Author Topic: Classmates.com - Etiquette & Guidance on Contacting Website  (Read 3009 times)

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VorFemme

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Classmates.com - Etiquette & Guidance on Contacting Website
« on: October 05, 2013, 06:26:32 PM »
I graduated from a particular high school in a certain large town in West Texas, USA.  The name relates to a nearby geographical feature.

I signed up to get my name in there and the local university in the same town, too.

The high school has a rather generic name - not quite as common as mud - but there seem to be high schools with the exact same name.  Think Hill High School (although that is NOT it) - it's about that common, though.

There are at least a dozen Hill High Schools that I am getting contacts from through both Classmates.com and Facebook.  But I have never lived in South Carolina, Illinois, California, or any of the other states that apparently had someone with the same first name and a last name that is "close enough" that they are assuming that my listed (married) surname is my (also listed - but as my middle name) is my maiden surname.  Maiden surname is NOT common - married surname is.

Rather than foam at the mouth and yell in frustration at these people who think that I look a lot like their old classmate Liz, Lisa, Lizzie, Beth, Betty, Eliza, Elizabeth Surname from their days back in good old Hill High School - I want to get in touch with Classmates.com about the shortcomings of their programming, such that all these people who never lived in West Texas are contacting me about having gone to school with them a thousand (more or less) miles away.  So far replying that I am not the alumni they are looking for and then "ignoring" them seems to work.  It might not be the most polite thing - but it's not rude to tell strangers that "I don't KNOW you". 

I can't seem to find a "contact us" area on Classmates.com that doesn't involve PAYING them for a membership first.  I don't want to do that. There are genuinely about a dozen people that I wouldn't mind getting back in touch with.  The rest of them - well - I can ignore them if they get me mixed up with someone else or pass along their contact information to one of my three siblings that they are trying to get in touch with because my maiden surname probably only had the FOUR of us using it at that high school for years & years.  If anyone else with that last name ever moved to small town, I never heard about it from Dad's family...
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CaffeineKatie

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Re: Classmates.com - Etiquette & Guidance on Contacting Website
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2013, 06:39:59 PM »
Why wouldn't you just ignore contacts from people you don't know?  I don't think this requires a reply of any kind--just delete.

VorFemme

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Re: Classmates.com - Etiquette & Guidance on Contacting Website
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2013, 06:41:13 PM »
Any help finding a way to contact the website?
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Bijou

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Re: Classmates.com - Etiquette & Guidance on Contacting Website
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2013, 09:04:45 PM »
Maybe you have to actually join to have complete information listed (so no one contacts you) and to get the contact info for the administration. 
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squeakers

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Re: Classmates.com - Etiquette & Guidance on Contacting Website
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2013, 09:06:41 PM »
Try finding the site on facebook and ask there.

This isn't really etiquette related and should have been asked in the Off Topic folder.
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VorFemme

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Re: Classmates.com - Etiquette & Guidance on Contacting Website
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2013, 12:22:46 AM »
The etiquette part is how to handle frustration with what appears to be a design flaw or two without being rude to people who think that I went to school with them when I was living in another state.  The good side is that I am sure that they were not the ones bullying me back then.
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Julia Mercer

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floridamom

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Re: Classmates.com - Etiquette & Guidance on Contacting Website
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2013, 12:37:02 AM »
I know Classmates website is now owned by Memories.  It's funny I paid into for a yr or two membership 10 yrs ago when we were having our 20th reunion.  (BF=Before Facebook) Now all of us are on FB and I am hardly on classmates and many of us "talk" and reconnect there.  But then I grew up in a small town in NH.  Hubby can't get over how we all "know" each other.  He grew up in Columbus, GA (Ft. Benning)

I would just ignore requests unless getting repeated requests from same person. I would just state oops.. I think you have the wrong person. 

sweetonsno

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Re: Classmates.com - Etiquette & Guidance on Contacting Website
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2013, 05:48:42 AM »
I don't think it's a flaw in their programming so much as user error. They enter the name and the high school. They see your photo. You look close enough to their old friend that they send an invitation without looking at other details (such as city). There isn't much the programmers can do about. Even if the site lists numerous possibilities for Hill High, there's no way for them to compel users to choose the right one.

Ignore/reject the requests. If someone sends you a personal message, just reply that you think they have the wrong person. "You've got the wrong Elizabeth. I went to Hill High in West Texas, not the one in California. Thanks!" There's nothing rude about that. You would be rude if you went straight to reporting/blocking someone because they got you mixed up with someone else because that can cause them to have their account suspended/locked. However, just letting them know that they're wrong? Not rude. In fact, it's the right thing to do because it helps them find the person who they are actually looking for.

perpetua

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Re: Classmates.com - Etiquette & Guidance on Contacting Website
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2013, 05:53:25 AM »
Since you say you haven't paid for membership, is it possible that these messages are spam designed to get you to sign up to a full membership and not genuine messages from actual people at all, hence why you don't know them?


WillyNilly

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Re: Classmates.com - Etiquette & Guidance on Contacting Website
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2013, 08:54:29 AM »
I think this is a case of "you get what you pay for". If you aren't a paid member, why would the site are much to help you? And can they even? If other people want to ignore information, they are going to ignore information, and there is nothing the site can do about it.

But just FYI its not rude to totally ignore unsolicited messages from strangers or "wrong emails". And certainly its very nice of you to respond you are the wrong person.

VorFemme

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Re: Classmates.com - Etiquette & Guidance on Contacting Website
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2013, 02:07:54 PM »
Okay - I used the links to ask the site what I can do about updating MY information to keep the errors to a minimum.

I can't do much about people who don't read to see which "Hill" High School that I graduated from - they may just be looking at where I am living now and thinking "oh, I remember that she moved to Houston, Texas in (year)" - and I can't do much about that other than letting them know that I have never lived in South Carolina or Utah (not quite random examples). 

So - I'm not being rude and I'm trying not to "sound" really annoyed in the phrasing of my reply.

It took me two months and over twenty messages to some military base group in Japan to convince them that I was not the ReneeGXX@yahoo.com that was a member of their group as my spouse was stationed at a base in the USA and we had never, ever been stationed in Japan.  Or Korea.  Or wherever they were trying to talk me into bringing souvenirs back from...

I had to pay to change my phone number after a drunk spent several minutes cussing me out and telling me to hand the phone to his no good (whoever she was to him) and just quit telling him lies about her not being there and the number had changed.  It was easier than getting any more phone calls from her creditors, drunk family or friends, and the strange callers who led me to wonder what she did for a living (sex or drugs - because nobody wanted her to come do a live rock & roll concert).

It looks like it might also be a good idea to set up a "boiler plate reply" in my drafts folder to send so that it is always polite and not composed when I cranky...or half stoned on cold & flu or allergy meds...because I understand that Evil and Snarky come out to "help" me write a reply, sometimes. 
« Last Edit: October 06, 2013, 02:12:00 PM by VorFemme »
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Yvaine

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Re: Classmates.com - Etiquette & Guidance on Contacting Website
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2013, 02:08:47 PM »
Since you say you haven't paid for membership, is it possible that these messages are spam designed to get you to sign up to a full membership and not genuine messages from actual people at all, hence why you don't know them?

This. I sometimes get ads and emails telling me that "10 people want to connect with you on classmates.com!" when I don't think I've ever even been to the site.

stargazer

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Re: Classmates.com - Etiquette & Guidance on Contacting Website
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2013, 02:11:16 PM »
Agree - these are probably spam messages and you certainly don't have to reply to them.  I don't think I know anyone that still uses that site to be honest so it's probably going to be rare that you come in contact with anyone you haven't talked to in however many years on that site.