Feb 28, 2018

A Guide to Reporting (and Avoiding) WPN Policy Violations

Here's how to best support an investigation—and avoid finding yourself on the wrong end of one.

Feb 28, 2018

A Guide to Reporting (and Avoiding) WPN Policy Violations

Here's how to best support an investigation—and avoid finding yourself on the wrong end of one.

The overwhelming majority of WPN members observe our WPN policies faithfully. Which means that, when someone steps out of bounds, everyone feels that unfairness.

Violations of WPN policies are often quite public, but enforcement and consequences are private. To give you some transparency into our processes, we put together this short guide to reporting (and avoiding) three common violations.

Street Date Violations

First: no one gets a free pass. We investigate every report we receive and we take appropriate actions based on what we verify.

If you want to report a policy violation, send your report directly to our online reporting portal. You can help us by giving us as many verifiable details as possible—screenshots, receipts, photos. First-hand reports are great. Multiple first-hand reports are even better.

We will always endeavor to preserve your confidentiality—regardless of which side of an investigation you're on—to the utmost that we can under the circumstances. We try to keep any resulting actions private as well, but keep in mind that we prefer to educate offending stores about their violations and give them a chance to change their behavior before taking harsher actions.

We always follow up with violators, but we never disclose the details publicly.

Event Fraud

When reporting event misconduct, the same rules apply: give us all the information you've got. Helpful information to include is the store's name, dates and formats of suspicious events, and information about players or TOs.

As far as staying on the up and up with your own events, there are two common ways that stores can create the appearance of policy violations, and they're both easy to avoid.

First, avoid the appearance of rigged pairings by letting WER create matches automatically. Players tend to notice patterns in your pairings—a player getting an unlikely number of byes, for example—and they tend to report those patterns when they do. Create matches automatically and you'll never have to worry about it.

Second, run events as casual if they fall short of eight players. A lot of stores are under the misunderstanding that all events require eight players—some even think it's acceptable to add absent players to the event so it can fire. This is very much not the case.

If you've got a Ranked event scheduled and you fall short of eight, simply cancel it and schedule a casual one.

Remember: players use our Store and Event Locator to find your events. Any disparity between what they find there and what they find in your store is going to set off alarms.

Promo Misuse

Most reports are going to come from players—after all, they're the ones experiencing it firsthand.

But if you report a violation, it's a huge help to our Investigations Team to have screenshots (of ads or sales—especially if they occur before the promo is available), screen names (for auction sites or other online marketplaces), and of course, receipts.

Promos are for players. Use promos as intended, and, failing that, use them to support your events once the following set is out. So long as extras are given out to players, you're doing it right—but always avoid suspicion by announcing your prize structure in advance and sticking to it.

Be aware that your players will likely know how many promo cards you receive. If they think something is being abused, they're very likely to report your store to us.

Report any of the above violations or related concerns to our online reporting portal.

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