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Amazon.com, the new SL forum!


Nuhai Ling
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I am not sure if what I saw today is funny or sad but likely is a bit of both...

On Linden Lab's forum this weekend they posted a short announcement about how they now sell memberships and “value packages” on Amazon with the Starter Vehicle Pack being “free” as a promotion through this weekend. Here were my thoughts as they came to me...

 

“Why are they selling packages on Amazon? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of their membership portal and marketplace?”

“Maybe they are finally giving those who don’t trust handing over credit card information to Linden Lab a secure way to become premium members. That might be good… should have done that years ago.”

“Duh, its free advertising! Is Linden Lab finally starting to advertise?”

 

At this point, I was curious enough to go look at Amazon.com. There I found four packages, two for memberships and two for products. When I clicked on the “Free” Starter Vehicle Pack, it said that it was currently not available (and according to some comments was not for the entire weekend). Then out of curiosity I read the reviews and found a lot more commentary about Second Life and Linden Lab than the products! Here go my thoughts again…

 

“Well this totally devalues the premium perks we have gotten lately! Look, more dune buggies!”

“Not available… hmm… that’s quite a promotional deal!”

“OMG, Linden Lab can’t even sell their products on Amazon without messing up!”

“Wow, some of these reviews really slam Linden Lab as a company! It’s like a whole new forum to air their dirty laundry. I bet the Lab loves that kind of attention!”

“If I was Linden Lab’s CEO I would be mad as h*** about this! Talk about embarrassing!”

 

So what did everyone else think?

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I thnk Amazon shouldn't have set this deal up so that multiple SL accounts could purchase the same product (free lindens and free hoverboard, I think) using the same Amazon account... so they pulled the offer. it just opened the door for serious gaming of the offer by someone using alts. Don't know whose oversight it was, but I tend to put the blame for this one on Amazon and not LL. The interesting thing about it  to me is having SL merchandise available on Amazon at all... could be a better marketplace setup than the current one.... I wonder if there are plans to expand it.

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WolfBaginski Bearsfoot wrote:

I wrote one of those reviews.

I tried to be fair. Second Life can be horribly frustrating for new residents, but it's worth making the effort.

Yes, it isn't easy, but on the other hand the people getting attracted by it sometimes have wrong idea in mind. We have the gamers, who think this is just game and try to apply their gaming knowledge on SL, then whe have a group of people seeing it just as a virtual chatroom and are confused on the many weird options they get confronted with and then there is a big group of impatient people who also often have no further experiance than email and facebook.

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Shelby Silverspar wrote:

I thnk Amazon shouldn't have set this deal up so that multiple SL accounts could purchase the same product (free lindens and free hoverboard, I think) using the same Amazon account... so they pulled the offer.

Maybe I am missing something here, but where does it say AMAZON set this up.

Amazon just provides the listing/selling service.

Linden Lab would have set the listing.

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Innula Zenovka wrote:

I thought Tateru Nino
in her blog:   presenting SL primarily as a game, rather than as a platform, isn't a good idea, [...].

Yes, but it is consistent with the recent drift in corporate direction.  Increasingly, SL is being sold to prospective members with an emphasis on gaming, and some of the major technical changes of the past year ( see Pathfinding, for example) support that emphasis primarily.   Gaming has certainly always been important in SL, but it's not what has made SL distinctive.  After all, there are a zillion on-line games out there.  The three elements that make SL special are (1) its structure as a social platform, (2) its marketing economy, and (3) its user-created environment.  If you look through these forums even now, you'll see a lot more dialog (and questions) about those three elements than about gaming. 

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Qie Niangao wrote:


Nuhai Ling wrote:

“If I was Linden Lab’s CEO I would be mad as h*** about this! Talk about embarrassing!”

This.

Embarrassing remains the fraud that was immediately possible. :robotembarrassed:

 

I assume it' s all about panic.

 

Like a ' 2013 survival or bust !' - attitude.

.. and it busted ... already.

 

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Perrie Juran wrote:


Shelby Silverspar wrote:

I thnk Amazon shouldn't have set this deal up so that multiple SL accounts could purchase the same product (free lindens and free hoverboard, I think) using the same Amazon account... so they pulled the offer.

Maybe I am missing something here, but where does it say AMAZON set this up.

Amazon just provides the listing/selling service.

Linden Lab would have set the listing.

Linden may have created the listing, but Amazon is the company that lets people link a bazzillion free alt accounts to a single amazon.com account, thereby being able to "buy" the pack over an over again.

I agree with Shelby on this one, Amazon totally screwed this up by letting their own amazon.com account holders do that and I hope they fix the screw up, or cough up the lost money to LL for the screw up.

If I were CEO of Linden Lab and came back to work on Monday and found out that Amazon.com let this happen because of oversight with their own account controls, I would be livid.

 

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Jacob Cagney wrote:


Perrie Juran wrote:


Shelby Silverspar wrote:

I thnk Amazon shouldn't have set this deal up so that multiple SL accounts could purchase the same product (free lindens and free hoverboard, I think) using the same Amazon account... so they pulled the offer.

Maybe I am missing something here, but where does it say AMAZON set this up.

Amazon just provides the listing/selling service.

Linden Lab would have set the listing.

Linden may have created the listing, but Amazon is the company that lets people link a bazzillion free alt accounts to a single amazon.com account, thereby being able to "buy" the pack over an over again.

I agree with Shelby on this one, Amazon totally screwed this up by letting their own amazon.com account holders do that and I hope they fix the screw up, or cough up the lost money to LL for the screw up.

If I were CEO of Linden Lab and came back to work on Monday and found out that Amazon.com let this happen because of oversight with their own account controls, I would be livid.

 

Well you know how the Second Life TOS essentially holds Linden Lab harmless for damages.....well, guess who also has a TOS?

What goes around comes around maybe?

 

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As I understand it, though, the problem was that, despite the fact the offer was supposed to be limited to one per customer, people were able to to send packs (and, more to the point, L$1000) to multiple alts.    

I suppose whose fault it is and whose reputation gets damaged are two separate things, but, on the face of it, it seems as the ball was dropped by someone at Amazon's end, not LL's.   

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Ciaran Laval wrote:

We're talking Linden Dollars here, it's not money, even LL point out in their terms of service that it's not money.

Now there are issues with what has happened over the weekend and hopefully LL and Amazon can sort it out.

Are you forgetting that Linden Dollars can be cashed out past a certain threshold?

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Solar Legion wrote:


Ciaran Laval wrote:

We're talking Linden Dollars here, it's not money, even LL point out in their terms of service that it's not money.

Now there are issues with what has happened over the weekend and hopefully LL and Amazon can sort it out.

Are you forgetting that Linden Dollars 
can be cashed out past a certain threshold?

That is irrelevant, Linden Lab could declare the Linden Dollar null and void right now, they wouldn't owe anyone any money were they to do that, as they explain in their terms of service:

You acknowledge that Linden dollars are not real currency or any type of financial instrument and are not redeemable for any sum of money from Linden Lab at any time.

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Innula Zenovka wrote:

As I understand it, though, the problem was that, despite the fact the offer was supposed to be limited to one per customer, people were able to to send packs (and, more to the point, L$1000) to multiple alts.    

I suppose whose fault it is and whose reputation gets damaged are two separate things, but, on the face of it, it seems as the ball was dropped by someone at Amazon's end, not LL's.   

i agree with this assessment

when i went to the page it quite clearly said only one per customer

so i was quite confused when people first said can actual get more than one bc the Amazon site lets you do this. even when it says you cant have more than one

 

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Amazon miscoded the deal. It was not only letting you get the package for any existing alts, but also letting you create new ones on the fly and immediately sending them the package too. They had no choice to shut it off pending a fix for that. If they'd actually let it run through the weekend, the SL economy could have been more or less destroyed. LL makes a fair amount of revenue from the sales of Ls and remember L's can be turned back into cash. I'm sure there would have been those who'd have happily created alt after alt to cash out the L's after the deal was over.

Somebody obviously coded the page to look for a given SL account trying to get the package more than once rather than the same Amazon account trying to get it more than once.

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thats going to a interesting conversation when linden meet amazon about it

+

is kinda extraordinary that amazon would have thought it meant one per linden account customer and a amazon account customer can have/make as many linden accounts as they want 

so somebody at amazon going to get a spanking

the other thing is tho. how come Nobody Linden didnt test this? by that i mean linden marketing dept. so Nobody Linden needs a spank as well i think

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Ciaran Laval wrote:


Solar Legion wrote:


Ciaran Laval wrote:

We're talking Linden Dollars here, it's not money, even LL point out in their terms of service that it's not money.

Now there are issues with what has happened over the weekend and hopefully LL and Amazon can sort it out.

Are you forgetting that Linden Dollars 
can be cashed out past a certain threshold?

That is irrelevant, Linden Lab could declare the Linden Dollar null and void right now, they wouldn't owe anyone any money were they to do that, as they explain in their terms of service:

You acknowledge that Linden dollars are not real currency or any type of financial instrument and are not redeemable for any sum of money from Linden Lab at any time.

Unfortunately - it's not irrelevant. Here's the reality: No matter what it says in their Terms of Service, they allow users to convert Linden Dollars back into real currency. This alone is reason enough for them to shut down the Amazon "freebie" which was incorrectly set up to allow a single Amazon account to link, de-link and then relink several Second Life accounts.

Any other unenforcable sections of the ToS you'd like to quote?

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Solar Legion wrote:

Unfortunately - it's 
not
irrelevant. Here's the reality: No matter what it says in their Terms of Service, they allow users to convert Linden Dollars back into real currency. This alone is reason enough for them to shut down the Amazon "freebie" which was incorrectly set up to allow a single Amazon account to link, de-link and then relink several Second Life accounts.

Any other unenforcable sections of the ToS you'd like to quote?


They allow users to sell Linden Dollars, to other users, they are careful not to suggest it's a conversion, which is just as well as that would be one hell of a can of worms if you could just convert them. They are careful with their terminology, very careful and with good reason.

 

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Crim Mip wrote:

Amazon miscoded the deal.

I asked once before.

Where is there any evidence that Amazon "miscoded' this?

I could be completely wrong but my take on  this is that Linden Lab set this up using Amazon tools not realizing there was a loophole that people could exploit because of the way Second Life maintains its accounts.

My take on it is that LL didn't read the fine print.

I could be wrong but at best unless I am missing something which is completely possible it may have been a big oversight by someone at LL.

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Solar Legion wrote:


Ciaran Laval wrote:


Solar Legion wrote:


Ciaran Laval wrote:

We're talking Linden Dollars here, it's not money, even LL point out in their terms of service that it's not money.

Now there are issues with what has happened over the weekend and hopefully LL and Amazon can sort it out.

Are you forgetting that Linden Dollars 
can be cashed out past a certain threshold?

That is irrelevant, Linden Lab could declare the Linden Dollar null and void right now, they wouldn't owe anyone any money were they to do that, as they explain in their terms of service:

You acknowledge that Linden dollars are not real currency or any type of financial instrument and are not redeemable for any sum of money from Linden Lab at any time.

Unfortunately - it's 
not
irrelevant. Here's the reality: No matter what it says in their Terms of Service, they allow users to convert Linden Dollars back into real currency. This alone is reason enough for them to shut down the Amazon "freebie" which was incorrectly set up to allow a single Amazon account to link, de-link and then relink several Second Life accounts.

Any other unenforcable sections of the ToS you'd like to quote?


I'm just keying off your post Solar, this is not directed at you, I'm just speking in general now.

Sometimes I think people misconstrue this section of the TOS.

It does not say that Linden Dollars can not be redeem or sold for cash.

What it says is that Linden Dollars are "not redeemable for any sum of money FROM FROM FROM Linden Lab at any time."

It is a huge difference.

You can not save up all your stipend and then go to linden Lab and say, I want my money back for these. It simply won't fly.

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Perrie Juran wrote:


Crim Mip wrote:

Amazon miscoded the deal.

I asked once before.

Where is there any evidence that Amazon "miscoded' this?

I could be completely wrong but my take on  this is that Linden Lab set this up using Amazon tools not realizing there was a loophole that people could exploit because of the way Second Life maintains its accounts.

My take on it is that LL didn't read the fine print.

I could be wrong but at best unless I am missing something which is completely possible it may have been a big oversight by someone at LL.

Isn't the fact that the offer was on the Amazon website and attempted to access your credit card details as held on Amazon's secure server evidence enough that Amazon did the coding?

I certainly hope Amazon aren't in the habit of allowing third parties, be they LL or anyone else, to code parts of the Amazon website that connect with Amazon's customers' credit card details.

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Perrie Juran wrote:


Crim Mip wrote:

Amazon miscoded the deal.

I asked once before.

Where is there any evidence that Amazon "miscoded' this?

I could be completely wrong but my take on  this is that Linden Lab set this up using Amazon tools not realizing there was a loophole that people could exploit because of the way Second Life maintains its accounts.

My take on it is that LL didn't read the fine print.

I could be wrong but at best unless I am missing something which is completely possible it may have been a big oversight by someone at LL.

wooo !!!

you are right

i dont have a Amazon account. never used it. i use our country Trademe site for this kinda thing

so i check out the Amazon and how you setup stuff to sell. i look at the Help for multiple copies

is here:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=1161238#quantity

you cant restrict Amazon account holders from buying more than 1 out the box seems like. they can buy as many as they like off you upto whatever quantity you listed for sale

is then up to you to accept or reject the purchase orders as they come in

+

so is not Amazons fault at all

bc the accept/reject should have been done by linden. like when the order is made then they should have checked against the amazon account holder number. seems they didnt

this is how our Trademe site works. so am assume that Amazon works the same

+

so seems no spanking for Amazon and two spanks for Nobody Linden

+

this story keeps on giving and giving (:

bc maybe linden dont actual care. the offer went up on 10 December as free xmas promotion. after xmas someone in linden made a tiny little post on official blog

!!! FREE MONEY !!!

within a few hours the remaining quantity quota overs got eaten

 

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