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Merchant requires email?


Paul Hexem
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So, this is interesting. I recently came across a merchant in SL that states in his profile that he won't answer IMs and won't answer notecards, and for help you have to use his website, which requires your RL email.

Isn't that against the TOS? I know you can AR someone for Disclosure > RL information.

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Sounds like that would be outside of second life so there is nothing that linden could do. You don't have to give him your email and he doesn't have to reply through other ways. The way he goes about things may not be best but he has the right to do so. Also it isn't like he is giving your email to other people, if he was then it would be a problem.

If you don't want to use your real email why not just create a second life email for situations like this?

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I personally prefer Email and hand my contact address out freely. I make sure to tell folks that I don't divulge email addresses on received messages to ANYONE for ANY REASON, and I generally don't add them to my address book unless the situation warrants (such as someone that I will be in contact with frequently).

Notecards are a pain to deal with as they can only be read while In-World, but I can't always log in. Email allows me to provide a lot more information, to include/imbed images, and generally provide a very robust response. IMs are too short for most detailed one-way answers, but there are times when the interactive nature of IMs is necessary. I just ask that the customer be patient until I can log in.

But I think, as you mentioned, the biggest issue for folks is divulging their email address. And that's exactly why I tell folks up front how I will respect their privacy ... and then I do what I said.

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I work in RL 50 to 60 hrs per week during which time I cannot log in, so like Darrius I try to run allot of my customer discussions directly through email as it is just allot easier  Most customers don't have any problem with this. For the past 18 months I have been using skype allot more for customer support and it means I can have a live conversation with a customer regardless of where I am.

 

EDIT. This just reminded me of something that happened before Christmas. I was in a meeting at work and had my laptop linked up to the projector and was giving a presentation to my boss and 5 or 6 colleagues. I had been having a skype conversation with a SL customer before the meeting and when the conversation ended I just minimized the chat window. During my work presentation my SL customer suddenly started to type again which auto maximized the chat window and as my laptop was linked up to the projector the conversation appeared magnified on the wall for everyone to see. It was obvious from what they could see that we were negotiating prices for an SL project and my boss who is aware of my virtual job was not impressed.

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Nobody seems to have noticed the possibility to send private messages from one profile to another.
They are private, can be conducted without logging in and can hold a big amount of text.

We have even another message possibility within our forum profile.
This one is also private, can also be conducted without logging in and can hold text, pictures and links.

:smileysurprised::):smileyvery-happy:

Note: when I say logging in, I mean logging inworld
Of course you need to be logged in to your user account, respectively your forum account

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I have my email address in my profile and encourage regular customers to use it. As for large custom scripting projects which may cost hundreds or even thousands USD, I would not start working on such project unless a potential client submits specifications by email.

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Porky Gorky wrote:

EDIT. This just reminded me of something that happened before Christmas. I was in a meeting at work and had my laptop linked up to the projector and was giving a presentation to my boss and 5 or 6 colleagues. I had been having a skype conversation with a SL customer before the meeting and when the conversation ended I just minimized the chat window. During my work presentation my SL customer suddenly started to type again which auto maximized the chat window and as my laptop was linked up to the projector the conversation appeared magnified on the wall for everyone to see. It was obvious from what they could see that we were negotiating prices for an SL project and my boss who is aware of my virtual job was not impressed.

I cringed just reading this thinking of what your first reaction was when this happened.  I would have had that initial moment of "Please just let the ground open and swallow me."

Did any of your co-workers (or boss) say anything?

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Gadget Portal wrote:

So, this is interesting. I recently came across a merchant in SL that states in his profile that he won't answer IMs and won't answer notecards, and for help you have to use his website, which requires your RL email.

Isn't that against the TOS? I know you can AR someone for Disclosure > RL information.

I wanted to contact a Linden recently, their profile says to email them or use the profile page and not to send them notecards. I wouldn't have thought asking to be contacted by email was a TOS violation but I can understand why some people might object to going that route.

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Dora Gustafson wrote:

Nobody seems to have noticed the possibility to send private messages from one profile to another.

They are private, can be conducted without logging in and can hold a big amount of text.

We have even another message possibility within our forum profile.

This one is also private, can also be conducted without logging in and can hold text, pictures and links.

:smileysurprised:
:)
:smileyvery-happy:

Note: when I say logging in, I mean logging inworld

Of course you need to be logged in to your user account, respectively your forum account

I've had very mixed (mostly poor) results with both of these methods. The PMs that can be sent via the Forums here have sometimes sat for months without being read as a lot of people do not have their preferences set to email them upon receipt of a PM. The PMs sent via the web profiles also seem to have the same "I didn't see it" results.

Because I like to be able to receive messages from any avenue possible, I've taken the time to set my preferences to notify me in every possible case, yet even when I reply via the same method ... again I see the response sitting for a long time without acknowledgement.

However Email has become such a universal method for everyone on the 'Net that I can pretty much guarantee people will see it. (Except when my email lands in their spam folder of course LOL) However even with its inevitable glitches, it remains the highest probability method of contact for reaching out to others.

I think perhaps the one largest reason I see for people NOT wanting to share their email address is the high number of "Females" in SL that are in fact males in RL. Their email address typically makes that plainly obvious and they do not wish to divulge that private information. I personally don't care as it makes not one iota's difference to me how I treat people. (My RL son was the most successful Escort at a very popular big-name club for a while, and even taught other dancers the tricks of the trade. *grin*)

What matters most to me is delivering the very best results to my customers, so being able to give them complete details in all possible situations is why I prefer the email route. Even so, I'm flexible and will usually reply using the method the customer chose at first.

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Czari Zenovka wrote:

Did any of your co-workers (or boss) say anything?

My boss did not say anything directly too me, but he was visably annoyed with me. To the amusement to my colleagues I got sent to Taiwan on a business trip for a week shortly after. I've always disliked going to Asia because I am 6'7" and really broad chested, so basically I can't fit into anything in Taiwan....beds, doorways, chairs, cars, you name it, It will be too small for me and I will end up being wedged into numerous undersized spaces to the amusement of my tiny Taiwanese colleagues. I hate just walking down the street there. Everyone stares at me and clears a path before me like I am some sort of invading yeti from the mountains. 

So up until then my boss has avoided sending me to Asia due to my dislike of the continent, which is why I took his sudden decision to send me there as a punishment for working on SL during company time 

Oh, and I got Norovirus on that trip, but I don't think he planned that 

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Dora Gustafson wrote:

 

You can open your profile now and see the one I just send

 

Thanks Dora, learn something new everyday.

I can't see me changing my preference for using email now though. I am involved in 6 separate brands in SL using 5 different accounts, so my email has a very well organised filing system which allows me to keep track of everything in one place for all my accounts. 

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