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Are Any Other Balanvi Sky Renters, Partners or Guests Being Charged For Group Liabilities?


MsMagick
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This is the second week that my boyfriend and I have been charged Group Liabilities for the Land Group for the company that he rents from - Balanvi Sky Community C. I have my own land and he was not behind on his rent or anything of that nature. This started happening soon after they changed their minds about closing down the community, and it looks like we're being charged because they haven't paid enough tier or something:

2017-08-08 02:40:48 26bb4217 Destination: Balanvi Sky Community C 
Group Liability
L$2    
2017-08-01 02:40:07 cca37a09 Destination: Balanvi Sky Community C 
Group Liability
L$2

L$2 isn't much, but it could have been L$2000 or more, taken without a permission request or any kind of notification. I noticed it because I'm a merchant and check my Transaction History regularly, which seems to be the only place that it is shown. You can check yours at: https://accounts.secondlife.com/transaction_history

After I noticed this last week, I sent the Group Owner (who also owns the rental box, etc.) a notecard asking that they "refund our L$ and change the group settings for Residents (renters and their partners)", but I never heard anything back. Has anyone else had this issue - it might just be Community C - and have you tried contacting the owners or heard anything about it? Where would we report this to LL if we decide to do so?

M

 

 

Edited by MsMagick
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48 minutes ago, MsMagick said:
           
       

but it could have been L$2000 or more, taken without a permission request or any kind of notification

no it can't

49 minutes ago, MsMagick said:

 it looks like we're being charged because they haven't paid enough tier or something:

           
       

 

impossible

57 minutes ago, MsMagick said:

 

           
       

 Where would we report this to LL if we decide to do so?

 

not, groups liabilities are totally allowed to be charged to groupmembers, if it's wise... is a different question.

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2 hours ago, MsMagick said:

Apparently, we're paying their advertising expenses.

http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Video_Tutorial/What_is_a_group_liability%3F

 

Yes.  There are in fact many groups that pass on the Search charge to their members.  The charge is equally divided amongst members with the Group Liabilities role.  If there happen to be more than 30 members, then a random 30 will get a charge of L$1.

You can talk to the group owners, but it is not unusual for the Search expense to be passed on to the members.

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5 minutes ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

Yes.  There are in fact many groups that pass on the Search charge to their members.  The charge is equally divided amongst members with the Group Liabilities role.  If there happen to be more than 30 members, then a random 30 will get a charge of L$1.

You can talk to the group owners, but it is not unusual for the Search expense to be passed on to the members.

Thanks. This is a big land rental group. It doesn't seem reasonable to me to be paying their advertising expenses when we're paying rent. 

Edited by MsMagick
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25 minutes ago, MsMagick said:

Thanks. This is a big land rental group. It doesn't seem reasonable to me to be paying their advertising expenses when we're paying rent. 

If it is a large group, then some of you may have gotten the role by mistake - or maybe intentionally there is a subset that is getting it.  If you were charged L$2, that implies less than 30 members with the role.  If there were at least 30 members with the role, the system would have charge each L$1.  So it is still probably worth talking to the owner about it.

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2 hours ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

If it is a large group, then some of you may have gotten the role by mistake - or maybe intentionally there is a subset that is getting it.  If you were charged L$2, that implies less than 30 members with the role.  If there were at least 30 members with the role, the system would have charge each L$1.  So it is still probably worth talking to the owner about it.

You're assuming they are listing one piece of land. They have 25 parcels of land deeded to the group, which means the fees for listing them could be as much as (25 parcels x L$30/week) = L$750. We were just billed last night, and the group is currently showing a balance of L$272 due. 

The role that we are in that has the box checked to Pay Group Liabilities and Receive Group Dividends is the Resident role, for renters and their partners, and it has 367 members. 

It just started happening, but he's been renting there for months, and I've been on the rental box and in the group for about 3 months myself. 

2 hours ago, Monti Messmer said:

But even in RL you pay for the commercials on TV, radio, hate them or not.

They should have this in the rental agreement to know before you rent !

And i agree that group liablities are a bad feature for most (not all) groups.

Monti

Yes, as a business owner, I understand about paying for advertising. 

However, why in the world would we be paying advertising costs for my boyfriend's landlord??? It's their business and their responsibility. (And the covenant says nothing about paying for it.)

In any case, I sent the landlord another notecard and also IMed with the link to the video which shows how to fix it. Hopefully, it's just a mistake and will be fixed soon. He's paid up for three more weeks, but I don't know that I want to stay in the group if they don't fix it. 

M

Edited by MsMagick
Fixed typo & added info.
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7 minutes ago, MsMagick said:

You're assuming they are listing one piece of land. They have 25 parcels of land deeded to the group, which means the fees for listing them could be as much as (25 parcels x L$30/week) = L$750. We were just billed last night, and the group is currently showing a balance of L$272 due. 

Yes, I did make an invalid assumption there.

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It was most definitely not a mistake. I know this because they have never done this until recently. I have rented with them on and off for years. So, someone checked the box recently(how recently...I am not sure)

Why, I don't know, it's never been something they've done before, and never been in the covenant. I can't imagine they actually *need* the extra income to cover the fees, as they've always had a great deal of their parcels rented out. They're a pretty good rental business, in my experience, one of the better I've used over the years. So..who knows. I do know that communication isn't always their strongest suit when done inworld, but your best bet to actually get an answer is to use their group. I have only had a couple of issues, and they seem to have more individuals checking this more frequently. They used to have a ticket type system on their website, I'm not sure if they still do. The owner, even when his av online, is not actually always online. Sometimes his av is logged on, but he's not there. He may not even notice your IM. If you IM when he's not online, it may have capped. Even though people believe messages cannot be capped when one has offlines sent to email...they very much can, and do, happens to me all the time and I've had mine set up to send offlines to email for years. 

I have paid this fee, quite willingly, for some groups I have been in, without issue. Other groups, I do not believe it should be used.

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On 8/9/2017 at 8:34 PM, Tari Landar said:

It was most definitely not a mistake. I know this because they have never done this until recently. I have rented with them on and off for years. So, someone checked the box recently(how recently...I am not sure)

Why, I don't know, it's never been something they've done before, and never been in the covenant. I can't imagine they actually *need* the extra income to cover the fees, as they've always had a great deal of their parcels rented out. They're a pretty good rental business, in my experience, one of the better I've used over the years. So..who knows. I do know that communication isn't always their strongest suit when done inworld, but your best bet to actually get an answer is to use their group. I have only had a couple of issues, and they seem to have more individuals checking this more frequently. They used to have a ticket type system on their website, I'm not sure if they still do. The owner, even when his av online, is not actually always online. Sometimes his av is logged on, but he's not there. He may not even notice your IM. If you IM when he's not online, it may have capped. Even though people believe messages cannot be capped when one has offlines sent to email...they very much can, and do, happens to me all the time and I've had mine set up to send offlines to email for years. 

I have paid this fee, quite willingly, for some groups I have been in, without issue. Other groups, I do not believe it should be used.

Thanks! 

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It was L$1 this week. Still no reply even though someone in the separate support group said that they would bring it to the owner's attention several days ago.

2017-08-15 02:40:49 010ebeb4 Destination: Balanvi Sky Community C 
Group Liability
L$1
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21 minutes ago, MsMagick said:

It was L$1 this week. Still no reply even though someone in the separate support group said that they would bring it to the owner's attention several days ago.

2017-08-15 02:40:49 010ebeb4 Destination: Balanvi Sky Community C 
Group Liability
L$1

and?

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51 minutes ago, MsMagick said:

It was L$1 this week. Still no reply even though someone in the separate support group said that they would bring it to the owner's attention several days ago.

2017-08-15 02:40:49 010ebeb4 Destination: Balanvi Sky Community C 
Group Liability
L$1

Is this just sort of an FYI update post?  

Otherwise, while I understand your frustration at not getting responses inworld, there is nothing that we can do here.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/16/2017 at 1:38 PM, LittleMe Jewell said:

Is this just sort of an FYI update post?  

Otherwise, while I understand your frustration at not getting responses inworld, there is nothing that we can do here.

As the title indicates, I was trying to connect with their other renters to see if others are having the same issue. So posting to see if it's continuing for them, if they have heard anything, etc. (They have multiple groups for renters. The group(s) you're in depend on where you.) 

In any event, our rent runs out today and we've already left. I set up a house for both of us on my land.

Edited by MsMagick
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On 8/8/2017 at 6:14 AM, MsMagick said:

This is the second week that my boyfriend and I have been charged Group Liabilities for the Land Group for the company that he rents from - Balanvi Sky Community C. I have my own land and he was not behind on his rent or anything of that nature. This started happening soon after they changed their minds about closing down the community, and it looks like we're being charged because they haven't paid enough tier or something:

2017-08-08 02:40:48 26bb4217 Destination: Balanvi Sky Community C 
Group Liability
L$2    
2017-08-01 02:40:07 cca37a09 Destination: Balanvi Sky Community C 
Group Liability
L$2

L$2 isn't much, but it could have been L$2000 or more, taken without a permission request or any kind of notification. I noticed it because I'm a merchant and check my Transaction History regularly, which seems to be the only place that it is shown. You can check yours at: https://accounts.secondlife.com/transaction_history

After I noticed this last week, I sent the Group Owner (who also owns the rental box, etc.) a notecard asking that they "refund our L$ and change the group settings for Residents (renters and their partners)", but I never heard anything back. Has anyone else had this issue - it might just be Community C - and have you tried contacting the owners or heard anything about it? Where would we report this to LL if we decide to do so?

M

 

 

I don't know what the story is with Balanvi Sky Community, but I charge group liabilities at Ravenglass Rentals and so do others. It is enabled by the system; it is a perfectly legitimate policy; and I will never discontinue it despite the complaints of a few per thousand. At issue is the question of notification -- in my system, people have five different ways they are notified. If they miss all of those, understood, but they had the oportunity.

The anger and fury people feel about group liability is all out of proportion to what it is. $2L per week is...US $.03 per month. You can't afford pennies for your nice rental? It could be made part of the rent -- would you like higher rent that would round it off to a greater amount? Rentals cost money to provide, and group liability is a way of paying for those costs, which include putting land in search so people can find it.

Your issue seems to be notification -- but I find that even with FIVE DIFFERENT WAYS people are notified -- in their lease, on the group charter, in FAQS on site, on my profile, and in Quickstart cards handed to them -- it is NEVER enough. I find that the people complaining about it really don't care about the notifications as much as the feeling that "$2 is taken from me against my will". But if you join a group, group liabilities are a factor. If you are so upset about it, at the very first loss of $2L, then LEAVE THAT GROUP and that rental.

You can't report it to Linden Lab. It is a commercial dispute with a merchant in SL or a "resident-to-resident" dispute and they do not accept those complaints. Read their TOS -- twice they make this point in different sections. 

No landlord could "pay tier" on a mere 3 cents a month per customer. It's just not logical. Group liabilties are not for paying tier; they are for offsetting the cost of ads. Ads in search are what make the group debit -- they cost $30 per parcel and that is the only way for a group to pay for them. If you feel as if you don't benefit from land in search beyond your initial find and it still irritates you, find another rental.

And it's more than reasonable for YOU to pay a company's advertising costs as part of your rent because rent itself is for land that they have to pay tier on. There isn't another pay to pay for these ads. And even if there were, their choice to pay for it this way is legitimate. Your fury over the cost is out of proportion -- it's not going to escalate to $2000 because the fee is for the $30 search ad per parcel, nothing else.

 

 

Edited by Prokofy Neva
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  • 3 weeks later...
On 9/2/2017 at 4:11 PM, Prokofy Neva said:

Your issue seems to be notification -- but I find that even with FIVE DIFFERENT WAYS people are notified -- in their lease, on the group charter, in FAQS on site, on my profile, and in Quickstart cards handed to them -- it is NEVER enough. I find that the people complaining about it really don't care about the notifications as much as the feeling that "$2 is taken from me against my will". But if you join a group, group liabilities are a factor. If you are so upset about it, at the very first loss of $2L, then LEAVE THAT GROUP and that rental.

 

 

IF it were in the lease OR in the group charter OR in the info given to the renters when they joined, it would not have been an issue as we could have decided whether we were okay paying it. However, it was in NONE of those places, and not on the owners' profile or in any FAQ that I could find. And it was changed weeks/months after we became renters without updates to any of these or any notifications. They way that it was done, there was no notification, and therefore no opportunity to give or to withdraw consent.

Also, the owner did not respond to multiple attempts to contact him over the course of several weeks. While I disagree with the policy (which means that renters are responsible for, and directly paying, their landlord's business expenses), you sound like a more responsible landlord in that at least you've made those efforts to notify renters and potential renters do that they can choose for themselves.

We HAVE left the group and are no longer renting from them. I've set up a home for him/us on my land. 

We only stayed until the rent my boyfriend had pre-paid was used up, and used those weeks to try to contact the owner. We NEVER received a response.

Edited by MsMagick
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No, I hadn't worried about it for a month, but came to the Forum for something else only to find a notification for a long response that was not even applicable to our situation. In the end, it boils down to informed consent, customer service and honesty. 

 

(Today, I came to read the notice regarding the use of International Credit Cards.)

Edited by MsMagick
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

If they don't get back to you about this I would probably move TBH. I have never charged any of my tenants for group liabilities as this is a business expense, nothing the tenants should be paying for. The only time I pass this charge on is if someone wants to put the parcel they are renting from me in search in which case I add L$30 to the weekly rent which covers the L$30 taken out of my account every week.

I can understand paying this for a group if it was to do with a park or some other public place as they aren't likely to be making enough to cover the costs but the second a place starts offering rentals or selling stuff I would expect the owners to cover these costs, not group members.

On 9/3/2017 at 6:11 AM, Prokofy Neva said:

The anger and fury people feel about group liability is all out of proportion to what it is. $2L per week is...US $.03 per month. You can't afford pennies for your nice rental? It could be made part of the rent -- would you like higher rent that would round it off to a greater amount? Rentals cost money to provide, and group liability is a way of paying for those costs, which include putting land in search so people can find it.

As I stated above, are these costs not business expenses? Would you like to charge an extra fee any time you need to send a message to a customer to cover a small % of the cost of the equipment, electricity and internet connection? These are all expenses to the business and should not be passed onto customers apart from what is included in rentals or products sold.

If someone messages me to say they were charged a group liability for one of my groups, I would look into it as soon as I could checking the group permissions and fixing them so only staff can be charged as well as asking for the transaction details so I can refund whatever amount it is. Even L$1 is L$1 more than they should have been charged.

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