If you don't know what foursquare is, that's OK. You can probably skip this whole post. If you want to know what foursquare is... this should help you out.
Moving on. Yesterday, foursquare posted a story to their official blog about some recent changes to how they count checkins. The gist of the story is that they are now using GPS to count checkins. What was it before? I don't know... nothing? Just check in and it assumes you're there I guess. Now the idea is to verify that people are where they are when they check in.
They say they have some other "tricks" going on to also verify the location if the GPS isn't incredibly accurate (like wifi based location, checkin history, etc). Thing is that I'm not sure that' working too well. If you check out the foursquare help forum, you'll see there are MANY issues with location accuracy and checkins. Most people have been getting an error something like this:
OK! We've got you @ [venue name]. Your phone thinks you're a little far from [venue name], so no points or badges for this checkin. Sorry!
I kind of posted about this the other day before the company really said anything. And yesterday there was an even more detailed response from one of the creators of foursquare on a story over at TechCrunch. But I don't think a lot of the users are understanding what is going on. But instead of trying to figure out what the problem is, they'd rather piss and moan that it's not working and whine about it not being fixed.
Anyway there are two likely issues that are the root of everyone's checkin problems with this new system.
First: The location pin for the venue you're checking into is wrong. If the pin is not in the correct location, and you try to legitimately check into that venue, it won't think you're actually there. How do you fix it? If you created that venue or are the mayor, you can move the pins location on the website and make sure it is correct. If you did not create it or are not the mayor, you can report the changes with the venue's URL in this thread over on the forums. Someone there can fix it for you.
Second Issue: If you are standing inside a venue... under a roof, you are likely not getting a GPS signal. In this case, your phone or whatever is likely using cell tower triangulation or some other much-less-accurate means to determine your location. This means that foursquare thinks you are not actually there and won't give you credit for the checkin. How do you fix it? My suggestion has been to try checking in while just outside the venue so you still have GPS signal. Or just hope they continue to tweak the new settings so that you continue to get credit for your legit checkins.
No matter what the situation, do not create another venue so that the location is "correct" and you can get credit. You're just creating more mess to clean up for everyone else. Not to mention you're not addressing the problem (bad pin location?) but merely ignoring it.
Most of all... be patient. Going on the forum bitching and complaining about it not working and freaking about things will not get your problem fixed any faster... plus, it makes you look like a douche.