10-08-2012 12:02 PM
Dear Rodvik - CEO of Linden Lab,
This SL Merchant thread is a formal request for an Open Forum Discussion / Meeting between yourself and the SL Marketplace Merchant community.
There are many critical serious issues with Marketplace & the team you have in place to manage this vital service for Secondlife. To-date you have remained completely silent and dismissive to any of these problems even though countless Merchants have tried to bring these serious issues and mismanagement to your attention.
Therefore, the Merchants of SL that CREATE ALL YOUR COMPANY'S CONTENT that makes your flagship product success formally request that you come forward, listen to our concerns, and either explain why you refuse to address these concerns or tell us how you will fix this long and growing list of critical concerns.
I will provide an initial short list of some of these concerns that have gone un-answered by neither anyone from the LL Commerce Team (aka LLCT) or yourself - but I am sure this thread will grow with Merchant posting of other serious concerns we expect you to explain to one of the most important populations of your Secondlife customer base:
- Unlike the other LL departments that have established and maintained a healthy strong two-way communications with their respective customer userbase, the LLCT has all but shut and locked their doors to the entire Merchant community that are the LLCT's primary userbase for the Marketplace. Other LL staff / departments have created weekly interactive usergroup meetings inworld, and openly talk with their users that provide them with invaluable insight and knowledge of the SL technology they are responsible for, and participate actively in the community forums to discuss concerns and come up with solutions. The LLCT basically does not exist. The Merchant's ideas, concerns, fears, etc. are expressed in he forums and anywhere else they would hopefully be heard and yet the LLCT stays utterly silent - even when serious problems on the Marketplace rage.
- The stability and trust of the underlying ecommerce transaction processing & reporting of Marketplace is in serious question. With a growing list of serious problems where Merchant earned revenue is not being received, charges are being applied for services not rendered (listing enhancements), lacking audit trails to properly show the entire financial transaction, and LLCT not compensating Merchants for problems this team caused that basically robs merchants of earned sales out of their accounts.
PS - contrary to your TOS... $Linden is a currency that directly attributes to RL currency based on formal exchange process LL provides. As such, LL's improper handling / management of ecommerce based on $L as well as $US currency would make LL accountable for lost sales and unauthorized expenses to their customer's financial accounts.
- The LLCT's proven history of poor Marketplace service / features that were not even asked for by the community, poorly designed, and worst yet... Horribly developed & deployed into production. The situation has become so bad that it is not a matter if IF a LLCT change will cause problems - its more so a matter that Merchant speculate how bad this change will be that will impact their sales.
In many cases, the LLCT releases changes to Marketplace with ZERO notice to the merchants. Many of these changes can have a serious impact to the operations of many Merchants and therefore we need to be made aware of ANY changes to MP no matter how small the LLCT feels the change is - but we often get no notice and then at times the change is secretly backed out if there is enough screaming on the forums.
- LLCT not following any form of priority of features, services, fixes to the MP service that the primary users of MP constantly ask the LLCT to address (i.e. restored sales reporting that xstreet had, removal or overhaul of the listing rating/review system that is known to be completely gamed, improved search, etc.). The changes / improvements to MP seem to come from some LL internal secret list they believe are good for us.
- The proven complete lack of skill & knowledge the LLCT has on ecommerce systems and more importantly the unique requirements that SL Merchants require to effectively sell content into YOUR SL GRID! This is proven by the LLCT priorities they set vs the ones they complete ignore. They utter lack of concern on protecting the critical health of the underlying financial sales transaction system is more evidence of their complete misunderstanding of how to maintain and evolve a healthy Marketplace.
I could continue but I will stop here. Other Merchants will express their concerns about your Commerce Team and the crumbling Marketplace service.
Rodvik, what you need to understand but it seems you are oblivious to is that many of the Merchant of SecondLife use their sales of content into SL as a primary source of REAL LIFE INCOME for them and their families. This is not a sideline hobby for many Merchants - especially during these tough economic times. As such, the utter mis-management and complete disregard / respect for the importance of a healthy, effective and secured/trusted Marketplace is a black mark on LL and to you personally as the CEO of this company.
We - the Merchants of Secondlife - feel we are deserved to get even an hour of your attention to listen to our concerns and to explain how you will address this on-going growing mess.
I leave it to you Rodvik to provide options on how you would like to engage with the Merchant Community.
PS - to the Merchants of SL, if you are going to post to this thread, please provide the concerns you would like to see Rodvik address.
10-08-2012 12:35 PM
Just a note, I agree with you 100%.
The only thing that needs highest priority is that we had office hours, two closed beta programs and the result is "this".
Priority must be on doing, not talking.
What good is an office hour if they can't handle implementing any of it for instance?
A good faith effort would be to get people who "can" handle any of the suggestions and feedback that they get and to implement stronger policy, such as reasonable refund and transaction assurances. They're just hiding behind an untested TOS and arbitration clauses while developing other products with our money.
Then maybe they can begin to build better reporting tools so that people actually know what's going on with their transactions and funds and deliveries like all other commerce out there.
Just saying that personally I think we're beyond words and token gestures at this point.
10-08-2012 01:16 PM
Where's the "LIKE" button?
EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SECOND LIFE BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK
10-08-2012 01:31 PM
Sadly it has become the only effective position for anything related to LL and the commerce team - even up to the level of Rodvik - that in order to get the Commerce Team or Rodvik to engage at all you need to have all of LL's customers scream and yell and stomp your feet everywhere until Rodvik is forced to take notice (its a PR thing for LL).
So, if you want to LIKE this thread and you really want Rodvik to respond to us... ALL MERCHANTS need to use every social media they have access to... Blog, Twitter, Facebook, emails/IMs to Rodvik, etc. to mention this thread and to repeat the request for Rodvik to take responsibility as CEO of LL of the out of control Commerce Team in his company.
He should make it a priority to FIX this deep rooted problem as a priority as opposed to focusing on figuring out new sources of revenue to SL before SL slides away as LL's flagship.
Its clear Rodvik is not cut from the cloth of Business operations and priorities... he would rather let stinky issues grow and just focus on new cool products and technologies.
What we need to do is make Rodvik take notice that the Marketplace and its management team need to be overhauled.
So... if you wanna LIKE this thread.... promote the thread through what ever means you have to make rodvik see it every where he turns.
10-08-2012 01:44 PM
10-08-2012 02:22 PM - edited 10-08-2012 02:23 PM
Emma's little wish list:
1. Please continue to inform us about changes to Marketplace - as you are now doing regarding the magic boxes.
2. I'd like the direct delivery system to include delivery notifications please.
3. Notification of when a review on a product is written would be most welcome.
4. A review of Marketplace Categories would, in my opinion, improve Marketplace for customers and merchants alike.
5. Please give information on how Marketplace Search can be made more efficient, e.g. excluding demo's from search.
6. On Listing Items, please make the image preview a little larger so duplicated images can be more easily spotted.
10-08-2012 02:40 PM - edited 10-08-2012 02:41 PM
I think at the top of everyone list is the apalling failure to communicate consistently and clearly, or give much of a sign where information should be posted. A recent example:
1. Sales notification email address changed with a only notification in the Merchant Home that few check regularly (because there is nothing there), despite a long-ago announcement that information would be posted IN THIS FORUM. Someone discovers the emails are going to spam folders, so everyone redoes spam filters.
2. Email address change rolled back,someone notices and everyone redoes spam filters.
3. Email address reversed again, someone notices and everyone redoes spam filters.
Most important are bugs that may be only affecting a minority of merchants but are crippling:
1. Messed up listings with wrong photos, etc.
2. Merchant Outbox either will not work at all or is stuck Initializing.
3. Magic Boxes start delivering merchandise that merchants do not get paid for and are labeled Failed Delivery. (LL response: Sucks to be you.)
1. Enhancements stuck in Charging, Cannot Edit (see recent thread) for many months and cannot be canceled, so merchants keep being charged. Then some are refunded. Then they are charged again. Some are charged again without being refunded. This has cost some hundreds of dollars in unwanted enhancements, with no end in site.
2. Default search -- called Relevance -- seems to be "what has sold in the last day or so". NO ONE THINKS THIS IS THE SAME AS RELEVANCE. Call it Recently Sold.
3. Last I looked there were 281 JIRAS, take your pick.
Oh where to begin? This needs a thread of its own. Maybe I will make one. We have been on our knees begging for restored functionality for years now.
10-08-2012 02:58 PM
10-08-2012 04:01 PM
100% in favour of your proposition. Rodvik's acknowledgement of the importance of the merchant community is waaaay over due and I would like to see a series of 'brown bag' type meetings with full transcripts made available for ongoing community discussion.
The current commerce team have proven themselves to be a secretive cabal with their behind the scenes meetings with favoured merchants, completely uncommunicative with the greater volume of merchants, incompetent when implementing upgrades and changes and it would seem totally incapable of adding any merchants reporting tools that are even half way as useful as we had with good old old xstreet and onrez NOR can they fix the pathetic broken facilities they forced on us at launch 2 years back.
One of the first rules of marketing is to find out what your customers want and then give it to them. However the LL commerce team seem to have their heads stuck up their collective coding backsides and have forgotten to actually find out what their customers really need and have chosen to give us what they want instead whether it is of practical use or not. In short they seem to have forgotten who ultimately pays their wages.
Come on Rod - lets talk!
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