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Pamela Galli

ITEMS DELIVERED & NO PAYMENT

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Marcus Hancroft wrote:

Howdy again, Miss Pam

You realize of course, that this is a scary problem.  I'm 100% Direct Delivery now and in the 8 days so far in October, I've enjoyed really good sales days!  I don't have any "Delivery Failed" notices listed on my Orders or Transactions reports, but I'm wondering if when Direct Delivery fails, it fails silently.  I
hope
that's not the case, but, hells bells, with the marketplace going like it has been, who knows (besides Linden Lab, and they aren't talkin)?  

I remember last November this happened with a buddy of mine.  He bought a sculpt pack off the Marketplace, received it and then later received a refund.  I'd be willing to bet that the order showed as "Failed" on that merchant's transaction report.  So, I think this has been going on longer than any of us realize.  

I'm wondering the same thing. I've been on DD since it came out and my sales on MP are increasing every month with no failed deliveries. My HOPE is that since I keep seeing an increase and no transactions listing as failed or pending or whatever, that everything is working properly but I'm also now wondering if failed deliveries are failing silently. I wouldn't assume they are, if I were programming, i'd keep the functionality the same in that respect...but we are talking about the commerce team here aren't we. So who knows. I like the idea of putting in one of those rez scripts but I don't box my items, so not sure how that would work...i certainly wouldn't want to go through and put it in every actual item I make. Sorry this is happening to you guys on MB...really stinks they are letting this happen. I hope you get it worked out. I know some don't think it's much money but when it's your income you count on, every dollar matters.

 

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Arwen Serpente wrote:


Toysoldier Thor wrote:

@Czari,

 

The only reason I did not exdcute that tool to make up for a critical missing feature in DD is that once deployed, and distributed, I couldnt ever stop it.  So I could end up getting countless emails or notices from a growing number of customers every time they rez the product and not stop it.

...

 

 

 

 

Hi Toy, I remember during all the discussions about the lack of DD notifications, there was at least one post regarding a notify script that only notifies once (upon first rez) and then self deletes. Zanara makes one (here:

Maybe that will help you
:)

 

That's the one I use. :)  I don't have the volume of sales that some merchants do so for me this solution works wonderfully. :)

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Toysoldier Thor wrote:

And you are on a RC sim... so maybe a recent upgrade messed with all but the newest MB version.

just a thought

 

There is a thread about issues on the Le Tigre RC server after a restart here.  This one was on Oct. 3 so perhaps other RC sims were restarted about the same time.

 

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Okay got a reply from Dakota. She says she is sorry I had trouble with two sales (it was five). And good luck going to those people who got a very nice freebie and convincing/begging them to give you money out of the goodness of their hearts.  Really?  One person got a free mesh house and mesh kitchen -- why should they pay me for it now?

I am paying LL almost $3000 a month in tier, enhancements, commissions, and cashout fees, and I cannot get even this basic level of contracted-for service?  I am told "Go collect the payments yourself?"

I am done. All those former Commerce Team supporters who have tried to be understanding? And now are bitter? And calling for heads to roll?

 

Move over.

 

/me goes off to get my tin cup and ask anyone if they feel like paying me.

 

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The only comment I have to make on DD is that unlike MBs you have no inkling that an order has been made, delivered and not paid for unless the customer comes back to you for some reason.  (been there)


The only good thing about it is that you no longer know you're being ripped off, which keeps the bitterness down.

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Pamela Galli wrote:

Okay got a reply from Dakota. She says she is sorry I had trouble with two sales (it was five). And good luck going to those people who got a very nice freebie and convincing/begging them to give you money out of the goodness of their hearts.  Really?  One person got a free mesh house and mesh kitchen -- why should they pay me for it now?

 

 

I am paying LL almost $3000 a month in tier, enhancements, commissions, and cashout fees, and I cannot get even this basic level of contracted-for service?  I am told "Go collect the payments yourself?"

I am done. All those former Commerce Team supporters who have tried to be understanding? And now are bitter? And calling for heads to roll?

 

Move over.

 

/me goes off to get my tin cup and ask anyone if they feel like paying me.

 

Oh my god, she REALLY said that?  For you to go and get the money from them yourself??  /me shakes his head in disgust.

I'm really sorry, Miss Pam.  How unprofessional can you get?

@ Dakota Linden (where ever you are):  That responce to Pamela's Jira was the worst, most dismissive, unhelpful and unprofessional I've ever heard from a company who handles ecommerce transactions.  I have lost all respect I might have had for YOU and others that deal with the Jira's raised by the users of Second Life.  I hope you are proud of yourself.

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I was having trouble with my marketplace listings, so I came here, and in the other thread about not being able to list things, someone recommended updating to the new version of the magic box. I did that this morning, and all of a sudden there was a slew of sales. I am wondering if the same problem is happening here. I think that before the upgrade, I was not getting paid or notified of sales and now I am since I upgraded the magic box.

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Even though I am one of the louder voices trumpeting concerns over products being delivered via DD for free, I also must explain something that may help alleviate SOME worries. It's gonna be a bit technical, so please bear with me. I promise I'll do my best to write it out in human language.

When a product is delivered from a Magic Box, there is a complicated multi-step process that must be executed correctly at every step. If any step goes off kilter then the Marketplace will take a fail-safe last step ... mark the delivery as failed and refund the customer. Realistically this is the only responsible thing to do .. IF you don't properly program the process so that you can make a better educated recovery. In the case of the Marketplace Dev Teams (current and their predecessors), they have opted not to program in any intelligence so they just fall back to the simplest recovery step .. full refund.

The steps that must happen are (roughly) as follows:

1. Customer purchases a product. The Marketplace looks it up, finds that it is delivered by a Magic Box and builds a command packet that will instruct the appropriate Magic Box to send the product to the customer.

2. Marketplace sends the packet to the Magic Box and then waits for a response from the Magic Box.

3. The Magic Box gets the command packet, pulls a copy of the product out of its inventory and delivers it to the Customer. Once it completes the delivery process, it builds a reply packet and sends it back to the Marketplace.

4. The Marketplace gets the reply packet, marks the product as "Delivered" in the Order and moves on to its next task.

Now here's the issue: The communications BACK from the Magic Box to the Marketplace seems to be failing. There are actually a couple of programs that comprise that one communication step .. and which particular one is failing is unknowable from "the outside".

From inside, the Marketplace should be able to determine the failure. Considering that the same code has been in place for several years and that it used to work much better, it's a good bet the Dev Team could fix it or at least make a better determination about how to recover. For whatever reason though, that isn't happening.

But now we move to how DD works .. and why there is less chance of the same type of failure happening with DD.

When a customer makes a purchase of a product that is delivered via DD, there is no form of two-way conversation as happens in steps 3 and 4 with Magic Boxes. Instead it's just a (pretty much straightforward) database copy operation. Thus there is no fragile back-and-forth link that might break. If the communication doesn't break in the same way, there is precious little chance the product will be delivered yet marked as having failed.

EXCEPT ... (always gotta be one of these, huh?)

When a customer makes a multiple product purchase and one of the products that is to be delivered via Magic Box fails (in either step 3 or 4) then the whole order goes bonkers. As of right now I have a product that was delivered via DD, but the entire order is still marked as "Being Delivered" ... from two days ago. I did get "paid" (it was a freebie) but it's entirely possible that a slightly different sequence of product delivery and failure might result in a delivery without following through on the payment. Based on what I've seen of the Dev Team's ability to program multi-threaded apps, I'm not willing to bet any hard currency on them getting it "right" in every edge condition.

So .. the plain language summary: The basic methods used to deliver products from DD versus those used to deliver from a Magic Box are enough different that the chances of a "Free Product" delivered via DD are much much smaller. The chance still exists, but in my honest opinion, it is very much smaller.

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We've passed farce long ago.

No notice of magic box upgrades, or recommendations to do so.

Ignoring suggestions all along of direct delivery having the delivery receipt asked for. Not that you could trust a delivery receipt at this point.

Not sure how they can convince themselves that ripping off their merchants and customers is changing the world or in line with their idiotic "culture".

They get paid to build an excellent product.

That's all we ask, that's all we want. If they want to change the world go fight malaria in africa or something. Because all this is doing is screwing up the virtual world that people rely on for incomes.

Unless that's what they mean by changing the world.

Way to go, LL. I can't begin to tell you how foolish you look to the outside world. You can't even manage to handle the basics of commerce.

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My personal and professional reaction to Dakota's response is very unpleasant .. but I am not the least bit surprised. Perhaps I'm jaded because in the last 20 years of my professional career I was deeply involved in life-safety systems where any failures could very well result in someone's death or severe injury. But even so, to simply say "Oops .. sucks to be you" .. that's just the absolute height of irresponsibility.

/me wanders off to drop a few "surprise malfunctions" into the LL bank accounts .. followed by automated "Oops .. sucks to be you" canned responses ... (I wish!)

Speaking from a purely psychological perspective though .. I wonder how the staff at LL can continue to blatantly rip-off people .. people whom they know full well depend on the money earned from SL .. and sleep at night. I find it difficult to sleep when my code drops an in-world search result or has to rely on after-the-fact manual intervention to fix something I should have foreseen in the first place. I'd be burning my candle at all four ends if my software resulted in people losing as much money as you've lost just in this one set of failures. Sheesh!

@Dakota? Do you really sleep at night? Knowing that you are forced to make such callous replies to people that have done their best to help you at every turn? Do you at least suffer some internal guilt when you have to send off such messages?

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Pamela Galli wrote:

Okay got a reply from Dakota. She says she is sorry I had trouble with two sales (it was five). And good luck going to those people who got a very nice freebie and convincing/begging them to give you money out of the goodness of their hearts.  Really?  One person got a free mesh house and mesh kitchen -- why should they pay me for it now?

 

 

I am paying LL almost $3000 a month in tier, enhancements, commissions, and cashout fees, and I cannot get even this basic level of contracted-for service?  I am told "Go collect the payments yourself?"

I am done. All those former Commerce Team supporters who have tried to be understanding? And now are bitter? And calling for heads to roll?

 

Move over.

 

/me goes off to get my tin cup and ask anyone if they feel like paying me.

 

Another merchant received a similar message to the same issue back in July here.  *Just shakes my head in utter disbelief and disgust*

 

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In keeping with our current (and rather torrid .. Whew!) "Bromance" .. what you said sparked another follow-on thought.

As the Market Leader, Linden Lab is setting the standard by which not only will all other Virtual Worlds be judged by users and creators, but they are also setting the reputation by which the "outside world" will measure the entire segment.

By behaving as irresponsibly as they are now, they are forever souring .. and perhaps outright destroying .. any chance of the Virtual World concept being accepted .. period. They are not only abbrogating their responsibility to their customers to perform responsibly and honestly, they are destroying the entire segment, both in reputation and future promise.

And that's a damn shame too.

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Roswenthe Aluveaux wrote:

I was having trouble with my marketplace listings, so I came here, and in the other thread about not being able to list things, someone recommended updating to the new version of the magic box. I did that this morning, and all of a sudden there was a slew of sales. I am wondering if the same problem is happening here. I think that before the upgrade, I was not getting paid or notified of sales and now I am since I upgraded the magic box.

Thanks for this information, Roswenthe!  

@Pamela:  Maybe try updating your Magic Box(es) to the "newest" version and see if that helps any.  It sure can't HURT.  I know it's a pain in the a$$, but, jeeze!  All that money!  Have your customers responded favoritably to your tin can?  I hope they understand and pay you what they had intended to pay in the first place.

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For the record... in my case, I use 2 magic boxes (3.0.11) on 2 sims. Neither sim are RC sims anymore as far as I know (one was bluesteel about a year or so ago, but then was dropped from RC back to normal).  So the magic box not being updated isn't the issue in my case.  And I still haven't even gotten any response to my support ticket and based on one Pamela got I guess I shouldn't expect one. *sighs*

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Agreed, I know I'll certainly be sharing this with other ventures out there as a textbook lesson in what NOT to do for practices, as well as becoming more active in trying to promote more legislation on this nonsense.

For what little it's worth, changed my signature in their honor.

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Okay weird.. I just finally got 2 email sales notices and the L$ into my balance from the unpaid 2 separate sales that were the issue for me.  Only took 2 and half days.  Still no response yet on my support ticket.  But my issue has been corrected thankfully.

 

Now I'll just hope they fix things properly for you Pamela.

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Marcus Hancroft wrote:


Roswenthe Aluveaux wrote:

I was having trouble with my marketplace listings, so I came here, and in the other thread about not being able to list things, someone recommended updating to the new version of the magic box. I did that this morning, and all of a sudden there was a slew of sales. I am wondering if the same problem is happening here. I think that before the upgrade, I was not getting paid or notified of sales and now I am since I upgraded the magic box.

Thanks for this information, Roswenthe!  

@Pamela:  Maybe try updating your Magic Box(es) to the "newest" version and see if that helps any.  It sure can't HURT.  I know it's a pain in the a$$, but, jeeze!  All that money!  Have your customers responded favoritably to your tin can?  I hope they understand and pay you what they had intended to pay in the first place.

I did upgrade them OR transferred everything yesterday.  But not every sale was affected in any case -- it was random, unlike with Fred, where it was every single one. Trinity HAS version 3.0.11 and was affected anyway.I do not believe the problem is with the Magic Boxes, which never ever just gave out free merchandise on Xstreet, but with the marketplace coding.

I missed the memo about the release of the new version v3.0.11 -- can anyone point me to the announcement? 

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And to make clear:  No one is asking LL to pony up for the money I was not paid, but just to do what they were contracted to do, which is to COLLECT the money and transfer it to me.

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Darrius Gothly wrote:

Even though I am one of the louder voices trumpeting concerns over products being delivered via DD for free, I also must explain something that may help alleviate SOME worries. It's gonna be a bit technical, so please bear with me. I promise I'll do my best to write it out in human language.

When a product is delivered from a Magic Box, there is a complicated multi-step process that must be executed correctly at every step. If any step goes off kilter then the Marketplace will take a fail-safe last step ... mark the delivery as failed and refund the customer. Realistically this is the only responsible thing to do .. IF you don't properly program the process so that you can make a better educated recovery. In the case of the Marketplace Dev Teams (current and their predecessors), they have opted not to program in any intelligence so they just fall back to the simplest recovery step .. full refund.

The steps that must happen are (roughly) as follows:

1. Customer purchases a product. The Marketplace looks it up, finds that it is delivered by a Magic Box and builds a command packet that will instruct the appropriate Magic Box to send the product to the customer.

2. Marketplace sends the packet to the Magic Box and then waits for a response from the Magic Box.

3. The Magic Box gets the command packet, pulls a copy of the product out of its inventory and delivers it to the Customer. Once it completes the delivery process, it builds a reply packet and sends it back to the Marketplace.

4. The Marketplace gets the reply packet, marks the product as "Delivered" in the Order and moves on to its next task.

Now here's the issue: The communications BACK from the Magic Box to the Marketplace seems to be failing. There are actually a couple of programs that comprise that one communication step .. and which particular one is failing is unknowable from "the outside".

From inside, the Marketplace should be able to determine the failure. Considering that the same code has been in place for several years and that it used to work much better, it's a good bet the Dev Team could fix it or at least make a better determination about how to recover. For whatever reason though, that isn't happening.

But now we move to how DD works .. and why there is less chance of the same type of failure happening with DD.

When a customer makes a purchase of a product that is delivered via DD, there is no form of two-way conversation as happens in steps 3 and 4 with Magic Boxes. Instead it's just a (pretty much straightforward) database copy operation. Thus there is no fragile back-and-forth link that might break. If the communication doesn't break in the same way, there is precious little chance the product will be delivered yet marked as having failed.

EXCEPT ... (always gotta be one of these, huh?)

When a customer makes a multiple product purchase and one of the products that is to be delivered via Magic Box fails (in either step 3 or 4) then the whole order goes bonkers. As of right now I have a product that was delivered via DD, but the entire order is still marked as "Being Delivered" ... from two days ago. I did get "paid" (it was a freebie) but it's entirely possible that a slightly different sequence of product delivery and failure might result in a delivery without following through on the payment. Based on what I've seen of the Dev Team's ability to program multi-threaded apps, I'm not willing to bet any hard currency on them getting it "right" in every edge condition.

So .. the plain language summary: The basic methods used to deliver products from DD versus those used to deliver from a Magic Box are enough different that the chances of a "Free Product" delivered via DD are much much smaller. The chance still exists, but in my honest opinion, it is very much smaller.

That's kind of what I was figuring...just a straight database copy so not much chance of failure. I would think also...if there were a bunch of them, we as merchants who are using DD would "feel" it in our sales. Thanks for the explanation on the MB too, good info!

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I received an email saying I sold a skybox for 5k as part of an order, yet no money was deposited into my account and it doesn't show up in my MP transaction history either.

I'm fairly certain that if this skybox had not been part of an order I would have no record of the sale.

 

I don't sell that much on the MP but have had a LOT of failures...I imagine people who make a lot of sales on the MP are losing quite a bit of money.

 

Using DD btw

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Well, the upgrade very well could be an issue for some, because it seems to have made a huge difference to me. I thought I was just selling very poorly. That seems to not be the case. I never saw any evidence on my end that things were not working until my listings failed to update yesterday.

And I never saw any notice of the upgrade either, though my friend (who is furious about not seeing a notice on the upgrade) said that the direct delivery changes may have a lot to do with all the issues. Though, we talked about how in 6 years of being on SL, the antipathy of LL on the marketplace is not new. This is the same old, same old last minute patching, refusal to side with merchants (whose money they are taking), and lack of communication.

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I updated all my Magic Boxes from 3.0.10 to 3.0.11. 

 

I just had two more "failed" deliveries sent out free of charge, courtesy of LL.

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Pamela, I actually had to do more than just update my Magic Box version to stop the problem. At first I just updated the scripts in the old box and re-synced.  That didn't fix the problem.  Then I replaced my old MB with a brand new one with v3.0.11, and deleted the old one.  I then visited the MP merchant home page and selected Magic Box Status.  This takes you to an old XStreet SL page that displays your inventory. If you get a pop-up about this being an inactive site, cancel the popup.  I went to the section titled Registered Servers.  It should list all of your current MB's, even the one just deleted in world.  Where it says "Force", I clicked Remove for all but the new MB.  I also clicked Update on that one. Then I went back to the Manage Listing page and clicked on Sync Magic Boxes to Markeplace button again.

After doing all of that, and waiting about an hour, my transactions started working again and have been working ever since.  I can't tell you how much of the above was really necessary to fix the problem.  Maybe all, maybe just waiting an hour.  But for what its worth, that's what worked for me. It seems like the Magic Boxes just spontaneously get constipated at random times and stop reporting successful deliveries (or the MP randomly fails to receive or process the reports).  It seems like if you jerk them around enough, they start to work again.  Doesn't say much for the quality of the underlying software. 

Out of curiosity, I looked back over the last several months of my MP Orders log and noticed quite a few instanceds of "Delivery Failed" and no payment transactions.  Some had following transactions where the buyer tried again and was shown as delivered, so those were likely legitimate delivery failures where the buyer got a refund but not the product.  But there were a number of others where there was no attempt by the buyer to try again, leading me to wonder whether they got the product plus a refund, or went in world to buy it, or just decided it was too much trouble and didn't bother.  There is really no way to tell without conatacting the buyers, and they probably either don't remember or won't confess their good fortune.. 

Its unfortunate that in moving to DD to improve delivery reliability (hopefully), we also give up the current MB emails that can be used to verify that an item really was delivered, even if the the MP log shows otherwise.  Sigh.....

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