Apparently, Straight Talk has a company owned forum over at StraightTalkWirelessForum.com. I’ve come across it while Googling various Straight Talk issues and since it was using free forum software and is generally an eyesore I figured it was a 3rd party help site much like this one. After a little more reading I realized STWF is an official site. Urgh!
The funny things is most responses to questions are:
Hi <member>. My name is Straight Talk <name>. Sorry that you’re having a problem. I’m going to try to help you now. We need to take this issue offline, so I can address it further. I will contact you directly with a private message. Thank you.
The funnest thing is you can see the reps telling a member to make 5 posts in order to activate the private messaging service. In this case the forum administrator would be much better off allowing private messages for all registered members.
My guess is the rep gives the member the number to call customer service via private message. The same number they’ve already tried calling and with no results.
The idea of taking everything to private message flies in the face of what forums are about. You post a problem, someone posts a solution, and it’s out in the open for all to see. The next person that has the problem can find the thread and fix the problem on their own. Yes, certain information (phone, serial numbers, etc) should be conveyed via private message but for the most part solutions can and should be posted in the open.
You’ll have to excuse me I’m sort of a forum snob. I run quite a few forums and always use paid forum software. The feature set and the default look is leaps and bounds over the look of phpBB (the software STWF is running). Heck, there is even free software (ahem, myBB) that looks and runs much better than phpBB.
Seeing this abomination of a forum and lack of any clue what a forum is about almost makes me want to turn this site into a Straight Talk Help Forum.