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I’ve quit Foursquare and here’s why

Foursquare as most of you might already know is a geo location-based social networking website where users ‘check-in’ at venues using text messaging, mobile web or mobile apps and has been tagged as the next best thing on Social Media after Twitter and I have no doubts that it probably is. I signed up with Foursquare a little over 3 months back and as on date, I’m a Mayor of 15 places, checked in 319 times and proud owner of 11 Badges with over 160 friends.

A lot of people may ask, if that’s the case, why would I quit Foursquare and then decide to write about it? Here’s why.

Many double/wrong entries:

Foursquare-Chennai-Central

The above screenshot is a search for the biggest railway station in Chennai – called Central Railway Station or Chennai Central Railway Station. As you can see, there are 3 different options.

Another example of multiple entries is Subway, the health-eating joint in Nungambakkam, Chennai

Foursquare-Subway

Again 3 search options (the 4th search result is a different location) – however, the first result has the road name wrong, the second has the pin code wrong and the third has the road name wrong again.

Foursquare team does not respond to user requests:

Anyone who was serious about using Foursquare and familiar with this location would want to set this right. So that’s what I set out to do. Since I did not know about the super user concept, I did a bit of searching on their website and found their email id and contacted them. Here is the screenshot of my email to them. Click on the screenshot for a bigger image.

Email-to-foursquare
Its a month since my email and I haven’t got a response yet. I guess I can safely assume that they don’t care about feedback, customer support/care. I’ve tried contacting Foursquare on Twitter many times in the past 3+ months but they don’t respond there as well.

Too many wannabe users:

Foursquare is definitely not the first internet app who haven’t responded to me so I decided to give them the benefit of doubt and continued using/checking into Foursquare. I realised in due course that I was repeatedly being ousted as Mayor from a couple of locations and these were places where I used to check-in multiple times a day. While that got me suspicious, I did not take much heed. However, something that happened 3 days back was the last straw. On Sunday (May 16th), I was ousted as the Mayor of ICICI Bank. It is common knowledge that ICICI Bank, India’s biggest private bank is closed on Sundays and no one in his right senses would go to a private bank on a Sunday. That being the case, how is it then possible that I was ousted on a Sunday?

4sq-icici-email

I realised then that there are many wannabe users on Foursquare who in their quest to become Mayors, check in at places even if they don’t really go there. I assume again that many would have noticed such wannabe users in all cities/locations.

I know Foursquare is an awesome app but the Foursquare team should realise that the app is as strong as its weakest link – its users. Foursquare should bring about better monitoring/moderating systems to ensure that the system is clean. Replying to genuine emails and using the genuine crowd to weed away the bad ones could be a start. Also, when you are present on Twitter/provide your email id on your website, users/public WILL expect you to respond to their queries. Not responding is a big no no.

For now, I’ve quit Foursquare – I still haven’t deleted my account yet, I’m not sure if that’s possible so you can call it a long long sabbatical. I’d love to get back on Foursquare if and only if they sort themselves out.

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