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Notecards? WTF Rant!


Medhue Simoni
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So, not a week ago, some1 IMs me and tells me they never got their download links. I sell a set of bodysuits with weights for Blender to use when rigging clothing for SL. Some people asked if they could pay for the package with lindens, so I figure out a way. The person just needs to pay me the lindens, and send me an IM with their email. I state this right on my website. Despite this, people still send me notecards, instead of IMs. Yeah, I know, people like to use notecards. Whatever! The problem is, LL stopped sending us email notifications for notecards, so I never knew this person sent me anything. I have far too many transactions to actually see them and notice.

The customer was nice about it, despite waiting weeks, but I can't do anything different, besides log in every day and check my notecards. Then, today, I get someone else saying they never got their download links. I'm like WTF, and check all my notecards. Now, I didn't find even 1 message or notecard from this person saying they didn't get their links, so I have no clue what is up with this case, but in the process of investigating, I see another person that sent me a notecard that I never knew about.

Now, I have no idea who to be mad or annoyed at, but something has to change. Plus, I just don't understand this obsession with notecards. Yeah, I get that it's a work around faulty IMs, but do we all have to be forced into using them FOREVER? Whatever happened to IM and Notecard? Despite having hundreds of sales a day, and numerous IMs a week, for almost a decade now, I've never had capped IMs. I always try to log in ever few days, at the least. Today, I don't know what to think tho. There are IMs that I don't get notifications for once in a while, and sometimes I get notifications, and login, only to not have any IMs, and having to find the person in search to get to the IM they just sent me. There is definitely something up with the whole system, which is crazy, but not unexpected from LL. I do eventually see all the IMS tho.

Really, I don't know why I'm ranting, cause it seems that this is just the way things are. Sad, isn't it. You know tho. I counted how many people sent me notecards instead of IMs, and it is staggering how many people did this. I thought for a second, maybe if I put the word IM in bold type on my website. Then, I just laughed at myself.

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In my profile I not only beg not to get notecards, but say that they are often capped. Not that some send notecards anyway but then if they dont get a response they can check my profile and assume the NC got capped. I do get emails telling me I got a notecard - sometimes. And I do make a note to look for them in inventory, but with IMs I can reply while not inworld, plus when inworld I have the IM right there. My IMs do cap sometimes but that's okay because I have them all in email.

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I didn't believe capped IMs was "a thing" either until I went away on holiday for 3 weeks last year, and returned to total devastation. Basically it said "your Ims were capped" or something to that effect in chat, and I couldn't see any of those IMs and there were no email notifications for those either. 

I have no idea how or why it is triggered, but it IS real. My backup now is to provide my gmail email in my profile. There is no real ideal solution as you know :/ Plus each merchant seems to have a different preferred contact method.

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I've often had this same rant.

Despite our profiles telling people to send IMs so we can actually reply, people send notecards- sometimes to say even less than an IM could. It's ridiculous.

If people don't want to turn on IM to email and want to insist that IMs get capped... They deserve to have messages lost and to lose L$, if you ask me. Plus if they're too dumb to read simple instructions, you probably don't want to deal with them anyway.

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OzwellWayfarer wrote:

I didn't believe capped IMs was "a thing" either until I went away on holiday for 3 weeks last year, and returned to total devastation. Basically it said "your Ims were capped" or something to that effect in chat, and I couldn't see any of those IMs and there were no email notifications for those either. 

I have no idea how or why it is triggered, but it IS real. My backup now is to provide my gmail email in my profile. There is no real ideal solution as you know
:/
Plus each merchant seems to have a different preferred contact method.

I can go weeks without logging in, and all my group notices, device IMs, and avatar IMs make it to my email without fail. I even have a server that IMs me a log daily- almost always goes to email. It's never missed a day.

Very rarely there's an issue where IM to email gets reset in people's preferences, but that hasn't happened for as long as I can remember.

In short, if someone's not getting their IMs, they probably did something for that to happen.

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All I know is I logged out, did nothing, came back 3 weeks later and got that message. Normally I always get offline IM notifications in my email. This time it went up to somewhere early in week 2 then stopped. I assume that's when it happened.


Normally I log in at least weekly, so this is the first and only time anything like that had a chance to happen. I don't see how it can be something I have inadvertently done either. I logged out, I logged in again.

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Gadget Portal wrote:

In short, if someone's not getting their IMs, they probably did something for that to happen.

While some people may not make every effort to ensure messages go through properly, the fact remains that the notifcation system has been out of whack for years. All you have to do is a simple search to see just how frequently this happens, and that it has happened, for years, with no fix on LL's part.

I have had my messages sent to email since the ability existed. I have still come back to capped messages(and the viewer indicated precisely this, not simply a guess on my part). I have also missed numerous messages over the years, however they are far more infrequent than the missed messages others have. Some people seem to have never missed a single message, which is awesome for them, I suppose. Others, however, have had mixed experiences. It is not simply people who are new, or people too ignorant to understand the settings and what we, as individuals, can do to better help ourselves, though. I am very well aware of everything that cabn be done, including things done within the viewer, as well as how to manage my own inbox and settings to make certain there is no reason at all for my email provider to reject a message. Yet, I still miss messages now and then. For a period of time, it was happening rather frequently, then it simply went back to normal(for me, normal is missing one every now and again). There is no rhyme or reason to the issue, and there never has been. At this rate, there never will be, either, lol.

Personally, I ask that folks send IMs, and notecards, or whatever is most comfortable for them. I still, every once in a blue moon, have an issue. In fact, I had one last week. A customer had sent an IM, which I did not get in my email, nor did it show up in the viewer when I logged in (no cap applied in this instance, I had only been logged off for roughly two hours). The customer waited a day or so, then sent a NC. I didn't get the notification that a NC was sent, but I make it a habit to check recent items every single time I log in, so I saw the NC right away. We fixed the problem within minutes, and all was well with the world. Still, ALL of my settings are as perfect as they could possibly be, and yet the system somehow, somewhere, screwed up. It happens, not that I really want to just accept this fact, I just happen to know it IS a fact, and has been for years. I still find it unacceptable....but what can one do, other than make sure to dot all I's and cross all T's on his or her end, the way most of us actually do.

 

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I have stopped getting email notifications of inventory offers, so I can confirm that NCs arrive without any indication. On the flip side, there are some positives in the way SL handles communications.

For starters the IM to Email mechanism seems to be very reliable with IMs sent by Avatars. It seems to be a tiny bit less reliable with script/object IMs but it's a very tiny bit indeed. As with others I absolutely ADORE the ability to reply to IMs that arrive via email. I do however like to start my reply with [offline IM] so people know I'm offline even though I replied.

When it comes to the Marketplace, I have noticed that their ANS system has become much more reliable in the last six months or so. That means the system I use to capture sales notices has been spot on for quite some time. I've had almost as perfect a record with MP sales notices, but there have been a very small number of failures as well. However my sales volume is very much lower than some of the others on this thread, so perhaps the sales emails drop off in reliability as volume increases .. I just don't know.

One important caveat about replying to IMs via email: Make SURE you delete any and all text automatically added to the reply by your email program or web site. If you do NOT remove the entire auto-text then you will most likely reveal your email address to the other person. You might not want to do that.

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It's just hard to do business this way. At the very least, we need a reliable communications system. It's another part of SL that FAILS miserably. I don't really blame the people trying to navigate around it. It's inexcusable to still have these problems.

The customer contacted me back and was very happy she FINALLY got the download links, but she told me she did send an IM also, and that IM is not in my email.

Now, I'm an animator, so I've never generally spent a huge amount of time in SL, except when I'm actually constructing something in SL, or like making my combat system. In some rare cases like that I'm in SL for hours on end, but that is not the usual. It's the creation aspect that I always loved. Over the past few years, I spend even less time in SL, as I'm doing more and more outside of SL. But... I still want to support SL, and my customers here. When applicable, I will convert what I've made to an SL version. This IM and notecard BS just makes things more and more difficult.

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Gadget Portal wrote:

I've often had this same rant.

Despite our profiles telling people to send IMs so we can actually reply, people send notecards- sometimes to say even less than an IM could. It's ridiculous.

If people don't want to turn on IM to email and want to insist that IMs get capped... They deserve to have messages lost and to lose L$, if you ask me. Plus if they're too dumb to read simple instructions, you probably don't want to deal with them anyway.

It's nice to know that someone else feels this same frustration. I try to do my best to support my customers, and the worst thing in the world is to be hurt by things you have no control over. In a virtual world, the communications system is the heart of the whole dang system. How can it still be this bad? Why are we subjected to this notecard torture?

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OzwellWayfarer wrote:

I didn't believe capped IMs was "a thing" either until I went away on holiday for 3 weeks last year, and returned to total devastation. Basically it said "your Ims were capped" or something to that effect in chat, and I couldn't see any of those IMs and there were no email notifications for those either. 

I have no idea how or why it is triggered, but it IS real. My backup now is to provide my gmail email in my profile. There is no real ideal solution as you know
:/
Plus each merchant seems to have a different preferred contact method.

Well, obviously, IMs get capped, and I have no solution for that, if people want or need to step away from SL for awhile. That said. It's kind of crazy to have a system that gets capped. Automatically it makes itself unreliable. I'm sure there some spammy reason for this, but I think that is the price you pay for having an IM system. What exactly is the point of an IM system if it's unreliable? If it's about spam, then attack it from the front end, not the back end. Meaning, stop the spammers, but don't keep people from getting IMs.

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You know, I don't think the Lindens quite understand the volume that we deal with. Yes, I know that is kind of crazy to say, but let me explain. When V2 came out, and every1 screamed about it, LL had some meetings to try and fix the problems. Of course, I went to them. Few other people were there. There were literally more lindens than users. In 1, it was just me and Moon Metty. In that "meeting" I complained about LL's new little icons next to all your friends names. Oz had no idea why they were a problem. I tried to explain that my whole viewer would freeze up for a long time by just opening my friends list. He didn't have that problem, cause he doesn't have 10 thousand friends, but I do. He didn't understand the volume of icons my viewer had to process. He only had is own situation to test, which is nothing like mine, or any merchant's.

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As has been pointed out here before, mainly by Sassy, Lindens apparently test their work with a handful of examples - like, a MP store with 12 listings  (with the exception of the revamped transaction page, which they got right on on the 2nd or 3rd try, and is great for high volume merchants.)

 

In many cases what works fine for 12 of something does not scale well for 1200.

 

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Tari Landar wrote:

I have had my messages sent to email since the ability existed. I have still come back to capped messages(and the viewer indicated precisely this, not simply a guess on my part). 

That;s expected behaviour.

There's a 25 IM limit where the server stores IM's.  However, when an IM is received, it is sent to the avatar or queue AND also sent via email if configured.

Sending IM's to email will only seek to ensure that IM 26 and above will continue to be sent via email but will not be added to the now full queue.  Hence logging in will show the 25 and "Your IM's were capped because we're running an out of date system and can't cope with holding any more in a queue but thanks for all the $ you pay us, we still refuse to add a hard disk or two to store additional IM's".

(ok, I paraphrased the last bit).

In short, sending IM's to email doesn't clear the queue and prevent inworld capping of IM's but it does (hopefully) send them all to email.

If LL is now not sending IM's for notecards then that's an unbelievable (*bangs head against a wall*, no wait, i've been here long enough) fail.  

I rely on the email facility to let me know that someone can't read the instructions in my profile to send an IM and NOT a notecard.  I have about as much interest in receiving a notecard as stepping in chewing gum on the pavement.  I just don't want them, useless things.

I only log in these days when I need to and that's typically to attend to some inworld generated event.  On the other hand, I could say "thanks LL, you've removed a reason to log in!"

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Sassy Romano wrote:


Tari Landar wrote:

I have had my messages sent to email since the ability existed. I have still come back to capped messages(and the viewer indicated precisely this, not simply a guess on my part). 

That;s expected behaviour.

There's a 25 IM limit where the server stores IM's.  However, when an IM is received, it is sent to the avatar or queue AND also sent via email if configured.

Sending IM's to email will only seek to ensure that IM 26 and above will continue to be sent via email but will not be added to the now full queue.  Hence logging in will show the 25 and "Your IM's were capped because we're running an out of date system and can't cope with holding any more in a queue but thanks for all the $ you pay us, we still refuse to add a hard disk or two to store additional IM's".

(ok, I paraphrased the last bit).

In short, sending IM's to email doesn't clear the queue and prevent inworld capping of IM's but it does (hopefully) send them all to email.

If LL is now not sending IM's for notecards then that's an unbelievable (*bangs head against a wall*, no wait, i've been here long enough) fail.  

I rely on the email facility to let me know that someone can't read the instructions in my profile to send an IM and NOT a notecard.  I have about as much interest in receiving a notecard as stepping in chewing gum on the pavement.  I just don't want them, useless things.

I only log in these days when I need to and that's typically to attend to some inworld generated event.  On the other hand, I could say "thanks LL, you've removed a reason to log in!"

Oh, I know the cap is expected behavior, that's also how I know the cap works :)

It's the fact that ims being sent to email, is not actually as reliable, across the board as it should be, or as some seem to assume it does.

The not sending notifications of items recived inworld is annoying as well, and alos not expected behavior of a system LL seems hell bent on believing works. It doesn't, it's one giant fail after another. Even when my messages seem to be working fine, I know that it's likely not working fine for others. It's also not the customer's fault when this entire communication system fails, which seems to be a popular belief with some folks.

When I need to communicate, I always check profiles to see if there is a preferred method. I use that method, whenever possible. If for some reason it does not work, I don't automatically assume the other party doesn't have things set up right, I just wait for a few days, to a week(depending on time sensitivity to the issue, of course). Only then do I try other methods. Like if a creator doesn't want notecards, I won't send them unless I absolutely feel I have to. I've only come across that kind of instance a couple of times. The creator didn't answer IMs for over two weeks, so I decided to try a NC instead. Eventually, we were able to fix the problem, but I have my suspicions as to whether or not the IMs themselves had ever made it to the creator in the first place(knowing, the system fails, and accepting this, is helpful in those case).

If LL would just listen and actually address issues, and fix what's possible to fix, I bet they'd have a much better rep with people, lol.

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Let me preface this by saying that we shouldn't have to deal with borked communications in SL.  IM's and other notifications not getting through or getting lost is wrong.  We should be able to depend on things working.

But speaking as a customer I do check profiles for preferred contact method and try to adhere to them.  But many times I prefer to send a note card.  Especially if the description of the problem is lengthy or requires screenshots to clearly show the problem.   I can paste those easily into a note card.

In that event I will IM the Merchant to let them know I've sent a note card detailing the problem.

Having the note card in my inventory then makes it easier for me to keep track of things.

Given that IM's,etc to Email are not always dependable or can be capped using note cards can have some possible advantages.  If autoAcceptNewInventory (debug setting) is set to TRUE (the default is FALSE), then all inventory offers, even above 25, go directly to inventory and do not count against the cap on offline messages.

Doing this would mean you'd need to take the initiative to check for new note cards received since last log on but they wouldn't get 'lost.'  Also checking properties would make finding the senders profile easy peasy. 

So is an idea for your consideration.

 

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Tari Landar wrote:


If LL would just listen and actually address issues, and fix what's possible to fix, I bet they'd have a much better rep with people, lol.

Really, it's not hard to turn that rep around, and it's pretty straight forward how you do that. You just fix the bugs. Blender was plagued with bugs 5 years ago. Saving every few minutes was a must. At the last Blender Conference, the coders were literally tracking and fixing the bugs while at the conference, to keep the total known bugs ridiculously low for such a complex program. It's many times more complex than SL, althought no back end, which does bring about many more problems. LL just has to take bug fixing seriously. I've tried to get bugs fixed. It's like pulling teeth. They always assume you are lying or don't know what you are talking about. My experience with all software companies is completely different. They assume you know the program, likely better than themselves. When they fix it, or figure out why I had the issue, they are extremely happy I helped them find a problem. Some even gave me free stuff. Notice, I said when, not if, because I've never filed a bug, or jira, or messaged a programer about a problem and not had it addressed affectively, except for SL.

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I like to equate customer bug reports with customers that bring back items they've purchased and then found to be defective. Some percentage are just a misunderstanding on the customer's part, some are because they broke it and don't want to be honest about it, and some are because the item is truly broken and should be fixed or replaced.

Truly effective Customer Service in this instance means taking all people at face value then mixing in a good measure of common sense and experience. No matter what your decision is, no matter how you intend to resolve the customer's issue with their item, you communicate to them what they can expect and how it will be handled .. and then you do as you said.

It is my experience with LL that there are many facets of their company that do not follow those last two steps. They either do not communicate what to expect in the process, or they do not do as they have said. This leaves people confused, frustrated and less than willing to be polite in future interactions.

Primarily though, LL's tendency to be completely silent on almost every issue raised is roughly equivalent to approaching the Customer Service desk, engaging a clerk and explaining your problem .. then having them turn and walk away without saying a word and without even acknowledging your existence. If that happened in a retail situation, I am quite sure that most people would immediately escalate the issue to the nearest manager .. forcefully.

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  • 2 weeks later...

As a customer myself, I'm so used to seeing the profiles that say "IMs capped, please send me a NC," or a merchant saying I should've sent them a notecard, so my autopilot to contact a merchant is a notecard.

As a merchant I prefer IMs of course knowing it sends to my email right away, but some customers would rather persistently do the notecard.

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