPA purchased or acquired (in case some were just given to the VPA for free)

3. Does the VPA have a current counted inventory of what is in stock?

Without knowing these basic answers (and I'm sure there are many more that need to be asked), I don't think the members can even discuss what should be done with the VPA. Talk about splitting them off, selling them, etc cannot be done since we have no idea of what the VPA is, has or has the potential to be.

Since the VCA funded the VPA (and to my understanding has not paid the "loan" back yet), I would think getting an outside firm to do a physical accounting of the parts asap would be most important, like right now. That would protect the VCA's value of the VPA and keep parts from going out the "back door". If everything is on the up and up, neither side should have any issue with this. If somebody does object to basic business and accounting procedures.....well that would tell me somebody is not being truthful and there are bigger issues to deal with.

Knowing what we are dealing with is the first step to salvaging the club and making sure we are protected and not giving the store away.

Cheers,
George
 

FrankBarba

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I was unaware that i could ask the VCA for a Business Loan. I have been down on funds before while getting my business on track.
VPA did not go thru any Sweat Equity. They simply stole our money, used it for their own profit, and promised to pay it back.
Sounds like Jimmy Hoffa / Mafia type Embezzlement & Racketerring.

Were vendors that sold parts off the forum, required to pay a Viper Tax to the VCA or VPA ?
 

LifeIsGood

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What is a supporting vendor vs a non-supporting vendor? Does a supporting vendor pay a fee? Are they required to spend some amount of time on the VCA site...supporting whatever? I think the answer is that they pay a fee. How much are we talking about? Does this site even need that money? Why can't we just have vendors....they sell viper stuff, make viper stuff, provide used viper parts, provide new viper parts, provide aftermarket viper parts, are viper engine tuners, etc. Maybe VCA vendors should be required to fill out an online form, get board approval (keeps out vendors that sell cheap Chinese crap, like headers and rear mirror air fresheners, also dealerships that sell 1 viper a year) and then have 'vendor' access. How much money did the supporting vendors pay to the VCA last fiscal year? I know under the current regime this question is a bannable offense, immediately deleted by the VCA Forum Staff, but maybe going forward we can get some answers.
 

ViperTony

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Viper Tony, great post. I would suggest non supporting vendors be allowed, say 5 or 10 posts with links, then moderated. That way they can see if there is good traffic from the site, rather than "Give us money, then see if it works".

I gotta tell you I'm not a fan of moderation. Maybe 'moderation' is not a good word for this scenario but I understand what you're saying here. However,


I saw this posted in a different thread. Didn't seem like it was getting any views there, so I'll ask it here,

"In light the on going issues, i am curious who has moderatror and admin privileges on this website right now?

And who operates the VCA Staff user ID?"

There are currently 3 moderators. Two wish to remain anonymous due to threats, stalking, etc. <- Sometimes this stuff happens. I am one of the moderators. If I use the VCA Forum Staff account for notification, you'll know it's me because I sign my name and/or use the following symbol in the signature: ( . )( . ) :D I am also an Admin here but my admin privileges are relegated to user and vendor account setup.

As for admin privileges, the site programmer is the admin. No officer is a moderator or admin, any longer.
 
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