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Owynn

Is this fraud?

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Okay. I promise not to extend a conversation on this one. PROMISE. Looking for an answer on TOS as it pertains to my situation with a rental and looking for advice on how to proceed.

 

I've been renting from a place for a while or had been and one of the last times I paid my rental box for my skybox, the rental box took my rent for a payment of two weeks and then glitched and claimed my rent was past due and ejected me from the land group. I contacted the rental company through their support portal and they refunded my two weeks I paid and informed me that the rental unit was out of date and I should move to an updated one. There was no communication to me or their other rentals that some of their skyboxes they were still renting out may have these kinds of issues.

I found that they did not have a rental unit available of the same size with the same prim allotment. However, I picked my things up and continued to stay in contact through IMs with tbe owner. After I had put in my initial support request, we had been communicating through IMs and offline IMs.

The owner offered me free 30 days of rental time provided I kept my business with her company and paid 1500 L at a new rental to start the rent. She stated after I paid at a new unit, she would credit me a free 30 days worth of rental time. She also offered to set up a new similar rental just for me based on what I want. 

 

I communicated what I'd like to see and what I wanted in the way of a skybox, which would be whatever the updated version of what I had would be. I had also asked why they just couldn't put down a rental box in the skybox I already had. I never got a response. I IM'd her a few more times asking if I still lived here and again to ask if I could at least be reinvited to the group, and still got no response. I will also note that she was online at the time of my last IM to her asking if I could at least be reinvited to the group.

The other day, I went and bought a new rental with the same company since I saw that they had an updated one like mine available. I paid the 1500L and then contacted them through their support portal to let them know that I rented a new box and would like to take them up on the offer of a free 30 days added to my rental.

She contacted me today stating the offer had expired as I had not stayed in contact with them through their support portal. I was never told I had to respond to her IMs through the support portal after the initial support request had been placed and she claimed repeatedly that I ignored the offer and never reaponded and she had no logs of me reaponding because I did not use their support portal for every response.

I told her that as I had not had any problems with them I had no reason to believe the offer for a free 30 days would not be honored and she did not stipulate a time frame or expiration date with that offer. 

She then said again I did not respond and the silence went on for too long. I had sent more than one message she never reaponded to, the last of which was sent while she was online. 

 

I then informed her that I made financial decisions based on her offer of free 30 days rental time provided I paid for one week of rent first and as I have written communication from her promising me the 30 days with no expiration or time limit, I did my part expecting her to do hers. I advised that that constitutes an agreement in writing and I would be happy to have my lawyers send her a letter explaining the law regarding written agreements. This is not a threat of legal action, just an offer to have my lawyers explain the situation.

 

She then stayed that I have now threatened her and her family which is a breech of the rental agreement and ejected me from the land group. I asked if I may have time to pick up my things and she said no and ejected and banned me. I asked her if I may have the 1500L refunded and be on my way and she said no.

 

I feel cheated. I paid that 1500L with the understanding I would be granted something in return for it. I made a financial decision based on that offer. I aslo bought over 37,000 lindens in new furniture and products, some of which may now be lost due to them being returned as opposed to being picked up by me as some were no copy.

 

I can understand her being upset and asking me to leave and preventing me from renting there again. I do not see why I could not have been allowed to pick up my things as I was asking to do so and stating I would leave and she may ban me after. 

 

This could have been handled much better, perhaps even by me. All I asked was to be allowed to pick up my things and also to be granted a refund of the 1500L as I paid that to get something else I was promised that was not delivered. 

 

Is it fraud for her to do this? 

Should I subpoena LL for her contact information? Or can this be taken care of another way?

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Oh boy!  SL Dramah!

First:  No, it's not fraud.  In Second Life, the Golden Rule is, "She Who Owns the Land, Makes the Rules."  A landowner can admit or exclude anyone she chooses, for any reason whatsoever, regardless of any "written agreement".

Second:  There are no contracts in Second Life.  Your lawyer can advise you on this, but in brief, for a contract to exist there are several requirements.  One of these requirements is that the contract is between two parties who have the authority to enter into a contract.  Avatars are anonymous, and therefore have no standing to form a legally binding contract.

Third:  There is NO LAW in Second Life.  There is only the Terms of Service, the Community Standards, and associated Linden Lab policies.  Unless there is breach of these terms, there is no actionable fraud.  If you think otherwise, ask your lawyer.  You agreed to the Terms of Service, etc., when you signed up for SL.  If you read them, they basically say, "You have no rights, and you can't hold us responsible for anything, pretty much."

Fourth:  The Second Golden Rule of SL is, "Caveat emptor",  or "let the buyer beware."  YOU are responsible for the consequences of your actions, and "I thought it was something else" is not an excuse for LL to get involved.

And, Fifth:  You should NEVER have brandished your lawyer at the landlord.  As others have said, it's ludicrous to pursue a legal action over six bucks.  Plus, if you had done this to me (I'm a landlord too, see my signature) I would have done exactly as she did...ban, eject and mute you.

I think the landlord was dumb to go back on her offer of a free month, but it ain't fraud.

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The simplest answers ...

1. If your stuff is returned in one lump as a coalesced object, all you have to do is unpack it in a sandbox somewhere.  All of your items, including the no-copy things, should be there. Just be sure to use basic rules when you unpack the object: (go to the middle of the sandbox, open your editor -- CTRL + 3 -- before you do anything else, and then rez the coalesced object. While it is still selected, move the whole thing around as needed, so that nothing is underground or in someone else's things. Then take objects individually back to your inventory. )

2. L$1500 is about $6.  It's not worth working up a sweat about, and certainly not worth retaining a lawyer for. Whether you feel wronged or not, just walk away and find someplace else to enjoy.

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5 hours ago, Owynn said:

The owner offered me free 30 days of rental time provided I kept my business with her company

Those words are clear enough - rent something right now and I'll throw in 30 days. The standout is her use of the term "kept".

If you've not kept your business with her by renting a new property immediately, but instead you take a rent holiday over about a day then you have not - in any sense of the word - "kept" your business with her.

"Kept" indicates an absolute continuity.

 

5 hours ago, Owynn said:

The other day, I went and bought a new rental with the same company...

You don't define that time. Hours, Days, Weeks? If it's more than a day, then I would consider *you* broke the agreement not her.

 

Now as to it being against the TOS. Nope, user-to-user interactions are not policed. SL is akin to the wild west.

 

 

As I have 2 sons, and a sub in SL.. some fatherly advice for you Owynn. I believe you need to soften your expectations of other people a little. From this question and the last it's clear that you are trying to hold people to the standards you want for yourself. And that standard might be somewhat too high for a video game.

Even if other people are wrong, you will find SL becomes more enjoyable if you start considering that other people are not perfect, that the nature of our humanity means people will say incorrect things, tell lies, break promises, and also speak harshly.

Rather than rushing to the lawyers, roll your eyes instead. It's human nature and you can't punish them into submission.

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6 minutes ago, Owynn said:

Just a bit of advice on that as it is nice to have when other companies outside of Sl try to bully you!

Thanks.  I've managed quite well for over 70 years without retaining a lawyer, but I'll save your note just in case.  ;)

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25 minutes ago, Owynn said:

Is it fraud for her to do this? 

Should I subpoena LL for her contact information? Or can this be taken care of another way?

Sounds like a resident - resident issue to me.  LL won't get involved

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I don't know that it constitutes fraud, especially by SL definition of things.  Assuming that your stuff does actually get returned, then you can't really do anything about not being able to go get the items yourself - even no-copy items usually do return okay.

If you really wanted to, I suppose you could try to pursue legal options, but is it really worth the cost and hassle and time for the equivalent of US $6 - for a matter that is most definitely not clear cut.

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1 minute ago, Rolig Loon said:

Thanks.  I've managed quite well for over 70 years without retaining a lawyer, but I'll save your note just in case.  ;)

I'm actually really happy to hear that! I unfortunately live in a place where a lot of local businesses regularly break federal consumer laws thinking the State will protect them.

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5 minutes ago, Lindal Kidd said:

Oh boy!  SL Dramah!

First:  No, it's not fraud.  In Second Life, the Golden Rule is, "She Who Owns the Land, Makes the Rules."  A landowner can admit or exclude anyone she chooses, for any reason whatsoever, regardless of any "written agreement".

Second:  There are no contracts in Second Life.  Your lawyer can advise you on this, but in brief, for a contract to exist there are several requirements.  One of these requirements is that the contract is between two parties who have the authority to enter into a contract.  Avatars are anonymous, and therefore have no standing to form a legally binding contract.

Third:  There is NO LAW in Second Life.  There is only the Terms of Service, the Community Standards, and associated Linden Lab policies.  Unless there is breach of these terms, there is no actionable fraud.  If you think otherwise, ask your lawyer.  You agreed to the Terms of Service, etc., when you signed up for SL.  If you read them, they basically say, "You have no rights, and you can't hold us responsible for anything, pretty much."

Fourth:  The Second Golden Rule of SL is, "Caveat emptor",  or "let the buyer beware."  YOU are responsible for the consequences of your actions, and "I thought it was something else" is not an excuse for LL to get involved.

And, Fifth:  You should NEVER have brandished your lawyer at the landlord.  As others have said, it's ludicrous to pursue a legal action over six bucks.  Plus, if you had done this to me (I'm a landlord too, see my signature) I would have done exactly as she did...ban, eject and mute you.

I think the landlord was dumb to go back on her offer of a free month, but it ain't fraud.

Thank you for this information. I was actually digging to find a definition of "Fraud" as defined by Linden Lab as opposed to how it is defined outside of Secondlife and I cannot find any place where LL describes what they mean by "Fraud" though it is mentioned in the terms of service. OUTSIDE of Sl, this could constitute fraud as I was promised something additional in order to keep me as a customer provided I gave a monetary payment. IE: Promising something specific in exchange for financial gain. I guess this is also complicated by LL defining Lindens as virtual tokens and NOT currency.


Thank you for this food for thought, Lindal.

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4 minutes ago, Rolig Loon said:

The simplest answers ...

1. If your stuff is returned in one lump as a coalesced object, all you have to do is unpack it in a sandbox somewhere.  All of your items, including the no-copy things, should be there. Just be sure to use basic rules when you unpack the object: (go to the middle of the sandbox, open your editor -- CTRL + 3 -- before you do anything else, and then rez the coalesced object. While it is still selected, move the whole thing around as needed, so that nothing is underground or in someone else's things. Then take objects individually back to your inventory. )

2. L$1500 is about $6.  It's not worth working up a sweat about, and certainly not worth retaining a lawyer for. Whether you feel wronged or not, just walk away and find someplace else to enjoy.

I already keep lawyers on retainer and I certainly advise those who can afford it do so too. Pre-paid legal services are great and provide some legal actions for free. I have a lot of options available to me for free in these kinds of matters and may have paperwork requesting contact information and letters sent onn my behalf for free. These things usually get a lot done without having to go to court and pay a bunch of legal fees.

Just a bit of advice on that as it is nice to have when other companies outside of Sl try to bully you! Or even in Sl in this case.

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11 minutes ago, Rolig Loon said:

2. L$1500 is about $6.  It's not worth working up a sweat about, and certainly not worth retaining a lawyer for. Whether you feel wronged or not, just walk away and find someplace else to enjoy.

Also, depending on the level of cooperation or lack thereod and whether of not theybare registered as a business, taxes etc, a lot more than the value of the 1500L can be sued for in damages.

 

I'm NOT a legal expert, but I have experience with similar cases. When someone makes financial decisions based on a promise which is expected to be delivered upon, anything financial decisions and purchases made around that promise may be attatched as further damages. This all of course varies on which laws apply which is can get funky with virtual products.

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