TL;DR (because it’s long and yeah): my main account is 13+-years-old. Didn’t login until recently after about a decade. Account was placed on hold for no apparent reason after a month of play. Opened ticket. Calls. Got a ticket responded to finally. Asked by Liden to verify identity with series of questions I answered accurately minus potentially one(?)(due to the length of time since I created the account). Was told by Linden that the account was initially put on hold due to suspicion of sharing or transferring (so, got that answered) and that the answers I provided were not verifiable and was told to contact them if I remembered the account details or to just make a new account. Not looking for direct help through here via LL, just potentially anyone with similar experience that wants to share or veterans who might have some advice?
Description of events for those interested:
I apologize in advance, this is a long and probably wild one. And I want to recognize that I understand this a resident-to-resident forum. I am not looking for direct solutions from LL through here or direct answers on things residents obviously wouldn’t know, just potentially others who have come across this problem, long term veterans who may have helpful advice, and general experiences, etc. But, please, give this a read. I'm trying to include as much detail as possible in hopes of receiving the most accurate guidance or advice.
Firstly, this is an alt account. I do have written permission from a Linden (posted below) as of April 30th, 2020 saying I was welcome to make and use a new account. They are also aware of this account (also noted below). I made it several days ago when my main account was randomly logged out and put on hold (per the suggestion of a phone rep who said I may need to make a new account to to file a ticket, more on that later. This account is unused and this is the only activity on it). By "randomly", I do mean "randomly" on my end, without notification, warning or anything. I woke up after a nap on Monday the 27th and logged into my viewer just fine and whilst I waited for my RL friend to sign in, decided to check my email on my phone, saw an email that the email address attached to my account was change. Went to make food (left my avatar signed in, parked on her home lot on her porch swing) to sit down and deal with what I suspected was an attempted hacking, not my first rodeo with receiving emails of that nature regarding accounts. Hacking happens all the time, especially for coveted games such as Second Life or World of Warcraft. Within those 20 minutes, I was logged out of my viewer "by administrator", and saw a new email stating my account had been terminated for "severe or repeated violations of TOS", that the was matter was closed and no other communication would be offered.
Second that is important to this information is that my main account is over thirteen-years-old. I had not logged into this account for... *thinks* bare minimum, almost a decade.
Of course I was shocked when I saw this email of termination. I immediately tried to log into my viewer. No luck. Was given a link to contact support. So, I followed the link and it took me to watered down version of the site that let me open an appeal ticket, view my basic account information and view open\closed tickets.
I opened an appeal through my account and of course in my upset tried to dig around my limited access for a cause or a reason. I wasn't frantic or hysterical in my appeal. I questioned it and expressed how absolutely confused I was. That I spent my time in-game doing "PG things" such as shopping, avatar customization, home decor, hanging out at a coffee shop with my friends to listen to music and socialize, etc. That I could not, within reason, think of anything I had done, intentionally or not, that would constitute a termination without any warning or explanation. I even scoured over the TOS a few times before sending my initial appeal and could not think how anywhere I violated anything. I never received confirmation of this appeal ticket being filed.
So, I anxiously wait. And dig around. Look at old tickets on my account. I see the closed ticket from April 17th-19th where I had a requested a spending increase on my account.
Then I see a ticket from April 18th that I did not send. It was a wild and belligerent message claiming "I" was scammed, and that "I" was going to contact "my" bank and cancel all charges unless they refunded "me" over $100, insults, and general bashing of the game. (I'm putting this in nicer terms than what was actually on the ticket, haha.) I never received automated confirmation of this ticket being filed. I've dug through my spam and trash on Gmail; nothing. Of course, again, I freaked. "I've been hacked and this has set off LL. GREAT." (Or my poo-head of a “roommate” decided to get onto my account and intentionally muck up things due to some unrelated household drama with my boyfriend). I immediately opened my ticket and noted my findings, stating that I do have roommates that may or may not have access to my account, that I did not make this ticket and now I was concerned for the safety of my financial and billing information. Again, not frantic, but I did try to note my urgency. I also immediately changed my email password and tightened security on my computer, etc. I also explained these actions I took on the note to the ticket. (* I feel like a little common sense should be used here. If I make a ticket praising the game and how excited I am about coming back and requesting a spending increase on my account and I'm awaiting a response regarding a spending increase, why would I reasonably turn around not 12 hours later and write such a harshly and horribly worded ticket and demand all sorts of crazy things and state that I was quitting the game? Just my opinion, though. I'm sure they deal with all types.)
I then decide to call the after-hours account security number. I give my information, answer the security question and she takes my issue. She says she can't help with account issues over the phone, tells me how to open a ticket and states that if I cannot login or file a guest ticket, I should create an alternate account for means to communicate with support. Thus, this account was born. I just went ahead and made it just in case the representative was correct.
A little background:
As I previously stated, my main account is over thirteen-years-old. Back in our hayday of 2006-2007 we opened and closed accounts willy nilly (whims; sometimes we liked the name, sometimes we just got bored of the avatar itself. Boom. Trashed.). We also shared accounts. At that point in time, this was okay per the TOS. It was done openly and heavily. But, as far as I know, this is the only account of mine that survived. As for now, the account has not been logged into, like I said, for maybe a decade and as far as I know, the account has only recently been logged into by me.
Of course, after a day or two of playing and re-familiarizing myself, I recognized a lot had changed and I was going to have to purchase things to update my avatar to modern meshes and such. As the email address that was used to create the account no longer exists on the face of the planet, I went in and changed the account-associated email address to one of my current email addresses so I could reasonably receive documentations of receipts of card purchases and of MP purchases.
I was able to play and purchase things without any issue for over just shy of a month. I had the minor thing about the spending increase. That was denied, which was fine, their call. Didn't hurt to ask. The only thing I wanted to do that was a "big" purchase was switch from a Belleza body to a Maitreya body, hah. So, I wasn't exactly pressed. Disappointed, sure, but I could wait the extra week until the "financial relationship" status was a month old. NBD. After a few days, I was able to make a purchase of Lindens just fine. Got my body, woo!
Wednesday rolls around, and I hear nothing. I'm starting to get stressed about my account, financial and billing security. So, I dig around on forums and Google and see what others have encountered. Found the Better Business Bureau page and all the complaints. Not exactly good for anxiety, but did make me think that might be an option if all else fails. I then decide to try calling billing during operational hours. Gave my information, answered my secret question, gave my concerns. He was quite rude and said that I had to file a ticket via the email used the create the account. I explained to him the account is almost a decade and a half old, that I barely remembered what that email was. I even forgot I had created it until I updated my email address on my account. That the email no longer exists (I tried to regain access to that email), nor does the sever it was created on, hence why it was changed. He rudely said he'd make note of that on my account, told me to open a guest ticket, that's all he could do and hung up on me.
I open a guest ticket with the email I used to update my account. I noted at the beginning of the ticket this was the instructions given to me by phone representative, and that I was copy-and-pasting the initial ticket filed through my account. Copy and pasted that, and then ended the new ticket repeating how confused and concerned I was and just how willing I was to get this sorted out in a timely fashion.
Thursday afternoon comes and I've not heard anything. Mind you when I created my ticket regarding a spending increase (the only time I've contacted support, like, ever), it took less than 24 hours for me to receive a generic response, but a response nevertheless, from a Linden, so I was growing increasingly concerned as each day passed.
Thursday I decided to give the fraud line a call. While she couldn't tell me much as it wasn't her department, she was extremely nice and informative. Patient and understanding. (Shout out to Becky for being just the sweetest human alive, give her a pay raise!) She did say that this was through a different department and that department didn't have a telephone line. I would have to rely on my ticket. I asked her if on the off chance she knew how long it'd take because I'm concerned about my financial safety. Naturally she said she didn't know what the roll over time was for another department, but she'd make a note in my account. (Not sure what note, but, okay. A note is a note. It's activity. I'll take it.)
It took me two open tickets and 3 phone calls to finally get some answers. After ending that call, about 10 minutes later I log into my account to check ticket status and see a reply on my initial ticket made through my account (not the guest ticket). I did not get an email notification of a reply onto the ticket. Regardless, yay!
The Linden asks for identifying information to ensure they are communicating with the owner. This is obviously fair.
Q1: what is the answer to your security question, *insert question here*?
Q2: In what city, state and country did you create the account?
Q3: In what city, state and country did you last log into the account?
Q4: If you have any alt accounts, what are the names, and security questions and answers to those accounts.
I answered all of these. Q1 was simple, if I didn't know that answer I'd be a horrible human. The only one had trouble with was Q2. The year I created my account, I traveled A LOT. Mind you, this is over 13 years ago, as well. I answered the question with 90% certainty. I even noted on the response that it had been 13 years, so my memory may not be spot on. Q3 was easy, I haven't moved from my boyfriend's house where I am currently on doctor-order medical quarantine as I have multiple debilitating chronic illnesses (some of which also effect my memory). Q4 was also simple enough to remember, this account. I explained why this account was made and gave the identifying question and answer that was requested.
An hour or two later I received a response stating (again, did not get an email notice of a response on the ticket),
(At least I know now why the account is on hold. Suspicion of sharing or transfer. So, knowing a reason is nice.)
*slams face on keyboard* And that leads me to here. The ticket was closed. I opened a new ticket referencing the closed ticket, explaining again that the account is nearing a decade-and-a-half old. I don't remember my exact location on any day 13+ years ago, let alone a specific date and time of a location 13+ years ago. It was an average day. Just like most days... I'm not going to remember it, because nothing significant happened to mark that date on my memory. I know generally where I bounced around to throughout that year. But, specific dates, goodness no. And to remember the location of where I was when I opened an account 13 years ago? Goodness! I can't even tell you what month I created my business email last fall. I just know it was in the fall. And don't ask me if I was in the town I worked, in the town I live, or in the town my boyfriend lives.
I explained that I would have no qualms with starting a new account, but as I am partially disabled and on a very limited income, me decided to purchase things for this account was a special (and honestly, calculated; there were other things I wanted to buy) treat to myself in order to quell the stress of quarantine and a global pandemic, and that I just cannot simply afford to "start from scratch". I have offered to send copies of my photo ID (which matches the card they are charging) and "anything and everything" I can do.
They had no problems charging me for a whole month, even up until virtually the very hour my account was placed on hold. Why am I being dismissed and treated like a hacker when I'm sitting here essentially begging them to let me play and give them money, begging them to let me prove I am who I am.
Like, I am so confused and hurt right now. I'm mad at myself that I chose to treat myself to a game with friends instead of spending the money I spent on, say, some makeup, or something. I thought, "what's the point of treating myself to clothes or makeup when I have no reason to wear them? With a game, I'll get good use out of this money spent because I'll be having fun and socializing."
I just want to know if there's any advice, help, sage wisdom? Anything? Anyone who's had this happen to them before? I've never broken TOS of anything before. And the only time I've had to honestly deal with any game customer support that required account ownership identity was when my brother died and I requested to take over his account (he loved WoW so, so much and was so proud of his character) so I wouldn't lose his account forever, so they had me send a photocopy of my government ID. But, something like this? I just don't know what I'm dealing with. And it's honestly scary. Because if my account was compromised somehow, my financial and billing information is right there. No, they can't access the account now, but they could've at some point.
Ugh, I am so sorry. I just don't know where else to turn...