DACQ Order Problems

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DumbJaques
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DACQ Order Problems

Post by DumbJaques »

I received a few emails today indicating that teams were still having major problems with our orders, mostly due to various mistakes we've made. Currently, this is the situation with DACQ orders:

The major updated emails that contained the most recent question attachments appear to have been filtered out by some high percentage of school-based email systems due to the size of the file attachments. Since this resulted in no kick back notification email, this problem went unnoticed for some time. My own ignorance regarding general technology is the chief cause of this problem. The main purpose of this thread is to get teams to, as per the announcement that has been up on our website, email me at [email protected] and let me know what orders they have currently received (both via email and snail mail). Please post here if you send an email after seeing this thread and do not receive a response within 24 hours.

A more detailed announcement will be made in an email update, but there have also been serious issues with unauthorized distribution of the questions that have affected this process. Nonetheless, DACQ assumes responsibility for the problems and the lack of foresight that led to this situation. The bottom line is that teams haven't received questions in a timely manner, and we will be finding a way to compensate teams for that, most likely through discounted/free tournament attendance fees or questions next year. I am happy to discuss the details of this issue with any team that would like to email me. Again, we request that you email us and let us know what you have and have not received, and if for some reason that email does not get a response (a few teams were also ending up in various bulk mail folders), please post in this thread with your email address.

*Since we recognize the pre-nationals materials would be of very little value for some teams after HSNCT, those WILL be emailed during the next week and before the tournament, but if you have not been receiving our emails or question updates, please email us so we can make sure you get these materials before the tournament.

-Chris, on behalf of DACQ

EDIT: I know a small number of subscribers are really motivated individuals on teams who paid for the questions out of pocket. Since some of you are seniors and unlikely to really appreciate free or discounted hs questions or tournament attendance next year, please contact me and we'll figure out something equivalent.
Chris Ray
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Re: DACQ Order Problems

Post by Matthew D »

Chris,
I emailed you a couple of time in the last few weeks....
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Re: DACQ Order Problems

Post by mithokie »

Your e-mail address does not work for me.

We have only received sets and study guides from August through January (by e-mail dated March 14)

So, we need the sets and study guides from February on.

Thanks,
Matt Beeken
Blacksburg High School
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Re: DACQ Order Problems

Post by jbarnes112358 »

Has anyone received questions for February, March, or April?
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Re: DACQ Order Problems

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Has anyone received questions for February, March, or April?
Some number of teams have received the February and March questions via snail mail amid our shipping problems - they are currently not being emailed because of the issues I outlined above. We are running behind on April.
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Re: DACQ Order Problems

Post by rchschem »

We haven't received anything since January. And our system should have no problem with big honkin' attachments, so bombs away, if that's easier.

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Re: DACQ Order Problems

Post by jbarnes112358 »

DumbJaques wrote: A more detailed announcement will be made in an email update, but there have also been serious issues with unauthorized distribution of the questions that have affected this process.
I regret that you suffered any alleged piracy of your materials. But, I am not sure why you respond to a copyright infringement by a few with a breach of contract to the many. If you have any questions after January, (and so far nobody has posted here saying that they have received any) then I'm not sure why you are withholding them from your customers who prepaid for them back in August 2007.

No matter what format you deliver the questions, unscrupulous people can copy them and illegally redistribute them. But, it makes no sense from a business point of view, if nothing else, to not deliver your questions in some form - any form, assuming you actually have questions to deliver, in order to satisfy your obligations to your customers, especially if you would wish repeat business from those customers.

I e-mailed you over the weekend without response, so hopefully you will read here.

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Re: DACQ Order Problems

Post by Matthew D »

Chris,
I have to echo the same sentiment because I can't control other people but I did pay my money for my questions and study guides but I am still waiting..
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Re: DACQ Order Problems

Post by Joshua Rutsky »

Chris--

I'm still in the same boat as others here--I haven't seen anything since January, and no replies to any e-mails I've sent to your address. I'm here at NAQT nationals if you want to meet personally, but would love any reply with information.


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Re: DACQ Order Problems

Post by harpersferry »

Yeah, and we also ran out of tossups to read for practice for nationals because of it. We didn't buy any more because we expected these.
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Re: DACQ Order Problems

Post by Robbie Ram »

AHS Eagles wrote:We have only received sets and study guides from August through January (by e-mail dated March 14)

So, we need the sets and study guides from February on.
Same here. We are still waiting for February, March, & April sets after we (finally) received the November through January packets— in March!

We all payed for these materials on a monthly subscription basis. How long would the Washington Post, Time Magazine, or National Geographic (not to mention such quizbowl-specific companies as Patrick's Press) stay in business if they only managed to deliver their periodicals every few months (or just late in general) instead of daily, weekly, or monthly as promised? Everyone here knows that the DACQ content is "quality stuff", but what good does that do if teams can't actually use it because we never actually receive it in time to be helpful to our regular team practice sessions?

As for "pirating" of your content, I can only speak for myself and for my team when I point out that

(1) if we were the sort of people to pirate your materials, we wouldn't have bothered to pay for them to begin with but would have found "alternative" sources;

(2) any team stupid enough to pay the relatively hefty DACQ subscription price and then share the materials with another team rather than making competing teams pay for their own subscription doesn't have enough intelligence among them to compete in academic team anyway;

and (3) if you take as an example the music industry where they are constantly complaining (and correctly so) about piracy, have they stopped recording, producing, and distributing albums on CD, .mp3, .aac (or whatever format you like) because some unscrupulous people (...certainly no one on *this* forum, right?...) have shared and/or obtained their product illegally? No, they haven't— because they can still make money selling their product to the honest customers out there. Maybe it's not as much money as they would like to make or believe they deserve, but it's still making money.

While DACQ Questions are admittedly not quite as in-demand as the latest White Stripes or Drive-By Truckers tunes, I think I can say pretty confidently that you have a much higher percentage of honest customers among your customer base (e.g. the average quiz-bowler or quizbowl coach) than the music companies have among theirs (e.g. the average teenager and college student).

Incidentally, I imagine that the reason NAQT, Patrick's Press, Questions Unlimited, et al., send out hard copies of their questions rather than electronic versions (à la DACQ) is because the hard copies are logically harder to pirate. Sure, it costs more to ship hard copies, but that's the trade-off you make. I'm no businessman, but those of you at DACQ who are can decide whether it's a better financial move to send the questions cheaply in .pdf format (which would be really easy to "pirate"), or send hard copies at a somewhat higher expense but at somewhat less risk of "piracy". No, hard copies aren't totally safe from being copied and shared either... but the point again is that magazine companies don't not send out their magazines because they are concerned people will copy them— or just give them— to others. They expect instead that most people who are interested in their publications will, in fact, pay for subscriptions... which is exactly what I believe most people who want DACQ publications have done.

In other words, Chris, you need to (and presumably can) fix this recurring problem ASAP or you can expect DACQ to go out of business speedily due to a sudden and dramatic loss of subscribers, starting with all of the current and potential customers on this website.

--Michael P. Campana
James W. Robinson Jr. Secondary School
Fairfax, VA
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Re: DACQ Order Problems

Post by Stained Diviner »

Chris Ray wrote:DACQ assumes responsibility for the problems and the lack of foresight that led to this situation.
If you are paying people money back for the products that were delivered months later than promised, then this statement is true. If you are promising future discounts to people who can only take advantage of them by continuing to pay good money to somebody who consistently does not live up to his responsibilities, then this statement is false.
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Re: DACQ Order Problems

Post by DumbJaques »

If you are paying people money back for the products that were delivered months later than promised, then this statement is true. If you are promising future discounts to people who can only take advantage of them by continuing to pay good money to somebody who consistently does not live up to his responsibilities, then this statement is false.
Well, for people who want refunds for the future unreceived questions, we've been accommodating for those who have asked about it. Obviously any future compensation would not involve mandatory further payment for practice sets, it would be in the form of both free questions and discounted/free tournament entry fees. Sorry if this wasn't clear, you can feel free to email me about it.

After the feedback we collected, it seems likely that we're just going to accept the wash on our own shipping problems and the piracy issue and just send out the questions as soon as possible - but this is a board decision and not my own, so we will be sending out an email confirming what we'll be doing as soon as possible, as well. Please continue to email me with any questions, comments, etc. - and in particular, if you have not received any of the emailed sets (including the nationals prep package).
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Re: DACQ Order Problems

Post by Matthew D »

Chris,
I would just like to get the rest of my questions.. I got the 4 sets for nationals but I am still missing the ones from Jan - till then
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Re: DACQ Order Problems

Post by mithokie »

Chris,

Your e-mail always bounces for me. We have not received the pre-nationals materials yet. (PACE is coming very soon) We still do not have any questions or study guides from February on.
Matt Beeken
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Re: DACQ Order Problems

Post by jbarnes112358 »

DumbJaques wrote:
After the feedback we collected, it seems likely that we're just going to accept the wash on our own shipping problems and the piracy issue and just send out the questions as soon as possible - but this is a board decision and not my own, so we will be sending out an email confirming what we'll be doing as soon as possible, as well. Please continue to email me with any questions, comments, etc. - and in particular, if you have not received any of the emailed sets (including the nationals prep package).
Chris, I would feel much better about the situation if you were straight with people. Why don't you just admit that the questions are not written yet, instead of all this nonsense about piracy and some unnamed "board of directors" who can't seem to make a decision? I mean, how many days does it take to make a decision? I highly doubt the missing questions exist. If I am wrong then I apologize, but no one has posted here saying they received the missing questions, and your story is just way too bizarre. I am not calling you a liar as you never actually said the questions existed, but your posts certainly leave the impression that the questions exist and that your group just can't decide to do the obvious thing and just mail them already.

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Re: DACQ Order Problems

Post by DumbJaques »

The February and March questions do exist - the April questions, as I said, are behind. We are behind for reasons of questions not being written (as I've said) on the most recent questions, but not on the older two sets. I am not trying to mislead anyone - indeed, I think merely telling teams "we're behind, we're working as fast as possible" would have had much cleaner and better results, but it wouldn't actually have been the truth. Advertising that it was our own failures in judgment, etc. that created the problem rather than being behind on work is hardly preferable, but as you said, it would be wrong to mislead people.
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Re: DACQ Order Problems

Post by jbarnes112358 »

DumbJaques wrote:The February and March questions do exist - the April questions, as I said, are behind. We are behind for reasons of questions not being written (as I've said) on the most recent questions, but not on the older two sets. I am not trying to mislead anyone - indeed, I think merely telling teams "we're behind, we're working as fast as possible" would have had much cleaner and better results, but it wouldn't actually have been the truth. Advertising that it was our own failures in judgment, etc. that created the problem rather than being behind on work is hardly preferable, but as you said, it would be wrong to mislead people.
In that case, I'm surprised you didn't just send the February and March sets when you sent the "pre"-nationals stuff a few days ago.

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Re: DACQ Order Problems

Post by rchschem »

DumbJaques wrote:The February and March questions do exist...
They will give us something to use next year, then. Our school year ends tomorrow.
Eric Grunden, Research Triangle High School/NCATA

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