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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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OMG what a joke! I and my business partner own an estate.  All the sims in this estate have had serious problems the last three months.  We have reported it until we are blue in the face and all we get is a runaround. 

In August we called conceirge AGAIN and were told they were 'moving' and wouldn't be back for about a month on sept 23rd and nothing could be done about it until then.  (Who takes a month to move and why was this not announced????)  On the 23rd we called and were told too bad so sad basically.  Conceirge is not back yet and we have no idea when they will be.  Finally several days later we got conceirge and were told that it no longer handles technical issues to 'file a ticket'.  We have and have done so several times during this fiasco but it sits and collects dust.  NO one has made any attempt to fix these problems.

No one can TP to any islands on our estate unless they are an estate agent - if they do they end up on a bunny farm.  We also are having many other problems with the sims.  They are seriously broken.  Our business has been shut down because no one can tp to that island.  Our tenants on the other islands are angry because they couldn't tp to their land until we finally had to make them estate agents - NOT something we had any plans of doing.  They still can't tp any of their friends to their homes.  Of course even though the sims are not functioning and basically worthless - LL still has its hand out for the hundreds of dollars we pay in tiers and threatens us if we don't pay.

We are so ANGRY AND SICK of it and the way we have been treated that we are seriously considering turning in ALL our sims and will do so within a short time unless we get action. Why continue to pay for something that doesn't work for you?  Why continue to be lied to and abused?  Why stay in SL at all if this is how they treat customers?  Want to make us happy again? FIX OUR ESTATE AND REFUND THE MONEY WE HAVE PAID WHILE IT HAS BEEN BROKEN!

I fully expect we will have to return them and lose the money we've paid for them the past several years as who would buy a broken sim?  But hey - maybe i'll be surprised and a Linden who reads this will actually do something.  I doubt this post will make one iota of difference though!

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Don't worry, they're 'making strides'. I just hope the self-service tools come with lube, we've been taking it up the ass from these people for years without any =/

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For those of you who feel the need to be disparaging toward "Basic" users.

I am a "Basic" user. I run a business in Second Life and for that business I spend $85,000L per month to lease a sim from a land owner who in turn pays tier on it to LL.

I upload thousands of textures at a cost of $10L per texture for the clothing, shoes and vendor ads that I create. Prior to viewers such as Emerald or Phoenix, which have a free temp upload feature, I was spending roughly $50,000L per month on texture uploads alone.

For the uninitiated, $85,000L is approximately $300 US. Multiply that by 12 (12 months in a year) and you see that I pay Linden Labs (indirectly), roughly $3600 US per year. There are many others like me.

So, for all of you premium and concierge users who seem to think that you need to belittle us "Basic" users, your $72 US per year is a drop in the bucket.

 

Lissa Maertens

Cattiva e Cattivo and ZHAO Shoes

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How about bailing on Viewer 2 and bringing back the old viewer.  Viewer 2 is the most UN-user friendly, poorly designed, worse layed out viewer.  No wonder everyone wants to use third party viewers.  Whoever wrote the Viewer 2 code should be fired.

And don't even get me started on concierge support.  I have a premium account, am the sole owner of a private region and have one group owned parcel (the group consists of me and my alt).  It took 4 months to get prims from the neighboring parcel on my mainland parcel removed from my land.  My neighbor had 5 prims intruding into my parcel and neither the concierge techs nor the people who handle tickets did anyting.

As far as givng money to Linden Labs, I've had my private region since January of 2009.  That's almost 2 years.  It was $1000 US for the region, $295 US per month.  My premium account is just $15 a month but that's been active since I started in May 2008.  In addtion to the monthly fees, I've deposited just under $20,000 US for my spending money.  And no.. I don't own any businesses.  I play SL for fun.. but it's getting to the point where it's NOT much fun anymore.

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Changing the Events Listing entry system without calling for comments, and without announcement is not Customer Support. Once more you have let people who do not know the ramifications of what they do alter a tool and once again that change is for the worse. "Events" are fundamental to SL. Viewer 2 and that awful website 'interface' (where the name of the user who is looking for information and probably already knows their own name is the largest item taking up the top so you have to scroll down etc) have COST the communities that depend on events listings dearly.

There are courses and books that will help you learn how to treat your customers.

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@Deltango

Well put, in all your points, but I don't really agree with you.

I think the main stumbling block here is that Linden Lab. don't actually understand it (it being SL). For some utterly unfathomable reason, they do not take SL, or its income generating capacity seriously.

You think Philip Rosedale is a good CEO; I beg to differ, and I see no evidence of his ability.  His vision may be good, but his Team Directing & Team-Leadership ability must be pretty poor if you take SL's current performance as a measure.

I have looked hard to see positive changes in SL in the last few months.  I see none.

For me, in the UK, SL seems more remote now than at any stage in the nearly 3 years I have been Premium.

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Oh my, I am ghosted. Let's hope, they consider my ticket about that as critical to my business. My other tickets are sitting untouched since 2010-09-26 and 2010-10-04.

/me shudders in horror to loose my business because of untouched tickets.

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Pffft! There was a region restart right now. I am lucky.

/me closes the ticket.

 

Edit: Just heard, it was not luck, but a Linden reading here. Thank you so much.

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Hello all,

My apologies if somebody already said this, but with 5 minutes to spare, 209 comments is just TMI to take in all at once...

 

Suggestion:  Linden Lab In-World Angel Service

Want to fix more problems in timely fashion?  Put Linden Lab employee customer support and Live Chat presence where the problems often begin...IN Second Life.  Yes, many issues really are better resolved privately (offline), but private estate owners (and their renters) who are having consistently satisfactory customer relations experiences with their clientele will tell you that their INWORLD AVATAR PRESENCE for troubleshooting assistance is one of the major cornerstones of long-lasting owner-resident relationships.  The personal touch!  It takes 2 seconds to teleport your avatar to the scene of the disaster...no more time than it takes to pull up the sim on the god-console...

Need a sim reset?  Need a tree moved?  There is NOTHING more satisfying as an SL resident, when having a system-based problem, than to have an actual virtual "god-figure" show up as an on-site angel-presence, just for that 60-90 seconds it takes to troubleshoot the things remote-offline-impersonal LL-administrators read listed on a ticket.

BE VIRTUAL FIRST, TIMELY SECOND, PROGRAMMER AS NECESSARY!  Don't limit inworld to just the 30 minutes once a week meetings.

 

Thanks for listening (er, I mean reading)

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I think I can sum up the general level of frustration.

Many people are paying hundreds of US$ to Linden Lab every month. I personally pay US$500 per month, every month, whether I have an income or not. That works out to US$6,000 per year on top of my Premium membership.

Do you pay US$6,000 per year for car insurance? Helathcare? If so, do you expect good customer service? If you bought a new TV for $6,000 and there was a problem with it, would you not expect prompt and reliable assistance? If your doctor says, "Take two aspirin, look up your problem on WebMD and call me in the morning," would you not be a bit angry?

I think Linden Lab must start taking Second Life seriously. You have an exceptional product, yet you treat it like a toy. For some strange reason, you seem willing to squander your reputation on whipsaw policy changes, weird outsourcing projects and whimsical strategies that are utterly incompatible with the core nature of your product.

I think Philip is a good CEO. I believe his heads-down assault on long-term infrastructure problems is correct and necessary. Yes, it will take time to get your house in order after three years of failed initiatives, but trying to convert Second Life into Habbo 2 is just as silly as trying to convert it into Facebook 3D. You are killing the golden goose by trying to convert it into a duck.

Give us some assurance that our US$500 or US$1,500 or, in some cases, US$50,000 per month is worth it. If not, you may find that all you have in another year is free, Basic accounts.

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You have many older Sl members that would be willing to be *helpers* in a basic help group in SL. You could avoid 80% of filed issues if they had someplace to ask their questions and get good advice/responses.

remember the mentors? Maybe that should be step one in fixing customer support for basic accounts, and customer retention.

There are any number of 'basic help groups' in SL. Go look. I'm a Helper and Instructor at New Citizens, Inc., an entirely volunteer-staffed & -run organisation with a number of campuses and 'infonodes', regular classes and events, sandboxes, and help in live chat.

I suspect it was the success of groups like NCI that led M to believe SL could do without as much LL customer support - it certainly led to the closing of the mentor program. I can't speak about other resident support groups or the Resident Help Network, but NCI help for such issues as lost inventory, cannot tp, cannot get tv/radio to work, avatar failed to rez (I've created a jira for that one, but, since no-one seems willing to post their logs to it, it'll probably die), etc., is probably superior to, and definitely faster than, LL support - because NCI is composed of people who live in SL & enjoy helping, sharing solutions that work (at least some of the time!).

Oh, and 'sim lag is at its WORST in 6 years'? I've no idea what grid you've been on for the past 6 years, but it wasn't Agni. Lag's not exactly gone away, but, in general, it's just not as bad as it was last year, which was better than the year before. Sim crossings are nowhere near as hazardous as they used to be, rubber-banding now only seems to happen when a low-spec graphics card goes into a crowded sim, and the going-for-a-long-walk effect is no longer inevitably followed by a crash and probable ghosting. So please, less of the hyperbole, it's not helping. (Or relevant - lag is a dev problem, not a support issue. Different people.)

Getting back to the original subject, though... let's see what these 'new tools' for Basic residents are, and which issues they'll still be able to file tickets on, before we go around condemning LL for being about to make things worse.

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If you go Premium and your credit card payment is somehow messed up--you didn't update the expiration date--email went astray--bank closed your account ( which happened to MANY good credit risks in the last few years) you can lose your SL avatar account--inventory  POOF.

Premium is a risk I will not take .

Can we have a bit less of the 'I won't go premium 'cos LL might wipe my inventory if I don't pay', please? Even Concierge residents (like me) only get their account suspended - not wiped - if they have a debt outstanding to LL, and only then after several emailed warnings. And only the account that owes money, not every alt. Once the debt's settled, you can log in, and your inventory's still there (but your sims probably aren't).

So if you're really worried about this non-issue, then make an alt, sign it up for premium, use it to get premium land, access live chat & file non-basic support tickets for your main account (yes, you can do that, iirc there's even a field on the support ticket for it).

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HEY is is possbile if i could get lind in paypal cause i dont use credit card.

I never like them. IF there a way could you please tell me

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Support has always delivered a result on a amazing array of problems over the years for me even from the time you had a direct chat tab to a linden in the viewer in 2006.  Concierge / premium Live chat has been totally brilliant if we residents actually take the time to actually keep our chat dialog clear and precise then this helps the linden on the other end fix or pop inworld next to you within seconds.  Seems a good aproach to try and curb the flood of minor routes that a basic can use there are way too many to list and you will still be there for your basic customers just not in as many diffrent selections which sounds a good move across the board.

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I sent in two tickets and when i called the phone number they said My BEST option was posting to this blog.

Its been almost 3 weeks since the initial report was filed and now I can not even access the original report.

Enough of being Mr Nice Guy and believing in the system.

I have no qualms about posting LOGS on this one now and let people see what I dealt with in this covering a Shop Owner and a Reseller.

I paid for the black Velocity Black XDM Ver. 1.3 for 950L
and this is what I got instead.

  Velocity Full Line 12 panel vendor 1.3 whispers: Security problem. Delivery failed.

So I went to Velcity main store to use thier re-dilvery system and was told:

  hippoVEND Redelivery Terminal whispers: No previous purchases found that can be redelivered.

SO I IM the owner of Velocity

  Mark Fang: not a problem I dont want the money really I just want the gun

  Comes Nitely: Getting her to refund you is all we can do at this point.  Since the vendor failed like that my portion of the  transaction didn't make it to me or the sales server.

  Mark Fang: ah then I would get the refund and buy from your main stroe itself,, gotcha thanks

  Comes Nitely: Yes, you could certainly do that if you wish Mark.  Most likely that sim needs a reboot or SL may just being it's wonderful self again lol.  brb she just responded to my IM

  Comes Nitely: Hey there Mark,  She says she's not showing anything in her transaction history for today.  I would suggest contacting her

So I did, but she never returned ANY IM nor a NC or anything, she basically gave me the brush off

  Mark Fang: hiya hun I hate to be a bother
  Inventory item offered

So I did I sent her a note card that read

09/24/2010 16:41:59 826ef936 Destination: Loretta Dallagio
Payment
Region: Caladan Island
Description: Velocity Full Line 12 panel vendor 1.3
  L$950

  Velocity Full Line 12 panel vendor 1.3 whispers: Security problem. Delivery failed.

As the security issue was at Her SIm (village of slave hunt)

So I went to Velocity HQ and tried their redelivery service and was was told

  hippoVEND Redelivery Terminal whispers: No previous purchases found that can be redelivered.

I paid for the black XMD Pistol  for 950.

I still have not received word from Her, the product, nor a refund.

And Now the BEST that Customer Support says I can do is post to a BLOG?

well there you Blog Readers.

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Boy this has gotten a bit insane when people post their tickets to correct a non-delivery issue for an item on an inworld vendor and state that's how LL's customer support told them to take care of their own issue. It should worry everyone if LL states they're giving people tools to take care of their own problems and then directs someone to a blog to complain to the SL community as a solution to their problem.

For me, this isn't about how LL will improve customer service or if it's desirable that they provide support for basic accounts or not. There's about 215 comments here, and seems to me 90% or so have the same stories of how support is broken. It's painfully obvious to me support is very very broken, and this clears up in my mind why LL would post a blog that basically says nothing about how or when it'll be fixed, but just makes vague promises that someday something will be done. It also explains why my tickets go months without being answered and why now I can't even look at tickets to see if anyone's working on previous issues from months ago. Thanks LL for confirming once again that your model for improving our SL experience starts and ends with "spin" - only mindless sheep would buy this stuff and sit there happy SL is on the job fixing things because they continue to tell us so.

And if what I read here is true, that SL has fired Spike Linden, I'm very sad. He was the only Linden I ever had dealings with who I felt actually did what was promised without the bull and who shot straight with folks. This would also explain why customer service is now broken. Maybe somewhere in that batch of resident tools to fixing SL will be one where residents can fire the entire LL board of directors and replace them with a board of residents, elected by SL residents, for no pay and short terms. I wonder how much money THAT would save (maybe enough to actually hire some people to provide real customer support instead of just writing a blog post that's designed to make people "feel good")?

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Maybe I'm missing something, but, if the transaction was successful, it should appear in the transaction history of your SL account page. If the item is recorded in your transaction history then it should also be recorded in the seller's transaction history.

Personally, I'm not sure it's worth bothering LL customer support over three bucks. My experience is that some sellers bend over backwards to fix mistakes while other give you the finger. Needless to say, word gets around. Sellers with good reputations prosper; sellers with bad reputations go out of business.

While I don't mean to disparage your complaint, I sometimes wonder if folks don't expect too much from LL customer support. The company would have to hire half of India to deal with every single complaint. Life (RL and SL) is not perfect. Sometimes, we just have to roll with it and move on.

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Concierge / premium Live chat has been totally brilliant if we residents actually take the time to actually keep our chat dialog clear and precise then this helps the linden on the other end fix or pop inworld next to you within seconds 


About the only reason I contact live chat is to get a restart of my mainland home, when the lag becomes unbearable. I connect, I say "hi, can we get a restart of mainland region (...), please? the lag has gotten quite bad. there are people here but they're all at my place and I own almost all of this region."

Then, almost without exception, they either say nothing or they say "just a minute" and don't come back. And the sim doesn't get a restart. This very much isn't (always) an issue with people calling up and babbling so much that they don't make sense.

To be fair, last night I actually did try again to get a sim restart and the Ontyne actually did it. I was amazed. Everybody at my place was also amazed. I can no longer say "every single time" but it's still "almost without exception."

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OK.  I've just been doing some fiddling with my SL account:

1) Why was the Premium stipend paid late today? It was paid just after 7am PST (3pm my time in the UK) and my account inworld didn't register it.

2) On the Membership page Support Premium Live Chat "Extended" hours are said to be "9am to 6pm PST"

3) On the Support page, Premium Live Chat is said to be 8am to 12 midnight PST Monday-Friday and 8am to   8pm PST Saturday and Sunday.

In what way are shorter hours an Enhancement of Support?  Am I failing to see something?

Those who have had good service from Support....Good for You, you are exceptions.

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There have been OnTyne's who have really tried to help, and in some cases...gone the extra mile. I have also had the same treatment noted by others in this thread - rudeness and lack of interest.

Two items from today that I hope Vogt and his team will take into consideration.

First, and the most important for me, is the event system and support. We schedule two concerts per month on the same day - two different times. Both concerts were listed first in the web event system until yesterday when they disappeared. I attempted to repost each event. It showed I could edit/delete so it looked like the event would post...but it did not appear in the event listing for the day and the number of the events for the category did not change. I opened a live chat. The first OnTyne tried to help. Ending up saying there was nothing they could do because LL only operates Event issues through a ticket.

I would hope LL would consider making a change in how they handle event support. Events can be time critical and dealing with issues through a ticket is not the best approach. I understand the background on how some people have gamed the system, however, events are absolutely crucial for driving traffic. If LL is going to spend the resources to outsource live chat, they should really give them the tools to deal with **all** situations. Putting the issue to a ticket system, especially on things like events, means the issue probably won't be dealt with until after the event and the ticket que grows. This tossing stuff over the wall to the Lindens to resolve or putting in ticket really extends the time to get a resolution.

Second, and today was the second time this has happened, I have encountered two types of names in live chat. One group is clearly labeled with a last name as OnTyne. The second does not have a last name. When I went back to Live Chat today to explain the event system was seeing a duplicate entry which I could not see, the person I initially had in Live Chat was not an OnTyne. I explained the earlier conversation in a couple of sentences and asked about the dupe entry and was immediately disconnected. I am not totally sure this was intentional since the Live Chat system did reconnect me with the original OnTyne I talked with...but I have seen a growing number of disconnects when in a Live Chat session over the last three months. This not only causes a delay but eats up time in having to bring the new person up to speed on the issue.

While I appreciated Vogt's blog update...real and substantive changes is preferred.

 

Edited: this was not in response to Dilbert...but just a reply back to the OP.

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I gotta say it's about time. I have been in secondlife going on 4 years, and the customer service has gotten progressively worse. The case in point, I will not spend my money on a restraunt that has poor customer service, and that is $75-100 bucks. Why would I want to spend thousands of dollars on something that is so wickedly frustrating that they dont care about their patrons. About time yall listened to what we are screaming about.

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Not if the sim that is owned by the reseller refuses to deliver the product to you by some security issue that was installed. My dashboard shows I paid for it. She said basically she never got paid.

Which I find hard to believe as the dashboard showed the transaction went through, but as you can see due to a security issue the item was never delivered.

And as for you saying you don't see the big deal over 3 dollars. I can tell you this. When you use a prepaid credit card like I do, it cost 12 dollars just to use the card. The 5 dollar reloading fee and the monthly fee for not making 30 transaction in a month nor having a $1000 USD balance at the end of the month.

It's just NOT the 3 bux as you put it. I had spent in almost 2 years in Second life, OVER  ONE GRAND CASH into this game. If is this how Business is allowed to be done in SL and by LL, then I have no further reason to BUY lindens period.

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so if i understand well, the customer service will be better for premium residents only... seems silly to me... i signed up for SL 2 weeks ago and still have not been able to sign in.... customer service have not replied to me about my case and i still can't sign in??? Premium customers are important but i feel everyone should get the same service... bottom line is why would i want to be a Premium resident if i can't get help as a basic resident

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