Monday, November 14, 2011

out pops the cracker, smacks you in the head; knifes you in the neck, kicks you in the teeth

(from the Train Wreck Love Life album; image courtesy Historic LOLs.)

Though to be fair, the love life, these days, is fairly free of wreckage. I am, of course, still wary of this, and waiting for bad things to happen is just part of what I do. Still, I did have to link this, for obvious reasons.

All right, in other news.

The resizeable mesh project seems to be zipping along; apparently the Lindens are working with him to actually implement the coding changes he's working on, so I tend to agree--this is far from the worst thing that could happen.

Why are there banana Dachshunds? Does anyone have an answer? (There's also apple owls, scallion cats, and carrot bunnies, among others, but the banana pups confuse me most.)

May I present to you the Origami Apartment! It folds, it pleats, it maneuvers to entertain. (Which made a friend remember the Hong Kong transforming apartment, and yeah--different execution, same basic concept.)

"I'm appalled that Linden Lab is so completely disreputable and its employees apparently so completely incapable of identifying ethical behaviour or even understanding just how badly this reflects on them, that they have taken absolutely no action to protect their rapidly diminishing reputation."

That was from a blog post made back in August (not mine), so the bulk of it is dealing with issues that have already been resolved (the great Buy an Ozimal bunny, it'll help Second Life promotion springs to mind), or issues that plainly won't ever be resolved, no matter what amount of wrongdoing comes to light (JLU and the Dragonfish data leak). Still, there's valid information there, which leads me to the entry posted yesterday.

This came in the mail this afternoon:

From: "Second Life" {}
Date: Mon, Nov 14, 2011 at 3:31 PM
Subject: Please disregard earlier Second Life Renewal Reminder message

I could just stop there, but hey, I'll carry this out entire.

Dear Emilly

Our sincere apologies. You recently received an email from in error. The message subject was "Second Life Renewal Reminder," and it stated that your account would be charged for the cost of a renewal of a Premium Membership, and on a date that is in the past. Please disregard that email. We will not be charging your account for the stated fees.

Again, please disregard our previous message and accept our apologies for any confusion. If you have additional questions, please contact support.

Best Wishes,

Linden Lab and the Second Life Team

Now, there are a few interesting things here. First, the Lindens have moved from "Dear Emilly Orr" to "Dear Emilly". I'm a neo-Victorian online, not (so much) RL, so while I note the added 'familiarity', it doesn't offend me.

Secondly, it's an apology letter. The Lindens actually apologized. They don't do that. In the half-decade I've been involved with SL, they've never done that to my recollection (at least, without temporizing it heavily to make the apology sound like something they're doing for the courtesy of it, but it 'shouldn't count'). many residents received this letter? And how many complaints, notecards, IMs and phone calls did they get?

Third, yeah, let's talk about the mention of calling support with additional concerns. First, it would have been nice if they'd provided an actual support number, but I also know that if I dig long enough on the site, the phone number turns up.

Here's the problem with that, though--while I, personally, have had good luck the few times I've needed to call (and only twice as a Premium account holder; the other times I've been Basic), by and large the average report is that if one is not a Premium member, one does not call support. Period. Because there's no help on their help lines, for non-Premium members.

So...they're stating they sent the email in error; they're apologizing (and profusely, for them, which is even more stunning); and they're asking people to call support if they need any other help.

You know, those tentative urges towards resubscribing as a Premium member? (Not so much for the Lindenhomes, because they're fairly useless for me, and not so much for the "gifts" designed for Premium members, because I have more than enough virtual things, but mainly for the member-only sandbox options.) They've been fairly effectively quashed by this. I think it's going to be at least six months if not longer before I think it might, possibly, be a good idea again.


Serenity Semple said...

Wow that article from back in August - big eye opener. I was really surprised at sometimes how little is shared unless you go digging or it gets tossed at you, about the dark side of Second Life. Doesn't surprise me that it exsists but more that nothing has been done about it at all. I seriously am beyond amazed how this company continues on. Also surprised that you got an apology letter! XD Wow. Also a side note the 'gifts' are very boring furniture for Premium members (I recently had Hina check). Though it is interesting that premium members have access to a up and coming interactive HUD gathering game? Not really sure on all the details but I wish they'd focus on more important matters sometimes.

Emilly Orr said...

Oh, we all do--if the Lindens had spent even one-third the time they spent on developing voice, mesh, and the Marketplace acquisition & redesign that they could have spent on grid stability? They'd have more paying customers now.

There's definitely a sector in SL where bad things happen, but the thing I think people keep forgetting is that those same bad things happen in RL, too. SL isn't a "haven" for evildoers, it's just large enough that good and bad can happen, depending on the day.

What scares me is the focus just doesn't seem to be there, on anything. Sure, if we make a big enough fuss, the Lindens will eventually catch on, but they don't seem to have any internal consistency. It could be a ban, it could be a sternly worded warning, we never know.

And you're the first I've heard of the interactive HUD game, though I'm wondering if that's what Des was trying to set up with the Caledon-wide pettable animals thing.

Icterus Dagger said...

I thought the game she was talking about is what Miss Kurmin mentions in her blog:

(hope that link worked)


Emilly Orr said...

I had somehow managed to miss that this week; thank you! And yes, the link works. Of course, the information in that link puts a whole different spin on the concept of the interactive game...which may have been interactively infringed from another designer.