Wednesday, March 30, 2011

a casket built for two

This hit the inbox this morning:
Group Notice From: :: Lokii's Apostates ::, Lokii Violet

After numerous angry IMs and notecards last night and this morning over a glitch in the redelivery script, I will not be updating the main MM until such time people realize that it's a [privilege] to get something, not a demanding right to throw a shit fit over something free they receive.

I will still keep the group Mini running and will be updating it as soon as I can with new items, but until further notice the main MM is kaput.
Now, I admit, I am in the 'far too much crap' area of Second Life, so while I still do hit Midnight Mania boards, at this point they fall nearly exclusively into three specific areas:

1. Can I build something with it? (Texture boards, sculpts, full-perm items that can go into things I texture, sculpt and build)

2. Can I buy it outright? (A lot of times certain makers on my list will put an item into their Midnight Manias or Lucky Boards that cannot be gotten otherwise. Or, in the case of some, they can be had, but only after a week or so of that item being in the MM)

3. Is it a product from a niche market? (In other words, fantasy, gothic, anime, horror...something I'm not going to run across casually)

If it's not one of those, I generally don't bother.

But I have bothered with the MM at Malfean Visions before. First, because she makes great shoes, hands down--seriously, the shoes I wear most these days are Show Me On the Doll's pony boots first, Lokii's Strapped or Admiral line second, and Adam & Eve's Beatrix line third--and second, because a lot of the time she'll toss previews of new things in to the MM, advertise it, see if it locks, and that, I'm pretty sure, tells her whether or not to put out two or three variations on a shoe, or nineteen.

She also tosses in dresses and other ephemera from time to time (though generally doll keys and other specialty items, like limited editions she doesn't release to the public, go in the RiotVend).

More importantly, of all the store groups I've been in, the Apostates group remains one of the more rational and level-headed, and--dare I put it this way--fun. So what the hell happened? It can't be a group thing, I'm thinking--only the Mini Mania is locked to group--so were these just random idiots who came in and tapped and the script glitched afterwards?

But then why send out a notice to her group? Because that's the lynchpin issue, here. You only send out a notice to people who are affected by the issue. So, if it was just randomness, she would have put a sign up next to, or over, the MM.

She sent the notice out to the group. Which means people in her store group shredded her over an issue she has zero control for, and that...just irritates the hell out of me, frankly.

Because she's right. Anything we get off an MM, off a Lucky Board, a Mini Mania, Lucky/Unlucky chair, or any variant thereof (be it fishing, guessing games, raffles, or straight clicks-to-a-goal) is not making money for the merchant. I'm not saying people who drop in for a chance to win something don't buy things--I do, and I'm not alone in that. But I am saying that by and large, a resident can visit thirty stores, click the MMs in each one, and port out again before even the MM item rezzes in. It's not, in itself, a money-making plan.

So yeah, I'm extremely disappointed in people again. Shame on all of you who sent her dunning IMs and notecards. It wasn't her fault. It's never the merchant's fault when a script glitches--it's usually an issue of lag in the sim, or SL just being SL. And it's never the customer's responsibility to be rude in return. Ever.

More importantly, and this goes for all the merchants out there--all designers who are willing to cut us a deal--be that a freebie in their store, a Midnight Mania board, a Lucky Chair, or one of the now-ubiquitous themed sale discounts on the grid--don't have to do this. What's in it for them only becomes of value when a lot of people buy that item, when word-of-mouth goes wideband. Otherwise, it's just another loss leader. It's a courtesy to us that they do it at all.

Don't like an item? Toss it and move on. Didn't get the item? If you feel you have to, be goddamned polite about it. Otherwise, move on to the next thing. It's not worth your time, and it's definitely not worth the designer's, to throw a tantrum like a three-year-old.


Update from the designer:
[03:46 PM] Freakkitteh [Lokii Violet]: Just to clarify on it - it was a mob of people not from this group that complained about it. People that've never set foot in the store before until last night. That's the only reason I got irritated at the audacity of it.
[03:46 PM] Freakkitteh [Lokii Violet]: No one from here, hell I don't care if you guys call it but when it's random Joblow rhoidrage they can kindly get fucked.
[03:46 PM] :‧ Şђα ‧: [Shari Cortes]: hey Lokiii don't worry is just us mobvending you
[03:46 PM] :‧ Şђα ‧: [Shari Cortes]: waves madly
[03:46 PM] Bite me [lavita Galicia]: what did i miss? complained about what?
[03:47 PM] Freakkitteh [Lokii Violet]: Just the MM redelivery scripting wigged out and redelivered the previous gift instead of the Revenent.
There you go, then. Wasn't anyone in the Apostates group. So we're clear.

It's the rest of you idiots that need to grow the hell up.


Sphynx Soleil said...

So...they got something free AND they bitched? Yea, they can get fsked...

Emilly Orr said...

Pretty much.

In conversation this afternoon, after I posted this, she brought the MM board back--as a group thing. That way, if it doesn't lock, we only have ourselves to blame. And if it doesn't work, we won't bitch.

Serenity Semple said...

I dunno though. I've not had something delivered at all because of item glitchs and tell the owner politely. Some still react violently so until I see a convo I dunno who I put trust in. Seen so many situations warped because of just general mis-interepted convos and such. Some owners feel that no matter how they give out an item, even if they make it wrong or there's a glitch - don't IM them - don't say ANYTHING! Now granted I have a general dislike for this owner because I know her store from hunts way back and she was very rude about hiding duds and at one point even put out buyable duds (for a L$ price). So dunno if I trust so much what this one says. :s

Emilly Orr said...


I support your right to your opinion, and I do think she is a cruel and tormenting soul when the Twisted hunts come around (in fact, she's warned her group that next fall's maze is going to be larger, harder, and more arcane than this last hunt's), but...I trust her. If I get access to IMs/chatlogs in question, I'll post 'em--that's part of what I do, after all--but for now, yeah, I'm taking her word as given.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the general idea of the post, that merchants have no obligation to give out gifts and that there is never a reason to be rude and demanding. But that really has nothing to do with the fact that the gift is free, even if I pay full price for an item I will not be rude if I don't get it, or if it is bugged. I would be polite and send a few notecards every few weeks and then give up on it if I get no reply. I'm sure the tantrum throwers will go crazy over MM boards, full price items, and everything else they are involved in. I think it is more a personality trait. Reasonable people will agree with your message, unreasonable people won't care, will call her a bitch and keep on complaining. They won't suddenly see the light or learn a lesson.

That's why I feel little sympathy for Lokii or righteous anger at the complainers. Yes it's very annoying when people are rude to you about a gift (or rude about anything), but this is the internet you have to accept that it will happen. If she was tired of running the MM board she could have taken it down without the "poor me" dramatics. The way she worded her post it was like she felt noone appreciated her and maybe they will learn the error of their ways once it is gone.

But thats not how it works. They will not reform because she took it away. They won't even notice, and if they do they certainly won't decide to suddenly start treating people with respect. Whenever I read a message like that, I can only think that the shop owner should grow a thicker skin. Or stop offering the freebie fine, but don't go all woe is me. Be more professional about it, ban the people you don't like, and let the hate mail slide off your back. I have seen that sort of message so many times, and as a "good customer" I feel like a kid in class where the teacher announces that if one person acts up noone gets recess. But online the idea of peer pressure to behave is even sillier.

I feel that when a MM board bugs out, the best thing to do is set the gift out for free for 24 hours. Sure many people do just hit the MM board and run, but thats not always the case. Some people spend hours calling the board every 30mins in MM groups. They teleport their friends, they work hard. Even if it was someone who worked hard for that MM, they never have a right to be rude. But its easy to understand why they would react that way. Why it's more than just getting upset over a free gift they don't deserve. 200+ people have come to your store, who wouldn't have. That really is great advertising. In SL advertising and publicity is worth so much. I can only speak for my own shopping habits, but freebies and lucky chairs are very effective in getting me to spend at places I normally wouldn't get around to visiting.

So all in all, I say ban/ignore rude people. Understand that people may have a legit reason to be upset (but never rude.)Take down the board, make it group only or whatever you have to do but don't bring the drama to your regular customers. If you really want to let them know be cool about it and explain that you just need a break from dealing with the complainers. Don't delude yourself that they will ever really go away.

Emilly Orr said...


While I mostly agree with what you say, I can't say I see much hand-wringing dramatics in the notice she sent.

But maybe I have a different take on the issue than most; because I saw the steady progression from please don't call the chair, it brings in terrible people to it's a group only chair, only call it to the loving, supportive group members to please don't call it in the store group, no one wants to be bothered to I'm making the group pay-only because no one loves me for another designer. (And while I still shop at that store, because I like her design sense, I don't lie to myself that it was precisely that end attitude that felt more like pouting and flouncing off, than it felt like a good business decision--the whole 'only sycophants need apply' derision galled me. It still does.)

I don't see that attitude in Lokii. Maybe I'm missing something, but she seems fairly rational overall.

Astolat Dufaux said...

I think Lokii handled it about as well as she could under the circumstances.

It's a tough call. I've been putting off getting an MM for awhile, mainly because I have seen this situation come up before with other merchants. It's hard to quantify how much additional business freebies actually bring in... sometimes shoppers don't buy anything when they pick up the free item, but come back at a later time (sometimes weeks later) and spend actual lindens.

As a merchant I can see where she's coming from and totally sympathize... while I don't have an MM board, I do get my share of frantic/raging people at times when the Marketplace fails to deliver something.

Some people cool off once you explain how scripts work (or don't) and that it's a failing of LL's, not mine (and then of course I offer to redeliver directly, etc).

Other people are just hard wired for freak outs or rudeness. There's nothing you can do to appease them.

There are also a lot of people on the grid who have a sense of entitlement to free items. Not sure where this comes from, other than the sagging economy, and creators/merchants slashing prices or adding freebie incentives to stay in business.

I don't think there's a quick fix to the problem. It depends on the merchant, what you sell, how you promote your store (and to whom). Keeping a cool head is about the best defense I have.

Serenity Semple said...

Oops. Just to admend what I said I got them confused with another Lokii. > < Sorry got confused thar with a Lokii Designs, that's what I get for reading really early in the morning. :x Sorry

Anonymous said...

I guess her message wasn't terribly dramatic by itself. I've just been online in enough groups when a message like that goes out to know what happens. Usually then group chat will start up with everyone saying how bad they feel about it and how much they would like to hurt the complainers. It's a bit of a drama starter.

Also the tone puts the reader on the defensive. It feels like she's accusing me and I've never even been to her store. But yeah I don't know her personally, only basing it on the tiny bit of message I've read.

Emilly Orr said...

I gave it a bit of time, to see if you're right. Granted, March 30th to Aprille 9th isn't a great deal of time, but in watching--

* No one's flounced off in a huff.
* The MM went group-only, no one complained.
* The designer is happily designing other things and getting on with her business.

I'd say, unless something catastrophically goes awry, that this was not one of those 'drama starter' incidents.