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Opinion on deleted reviews/MP guidelines/Contacting LL/Rant


mule1983
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Hello, was hoping to get some opinions on what people think about MP reviews and my particular situation. TBH I'm not sure why I'm asking on a merchant forum because I assume the responses will be geared towards defending fellow merchants, no matter how shady their practices, but was hoping to hear from all angles. Especially since I feel merchants would be more equipped to answer some of my questions. I also want to add, I may be using an alt account to post this but I have been on SL for 10 years this fall. I have been reading and posting on the forums all this time and am familiar with a lot of the "dos and don'ts" regarding TOS and MP etiquette.

I don't want to make a longwinded or super detailed post (which means it probably will be) so I'll start by saying I basically bought an item that figured would work for me. The wordplay of the product lead me to believe it would work for my use and I took a chance on buying it. I say "chance" because we are all aware of the lotto, gambling nature of spending money on SL. After trying it out I realized it wouldn't work. Not only that but there's no instructions and it uses outside resources to operate (an outside website) making it fail to load properly. When I contacted the creator for help they told me I shouldn't of bought something I don't know how to use. Like I'm automatically supposed to know how to use something someone else makes. This lead to a bad taste in my mouth, especially since the product was over $80. So I left a brief review on the product indicating it didn't work in my case and listed the reasons why. I never said anything bad about the creator and as a matter of fact, indicated the product may work for some people in specific scenarios. Basically it was a civil review/narrative, however gave it a low star due to the fact the customer service was so abysmal. Not only that, but it took me the better half of a day trying to figure it out (since there were no instructions). I didn't mention anything in my review though about the bad service, just the fact it didn't work for me and why. 

Well I was essentially contacted the next day by the merchant demanding I retract the review. When I went back to look at the review I noticed they left a lengthy response in their comment/reply section taking aim at me, and blowing TOS out of the water bad mouthing/slandering me. So I figured I would leave the review posted. I didn't ask for a refund, I knew with the scumbag I was dealing with that was out of the question anyway. This vendor also has various other items with negative reviews from people directly targeting the fact the guy is an outcast to society and regret having to deal with him. Which I can certainly relate to.  

Normally that would be the end of it, honestly I normally wouldn't even bother with a review if it wasn't so expensive. I know a lot of people don't bother with reviews but with something so expensive I try to keep other consumers aware. There could be another me out there. I found the listing on the MP the next day really by chance because my chrome tab was open from the day before. I refreshed it for the hell of it only to find the review was taken down. I knew he was going to report it because he threatened to. I never thought though it would be removed, especially since it followed TOS and his replies were so incendiary. Really it started distracting me from the game as I started thinking more about it, and then started getting angry/worked up. I mean, I don't know what the average user spends on SL but I can tell you I spend around 8k annually. The lowest I've ever spent a year is 5k. My land use fees are about 260 a month. The majority of my purchases are from inworld and MP buys like anyone else. I say this to give an idea of the type of money I spend on a whim when playing SL and why I rack up so much.

The reason I bring that up is because like I said, I started thinking. Is LL so pro vendor that within 12 hours they'll remove a valid criticism from a buyer? Harsher reviews are still published about this vendor, yet mine was targeted. Other reviews that specifically target the vendor and their ***** personality. The issue so much isn't about the money, but the fact that they would censor someone with a valid opinion to protect a crybaby vendor. I mean with the time I've been playing if I had to guess I probably threw away at least 1k maybe 2k on useless products. Either empty boxes, products that don't work, misleading, etc. I was once scammed by a rental place I couldn't access after paying for a week ahead of time, 8000 Lindens and the owner never showed up to add me to the group until day 5. When I asked for more time they said I already paid and it's their "policy" not to refund or extend time. I never complained because I knew what little good it would do. But the one recourse I do have is to share my experience with purchased products in the form of a review. And LL wants to take that away too? It's bad enough they let people get swindled so hard on a daily basis, but for me crosses the line when they start censoring them from warning others. They don't bother to ask for elaboration on the review or ask how you've been scammed a thousand times or step in to right a wrong in virtually any scenario, but they'll jump at the chance to bend over for the worst people of the community. 

So really I have a hard time even logging in anymore over this. I'm not trying to be a "Karen" or anything it's just the environment has fundamentally changed to me where as I'm not having a good time anymore. First time in 10 years I don't really care about SL/LL because they don't care about me. It's like why I am throwing money away like this to a company that arbitrarily breaks their TOS, doesn't honor their own rules and censors consumers. Nobody wants to offer refunds or costumer service, but then they log off and buy stuff on Amazon/Walmart with generous refund policies I'm sure they take full advantage of on a routine basis. Then they get home and sell you an empty prim box. Or my personal favorite, photoshopped products that when opened, look like they were made by a second grader on their first day of art class. We're talking about people's real money here, not play money like they try and treat it.

So that's really my biggest question, do they care so much about these people that they're willing to drive away good consumers? And if I'm not a good consumer worth defending who is? This guy who in the long run will sell a couple dozen broken boxes or a consumer who spends every...single day. Who would willingly open their wallets in an environment like this? Nobody would stand for it in RL so why does LL get a pass, or feel it appropriate? I speak from a experience as a 10 year veteran who pays/plays consistently and has lost the will to be part of the community over it. I understand there's two sides and you need both creators and consumers to run this type of business, but there should be a compromise and not restricting the rights of one over the other. I have been around long enough to know there's very little "new money" in SL. There's not enough new players to support it's economy and it relies on the "whales" that have been here for 15-20 years. They won't be around forever and you cant just keep throwing consumers under the bus, as you'll eventually run out of them to throw. I understand also it's their house, their rules....which is essentially the problem. Their "rules" are so loosely enforced/wishy washy, no one would spend money on something so arbitrary outside of SL, and when they are enforced your usually the one on the *****ty end of the stick. It's not really the issue about the money so much it is the people I'm doing business with, which is the point. That's what breaks my spirit to bother logging in anymore. I know what my money is being used to support and it's nauseating I'm a cog in that machine. 

I filed a ticket explaining my position (the ticket was a lot shorter than this unexpectedly long post) but omitted specifics regarding my review. Namely because it isn't the point. The point is I left a valid review and they're censoring it for god know what reason. If you're going to allow the unsavory to run rampant in your community, the very least you could do is not tape shut the mouth's of the people supporting your predatory business model, which is really the last straw for me. I'm not going to support a business that not only doesn't bother to protect their consumers, but actively censors them when they have an issue. I even included the reviews from other people that support my position the vendor is a literal plague and asked why these reviews are okay but mine is not. I've read hundreds of thousands of reviews over the course of 10 years and I know what is acceptable and what isn't. I also told them I'm pretty much done now. They've done a good job making sure I spend zero dollars going forward and will be liquidating my assets in the next few days (wholesale mainland available if anyone is intrested). I didn't give them an ultimatum but unless they straight up reverse the comment I can't see myself coming back. I know they won't do that but curious to hear from others that have been in this situation. Has that ever happened? What responses do people get when they complain about this sort of thing? It just amazes me that within this business I can buy a three headed pig to have sex with (hypothetically) but if I have a complaint about the quality of said pig, LL will censor my review for it. It's literally laughable. It's like, what are your priorities here? Because they clearly aren't to the consumers. I understand people are probably thinking I left some heinous review but I'm telling you I didn't. I made it as clean and civil as humanly possible just for that fact, so it wouldn't be removed. I literally played by their rules just for them to throw them back in my face.

I'm hoping also someone can give me good reasons they continue to support this type of business and why. Three headed pigs aside, I do enjoy the game, obviously. But as I said, the logical part of me tells me this is the kick I needed to find something better to do. It's 2024 and we live in a time where companies need to earn your support and money, not the other way around. If they care that little about their consumers why am I supporting this? Why does anyone? I assume if there was better protection for consumers, especially new ones, people would be less hesitant opening their wallets to LL.

I do apologize for the long post, I came to ask simple questions but don't want to get flamed either or called entitled or anything so wanted to explain my side a little bit. I don't need anyone to repeat the list of TOS or anything because I know what they are. I also know the vendor broke them harassing/slandering me and essentially got what he wanted crying to LL about it. I understand its hard out there for merchants and the majority are always great people. I've had thousands of run ins with them and 99.9% of the time they always do right by me and I try to do the same. I know they're consumers too and generally empathetic people. Yes I lose money, but generally take it with a grain of salt and move on, but the times I do interact with a merchant I've never had a problem in 10 years they weren't willing to help with. It's just in this scenario you follow the rules, remain as civil as possible and watch as LL takes sides and shuts you down for an obvious scumbag. I just cant get over it. It would be one thing for them to do nothing, but actively taking one side over the other sends a clear message that has really tanked the SL experience for me. I have hard time logging in, spending money or doing anything when I know LL won't have my back when ***** hits the fan. If you read this far, thanks for taking the time and would love to hear thoughts, thank you!

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4 hours ago, mule1983 said:

TBH I'm not sure why I'm asking on a merchant forum because I assume the responses will be geared towards defending fellow merchants, no matter how shady their practices

Merchants are customers too :D

4 hours ago, mule1983 said:

I basically bought an item that figured would work for me. The wordplay of the product lead me to believe it would work for my use and I took a chance on buying it. I say "chance" because we are all aware of the lotto, gambling nature of spending money on SL.

Did the listing have a description? This is an important question.

  • If there is a description: A customer not reading it, then being surprised when it does not work for their intended purpose is not the merchant's responsibility.
  • If there is no description: If the merchant did not take the time to make a proper, accurate description for their product, then it is their responsibility when a customer buys the item and has a bad or unexpected experience, because there was no way for them to know what the product was like before buying it.
4 hours ago, mule1983 said:

Not only that but there's no instructions and it uses outside resources to operate (an outside website) making it fail to load properly.

The lack of instructions is a mistake on the seller's part. Instructions are important for pretty much most items, but especially those that are more complicated like this one (seemingly). There should definitely be some instructions available, especially if the product uses outside resources to work.

4 hours ago, mule1983 said:

Basically it was a civil review/narrative, however gave it a low star due to the fact the customer service was so abysmal. Not only that, but it took me the better half of a day trying to figure it out (since there were no instructions). I didn't mention anything in my review though about the bad service, just the fact it didn't work for me and why. 

This sounds reasonable to me, as long as the content of your review stayed within TOS and was relevant to the product, because you reached out to the seller and asked for help before leaving that low star review. Focusing on the item's issues instead of the creator's unpleasant behavior when writing the review is a good call.

4 hours ago, mule1983 said:

This vendor also has various other items with negative reviews

Yeah, then the problems you faced seem to be a pattern in that store, and not a one-off mistake. The fact that others also felt the need to leave negative reviews says a lot.

4 hours ago, mule1983 said:

I found the listing on the MP the next day really by chance because my chrome tab was open from the day before. I refreshed it for the hell of it only to find the review was taken down. I knew he was going to report it because he threatened to. I never thought though it would be removed, especially since it followed TOS and his replies were so incendiary.

If your reply was removed, that means it was against TOS. There is no way around it. You mentioned being civil in the review... well, even if that's the case, the review could still be taken down for other reasons, such as being off topic or addressing an issue that is already mentioned in the description of the product.

LL is very fair when it comes to dealing with flagged reviews, and deciding whether or not they are acceptable. 

4 hours ago, mule1983 said:

I filed a ticket explaining my position (the ticket was a lot shorter than this unexpectedly long post) but omitted specifics regarding my review. Namely because it isn't the point. The point is I left a valid review and they're censoring it for god know what reason. If you're going to allow the unsavory to run rampant in your community, the very least you could do is not tape shut the mouth's of the people supporting your predatory business model, which is really the last straw for me. I'm not going to support a business that not only doesn't bother to protect their consumers, but actively censors them when they have an issue. I even included the reviews from other people that support my position the vendor is a literal plague and asked why these reviews are okay but mine is not.

Um... O.o I understand that it's a frustrating situation to be in, but this is a lot of anger for 1 review. I'm not sure how filing a ticket about it would help, I wouldn't recommend it. But since you already filed one, maybe they will give you a precise explanation regarding what made your review unacceptable.

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10 minutes ago, Clem Marques said:

Did the listing have a description? This is an important question.

  • If there is a description: A customer not reading it, then being surprised when it does not work for their intended purpose is not the merchant's responsibility.
  • If there is no description: If the merchant did not take the time to make a proper, accurate description for their product, then it is their responsibility when a customer buys the item and has a bad or unexpected experience, because there was no way for them to know what the product was like before buying it.

The description can also be inaccurate, wrong, or misleading, also!

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4 minutes ago, Love Zhaoying said:
15 minutes ago, Clem Marques said:

Did the listing have a description? This is an important question.

  • If there is a description: A customer not reading it, then being surprised when it does not work for their intended purpose is not the merchant's responsibility.
  • If there is no description: If the merchant did not take the time to make a proper, accurate description for their product, then it is their responsibility when a customer buys the item and has a bad or unexpected experience, because there was no way for them to know what the product was like before buying it.

The description can also be inaccurate, wrong, or misleading, also!

That's true, it's also something to consider.

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Posted (edited)

It's extremely difficult to answer these questions without making clear what the product is lol. But I'm going to try my best. If I wasn't worried about that aspect I could literally just tell you specifically what happened and it would make sense.

6 hours ago, Clem Marques said:

Did the listing have a description? This is an important question.

  • If there is a description: A customer not reading it, then being surprised when it does not work for their intended purpose is not the merchant's responsibility.
  • If there is no description: If the merchant did not take the time to make a proper, accurate description for their product, then it is their responsibility when a customer buys the item and has a bad or unexpected experience, because there was no way for them to know what the product was like before buying it.

There's a very detailed description. It's an item that does a lot of things. It's just in my particular use it didn't do them very well. Pretty much to the point of being useless. The best analogy I can give without giving away the product would be to tell you it's like buying a house that's made as a phantom object you can walk through. Sure it's the "house" you bought. You assume it's solid. But when you get it discover you can walk through it. It defeats the purpose, but sure it's still a "house". Or another analogy, it's like buying a HUD that literally takes up the whole screen. You cant resize or move it, but it takes up the whole screen so you cant see the game. Sure it's a HUD as advertised, but ruins the experience otherwise.

6 hours ago, Clem Marques said:

The lack of instructions is a mistake on the seller's part. Instructions are important for pretty much most items, but especially those that are more complicated like this one (seemingly). There should definitely be some instructions available, especially if the product uses outside resources to work.

I agree. LL does not. They responded to me telling me I shouldn't of bought it without "clear instructions" on how to use it. It is complicated an object the creator needed to create a website to show you how to use it. 

6 hours ago, Clem Marques said:

If your reply was removed, that means it was against TOS. There is no way around it. You mentioned being civil in the review... well, even if that's the case, the review could still be taken down for other reasons, such as being off topic or addressing an issue that is already mentioned in the description of the product.

LL is very fair when it comes to dealing with flagged reviews, and deciding whether or not they are acceptable. 

LL already told me it was taken down because I mentioned in my review I was using it in a way that "was not advertised". What they mean by that is the fact the product is listed as a commercial type/modify product that you can resell. I listed in my review I bought it so I could use it myself. That's why they said they took it down. They seized on that one part of my review as their explanation for voiding all of it. I'm not making that up. LL then goes on to tell me how they're not a "middleman" and the removal is to protect other buyers. When it is in fact to "protect" their middleman revenue stream, and has nothing to do with the review. If I left the review as is but gave it 5 stars this would be a non issue for LL/the vendor. But no, they shut you up to make sure you can't leave any further negative comments. 

6 hours ago, Clem Marques said:

Um... O.o I understand that it's a frustrating situation to be in, but this is a lot of anger for 1 review. I'm not sure how filing a ticket about it would help, I wouldn't recommend it. But since you already filed one, maybe they will give you a precise explanation regarding what made your review unacceptable.

It's not the review itself it's the point. It's literally the point. I followed the "rules", I left a valid review, I'm not going to be censored over it or banned from leaving comments because it impacts LL's revenue stream on a shady platform. It degrades the integrity of the whole system. As I said, it simply stopped being worth it for me to do business like that. It's not about anger so much as it is not wanting to gamble money on platform with no consistency or regard for their own TOS. That's why I brought up the fact there are other reviews personally blasting this vendor as a scumbag, clear violations but those are okay. I list the reasons why the product didn't work for me and I get banned because I was apparently "misusing" the product. It's a complete joke. Also, like I said it's not just this one incident because due to the nature of the platform and lack of real protections, I hemorrhage money all the time. Only the one time I speak up, I'm banned and told essentially to shut up. Well that's fine. I'll shut up and take my money and time elsewhere.

I just wish I didn't need to be so cryptic because I know it would make sense If I could fully explain the situation. I did to LL, that's why I get the response "you weren't using the product as advertised". Like seriously, WTF? It really just reinforces my initial position to put the whole SL experience in the rearview.

Edited by mule1983
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I'm dyslexic, so I couldn't get all the details from that and probably missed questions. But it seems you're asking if reviews can be removed if they don't insult the merchant. Yes. If the review appears to misrepresent a product, it can be removed. If you say it wasn't pink like you expected, but it's clear from the listing and other reviews that it's always been blue, the review can be removed.

Sometimes the review hasn't really been removed. The merchant has relisted to remove reviews. Which is against the rules, but people still do it. In those cases, you can report it.

Without seeing the listing and review (which you can't show us with the forum rules) that's about all anyone can say. It's only maybes and possibles.

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2 minutes ago, Polenth Yue said:

I'm dyslexic, so I couldn't get all the details from that and probably missed questions. But it seems you're asking if reviews can be removed if they don't insult the merchant. Yes. If the review appears to misrepresent a product, it can be removed. If you say it wasn't pink like you expected, but it's clear from the listing and other reviews that it's always been blue, the review can be removed.

Sometimes the review hasn't really been removed. The merchant has relisted to remove reviews. Which is against the rules, but people still do it. In those cases, you can report it.

Without seeing the listing and review (which you can't show us with the forum rules) that's about all anyone can say. It's only maybes and possibles.

Well for the most part it's a non issue. They already responded with some half baked excuse that I wasn't using the product "as intended". What they mean by that is the fact the product is listed as a commercial type/modify product that you can resell. I listed in my review I bought it so I could use it myself. That's why they said they took it down. 

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17 hours ago, mule1983 said:

LL already told me it was taken down because I mentioned in my review I was using it in a way that "was not advertised". What they mean by that is the fact the product is listed as a commercial type/modify product that you can resell. I listed in my review I bought it so I could use it myself. That's why they said they took it down. They seized on that one part of my review as their explanation for voiding all of it. I'm not making that up.

If that's the case, it was a bad call from whichever Linden was looking at your review.

I don't really have a reason to think that LL is doing any of this maliciously like you seem to strongly believe. They don't benefit from removing negative reviews, and even you saw that many other products of that merchant had very negative reviews.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

If that's the case, it was a bad call from whichever Linden was looking at your review.

I don't really have a reason to think that LL is doing any of this maliciously like you seem to strongly believe. They don't benefit from removing negative reviews, and even you saw that many other products of that merchant had very negative reviews.

They have incentive to remove negative reviews because negative reviews put off potential customers. If a customer doesn't buy something that's a revenue loss from their cut of the sale. That's why they don't let you repost a review once they remove it, they know it's going to be negative and potentially hurt sales. They dont go around removing 5 star reviews off topic do they? Of course they don't. It's not "malicious", it's a biased business model that favors one side over the other. Which would be fine, if they didn't try and pretend otherwise. They will literally tell you they aren't a "middleman" while taking cut of sales and silencing those that complain. The other negative reviews are there because obviously no one reported them. Once I revealed them to LL they removed them. But it was used to prove my point they just arbitrarily side with one over the other. The side they believe will make them the most money, which is the vendor. It's not about being fair or protecting consumers, which was my point. Especially if this is the excuse they will give you:

  "Your review was determined to be Off Topic because the item in question is advertised as a tool for creators and is listed under Building and Object Components >> Creators Tools, but the core of your review was that the item did not work just as well for personal use -- something for which it was not advertised."

Edited by mule1983
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On 6/27/2024 at 9:53 AM, mule1983 said:

because I assume the responses will be geared towards defending fellow merchants

There is no tight-knit merchant community in SL that would defend anyone on a blank check.

Your post is based on a 'hearsay' type of story with very few details (understandable considering forum rules) and is merged with your personal feelings toward SL, your spending habits, your experiences, rant about LL and whatnot. Honestly, it is hard to understand the central point of your question. But...

First, let me assure you that merchants do not have any special channel of communication with LL, even less some kind of magic power to make LL remove your review. We are not protected, nor privileged in any way; quite the contrary, we have more trouble with LL decisions and the way LL treat us than you can imagine.

You are insisting that your review was valid. From what you are saying, it is anything but valid: you left review about how that product doesn’t work for you, not about product it self. So, if you were expecting to kick the box and that it would roll like a ball, you should write about the characteristic of the box, not about your expectations of box to roll. Whether you used it for personal or commercial purposes, it does not matter. (I fail to understand why anyone would opt for a professional product meant for commercial purposes if they are not skilled in that area.) So, if I understand well the nature of your review, let me be straight: your review is not valid, and it was rightfully removed.

Some specialized creators do have every right to expect customers to know how to use their products. For example, I rightfully expect my customers to be fully capable of handling animation systems like AvSitter and how to implement the animation engine setup with any AvSitter settings. As we don't know anything about the product in question, I really cannot say if this example is valid or not.

As you said yourself, you believed that the product would work for you and you took the risk. Now, to be perfectly honest, it is your personal shopping decision, and I fail to see how the merchant is responsible for that in any way. Your shopping/investing style is your own responsibility. Could you search for more information in-world, on the internet, or ask around in SL or even contact the creator with additional question and potentially avoid the entire situation? You probably could. Again, this responsibility is on you.

Your spending habits in SL are personal and shouldn't affect how merchants or LL treat you. Every customer is valuable, regardless of the amount of money spent, and they should be treated equally.

If there was confusion or misunderstanding in my response, I apologize. Your post covers many aspects, making it complex to follow.

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Posted (edited)
52 minutes ago, RohanaRaven Zerbino said:

You are insisting that your review was valid. From what you are saying, it is anything but valid: you left review about how that product doesn’t work for you, not about product it self.

If the product doesn't work for me, that by definition is a flaw in the product that I am addressing in a review. When someone leaves a review on why a product doesn't work and they list the reasons, they're not listing reasons it wouldn't work for someone else? It's why it didn't work for them in their individual use case. With your ball example, if I wrote a review saying, "the ball didn't work for me because it didn't roll"... By your logic would now be invalid. It really doesn't even make sense. 

 

52 minutes ago, RohanaRaven Zerbino said:

Whether you used it for personal or commercial purposes, it does not matter.

I agree, but that's why it was removed. So I'm not sure what your point is by now saying it should be removed. 

 

52 minutes ago, RohanaRaven Zerbino said:

As you said yourself, you believed that the product would work for you and you took the risk. Now, to be perfectly honest, it is your personal shopping decision, and I fail to see how the merchant is responsible for that in any way.

No one said they were "responsible". It's a review of the product, not the vendor. No one asked for a refund, or said they were at fault (even though the description is super misleading, which lead me to believe it would work for me). In this case it lacked features and that was the cause of the low score. Like I mentioned, If you bought a "house" from a merchant that you could walk through, you would probably leave a bad review/low score. No one lists buildings as "solid", its presumed. But again, by your logic that should be the case and every building should explicitly state it's solid. If I walk through the walls of the house and fall through the floors that's on the buyer I guess.  

Edited by mule1983
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On 6/27/2024 at 8:53 AM, mule1983 said:

Hello, was hoping to get some opinions on what people think about MP reviews and my particular situation. TBH I'm not sure why I'm asking on a merchant forum because I assume the responses will be geared towards defending fellow merchants, no matter how shady their practices, but was hoping to hear from all angles. Especially since I feel merchants would be more equipped to answer some of my questions. I also want to add, I may be using an alt account to post this but I have been on SL for 10 years this fall. I have been reading and posting on the forums all this time and am familiar with a lot of the "dos and don'ts" regarding TOS and MP etiquette.

I don't want to make a longwinded or super detailed post (which means it probably will be) so I'll start by saying I basically bought an item that figured would work for me. The wordplay of the product lead me to believe it would work for my use and I took a chance on buying it. I say "chance" because we are all aware of the lotto, gambling nature of spending money on SL. After trying it out I realized it wouldn't work. Not only that but there's no instructions and it uses outside resources to operate (an outside website) making it fail to load properly. When I contacted the creator for help they told me I shouldn't of bought something I don't know how to use. Like I'm automatically supposed to know how to use something someone else makes. This lead to a bad taste in my mouth, especially since the product was over $80. So I left a brief review on the product indicating it didn't work in my case and listed the reasons why. I never said anything bad about the creator and as a matter of fact, indicated the product may work for some people in specific scenarios. Basically it was a civil review/narrative, however gave it a low star due to the fact the customer service was so abysmal. Not only that, but it took me the better half of a day trying to figure it out (since there were no instructions). I didn't mention anything in my review though about the bad service, just the fact it didn't work for me and why. 

Well I was essentially contacted the next day by the merchant demanding I retract the review. When I went back to look at the review I noticed they left a lengthy response in their comment/reply section taking aim at me, and blowing TOS out of the water bad mouthing/slandering me. So I figured I would leave the review posted. I didn't ask for a refund, I knew with the scumbag I was dealing with that was out of the question anyway. This vendor also has various other items with negative reviews from people directly targeting the fact the guy is an outcast to society and regret having to deal with him. Which I can certainly relate to.  

Normally that would be the end of it, honestly I normally wouldn't even bother with a review if it wasn't so expensive. I know a lot of people don't bother with reviews but with something so expensive I try to keep other consumers aware. There could be another me out there. I found the listing on the MP the next day really by chance because my chrome tab was open from the day before. I refreshed it for the hell of it only to find the review was taken down. I knew he was going to report it because he threatened to. I never thought though it would be removed, especially since it followed TOS and his replies were so incendiary. Really it started distracting me from the game as I started thinking more about it, and then started getting angry/worked up. I mean, I don't know what the average user spends on SL but I can tell you I spend around 8k annually. The lowest I've ever spent a year is 5k. My land use fees are about 260 a month. The majority of my purchases are from inworld and MP buys like anyone else. I say this to give an idea of the type of money I spend on a whim when playing SL and why I rack up so much.

The reason I bring that up is because like I said, I started thinking. Is LL so pro vendor that within 12 hours they'll remove a valid criticism from a buyer? Harsher reviews are still published about this vendor, yet mine was targeted. Other reviews that specifically target the vendor and their ***** personality. The issue so much isn't about the money, but the fact that they would censor someone with a valid opinion to protect a crybaby vendor. I mean with the time I've been playing if I had to guess I probably threw away at least 1k maybe 2k on useless products. Either empty boxes, products that don't work, misleading, etc. I was once scammed by a rental place I couldn't access after paying for a week ahead of time, 8000 Lindens and the owner never showed up to add me to the group until day 5. When I asked for more time they said I already paid and it's their "policy" not to refund or extend time. I never complained because I knew what little good it would do. But the one recourse I do have is to share my experience with purchased products in the form of a review. And LL wants to take that away too? It's bad enough they let people get swindled so hard on a daily basis, but for me crosses the line when they start censoring them from warning others. They don't bother to ask for elaboration on the review or ask how you've been scammed a thousand times or step in to right a wrong in virtually any scenario, but they'll jump at the chance to bend over for the worst people of the community. 

So really I have a hard time even logging in anymore over this. I'm not trying to be a "Karen" or anything it's just the environment has fundamentally changed to me where as I'm not having a good time anymore. First time in 10 years I don't really care about SL/LL because they don't care about me. It's like why I am throwing money away like this to a company that arbitrarily breaks their TOS, doesn't honor their own rules and censors consumers. Nobody wants to offer refunds or costumer service, but then they log off and buy stuff on Amazon/Walmart with generous refund policies I'm sure they take full advantage of on a routine basis. Then they get home and sell you an empty prim box. Or my personal favorite, photoshopped products that when opened, look like they were made by a second grader on their first day of art class. We're talking about people's real money here, not play money like they try and treat it.

So that's really my biggest question, do they care so much about these people that they're willing to drive away good consumers? And if I'm not a good consumer worth defending who is? This guy who in the long run will sell a couple dozen broken boxes or a consumer who spends every...single day. Who would willingly open their wallets in an environment like this? Nobody would stand for it in RL so why does LL get a pass, or feel it appropriate? I speak from a experience as a 10 year veteran who pays/plays consistently and has lost the will to be part of the community over it. I understand there's two sides and you need both creators and consumers to run this type of business, but there should be a compromise and not restricting the rights of one over the other. I have been around long enough to know there's very little "new money" in SL. There's not enough new players to support it's economy and it relies on the "whales" that have been here for 15-20 years. They won't be around forever and you cant just keep throwing consumers under the bus, as you'll eventually run out of them to throw. I understand also it's their house, their rules....which is essentially the problem. Their "rules" are so loosely enforced/wishy washy, no one would spend money on something so arbitrary outside of SL, and when they are enforced your usually the one on the *****ty end of the stick. It's not really the issue about the money so much it is the people I'm doing business with, which is the point. That's what breaks my spirit to bother logging in anymore. I know what my money is being used to support and it's nauseating I'm a cog in that machine. 

I filed a ticket explaining my position (the ticket was a lot shorter than this unexpectedly long post) but omitted specifics regarding my review. Namely because it isn't the point. The point is I left a valid review and they're censoring it for god know what reason. If you're going to allow the unsavory to run rampant in your community, the very least you could do is not tape shut the mouth's of the people supporting your predatory business model, which is really the last straw for me. I'm not going to support a business that not only doesn't bother to protect their consumers, but actively censors them when they have an issue. I even included the reviews from other people that support my position the vendor is a literal plague and asked why these reviews are okay but mine is not. I've read hundreds of thousands of reviews over the course of 10 years and I know what is acceptable and what isn't. I also told them I'm pretty much done now. They've done a good job making sure I spend zero dollars going forward and will be liquidating my assets in the next few days (wholesale mainland available if anyone is intrested). I didn't give them an ultimatum but unless they straight up reverse the comment I can't see myself coming back. I know they won't do that but curious to hear from others that have been in this situation. Has that ever happened? What responses do people get when they complain about this sort of thing? It just amazes me that within this business I can buy a three headed pig to have sex with (hypothetically) but if I have a complaint about the quality of said pig, LL will censor my review for it. It's literally laughable. It's like, what are your priorities here? Because they clearly aren't to the consumers. I understand people are probably thinking I left some heinous review but I'm telling you I didn't. I made it as clean and civil as humanly possible just for that fact, so it wouldn't be removed. I literally played by their rules just for them to throw them back in my face.

I'm hoping also someone can give me good reasons they continue to support this type of business and why. Three headed pigs aside, I do enjoy the game, obviously. But as I said, the logical part of me tells me this is the kick I needed to find something better to do. It's 2024 and we live in a time where companies need to earn your support and money, not the other way around. If they care that little about their consumers why am I supporting this? Why does anyone? I assume if there was better protection for consumers, especially new ones, people would be less hesitant opening their wallets to LL.

I do apologize for the long post, I came to ask simple questions but don't want to get flamed either or called entitled or anything so wanted to explain my side a little bit. I don't need anyone to repeat the list of TOS or anything because I know what they are. I also know the vendor broke them harassing/slandering me and essentially got what he wanted crying to LL about it. I understand its hard out there for merchants and the majority are always great people. I've had thousands of run ins with them and 99.9% of the time they always do right by me and I try to do the same. I know they're consumers too and generally empathetic people. Yes I lose money, but generally take it with a grain of salt and move on, but the times I do interact with a merchant I've never had a problem in 10 years they weren't willing to help with. It's just in this scenario you follow the rules, remain as civil as possible and watch as LL takes sides and shuts you down for an obvious scumbag. I just cant get over it. It would be one thing for them to do nothing, but actively taking one side over the other sends a clear message that has really tanked the SL experience for me. I have hard time logging in, spending money or doing anything when I know LL won't have my back when ***** hits the fan. If you read this far, thanks for taking the time and would love to hear thoughts, thank you!

Bro I'd help but you seriously cannot be expecting people casually browsing a forum to spend their free time reading a 2000 word essay all afternoon.

Is there a tl;dr that isn't 2242 words long?

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11 hours ago, mule1983 said:

If the product doesn't work for me, that by definition is a flaw in the product that I am addressing in a review.

No. Product works or it doesn't work.  When you say 'it doesn't work for me,' you're not reviewing the product itself, you're expressing your personal expectations of how you wanted it to work.

 

12 hours ago, mule1983 said:

the ball didn't work for me because it didn't roll

What ball? Read again:

12 hours ago, RohanaRaven Zerbino said:

So, if you were expecting to kick the box and that it would roll like a ball, you should write about the characteristic of the box, not about your expectations of box to roll.

As a customer, I always skip reviews that say 'it doesn't work for me,' because I'm not interested in how someone wanted something to work, but in reviews of the product itself.

As a merchant, 'it doesn't work for me'  indicates a lack of knowledge about 1. how animations work on SL avatars, or 2. the usage of the animation.

The most annoying reviews are actually the ones that say, 'I am giving 4 stars because I wish there was [whatever]'.

I am actually trying to help you here by explaining how to write a review focused on the product itself. In extremely rare cases, negative reviews can be actually helpful to the merchant  (I just had that situation the other day).

So, if you truly believe that the product description is misleading based on how the product is meant to work, not your own expectations, go back and write that in your review.

If you have arguments that the product doesn't work as it is meant to work, again, not based on your own expectations, go back and write that.

Anything else means you are reviewing yourself, not the product.

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  • 2 weeks later...

@mule1983 Ok, so now let's reverse it. I can give you some examples on reviews I've gotten in the past, some that remain, others that did so much damage I unlisted because they never sold again, and tell me what you think:

The usual preface might be: "I'm giving this lower stars, taking 3 stars off, etc because":

  • "It doesn't have modify permissions"
  • "It doesn't fit the look of my scene / sim"
  • "It doesn't [ have some function/ability/interaction they would like" (general)
  • "It doesn't come with an animation"
  • "The picture used in the listing offends me"
  • "The video link is missing, so I bought it anyway, but took stars off"

Now, some products with these type of reviews are unlisted, or destined for remake (or not), and others remain up.

I can understand feeling that you are being 'singled out' by staff, as sometimes I get the same feeling. I've reported reviews that are not about the product, or the reviewer has clearly stated why they have removed stars (which is off topic) but the staff just leave it there anyway. Perhaps the option "Off topic" is to vague and is strange anyway being applied to a product listing...

It may not be the case, it may be that they are short staffed, but yes experience with them can vary from person to person.

It might also help LL to have a more specific listing other than "not on topic" which is vague, but rather specifics "Review rating not based on actual product" or w/e.

Anyway, it's damaging to both sides. People want to leave reviews and don't want to be cancelled, as they will be less likely to review unless ecstatic, but merchants don't want the bulk of reviews to contain "Oh I took off 2 stars because it's not available in red, but I do like it! Great product!" - which can confuse LL staff as what to do... It's off topic BUT it gives a good review at the same time.

For awhile though, I've been against the review system - particularly the star system for awhile now... People should either like the product or not, but a rating with no explanation or review is not helpful either... or a missing "Contact the creator" button, so that people won't (purposefully or not) use the review section to air a grief, a wish or suggestions.

Leaving this as is, IS costing LL money from lost sales too... but they seem to have no plans to clarify this stuff or improve the MP... might not be a way to anymore lol.

That being said, if you are genuinely wanting to leave a review, just keep it to the product only, and save your wish list or suggestions and send the creator a notecard or message instead.

In general, I dont leave reviews anymore, as I don't believe anything is perfect (so don't like 5 starring anything), but anything less than 5 stars seems to make creators angry - and I don't like it either! So hopefully the system improves... hehe yeahhhh right...

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As a merchant/service provider (being the latter irl and having been the former irl), the customer isn't always right, however, always should be treated with politeness. It's also astounding that they'd not offer either an explanation of how to use the product (they should have a notecard or something with "beginner explanations" if not already included in the product), or, seeing the rather insubstantial price, a refund. 

As a customer, if I don't think it's clearly my "fault" that I'm unhappy, and if a seller was being rude in interaction, I might leave feedback, indicating "oh, beware", in a ToS-compliant way, to be sure that future potential customers can take it as a warning. I think it's better to contact a seller first, before leaving feedback, though, so they have a chance to make it right, or explain; then, depending, I can still leave bad feedback, or not, if their reaction or explanation isn't it. Of course, a seller should still be polite, when taking the initiative of contacting someone after they left feedback, but they may have had a bad day or something, we're all humans, and giving them a chance at good customer service before leaving bad feedback might avoid such situations. 

That said, I have to say that I tend to just let SL things go, as the L$ usually aren't worth my time; with irl online purchases, on the other hand, I've gotten to an acceptable solution more often than not, when contacting sellers where the product didn't mirror the description in a significant way, and sometimes, perceived rudeness is more a language/culture/education barrier than someone being an a$$.

The actual point, in any case, is, that, as long as a feedback complies with the ToS, it should not be removed, and sellers should only be allowed to contact buyers to offer a solution, not to harass them about deleting their feedback.

If a seller uses the tactic of simply delisting and relisting a product anytime it gets a bad feedback, those feedbacks should still be visible, if not under the then not any longer existing product, then still somewhere visible under the seller profile. There could be a few modificators, like if a seller generally gets lots of good feedback, the, could be eligible to choose the topmost displayed ten feedbacks themselves, or if they have lots of sales, up to three bad feedbacks per month don't count against their average, if it's new sellers, rules could be a bit more lax for a starting period to not tank them if they are unlucky enough to get an unfairly bad review early on, etc. I'm sure there are lots of ways to fine-tune and evolve feedback systems these days.

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On 7/9/2024 at 4:09 AM, InnerCity Elf said:

If a seller uses the tactic of simply delisting and relisting a product anytime it gets a bad feedback, those feedbacks should still be visible, if not under the then not any longer existing product, then still somewhere visible under the seller profile. There could be a few modificators, like if a seller generally gets lots of good feedback, the, could be eligible to choose the topmost displayed ten feedbacks themselves, or if they have lots of sales, up to three bad feedbacks per month don't count against their average, if it's new sellers, rules could be a bit more lax for a starting period to not tank them if they are unlucky enough to get an unfairly bad review early on, etc. I'm sure there are lots of ways to fine-tune and evolve feedback systems these days.

It's against the TOS to delist then create a new listing on a prior listed product, so if it happens, reporting it will suffice.

The other side of the equation though is... If the product was fixed or improved, is the star rating still valid? Nope.

There ARE legitimate reasons to re-list a product that was listed before (And legally, but of course depends on the ethics of the creator).

  • Product was low rated, for whatever reason
  • Product was fixed, improved, customer was served, but low rating review remains
  • Low ratings on products = less or no sales (even on perfectly good items, or fixed items)
  • Product was changed in a significant way 1) New Mesh 2) New UVs  3) New Textures
  • If it is a new mesh, new uvs, and new textures, the intent is not to 'bypass reviews', but rather bypass 'outdated reviews
  • Product is the same, but has significant changes, like being PBR textures now...

Again, this all depends on the ethics and integrity of a creator. Not all possible relistings are to avoid bad reviews without changing anything.

It's also not fair to expect someone to update a product, that will NEVER get sales because it had low ratings in the past.

All will happen is the product gets delisted, no one gets anything... and the creator is screwed (on that product)

Edited by Codex Alpha
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18 hours ago, Codex Alpha said:

The other side of the equation though is... If the product was fixed or improved, is the star rating still valid? Nope.

That's a good point, and should also be considered. It's not so easy, though, as platforms need to balance the happiness of both parts of the equation, and doesn't have unlimited people power for checks.

Customers who left bad ratings for bad products might be not too happy if their feedbacs simply get deleted, especially if the product they bought is still flawed, and they weren't sent the updated product, and even if the product is okay now, it wasn't in the past, and while I myself wouldn't mind a "feedback reset" for improved products, some might not, and wouls want their feedback to stay, if with a "date; product was improved since" banner or something. Also, some merchants themselves might rather not have a feedback reset for updated products, as many 5* with a few 1* thrown in might still be better for them than 0 feedbacks.

Maybe, after product updates, past feedback could be kept and viewed in a "historic review list" but wouldn't count for the average rating amd such from the release date of the improved product, I doubt that manz people would go to the trouble of opening a separate tab for "feedback for older version of the now improved product" and waste their time scrolling through old and possibly mostly irrelevant feedback.

Then again, there could be negative feedback for something that did not get improved and might be relevant info for some potential buyers, it might generally be beneficial to the platform to keep historical reviews to motivate sellers to not release umfinished products,... or what if... Lots of variables to consider.

It's really pretty difficult to keep everyone happy; I'm a seller on a different platform, and there have been several reviews of the feedback system over the years, lots of beta testing phases, small changes, big changes, even changes that made some things worse again instead of better for some user cases, and it's still not perfect for everyone, and probably won't ever be.

Doesn't mean the platforms shouldn't strive for getting as close to perfect as possible, of course. And from my experience elsewhere, it's absolutely possible that platform staff looks over suggestions and complaints from sellers and buyers, as well as customers in the sense of both buyers and sellers as the platform's customers, and might even act on the one or other. :)

 

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