An open letter to any Linden who actually gives a damn about their product and their customers

Dear [insert name here] Linden,

It pains me to say it, but as at this point in time sl sucks like a Dyson on steroids.

You know that i’m not one to mince my words when it comes to complaining about things that don’t do what they’re supposed to – i think that’s only reasonable – there are many things in life that, unfortunately, are mediocre, inefficient, disappointing and poor quality. When we’re talking about products or services, this is often because the provider gives the absolute bare minimum that they can get away with, whilst investing the larger part of their effort into making even more money. This leaves the end user with a sub-standard product that fails to deliver what it promises, no redress and a bad taste in the mouth. Those who do raise their voice in complaint tend to get shot down with the whole ‘if you’re not happy with the product, there’s nothing forcing you to stay’, line – a complete cop out, really, since whatever the user decides to do, neither the attitude of the provider or the product itself are going to improve.

This is sheer arrogance on the part of the provider and a frankly untenable position for both provider and end user. It’s an approach that, without fail, will always eventually end in tears. Which is why i do tend to voice my feelings – i’d rather make a fuss and see something put right, rather than watch something that was once good fall apart.

‘What is second life? A place to connect, a place to shop, a place to work, a place to love, a place to explore, a place to be different – be yourself, free your mind, change your mind, change your look, love your look, love your life.’ – Recognise that? Of course you do, it’s from your own marketing spiel – sadly, it’s all nonsense since, over the past few days and on so many other occasions recently, i’ve not been able to do most of those things you say sl is all about, and neither have a great many other people either. How can you explore when you can’t even log in, TP or find places in search to go to? How can you connect, shop, work, change your look or be yourself when you can’t rez objects, wear items of your choice, or even find half your inventory? What’s the point of changing your look anyway, when others either can’t see you, or only see a cloud, or a distorted and incomplete body? On the basis of that alone, you’re probably in breach of trades description legislation in half the countries in the world. Far worse though is that such poor performance and lack of a quality experience completely alienates your client base, creates dissatisfaction and generates a huge amount of negative feeling amongst the users. As for the almost total lack of relevant and meaningful communication – that simply breeds distrust and an even greater lack of belief that the company even cares. How long can you allow this to go on before it reaches a point of no return?

Of course, you may well say that i’m just jumping on the ‘let’s knock Linden Lab’ bandwagon, after all, it’s a quiet Sunday and it’s an easy post. Not so: i hardly ever post on a Sunday – it’s my day off – and, even though i’ve been known to rant, i try not to if i can avoid it – however, having wasted another fruitless hour or so achieving absolutely nothing inworld – for the second day running, i might add – you’ve managed to push me over the edge. As for jumping on the bandwagon, that may be the case, but in all honesty guys, if things didn’t suck quite so badly, there wouldn’t be a bandwagon to jump on in the first place.

Let me ask you a couple of questions… Would you drive a car that had been built and maintained by Linden Lab? Would you go to a dentist who was a reliable as sl? Would you recommend a restaurant to your friends that offered service on a par with LL/sl – i certainly wouldn’t.

It’s really rather sad – there was a time when sl was a flagship of the digital world, surrounded by media hype and residents eager to proselytise and sell the vision. It was a platform that was going places and where people put up with the bad times because they felt that the company was behind them and shared the same vision and drive to succeed and to excel. Trouble is, you can’t run a business on past successes – you have to invest in the here and now – and that means making the current product fit for purpose. Either that, or quietly retire it and watch the company sink without a trace.

There is no point to this letter – it’s purely a rant borne out of frustration and annoyance. It will achieve nothing because, even if you bother to read it, it will fall on deaf ears… far more influential people than me have complained just as bitterly over recent weeks to no effect. Even so, i wanted you to know that i’m not a happy customer and – no matter what you might say – you can actually do a lot better.

Regards,

s. x (and anyone else who want’s to be a signatory)

And he used to be the life and soul of everyone around,
You’d never catch him looking up and never see him down,
But oh lala, he couldn’t raise a smile, not for a while,
And he’s a failure now.
Laura Marlin – Failure

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4 Responses to An open letter to any Linden who actually gives a damn about their product and their customers

  1. It is not just you (and me). I have spoken to several people who have noticed a significant uptick in lag in the last week or so, along with a whole raft of building and uploading problems that are attributable to lag.

  2. isfullofcrap says:

    Go ahead and add my name… getting flooded with newbies because Destination Guide’s messed up and featuring my otherwise-quiet park is pissing me off.

    -ls/cm

  3. pambroviak says:

    I think most people in SL believe it is a wonderful place offering us so many opportunities, but even so, I continually read posts by people who seem to have reached the same point of frustration as you. The root of it seems to be that people have this feeling no one is listening to or even acknowledging the users. People seem to be more willing to put up with the ups and downs of performance if they at least feel like someone is listening to them or at the very least acknowledging them. Many of us have offered suggestions to help improve the situation, but I never see a discussion or acknowlegement of these either by anyone at Linden Lab.

  4. Wayfinder says:

    You’re not the first, Serendipity, to post such a letter to Linden Lab. I’ve been writing open letters to them for years (as have many others). Want to guess what response I got? Zero.

    http://elfclan.ning.com/profiles/blogs/turning-pointan-open-letter-to
    http://elfclan.ning.com/profiles/blogs/linden-lab-snafus
    http://elfclan.ning.com/profiles/blogs/open-letter-to-linden-lab-and
    http://elfclan.ning.com/profiles/blogs/open-letter-to-mark-kingdon

    There are many more, all available at http://elfclan.ning.com. I’m not the only blogger who has written such articles. Join the club of not-so-elite ranks; there are many of us.

    And no, you’re right. Linden Lab doesn’t listen. Over the years the company has shown it has one priority in mind and one only: $money. Big surprise there; another money-grubbing soulless corporation.

    Our solution to this was work-intensive and required sacrifice, but it was simple and successful: after seven years of putting up with Linden Lab nonsense, Elf Clan left Second Life. We were down to one region and suffocating under their abusive company policies and increasing prices. We packed up and left.

    The result? We’re now homed on Inworldz. We have (as of this date) thirty-one regions there, all of them incredibly beautiful. We left the SL platform and went somewhere we could grow. As a result our group is thriving.

    We consider Second Life to be a very bad investment and like you mention, a pit of corporate hype, false advertising and self-serving, tunnel-vision management. My regret is it took us seven years to make the logical decision. We should have been out of there the first time we caught them lying to us (which was in April 2005).

    Just a brief note in affirmation of your blog… and caution to anyone thinking about getting involved with that company. Our group (a rather large one) paid them some US$50,000… and have nothing to show for it. (And yes, we are royally kicking ourselves for not making the call sooner.)

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