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Community Guidelines (The rules of the road)
Welcome to the Consumer Traveler Community Forums! Consumer Traveler sponsors a global peer-to-peer support resource bridging people from many different cultures and over 200 countries to interact, share, and discuss travel.

As an open, friendly, and diverse community, it is important that each participant conduct themselves in accordance with the guidelines and standards we have developed to maintain an environment where all are comfortable contributing to the discussion. These guidelines are based on standards we have refined over the past years as our community has grown and evolved. We have published them here to help you better understand what is considered appropriate and what we expect from all our community participants.

This is a moderated forum, and submissions which violate these guidelines will be edited or deleted, as deemed appropriate by the site administration. Forum moderators make educated judgments based on these guidelines and enforce them judiciously and justly. Participants who neglect to adhere to these guidelines risk losing access to the site on a temporary or permanent basis.


By using this web site, you are bound by the conditions stated in our Terms of Use. This list of guidelines has been published with the intention of clarifying the criteria we use to determine whether or not a submission is appropriate and does not supersede or override the terms and conditions which you are bound to by using Consumer Traveler. We reserve the right to modify these guidelines at any time without prior notification and we intend to revise these guidelines as needed to ensure they accurately reflect our operational policies.

Consumer Traveler has a firm commitment to protecting your personal privacy. Please be sure to review our privacy statement to see how we use your personal information and to read the section below regarding anonymity and disclosure.

Primary directive
The Consumer Traveler Community Forums provide an on-line resource to discuss all aspects of travel. Submissions to the forum which fall under this directive are considered "on-topic" while all others are considered "off-topic."

We recognize that regular community participants may want to engage in conversations that are considered off-topic and unrelated to the primary directive of the service. In order to ensure that off-topic threads do not take attention away from on-topic threads, we have created a special area for these threads and expect that all off-topic conversations take place within that area. Precedence is given to on-topic discussions and responses to on-topic threads should at all times stay on-topic. Off-topic threads may occasionally be subject to time-limits before being closed to further posting, and in some cases may be deleted at the moderators' discretion. Such decisions are never arbitrary, and reflect the moderators' sense that an off-topic thread is dominating the forum discussions, and/or is a source of divisiveness between participants.

It is important that all participants recognize that tangents started within threads of discussion should be avoided at all times. All replies to any thread should relate directly to the first post in that thread.


Civility and respect
We expect that all community participants interact in a manner conducive to free-flowing, collaborative participation from all visitors, fostering an environment free of harassment, character attacks, and other forms of individual and group berating. We realize that all members may not share the same definitions on issues surrounding personal morality, appropriate behavior, and other topics of discussion that often appear on the site; we encourage all to voice their own opinions while refraining from criticizing other participants for the perspective they hold. Each person that posts on the forum is to be treated with the utmost respect and civility regardless of how absurd or ridiculous the opinion expressed might seem to you from your perspective.

Personal attacks against other participants will not be tolerated under any circumstances. We define personal attacks as posted comments which are intended to provoke, demean, or ridicule another participant. It is inevitable that members will sometimes disagree in their responses to any given problem, and Consumer Traveler encourages healthy debate comprised of constructive questions and criticisms, so long as they pertain to the post and thread at hand.

We expect that all participants will respond to posts in their specific context, not to the person who has posted. While opinions may be formed of various members based on what they have posted in the past, any response to any particular submission should be grounded in what has been posted in that thread. Past disagreements should not be resurrected in new threads. It is important that criticism be directed at what is stated in a post ("I don't like your idea") rather than at the individual making the statement ("I don't like you").

Submissions containing threats to leave the community or other forms of "emotional extortion" intended to incite a reaction from fellow participants are viewed as inconsiderate and disrespectful to the community as a whole and will result in immediate loss of access to the site.

Language and decency
As a global community, it is important to recognize that not all participants are native speakers of English, nor are they all acquainted with colloquialisms popular in your particular area of the world. We expect that our community participants use language that not only reflects proper terminology, but that is in no way vulgar, profane, obscene, pornographic, demeaning, or pejorative to the subject being described or those contributing to the discussion.

Community participation and inclusion
We remind all participants of the value of collaborative exchange. Discussions occurring on the public forum are to be inclusive of all participants and should not be of a private nature between a small, select group of people. Questions, comments or other exchanges directed to any particular individual outside of the context of on-topic threads should be made privately and do not belong on the public community forums.

Consumer Traveler features a private messaging function which is available to most registered members. Private two-way conversations are possible using private messaging and we expect that all personal exchanges be conducted over private messaging.

Anonymity and disclosure
Community participants may from time to time share private conversations and information with each other via private messaging. We expect that all community participants will observe the privacy rights of others and refrain from posting any information about another participant, including repeating the content of any private message in a public forum without the consent of both parties.

Participants are reminded to use extreme caution when posting personally identifiable information on the site or when sending private messages. We recommend that you not disclose information that can be later used by others against you.

For your own protection and the privacy and security of all of our guests, personal or personally identifiable information such as the following may not be included within posts to the forum:

* E-mail addresses (private forums excepted)
* Instant message contact information (screen names, usernames, etc.) (private forums excepted)
* Telephone numbers (private forums excepted)
* Mailing addresses
* Bank account numbers
* Passwords, usernames, or access codes

Please post judiciously about your personal matters. In most cases, once a post has received replies, we will not be able to comply with later requests for the thread's removal, as it would be unfair to those participants who took the time to respond thoughtfully to the topic at hand. Your post should be considered a permanent addition to the Consumer Traveler forum, accessible by anyone on the Internet. For this reason we discourage members from providing details that would make them easily identifiable to friends, family members, etc.Consumer Traveler is committed to protecting your privacy, and it is something that you should take care to protect as well. Please be aware that the public sections of the forum are scanned by search engines for information. The private sections (travel agent, moderator, correspondent, etc) are not. We also recommend that carefully weigh these considerations before using a picture which can personally identify you as an avatar.


Cross-posting and duplicate submissions
Community members are able to see all new posts in all of the forums. Therefore, we expect that you post an item only once, in the most appropriate forum. New posts or threads with the same content or general message are considered identical and will be deleted. If you are unsure to the proper forum, post where appropriate and if needed, a moderator will move it.

Thread titles
It is important that threads are easily identifiable and as such we expect that posters will use descriptive thread titles.

Paragraphs and formatting code
We ask that community participants separate long posts into paragraphs, leaving a blank line between each block of text similar to the style used in this document. We have found that posters who follow this suggestion not only improve the readability of the post, but also tend to receive a greater number of responses.

Our forum allows special codes to be inserted into messages that allow basic formatting of text. We expect that participants will use these codes sparingly and refrain from using excessive amounts of color, bolding, size, or font definitions that will make reading the text difficult for the visually impaired. These codes are reserved for highlighting text and are not intended as decorative embellishments to the majority or entirety of a submission.

External links and fair use
During the course of discussion, participants may wish to share relevant external sites to support an argument. External links must be non-commercial, provide empirical data relevant to the thread of discussion, be sponsored by an accredited educational institution, or link to a peer-reviewed publication. Commercial sites are those which stand to benefit financially either directly or indirectly from traffic directed to them from our site, including those designed to acquire user connection-specific data. All external links must point to text-based (HTML, ASCII) or graphical material (JPEG, GIF, PDF) viewable within the context of a standard web browser. Direct links to file archives, executable programs, screen savers, and other binary files are generally prohibited.

Should it be necessary to quote directly from any source, electronic or otherwise, a proper, full citation must be included. If the resource is located on the web, a direct link should appear with the content. Quotes may not be longer than 250 words.

You may include your personal homepage in the "homepage" field of your profile as well as your signature. However, links in signatures should be limited to two.

Contacting Consumer Traveler
Consumer Traveler has provided a number of methods to contact us should an issue arise that you feel needs to be brought to our attention. We expect that community participants will use the "Contact Us" form or the "Report this post to a moderator" form to get in touch with us with any questions pertaining to the site, its operation, or materials posted on the community forums.

Visitors are strongly encouraged to report posts which may violate these Community Guidelines by using the "Report this post to a moderator" function on the bottom right side of the post. Posts or threads that challenge moderators' decisions will be deleted. Such challenges shall be made via the "Contact Us" page located at the bottom of each page.

Participants who have had their access to the community forums revoked are expected to contact the site administration via the Contact Us form. With very few exceptions, to ensure your privacy, we do not contact participants before revoking access to the site. It is the responsibility of the individual affected to get in touch with us for further information and to have the access restored if possible.

Participants which have had their access to the site revoked are expected to cease use of the site until access is restored. Persons who attempt to circumvent revocation shall be permanently banned from the site.

Should you have any questions, comments, or suggestions regarding these guidelines or any other aspect of our community, please feel free to get in touch with us.

Terms of Service
The ConsumerTraveler.com Web Site (the "Service") is an on-line information and communication service provided by ConsumerTraveler.com and its owners ("ConsumerTraveler.com"), subject to your compliance with the terms and conditions of service set forth below including all exhibits hereto.

"ConsumerTraveler.com" and the ConsumerTraveler logo are trademarks of ConsumerTraveler.com. Other marks which appear on this Web site may be marks of third parties that are not affiliated with ConsumerTraveler.com. ConsumerTraveler.com and its affiliates do not control or endorse the content of third party Web sites.

Please read this Agreement carefully before accessing or using the Service. By accessing or using the Service, you agree to be bound by the terms and conditions set forth below. If you do not wish to be bound by these terms and conditions, you may not access or use the Service. ConsumerTraveler.com may modify this Agreement at any time, and such modifications shall be effective immediately upon posting of the modified Agreement. You agree to review the Agreement periodically to be aware of such modifications and your continued access or use of the Service shall be deemed your conclusive acceptance of the modified Agreement.

1. Operating Policies. You agree to comply with the Operating Policies set forth in Exhibit A (as they may be amended by ConsumerTraveler.com from time to time), which are the rules that govern your activity in connection with the Service. ConsumerTraveler.com has the right but not the obligation to remove any communications and materials that ConsumerTraveler.com believes in its sole discretion violate the Operating Policies.

2. Copyright, Licenses and Idea Submissions. The entire contents of the Service are copyrighted under the United States copyright laws. The owner of the copyright is ConsumerTraveler.com. You may print and download portions of material from the different areas of the Service solely for your own personal, non-commercial use. You may make: (a) one machine readable copy, (b) one backup copy, and (c) one print copy of any portions of material downloaded from the different areas of the Service solely for your own personal, non-commercial use. Any other copying, redistribution, retransmission or publication of any downloaded material, is strictly prohibited without the express written consent of ConsumerTraveler.com or any third-party information provider to the Service. You agree to grant to ConsumerTraveler.com a non-exclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual license, with the right to sublicense, to reproduce, distribute, transmit, create derivative works of, publicly display and publicly perform any materials and other information (including, without limitation, ideas contained therein for new or improved products and services) you submit to public areas of the Service (such as forums, bulletin-boards, chat rooms, and newsgroups) by all means and in any media now known or hereafter developed. You agree that you shall have no recourse against ConsumerTraveler.com for any alleged or actual infringement or misappropriation of any proprietary right in your communications to us.

3. Use of the Service. You understand that ConsumerTraveler.com cannot and does not guarantee or warrant that files available for downloading through the Service will be free of infection or viruses, worms, Trojan horses or other code that manifest contaminating or destructive properties. We will do our best to ensure that files we provide for you are safe; however, you are ultimately responsible for implementing sufficient procedures and checkpoints to satisfy your particular requirements for accuracy of data input and output, and for maintaining a means external to the Service for the reconstruction of any lost data. You assume total responsibility and risk for your use of the Service. ConsumerTraveler.com does not make any express or implied warranties, representations or endorsements whatsoever (including without limitation warranties of title or non infringement, or the implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose) with regard to the Service, any merchandise, information or service provided through the Service, and ConsumerTraveler.com shall not be liable for any cost or damage arising either directly or indirectly from any such transaction. It is solely your responsibility to evaluate the accuracy, completeness and usefulness of all opinions, advice, services, merchandise and other information provided through the Service or on the Internet generally. ConsumerTraveler.com does not warrant that the Service will be uninterrupted or error-free or that defects in the Service will be corrected. The Service is provided on an "as is, as available" basis. Without limiting the foregoing, everything on the site is provided to you 'AS IS' WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMISSIBLE PURSUANT TO APPLICABLE LAW, WE DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OR NON INFRINGEMENT. You understand further that certain areas of the Service may contain unedited materials, some of which may be offensive to you. You access such materials at your risk. ConsumerTraveler.com has no control over and accepts no responsibility whatsoever for such materials.

In no event will ConsumerTraveler.com be liable for (I) any incidental, consequential, or indirect damages (including, but not limited to, damages for loss of profits, business interruption, loss of programs or information, and the like) arising out of the use of or inability to use the Service, or any information, or transactions provided on the Service or downloaded or hyperlinked from the Service, even if ConsumerTraveler.com or its authorized representatives have been advised of the possibility of such damages, or (II) any claim attributable to errors, omissions, or other inaccuracies in the Service and/or materials or information downloaded through, or hyperlinked from, the Service. We do not warrant that the functions contained in the materials will be uninterrupted or error-free, that defects will be corrected, or that this Web site or the server(s) that makes the Service available are free of viruses or other harmful components. Because some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of liability for consequential or incidental damages, the above limitation may not apply to you. In such states, ConsumerTraveler.com's liability is limited to the greatest extent permitted by law.

Your use of this service is purely "at will" and can be revoked by ConsumerTraveler.com for any or no reason.

Copying content or otherwise transmitting content from this service to another service, individual, corporation, or organization is prohibited and may result in revocation of your use of this service.

Decisions by moderators and administrators is deemed to be final.

4. Indemnification.You agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless ConsumerTraveler.com, its officers, directors, employees, agents, licensors, suppliers and any third party information providers to the Service from and against all losses, expenses, damages and costs, including reasonable attorneys' fees, resulting from any violation of this Agreement by you.

5. Third Party Rights. The provisions of paragraphs 3 (Use of the Service), and 4 (Indemnification) are for the benefit of ConsumerTraveler.com and its officers, directors, employees, agents, licensors, suppliers, and any third party information providers to the Service. Each of these individuals or entities shall have the right to assert and enforce those provisions directly against you on its own behalf.

6. Term; Termination. This Agreement may be terminated by either party without notice at any time for any reason; provided that you may no longer use the Service after you have terminated this Agreement. The provisions of paragraphs 2 (Copyright, Licenses and Idea Submissions), 3 (Use of the Service), 4 (Indemnification), 5 (Third Party Rights) and 7 (Miscellaneous) shall survive any termination of this Agreement.

7. Miscellaneous. This Agreement shall all be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Florida applicable to agreements made and to be performed in Florida. You agree that any legal action or proceeding between ConsumerTraveler.com and you for any purpose concerning this Agreement or the parties' obligations hereunder shall be brought exclusively in a federal or state court of competent jurisdiction sitting in Florida. Any cause of action or claim you may have with respect to the Service must be commenced within one (1) year after the claim or cause of action arises or such claim or cause of action is barred. ConsumerTraveler.comís failure to insist upon or enforce strict performance of any provision of this Agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of any provision or right. Neither the course of conduct between the parties nor trade practice shall act to modify any provision of this Agreement. ConsumerTraveler.com may assign its rights and duties under this Agreement to any party at any time without notice to you.

Exhibit A

Operating Policies ConsumerTraveler.com reserves the right to monitor all content on the Service, including transmissions sent via electronic mail, messaging, and any other forms of communication transmitted electronically via the Service, and to remove content which ConsumerTraveler.com, in its sole discretion, determines to be harmful, offensive, or otherwise in violation of these Operating Policies. In order to maintain an informative and valuable service that meets the needs of the users of the Service and avoids the harm that can result from disseminating statements that are false, malicious, violate the rights of others, or otherwise harmful, it is necessary to establish the following rules to protect against abuse:

i. Unless you are participating in an area of the Service that requires or encourages full disclosure of your identity, use a pseudonym in on-line communications.

ii. You may not post or transmit any message which is libelous, defamatory or which discloses private or personal matters concerning any specific person.

iii. You may not post or transmit any message, data, image or program which is indecent, obscene or pornographic.

iv. You may not post or transmit any message, data, image or program that would violate the property rights of others, including unauthorized copyrighted text, images or programs, trade secrets or other confidential proprietary information, and trademarks or service marks used in an infringing fashion.

v. You may not interfere with other users use of the Service.

vi. You may not post or transmit any file which contains viruses, worms, "Trojan horses" or any other contaminating or destructive features.

vii. You may not post or transmit any message which is harmful, threatening, abusive or hateful. It is not the Service's intent to discourage you from taking controversial positions or expressing vigorously what may be unpopular views; however, ConsumerTraveler.com reserves the right to take such action as it deems appropriate in cases where the Service is used to disseminate statements which are deeply and widely offensive and/or harmful.

viii. You may not post or transmit charity requests, petitions for signatures, chain letters or letters relating to pyramid schemes. You may not post or transmit any advertising, promotional materials or any other solicitation of other users of the Service for goods or services except in those areas (e.g., a classified bulletin board) that are designated for such purpose.

ix. You may not post or list articles which are off-topic according to the description of the group or list or send unsolicited mass e-mail to 10 people or more if such e-mail could reasonably be expected to provoke complaints from its recipients.

x. You may not use the facilities and capabilities of the Service to conduct any activity or solicit the performance of any illegal activity or other activity which infringes the rights of others.

Privacy Statement
ConsumerTraveler.com has created this privacy statement in order to demonstrate our firm commitment to your personal privacy. The following discloses our information gathering and dissemination practices for this Web site.

What we collect:
We collect only the domain name, but not the e-mail address of visitors to our Web site, aggregate information on what pages visitors access or visit, user-specific information on what pages visitors access or visit, and information volunteered by the visitor, such as survey information and/or site registrations. For each visitor to our Web site, our Web server automatically recognizes only the visitor's domain name, but not the e-mail address (where possible).

How we use collected information:
We use your IP address to help diagnose problems with our server and to administer our Web site. Your IP address is used to help identify your session on our site and to gather broad demographic information regarding your geographic location and Internet Service Provider. The information we collect is used for internal review and is then discarded, used to improve the content of our Web page, used to customize the content and/or layout of our page for each individual visitor, and is not shared with other organizations for commercial or other purposes.

Upon request we offer visitors the ability to have inaccuracies corrected in contact information, unique identifiers, communications that the visitor has directed to the site. Visitors can have this information corrected by sending us e-mail at the address below.

Our site uses a feature of your browser to set "cookies" on your computer to keep track of your session and to make sure you don't see the same ad repeatedly. We use cookies to deliver content specific to your interests and to remember preferences you've set on previous visits to our site.

Cookies, by themselves, cannot be used to find out the identity of any user. ConsumerTraveler.com will only store information provided voluntarily. A cookie can not read data off your hard disk or read cookie files created by other sites. If for some reason you would rather not take advantage of the benefits made possible with cookies, most browsers allow you to reject cookies or to choose which cookies to accept. ConsumerTraveler.com only uses cookies in three instances: to keep track of your session information, to store user-supplied information in the forums (such as your username and time-stamp of your last visit), and via our advertising services to better track ad impressions and click rates.

We have appropriate security measures in place in our physical facilities to protect against the loss, misuse or alteration of information that we have collected from you at our site. This site has security measures in place to protect the loss, misuse and alteration of the information under our control via the Internet.

Third-party advertising:
To try and bring you offers that are of interest to you and to help financially support our organization, we have relationships with other companies that we allow to place ads on our Web pages. As a result of your visit to our site, ad server companies may collect information such as your domain type, your IP address and click-stream information. These companies may use this information (not including your name, address, email address or telephone number) about your visits to this and other Web sites in order to provide advertisements on this site and other sites about goods and services that may be of interest to you. For further information, consult the privacy policies of our advertising agencies and affiliates.

Future use:
From time to time, we may use visitor information for new, unanticipated uses not previously disclosed in our privacy notice. If our information practices change at some time in the future we will post the policy changes to our Web site to notify you of these changes and provide you with the ability to opt-out of these new uses. If you are concerned about how your information is used, you should check back at our Web site periodically.

Visitors may prevent their information from being used for purposes other than those for which it was originally collected by contacting us at the e-mail address below.

Contacting us:
Should you have any questions or concerns regarding ConsumerTraveler.com or its privacy practices, you may contact us via the methods below:

Via postal mail:
P.O. Box 160
Hampstead, NH 03841
United States of America
(617) 569-1966

Via e-mail:
[email protected]
(Or you can use the "Contact Us" link below.

If you do not want to receive e-mail from us in the future, please let us know by sending us e-mail at the above address. If you supply us with your postal address on-line you will only receive the information for which you provided us your address. Persons who supply us with their telephone numbers on-line will only receive telephone contact from us with information regarding their specific inquiry.

If you feel that this site is not following its stated information policy, you may contact us at the above addresses.

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