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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

Some of you may recall the contest I ran last week asking people to guess how many TXT messages my 14yr old daughter had on the previous months’ bill.

Well, the contest ended this past Friday, the 5th.  I was pleased to see 10 predictions were done on the widget, and several were submitted in the post’s comments.  As I went to enter the winning number (aka “outcom”) at Predictify, I was perplexed as to where to update the information.

Surely I’m not blind, and I ain’t that dumb.  So I kept looking.  15 minutes passed me by like a quarter hour.  Still I couldn’t find it.  I clicked Results, tried to enter in text messages, blah blah blah but still nothing.

So I emailed Predictify support:

I’m looking for where I can update a question I posed – it simply says “awaiting outcome” even though the contest has ended. Where do I update that info? I’ve logged in and gone to my question and it just has the main page and a “results” page but I can’t find where I can update it with the right answer.

They responded pretty quickly (within an hour)

Unfortunately your question did not qualify to make it on the site because we do not accept questions of that nature. Also, our users currently are not involved with the scoring process, we do that for them.

Whaaaa?

So I stewed on this a bit, calmed down, and sent my response:

I still don’t understand. I got an email saying it wasn’t going to be featured on the main page or the searches, which is fine, but that the question was up and live. 10 people were able to make predictions. The status page says “awaiting outcome”. But why can’t I update the answer? You’re basically saying the question will never have an outcome since you refuse to update it for some unspecified reason, so that leaves people confused.

I’m unsure also what is meant by “do not accept questions of that nature” – all it is is a prediction of how many txt msgs a cell phone bill had. It’s verifiable by a scan of the cell phone bill, which I plan on providing on my personal blog. I’m wanting to update the question so I can provide a payout.

Should I just update my blog entry and say predictify is a useless tool that employs a bait-and-switch methodology? I suppose I could do that, but it seems to me a better outcome is to resolve the issue to my satisfaction. I brought awareness of Predictify to hundreds of readers, some of whom actually bothered to create an account and predict. Seems you’d want to preserve that enthusiasm

Ha!  that should show them.  I can compose sentences together like a lego set and shape them into a coherent and logical construct!  I even goaded them a little into solving my issue.  This, my friends, is how you talk to tech support and get results.

Or so I thought.

Thanks for the email and sorry we confused you in this process. However, since the question did not make it to the main site, we do not score those questions because not everyone has a chance to predict on them.

We do not accept questions that do not have a factually verifiable source available to the general public. Usually our questions are things that people can research and look up more data on, such as Will the 49ers beat the Cardinals or Will Bloomberg be in Obama’s cabinet, etc.

We appreciate that you sent the site to a lot of people and we really do value you as a user. We hope that you continue to submit new questions and predict on the site. However, as I mentioned earlier, we cannot score the question regarding the text messages because it did not fit the criteria of a deterministic question. I hope you understand and I apologize again if we mislead you in any way.

Drat those pesky logical tech support techs!  HE made an excellent move here, almost worthy of my composition.  This would be an excellent chess match if I only had the time to engage in this battle.  You see, he cooked up a thank you, an apology, a reason, an example, and a followup thankyou/apology!  That’s classic integrity with a dash of we’re-sticking-to-our-guns resilience.

But wait.  He MISSPELLED “MISLEAD!”  HAHA! I WIN!

However, I doubt that Predictify sees this as a win in my column. So I did the only thing I could do: take the supplicant role and plead for what I want:

Can I at least find out what the predictions were? There were 10 predictions and I can’t find how to see who guessed what. I was giving away a prize for the closest answer, but all I can see are groupings.

The only thing missing from my composition was signing it with Puss-In-Boots eyes:

I sent that email yesterday and have not yet received a response.  The bottom line at this point is – I cannot see the predictions people made using the tool.  Maybe they’ll be nice and email me the guesses but I can be a little impatient, like now.  NOW!

While I was waiting, I composed up a little bit of a “ok everyone who used Predictify, re-submit your guess”… in fact, here it is for your reading pleasure:

So I have no choice but to ASK YOU FOLKS WHO TRUSTED ME AND USED PREDICTIFY TO MAKE A PREDICTION – to either enter your prediction on the original post or this one, or if you don’t want to make it public, you can email me at whall@whall.org with your guess.

If you already made a prediction in the comments, that still stands.  You guys have until this Thursday the 11th to make your predictions.  Remember, there’s still $10 up for grabs.  I’ll also throw in a code for an AT&T Ringtone if you want it.

NEW FACTOR:  Now that I don’t need to use Predictify, I’m going to make the contest a little easier and instead of accepting guesses between 1 and 100,000, I’ll allow everyone to modify their original guess (once) and put the range to be between 1 and 20,000.  This may or may not cause people to re-guess.

and I’m all ready to click Publish and then what comes into my inbox?!!?!?!?  ANOTHER FRIENDLY RESPONSE FROM PREDICTIFY! DO THEY EVER LET UP!?!?!??!

Hi Wayne,

Sure, let me run a query and get you all the predictions and usernames who predicted on your question. I should have some results in the next couple hours.

ARGH! I can’t win!  And sure enough, the guy sent me the original 10 predictions already! HE’S TOO GOOD…..

SO – NEW “NEW” RULES

  • If you had a previous guess, either in the blog comments or on predictify and want to let it stand,  you may do so.  No action required.  If you don’t remember your prediction, I can email it to you.
  • The new range for guesses is 1 and 20,000.  I recommend the 3 folks who guessed > 20K change their guess.  Think of it as a second chance at life, but instead of “life” it’s “$10”.
  • If you’d like to change your prediction, you can do so either on a comment here, on the original blog post, or via email.  I will take the latest timestamped guess before midnight central time Thursday morning, period.
  • I *WILL* accept new predictions as well.
  • In the event that the person who would have won before I changed the rules doesn’t still win, I’ll give them a prize as well.
  • That one person who knows who they are is ineligible to guess since they’ve been told the answer.  I won’t disclose who that is other than to say he’s, well, ineligible.

Have fun!

And lo, the people did comment thus:

15 Comments

  1. Avitable says:

    I am so freaking confused.

  2. cheese on a cracker, i have no f*****g clue what i guessed and now i am almost late for my free dinner & hockey game (go penguins!). will return.
    grrrrrrrrrr! (that was to pre dick tify and not you. i set up a stupid account and am now already getting their spam s**t.)

    hello haha narf´s last blog post..Stuff

  3. ooops. family friendly blog. can i say s**t here?

    hello haha narf´s last blog post..Stuff

  4. great. now i did it again.
    i’m seriously sorry.
    and leaving.
    bye.

    hello haha narf´s last blog post..Stuff

  5. Janna says:

    I’m confused too, but that’s ok because I got my Dilbert book today! Yay! I’ll be over here under a bunch of blankets, surrounded by three cats, keeping warm and reading Dilbert while we have freezing rain outside. (Really!)

    Oh, and I guess I’ll guess 666.

    I don’t need any AT&T ringtones but I can always use ten bucks to buy a few boxes of tissues so I can dry my tears of joy and laughter while reading Dilbert.
    And, um, of course, the tears of joy and laughter I always get from reading the Blog of Whall.

    Janna´s last blog post..Manic Monday: Light

  6. Nat says:

    I can’t even remember if I entered it a vote or not… damn it. Good on them to get you the info. Odd little process they have. Good thing they have the nice guy in tech support.

    Nat´s last blog post..I remember…

  7. martymankins says:

    I emailed my new answer to you.

    Predicitify sucks bones.

    martymankins´s last blog post..Snowy Sunday #04

  8. Hilly says:

    I’m confused.
    But uh….438.

    Hilly´s last blog post..Cryptic Monkeys With Emotional Baggage…

  9. Raganator says:

    I’ll go with 5100

  10. bekah says:

    14,006

    bekah´s last blog post..Password

  11. Sybil Law says:

    My guess is 536.
    🙂

  12. Giggle Pixie says:

    Well, I give them credit for somewhat better than mediocre service. Because they should have made it clear when you FIRST put the question up on the site that they weren’t going to be scoring it. Grrrrr…
    At least the tech guy did respond quickly and with a full explanation and an apology, and was helpful. That’s more than alot of stupid businesses do these days.

    Giggle Pixie´s last blog post..Christmas Shopping? Anyone? Bueller?

  13. i’m going to guess 14,368
    did i win??!?!

    hello haha narf´s last blog post..Stuff

  14. Raganator says:

    Oh, and thanks for the Puss in Boots photo!

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