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Premium Question and Confusion

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Currently, nonpayment results in a permanent account deletion - unrestorable.

You can be a premium member for 8+ years, miss a bill and be late by enough and your account is perma-zapped.

You can't possibly believe that is better than simply downgrading the same person to basic...

 

SL is the ONLY MMO that deletes accounts for nonpayment. The others all either make you a free account if those exist (as they do here), or suspend you until you pay.

 SL doesn't do it the moment you miss payment. You get an unstated amount of time to get things corrected - and then the account is gone forever - wiped from the database. I've come very close to this once when paypal and my bank each confused each other over a mistaken belief that my account had been stolen, and then locked me out of anything but cash in person at the bank for a month...

 

 

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Pussycat Catnap wrote:

Currently, nonpayment results in a permanent account deletion - unrestorable.

 

http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Delinquency_policy   

You have 30 days before an account is placed in delinquency.  I don't believe accounts are still deleted for nonpayment, there is no mention of this in the terms. 

 

 

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Kenbro Utu wrote:


Pussycat Catnap wrote:

Currently, nonpayment results in a permanent account deletion - unrestorable.

 

   

You have 30 days before an account is placed in delinquency.  I don't believe accounts are still deleted for nonpayment, there is no mention of this in the terms.  

Yeah, they did away with the deletion part a few years ago. Accounts that went delinquent several years ago, before they changed the policy, would have already been wiped.

 

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Cerise Sorbet wrote:


Kenbro Utu wrote:


Pussycat Catnap wrote:

Currently, nonpayment results in a permanent account deletion - unrestorable.

 

   

You have 30 days before an account is placed in delinquency.  I don't believe accounts are still deleted for nonpayment, there is no mention of this in the terms.  

Yeah, they did away with the deletion part a few years ago. Accounts that went delinquent several years ago, before they changed the policy, would have already been wiped.
 

More recent that several years though I don't know when. The page he links was last updated in May 2013.

But I've received a pending deletion warning as recent as 2011 or 2012. Not sure exactly - when Paypal and my bank got into it with each other and froze me out of all non-physical transactions, I went for a month with no access to anything but cash from a teller in person while they each tried to pretend the other had made the mistake on my account... (the belief was that I'd been hacked, and each claimed to have been warned by the other and would not change it without approval from the other - regardless of me standing in the bank with every piece of ID from my birth certificate on forward... In the end it was someone I knew who was hacked, and the bank employee had flag the wrong of two files. The exact same thing recently happend to a coworker - who shares the same first and last name with a distant cousin from India that is temporarily working in the US on the east coast - said cousin got mugged, and they froze the wrong account).

I got my SL sorted out by using a RL friend's credit card...

 

If the policy has changed that's a very good thing - because the old one was way to risky to events not at all a person's fault.

I read the new policy - maybe I'm just missing it now, but I see no statement on how long they will wait until the seize your land. If they just let you hold onto it, I could see a lot of people abusing the situation.

 

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First off, speaking somewhat in general, sometimes I don't understand the problem people have at times with understanding that business is business.  Businesses could not function nor would Consumers have protections if contracts were not enforceable.  That is a two way street.  While it is true that most contracts are weighted in the business's favor, the TOS being a prime example, the business still has an obligation to carry out their responsibilities or obligations per the contract.

I worked for a small business that dealt with a lot of custom orders and quite frankly the number of people who would try to cancel or get out of their contract in some way was appalling.  If we allowed this it would have literally put us out of business.  It is a real problem for many small businesses.  Bigger businesses perhaps can absorb theses losses better but it still has an impact on their bottom line and there is still also a domino effect. 

When it comes to Premium Accounts in SL we don't know what percentage are land owners.  When it comes to those who own land, tier is payed after the fact.  You get billed for the previous month's usage.  Assuming that LL kept up their end of the contract by making that land available to you, you now have a legitimate debt to LL.  If there was no consequences for failure to pay LL would have no tools to enforce collection unless they wanted to go to the trouble of using a collection agency or other legal means.  So simply saying 'downgrade to basic' for failure to pay would be a losing solution for LL. 

For those Premium Accounts that don't own land or take advantage of the Linden Homes, the above still applies to them because LL has to maintain the product on hand to service those accounts should they choose to exercise their rights to own land or get a Linden Home.

The above is also one of the reasons I believe LL requires a verified form of payment on file, either a credit card or a PayPal account backed by a credit card.  It reduces the risk of non payment for services provided for them.

It's business.  Really plain and simple.

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Kenbro Utu wrote:

It would really not be good business for Linden Lab to treat nonpayment as an automatic downgrade to service.  There could be any number of reasons including temporary financial difficulties, healthy issues, unexpected incidents/accidents, or acts of nature that could preclude someone from paying on time, without the intent of downgrading service. It would be a great disservice if an event like one of these were to occur, and the customer inadvertantly loses their land and has their prims returned (hopefully without loss), or other unforeseen ramifications.  For this reason alone, LL cannot treat nonpayment as a decision to downgrade.  

Great point, Kenbro.  This topic is one of those that comes up over the years; way back in Resident Answer days on the old forums when this topic was brought up one poster said that, due to never knowing what unforeseen RL circumstances may happen, he has an alt with no additional inventory on it other than what it comes with as his premium account holder.  The alt owns the land and gives full land access privileges to the main, etc.  In that way if something unexpected happened in RL that resulted in him not able to pay tier for a period of time his main account with all his inventory, etc. would be ok with only the alt possibly locked out of SL.

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Okay, let's put it this way.. All I did was say they should make it easier on people, more convienient. For people like me where it says LITERALLY 

Next bill date:


How is someone to know? I have premium but it says jack **bleep**. Screen shot 2013-12-22 at 5.09.33 PM.png

 

Hence what all my crap was about :L I'm no child it's just the way LL has things set up is in no way conveinient.

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Okay.. so, like I said to Amethyst Jetaime..

"Okay, let's put it this way.. All I did was say they should make it easier on people, more convienient. For people like me where it says LITERALLY 

Next bill date:


How is someone to know? I have premium but it says jack **bleep**. "

 

Screen shot 2013-12-22 at 5.09.33 PM.png

 

That's what mine shows and that's why this was brought about.

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Hacker Bluebird wrote:

Okay.. so, like I said to Amethyst Jetaime..

"Okay, let's put it this way.. All I did was say they should make it easier on people, more convienient. For people like me where it says LITERALLY 
Next bill date:

 

How is someone to know? I have premium but it says jack **bleep**. "

 

Screen shot 2013-12-22 at 5.09.33 PM.png

 

That's what mine shows and that's why this was brought about.

That is very strange.  Did you set up to cancel your Premium?  Because then there would not be a "next bill date."  (I'm not trying this out myself to see what happens).

My summary looks like this:

 

bill date.JPG

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Perrie Juran wrote:

When it comes to Premium Accounts in SL we don't know what percentage are land owners.  When it comes to those who own land, tier is payed after the fact.  You get billed for the previous month's usage.  Assuming that LL kept up their end of the contract by making that land available to you, you now have a legitimate debt to LL.  If there was no consequences for failure to pay LL would have no tools to enforce collection unless they wanted to go to the trouble of using a collection agency or other legal means.  So simply saying 'downgrade to basic' for failure to pay would be a losing solution for LL. 

And yet that model works quite well for ALL of the competition.

- The loss of the premium benefits on failing to pay, would put people at basic. Which is exactly where they would have been had they paid to begin with.

Making it less risky to become premium - would, as more successful competitors have found, cause more people take that leap.

Every competing MMO with dual free and subscription models works like this - and its been a massive success for the MMO industry.

Yet again, this MMO thinks it is somehow unique and so choose to stand alone.

 

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Pussycat Catnap wrote:


Perrie Juran wrote:

When it comes to Premium Accounts in SL we don't know what percentage are land owners.  When it comes to those who own land, tier is payed after the fact.  You get billed for the previous month's usage.  Assuming that LL kept up their end of the contract by making that land available to you, you now have a legitimate debt to LL.  If there was no consequences for failure to pay LL would have no tools to enforce collection unless they wanted to go to the trouble of using a collection agency or other legal means.  So simply saying 'downgrade to basic' for failure to pay would be a losing solution for LL. 

And yet that model works quite well for ALL of the competition.

- The loss of the premium benefits on failing to pay, would put people at basic. Which is exactly where they would have been had they paid to begin with.

Making it less risky to become premium - would, as more successful competitors have found, cause more people take that leap.

Every competing MMO with dual free and subscription models works like this - and its been a massive success for the MMO industry.

Yet again, this MMO thinks it is somehow unique and so choose to stand alone.

 

What other MMO's do you 'own' land in?

I myself don't know but it has to be a very small minority.

Can you cite specific examples of MMO's that have land ownership that do what you are saying?

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Perrie Juran wrote:


Pussycat Catnap wrote:


Perrie Juran wrote:

When it comes to Premium Accounts in SL we don't know what percentage are land owners.  When it comes to those who own land, tier is payed after the fact.  You get billed for the previous month's usage.  Assuming that LL kept up their end of the contract by making that land available to you, you now have a legitimate debt to LL.  If there was no consequences for failure to pay LL would have no tools to enforce collection unless they wanted to go to the trouble of using a collection agency or other legal means.  So simply saying 'downgrade to basic' for failure to pay would be a losing solution for LL. 

And yet that model works quite well for ALL of the competition.

- The loss of the premium benefits on failing to pay, would put people at basic. Which is exactly where they would have been had they paid to begin with.

Making it less risky to become premium - would, as more successful competitors have found, cause more people take that leap.

Every competing MMO with dual free and subscription models works like this - and its been a massive success for the MMO industry.

Yet again, this MMO thinks it is somehow unique and so choose to stand alone.

 

What other MMO's do you 'own' land in?

I myself don't know but it has to be a very small minority.

Can you cite
specific
examples of MMO's that
have land ownership
that do what you are saying?

Everquest went to an optional Free-to-Play model a little over a year ago, iirc.  Since EQ is an old game, they never offered a free trial period, and probably hoped to appeal to some new users is my opinion of why they went that route...BUT..while the F2P mode is ok, imo, for people checking the game out, for old, established users it is a major pain.  The reasons being:

*Only 4 (of the most unpopular) races and *I think* 4 (or a limited amount) of classes (equally unpopular) can be selected.  Established residents with other races/classes were grandfathered in.

*Can only have a very limited bank space.  Banking space in EQ is limited enough as it is, with people making alts to store overflow items if they can be transferred, etc.

*No sharing bank slots between alts

*Only a certain amount of money (plat, gold, etc.) can be on the account

*No equipment or "extras" (gems, etc.) that enhance one's characters's stats permitted

There are some others, these are just the ones I can think of offhand from not signing in since right after EQ instituted that.  Prior to the F2P option, I paid monthly when I was active ($14.95/mo.)  After 7 years of steady playing I joined SL and my time in EQ since then has been very sporadic, but when I wanted to play a bit (or visit with EQ friends), I'd pay the $14.95 USD and just pick up where I left off, with all my characters intact, including money & equipment.

After the F2P was instituted, I signed in to check it out and WHOA!  EQ money, with the exception of the little bit permitted in F2P, was gone (in EQ one can't purchase money with USD; it is gained by killing/looting mobs, selling loot from looted mobs, or selling items one has looted and/or made to other players), 3/4 of my items in the bank were gone, most of the gear I'd worked (played) hard for over the years was greyed out, meaning could not be worn, oh...and all but one of my mercenaries (NPCs that play alongside of one's character) were gone.  I received a notice that I was out of food and water (avatars in EQ have to "eat & drink") and that all the items from my bank, etc. could be reclaimed by paying becoming a "Gold Member" (similar to Premium), then going to a particular NPC for all my items that had been removed from my avatar and bank.  I signed out in disgust and haven't been back since.  Again, I can see this model being ok for someone new to try out EQ or a very, very, very casual player, but I would MUCH rather pay monthly and not be basically extremely handicapped in my play, especially at my level.

(I just realized a lot of the verbiage doesn't make much sense to non-EQ/MMORPG players; short version - I lost all of my "good stuff" when I checked out F2P and the next time (if/when) I do pay and log in, I have to spend time going to some NPC to reclaim my stuff and reorganize it all.)

The point is, mostly in response to Pussycat, I'm not at all happy with how EQ has handled the F2P model.

About two-ish years ago EQ introduced "owning land" into EQ.  Like SL, rent (tier) has to be paid (I think weekly) or one is locked out of the land.  It doesn't affect anything else about one's character/equipment and it also doesn't automatically downgrade a person to the F2P model either; the two (owning land/paying monthly or going F2P) are two entirely separate issues.  Unless it's improved hugely I always thought the land deal in EQ was a bit silly since it could only have houses, furniture, landscaping items, etc. on it that were purchased from an NPC; no such thing as building one's own anything.  Plus the avatars can only sit, stand, and do battle animations, thus they can't lay down in a bed or sit in a chair, for example, but it was amazing how excited people in EQ were about being able to have a home.  I told some friends (and probably mentioned on the EQ forums) about being able to build, decorate, etc. to their heart's content on SL but got the "There's nothing to kill in SL" argument.

My main point is whether people want to call SL a game or not, it is NOTHING like an MMO or MMORPG so it's like comparing apples to oranges in most regards.

Edit: Clarification

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Thanks for taking the time to explain all that.

A few questions. 

In EQ did you or do you pay your rent (tier) at the beginning or at the end of your rental period? 

Were there different sized parcels available? Could you own more than one parcel?

Could you 'sub-let' (that is after all what we do when we rent our land to others in SL) your parcels?

Thanks


Also I want to add another thought to the equation.  In some instances in SL we may not be talking about small sums of money that may be owed to LL.  An entire Mainland SIM would be $195.00.  What about someone who owned several SIMs?  All in all you could be talking about a lot more than the $14.95 per month in EQ.

Again, I'm looking at this from a purely business point of view sans the issues of LL's lackluster support and the perceived overpricing for land in SL.

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Most welcome, Perrie.  In answer to your questions:


Perrie Juran wrote:

In EQ did you or do you pay your rent (tier) at the beginning or at the end of your rental period? 

To the best of my recollection based on the last time I actively played EQ over a year ago, the "upkeep fee" (ie. tier/rent) is due weekly. I think one can pay for some time ahead, but not sure if there is a cap on that, based on more info:   I'm in EQ looking around one of the housing areas now.  There are different sizes of parcels and, much like SL, there is an initial purchase price for the parcel (which is set by EQ based on its size, players cannot sell land to each other) plus a regular "upkeep" fee, again dependent on the parcel size.  There is also a "capacity" amount for each parcel which would be analagous to SL prims.  At the bottom of the parcel info it says:

"Plots will pack up all items, send them to the owner, and become available for purchase again if the owner of the plot has not logged in within 90 days."

(Bolding mine)  So EQ players who own plots but have not logged in (it doesn't say anything about being delinquent in plot upkeep payments) within 90 days apparently forfeit the plot AND anything they have purchased to put on the plot (house & furnishings) and have to repurchase them.  This would keep someone from paying, for example, 6 months upkeep fee in advance and then not logging in until time to pay the fee again.  My guess why this is so is for active players to have the opportunity to own parcels as there is a finite amount.


Perrie Juran wrote:

Were there different sized parcels available? Could you own more than one parcel?

Yes, there are different size parcels as mentioned above, plus different types of locations such as on a mountain top with only one parcel there, overlooking a lake, pond, river, etc., or in what we call in SL "plain flat grassland" - much like a neighborhood of a lot of parcels next to each other.  The larger the parcels/plots, the more expensive the initial payment and the upkeep fee is higher; the same holds for plots that are in more desireable locations.

I'm pretty sure that players can own more than one parcel but it's not possible to join continguous parcels together; each plot is separate unto itself with small stone pavers about 3 feet high surrounding each plot.  I tried to find some info on EQ land on their forums and did see a thread where someone was complaining that her "husband" who owned the plot was the only one who could place items (rez) on the plot.  I recall when I last played that the owner of the plot can set up a white list of who has permission to enter a house (anyone can be on the plot itself right up to the doorstep) and only those on the list can enter.  I believe if one does not set up a white list then anyone can enter the house.  There is no method to enter a locked house such as we have in SL.  My main point here is that one can't set up group-owned plots for rezzing purposes.


Perrie Juran wrote:

Could you 'sub-let' (that is after all what we do when we rent our land to others in SL) your parcels?

No, not at all; it appears that only one person can "own" a plot in EQ and be the only person to rez items on it as above.

While I was looking through the EQ forums, I found an interesting thread.  It reminds me of the posts here re: Premium vs. Basic.  The 8th comment in that thread are the thoughts I was trying to convey in my post about how the F2P model isn't good for established players.  In SL, a person can be Basic and, except for the ability to purchase mainland, not getting the weekly stipend, and having access to "better" levels of customer service, can pretty much lead the same type of SL as a Premium member.  In EQ, a free player is severely limited and, again, for an established player playing for free in essence penalizes the person.  So again, the analogy about downgrading from Premium to Basic in SL can't really be compared with at least EQ.  Unless something has transpired in the last year, WoW does not have the ability to own land and one pays a monthly fee to play.  WoW does offer a free trial period but it only extends to level 20 (I did that in about two days) and certain functions, equipment, spells, etc. won't work during the free trial.  I did like that feature as a "try before buy" option and, imo, that is what EQ's F2P model was really set up for; not to be an option for those who really get heavily into the game.

 

 

 

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Czari Zenovka wrote:

Most welcome, Perrie. 

 

 

While I was looking through the EQ forums, I found an
.  It reminds me of the posts here re: Premium vs. Basic.

 

 

That thread sure does sound like the SL Forums!

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Perrie Juran wrote:


Czari Zenovka wrote:

Most welcome, Perrie. 

 

 

While I was looking through the EQ forums, I found an
.  It reminds me of the posts here re: Premium vs. Basic.

 

 

That thread sure does sound like the SL Forums!

LOL, exactly!  You see references to the company (SoE - Sony Entertainment) not caring about the players, only wanting a profit, etc.  So no matter what virtual world or game one inhabits, complaining/debating, etc. are a constant.  Another reason I can't support the "every other MMO out there handles <whatever> better" (or words to that effect).

ETA:  For the brief time I was in EQ to check out the plots, I was getting spammed by ads in the middle of my screen to "Update to Gold" - in addition to the constant reminders that I was low on food.  I'm wondering how many times that ad to upgrade to Gold (ie. Premium) pops up per/hour when one is in the game on the free model.  And it wasn't just a little drop down, it was large and smack dab in the middle of my screen.  If I'd been engaged in battle, those few seconds of not being able to see all of my surroundings could have led to an untimely death...lol.

Edit: Clarification

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