I've never been a firm believer in the appeals option. In dozens of appeals (most of them -I admit- foolish appeals), I only "won" once. I was actually impressed at that point to experience that it does work sometimes. Meanwhile, having reached almost 100 pics in the database, I think I have some experience with the screening and appealing processes. I brought my acceptance ratio from 40 to almost 70% in the last few months. (Now of course due to the experiences described below, it's down again... but I digress). I wouldn't say I use the appeal button without careful consideration nowadays. I also know the appeals function is not a second chance for screening - it is mainly there to correct errors.
Despite this, 3 recent experiences have made me quite disappointed with this service.
1 - I uploaded an (IMHO) good-quality cabin view showing a business-class seat. No similar shots are in the DB
of the aircraft type/airliner concerned. It was rejected for motive (nothing else). The seat was shown as a whole, no parts missing. Not understanding this rejection, I appealed. It was rejected on appeal, no personal message, no answer to my plea that such images are very common and none existed for that particular a/c type. I only got "not added to the database".
2 - I uploaded a shot that was rejected for "dirty", with a personal message indicating the spot. I replied to the email, pointing out that in my view, it wasn't a dust spot but those plastic backward-pointing tubes you can see at the wingtips of many aircraft. It was very well possible to mistake these for a small dust spot area. No answer came on this reply, so a few days later, I appealed. It was rejected on appeal with the added dreadful "quality" reason, again no personal message, no answer to my initial question, nothing. I replied to this again (I believe about 3 or 4 days ago), but haven't received an answer yet. I do realise not everything can be answered but it was a polite email.
3 - A third case was the picture I posted in another thread, a "distance" rejection. Although this is a rejection I now don't disagree with any longer, once again, the appeal decision did not give any answer to the arguments I had used; it just repeated the original decision, ignoring any specific argumentation I brought up.
Summarising: appealing is useless to learn something. When you do think there may have been a mistake in the screening decision, don't appeal to learn something, as you won't get anything else than a new NO. Apart of course from the rare case where you actually do "win". Consequence: post it in the forum, with the risk of being part of a flood of similar threads. We are then sometimes told to mail the screeners, but to be honest, I think it would be unfair to expect answers from them - I can only imagine the flood of mails they get...
I would like to know if it is really physically impossible to answer appeals with a brief message, especially if the appeal had real arguments. Like I said, I am at a point where I upload only some shots. The ones that are rejected often remain on my hard disk, I don't bother reworking "standard" shots any more. So this plea is not motivated by a rush to upload as much as possible as quickly as possible. I just want to learn. Unfortunately, I think I'll have to keep posting threads to the forum (with the risk of being called a whiner) rather than using the appeals button. Screening takes time, often many minutes per photo. Surely a few words won't have an impact on the screening time. And it will reduce the number of threads and the number of emails to the screeners.
Hope this makes sense and is somewhat useful...
EDIT - typos corrected
[Edited 2006-05-20 11:22:35]