First 2012 Issue About it Letter from Editor Contact it

Updated Sept. 6, 2013
Surveys rec'd. by 8/27/13
Incomplete Surveys
Net (Valid) Surveys

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To safeguard the high standards of this survey, please abide by the following longstanding policies:

(1) For your grades to be valid, you must grade a vendor on at least 8/16 parameters. Grading on fewer parameters will disallow your entire string of grades, because it suggests that you are not familiar enough with a particular vendor to be able to grade him.

(2) Strings of "0" across the board are automatically disallowed, since this is not a rational response (even the worst vendor isn't that bad!)

(3) Grading only a single vendor is disallowed, since this amounts to "stuffing the ballot box," especially if the grades are super high.

(4) Please consider all grades you award carefully. While strings of 4.5's for any one vendor are not automatically disallowed, they are very much discouraged. I don't know of a single vendor whose performance across all 16 parameters is so super-excellent, it would warrant 4.5's for each and every one of them.

We finished the 2013 survey period with a total of 235 returns received, of which 15 were incomplete (and remained incomplete, in spite of several reminders to amend). This gave us, in a quirky coincidence, exactly 220 valid returns.

We might have gotten more, had not a massive, malicious hacking attack on Monday morning, August 26, 2013, halted operations. Repeated invitations to participate in the survey had gone out to approx. 4,000 NET dealer email addresses, starting on July 9 (following a soft launch on July 3). The email addresses came from the i.t. master list which is based on dealer lists provided by vendors in 2012, inside track dealer subscribers and dealers who had participated in the 2011 and 2012 surveys.

It appears that the hackers grabbed the entire list, and I sincerely apologize to everyone for the nuisance and inconvenience. PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND to the "SAD NEWS ... Gisela Schoell" email, because your email will go to an email adress that differs from the address by a single letter (an i between the t and the r). People who respond will only receive further pleas to bail out "Gisela Schoell ... stranded in Manila, the Philippines" by sending money. These emails are NOT from me.

In the next few days we will publish, on this website, the names of all vendors who have cleared our minimum 15 dealer evaluations hurdle, so please check back soon. Survey participants and inside track subscribers should see the first survey results issue (fingers crossed!) in late September 2013.