I'll chime in! So, there are a lot of concerns that are coming out here that have all frankly been addressed in the major discussions we had about this change earlier. As there is still some confusion, I'll clarify a few things in response to comments above.
"I do think it is a legitimate question about how to respond to inaccurate or wrong responses by the RS staff. After all, the round blue badge does convey a instant level of authority. ... Since the community guidelines ask that your not comment on prior postings, what do you do?"
- The Community Guideline being referenced is only enforced when moderating bickering, arguments, and other general negative behavior not befitting of our community. The round blue badge is there to deliver transparency in our company's actions, not convey authority. If we wanted authority, we wouldn't have opened up the questions we otherwise privately received to the community members here (please see the More Changes in the Wind discussion to review the purpose of this change). With regard to how to respond when our staff has given a response, we have been very clear that you can and should respond with an alternate viewpoint or set of facts. You can do so in a respectful manner that flatly states your opinion or the facts that you know without comparing or condemning your information to a previous post. This has been our long-standing expectation for years whether you are giving a response that is different or contrary to the info posted by another community member and applies equally to posts contributed by staff.
"I tend to view the RS staffers as being the same as anyone else here." - This is what we want.
"Pause for popcorn?" - Good idea. - - - OK, I'm ready for more.
This is a two part answer...
"I think it would be better if the rule/policy was the staffer adds something if the question hasn't been answered adequately or if they have something different to add." - This is effectively how our staff operates already. More to add after the next comment...
"...my gripe ( if you want to call it that) is not that the "answer" by the RS staffer was "too short" but that it was not an answer."
- So, to review how this system works, if the "chime in" checkbox is checked, our staff is required to give a reply. If they don't, it will remain in their queue, and they won't be leaving anything in their queue. Thus, we give a response even when there is nothing in particular to add. So, as recognized by a few others in this very thread, we usually do note when others have already answered the question well and we have nothing further to add. I find the "Happy Shopping" comment to be perfectly acceptable in that clearly we had nothing to add, but gave a friendly response to enjoy that part of their trip. I think this response is also a reflection of that staff member's personality which should also be encouraged so that we aren't sounding like soulless robots. ;) There's nothing unprofessional about wishing someone well.
If you really take issue with a response that doesn't fit with how you would respond, as has always been the Golden Rule of forum behavior, if you don't like a post, proceed to the next post. If it breaks Community Guidelines, report it.
If you feel that I haven't addressed your concern here and you still have an issue to raise, we've probably already addressed it in our many responses on the More Changes in the Wind discussion (they're easy to spot with the new badges as you scroll through). Please check that out before posting further as I can't be re-writing responses to address the same concerns again and again. Thank you for doing so.