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Prove It or Lose It Challenge Rules and Procedures

By Jeff Cavellini |

Updated: 02/19/2015

The Prove It or Lose It (PILI) program is part of JustAnswer’s Quality Policies and allows an Expert to challenge a specific credential claimed by another Expert. While JA verifies one credential for initial admission, PILI applies to any credential advertised by an Expert using the site (e.g. profile pages, signatures, etc.).

Here are the rules and procedures of PILI:

Terms

  • Challenger” - the Expert issuing the PILI.
  • Reviewee” - the Expert under challenge.

Protocol

Initiating a PILI challenge

Challenges are initiated by clicking the "Submit an Inquiry" button at the top of the Expert Help Center, and then sending in a Policy-related ticket with the subject line “Prove it or lose it challenge,"  making sure the following information is included in the body of the ticket:

  1. The username of the Reviewee
  2. The specific credential being challenged.
    • Good example: I challenge user OpMan123’s credential for a degree in Economics from Oxford University.
    • Bad example: There’s no way that BuddhaGal is a Tax Expert.

Notification and verification

Once a challenge is issued, we will submit credentials to our third-party verification vendor per Rules below. Challengers and Reviewees will be notified of PILI proceedings, and upon receipt of verification results.

PILI challenge outcomes

There are two possible outcomes:

  1. A successful challenge will result if the challenged credential is NOT verified. In this case, Expert Operations may initiate removal proceedings against the Reviewee in one or more categories (but, see Failsafe below);
  2. An unsuccessful challenge will result if the challenged credential IS verified. No further action will be taken in this case.

Costs of verification

If a challenge is successful, the Reviewee will bear costs associated with the third-party verification service, and typically run between $18-22 per credential. If the challenge is unsuccessful, the Challenger will bear the costs.

Failsafe

If, in the event of a successful challenge, a Reviewee can provide independent verification of her/his challenged credential within 30 days, then Expert Operations may re-admit that Expert to any category affected by the PILI challenge.

Rules

As with all policies, we want PILI challenges to be fair and professional. To that end we are adding these rules:

  • Professionalism - extraneous information included in Challenge emails will not be considered in the Challenge, and is subject to review for violation of site policies (Please see Expert Community Guidelines for more information on site policies).
  • Reciprocity – at the time of the challenge, we may at our discretion submit BOTH the Reviewee’s challenged credential AND an equivalent credential of the Challenger. If the Challenger’s credential returns unverified, then we may consider that an unsuccessful challenge.
    • If neither challenge is verified, we will split costs among both parties.
  • Transparency – at our sole discretion, we may reveal the username of the Challenger to the Reviewee.
  • Abuse – repeated unsuccessful challenges, unprofessional challenges, or otherwise abusive use of this program at our discretion may result in a professional’s loss of privilege to exercise PILI, or further corrective action to prevent violation of site policies (e.g. harassment).

JustAnswer takes professional quality seriously and encourages good faith review of the credentials of the community members. That said, we have no tolerance for bullying, harassment or gamesmanship.

For these reasons, we encourage the community to challenge credentials with the same type of professionalism inherent in daily helping customers.

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Comments

  • Avatar
    dukey01

    It's only fair the challenger should bear the cost up front. If they turn out to be right they get a refund.

  • Avatar
    jadedangel57

    If an expert has had a specific qualification challenged and verified to be true, what happens if someone else challenges the same qualification?

  • Avatar
    350matt

    is this really an issue?

  • Avatar
    greg805

    I think this is great way to stop in fighting amongst experts . I have never had to use it but have used the possibility of challenging to solve an issue with another expert . I think the fact that the challenger may be reviewed as well is a good additional safety measure to curb abuse!

  • Avatar
    Anh Nguyen

    @jadedangel57, if the qualification being challenged is verified, then the Challenger will bear the costs associated with the verification process.