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Are free account residents really this low a priority?


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I usually don't rant but I had an experience today that made me embarrassed to have an SL premium account. A good customer of mine is a free account holder and active in SL for a few years. Last Friday he could not rez even after trying all the normal tricks to bump the servers. After 6 hours of waiting for his "shape and cloths to load" he gave up and tried to submit a help ticket. The problem is that ticket support for free accounts is very limited... there are 4 options and none have to do with in-world issues. I did not believe it until he let me sign into secondlife.com for him to see. Sure enough, free accounts have almost no options to get assistance. So we filed a ticket for him under "new account issues" and started playing the waiting game.

Today was day four for him to try and rez. Still no luck and no reply from Linden Lab. Being the good person I am, I called live support. To paraphrase, they could not do anything through me (ok, fair enough) but that he should get a premium membership to request help! WTF?!! The other option was to put in more tickets - under random categories I guess - and wait in line.... a very long line I guess since this is day four! You can imagine what my friend thought when he read the conversation!

So does this mean Second Life has de-evolved to a "pay-to-play" place? Anyone else have experiences like this? If this is what free account holders have to deal with, I am pretty embarrassed now to recommend SL to anyone else I know.

:matte-motes-sour: Sorry about the sour mood, its just another frustrating moment in SL that overshadows an otherwise good day.

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Even Concierge-level residents are experiencing the "file jira/customer support ticket" routine in many cases these days.  I don't think it is a basic account issue as much as customer service at LL is essentially non-existent.  Have a brief glance through some of the topics over on the merchant forums; even merchants who own multiple sims and make their full time living on SL are having customer service issues.

Having said this, I am so sorry your friend had to go through this.  I'm in a pretty sour mood myself where LL is concerned lately.

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Afaik live-support is only availiable to premium-accounts. Always been like that I think ( but could be wrong ).

Was once stuck for 2 weeks in a former free account. Can happen. Usually login issues, like your friend has, disappear when SL servers are restarted after updates.

Might be more helpful to your friend trying to clear his cache or trying to login at start at a different location ( try Pooley ) and more tricks others might reply here in this thread.

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I experienced a similar problem on Saturday, the problem was that my inventory was frozen. I eventually had to do a clean reinstall and that solved the issue. (manually deleted the cache)

Taught me another lesson though, clean up your inventory!!!!!!!! (not directed at anyone, but everyone)

Good luck to you and your friend

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Yes, basic account holders get no support at all other than for the four areas that you can file a ticket for, or through Answers, documentation, these forums

I've had the same problem that your customer has several times and was always able to fix it this way:

  • Remove all viewers from his computer clear all cache's manually
  • Do a clean reinstall of his viewer of choice.
  • Log back in world to a empty water sim such as one on the Blake sea
  • Open his inventory and type in the vowels one at a time while his inventory loads completely. 
  • While it is loading he should do nothing but stand still.  No IM's, no walking around, not messing with his avatar etc.
  • When his inventory has completely loaded do a character test
  • At this point his avatar should load.  Once it does he can rebuild his avatar using his own shape skin clothes etc.

If everyone else see's him OK, then it is problem on his end not SL. If he runs Firestorm they offer support for viewer related issues on their web site. He can submit a ticket there via email.  Tell him to be sure to cut and paste all the computer specs from Help>About Firestorm because they will ask him for those if he doesn't include them. Other TPV's may also offer support if he uses one of the others.  He should check their website.

If your customer has tried all of the above, he may want to check and test his internet connection.  If he is using wireless, use an Ethernet cable instead. Have him check for driver updates too.

 

 

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Your question is, "Are free account residents really this low a priority?" and I have to say yes, and rightly so. Regardless of how much customer support LL provides, free accounts should be low priority. I don't mean that they should be ignored but they certainly should not be put ahead of people who pay. So, if customer support is busy, free account problems should be at the bottom of the waiting list. Remember that free accounts are not customers, so there's precious little reason to give them any customer support.

But I don't think that priority is the real issue. I think the real issue is whether or not free accounts get any, or much, support at all. I only see one reason why they should get support, and that reason is because it suits LL, and not because it suits the free user. I.e. LL needs to know about problems that occur, so they can continually fix them.

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Sorry I disagree. Even customer service to premium members is not much better than it is to basic. I've been in SL for 6 1/2 years and have never been premium and have gotten along just fine. I have even been an estate owner without being premium and was eligible for concierge service but rarely did I need it, and the few times I did it was dismal at best  I also bet I have paid LL a lot more over the years than 90 percent of premuim members through tiers, upload fees, cash out fees etc. to say nothing of the thousands of RL dollars I've contributed to the economy by purchasing goods and services from others, and by paying employees who have worked for me an hourly rate or salary.  There are a lot of other people like me too.  There are also a lot of people that may just shop and club in here but still contribute a lot to the economy by earning or buying L's and spending them.

 

 

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Phil Deakins wrote:

 Remember that free accounts are not customers, so there's precious little reason to give them any
customer
support.

 

What ? free accounts are not customers ? i have a free account and i give to LL around 100 usd per month and im still not a customer ? But so, what am i ? 

I may understand LL need to provide smth more for customers with premium account. And they do with the linden homes and the small parcell you can get on mainland with a premium account... But as far as i know, customer support as to be for every customers !!! And even free accounts are customers, bec as Amethyst said, a lot of free accounts give far more money to LL than a lot of premium accounts. Imho a customer support has not to be purchased... Its part of the deal... You are a customer - you deserve a customer support.. End

 

And honnestly, what are we talking about ? LL customer support doesnt exist at all... Wether you are premium or not, they dont provide anything that can be decently called "customer support"...  

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Yep. I realised that I made a mistake when I read Amethyst's post, and I opened the Edit page to change it. But I decided to wait and see if anyone picked me up on it - and you did :)

If your ~$100 a month is not paid directly to LL, then it doesn't qualify you as a customer. Many people put RL money in - to buy L$ - but the L$ are not bought from LL. LL operates a service that allows L$ to be bought and sold between users. LL does take a commission but I don't think that makes the traders LL customers.

The only way I can see for a free account to be an LL customer is to own private sims. That way, they pay tier to LL and possibly, but not necessarily, paid LL for the sim (renting private sims doiesn't make the person a customer of LL's). I don't think there's anything else where a free account becomes a customer by paying directly to LL. Buying L$ doesn't pay to LL, and buying goods also doesn't. So...

Most free accounts are not LL customers and have no reason to expect customer support. Some free accounts are LL customers and have every right to expect customer support, even though LL doesn't see the need to provide reasonable customer support to them.

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Give me one reason why I or the vast and silent majority should go premium.

One small parcel?, a free house with zero privacy? I can rent land of my choice with far more value for money than what the average premium member gets and with full rights.

Weekly Stipend?..300L is definitely not enough, not by a long way.

The wilderness is interesting but on my timezone probably empty

I don't build

I don't race dune buggys

So the only conceivable reason to go premium is for support, which from looking at the forums is inefective anyway.

 

As for your attempt to say that non premium members are not customers of LL that is pure nonsense, here is why.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Customer

A customer (also known as a client, buyer, or purchaser) is the recipient of a good, service, product, or idea, obtained from a seller, vendor, or supplier for a monetary or other valuable consideration.[1][2] Customers are generally categorized into two types:

  • An intermediate customer or trade customer (more informally: "the trade") who is a dealer that purchases goods for re-sale.[3][1]
  • An ultimate customer who does not in turn re-sell the things bought but either passes them to the consumer or actually is the consumer.[3][1]

By renting land I am an ultimate customer of LL, the person I rent from is an intermediate customer, I deserve the same support as you or anyone else in SL.

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Where did you get the info that when we buy L$ with rl money our money dont go to LL ? Where ?

when i buy them i always buy them from the official website.... and even if they use an external service, they are the one who take the money from my bank. And the external service may prob take a commision, but its not the inverse. 

Do you think external companies can create l$ like that and only give a commision to LL ? This doesnt make any economic sense Phil ! LL are the only one who can create the l$ and they sell them to companies for they resell them adding indeed a commission .  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Second_Life

And who's charging me for all my uploads too ? And as said Leia... all the others are intermerdiate... in the end my money goes in LL pockets... except from the rare merchants who cash out money from SL, but here again, LL take a commission on their incomes. 

On top, im pretty sure that Lindex and LL are in the end owned by same pool.


Phil Deakins wrote:

Yep. I realised that I made a mistake when I read Amethyst's post, and I opened the Edit page to change it. But I decided to wait and see if anyone picked me up on it - and you did
:)

 

And yes i did Phil.... and btw... i remind you that you are still waited for an audition and we start to be impatients, you know :smileywink:

And if you start saying im not a LL customer, i swear i will be mercyless for your audition... :smileyvery-happy:

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Laia. I haven't even suggested that anyone should go premium, so that part of your post is irrelevant as a reply to mine.

The definition of 'customer' that you quoted doesn't support the idea that anyone who doesn't pay directly to LL is a customer of LL's. The end user is only a customer of the "intermediate" or "trade" customer of LL's, and not an LL customer. So, in the situation where someone pays LL for land (a sim or a parcel of mainland), and then rents it to an end user (the renter), the renter is a customer of the one who pays LL, and not a customer of LL's. It doesn't make a scrap of difference that some of the renter's payment end up in LL's bank.

It's exactly the same in RL, of course. You buy an Apple computer from a shop. The shop bought it from Apple. You are not a customer of Apple's. You are a customer of the shop, and you take the shop to court if something goes wrong and they don't fix it. You have no right whatsoever to take Apple to court because you are not a customer of Apple's. The shop is the customer of Apple's. The shop is the "intermediate" / "trade" customer of Apple's. You are not.

So SL user who doesn't pay directly to LL, is not a customer of LL.

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LOL. I'd forgotten all about that audition :) - and nobody has yet asked me to do one. The last I heard, you lot were getting together to organise the auditions.

 

The Lindex is in 2 sections. One section allows users to sell L$ and the other section allows users to buy L$. When users buy L$, they actually buy from those who are selling, and not from LL. You buy in the SL website because that's where LL has set the system up, but you don't actually buy your L$ from LL.

Yes, LL does create L$ when they deem it necessary, and they sell them through the Lindex. I've never seen it but it must happen. On those uncommon occasions buyers do buy from LL and could claim to be customers of LL if they could show that the L$ they bought came from LL and not from other users. Almost all the time, though, the L$ come from other users. It's very much like buying something from an inworld store. You buy it in SL because that's where LL set the system up to allow that,, but you don't actually buy it from LL, so buying from an inworld store doesn't make anyone a customer of LL. The same applies to the marketplace.

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Are you saying then no company that sells goods or services through a retail outlet need ever provide customer support??????

You said the person who bought that computer from the shop is not a customer of apple, therefore not being a customer should expect no customer support for that computer from Apple?

Don't know how it is where you live, but if my ipad breaks I will go to apple to get it fixed, not the cellphone shop I bought it from.

Ultimate Customer is still a customer, that is a FACT

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I have a free account, have for over five years. If by having a free account, I (and all other free accounts) are not customers, then what we do makes no difference to the Lab. So if all free accounts stopped renting land, stopped buying lindens, stopped buying avatars, stopped buying clothing, stopped going to shows, stopped logging into the world, by not being customers it should not matter. I don't think that is right, it would kill Linden Lab in a heart beat. Free accounts are customers, like it or not.

 

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Yes I'm saying that the company (e.g. Apple) that sell their goods to a store does not have any obligation to provide customer support to the end user. That's exactly what I'm saying.

The end user's contract is with the store, and not with the manufacturer. The store's contract is with their supplier (Apple in my example). It doesn't mean that the manufacturer won't ever deal with the end user. In some cases I'm sure they do. But they don't have to because they don't have a contract with them. It may be that some manufacturers provide direct service in the guarantee user support - but the buyer's contract is with the store. The end user is a customer of the store, and not a customer of the manufacturer.

In the case of LL and free SL users, there is no guarantee like there may be with some RL goods, such as Apple's goods. If you buy something from my inworld store, you are my customer and not LL's. If you rent land from me, you are my customer and not LL's.

Incidentally, the phrase "ultimate customer" may be one that is used sometimes (I've never heard it before) but it won't do any good in court because, when you buy something from a store, for instance, you are a customer of that store - you have a contract with the that store - but you are not a customer of the company that the store bought the item from and, unless the company who sold the item to the store offers end users some sort of support, the end user can't take it to court because there is no contract between the end user and the company who sold the item to the store.

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Teagan Tobias wrote:

I have a free account, have for over five years. If by having a free account, I (and all other free accounts) are not customers, then what we do makes no difference to the Lab. So if all free accounts stopped renting land, stopped buying lindens, stopped buying avatars, stopped buying clothing, stopped going to shows, stopped logging into the world, by not being customers it should not matter. I don't think that is right, it would kill Linden Lab in a heart beat. Free accounts are customers, like it or not. 

You were correct, right up until your last sentence. It should have stated, "Free accounts are users, like it or not".

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Users may see themselves as customers but I'm being pedantic about the word 'customer', because one or two people who are not actual customers find fault that LL doesn't provide them with sufficient "customer support", when they aren't actually paying LL anything and are, therefore, not actual customers. If they claim that they should have some "user support" because they are users of LL's system, then I wouldn't argue the point.

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Ultimate Customer is a customer, I assume then that every institution that teaches marketing and business economics is wrong to teach that definition supplied above?

I can and will walk into an approved apple store anywhere on the planet and expect customer support, its in my warrantee

You sir are wrong

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What Apple would give you is user support. Even if they call it 'customer support' you are still not a customer of Apple's, in any legal sense, unless you bought it from them. You are an Apple user, and that's very different.

An "ulimate customer" as described in your quote, is not an actual customer. It's just a phrase to decribe an end user.

You, madam, are wrong ;)

Apple would provide support, of course, and they say so in their warranty, as do all manufacturers. Not because the users are customers - they aren't - but because they back up their goods with warranties and support, or people wouldn't buy them. However, LL doesn't not provide any such warranty, and we are really discussing the lack of "customer support" for free accounts. As I said earlier, most free accounts are not customers, although a few are. Therefore most free accounts cannot expect "customer support" from LL. They do get some 'user support' though.

Consider potatoes :) You buy a bag of potatoes from the local greengrocer's shop. The greengrocer had bought them from a local farmer. There is no printed warranty with them, of course, but you do have an unwritten, but enforceable, contract with the greengrocer because you paid the greengrocer for the potatoes. Then you find insects in one or two of the potatoes and you don't trust the rest to be free of insects. Do you take them to the local farmer who supplied the greengrocer? Of course not. Why? Because you didn't buy them from the farmer so you are not the farmer's customer. You take them to the greengrocer because you are a customer of his. That's what it's like with LL. You buy from LL, you are LL's customer. You don't buy from LL, you are not LL's customer.

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If the customer doesn't think their problem is worth a one-time $10 charge for support, I can't think why LL should judge it important enough to address. On the other hand, paying that fee comes with no guarantee of getting a resolution to the problem -- as many Premium members can attest. Still, that's exactly the same as Microsoft support, which is also pay-as-you-go, at least for mere consumers, and at quite a bit more than $10 per incident.

And sure, Basic members are customers. They're customers of the service--they get to experience Second Life, create things, maybe even sell stuff. They are not, however, customers of support for the service. Same as Microsoft products: buy Office, you get to use it; have problems with Office, buy support.

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Since you like quotes, here's the dictionary.com definition of the word 'customer':-

 

cus·tom·er

/ˈkʌs**Only uploaded images may be used in postings**://static.sfdict.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.png" border="0" alt="" />mər/ Show Spelled [kuhs-tuh-mer] Show IPA  

noun
1. a person who purchases goods or services from another; buyer; patron.
2. Informal. a person one has to deal with: a tough customer; a cool customer.
 
 
and from the Collins English Dictionary:-
 
1. a person who buys.
2. informal  a person with whom one has dealings: a cool customer
 
It's very simple, and there's nothing about things like "ultimate customer". That phrase is just an easy way of describing an end user and it doesn't make an end user a customer of a manufacture that sells via other companies.
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