Many of the recent complaints in ATF have centered around this issue, and it has been justifiable, since the process has not been clearly laid out to this point. Hopefully this guide will clarify the process that will leave you the best chance of resolution.
If you've been temporarily banned:
1) Chances are you should just suck it up and wait out the ban.
You probably did something stupid and deserve it. And it's just a few days, so go out and get some sun or something.
2) Absolutely do not create a new account to go back to posting
whatever it was that got you in trouble in the first place, because posting on a temporary account during a temporary ban will lead to an extension of your original account's ban (even to permanency), and the removal of the secondary account.
3) If you really feel your ban is totally unfair, you should contact (also see next post):
a - The mod who banned you. State your case, politely, via PM, and there's a chance your ban will be reversed or shortened. [Edit/MH: Owing to recent PM-activation changes, you will have to e-mail Mat Sklansky at firstname.lastname@example.org
and ask him to forward your e-mail to the relevant mod.]
b - Another mod of the forum you were banned in. Obviously this isn't always possible, as some forums have only one mod, but if it's the case that the mod who banned you is busy, you can try to get the attention of another mod of that forum.
c - A mod who is familiar with you as a poster. Say you get banned for a week for posting in BBV, but you're normally a solid strategy poster in MSNL. It's very possible one of the MSNL mods can help you broker a deal with the mod who banned you.
d - In rare circumstances you should contact an admin. Mat Sklansky: email@example.com
I say rare since to get to (d) here, some time has to have passed while you do (a), (b), and (c), and the ban was temporary, so it's probably over before you can get to (d). The admins are busy too, so be patient with them, but they do read their messages.
If you are permanently banned:
First and foremost, steps (a) - (d) above still apply. These are still you best options for having your side of the story heard and replied to in a polite way.
Everyone should know that nothing pisses off the moderators more than people who they ban that come back 20 minutes later with a new account and post "Oh Hai Gaiz I'z Back!" So don't do it, it only causes aggravation for everyone.
The other thing you shouldn't do:
Don't make a post in ATF complaining about your ban or about the moderator who banned you for being unfair. If you have a complaint, follow steps (a) - (d) above and seek resolution first.
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