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On the Road to Local Payments: Part 2


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Blog post "On the Road to Local Payments"

Previous forum thread about the rocky road to local payments. Thread been locked and archieved.

Blog post with a solution to put people back to old payment system.

My case:

I found out that i was not able to buy L$ trough the client, and then realised LL has not taken my tier either. Found the new payment system and tried to re-enter my credit card info again but the system was not working. Phoned to my bank to make sure everything is fine on their end.

First i tried support ticket to billing. But they told me that they refuse to take care of billing issues and that i should try live help instead. Live help was not working. And when i told this to the billing support people they asked me to DL and install Opera web prowser but with that Live help also failed to work.

So as my last resort i sent e-mail to billing. First couple times they just asked me to re-enter my card details to the new payment system.

I got banned for not paying my tier.

Then they finally agreed that the new payment system is not working, and that im not an idiot who fail to fill a simple form. They promised to take care of the problem in 72 hours.

Then i went to the limbo of sending mail to the billing and telling them that it has been a week and still nothing has happened. Always got the same reply. Wait another 72 hours. Over and over again.

So the magical monday came and i got mail from LL telling that i been put back to the old payment system and 2 clicks later i had my account back. Roamed the grid a lil with my unbanned account and then went to RL bed. Woke up to find out that im been banned again for not paying my tier.

Now it seems LL want me to pay my tier for the time im been banned. Not funny.

What is your story? Would you pay for nothing? Am i alone with this problem or are there again hundreds of people with same problem?

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This whole billing problem for some is very odd.It all seems as if it was very unclear how to pay accounts or buy Linden for many,and a over night change from a system that was working well for years.I would imagen when it came down to the bottom line of income any responsible company would make sure it was very clearna nd easy to use when a over night change like that.

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If you cannot log on due to LL's technical errors, you are actually supposed to be credited for the time LL prevented you from logging on. It's in their documentation somewhere.  Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find that documentation, copy the pertinent text, and clobber billing support with it, until comprehension dawns.  I figure you'll have the whole thing sorted by July 2012*. 

Alternatively you could just pay them. 

 

*Warning: this might of course simply get you access for approximately 24 hours, when you might be cut off due to approximately one year and one month's worth of unpaid fees......if this occurs, rinse and repeat and you should be able to get back on for approximately 24 hours, in August 2013, at which point you will probably again have to rinse and repeat and can expect another 24 hours or so access in September 2014.

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Anaiya Arnold wrote:

If you cannot log on due to LL's technical errors, you are actually supposed to be credited for the time LL prevented you from logging on. It's in their documentation somewhere.  Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find that documentation, copy the pertinent text [...]

here's a fun offer.... 10k$L to the first person who finds it in the current documentation and shows it to me. (easiest 10k I'll never have to pay)

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Void Singer wrote:


Anaiya Arnold wrote:

If you cannot log on due to LL's technical errors, you are actually supposed to be credited for the time LL prevented you from logging on. It's in their documentation somewhere.  Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find that documentation, copy the pertinent text [...]

here's a fun offer.... 10k$L to the first person who finds it in the current documentation and shows it to me. (easiest 10k I'll never have to pay)

From Billing Policies section of the TOS  http://secondlife.com/corporate/billing.php

 

5. Under certain circumstances, you may receive service credit for unscheduled downtime.

You will be eligible to receive Service Credit toward recurring service fees (e.g. monthly account fees, 90 Day account fees, annual account fees, and Land Use Fees) for Unscheduled Downtime. "Unscheduled Downtime" is an unplanned or unscheduled interruption in Service availability for a period of at least twenty-four (24) hours during which you are unable to access the Service. Unscheduled Downtime is measured from the end of the time the Service is 100% unreachable for a period of at least twenty-four (24) hours until Service is once again restored. The following are excluded from the calculation of Unscheduled Downtime: (i) scheduled maintenance downtime; (ii) problems outside of our Service (upstream providers, or your inbound connection) not affecting 100% loss to our Service; (iii) interruptions or failure of Service caused by you or your representatives (including inaccurate configuration, third-party software, abuse or over-utilization of resources, hacked servers, attacks, exploits, or server hardware failures); and (iv) causes beyond Linden Lab's reasonable control and occurring without Linden Lab's fault or negligence, including natural disasters, wars, terrorist acts, riots or other violent upheaval, governmental restrictions and actions, and performance failures of a third party outside Linden Lab's control. The amount of any Service Credit will be based on the pro rata percentage of Unscheduled Downtime during your billing cycle (e.g., if there is 1 day of Unscheduled Downtime in a 30-day month for your monthly account, you will receive a Service Credit for 1/30th of your recurring service fees). Any Service Credit will be credited to you during your next billing cycle.



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This is why I've never considered becoming a premium member of SL. I only pay for quality service. It's as simple as that.

My standards as it is are pretty high since I work in a software development company myself, and so I know which standards you need to adhere to to keep your clients happy. We don't sell to common folk, we sell to other companies which is why we take our work as serious as we do, because pulling stuff like this with our clients would translate to very bad PR, and will take away from our product significantly.

Service is very important. At the very least it's as important as testing developments. Repercussions would be severe for LL if they had the type of clients that we do. So of course then they would be more professional in the way they go about their business. Unfortunately LL can afford to be slacking so much in this area because common folk is their market.

It's unfortunate because it speaks of their mentality in terms of user accomodation. Which goes hand in hand with their lengthy policies. The mentality seems to be that once a mistake is discovered, a policy is written around it so that the mistake can continue to exist. Much like how many software bugs are treated. Duct tape fixes if you will.

You don't need to read all of these policies to know that this mentality shines through the cracks in their actions all the time, which, no matter how well written these policies are, and no matter how fancy a viewer's UI looks, provides you with an image of the soul of the company. Now, whether this image you see shining through the cracks is actually the reality is not the issue. The issue is that this image is not a positive one.

We have to face facts. Second Life will never become a professional product as long as the company's actions are of the level touched upon in threads like this. Actions speak louder than words, afterall. And we hear just fine. That's why I'm not a premium member. I'm very grateful for the fact that free accounts in SL are at all possible. Else I wouldn't even be here. In fact, I think it's safe to say that SL itself wouldn't be here without the free account option that every resident started with at one point in time. There is potential in this product yes, but the potential in the company maintaining it is questionable at best. The issue on topic, exhibit A-287.

From a professional standpoint I would start to work on improving the quality of the customer service, pronto. It's not user friendly to have a dozen different systems that a user must approach for a dozen different situations. It's user friendly to have one gathering point that every user of every level can reach without much trouble. From there structural organisation must be present internally and the lines should be short. Don't try to organize your users, that's not their responsibility. They just want to use your product, and alert you when something they pay for does not work. Don't make it difficult on them by writing more policies about who to contact, when and how. You don't put your own shortcomings on your users, you make sure it's handled within.

I know, I'm kicking in open doors with this last paragraph. In any case, when and if Linden Lab becomes a more professional minded company, that takes care of business when it's needed, then and only then will I consider contributing to the product by means of financial support in the form of a premium account, but not a second before.

I feel bad for you Kitteh. You're one of those people who is less critical than I am when it comes to things like this and you did decide to support SL by going premium and purchasing chunks of land, regardless of LL's short comings. If LL would treat me like this, I would somewhat understand. I'm not the paying customer. But them treating someone like you like this is just plain wrong. This is how you break the spirit of people who saw potential in this project when it came up and supported it from that day forward. And that in my opinion is sad. Very sad.

I wouldn't blame you if you lost some of it, though I hope your SL spirit will remain for a bit longer regardless of what they are doing to you right now, cause I honestly don't know many like you in SL anymore. Most of us are reluctant when it comes to the subject of LL's integrity. We've been around here for a while, afterall. Seen a lot. We shook our heads at a lot. But at least some of us are still here.

I often jokingly said I'm still here inspite of LL, but for you it has become quite literally now. I hope they unban your main account (again) soon. Perhaps after they realize that the Cornfield really does not have any parcels for sale. :P

Anyways, my two cents on the issue.

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Si, kind of laughable. I had to transfer Inworld funds to Dollars to pay my tier, cause LL deleted my Creditcard-Info, the one used for months now- with the new Payment system, with no info to me... and not accepting a new one for a few days with their hopessly complicated system.

Well now they do, but i wonder, how a company can screw their faitful customers this way... Lack if competition?

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That's good news! :) Just out of curiosity... Did they also send you an official apology on behalf of the company and the reassurance that they are working hard to improve the system with the intention of preventing inconveniences like this in the future? If so, then you don't have to worry about it happening again as much. More often than not these things are mere sloppy accidents. Unintended errors if you will. So technically it could happen again, unless they know the root of the problem and are fixing it as we speak.

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