Originally Posted by Aztec
Yes, I have pointed out this ethically ill-advised practice out in the past to the chagrin of some of the agents here. One particular agent who has already responded here has tirelessly given many people assistance without ever stating the all too familiar phrase "you might consider contacting a migration agent". I do not lump him in with the others. I have since sent copies of some of the more blatant solicitations to MARNA, we'll see if they do anything about it. They did respond with an RFI for contact details, so at the very least their names will be on their radar I suppose. Also when any other form of visa help is displayed, they all shout it down or remove the post. One has to wonder what is going on in the back rooms here. In any other arena this practice would be investigated and halted.
Personally, I find this quite a dispiriting response.
In the couple of years I have been around this forum, I have found that all the agents who post regularly (and there aren't that many) give consistent and accurate advice on a vast range of questions; some simple and some extremely complex. If they suggest seeking a bespoke consultation it is because the nature of question/issue is too complex or too personal to the poster's unique circumstances to be able to be properly answered on a public forum. It is also the case that an answer which is specific to the poster may mislead others in a similar but not identical situation.
Usually forum members, particularly the regulars, provide excellent advice, but there are situations where the personal experiences of other forum members may be of little assistance to a poster. No one is "shouted down", but if incorrect advice, however well-meaning, is given then it is appropriate that it is corrected.
None of the agents who post here are aggressively touting for business or spamming the forum with adverts. None of us need to, rather we enjoy helping out where we can. In any case, it is not illegal or unethical for Registered Migration Agents to advertise, so I am not sure why you would think reporting to MARA any of the agents who give freely of their time and expertise on this forum is either necessary or appropriate. What is however explicitly illegal is the provision of migration advice in Australia, by anyone who is not a Registered Migration Agent. This should be reported to Border Watch.
Any forum has its own distinct atmosphere, and no one has to be here. If you don't like the tone of the conversations, there are plenty of immigration "advice" sites where there are no RMAs involved in the discussions. Personally, I think that having a few professionally qualified people helping out improves the quality of this forum, and others like it, no end.