A challenge submitting a gear review to favorite retailer taught important lesson for future successful gear review submissions (based on a post here). Published review terms and conditions (T&C) diverge from how retailer moderates gear reviews. They rejected my post for specific content NOT clearly in terms and conditions.

My rejected submission received no explanation until I followed up with customer service / support.

Published T&C link at gear submission (one must accept before submitting)

  • You are the sole author and owner of the intellectual property rights in the content;
  • All “moral rights” that you may have in such content have been voluntarily waived by you;
  • All content that you post is accurate;
  • You are at least 18 years old;
  • Use of the content you supply does not violate these Terms of Use and will not cause injury to any person or entity.

You further agree that you may not submit any content:

  • That is known by you to be false, inaccurate or misleading;
  • That infringes any third party’s copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret or other proprietary rights or rights of publicity or privacy;
  • That violates any law, statute, ordinance or regulation (including, but not limited to, those governing, consumer protection, unfair competition, anti-discrimination or false advertising);
  • That is, or may reasonably be considered to be, defamatory, libelous, hateful, racially or religiously biased or offensive, unlawfully threatening or unlawfully harassing to any individual, partnership or corporation;
  • For which you were compensated or granted any consideration by any third party;
  • That includes any information that references other websites, addresses, email addresses, contact information or phone numbers;
  • That contains any computer viruses, worms or other potentially damaging computer programs or files.

Customer support sent back moderator criteria (additional T&C?).

The following things are not allowed with reviews: 

  • Specific pricing references
  • Obscene or inflammatory language
  • Advertisements and “spam” content
  • Personally identifiable information (for example: email addresses, URLs, phone numbers)
  • HTML tags or special characters

I did not read those in the published T&C. My post was rejected (i think) in part due to the inclusion of prices for the poles and the replacement parts. I also summarized my full review and added the URL to the full review. Neither according to the moderator list above are ‘allowed’. I can understand the rationale, but it was not published with the other T&C, nor made easily findable imho. Black Diamond also did NOT publish the same initial review, but did the second.

The challenge submitting gear review with obscurely placed T&C can be overcome by keeping the submission as simple as possible without pricing, URLs or much of the detail that makes a great review. Oh well, some knowledge shared is better than none.

Accepted and published review

Repairing poles w/ >2000 miles

Repairing poles w/ >2000 milesFor the last two years, Black Diamond Carbon Cork trekking poles have gone with me over 2000 miles. I broke one 2 years ago crossing Elliot Creek, Mt Hood Timberline Trail (REI replaced that one as it was brand new). They are light enough, the cork handles are great imho. I have used them from North Cascades to Crater Lake in rain, snow, hot weather and freezing rain. I also crossed 10 miles of 3-6 feet of snowpack on OR PCT in mid-July 2022. For me and my fast-hiking style, good trekking poles are essential gear.

Mid-season this year, with a bottom of foot blister due to sand and ash working thru mesh-upper trail runner, I bent the tip on the left pole; actually used as a crutch for 75 miles in some rocky scree on Mt Jefferson / 3 Finger Jack on to Mt Washington.

Black Diamond sells parts to repair old friends.

I now have 2 straight poles and a spare replacement part if one breaks (I also have a spare middle part that was found (aluminum) on trail.

Summary: I love these poles. They served me well and now that both are straight, and ready for another 1000+ mile season next year. I try to keep them extended to maintain the lock adjustments, and have only adjusted them 1x at the end of year 1. Like most gear, it’s personal. It needs to be felt, handled and ideally used on the trail before ‘keeping’. I recommend these to at least try.

photos published with review

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