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Making Strides to Improve our Customer Support Services

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Vogt Linden

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As we mentioned in our last blog post,  the Customer Support team continues to drive a series of changes to the  way in which Linden Lab delivers support to our Resident community.  We  are examining our support offering from top to bottom, using the data  from our new support system, your survey data, blog feedback, and  industry standard practices to help shape our approach.

Some  of our changes will be apparent to you, like the look and feel of the  new case and live chat systems and our coming self-service tools. Others  will be structural and won't be immediately apparent, like our internal  support tools, but their benefits will reveal themselves over time as  they enable us to address your issues more quickly.

As we approach these changes, we have a number of high-level goals in mind:

  • Leverage industry best practices, and our own hard-earned lessons, to create a comprehensive customer service offering.
  • Respond to high-urgency, business-critical requests more quickly.
  • Better address product and service issues before they become a support interaction.
  • Provide all Residents with better self-service tools to help solve issues immediately.
Changes to Support for Basic Residents

As  part of these changes, we are examining the types of support we offer  Residents of all levels, in an effort to provide better, more responsive  service to the most business-critical issues.  Starting on Wednesday,  October 13th, we will simplify and reduce the types of cases that Basic  Residents can file and direct them to our self-service tools on your account page, or search the Knowledge Base or Second Life Answers for solutions.  As a Basic Resident, you can still file cases about  most account issues, billing issues, marketplace issues, and some  technical issues.

Improving Support for Premium and Concierge Residents

As  we increasingly direct Basic Residents to self-service tools, we are  exploring ways that we can better service and support our Premium and  Concierge Residents.  These Residents –who are often landowners,  merchants, and inworld business owners– will continue to be able to file  the full range of cases, have access support via live chat, and in the  case of Concierge Residents, have access to phone support.  As we begin  to see the impact of the changes we have underway, we expect our  response times across all of these channels to improve.

This  announcement is one of many to come soon as we work hard to provide  faster, more effective customer service. We look forward to hearing your  feedback as these changes roll out.

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"And while  not a *direct* renter of of land from Linden I do pay a lot of  USD a  month to private region owners. (And storeowners when I shop)"

I hope your estate owner is as responsive to assisting you directly as they should be. I consider it, right or wrong, to be part of my job to take over for LL on customer service to the extent that I can, even filing tickets on behalf of my customers, or being a go-between on live chat, when needed to resolve issues. They won't always help through a third party, but I at least try to intervene whenever the regular system fails a basic level member.

In the end, what we really pay for when we are premium *is* the support. The stipend and 512m2 of land is mostly irrelevant.

Perhaps LL should consider a new support only membership fee, that is less per month and does not include a stipend or land allowance.

Charlene Trudeau, SkyBeam Estates

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:"I've  worked in support for many years and you guys are doing it all wrong  lately, with a niche product like you have, you need inhouse support, I  don't care how appealing the finance manager sells third party support,  it is not suitable for a platform like this."

 

Third party support simply won't work for SL. If you don't live and breathe SL daily, you just can't assist with many of the problems. For concierge level residents, our Live Chat options should also be escalated directly to someone with concierge level knowledge. I can't begin to tell you how frustrated I get when I am dealing with someone with far less experience with SL than I have (Aug 2005) and who cannot understand what I am telling them when I know someone like Dee Linden or Charlene Linden (or any of the concierge level Lindens who we lost with the overseas shutdowns... a decision I *do* understand, even if I miss them terribly).

Outsourcing tech support for Dell lost me as a client also, for the same reasons. I worked as a sys admin for 12 years. Calling some shmo in India with a book he follows to troubleshoot things was horrible. I"d have already done the first 20 troubleshooting steps and still be forced to go through them one by one until we exhausted his repertoire and I could get bumped up the line to someone who could get beyond the basics and either find a solution or do what I knew would happen to begin with: replace part x, y or z.

One would think that if SL is trying to follow the *successes* of other tech outfits, they would have studied and learned from how horrible a failure many if not most outsourcing of customer support has been, and figured out how to make a cost effective, well-structured support system.  Need 'Ontyne's'? Make sure the people most likely to ask 'how do I attach my shoes' go to them. But make sure the folks who need a higher level of support can get to it and reach people who know SL. Really know it.

Charlene Trudeau, SkyBeam Estates

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As a member who has a premium account, Land Owner (both mainland and private regions), business owner and owner of a combat chain of sims, I have come to expect a certain level of service from Linden Labs support.  Up until recently they have met and exceeded my expecations, however, lately when we reach the Concerige service for regional issues, such as regions showing offline due to issues with servers, which in the past were fixed on the spot by those manning the live chat concerige service, I was directed to put in a ticket and wait.  When i balked at that, it was suggested I call the toll free number for help.

The level of support has slipped in a huge way.  This does not speak well for a company who is charging 295USD per full prim region a month.  Linden Labs has the expectation that we will pay our bills promptly and as their clients we expect that we will have prompt service.  When directed to the ticket system, I reminded the young lady who was taking the brunt of my issue that it states right on the Help page.

Live Chat

Concierge users get live enhanced support

 

If i'm having to turn in a ticket how is it that I'm receiving what I am paying for?

I am of the opinion that Linden Labs needs to focus on their infrastructure and customer support, support those who are paying for your services.  I don't know anyone who would pay for a service from say a plumber to fix a toilet, then as the plumber leaves and the toilet overflows, ask the plumber to address that and the plumber tell you ... Oh put in a ticket and youll get helped eventually, while you have raw sewage flowing over your floors.  We expect service promptly from a plumber, a doctor, and linden labs.

We pay premium prices, we have the right to expect premium service.

 

I suppose I should post this under my main account. Spicy Braveheart lol

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"One  problem I guess is people may have to declare their incomes for tax if  they have a Premium account........................."

If they are cashing out income in the US, they should be declaring the income regardless of premium or non-premium. I'm sure many don't. I have since day one as the last thing I want is some future headache with the IRS over a few grand a year and a lot less than that in terms of tax dollars owed.

To the best of my knowledge, there is no more or less reporting to the IRS by LL or anyone else based on the premium status. In general, those that qualify for concierge status via private islands simply don't pay premium because they pay enough in other payments to qualify for support. I pay premium because I always have, not because I need it. It gives me the ability to see things that develop like Linden Homes, which as a non-premium I would have had to have the experience related to me via third party. Once experienced, I knew it was a zero threat to private estate residency levels, and possibly a great way to teach people that private estate is awesome by comparison. LOL. Third party experience is never as good as first hand knowledge...

Which brings us back to third party support.... nuff said.

Charlene Trudeau, SkyBeam Estates

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Yeah, right! Like restarting my sim during our busiest show of the week, consistantly and without warning. You people don't give a rats behind about customers! I get better service from the ice cream van the crackhead drives thru the neighborhood. Sheesh, I'm just disgusted. We pay way too much money to be handled the way you do business. At least ACT like you care ;p

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Thank You.

Did you know that the whole  time i called LL on the phone NOT ONCE did they even metioning to me I should have done this in the first place.

I am glad I came back here and read this again.

File an abuse against the owner of the sim for being a bad reseller.

OUTSTANDING.

I am now filing an Abuse Report, a bug report, ANOTHER ticket and while I am at it I wonder if I filed a griefing report against Linden Labs themselves as well.

now I hope they give me back My lindens.

 

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i used to happily pay premium but after an occasion where my billing messed up and my account was totally locked, leaving me no recourse but to stay in file-a-ticket land for almost 2 months straight at 1 point without access to my account, you would have to force me at gun point to pay premium again.  to add, this happened to me more than once.  i got the message eventually : go basic.

thats right:  paid premium, got locked out.  does that make sense?  i realize it was my fault for missing a billing date, but a basic account never has to worry about this problem.  what was i paying for other than the risk of losing everything over a billing issue?  the perks of premium definitely do not outweigh the negatives.

i am scared to go premium because of this, and will never go premium until i am assured that i am not risking loss of my account by doing so.

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Please see Inventory never received

A malfunction or region issues may cause a scripted vendor to fail to  deliver purchased items. Unfortunately, there is nothing Second Life  Support can do to help recover items that were never received.

Contact the Resident that sold the items, and explain that you never  received your purchase. If you are unsure who to contact, you may look  at your transaction history:

Thank you : )

 

 

so wat you are telling me i can MAKE a region fail to give a paid item; KEEP the lindens and not worry about recourse?

WHAT THE F%CK

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Ohhhhh look, someone else who thinks the ENTIRE second life economy revolves around LESS than 10% of the grid members.

The vast buik of the inflow of cash comes from the basic members like myself who co-own sims rented from other members.  Look at the majority of the big clothing manufacturers and builders...again, basic accounts.

Tell ya what, we'll just all leave, cause according to you, LL would survive just fine on premium members only...LMAO!

---victor

Great post Victor!!! ya beat me to it. Very tired of the elitists who think because they pay 72/year, that they are the financial backbone of SL. You don't have to be premium to contribute to the SL community in BIG ways, without which SL would be only a chat room, and from which LL benefits greatly.
As a creator, I was never premium. Why risk everything I'd created to some daftie in billing who accidentally forgot to hit "paid." You people are crazy.
Do you really think after the terrible support ..and grid performance..both of which have gotten worse, not better, that people will start paying now because you remove support options for basic accounts? No. They will just leave if something goes wrong you can not or will not fix..and never come back. Those people are consumers, and artists, and musicians, and artisans.......why am I even having to convince you guys? Sheeshh.

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The financial backbone is probably the estate owners but read this thread they feel no love for their efforts either.

I found what LL offers for 75 bucks a month and 3 times the amount of prims and guess what they consistently make strides to improve their product because they know it is important to have a strong foundation.  "Ya think"

If I read one more Linden's snide, condesending or obviously rude post I probably will tell them where to go and if that results in a banning;  so be it.  But gone are the days of Lindens thinking they are untouchable Gods;  SOME are RUDE EMPLOYEES who should also be FIRED.

LL lost it's cutting edge when other groups got together and made their product better than the original. Congrats to all those pioneers for having the guts to do what they saw needed to be done, without a thousand meetings and vague blog posts in the process.  They will succeed so LL can straighten up and listen or they can close their doors,  I don't much care anymore which they decided because I truly have lost faith in LL ability to hear it's customers and be respectful of those customers opinions.

Trinity

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ninjafoo Ng  says in response to Mariana McBride:

This is  the same for abuse reports and live chat, if you don't frame what you  want the exact way they want you to, you are just canned without a word.  You really come away with the feeling they would be happy in their jobs  if it wasn't for the customers.

 

As we mentioned in our last blog post,   the Customer Support team continues to drive a series of changes to  the  way in which Linden Lab delivers support to our Resident  community.  We  are examining our support offering from top to bottom,  using the data  from our new support system, your survey data, blog  feedback, and  industry standard practices to help shape our approach.

 

This new Community Blog post specifically addressed some issues that were addressed in the previous blog post, namely changes to support for basic and concierge accounts.

However I notice that it COMPLETELY ignored mentioning any further developments concerning work on the "bug" that is disabling the New Abuse Appeals process mentioned in the last post. If anyone is unaware of this bug, please go and review the post. I would like to hear more comment on this previously mentioned problem.

I also would like to see addressed the issue of how Linden Lab will handle staffing issues other than facilitation of self-service and reduction of options to actually RESOLVE issues instead of sort them.

I would welcome more interactive response from Lindens in these forums as to HOW they plan of dealing with the backlog of all the unresolved tickets mentioned.

Link to my previous post on the previous blog for those interested in my opinion.

important-updates-from-support#comment-790892

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I was a premium member for 3 years. I became a premeium member because initially I was happy with the product and service. Over time as product and servicve declined, so did my faith in Sl. I became unhappy with support and  product woes and reduced my account to basic..

I co-Own a Sim with my wife And run a pretty lucrative club which puts a lot of money back into this wonderful economy. Currently I see my wife going thru a living hell not being able to get proper support. And She is the owner of the sim. Also Is a premium Member. And all she can get Is some Ontyne person on the  phone and live chat telling her they can not help her? File a ticket? Critical situation arises and you do not provide support aside from a ticket that sits in the bin for a week?? What the hell is she paying for? And what Am I seeing that is going to convince me, that being a premium member has its perks? You currently diss your premium members and sim owners.

Sorry But I would rather not pay for that when I can get it for free I would rather put my money to better use

 

This product is far from stable enough to say to your customers " You are on your own" Name bans are not secure enough for the business in world since there are too many asses who think creating alts and coming back to do the same thing Is ay Okay. But thats okay. We pay good money for the abuse don't we?

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It will be great to see better support with second life especially since I dont get any support at all currently when opening a ticket. I am a premium account user and have submitted 3 tickets over a month ago and they still are listed as new. If premium account users recieve better support then basic, I would hate to see how long it take to get issues fixed for them. When my premium account expires in a month I dont see any point in renewing it if my current problems arent being dealt with...

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I have 4 premium accounts..downgrading 2 this next month..  I have 1 ticket open that has finally been marked "Waiting for customers aproval".. This is a critical issue and I'm currently spending  1000.00's of USD in SL, I would hope that, they would at least show that they are looking into my ticket.  I can wait on this current ticket, but only have another week before it will expire ..I am also going to have every member in the group list a ticket that will refer to this one case #.  Or I walk away and lose everything..  Why?...

No one seems to be looking into supporting anyone in this once wonderful world.. Being premium with all the extra charges, and tier fees, just makes me look foolish.. especiallly when it seems that I am throwing money away, and the stress from this fake life... is killing me in reality with worries..

They dont seeem to be addressing anyones issues apparently.... They billed me twice for one account, and I understood there error, and worked with them to apply the money as USD into my account to pay tier fees or other billing issues.. but they dont have the same grade of professionalism to look into my excalated ticket?  I dont see any reason left for me to stay with the company and waste my time or money!!!

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does this mean that LL might occationally answer a phone or maybe respond to anything at all going on in world? if you i will beleive it when i see it. How about also working to get rid of the over abundance of racial slur profanity spewing sexist comment greifers in the world that have dozens of alt accts listed under dozens of different fake email accts and maybe get rid of the annoying bots all over the world. Maybe just a thought but try for once to uphold your own TOS and do your jobs for once instead of sitting back and hoping the money will just fall into your pockets like you did while SL started its trip down the toilet. You crapped on every single person that made sl what it was so you could woo all the great corporations you wanted to dump funds in to sl and that backfired then the whole freeloader accts was opened then the exchange ruined the economy in world and now after all your great ideas sl is swirling the bowl, so now maybe for once make a decision based on something good. But then again like the last 4 years i will not hold my breath my bet is the sl and LL will be belly up by 2011 and with all the good content creators already leaving or gone to other worlds even if it does some how miraculously pull thru it will be a shell of what it was and couldve been. Im really surprized LL couldve pulled of launching sl at all based on the way you ran it and continue to ignore the people in it, you wont even answer abuse reports and when you do its a slap on the wrist at best and they laugh make a new acct, come bnack and continue, rinse repeat. Its all a joke that you cant even control the access to your own creation. grow a pair and fix the greifer problem at least.

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Ursa Henley says:

you wont even answer abuse reports and when you do its a slap on the wrist at best and they laugh make a new acct, come bnack and continue, rinse repeat. Its all a joke that you cant even control the access to your own creation. grow a pair and fix the greifer problem at least.

Certainly uneven and apparent arbitrary handling of many issues is happening...

Meanwhile... people are also falsely ARed. Linden Lab also doesn't investigate those reports very thoroughly. They just swing that ban hammer, and say "oh... you may appeal, send us any information that you believe is pertinent"... through an appeals system that seems conveniently non-functional... and then the appeal is utterly ignored, unworked, unresponded to....

Much like the abuse reports, and neglected customer service tickets.

I sincerely hope these recent blogs are sincere intentions by Linden Labs to clean up their act and will result in actions that benefit rather than harm Second Life's future.

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Would be awesome to see every resident just tell newbies to contact Support for help. Dont ask me for help newbie. Ask Sl for help  (imagine the load)

Us Basic accounts are not worthy enough to offer you help and introduce you to SL and show you the ropes. We are not in the elite crowd, Newbie. Sorry, I can not help you

File a ticket

If only they realized how much a basic account user does in world to help a  newbie. Sparing 20, 30, and sometimes an hour or more to help somone. Some basic accounts are very pasionate about helping. But what is keeping them from losing that passion when they do not get the same kind help in return for the company they are so helping?

Just the other day I talked a new person into becoming a premium member!

Woah! Thats right! A basic account signed you up a new premium member. I have been Been doing it for years. I guess I should limit that too now Since I am basic

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Why do you make it so hard to reinstate a closed account? Why can't I just log in to that closed account, pay the fee and be on my merry way. No, I have to submit a ticket, pray and hope.   You would think account issues would be no.1 priority!

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I am a premium customer. I have had a ticket open for over amonth & no-one has actioned it. When I change clothes  layers or skin,other people don't see it (or it takes 2-3days). Is THAT better Custoemr Service ?

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Will this mean that people who are trying to submit support tickets about things like having proper ID or not being able to log in will actually be helped instead of ignored? I may only have joined SL recently (yesterday as a matter of fact) but I have a lot of friends who play(ed) it and I've watched them play it/try to submit trouble tickets after being reported for things like harrassement that they never committed and as far as weeks or even months later nothing is done to help them when they've got all the evidence they need to show that they are the ones who need help and not "the other guy" who reported them.

 

 

Sorry for my first action as an SL player being a para-complaint, but I said it for the sake of my friends (most of which actually pay Linden Labs to play SecondLife and still get no help).

I'll go to my noob corner now.

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I've got at least three friends (I'm not going to say any names for confidentiality's sake, although maybe I should) that are victims of false Age Reporting and NO HELP FROM LL. One of my closest friends was banned just a few days ago and still hasn't had anything done to their case after submitting proper ID except get their inworld items and land holdings deleted by LL.

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I certainly hope that this means that For the over 700 USD that I spend per month I may again talk directly to the lindens. when I have an issue rather than wait for over 2 hours and more than 6 attempts at getting issues resolved only to have the very nice and polite go betweens relay my requests to the sequested Lindens its almost like they are happy to get my money but then I suspect it is easier to get an audience with the President than to speak directly to a linden. (flame off). I truly enjoy SL but there are times I wish there was an alternative that I could switch to. but there is not. I completly understand the complexities of the entire server farms and DB systems and I know that LL is doing thier best with what they have. I just want to be able to speak with them DIRECTLY and not through a third party. I really do not think that is to much to ask for.

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I know of at least one other who was falsely accused also, possibly two. Yes... false accusations of age play violations are becoming a problem, and paranoia is currently beginning to affect commerce in clubs from what I hear. I wonder what will happen with the merger of the teen grid.

Initially I simply could not access my account. When I called customer service I was told I was my account was “on hold" and to file a support ticket. I created a support ticket and got no response from Linden Lab beyond initial acknowledgement. Since I could not login at all, not even to dashboard, I could not tell the status of my ticket.

Someone with concierge support asked Spike Linden if they could look at my ticket to confirm that it was in existence and that there was some reason I was “on hold” other than technical. He could only give basic information since that person was not the account holder but she relayed the following information to me: Yes, there was a reason. It was not technical. Spike was not able to respond or help with the problem and it was “for specific people to deal with”.

As most people now know, Spike no longer works at Linden Labs. I am hearing he helped many, and it sounds to me like people are sad to see him go. Now I never will get to thank him for his assistance.

This continued for 5 days, with no notice of suspension or explanation. The fact that this exact thing had happened to someone else I know, in addition to what I had learned from the relayed communication made me suspect my friend and I had both been falsely ARed.

I wrote several polite emails to customer support asking the status of the ticket, since I had no other way to check it. These of course, received no response. My last enquiry letter was BCCed to Philip Linden, and that FINALLY brought some response clarifying the situation and I have been able to move forward because of it.

The day I BCCed Philip, I received a notice of warning and suspension -- yes, for violations to the age play policy -- and 17 seconds later, I received a notice of the termination of my second life account.

I was a little smarter this time around, and tried filing my appeal under an alt’s name. The alt has had access to the grid terminated, but can check the dashboard, and the appeal ticket.

And no, there has been no action on the appeal ticket since I filed it. That was twenty-three days ago… still counting.

In the meantime, I have discovered a very nice alternative grid and I find some of my friends and lots of the merchants I like are popping up all over the place.

Is there life after Second Life? You betcha.

Would I still like my Second Life account back? I filed an appeal didn’t I? It would be great to see if Linden Labs can solve these problems. I’ve enjoyed the time I spent here, and hope to be able to resume doing that in the future.

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