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Magnus Brody

SL Billing Frustration

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Some time ago, I think late last year, Linden Lab stopped all non-US using PayPal, introducing the second life cashier, but only for new non-US customers, and this left me unable to pay the Lab at all.

When the Lab introduced the SL Cashier, they did not "update" my account and so I continued to have the two original choices of payment method: Visa/MasterCard or PayPal.  I have a preloaded MasterCard, which I specifically bought to use online and this has been accepted everywhere, except SL.  No payments are accepted by SL when I try to use this card, and of course, if I try to use PayPal, it's also not accepted because I am not resident in the US.

At this point I developed my own workaround: I made an alt and, as a new, Non-US customer, I hoped I would be able to use the SL Cashier.  It worked, I now had a choice of payment methods, including Click and Buy, Visa/MasterCard and Solo/Maestro.

I was pleased to see Maestro was accepted, this being one of the most common charge cards issued with a UK current account.  I have been able to make payments for the last 6 months approx, using my Maestro card, buying lindens, then logging-in with my alt to transfer the cash to my main, until yesterday.

The payment options, under the Second Life Cashier, have now been reduced to Visa/MasterCard or Click and Buy.  Once again, I'm stuck and unable to use my MasterCard.

I read up on this Click and Buy, a little wary of using a service I have never heard of, but checking the internet doesn't bring up anything worrying, apart from the odd moan.  I registered with them, verified my Maestro card, using their process which is similar to PayPal verification of a card, and returned to my alt account page to purchase US$50 worth of lindens.

The transaction seemed to go through, but the lindens did not show-up on the account screen.  I checked to see if perhaps a US$ credit was made to my alt's account, but - nothing, only a "transaction pending" listed in the account's transactions.

I checked Click and Buy, which confirms the transaction is complete.  I check my bank account online and the US$50 has been deducted from my balance, or approx GBP£30.

I log-in again to my alt account and still nothing.

In the end, I had to phone billing, who were only able to raise a support ticket which will not be looked at until tomorrow, at the earliest and, from recent experience, I know it will be a miracle if the ticket is looked at in the next two months.

So, I'm not pleased, not only do the Lab seem to want to make it as difficult as possible to pay them anything, if you're non-US, but now US$50 is floating about somewhere, gone from my bank account, but not available for me to use in SL.  I want to use it now, that's why I attempted to buy Lindens.

Now, what am I supposed to do until the matter is resolved?

Is anyone else, US or non-US, having trouble with payments?

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Hi Magnus, I haven't had any problem so far, BUT il will have to update my Visa CC card expiration date at the end of May and, being French, I am biting my nails to the bones in anguish.... Crossin fingers and hope all will be ok because I dont like Paypal at all...

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You are far from alone.  LL's in California, I don't think the concept of 'another country' ever enters their heads unless they need a Mexican to work for them.  Ever see LL promote a non-US event/celebration?  No.  We just don't count for them :-(

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I feel your pain, but, I'm afraid it has only just begun. 

I was unceremoniously dumped into the Second Life Cashier in March when they sent an e-mail of a billing failure on trying to take my land tier. The credit card they could not access was teh same one I've been using for years without issue. I dutifully entered the information again and made the payment manually.

Imagine my surprise when billing failed again in April...I'm holding my breath about May. I tried to follow up with support and got a "not my job" response from them and told to access the Cashier (which incidentally does not show up in any search). I called the support phone number and was told still, it wasn't them and was directed to a wiki post,

http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Local_Payments_FAQ#General_questions

http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Local_Payments_FAQ#General_questions' target="_blank">where there were 2 telephone numbers and an e-mail address

Customer support phone number (All Countries): +44 2033620268

Toll-Free Support Number for UK, Germany, France, Japan, Spain, Brazil, and Portugal: +0080071237123

Email: support@payments.secondlife.com

There seem to be multiple problems with this issue. Imagine, I'm in Canada and I have to call a country code (44) to talk to a U.S. corporation for billing

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Thanks all for your replies.

Thankfully the problem resolved itself about two hours later but, the submitted ticket remains new and unread, so I am unsure if any action was needed to sort out this one payment or not.

It doesn't sort out the main problem of how difficult it can be for non-US residents to be billed and/or how difficult it is to purchase Lindens. 

An example, a few months back, from the time the Lab decided to stop using PayPal, caused me to be suspended for non-payment.  Did I receive an email from LL telling me the billing arrangement (PayPal) which I'd had in place for four years was no longer acceptable as payment? No.  Did I receive any guidance or advice from the lab about changing to another payment method? No.  Was I suspended for non-payment? Yes, despite having sufficient funds available, the Lab chose not to use the payment method they'd used for four years; not really my definition of non-payment.  I know this happened to many others too and I'm sure none of them even received an email explaining that the Lab's decision to stop using PayPal was the reason for the payment problem; I didn't.  Instead I spent a very frustrating time trying to re-add PayPal and not knowing why it kept failing: no warning screens, nothing.  A simple email to all customers affected (and they know which country I live in because they manage to charge UK VAT without problem) would have been best, or even some sort of warning on the account screen, "PayPal no longer accepted from non-US, see wiki article blah blah blah".

Clearly the types of acceptable payment methods (for non-US) have changed again recently, i.e. thay have been reduced.  Have any non-US been emailed by the lab?  I am guessing not.

If my phone company irl, cancelled my usual way of paying them, without informing me, then suspended my service for non-payment because they refused to use a payment method they had previously used for years, I'd expect some compensation for their error.

Any company which expects its customers to jump through hoops to pay them, is expecting too much loyalty.  I remain because I love sl, but I am sure others have just given-up in frustration.  To me, it's somewhat akin to shopping in the supermarket, then a fit, young cashier says, "ah, but you can only leave with your shopping today if you pay me; and to pay me, you're going to have to catch me first".  Would I be tempted to switch supermarket to one which makes it easier for me to give them my money? Yes, I'm just too old to chase young supermarket cashiers, in fact I don't even flirt with them anymore because there's nothing sadder than some middle-aged guy, thinking he's great, having some young woman be polite because she has to as part of her job.

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on the 21st of march i used my mastercard to puyt 20 u.s. on my card and to this day the hsbc bank charged me the 20 u.s. on mastercard yet the LINDENS are not in my acxcountr n i dont know how to retreave my money

from boz2

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