The LMCN group and website was created to provide an opportunity for members gain a sense of community, to gather and make connections, share helpful resources or trade word of mouth referrals. The aim is to ensure that this platform is inclusive, safe and a place to hold respectful discussions. Please refrain from using profanity or other offensive speech, engaging in personal attacks/name-calling, posting advertising, or wandering away from the topic at hand. No solicitation to benefit INDIVIDUALS of any kind, which means; no advertising or business promotion, charity, fundraisers, yard sales, and open houses. No online fundraisers such as GOFUNDME are allowed. The only fundraisers allowed are ones that benefit Lower Merion schools, scouts, libraries, fire departments, ambulance services, church/synagogues and community centers.
You do not need to live in Lower Merion or Narberth to join. If it makes sense for you to be here, you are welcome to be a member of this group!
1) NO POLITICS OR RELIGION: Absolutely no political or religious discussions/solicitations are permitted.
2) BEHAVIOR EXPECTATIONS: Remember the “Golden Rule” (If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all). To maintain the civility in this group:
- The admins will not tolerate rudeness, profanity, insulting and defamatory posts, personal attacks or purposeless inflammatory comments.
- If you would not say what you are writing to someones face, then don’t write it!
- Take some responsibility for the quality of the conversations in which you have initiated in a post. For example if tone of a thread is deterioration, intervene and/or close comments or click “REPORT POST” and a moderator will be notified.
- Be civil, kind, helpful and non judgmental: Consider your impact on others when making your contribution. If someone asks a question give them an answer to that question without judging them. Do not offer more unless they ask.
- NO SHAMING (example; posting pictures of a personal property such as houses or cars). Mean-spirited, personal attacks on individuals or businesses will not be tolerated. Posts of this nature will be deleted. If you a compelled to post make it on your own personal profile. Think of this group as a public space, and your online persona as being subject to judgment as you would by simply walking down the street. This is a closed group but what you post “online” is discover able and can and often will be used against you.
- Trolls and their posts will promptly be removed from the group. What is a ‘Troll’?
- We want this to be a welcoming space for intelligent discussion, and we expect participants to help us achieve this by notifying us of potential problems and helping each other to keep conversations inviting and appropriate. If you spot something problematic in community interaction areas, please click REPORT POST. When we all take responsibility for maintaining inappropriate and constructive environment, everyone benefits.
- MEMBERS VIOLATING THE RULES: Repeated violators may be “deleted” and banned from using the group.
3) BUSINESS & EVENT PROMOTION: Business self-promotion is NOT ALLOWED in this group and will be promptly removed. You can promote your business via sponsored posts:
- Community sponsored events/announcements: Libraries, schools, sports teams, police, hospitals, cultural non profits, township activities and scout fundraisers are allowed to be freely posted. (Example: Library hosting a bake sale or poetry contest)
- Business Promotion: If you are interested in promoting your business your options are: a) Join the LMCN Provider Services Directory. b) Request to make an exclusive offer to LMCN or individual sponsored post by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and rates will be provided. c) Join the LMCN Business group to promote for FREE.
- Business sponsored event promotions: Business sponsored events are only allowed if posted by an admin. If you are interested in promoting your business via sponsored post or making a special offer to LMCN, please email email@example.com
- Endorsements (shout out’s) made by people who have used the services of someone that they were satisfied with is also acceptable. If someone asks for a recommendation or help with something, and it happens to be in your own industry, it is appropriate to offer your services. In this case, you are not blatantly self promoting, you are being a helpful resource.
4) NO BUYING OR SELLING OF GOODS OR REAL ESTATE LISTINGS: Items for sale (or free) are not permitted. If FREE you can post to the Buy Nothing Groups. If you are interested in buying and selling please request to join: Lower Merion & Narberth Yardsale Group. Real Estate or for sale by owner posts are not allowed. They can be posted in the Real Estate In Philadelphia, Montgomery And Delaware County Group. If someone posts that they are looking for a home, then it is okay to respond with a helpful answer.
5) HIRING SERVICE PROVIDERS/CONTRACTORS: When a group member asks for a referral, only recommend service providers that you have actually used. If the person you are recommending is related to you, a friend or in a professional networking organization, please disclose that information in your reply. It is okay to TAG a service provider so they can respond.
Contractors/Service providers: You should NOT PM (Private message) the person asking for a referral unless it has been requested. If this is observed by an admin your post will be removed and you will be muted or removed from the group. You can respond in the thread with your business name and contact information.
As a consumer, it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to always check references, get more than one estimate and do not assume that someone is good just because they were referred here in LMCN. Do your own independent research and screening before hiring anyone to come into your home! NOTE: Again, it is fine to respond to a post if you provide a service that will help. In this case, you are not blatantly self promoting, you are being a helpful resource.
Two examples if how to reply to a post with disclosure:
Harry Vac: Dan Theman is a fantastic electrician. We met through a professional organization. Since then I have used him personally and referred him to my customers. He always does a great job! (xxx) xxx-xxxx.
Mary Wifeofowner: Call our company (Business Name Plumbing and Heating). We are master plumbers. We do quality work and would be happy to help. Please call us at xxx-xxx-xxxx
BE SAFE! Click HERE to review Personal Safety Guidelines for Selecting a Home Services Contractor.
DISCLAIMER: The opinions provided in this group represent the personal opinions of individuals based upon their personal experiences, and cannot be relied upon in any way or time as constituting any warranty or representation.
6) DO NOT BAD-MOUTH BUSINESSES: This is not allowed in LMCN. Posting a one-sided account of an incident or complaint to a group of thousands is not fair and could potentially destroy a business. You should attempt to resolve an issue first with the business owner. Other alternatives that are more effective and targeted to get noticed;
>Leave a review on the Facebook business page
>Tweet through Twitter
>Leave a Google review
Posting in these places gives a more immediate opportunity for the business to respond to a complaint. Most businesses in our community understand the power of social media. They value customer posts/comments, and in most cases they will promptly reply to in an attempt to resolve the complaint. Personal attacks and RANTS are destructive and will not be tolerated.
Suggestions on how to follow up with contractor complaints can be found at this link>>http://bit.ly/2FXMhnS
a) If a group member posts asking for an opinion about a business and you did not have a good experience, you should answer in the following manner: I would not go back. If you want specifics please private message me.
b) If a group member posts asking for recommendations for a business, or services provider. Respond with recommendations only. STAY ON TOPIC and do not specify those who you would not recommend.
Freedom of speech is encouraged, but beware the legal consequences if you post false information. Content that may put you in legal jeopardy, such as potentially libelous or defamatory postings will be removed.
If you are compelled to share extensive details of a bad experience, keep it on your own profile page, or discuss it privately outside of this group. You can also post your experience on the providers business page, in GOOGLE, Yelp or you can tweet them.
Here is a local example of a person who got sued for negative posts. Radnor Veterinary Hospital fighting negative Yelps…and another example. This woman was ordered to pay 1K for her review.
7) MEMBERS OF THE PRESS: Group members who work in the media, please extend courtesy by asking permission prior to quoting anyone in this group. If you are taking content for your article from this group please use the full name Lower Merion Community Network and link back to the group if possible
8) PROMOTION OF OTHER GROUPS IS NOT ALLOWED: No promotion of similar groups you have created (or similar to the others listed below) in LMCN. If you start your own group and if it is unique, meaning that it would not attract the same target audience as LMCN, or any of the existing groups below, PM me and I will give it a mention. The group admin community came to this understanding, believing it a fair way to handle this situation.
9) MEDICAL DISCLAIMER: No crowd sourcing for medical advice. These questions should not be directed to members of this group who are part of the medical community. When you are in need of medical advice you should always call your own physician’s office to seek the advice of trained and licensed healthcare practitioners. Asking a group of thousands of strangers to decipher an illness, interpret symptoms, or give recommendations on your care when we have only a description, and are not acquainted with you is not appropriate here. I understand the “village mentality” and I love that about this group, the support and advice, but we cannot assume responsibility for anyone’s health or care. Feel free to ask for a referral for a doctor, a preferred Emergency Room, best walk in clinic. But please do not poll the group. Let medical professionals in your own doctor’s office or emergency room provide the help and reassurance you need.
10) NO PERSONAL FUNDRAISING such as GOFUNDME. These posts are not allowed and should be made on your own timeline. Although many of these sound like a very good cause, the admins need to have general prohibition on crowdfunding appeals. Otherwise we would need to make individual judgments multiple times every day on whether each cause was “good enough” or not. The alternative, allowing causes to post, would likely result in a tragedy of the commons where good cause crowdfunding appeals would fill the feed of the group.
Take this tip from the GoFundMe website: Regarding GOFUNDME campaigns, “Your friends and family will be the ones most willing to contribute, and also will be more likely to share your campaign with others.Gaining support for your campaign from your own personal network adds to your campaign’s credibility. When those who know you are excited to support you, it speaks to the authenticity of your campaign.” (READ MORE) on how to promote a GOFUNDME campaign. Everyone should be generally skeptical of crowdfunded projects: They are holding their hands out and asking you for money and they are often not obliged to present any real proof that they’re going to put that money to good use.
11) BABYSITTERS AND CHILD CARE DISCLAIMER: Anyone looking to provide these services should post in the separate Facebook group, THE BABYSITTERS CLUB. Please make safe decisions concerning the care of your children. Members responding to posts in LMCN should understand that this group is not responsible for verifying or screening babysitters or childcare providers. It is the responsibility of all group members to do their own independent research and screening before hiring anyone to come into your home and care for your children. We are concerned about your child’s safety and suggest that your due diligence should include (but not be limited to) researching the childcare providers work experience, confirming childcare certifications, state and federal regulations including clearances.
12) PET SITTERS – Only pet professionals are allowed to offer their services in LMCN.
Do not recommend hobby pet sitters. For your pets protection and yours, a person coming into your home to pet-sit or walk your dog should be bonded and insured. Do not hesitate to request to see these documents. Check client and veterinarian references as well.
If you are boarding your dog in a private home the owner should have a PA State Kennel license. Use this link from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to check if the place you board your dog has a kennel license. Even if you board in a private home, that caregiver must have a license. You can search by name, county and zip code and all the licensed kennels come up in that area. If you cannot locate the company/person on this list and they are offering boarding, they are committing a crime and should be reported to the State Dog Law Enforcement Officer at (717) 787-4737. http://bit.ly/2t6EYnf
The PA Dog Law Enforcement Agency is cracking down on dog sitters who board in their home and are affiliated with online sites we are familiar with. The majority of these sitters working through the site do not have a required state issued kennel license. They are being fined and ordered to cease and desist.
13) ANONYMOUS POST ARE NOT ALLOWED: The admins will not make anonymous posts on your behalf.
14) LEGAL QUESTION DISCLAIMER: No crowd sourcing for legal advice. These questions should not be directed to a lawyer or legal professional. All such posts will be removed. You are allowed to ask for a lawyer referral.
15) Residential Surveillance Footage: It is not allowed for residents to share footage of identifiable people in LMCN (example: RING camera’s). The only footage that is allowed to be released, is if it’s to identify someone for purposes as requested by the Lower Merion police department.
16) Respect the Admins – We work very hard to make sure this group is a safe place and that everyone behaves in a kind manner. There have been times when we have observed in other groups our members who have berated our efforts , or mocked us, or just flat out made mean undermining comments. We will not tolerate backstabbing. Those who do not want to be in the group can leave, so there is no need to stay and publicly criticize the admins in another group. There will be zero tolerance of this behavior. When it is discovered you will be removed immediately.
If you have any questions or concerns please email firstname.lastname@example.org
OTHER GROUPS YOU MAY LIKE TO JOIN:
Lower Merion Girl Talk
Main Line Foodies
GMain Line Gardening Friends
Business Owners – LMCN
Networking Women PA
Philly and the Burbs Dog Talk
Suburban Cat Talk
Lower Merion & Narberth Virtual Yardale Group (must live in LM or Narb)