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AndehMoltoer

Expressing your opinion on stores

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Hello! 

I've been playing Second Life for almost 10 years and I've had my fair share of bad experiences with stores, even popular ones. I was wondering if it is against the ToS to make a pick about my bad experiences with them or make a public post on a blog? Something like: "In my opinion you should stay away from store X because of Y reason."

Thank you! 

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5 minutes ago, AndehMoltoer said:

I was wondering if it is against the ToS to make a pick about my bad experiences with them or make a public post on a blog?

I don't know about picks but a blog is not a part of Second Life even if it's about SL so it's not covered by LL's ToS.

However, be careful if you do something like that. Make sure to keep it factual and allow people to post comments, even if they don't agree with you. Also, I suggest you make a general store review blog where you also post about stores you have good experiences with rather than focus just on the negative.

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

I don't know about picks but a blog is not a part of Second Life even if it's about SL so it's not covered by LL's ToS.

However, be careful if you do something like that. Make sure to keep it factual and allow people to post comments, even if they don't agree with you. Also, I suggest you make a general store review blog where you also post about stores you have good experiences with rather than focus just on the negative.

Hello ChinRey!

Thank you for replying to my post and helping in clarifying the issue for me. Also, I would never post something negative about a store unless it's being backed by facts. Negative experiences happen very rarely to me, while the positive ones happen very often and I make sure to leave a good review when that happens.

Edited by AndehMoltoer

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Posted (edited)

Making a Pick of it would be against the ToS I think, because it's within the SL platform (as are these forums). The sole exception I believe is Marketplace Reviews. But if you're posting elsewhere, off Linden-owned territory, it's not subject to Linden Lab's ToS.

Edited by Maitimo
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Posted (edited)

Express whatever you want,  just be sure to exclude profanity while staying factual and honest regarding your experience.

Don't listen to others about they were just having a bad day..that's an excuse.

 

Edited by Sassy Kenin
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2 hours ago, Maitimo said:

Making a Pick of it would be against the ToS I think, because it's within the SL platform (as are these forums). The sole exception I believe is Marketplace Reviews. But if you're posting elsewhere, off Linden-owned territory, it's not subject to Linden Lab's ToS.

Not that I doubt you. Please post a link to the ToS/CS that states naming and shaming is not allowed inworld. We know it is definitely not allowed on the forums but inworld is a bit different. As long as the pick doesn't violate US/CA libel laws I don't think LL disallows it since that could constitute a violation of the 1st Amendment. It's a civil can of worms no one really wants to open.

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5 hours ago, AndehMoltoer said:

I've been playing Second Life for almost 10 years and I've had my fair share of bad experiences with stores, even popular ones. I was wondering if it is against the ToS to make a pick about my bad experiences with them or make a public post on a blog? Something like: "In my opinion you should stay away from store X because of Y reason."

Are you going to give the same amount of word-space to the stores that you have good experiences with? They deserve the publicity more than the bad ones... and in the end, that's all you're doing is drawing attention to them.

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26 minutes ago, Selene Gregoire said:

Not that I doubt you. Please post a link to the ToS/CS that states naming and shaming is not allowed inworld. We know it is definitely not allowed on the forums but inworld is a bit different.

I think Selene is right that there are no rules against it but I'm not sure. A comment in a pick or elsewhere in somebody's profile isn't going to do much anyway. And if it does, it's more likely to attract people to the store than keep them away from it.

 

6 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

... and in the end, that's all you're doing is drawing attention to them.

They say all publicity is good publicity. That's a truth with modifications of course but there's still a lot to it.

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I do it all the time.  Have one in there right now.  If people cannot handle a bit of negative publicity, perhaps they should ensure good experiences for their customers.

After all, what's the worst that can happen?  Someone reports it, the Lindens actually decide to get involved in what is essentially an interpersonal dispute (which they strenuously claim they will not do) and tell you to remove the pick?  BHD.

Just because someone can silence you doesn't mean you shouldn't speak.

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Whatever you do, be prepared to meet the "if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all" crowd and fan folks, which might get pretty nasty. 

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I think it'd be so helpful to have reviews on stores and sellers, similar to google reviews or something. Since LL doesn't intervene when it comes to seller-consumer transactions, it'd be good if the consumer had some form of reference before dealing with a new store. It could also be a good source of feedback for sellers.

Mp reviews are limited since they're on a per item basis, and gacha sellers can get away with getting no reviews after their no-copy items are sold.

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6 hours ago, AndehMoltoer said:

Hello! 

I've been playing Second Life for almost 10 years and I've had my fair share of bad experiences with stores, even popular ones. I was wondering if it is against the ToS to make a pick about my bad experiences with them or make a public post on a blog? Something like: "In my opinion you should stay away from store X because of Y reason."

Thank you! 

I believe if it is posted in-world then yes. On a blog? Likely not.

Just remember a couple things. Things happen. Not all bad experiences are reflective of how a store normally operates. We are all human and we are all going through this thing called life. Also, any time you mention a store by name, you are providing advertising for said store.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, AdminGirl said:

I think it'd be so helpful to have reviews on stores and sellers, similar to google reviews or something. Since LL doesn't intervene when it comes to seller-consumer transactions, it'd be good if the consumer had some form of reference before dealing with a new store. It could also be a good source of feedback for sellers.

Mp reviews are limited since they're on a per item basis, and gacha sellers can get away with getting no reviews after their no-copy items are sold.

How could a review of inworld stores be done other than blogs perhaps?

However, addressing Marketplace reviews...I don't like REVIEWS the way it is set up on Marketplace.  I pioneered Ebay and Marketplace is modeled after Ebay.  However, Marketplace took the route of reviews (which is ala Amazon's model) when they should have had it be FEEDBACK.  What Feedback is on Ebay is a two-way street.  The sellers gets to respond to the feedback left.  With reviews, how do sellers respond?

See, the problem with reviews on the Marketplace is I have seen FALSE REVIEWS.  The false reviews are mostly regarding full perm items.  I was just reading another full perm review the other day and the reviewer is saying NOT FULL PERM crap again and it's not the first time I've seen it.  So, I decided to look into the contents section of the seller's page and low and behold, the item is full perm and reads copy/modify/transfer.  

The other problem with Marketplace though is if the item is boxed.  If the item(s) is/are in a box, the Marketplace reader can only read the permissions of the box itself not what is inside the box, so the box could read copy only under the CONTENTS section even though what is inside has different permissions.   

There is no perfect system but I am disappointed that Marketplace did not continue to follow in Ebay's footsteps and offer FEEDBACK (two way street) instead of REVIEWS like Amazon as it did.  

As to the OP, I wouldn't get myself involved in drama of that kind.  But, it is also said as other say "all publicity is good publicity"...it makes people curious about it.  

Edited by FairreLilette
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3 minutes ago, FairreLilette said:

How could a review of inworld stores be done other than blogs perhaps?

However, addressing Marketplace reviews...I don't like REVIEWS the way it is set up on Marketplace.  I pioneered Ebay and Marketplace is modeled after Ebay.  However, Marketplace took the route of reviews (which is ala Amazon's model) when they should have had it be FEEDBACK.  What Feedback is on Ebay is a two-way street.  The sellers gets to respond to the feedback left.  With reviews, how do sellers respond?

See, the problem with reviews on the Marketplace is I have seen FALSE REVIEWS.  The false reviews are mostly regarding full perm items.  I was just reading another full perm review the other day and the reviewer is saying NOT FULL PERM crap again and it's not the first time I've seen it.  So, I decided to look into the contents section of the seller's page and low and behold, the item is full perm and reads copy/modify/transfer.  

The other problem with Marketplace though is if the item is boxed.  If the item(s) is/are in a box, the Marketplace reader can only read the permissions of the box itself not what is inside the box, so the box could read copy only under the CONTENTS section even though what is inside has different permissions.   

There is no perfect system but I am disappointed that Marketplace did not continue to follow in Ebay's footsteps and offer FEEDBACK (two way street) instead of REVIEWS like Amazon as it did.  

As to the OP, I wouldn't get myself involved in drama of that kind.  But, it is also said as other say "all publicity is good publicity"...it makes people curious about it.  

Sellers can respond to MP reviews. Happens all the time.  There is a comments link on every review.

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, Adam Spark said:

Sellers can respond to MP reviews. Happens all the time.  There is a comments link on every review.

Oh, I see...that's what the COMMENTS are for (sorry not shouting with caps...I'm just not a fancy typist).  I have not seen one single comment since using Marketplace for close to three years.  I don't think most sellers even know it's there...I certainly didn't until now because take my example of the review that said it was not full perm when it most certainly was...the seller didn't write anything there regarding false reviews, and I've seen this time and time again when indeed the object(s) were full perm.   

However, addressing the OP, you have to want that kind of drama in your Second Life.    

Edited by FairreLilette
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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, FairreLilette said:

Oh, I see...that's what the COMMENTS are for (sorry not shouting with caps...I'm just not a fancy typist).  I have not seen one single comment since using Marketplace for close to three years.  I don't think most sellers even know it's there...I certainly didn't until now because take my example of the review that said it was not full perm when it most certainly was...the seller didn't write anything there regarding false reviews, and I've seen this time and time again when indeed the object(s) were full perm.   

However, addressing the OP, you have to want that kind of drama in your Second Life.    

I have seen many comments, and several responses from creators. Is it an underutilized feature? Sure, but it is there. There is nothing stopping a creator from responding to a false review by utilizing that feature.

Edited by Adam Spark
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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Tolya Ugajin said:

Just because someone can silence you doesn't mean you shouldn't speak.

 

That argument works remarkably both ways: just because you can say something nasty, and calculated that you will likely get away with it, doesn't mean you should. :) 

Edited by kiramanell
Typo
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5 hours ago, FairreLilette said:

How could a review of inworld stores be done other than blogs perhaps?

However, addressing Marketplace reviews...I don't like REVIEWS the way it is set up on Marketplace.  I pioneered Ebay and Marketplace is modeled after Ebay.  However, Marketplace took the route of reviews (which is ala Amazon's model) when they should have had it be FEEDBACK.  What Feedback is on Ebay is a two-way street.  The sellers gets to respond to the feedback left.  With reviews, how do sellers respond?

See, the problem with reviews on the Marketplace is I have seen FALSE REVIEWS.  The false reviews are mostly regarding full perm items.  I was just reading another full perm review the other day and the reviewer is saying NOT FULL PERM crap again and it's not the first time I've seen it.  So, I decided to look into the contents section of the seller's page and low and behold, the item is full perm and reads copy/modify/transfer.  

The other problem with Marketplace though is if the item is boxed.  If the item(s) is/are in a box, the Marketplace reader can only read the permissions of the box itself not what is inside the box, so the box could read copy only under the CONTENTS section even though what is inside has different permissions.   

There is no perfect system but I am disappointed that Marketplace did not continue to follow in Ebay's footsteps and offer FEEDBACK (two way street) instead of REVIEWS like Amazon as it did.  

As to the OP, I wouldn't get myself involved in drama of that kind.  But, it is also said as other say "all publicity is good publicity"...it makes people curious about it.  

The Ebay feedback system would have been a lot better than the current mp review system, since you can get an overall rating on a store. Sadly, there's always going to be the risk of false reviews from people who like to complain about nothing, or people who didn't look at the product properly.

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I think it's generally more productive to rave enthusiastically about the products, stores and experiences that were good.

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9 hours ago, AdminGirl said:

I think it'd be so helpful to have reviews on stores and sellers, similar to google reviews or something. Since LL doesn't intervene when it comes to seller-consumer transactions, it'd be good if the consumer had some form of reference before dealing with a new store. It could also be a good source of feedback for sellers.

Mp reviews are limited since they're on a per item basis, and gacha sellers can get away with getting no reviews after their no-copy items are sold.

This.

I'll actually start by saying that I don't think I've ever left a bad review on the MP. Nor, except in one very specific case back in 2009 (I think), have I ever publicly broadcast negative personal reactions to a particular merchant -- unless you count me occasionally saying something like "I prefer mesh body X over mesh body Y" here.

HOWEVER, it seems to me that AdminGirl makes a really good point above.

An important premise of the free market system is that a company that is fraudulent, or screws over its customers, offers bad service, or defective products, etc. will lose business as word gets out. One hears this in various forms all the time from free market advocates: it's generally presented as part of the "natural" system of checks and balances that is supposed to ensure that "good" capitalists survive, and bad ones fail. (In its more extreme versions, it becomes an argument to do away with government regulation, as the system will putatively ensure that word gets out about bad products and services, and those businesses will naturally be weeded out without government or even legal intervention.)

But what if an important component of that system of checks and balances between consumers and producers -- namely, the right or the means to get the word out about both good and bad players in the marketplace -- is removed? Suddenly, there is that much less stopping people from cheating others, offering crappy products, etc., because every customer walks into the transaction with them without any way of knowing that they are "bad players."

I completely understand why LL would not want, and does not allow, people to bad-mouth individual merchants here on the forums: it would be too easy to simply slander creators, sellers, and landlords, and there is currently no recourse for those who have been so attacked.

But, in essence, you could argue that LL has hobbled consumers, and disabled an important mechanism that is supposed to ensure that laissez-faire capitalism (which is essentially what we have in SL, with some caveats) works properly. There really isn't much defense here for the individual, or for consumers as a class, against merchants and landlords operating in bad faith.

I can actually see a worthwhile function for a responsibly run "Consumers' Bureau" here, that fielded complaints against specific merchants and landlords, possibly investigating them, and also providing a mechanism for merchants to respond.

But that ain't gonna happen. And so . . . caveat emptor. I guess.

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To get back to your original question - if you have your own personal blog and you want to mention how terrible a store owner treated you, blah blah blah, you have every right to do so. However, if your blog belong to feeds you risk being dropped by those feeds and not because of LL TOS but because of rules set by those feeds. If your blog isn't associated with feeds then have a field day. Just don't fall into the negative Nancy syndrome or no one will ever want to read your blog!

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7 hours ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

I can actually see a worthwhile function for a responsibly run "Consumers' Bureau" here, that fielded complaints against specific merchants and landlords, possibly investigating them, and also providing a mechanism for merchants to respond.

But that ain't gonna happen. And so . . . caveat emptor. I guess.

 

All of which precludes 'open trial by forum' -- which is, naturally, very bad. :) So, I like your idea. With a whole panel investigating things, the chance of negative feedback being used as a griefing tool, is smaller.

Merchants should definitely have a chance to respond, but not on the forum, of course (as then the 'fight' becomes public, after all). And would there be a way to file an appeal? In that sense, I think the current system of rating individual merchant products on MP, isn't actually all that bad: it provides a reasonably fair overview of how the merchant's products are rated overall (like if you see many 2-star ratings, you know well enough to stay away).

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2 hours ago, kiramanell said:

All of which precludes 'open trial by forum' -- which is, naturally, very bad. :) 

It is bad, and I absolutely don't advocate it, nor want to see it here. Can you imagine the threads??

However, it is a kind of natural corollary of the libertarian, free-market ethos that largely guides the SL economy, providing a sort of free-wheeling "open marketplace" of ideas griping running in parallel with the market for goods and services.

2 hours ago, kiramanell said:

And would there be a way to file an appeal? In that sense, I think the current system of rating individual merchant products on MP, isn't actually all that bad: it provides a reasonably fair overview of how the merchant's products are rated overall (like if you see many 2-star ratings, you know well enough to stay away).

It's not really worthwhile speculating much as to how an LL-sponsored "Consumers' Bureau" might function, as this is totally incompatible with their governance and financial models. But I can imagine an independent agency, a sort of watchdog thing, working from a blog, say, doing the same kind of work. (In fact, in 2009 or thereabouts, I tried to set one up, albeit with a much more limited focus than what we're talking about here.) It would be an immense amount of thankless work, and there would be a very real danger of it becoming, or at least being perceived, as a sort of economic version of Virtual Secrets. For that reason, it would have to be completely transparent, non-partisan, and provide mechanisms for creators to respond.

I'd bet that anyone officially associated with it would get a blanket ban from half the stores in SL.

In the meantime, however, reviews on the MP will have to suffice. I wish it was a more robust system though.

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Scylla makes some good points.  Resident-run "Better Business Bureaus" have been tried in the past.  They failed, because residents gamed the system.  Some buttered up the bureau operators to get positive ratings.  Some slandered competitors to knock the competitors' ratings down.  They failed in a hailstorm of Dramah, accusations, and counter-accusations.

While an LL-run version MIGHT run better, I am not sure.  Prokofy Neva goes on at length about the abuses in the old LL-run Mentor program, for example.

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, AdminGirl said:

The Ebay feedback system would have been a lot better than the current mp review system, since you can get an overall rating on a store. Sadly, there's always going to be the risk of false reviews from people who like to complain about nothing, or people who didn't look at the product properly.

Yes, in theory, the Ebay system would be better as it gives the seller a seller rating. 

But, with SL, it's not always complaining about nothing...it's that they don't understand how to use it.  There are lots and lots of things I still don't know how to use nor modify when it comes to scripts.  I have a little club so I need things that could be called gadgets perhaps.  Some work for me, others I just can't figure out how to work the darn thing.  I contacted a seller for one product and they did not return my call.  It's very rare I don't receive a call back or explanation from the seller.   

Gadgets and full perm areas seem to be read the details and contents carefully for the product because the seller with low reviews may have added how to use the darn thing into the details area.  We all need to remember to read, read, read.  It is not, most of the time, the seller's fault even.  People want things in an instant.  Even in real life, stuff comes with instructions and you don't always get it the first few reads.  

I'm not saying this is the OP's problem that she didn't understand it...but for the majority of negative feedback, often times there is another review which either explains how to use it, or another review which explains that the person who left the negative review didn't do x, y and z.   Most of the time the sellers don't write in the comments area, actually I've never seen one thing written in the comments area...I never knew it was there until yesterday when it was mentioned in this thread.  

Edited by FairreLilette

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