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Sellers get ripped off by Market Place and Lindens won't help!


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I have encountered this problem before (Item sells, gets delivered, and I don't get paid) that time a Linden sorted it out quickly and responsibly, but now all you get is a scout....

 

This is the report I sent in to ask for help, and the ridiculous reply I got back. name and place of buyer blanked out to protect privacy. Other names included with full consent.

 

I sold an Item on Market Place, the item showed as (delivery failed) and I didn't get paid for it.  The Item did actually get delivered (I have included a rez report below) so I should have received payment.

•Order #1310871418
Item ID 91918972

Delivery failed

L$5,500

Not paid

P*********2

Not available for redelivery

The object 'IGIA Deluxe Dance/Seduction/ BDSM/ RLV (black copy)(B)' has sent you a message from Second Life:
 *********2 Resident rezzed me at secondlife:///app/teleport/*********/130/72/38/ on 2012-12-18
= IGIA Deluxe Dance/Seduction/ BDSM/ RLV (black copy)(B) is owned by P*********2 Resident

Thank you for your assistance with this matter

Hiya Honi

 

2013-01-09 09:41:28
SuzanneI Scout
Hello Hiya Honi, I am sorry that you have had difficulty receiving payment for product purchased through the Second Life Marketplace When L$ funds are transferred to Marketplace Linden to pay for the products, they are held in escrow on the Marketplace Linden account pending delivery of the product. If the item is delivered, then the funds are transferred to the Seller. If the item cannot be delivered immediately, then the funds remain with Marketplace Linden while the Second Life Marketplace attempts to deliver the item. If the product cannot be delivered, then the funds are released back to the customer's inworld balance. After reviewing the transaction, the funds were released back to the customer. If the customer did receive the product it will be necessary to contact them directly for payment. For more information about the Marketplace and other related services, please visit the Knowledge Base: http://community.secondlife.com/t5/English/tkb-p/English_KB I am sorry for the inconvenience this may have caused you. Please let me know if there's anything further I can assist you with. Thank you for being a valued resident of Second Life! Have a great day! Kind Regards, SuzanneI Scout www.secondlife.com Linden Lab Support

 

2012-12-22 06:34:27 Me

The above message from Suzannel Scout makes no sense whatsoever.
The Escrow system is designed to protect both buyer and seller. The funds were wrongly returned back to the buyer who now has both the money and the item! This is totally unacceptable and illogical that I am expected to contact the buyer in some vain hope that they will do the right thing and pay for the item. Market Place defaults to use of the escrow system so it is your responsiblity to get my money to me as it was a failing on your part. I have provided proof that the item was in fact received by the buyer. When payment is not recieved for items, incentive to create interesting and new items is lost.

I trust this matter will be attended to at your earliest opportunity.

Thank you

Hiya

 

2012-12-23 05:24:45 SuzanneI Scout

Hello Hiya Honi,

Unfortunately, this is not an issue customer support is able to help you resolve.

Linden Lab cannot verify, enforce, certify, examine, uphold, or adjudicate any oath, contract, deal, bargain, or agreement made by the Residents of Second Life. We do not own, operate, or insure any Resident-run enterprise or services. As with any transaction among Residents, Linden Lab has limited responsibility and capacity to resolve disputes.

While you may have a valid grievance with another Second Life Resident, Linden Lab cannot resolve your dispute.

If the customer did receive the product it will be necessary to contact them directly for payment.

We regret this inconvenience and wish you the best in your future inworld endeavors.

Thank you for being a valued resident of Second Life! Have a great day!

Kind Regards,
SuzanneI Scout
www.secondlife.com
Linden Lab Support

 

2013-01-11 04:57:46 Me

It is obvious that Lindens now care so little for the residents of Second Life that they assign inexperienced Scouts to deal with problems, in order that they can ignore their responsibilities. This being the case the IGIA group have decided that instead of expanding our holdings in Charlesville, none of them will now be renewing their premium accounts when due, this includes myself Hiya Honi, Laurence Romaro, Zarin Nightfire and Ignatius Lytton. All land will be sold forthwith. This will effectively mean that, for the sake of reimbursing just L$5500 ((US$21)) they will lose in excess of ((US$800)) per year and 4 residents who will no longer create inworld items.

 

____ At this point the scout didn't respond she just closed the case_____

 

 

 

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Your item can respond to you if it got rezzed? Wow scary....

I just wonder, because I got many failed deliverys as a customer within the last 4 days, which means I really didn't got anything after 8 hours (luckly the money went back to me in every case).

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Syo Emerald wrote:

Your item can respond to you if it got rezzed? Wow scary....

 

Trivial to do.  We include "licensing" in our higher value items that also let us remote disable.  This isn't done out of any intent to cause malice but provides yet another method to confirm receipt and also lets us refund/swap whatever in the event of it being required.  The product gets disabled, customer gets what they wanted so all is fair and happy.

As for the situation in this thread, it's not surprising and has been the subject many times over with regard to the back end architecture of the Marketplace.  There are far too many fragmented, disconnected processing steps for it ever to work correctly in terms of a proper "transaction".

I filed a JIRA on this ages ago https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/WEB-4508 "Commerce Linden as an escrow account breaks the nature of transactions and is not required when Direct Delivery is implemented, this intermediary should be removed"

but it was closed with "Expected behaviour", in other words, "broken" is expected, move on, nothing to see here.

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Well you could contact the customer, explain to them that you've had a delivery failed message but can see that the item has been delivered and ask them to assist you, if you do this in a polite fashion the customers should have no issue with assisting you.

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One of the most surprising aspects of the entire, sorry episode was the Scout stating:-

"We do not own, operate, or insure any Resident-run enterprise or services."

I assumed it was common knowledge that Market Place was Linden owned and run! After all, we have no control over the way in which MP is programmed, or run. If a Scout isn't even aware of this, then all hope is lost.


Incidentally, why should Sellers have to contact the 'Buyer'? It is inconceivable to have to carry out Lindens job for them, because of a terminally broken system. Contacting Buyers and asking for payment, is a possible invitation to be griefed. When buying Premium Accounts, I had hoped we were paying for some level of Support. Up until about a year ago, this was indeed the case. We certainly should NOT be expected to Lindens job for them.

 

 

 

 

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What you expect? Your "proof" is a perfect proof for you but worthless for everyone else and Lindens can't start to take actions due to a few lines of a text log.

It's scary that Lindens don't have logs about the transactions or are not willing to have a look at them. Marketplace must be a very amateurish system then.

Btw: in RL this tracking is illegal in my country but ok, this is SL and avatars are free targets I guess - modern times :D

 

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I'm sorry to hear this happened to you.  Just more proof that LL, at least under this CEO, could care less about customer retention.

As for the "Scouts" - last year when I was directed *by* Brooke Linden to file a support ticket for the mixed listings in my MP store, a Scout told me to file an AR.  Talk about not having a clue.  I did get an apology for that episode from Dakota Linden.

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What you have described Hiya is a very good example of Linden Lab hiding behind their Terms of Service agreement. That document basically states that they have no fault if their technology fails to work properly. In your case, their website (the SL Marketplace) failed to work properly. But because they do not actually insure that it will work, they feel they are blameless and thus have no responsibility to fix the issue. While this may be technically true, it is also a sign of very poor Customer Service as well as very shady ethics and morals.

My suggestion for you is to convert your store and Marketplace products to use Direct Delivery. Now that it is working on a routine and highly reliable basis, I have found that situations in which Products are delivered yet marked as Failed are almost non-existent. There are several good threads in this Forum with information, instructions and links to Wiki pages that explain the conversion process. With very little effort, you can convert even a large store in a fairly short time. Considering how much money you are losing by continuing to use Magic Box delivery, it should be well worth your time to convert.

As for getting your money back or getting Linden Lab to admit fault ... give up. I'm sorry to say that you are not the first and most likely not the last Merchant to have been ripped off by this "failure". Linden Lab for a long time has refused to accept any responsibility for failures in their system. Because they rest on the statement that Linden Dollars (L$) are worthless coupons, they have no reason to spend real money (the salaries they pay their employees) to fix problems that cause customers to lose "worthless coupons". In fact, a lawyer might argue that if they DID make an effort, it might weaken their position that L$ are worthless.

I'm sorry to say this but when it comes to protecting your income and your reputation, you are on your own. Linden Lab will not help and will not recognize that it is a problem of their doing. As others have mentioned (in this thread and many others), your best approach at this point is to contact the customer, explain that a malfunction in the Marketplace caused their money to be refunded, and ask them politely to pay you for the product since you know it was received.

And look on the bright side, if they pay you, you will get the FULL amount and won't have to pay Linden Lab the 5% commission they would have taken if their system had worked correctly.

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well i can understand there is nothing on their TOS about the service they owe to their customer.

But is there any law in California who tell a company owe a said service to its customers ?

i mean if im a car merchant in California, im allowed by the law to deliver a 3 wheels car to my customers while im supposed to deliver to them a 4 wheels ones? 

In France we have laws for this. Are same kind of laws existing in California ?

 

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the example is more like..

  • the customer buys a car from a dealership and pays the dealer
  • the dealer delivers the car and gives the customer their money back
  • when the car manufacturer asks for payment, the dealer tells them to contact the customer themselves as they have nothing to do with it.

I'd say it's against the law in california for a company to behave like that but LL has always given the impression that it cared little for exhibiting rl responsible corporate behaviour.  It's never been any different, I've always thought that dealing with LL is like dealing with a drug dealer - you pay your money and you take your chances and you can never rely on them not to rip you off if they can.  It's always been the price of doing business with LL.

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Trinity Yazimoto wrote:

[snip] ... 
 Are same kind of laws existing in California ?
 

Yes, but people are limited to recovering the "Value" lost. Linden Lab will argue that since the L$ is worthless and has no real value, the total loss is zero and thus there is no reason to refund any money. That one particular clause of their TOS is very important for virtually all of their actions and defenses ... and that is why I argue that eventually someone will have to challenge it in court and find a way to strike it down. Once that fiction is removed, all manner of recovery options will become available to the Customers and Merchants selling on Second Life.

Of course, at that point, Linden Lab will (correctly) declare Second Life as a failure and will close its doors, and then all of us will be lost forever.

So .. damned if you do, damned if you don't.

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in fact my example was more refering to the fact that LL owe to us a merchant webservice that works correctly.

no only for the op problem but for all the other pb we meet in the mp.

They are suppose to put at our disposition a correctly working merchant website and in return we pay commissions. but what they are actually giving to us is a 3 wheels car merchant website. Like for example they are sabotaging my mp store with some ugly wrong textures. 

Is there any law in California that is telling they are supposed to provide to us a correctly working service? Or are they fine with the law if they provide to us smth that is not corresponding to what its supposed to be ?

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Darrius Gothly wrote:


Trinity Yazimoto wrote:

[snip] ... 
 Are same kind of laws existing in California ?
 

[snip]...Linden Lab will argue that since the L$ is worthless and has no real value, the total loss is zero and thus there is no reason to refund any money...

Howdy, Darrius!

This always sends me adrift, Darrius.  If linden dollars are "worthless tokens," why can't Linden Lab just pass out lindens to everybody when they want them?  They're worthless, you know!  They don't do that because linden dollars are NOT worthless.  They can be cashed out for US dollars using Linden Lab's own Lindex systems.  It costs real dollars to purchase them as well.  

I agree that someone needs to take the matter to court and I think the Lab would lose.  

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If you look at the tos for the marketplace (on the wiki somewhere) you'll notice that nowhere does it guarantee features, functionality or quality in the software.  It really is a "take it as it is and suck it up" service.

Amateur hour writ large but while we continue to use it and pay them for the privilege, they'll continue to provide us with sub standard offerings.  That's the nature of this beast.

 

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Couldbe Yue wrote:

If you look at the tos for the marketplace (on the wiki somewhere) you'll notice that nowhere does it guarantee features, functionality or quality in the software.  It really is a "take it as it is and suck it up" service.

 

 

yes i know, but here merchants dont write it either, nevertheless law say it. this is why im asking if some similar law exists in California. :smileywink:

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Darrius Gothly wrote:

My suggestion for you is to convert your store and Marketplace products to use Direct Delivery. Now that it is working on a routine and highly reliable basis, I have found that situations in which Products are delivered yet marked as Failed are almost non-existent. There are several good threads in this Forum with information, instructions and links to Wiki pages that explain the conversion process. With very little effort, you can convert even a large store in a fairly short time. Considering how much money you are losing by continuing to use Magic Box delivery, it should be well worth your time to convert.

 

This WAS a Direct Delivery!!

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Marcus Hancroft wrote:

Howdy, Darrius!

This always sends me adrift, Darrius.  If linden dollars are "worthless tokens," why can't Linden Lab just pass out lindens to everybody when they want them?  They're worthless, you know!  They don't do that because linden dollars are NOT worthless.  They can be cashed out for US dollars using Linden Lab's own Lindex systems.  It costs real dollars to purchase them as well.  

I agree that someone needs to take the matter to court and I think the Lab would lose.  

Well, the Lab derives some of their income from selling Linden Dollars, just like a Carnival sells Ride Tickets. However, once sold they have no value other than their implicit value within Second Life. It is a very murky area, and one that I have only very minimal experience with, so I have to admit to losing my way partway through the maze. It really is an area that a specialist lawyer would have to research and render an opinion on, but obviously that isn't something they'd be willing to do for free.

I too wish there was a more direct and honest valuation of Linden Dollars, but then when I consider all the other monsters that would let out of the box ... I'm not so sure. My major reason for wanting to get an established value is so that all the follow-on insults that the Lab executes on their customers BECAUSE the Linden Dollar is worthless can be eliminated or at least challenged in court.

The Carnival/Amusement Park/Disneyland industry is a good example in this respect. While the tickets they sell are worthless outside of their property's confines, they are still responsible for providing a safe, and reasonably functioning service. There are laws that govern what they can and cannot do in the way of the services they provide.

(@Trinity as well) While there are laws that govern the quality and suitability of the services that real-world companies provide, there have not yet been any real court cases that define those same requirements for Internet companies. To date the companies involved have, for the most part, followed customary business ethics and tried to behave as responsible companies. Thus no one has really seen the need to sue in court and thus no judgements have been rendered that would define the baseline requirements.

However Linden Lab is one of those companies that does NOT follow the edicts of ethical business, instead preferring to hide behind their fictional worthless L$ as the reason they owe nothing to anyone. They can also cite that since technology is prone to breaking down, and they cannot protect against those unforeseeable events, they really aren't to blame.

But in the case of the Marketplace, it's a clear cut case of a clear disregard to even the most minimal effort, and a savvy legal team could demonstrate with ample confidence that the Lab has not even tried to provide a functioning service. They could establish that the "failures" are indeed not the random and unforeseeable accidents that technology can create, but are instead clear cut examples of wanton disregard. And that might be an argument that would carry in court.

But again, I am not a lawyer and I'm not qualified to render any sort of formal opinion. But I do have (unfortunately) far too much experience watching these things get worked out through the legal system and I can apply that experience to the situation with Second Life and Linden Lab. Add in my own personal ethics .. and the Lab's pattern of behavior just makes my skin crawl with anger.

What really puts the icing on the cake though is my firmly held opinion that the costs of doing business "Right" .. of treating customers with respect and behaving in a manner that obeys the common morals .. is always a method that yields higher profits and lower costs overall. However those numbers only show up when looking at the long-term analysis, and to date I've not seen anything from Linden Lab that indicates they even think further ahead than a few weeks, let alone analyze their business model for a 1-year and 5-year (and longer) perspective. I think this is the primary reason they continue to behave with such little regard for their customers; they simply do not think further than the next paycheck.

I had hoped that with the hiring of Rod Humble, we would see that long-term view put into action. However it has now become apparent (to me at least) that the only long-term view he possesses is the conversion of Second Life and its technology into a series of games that can be sold as "quick hit wonders" and tossed aside once they burn out their initial interest. It's a shame that truly long-lived properties like WoW aren't the business model he wishes to follow, but instead prefers to get quick spikes from "New" things ... with the rapid and guaranteed disposal once their initial popularity is gone.

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Hiya Honi wrote:

This WAS a Direct Delivery!!

Oh HOLY CRAP! It was?!? Oh now THAT's not good. The number of incidents where this sort of failure happens for Direct Delivery are much much lower .. almost non-existent. To find out this happened with a DD product opens up a much bigger can of worms.

Because Direct Delivery uses a direct "Database Copy" operation to deliver a product, it is supposed to be completely immune to these sorts of failures. The Marketplace should be completely able to detect that a database record was copied, but apparently in this case it did not.

In this case, I'm at a loss as what to say .. other than to contact the customer and hope they recognize your loss. But the fact that this happened for Direct Delivery? Yeah ... not good at all!

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Darrius Gothly wrote:


Hiya Honi wrote:

This WAS a Direct Delivery!!

Oh HOLY CRAP! It was?!? Oh now THAT's not good. The number of incidents where this sort of failure happens for Direct Delivery are much much lower .. almost non-existent. To find out this happened with a DD product opens up a much bigger can of worms.

Because Direct Delivery uses a direct "Database Copy" operation to deliver a product, it is supposed to be completely immune to these sorts of failures. The Marketplace should be completely able to detect that a database record was copied, but apparently in this case it did not.

In this case, I'm at a loss as what to say .. other than to contact the customer and hope they recognize your loss. But the fact that this happened for Direct Delivery? Yeah ... not good at all!

But Darrius we don't know if the failure is much lower or not because we don't get any notices of delivery like we do with Magic Boxes.  I really don't have any idea what is actually being delivered or not.  I do have rez notices in some things, but not in everything. And comparing rez notices with sales would be another job in itself.

 

 

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Pamela Galli wrote:


Darrius Gothly wrote:


Hiya Honi wrote:

This WAS a Direct Delivery!!

Oh HOLY CRAP! It was?!? Oh now THAT's not good. The number of incidents where this sort of failure happens for Direct Delivery are much much lower .. almost non-existent. To find out this happened with a DD product opens up a much bigger can of worms.

Because Direct Delivery uses a direct "Database Copy" operation to deliver a product, it is supposed to be completely immune to these sorts of failures. The Marketplace should be completely able to detect that a database record was copied, but apparently in this case it did not.

In this case, I'm at a loss as what to say .. other than to contact the customer and hope they recognize your loss. But the fact that this happened for Direct Delivery? Yeah ... not good at all!

But Darrius we don't know if the failure is much lower or not because
we don't get any notices of delivery
like we do with Magic Boxes.  I really don't have any idea what is actually being delivered or not.  I do have rez notices in some things, but not in everything. And comparing rez notices with sales would be another job in itself.

 

 

Howdy, Miss Pam.  Just FYI, I get IM notices inworld (and in e-mail) of every sale that's made on my marketplace store.  I'm 100% direct delivery and it's been really nice seeing those notices again.  Darrius set me up so that I get those notices again.  :)  

On edit:  Here's an example: 

[07:46] iGlom RDS Redelivery Box v1.0.7: '*Design Extreme* Tire Treads Textures' delivered from the SL Marketplace as '*Design Extreme* Tire Treads Textures' to <name removed> and was purchased for L$100. This product was delivered by the SL Marketplace.

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