Saturday, July 28, 2012

Another Personal Rant : SecondLife Billing Problem's And Crappy Customer ( Dis )Service !

Mister Acacia is online

OK, this time I am more calmly going to rant about Linden Lab and a lack of competency and customer support. I will also state very clearly that this is my own personal opinion and does not necessarily reflect those of Jay, The Virtual World Technologist site nor the Phoenix/Firestorm team.

Over the last few months, my close friend has had nothing but problems with LL concerning her credit card. It all started several months ago when someone, I will assume by accident, flagged her credit card as fraudulent, and so it was declined by LL. She talked to LL billing, but apparently their system will not allow them to undo the damage. According to them.

She got another card on the same account, which LL recommended she do, and because the card number was too close to the other one, it was also marked and declined by LL.

She spoke with the bank, who doesn't understand what LL is doing (who does?) and they issued her another new card with a very different card number. And although it wasn't declined, it often failed to work. Day after day she called LL, and LL consistently told her it was her bank that was declining the charge. But she would call the bank and they showed that the transaction was being cancelled by LL before the approval was sent.

After months of talking to one unhelpful person after another, she finally got a call escalated to someone who was apparently in charge of customer support, and was told that the problems clearly are on LL's end, that he didn't understand why LL was cancelling the transaction, that the persons who treated her like dirt would be counselled and that the original fraud flag could and would be removed.

Today she was again on the phone, LL never did remove the flag, they're still cancelling the transactions, and they outright told her that unless she got a new card on a new name she would never be out from this debacle that they caused.

It only has proven to me that LL really doesn't care. They don't care about basic users, they care only marginally more about premium users, they think every user is an idiot who doesn't know what they're talking about. They are quick to deny responsibility, even when it is so obviously theirs. They seem loathe to help, instead engrossed in foisting new (and broken, think DD) features on us.

So now it's time to get her laywer involved. It's time to take this issue out of the customer (dis)service department and into the legal department, where resolution may cost LL much more than simply making things right.

I encourage everyone who has had similar problems with LL, or indeed any problem where customer support has failed you, to contact your lawyer. Most states have some sort of system to provide free legal advice, and at least one company offers a kind of legal insurance. Use those and kick LL where it hurts most.

Rod, remember this happened on your watch.

Mister Acacia is offline

*The Original Title of this Post was edited by me - JayR Cela*


My friend finally got a response. There was one person in LL that was trying to get her account issues resolved, and he admitted that he was encountering some human obstacles. But he said that he finally was able to clear all the flags on her card. Now all she needs to do is pay what Linden Lab says she owes and she's all good.
Wait. What she owes? That's right, LL are charging her for several failed L$ purchases. She doesn't have the L$, never got them. But LL are charging her nonetheless.
And billing is still telling her to just buy through Marketplace or use Paypal, or go to the extreme and get another credit card under a different name. 
Needless to say, she will be speaking with her lawyer about this.
Way to go, LL, another win for the customer.


Linden Lab has nearly corrected the issue. LL removed the charges from her card, and rightfully so. She never owed that money to them, they had no right to charge her. They finalized all the issues today, clearing the fraud flags and erroneous charges, emailed her to let her know and apologized for the inconvenience. They also credited her card $10. Whether that was because they are paying for damages, or because they owed her, I don't know. But she was today able to buy L$.

It's really sad that a customer, someone who actually wants to give LL money, was treated this way at all, let alone for as long as she was.

The quality of customer service is a very perspective-driven metric. Average quality is something only LL knows, and I'm sure they will not share raw unspun data. The resolution of this issue doesn't improve LL's quality as far as this writer is concerned.

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