I agree that combining is not too of a bad idea but
it was tested before and their a few aspects that needed to be addressed:
The comments would combine comments telling members that it is a dupe (which ideally shouldnt be happening now as ideas are reviewed)
Also the idea was lost and was swallowed up by the original idea. (which sometimes showed a 404 error instead of duplicate, that can cause annoyance)
if the above two got fixed mainly it would be okay to combine the ideas (merge) in my view
However, ill tag @prescilla_g to add anything I have missed.
Hi @natty_noo and all - hope you're all keeping well.
A very good and valid question about a topic that I've had many, many conversations about with fellow members.
You are more than correct in noticing that sometimes, duplicates do get past the review stage. With over 12,000 ideas on the platform, many of which originate from prior to 2015, it's can actually get quite tricky finding those original ideas. An original idea could be written with completely different wording. For example, 'Save your Payback to buy a phone' vs. 'Phone bank'.
Admittedly, our search bar is really not all there yet. We are yet to build the intelligence/functionality like Google (and you'd be surprised how unbelievably complex and costly it is to emulate this) to link keywords with each other but we aim to keep improving and hopefully get the platform to this level in 2018. For now, myself, @fadlur_f and the LabsTech team are doing this manually, which I'm sure you can appreciate is extremely time-consuming and not always accurate.
This is where your help is vital, and many of our amazing members spend their time reporting when we have released a duplicate and we'll try to fix it as soon as possible.
The notion of a 'duplicate' (and I personally hate that word) is something we're going to really try and stamp out this year. I've seen so many brilliantly written ideas be submitted, only for it to be a replica of something submitted before. Can you imagine spending all that time writing an idea that you think is great, only for it to be deleted? This is exactly why we've stopped merging ideas into other ones (and reviewing them, of course) because it wasn't a nice experience for our members to spend all that time writing up an idea then it disappearing.
There's so much more that can be done with guidance and floating the most duplicated ideas (rollover, unlimited data etc.) and I'm already in talks with our developers to try and build something that catches the eye straight away, so that members can simply see those popular/trending ideas and lend it a vote, rather than submit an idea that's already been done before.
I think the folks in the Labs group can tell you just how many duplicate ideas we receive every day. It's something insane like 90% duplicate and 10% original. I kid you not. However, I don't believe this is a bad thing. It just means that those original ideas are losing voting power.
@natty_noo you're more than welcome to join the Labs group if you'd like a rundown of ideas on a daily basis.
Research and insights ladyLeave a legacy over at giffgaff Labs