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Lindens taken from my account but no item received? We need to talk about this in-world transaction issue.


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I'm not sure where to even begin with this.  

 

So  basically I spent a total of 5600 Lindens in-world for a particular item.  The lindens were taken yet no item was received.  There was no menu confirming if I wanted to pay, nothing.  I have proof in my transaction history that my money was taken.

 

I've done my research and this "glitch" has been occurring  for seemingly as long as 2011-2015.  Perhaps longer.   Isn't that about eight or nine years?   Users of Second Life have brought up this  issue  time and time again. How has it NOT been fixed after all this time?  We are talking about literal currency  that is being tossed around. 

 

I get it.  No system is perfect and mistakes happen.  But this is actual money Linden Labs is playing with here.  I mean I hate to point fingers, but if it's your client--code--or what have you--then yes you have some sort of obligation.  You can't just let an issue with your system go rouge and expect people with my problem to "take it up with the seller".   You made the system. 

 

This brings me to my next point.  Yes, I've contacted the seller and haven't heard anything back yet.   I've seen some people here say  (It's up to the seller if they either want to re-deliver your item or give you a refund. Or not. If they don't respond to you, you're out of luck.)  No no no, a-thousand-times no.  That isn't how it should be.  That is  an unprofessional and rocky system -if-  that's  how it actually goes.    Every single seller is different  and we as buyers shouldn't have to cross our fingers each time we need assistance with a purchase.  From what I gather, there is no serious obligation for a seller to "make things right"  on Second Life and that worries me.  Are we seriously playing Russian roulette with cash each time we make an in-world purchase? 

 

Too long didn't read:  For the last 8 or 9 years and maybe more, there has been a problem where in-world transactions fail. Money is taken from the user and no item is received. This can't be allowed to happen as often as it does. Is it THAT frequent?  Who knows, but this is real money we're talking about so it happens more than enough. 

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i agree that the inworld payment method could be improved. Not sure that any fix could be done within the existing scripting system, the script system being as opened ended as it is

probably a way it could be done is with a new asset type: Vendor

Vendor would be rezzable non-scripted dedicated vendor object with settable design-time properties: price, contents, etc which can be linked to other objects for aesthetic purposes in the Edit window. Once set the properties then in Edit window set the Active property to True and it will start running. Active property to False and it stops. When Active = False then the object won't accept payment. When there is no content then Active can't be set to True

it would have some kind of internal function call method to the LL asset delivery system, so the object can check that the customer did receive the bought item. And when not within some time period then the sale/asset transfer is cancelled and the purchase price refunded

how likely are Linden to do this, I dunno. But if they ever do go down this road of dedicated objects then it opens up other things like doors, vehicles, etc as well

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Depending on what and where you bought it, there are vendor systems that keep track on your purchase and deliver them later, or you can try to get an redeliver. when it's not possible to deliver the item, you get automatically your money back.

otherwise ask the creator of the item with the transaction id, if he or she can deliver it again

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1 hour ago, Aenberyl said:

I get it.  No system is perfect and mistakes happen.  But this is actual money Linden Labs is playing with here.  I mean I hate to point fingers, but if it's your client--code--or what have you--then yes you have some sort of obligation.  You can't just let an issue with your system go rouge and expect people with my problem to "take it up with the seller".   You made the system. 

If money was taken from your account, LL's code was working. The vendor that you paid the money to is scripted by another user just like you.

Assuming that the script received the money-event, the rest of the transaction is entirely in the hands of whoever wrote the script. Without knowing the scripter (you can find out by looking at the contents of the vendor), it's entirely possible that there's a bug or even malicious intent.

Then there's a third link in the chain -- transferring objects. If you flee from the sim before you've accepted the objects you're owed, they're lost in the void.

While I've heard the occasional "I paid but didn't get anything," there's never been any objective follow-up on the cause. People just assume that LL messed up somehow, but never show even potential proof. 

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I just wonder whether the item(s) not delivered was/were dance associated. In which case, I am aware of a long-running saga with a particular seller...

In an ideal world. since it would have now gone on for some years, I would like to think that something would be done to protect buyers...

Edited by Emma Krokus
grammar failure
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49 minutes ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

Then there's a third link in the chain -- transferring objects. If you flee from the sim before you've accepted the objects you're owed, they're lost in the void.

That's a very common cause of the problem.  People pay for items in an in-world shop and then don't accept delivery.  If you leave the region without clicking the button to accept the product that you have paid for and just been offered, it will not show up in your inventory.  It's like going to any store in RL, paying for a purchase, and leaving it at the cash register. If you do that, it's your problem. In SL or RL, you have to go back to the shop owner, show your receipt, and get redelivery.

The root of this whole issue is that SL is designed for individual enterprise.  Even in Marketplace, where Linden Lab acts as the cashier, individual SL residents are responsible for creating, marketing, and pricing their products,  and for handling customer relations.  Linden Lab provides server space, which is the equivalent of making rental property available in RL. There is no way that they can monitor quality control and deal with customer support for tens of thousands of merchants with an unknowably large number of products. 

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Noting that you can  turn on "auto-accept" so that you don't have to accept each item offered.  I did that SO LONG AGO I could hardly remember that click to accept part of the equation until Rolig mentioned it.  This is in Firestorm and likely other third party viewers, not sure about the Linden viewer. It also accepts items sent to you when you aren't inworld.  Very handy.  

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6 hours ago, Aenberyl said:

Too long didn't read:  For the last 8 or 9 years and maybe more, there has been a problem where in-world transactions fail. Money is taken from the user and no item is received. This can't be allowed to happen as often as it does. Is it THAT frequent?  Who knows, but this is real money we're talking about so it happens more than enough. 

I shop A LOT and I've probably had this happen maybe half a dozen times in my 13 years of being in SL.

 

 

6 hours ago, Aenberyl said:

So  basically I spent a total of 5600 Lindens in-world for a particular item.  The lindens were taken yet no item was received.  There was no menu confirming if I wanted to pay, nothing.  I have proof in my transaction history that my money was taken.

Did you check grid status when the sale didn't work to see if there were reported problems?  Did you spend 5600 L in one single transaction?  If not, why in the world did you keep giving money if you were not receiving product? 

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6 hours ago, oOJoselinOo said:

Depending on what and where you bought it, there are vendor systems that keep track on your purchase and deliver them later, or you can try to get an redeliver. when it's not possible to deliver the item, you get automatically your money back.

otherwise ask the creator of the item with the transaction id, if he or she can deliver it again

Oddly enough,  according to the seller's profile,  they claimed they had an in-world re-delivery system via their mainstore.  I searched everywhere for it before I made this thread--and asked dozens of people who shop there.  One person said it use to be there but it seemingly vanished,  so I don't know what that's all about on the sellers end. Even if they did remove it for some reason,  they should have updated their profile with that information.

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6 hours ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

If money was taken from your account, LL's code was working. The vendor that you paid the money to is scripted by another user just like you.

Assuming that the script received the money-event, the rest of the transaction is entirely in the hands of whoever wrote the script. Without knowing the scripter (you can find out by looking at the contents of the vendor), it's entirely possible that there's a bug or even malicious intent.

Then there's a third link in the chain -- transferring objects. If you flee from the sim before you've accepted the objects you're owed, they're lost in the void.

While I've heard the occasional "I paid but didn't get anything," there's never been any objective follow-up on the cause. People just assume that LL messed up somehow, but never show even potential proof. 

I hope it wasn't malicious.  My gut tells me it wasn't only because it's not like that particular store is some off-the-radar hole in the ground.  This creator has a Flickr with many followers and a group with thousands of members. I didn't leave the sim for some time after the botched purchase so I can only assume it was a bug. 

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Like LittleMe, I've been in SL for 13 years.  Unlike her, I don't think I have EVER had an inworld transaction fail completely...unless it was my own fault.  I had one fail once when I was too far away from the vendor.  I've had some that I thought were going to fail, because of extreme crowding and region lag, but they eventually did work.  I've had a couple where I clicked an OK button just in time for the other dialog that offers you the item to pop up, and have it's "discard" button checked by mistake.

Given the huge number of vendors in world and all the different scripts, and people setting them up, it's really a very reliable system.

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2 hours ago, Aenberyl said:

Oddly enough,  according to the seller's profile,  they claimed they had an in-world re-delivery system via their mainstore.  I searched everywhere for it before I made this thread--and asked dozens of people who shop there.  One person said it use to be there but it seemingly vanished,  so I don't know what that's all about on the sellers end. Even if they did remove it for some reason,  they should have updated their profile with that information.

If they're using CasperVend, you can get a re-delivery from any CasperVend re-delivery terminal in Second Life. A CasperVend re-delivery terminal sends you to a web site showing all your CasperVend purchases. The purchases from the store you are at show first, but you can scroll down to the others.

redeliveryterminal.jpg.d55aee17927675a1892f9eaf0b6c001b.jpg

CasperVend re-delivery terminal. Most SL stores have these.

If there's no CasperVend re-delivery terminal near you, there's one at CasperTech Headquarters.

(If, somehow, the merchant still had a HippoVend vendor, you have a problem. HippoVend went out of business some time ago.)

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My experiences have been somewhat different to Lindal's and LittleMe's.  I have experienced item delivery failure on many, many occasions.  That doesn't mean that is a regular occurrence, it is still uncommon.  There are a few reasons that generally pop up:

1. The region is struggling generally, usually when an event or store has many avatars there or is in need of a restart.
2. The vendor hasn't been setup correctly and isn't delivering for anyone.
3. SL is experiencing inworld problems and usually the grid status page is updated long after you have paid for the product and realized that there is some kind of problem with SL.
4. The back-end service for a networked vendor system is experiencing problems.  Because there are fewer systems now, the chances are when it happens it affects many stores all at once when it does.

Note: Different times of the day around the globe may be a factor in people experiencing things differently.

I agree with the sentiment that turning on auto-accept is the right way to go.  It makes receiving the items so much more reliable.  Auto-accept puts you under no extra risk from malicious items, you can only be affected if you rez the item in some way.

I am also a 13+ years old account.  I shop and have shopped far more, over the years, than I am willing to think about too hard.  Way back in the day when product delivery failed, it could mean that the money was taken and there was no transaction history on my account to show anything happened.  Thankfully for many, many years as far as my own experiences are concerned, this no longer happens and if money is taken, there is a corresponding transaction on my account.  Item delivery failure was also far more common in my early years.

In all of my 13-ish years, when I have had transaction information, I have always received the product from the store owner later.  Sending a notecard with the transaction information in it always did the trick.  It can take a little while in some cases - one time it was a week.  I cannot ever recall not receiving the item I paid for eventually.

For one particular networked vendor system (probably the most common), if the transaction was registered but just not delivered, the system will deliver when it comes back online.  For all systems that have redelivery, if the transaction was registered it will be possible later to redeliver the item.  This hasn't always been the case but has for many years now.

The take away from this is that I still agree with the other sentiments here even though my experiences are different to some degree.  Problems do happen, nothing is perfect but generally shopping is very reliable these days and there is usually recourse from the store though admittedly that relies on the reliability and honesty of the owner.  Most store owners do not want to be known for failing to deliver a bought product though, it isn't good for long term business viability.
 

Edited by Gabriele Graves
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